Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Largest real world database of immune checkpoint inhibitors in melanoma

Results of the largest real world dataset in metastatic melanoma via uptake of immune checkpoint inhibitors was presented at the 2020 ASCO-SITC Clinical Immuno-Oncology Symposium in Orlando Florida, February 6-8, 2020.  The dataset, comprised of 5465 melanoma patients studied between April 2014 - March 2018 reports that 2322 of the 5465 patients received first-line treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors (1174 were administered pembrolizumab, 724 ipilimumab, 52 nivolumab, and 372 a combination of both ipilimumab and nivolumab.

To read more about this study, click here.

Source mentioned:  Corrie PG, Chao D, Board R, et al. Metastatic melanoma patient outcomes since introduction of immune checkpoint inhibitors in England between 2014 and 2018. J Clin Oncol 2020; 38:(suppl 5; abstr 55).   

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

First baby born to cancer patienst from eggs matured in lab and frozen

The Department of Reproductive Medicine and Fertility Preservation at the Antoine Béclère University Hospital near Paris, France have "announced the birth of the first baby to be born to a cancer patient from an immature eff that was matured in the laboratory, frozen, then thawed and fertilized five years later."  According to the announcement, the 34-year old mother of the baby boy was infertile due to the chemotherapy she underwent for breast cancer.  Prior to beginning her cancer treatment, her immature eggs were removed and allowed to fully develop via in vitro maturation (IVM).  This study is believed to be the first successful pregnancy in cancer patients following IVM and vitrification.

To read more about this study, click here.

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Cancer Related to Infections

A recently published article by investigators from the International Agency on Cancer (IARC) provides a global analysis of cancer diagnoses attributable to infections.  According to the study, "an estimated 2.2 million infection-attributable cancer cases were diagnosed worldwide [in 2018]."  Primary causes included Helicobacter pylori, human papillomavirus (HPV), and hepatitis B and C viruses.

To read more about this study, click here.

Source mentioned: de Martel C, Georges D, Bray F, Ferlay J, Clifford GM. (2020). Global burden of cancer attributable to infections in 2018: a worldwide incidence analysis. Lancet Glob Health. 2020 Feb;8(2): e180-e190.

Friday, 31 January 2020

Can working night shifts put you at greater risk of cancer?

The United States Nurses' Health Study recently revealed results of a study indicating that extensive rotating night shift work over 15 years leads to a greater risk of developing haematopoietic cancer. Haematopoietic cancers, (the 2 most common types are leukaemia and lymphoma) account for 10% of all new cancer diagnoses.  While this study admits that several occupational, environmental, lifestyle, and physiological factors can lead to a higher risk of a cancer diagnosis, "it is speculated that night shift work may suppress melatonin, which regulates the sleep-wake cycle and is a powerful antioxidant."

To read more about this study, click here.  

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Immune checkpoint inhibitors associated with lower risk of developing severe adverse events vs. chemotherapy

A recently published meta-analysis in Annals of Oncology reports on 22 clinical trials conducted on 12,727 patients with advanced solid tumours.  Findings from the joint Canada-U.S. study indicated that patients "treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors were less likely to develop severe adverse events than those receiving chemotherapy.  16.5% of patients developed an adverse event when treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors, compared to 41.1% treated with chemotherapy.  Other adverse events, including fatigue, diarrhea, and acute kidney injury were more prevalent following chemotherapy treatment, while colitis, pneumonitis, and hypothyroidism occurred more frequently after treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors.

To read more about this study, click here.

Study source: Magee DE, Hird AE, Klaassen Z, et al. Adverse event profile for immunotherapy agents compared with chemotherapy in solid organ tumors: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. Annals of Oncology; Published online 6 January 2020. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annonc.2019.10.008 

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Artificial Intelligence speeds brain tumour diagnosis

A recent National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded clinical trial of patients requiring brain surgery indicates how artificial intelligence (AI) is able to provide "neurosurgeons with valuable real-time information about what type of brain tumour is present, while the patient is still on the operating table."  In the joint study by researchers from NYU Langone Health and University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, the benefits of AI and a technique known as Stimulated Raman History (SRH) can provide real-time data and predictions related to a patient's brain tumour diagnosis.  AI overall performance in this study was 95% accurate (compared to 94% accuracy for conventional pathology).

