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What My Patients Are Asking: Follow-up on the Supreme Court’s Ruling That Human Genes Can’t Be Patented

By on July 10th, 2013 Categories: News

The Supreme Court has ruled 9-0 that human genes cannot be patented. The Court ruled unanimously in this case that Myriad Genetics’ patents on the BRCA1 and 2 genes were invalid. The decision is a victory for patients and for industry.

This is good news for patients because access to genetic testing will improve. I spoke with George Prendergast, Ph.D., editor-in-chief of Cancer Research and …

What My Patients Are Asking: Should I Take Tamoxifen for 10 Years Instead of 5?

By on June 26th, 2013 Categories: Research News

Two big studies that came out in the last 6 months – the ATLAS trial and the aTTOM trial – have found that taking tamoxifen for 10 years instead of 5 years offers more benefits, including:

  • reducing the amount of recurrence
  • reducing the number of deaths from breast cancer
  • improving overall survival

Before these studies came out, most premenopausal women diagnosed with early-stage, hormone-receptor-positive breast …

What My Patients Are Asking: How Will the Supreme Court’s Decision on BRCA Genes Affect Me?

By on May 21st, 2013 Categories: News

On April 15, 2013, the Supreme Court heard a challenge by a group of scientists to Myriad Genetics’ patent of the BRCA1 and 2 genes. On May 14, actress and humanitarian Angelina Jolie revealed that she’d had a preventive double mastectomy because testing had shown her to be positive for the BRCA1 mutation, bringing further attention to the Supreme Court’s upcoming decision.

Everyone has BRCA1 …

What My Patients Are Asking: How Bad Is the Flu This Year?

By on January 30th, 2013 Categories: Day-to-Day Matters, News

The rumor going around the hospital right now is that this flu* season is unusually bad. My colleagues and I have definitely seen some pretty sick  patients. When Burt Reynolds ended up in a Florida ICU with the flu, my patients started to take notice.

So how bad is the flu this year?

First of all, we don’t really know yet because flu season typically …

What My Patients Are Asking: Can Getting a Biopsy Spread the Cancer?

By on November 20th, 2012 Categories: Symptoms & Diagnosis

First of all, there is no way of getting around a biopsy. There are side effects with any procedure but in order to properly treat a patient, a good biopsy specimen is absolutely critical. The benefit of being able to select the proper surgery and subsequent treatment clearly outweighs the risk.

That said, many women come to me concerned that their biopsy might have spread …

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