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CancerGuide: About CancerGuide

What's NEW on CancerGuide
What's New On CancerGuide

Here's what I've been doing and what's new! I'm not including every little change, just new articles, and significant updates. That way when you come back, it won't take long to find what interests you.

NOTE: Updates to the Kidney Cancer Section aren't covered here. For kidney cancer updates, see the Kidney Cancer What's New page.

October 3, 2004

I added a new article on Support Groups on (and off) the Internet . Internet support groups are a potent source of information as well as support.

I also changed my Article on Phase III Trials, to include what is sure to be a controversial discussion of natural incentives to select less than the best standard treatment as the "control" in these randomized trials.

Finally, I added Gustavo Perez's Amazing Story. Gustavo has had remarkable results with surgery and high dose Interleukin-2 for kidney cancer that had spread to his brain, lungs, bones, and other organs.

September 14, 2004

An important new article on Endpoints. Endpoints are the outcomes measured in clinical trials, things like survival and tumor shrinkage. Understanding this is critical to understanding the research literature, and will sometimes also help you understand your doctor and ask the right questions.

I have also recently added three patient stories:

August 12, 2004

Added an article on traveling for treatment. If you need to travel for treatment there is almost certainly a way from here to there even if you're short on money.

August 9, 2004

Site Redesign!

Yes, CancerGuide now has an actual menu and navigation system! I haven't changed the content but I hope it will be much easier to find the information you need now.

While I hope the menu system will be self-evident, a few pointers:

  • The windows adjust to the size of your browser window. If you find the text is too wide you can adjust the width of your window to get it just the way you like it.

  • The text size is also adjustable. If you find the text too small or too big you can change it. All browsers have an option to adjust the text size. Both the articles and the menus will scale.

  • The page design may fall apart with very old browsers such as Netscape 4.7x and below. If things don't work well, you're probably having trouble with some other sites as well. I suggest upgrading your browser which should be free. If you have trouble with any modern browser please let me know.

Taking the time to do this right would not have been possible without the support of the Fischer Family Trust which has been funding my time. Many thanks to Mike Fischer!

Technical Notes: In case anyone is curious, these pages are generated using a system I wrote using The Perl Template Toolkit, an open source tool. Pages are still static HTML - nothing fancy on the server-side. The pages themselves use a combination of table layout and style sheets with a very tiny bit of Javascript thrown in for just a few things.

... and finally Still No Pretty Pictures!

December 23, 2003

What's New Merry Christmas Edition: It's been a while since I made any major change to CancerGuide, all that time I've been working on a huge update to my Kidney Cancer Section. I am a kidney cancer survivor and CancerGuide has been an important resource for kidney cancer patients over the years.

Special thanks to Mike Fischer for funding my time to make this possible and to the members of the KIDNEY-ONC mailing list who together have more knowledge than any one mind could contain.

Because the kidney cancer section is really a separate project, future kidney cancer updates will be tracked in A Separate What's New Page just for the kidney cancer section.

May 5, 2003

I added an article contibuted by a reader, Katherine Hufnagel, Obtaining and Reviewing Your Medical Records about this important step in researching your own case.

February 3, 2003

I re-wrote and expanded my article on rare cancers

January 11, 2003

Be Smart About Group Insurance is a guide to making choices in group health, disability, and life insurance offered through work. Making the right choices can increase your treatment options, give you time to recover from treatment as well as improve the financial health of you and your family.

December 2, 2002

While the best way to get a new treatment is usually in a clinical trial, there are also legitimate reasons for getting such treatments outside a trial, and there are a surprising number of ways to do so. Most patients aren't told. Read Off-Protocol: Getting New Treatments Outside a Clinical Trial and get informed.

I've moved the Renal Cell Cancer Evaluated Trials Database (See August 28th, below) to its own domain, KidneyCancerTrials.org. Changes to the database will be covered there, rather than here.

October 10, 2002

Before you take part in any clinical trial you will go through the "Informed Consent Process". My new article, A Guide to Informed Consent for The Active Patient will help you use this opportunity to help you become truly informed.

August 28, 2002

Of interest to kidney cancer patients, I've just started the Renal Cell Cancer Evaluated Trials Database . This is a major new project! While small to start out with, this clinical trials database is different from others you may find on the Internet because we pull together in-depth information about each trial and give our no holds barred opinion of the merits.