To read more about this study, click here.

Source mentioned: Hollon TC, Pandian B, Adapa AR, Urias E, Save AV, Khalsa SS, et al. Near real-time intraoperative brain tumor diagnosis using stimulated Raman histology and deep neural networks. Nat Med. 2020 Jan 6. doi: 10.1038/s41591-019-0715-p [Epub ahead of print]

Monday, 6 January 2020

Recommended physical activity levels linked to lower risk of seven cancers

A recent joint study conducted by investigators at the National Cancer Institute, American Cancer Society, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health indicates that adherence of leisure-time physical activity is linked to lower risk of developing 7 cancers.  Lower risk levels for the 7 identified cancers include: colon cancer in men (8%-14%), female breast cancer (6%-10%), endometrial cancer (10%-18%), kidney cancer (11%-17%), myeloma (14%-19%), liver cancer (18%-27%), and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (11%-18%).

To read more about this study, click here.

Source mentioned: Matthews CE, Moore SC, Arem H, Cook MB, Trabert B, Hakansson N., et al. Amount and intensity of leisure-time physical activity and lower cancer risk. J Clin Oncol. 2019 Dec 26: JCO1902407 [Epub ahead of print]

Friday, 3 January 2020

AI detects breast cancer as accurately as expert radiologists, study finds

Researchers in the United States and Britain recently reported that Google DeepMind, an artificial intelligence (AI) system, "proved as good as expert radiologists at detecting which women had breast cancer based on screening mammograms and showed promise at reducing errors."  According to the American Cancer Society, radiologists miss about 20% of breast cancers in mammograms; Google Deep Mind can reduce false positive results by 5.7%.

To read more about this study, click here.

Study mentioned: McKinney SM, Sieniek M, Godble V, Godwin J, Antropova H, Back T, et al. International evaluation of an AI system for breast cancer screening.  Nature, 2020 Jan; 577 (7788): 89-94.

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Happy Holidays - blog postings resume in January 2020

To all Grey Horizon readers,

Thank you for your continued support of this blog.  Happy Holidays and best wishes for 2020 - postings will resume in January.

Sustained weight loss linked to reduced breast cancer risk

A new study conducted by the American Cancer Society shows that sustained weight loss in women 50 years of age and older and not using postmenopausal hormones had significantly reduced levels of breast cancer risk.  According to study findings on 180,000 women 50 and older, women who lost 2-4.5 kg had a 13% lower risk of developing cancer, while those losing 4.5-9 kg saw the risk fall to 16%, and women losing 9 kg or more had a 26% lower risk.

To read more about this study, click here.

Source mentioned: Sustained weight loss and risk of breast cancer in women >50 years: a pooled analysis of prospective data. JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute; DOI: 10.1093/jnci/djz226  

Friday, 13 December 2019

Breast cancer subtype incidence in men differs from trends in women

A new study conducted by the American Cancer Society indicates that "incidence rates for hormone receptor (HR+) breast cancers are considerably higher in black men than white men, in stark contrast to lower incidence rates of those cancer subtypes in black versus white women." The study is unique as it is the first report studying rates of breast cancer racially and gender.  Findings indicate a 41% higher incidence for HR+/HER- breast cancers, 65% higher for HR+/HER2+,  among black men.

To read more about this study, click here.


Friday, 6 December 2019

Permanent hair dye and straighteners may increase breast cancer risk

A new study conducted at the National Institutes of Health indicates a tends towards higher risk of developing breast cancer in women who use permanent hair dye and chemical hair straighteners. Known as the Sister Study, data from 46,709 women "found that women who regularly use permanent hair dye...were 9% more likely to develop breast cancer" than those that didn't use this hair product.

Click here for more information about this study.

