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7 December 1999 Annals of Internal Medicine Tip Sheet

Annals of Internal Medicine is published by the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine (ACP-ASIM), an organization of more than 115,000 physicians trained in internal medicine. The following highlights are not intended to substitute for articles as sources of information. For an article, call 1-800-523-1546, ext. 2656 or 215-351-2656.

Sensitive Test Found Micrometastases; May Help Stage Colorectal Cancer

RT-PCR, a new molecular biology test, detected a substance in the lymph nodes which may be a biomarker of future recurrence of colorectal cancer (Article, p. 805). A retrospective study looked at tissues of 21 patients with Stage II colorectal cancer that was presumably cured. The substance, guanylyl cyclase C, was found in the lymph nodes of the 10 whose cancer subsequently recurred and not in the 11 who remained disease-free after six years.

ACP-ASIM Cautions Physicians About Selling Products From Their Offices

ACP-ASIM says that physicians must maintain high ethical standards if they chose to sell products from their offices (Position Paper, p. 863). The products must be essential to the patient's care; clinically relevant to the patients' conditions; proven effective in treating the condition; not easily available to the patient because of geographic or time constraints; and urgently needed. [Call for a separate news release.]

Fibromyalgia: Update on Diagnosis and Treatment but Still No Cure

Fibromyalgia, an elusive illness characterized by muscle pain, stiffness, poor sleep and tender points on the body, affects about 3.7 million people (Update, p. 850). An update reviews the literature on diagnosis and treatment of the illness and finds that drug therapies have only limited success managing the illness. The author recommends a multidisciplinary approach including both drug and non-drug strategies.

Article on Buying Drugs on the Internet. FDA Editorial: Buyer Beware

This article (p. 830) and editorial (p. 861) were posted on the ACP-ASIM Web site on Sept. 27 in advance of publication because of their important public health messages.

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