Friday, 22 June 2018

Do follow-up tests benefit colorectal cancer survivors?

The results from two new studies show that undergoing follow-up testing for cancer recurrence more than once a year may not benefit people who have been treated for colorectal cancer. The goal of follow-up testing, or surveillance, of people who have been treated for cancer is to improve patient survival by detecting and treating a recurrence early. But results from both studies, published May 22 in JAMA, showed that more frequent tests did not change the rate of detection of recurrence or death due to cancer.

To read more about this study, click here.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Trial produces practice-changing findings for some children and young adults with leukemia

According to new results from an NCI-sponsored Children’s Oncology Group (COG) clinical trial, adding the drug nelarabine (Arranon) to standard chemotherapy improves survival for children and young adults newly diagnosed with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL). The trial was the largest ever conducted for patients with newly diagnosed T-ALL and T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma (T-LL).

To read more about the clinical trial, Click here.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

American cancer society launches campaign to eliminate cervical cancer

About 14 million people, including teens, become infected with the human papillomavirus (HPV) each year. By increasing HPV vaccination rates and continued screening The American Cancer Society (ACS) believes they can eliminating cervical cancer in the United States in the next 40 year. To this end, ACS is launching Mission: HPV Cancer Free, a public health campaign to eliminate vaccine-preventable HPV cancers, starting with cervical cancer.

To read more click here.

OncoArray links dozens of DNA variants to risk for common cancers

Researchers have recently published studies identifying dozens of new genetic variants associated with the risk for developing cancer. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) has begun to identify common inherited genetic differences, or variants, that influence disease risk over the last decade. Now, with the support of NCI's GAME-ON initiative and OncoArray Network, researchers are on their way to completing the latest round of cutting-edge studies of inherited risk factors.

To read more about this study, click Here.

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

TAILORx trial finds most women with early breast cancer don't benefit from chemotherapy

New findings from TAILORx trial, show no benefit from chemotherapy for 70 percent of women with the most common type of breast cancer. The study found that for women with hormone receptor (HR)-positive, HER2-negative, axillary lymph node­–negative breast cancer, treatment with chemotherapy and hormone therapy after surgery is not more beneficial than treatment with hormone therapy alone. The trial was supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and designed and led by the ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group. Findings from the study will be published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

To read more about this study, click Here.

Easing concerns about giving research study participants their genetic test results

A new study shows that participants in genetic studies reported feeling more knowledgeable and less anxious about genetic testing after receiving their results when they had talked about them with a genetic counselor. Currently, people who participate in a research study that includes a genetic test usually don’t get those test results back. In part, that is because of concerns that doing so might create burdens for study participants that outweigh any potential benefits. But these findings suggest that study participants who are interested in receiving their results have positive experiences.

To read more about this study, click here.

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

New clinical trials report indicates new use of chemptherapy to extend pancreatic cancer survival

2 new clinical trials conducted in France and the Netherlands has uncovered new innovative ways of administering chemotherapy to pancreatic cancer patients in an effort to extend survival rates.

By creating a chemotherapy cocktail comprised of 4 drugs, researchers in France "extended surgical patients' lives by nearly two years over the current single-drug chemo regimen", while the study in the Netherlands determined that "combining chemotherapy and radiation therapy before pancreatic cancer surgery" extended survival rate, especially for patients who successfully had tumours removed.

To read more about these clinical trials, click here.

Friday, 1 June 2018

New treatment approach could help prevent recurrences of some bladder cancers

According to the results of a large clinical trial, flushing the bladder with the chemotherapy drug gemcitabine (Gemzar) after tumors have been removed surgically may reduce the risk of the cancer returning.

Patients with low-grade nonmuscle-invasive bladder cancer who received a single dose of gemcitabine in the bladder through a catheter after surgery were much less likely to experience a recurrence of the disease within 4 years than patients who received a placebo.

To read more, click here.

American Cancer Society lowers age to begin colorectal cancer screening

The American Cancer Society has released an updated guideline for colorectal cancer screening, whereby the recommended age to begin screening has been lowered from 50 to 45.  The new age recommendation is intended for people at average risk of developing colorectal cancer and is not intended to replace "individual preference and choice in testing options...when there is an abnormal test."

To read more about the guidelines, click here.

Monday, 28 May 2018

Dabrafenib–Trametinib combination approved for melanoma, anaplastic thyroid cancer

The use of two targeted drugs, dabrafenib (Tafinlar) and trametinib (Mekinist), has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of two different cancers. As of May 4th, the drug combination can be used to treat some patients with advanced melanoma and anaplastic thyroid cancer (an aggressive and rare form of thyroid cancer).