Study mentioned: Eberle CE, Sandler DP, Taylor KW, White AP. Hair dye and chemical straightener use and breast cancer risk in a large US population of black and white women. Int J Cancer. 2019 Dec 3. doi: 10.1002/ijc.32738 [Epub ahead of print]

Monday, 2 December 2019

People with mental illness receive less cancer screening

A recent systematic review and meta-analysis conducted in the Neurosciences Department at the University of Padua in Italy indicates that "despite increased mortality from cancer in people with mental illness, this population receives less cancer screening compared with that of the general population."

To read more about these findings, click here.

Study mentioned:

Solmi M, Firth J, Miola A, et al. Disparities in cancer screening in people with mental illness across the world versus the general population: prevalence and comparative meta-analysis including 4 717 839 peopleThe Lancet Psychiatry; Published online 28 November 2019.DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S2215-0366(19)30414-6

Monday, 25 November 2019

New trial alert: Robotic nipple-sparing mastectomy with immediate prosthetic breast reconsrtuction

Researchers at the University Health Network in Toronto are conducting a new trial utilizing a surgical robotic system to reduce visible scarring of the breast, and nipple-areolar complex malposition/distortion.  The Robotic Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy (RNSM), while thus far utilized in only a few centres in North America (The University Health Network trial will be the first of its kind in Canada), investigators do emphasize that the robotic technique is safe, feasible, and can "provide superior cosmetic outcomes with less morbidity and higher patient satisfaction compared to traditional nipple-sparing techniques.

 To read more about this trial, click here.

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

American Cancer Society updates position on electronic cigarettes

The American Cancer Society has revised its position statement on electronic cigarettes, due to increases in e-cigarette use among children, teens, and young adults.  The 3 revised statements in the position statement include:
  • No youth or young adult should begin using any tobacco product, including e-cigarettes 
  • E-cigarettes should not be used to quit smoking 
  • E-Cigarette users should not also smoke cigarettes or switch to smoking cigarettes, and former smokers now using e-cigarettes should not revert to smoking 
To read the completed, revised position statement, click here

Thursday, 14 November 2019

Prescribing exercise as cancer treatment

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recently released updated guidelines emphasizing the importance of physical activity and regular exercise in cancer prevention and survivorship.  Dr. Kathryn Schmitz, co-chair of the expert panel that created these guidelines states that conclusive evidence has been foundling linking exercise and longer survival for breast colon, and prostate cancer patients.  While it is not possible to applying this evidence to all cancer types yet, Dr. Schmitz is adamant that "there are enough benefits of physical activity, in general, that we recommend that survivors of all cancers follow the general public health recommendations for physical activity: 1.5-5 hours/week of moderate-intensity activity, or 1.25-2.5 hours/week of vigorous activity."

To rad more about these guidelines, click here.

Source mentioned: Campbell KL, Winters-Stone KM, Wiskemann J, May AM, Schwartz AL, Courneya KS, Zucker DS, Matthews CE, Ligibel JA, Gerber LH, Morris GS, Patel AV, Hue TF, Perna FM, Schmitz KH.  Exercise guidelines for cancer survivors: consensus statement from international multidisciplinary rounds. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2019 Nov; 51(11) 2375-2390.

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Detection and management strategies for cancer-related cognitive impairment in cancer survivors

Researchers in the Medical Oncology Department at the Centre Francois Baclesse in Caen, France have recently completed a study on the importance of cognitive rehabilitation programs for cancer survivors.  Lead by Professor Florence Joly, this studies emphasizes the importance of collaboration between oncologists, neurologists, imaging researchers, and neuroscientists "to define mechanisms of cancer-related cognitive impairment (CRCI) and to optimize medical care and patients' rehabilitation."

To read more about this study, click here.

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

new cancer guidelines database launched

The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC) has launched a searchable database of nearly 1,000 cancer control guidelines.  Previously known as the Standards and Guidelines Evidence (SAGE) Directory, creator Dr. Melissa Brouwers from McMaster University, along with her research team, obtained funding from CPAC to unveil a resource that "address all stages of the cancer continuum, from screening to survivorship and end-of-life care."

