Resource Bank

Toolbox offers drug treatment info

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) in Washington, DC, has compiled years of drug abuse and addiction research into a toolbox for drug abuse counselors. The free toolbox is packaged in a magazine file box large enough to store all current NIDA drug treatment publications as well as additional reports as they are developed. The box contains:

• three therapy manuals on treatment of cocaine addiction, which highlight the cognitive-behavioral, community reinforcement
plus vouchers, and individual counseling approaches;

• approaches to drug abuse counseling;

• principles of drug addiction treatment, a research-based guide;

• NIDA research reports on anabolic steroids, cocaine, heroin, inhalants, nicotine, and methamphetamine;

• NIDA publications catalog;

• commonly abused drug chart.

The materials included in the kit are available on-line at Ordering information for the toolbox is available by calling the Clearinghouse for Drug and Alcohol Information at (800) 729-6686. 

Resource focuses on pediatric mental health

A monograph and a reprint of a brief on children’s mental health issues are now available at no charge from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) in Rockville, MD. The materials were developed by the Children’s Mental Health Alliance Project, supported by in part by AHRQ and led by Annie G. Steinberg, MD, of the Children’s Mental Health Practice and Research at the University of Pennsylvania and the Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania.

The monograph includes:

• a review of evidence-based, best-practices approach to the primary care/specialty care relationship as it applies to pediatric mental health;

• a discussion of the underrecognition of the mental health problems that affect children and adolescents and the poor outcomes that often occur in pediatric mental health;

• clarification of the professional responsibilities across systems of care to avoid duplication, address shortages, and define health services research priorities;

• a series of recommendations for pediatric mental health services research topics.

Copies of the monograph, Children’s Mental Health: The Changing Interface Between Primary and Specialty Care (AHRQ Publication # 00-R040) are available from the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse at

Briefly speaking

The reprint, an issue brief published by the University of Pennsylvania’s Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, was written by Steinberg and colleagues. It briefly summarizes, in bullet form, much of the information in the monograph described above, including the following:

• changes in children’s mental health ervices over the past decade;

• increases in psychotropic drug use in children;

• effects of managed care on the delivery of mental health services to children;

• resources needed by primary care providers to identify and address children’s mental health needs;

• a system-of-care model.

The issue brief also is available from the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse. 

Study needs women for cancer research

The National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP), a nonprofit clinical trials cooperative group, recently launched a phase III clinical trial to evaluate Herceptin (trastuzumab), manufactured by Genentech in South San Francisco, CA. More than 100 sites in the United States and Canada are participating in the study to assess the safety and efficacy of the combination of Herceptin and chemotherapy in the treatment of 2,700 node-positive breast cancer patients whose tumors overexpress the human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER2) protein or demonstrate evidence of HER2 gene amplification.

Herceptin, a humanized monoclonal antibody, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in Rockville, MD, to treat women with metastatic breast cancer whose tumors are known to have an overexpression of HER2. Previous research has proven the drug’s ability to target the HER2 receptor in metastatic breast cancer that decreases the spread of the disease and prolongs patient survival. One study found that women with HER2 positive metastatic cancer who received Herceptin in combination with chemotherapy lived longer than those who received chemotherapy alone.

NSABP Protocol B-31 will be conducted in two stages. The first stage will evaluate 1,000 patients for cardiac safety and compare the toxicities of adding weekly Herceptin to adjuvant Taxol following Adriamycin and cyclophosphamide.

If researchers determine that the potential benefits of Herceptin therapy are greater than the drug-related side effects, the study will proceed to the second stage. The second stage will include an additional 1,700 patients to study the efficacy of adding Herceptin to the standard chemotherapy regimen of cyclophosphamide followed by Taxol in prolonging patient survival and disease-free survival.

Women will be enrolled in the study over five years. To participate, a woman must meet the following criteria:

• operable breast cancer treated with lumpectomy plus irradiation or mastectomy;

• histologically positive axillary nodes;

• breast cancer with strong HER2 protein overexpression determined either by immunohistochemistry or HER2 amplification by fluorescent in situ hybridization;

• no evidence of metastatic disease;

• no existing heart disease.

For more details, or to locate a participating hospital in the United States, call the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Cancer Information Service at (800) 422-6237 or visit the NCI’s clinical trials Web site at Information also is available on the NSABP Web site at


Kit helps partners cope with cancer

Two communications giants have joined forces to develop a kit to help couples deal with the challenges of facing breast cancer together.

Samsung Telecommunications in Dallas and Sprint PCS in Kansas City, MO, with the help of the Johns Hopkins Breast Center in Baltimore, have developed a free, limited-edition support kit, "Journey of Hope: Couples Speak Out About Breast Cancer." The kit includes a workbook and video that emphasize the need for communication between partners and help couples discuss such sensitive issues as intimacy, spirituality, finances, and long-term survivorship.

In "Journey of Hope," breast cancer survivors and their partners share their personal experience about how they supported each other and dealt with a variety of difficult issues during their battles with breast cancer.

To receive the kit, call (877) 718-4673. More information is available on the Web at www.