July 17, 2002

I started CancerGuide's psychology section with two new articles, Attitude With An Attitude, my reaction to Bernie Siegel and the mind-body movement focusing on how to get, "all the gain with none of the blame" as well as an article on Coping with Scan Anxiety.

I also added Robert Norcross' Story of surviving stage IV renal cell cancer.

June 14, 2002

While attending the 2002 ASCO (American Society of Clinical Oncology) conference I was surprised to see the emphasis being placed on so called "stable disease" in preliminary studies - and on reflection I realized it's something of a trend. You are sure to encounter it if you research the latest technical developments. But be forewarned: Stable disease can be a tricky and often seriously misleading endpoint. To learn why, read my new article, Stable Disease: A Problematic Endpoint.

While at ASCO, I also met a woman who was attending the conference to help a good friend of hers stricken with advanced pancreatic cancer. After I got home, I realized she is by no means the only layman I've caught gathering information at professional conferences! While I am sure this will never be a usual or popular option, some will find it immensely valuable, so I've added an article on Attending Medical Conferences. Now there's an option you won't be reading about on other sites!

June 7, 2002

I Added Thalidomide: An Anti-Angiogenic Therapy For Renal Cell Cancer along with annotated bibliographies on this treatment

Other recent additions include, My notes from the 2002 ASCO Conference on Kidney Cancer Treatment and Paul Leverett's Remarkable Story of Recovery from Glioblastoma Multiforme, using antineoplastons, a very controversial alternative therapy.

May 14, 2002

The main course for today is "Tales of the Tail", a guide to the amazingly tricky business of understanding the ends of real world survival curves.

May 6, 2002

I added Mike Fischer's excellent review article on surgery for metastatic kidney cancer. In reviewing the literature on kidney cancer Mike discovered that there is a good deal of evidence suggesting that surgery for metastatic kidney cancer is both more promising and more frequently applicable than is generally known. Mike alerted me to this and inspired my article, Surgery for Metastatic Renal Cell Cancer. Now we also have his view based on an even more extensive review of the data!

May 3, 2002

I continue to add to my section on survival curves, this time with a detailed explanation of how real world survival curves are calculating using something called The Kaplan-Meier Method. While a little technical, this will improve your understanding of real-world survival curves.

April 11, 2002

I added two new articles on survival curves to the statistics section, Survival Curve Basics, and Conditional Survival, which is about how your prognosis changes with time. Look for more articles on survival curves in the near future!

March 30, 2002

I added a new article, "Cancer and Disability" generously contributed by Bruce Wallace, a member of the KIDNEY-ONC kidney cancer mailing list .

March 23, 2002

I separated my information on Stem Cell Transplant for Kidney Cancer into a separate article, which is now linked from my main kidney cancer page. The information in the new article is greatly expanded, a complete re-write. Over time I expect to give more kidney cancer therapies their own page. I've also refined my article on Surgery for Metastatic Kidney Cancer several times in the last few weeks.

March 13, 2002

An update related to my own story: I added a new article, The Hint, showing some of the actual data I used to make my decision over 12 years ago and explaining why it was so important. I link to it from My Story and from Postcards from Beyond the Zero, an article on how my prognosis has changed over time.

March 3, 2002

A major clinical trials update! I replaced my article on the clinical trials system with six new articles on clinical trials and the clinical trials system. This comprises an aggressive, patient oriented, in depth exploration of the system. Look for more to come!

To take a look at what I've added, start here: Steve's Strategic Guide to the Clinical Trial System

January 30, 2002

Added a new article on surgery for metastastic kidney cancer. What I found was very encouraging!.

I also added Jim Ward's Kidney Cancer Story to the stories section.

January 8, 2002

Added Clinical Trials: The Evidence and Where to Find It, a guide to finding the prior results for a clinical trial.

December 9, 2001

November 27, 2001

In my Kidney Cancer Page, update the discussion of Autolymphocyte Therapy, a promising adjuvant therapy for stage III and IV renal cell cancer with no current evidence of disease. Also add a small section on partial nephrectomy, and other nephron sparing techniques to treat the primary tumor.

November 23, 2001

Added article When to Search for Clinical Trials, to let people know that in many situations you must not delay your search or opportunities will be lost!



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This CancerGuide Page By Steve Dunn. © Steve Dunn
Page Created: 2002, Last Updated: October 3, 2004