Access to the cancer guidelines database is available here.

Thursday, 24 October 2019

rectal cancer biorepository

U.S. researchers have created a biorepository of "65 patient-derived rectal cancer organoid cultures from patients with primary, metastatic, or recurrent disease."  According to study authors, patients respond different to chemoradiotherapy treatment regimens and may require additional extensive surgery.  The establishment of the biorepository thus creates the opportunity to study rectal cancer more closely on a molecular level.  It is believed that continued enhancements of this methodology will lead to drug screen in a pre-clinical setting lead to more effective, targeted treatments.

To read more about this study, click here.

Friday, 11 October 2019

News release: Young Adult Cancer Cancer first-of-its-kind study

Young Adult Cancer Canada (YACC) has released early data from their Young Adults With Cancer in their Prime (YAC Prime) study, a report discussing the "impact and intensity of issues facing young adults with cancer."  Results from a survey conducted on 622 young adults highlighted quality of life (physical, social, emotional), as well as financial hardship when faced with diagnosed with cancer.  Findings show that 49% of patients in this age group missed from 1-4 years of work, with 84% experiencing significant levels of fear of cancer recurrence.

To read more about this report, which was presented at the International Psycho-Oncology Society (IPOS) Symposium (September 23-26, 2019) in Banff, click here.

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

New trial alert: Evaluating optimal timing of endocrine therapy and radiation therapy in early-stage breast cancer (REaCT-RETT)

The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute is presently recruiting early-stage breast cancer patients in a new trial evaluating concurrent vs. sequential endocrine therapy in conjunction with post-operative radiation therapy.  Outcomes of the phase 4 trial are endocrine toxicity, radiotherapy toxicity, rates of starting endocrine therapy and compliance, and cost-effectiveness ratios.

Click here for more information regarding this trial.  

Friday, 27 September 2019

Canadian Cancer Statistics 2019 report now available

The 2019 report on cancer statistics is now available on the Canadian Cancer Society website.  While current estimates suggest that lung, colorectal, breast and prostate cancer will account for half of all cancers diagnosed this year, new figures also indicate that 63% of Canadians diagnosed with cancer will survive for at least 5 years after their diagnosis.  Further, the report shows that over the past 20 years, 5-year survival for blood cancers has increased significantly since the early 1990s.  Of particular note, the survival rate for non-Hodgkin lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and leukemia has gone from 49% to 68%, 27% to 44%, and 43% to 59% respectively. 

To access the complete report, click here.

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Altered diet enhances response to cancer treatment in mice

People must eat to survive. And the cells that make up the body eat too. Or more accurately, cells break down and rebuild food into the individual molecules they need to stay alive and grow. This complex network of processes is called cellular metabolism. Cancer cells can alter their metabolism to survive, so targeting cancer cell metabolism has become of great interest to researchers. Questions being asked include: Is it possible to attack a tumor’s nutritional needs as part of cancer treatment? And could this be done by tweaking a cancer patient’s diet?

To read more about this study, click here.

Monday, 9 September 2019

Global analysis finds early onset colorectal cancer now rising in many high-income countries

A new study by the American Cancer Society, found that colorectal cancer (CRC) incidence are increasing exclusively in young adults in nine high-income countries spanning three continents. Appearing in the journal Gut, the stud finds the rising rates are in contrast to stable or declining trends in older adults, suggesting that changes in early-life exposures are increasing CRC risk. In general, CRC incidence is rising in low- and middle-income countries but beginning to stabilize or decline in high-income countries, especially those that have implemented screening. However, studies of cancer registry data indicate that favorable overall trends in the United States and Canada are masking an increase in young-onset CRC.

To read more on the study, click here.

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Breast cancer risk in hormone replacement therapy linked to type and length of treatment

A recent study conducted within a cancer epidemiology unit at the University of Oxford suggests a definitive link between hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and an increased risk of breast cancer.  According to professor and study co-author Gillian Reeves, women taking "HRT comprised of daily doses of estrogen and progesterone for five years, there was one additional case of breast cancer for every 50 users compared to those who had never taken it." 

To read more about this study, click here.

Study mentioned: Collaborative Group on Hormonal Factors in Breast Cancer. Type and timing of menopausal hormone therapy and breast cancer risk: individual participant meta-analysis of the worldwide epidemiological evidence. Lancet. 2019 Aug. 29. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(19)31709-X. [Epub ahead of print]

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Increased risk for cardiovascular diseases in survivors of adult cancers

A recent population-based study conducted by the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink set out to "identify cohorts of survivors of the 20 most common cancers in adults who were alive 12 months after diagnosis and controls without history of cancer."  While significant improvements in treatment regimens have results in about 50% of diagnosed cancer patients surviving for 10 years or longer post-treatment, cardiotoxic treatment effects have led to an increase long-term risk for cardiovascular diseases.

To read more about this study, click here.

Source mentioned:

Strongman H, Gadd S, Matthews A, Mansfield KE, Stanway S, Lyon AR, Dos-Santos-Silva I, Smeeth L, Bhaskaran K. Medium and long-term risks of specific cardiovascular diseases in survivors of 20 adult cancers: a population-based cohort study using multiple linked UK electronic health records databases. Lancet. 2019 Aug 20. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(10)31674-5. [Epub ahead of print]

Thursday, 22 August 2019

Communication between cancer patients and healthcare professionals through digital media

Researchers representing the European Organization for Treatment and Research of Cancer (EORTC) have recently completed a study on the use of social media by cancer patients as a means of discussing the cancer journey with fellow peers.  According to study authors Daniel P. Oran and Eric J. Topol, "social media may be taken a step further to provide a new tool for patient-caregiver interaction that allows oncologists to learn their patients' true concerns."

To read more about this study, click here

Source mentioned: Oran DP, Topol EJ. The rise of the virtualist. Lancet 2019 Jul 6; 394(10192).

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Jeffrey the sheep helps Alberta cancer survivors find their flock

Jeffrey the sheep visited Wellspring Edmonton recently, in the midst of an art class at the cancer support centre.  Wellspring, with locations in both Edmonton and Calgary, including a new centre, the Randy O'Dell House scheduled to open in south Calgary on September 30,  offers several non-clinical, alternative programs for cancer patients, cancer survivors, and their immediate caregivers.  According to Dr. Marilyn Hundleby, Wellspring Edmonton program director, the decision to try animal therapy and thus introduce Jeffrey to the class enforces the concept that "when we laugh and when we're distracted, when we're immersed in something, we forget about our pain."

To read more about this story, click here.  Further information regarding Wellspring is available at https://wellspringcalgary.ca and https://wellspring.ca/edmonton/.

Monday, 12 August 2019

New meta-analysis published on association between alcohol consumption and survival in colorectal cancer

A new meta-analysis has been recently published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, & Prevention aimed at determining the association between consumption of alcohol and survival in colorectal cancer patients.  12 studies conducted amongst 32,846 colorectal cancer patients determined that "light and moderate pre-diagnostic alcohol consumption were associated with better survival in colorectal cancer."

To read more about this meta-analysis, click here.

Study mentioned: Kim Y, Je Y, Giovannucci EL. Association between alcohol consumption and survival in colorectal cancer: a meta-analysis. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2019 Aug 9. pii: cebp.0156.2019. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-19-0156. [Epub ahead of print]

Thursday, 1 August 2019

New manuscript published for young adult colorectal cancer partients

Fight Colorectal Cancer (Fight CRC) has published a new manuscript following a working meeting of experts specializing in the study of colon and rectal/colorectal cancers in young adults.  Entitled A summary of the Fight Colorectal Cancer working meeting: exploring risk factors and etiology of sporadic early-age onset colorectal cancer, the manuscript functions as a roadmap aimed at better understanding "the causes of early-age onset colorectal cancer, as well as the best way to approach screening and prevention."

A summary of the working meeting is available here