To read more about the drug approval, click here.

Friday, 25 May 2018

Upcoming webinars from Johns Hopkins University on cancer survivorship

The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at John Hopkins University will be offering 2 webinars pertaining to cancer survivorship during June and July
  • Advances in Localized Breast Cancer Treatments (Tuesday, June 5, 2018; 2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. EDT)
  • Menopausal Management and Breast Cancer (Friday, July 27, 2018; 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. EDT)
Webinars are free, however registration is required.

For more information and to register, please click here.

A new study suggests some children with wilms tumor can receive less therapy

Findings from an NCI-sponsored clinical trial, led by the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), suggests that some children with advanced Wilms tumor, a form of kidney cancer, may be able to skip radiation therapy. Researchers believe that nearly half of children whose cancer has spread to their lungs can be spared lung radiation therapy without harming their long-term survival. The study results were published April 16 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

To read more about this study, click here.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Australian guidelines prescribe exercise as a key part of cancer care

The Clinical Oncology Society of Australia has released a position statement that calls for exercise to be an essential part of all cancer treatment, prescribed alongside surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.

To read more about this position statement, click here.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Erectile dysfunction drugs and flu vaccine may help fight cancer after surgery

A new study from the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute indicates that a combination of high doses of erectile dysfunction medication and flu vaccine can naturally aid the immune system to fight cancer after surgery.  According to Dr. Rebecca Auer, surgical oncologist and head of cancer research at The Ottawa Hospital, explains her rationale for choosing Cialis together with the flu vaccine over standard chemotherapy: "instead of using toxic drugs that might suppress the immune system, we're actually trying to use drugs that will boost the immune system so that patient's own immune cells can attack the tumours and hopefully eradicate them."

To read more about this study, click here.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Male patients may respond better to cancer immunotherapy treatment

New research from the European Institute of Oncology in Milan, Italy, indicates that men may respond more positively to cancer immunotherapy treatments than females.  According to study author Dr. Fabio Conforti, research on more than 11,000 patients in the study determined that all patients, regardless of gender, "fared better on immunotherapy treatment than they would have on another treatment, or no treatment at all."  However, these findings also indicate that "male cancer patients saw their survival extended by twice as much as female patients."

To read more about this study, click here.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Patients with advance triple-behative breast cancers (TNBCs) benefit from characterization of BRCA 1/2 mutations to inform choices on platinum-based chemotherapy

A large phase III trial conducted at 74 hospitals across the United Kingdom assessed the efficacy of 2 drugs, carboplatin and docetaxel, in treating patients with advanced triple-negative breast cancers (TNBCs). The study took place from 2008-2014, involving 376 patients who were equally allocated to receive either carboplatin or docetaxel, to determine the drug's objective response rate (ORR).  Results concluded that "in patients with germline-mutated BRCA 1/2 breast cancer, carboplatin had double the ORR of docetaxel, 68% vs. 33%." 

To read more about this study, click here

Study mentioned:  Tutt A, Tovey H, Cheang MCU, et al. Carboplatin in BRCA1/2-mutated and triple negative breast cancer BRCAness subgroups: the TNT Trial. Nature Medicine; Published online 30 April 2018. doi:10.1038/s41591-018-0009-7.

Large study shows no evidence that vitamin D can reduce lung cancer risk

A recent press release from WHO highlighted a study done by the international agency for research on cancer that found there was no association between circulating vitamin D levels and lung cancer risk. The report presents a robust analysis of more than 5300 case–control pairs nested within 20 international prospective cohort studies.

To read the full press release, click here
To read more about this study, click here

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Common colon cancer screen may be more effective for men than women

New research indicates that sigmoidoscopy, an alternative to colonoscopy may be more effective for men than women.  Flexible sigmoidoscopy does not usually involve sedation and involves only about 1/3 of the colon, compared to colonoscopy. According to a study conducted on almost 99,000 Norwegians aged 50-64, man undergoing sigmoidoscopy rad a 34% lower risk of colon cancer and 37% lower risk of death after 17 years, "however women saw little reduction in their colon cancer risk or death rates compared to women who weren't screened."

To read more about this study, click here

Positioning during cancer radiation may be key to heart risks

New research has shown that patients with lung or throat cancer can increasing effectiveness of radiotherapy due to positioning of treatment.  According to Dr. Corinne Johnson, PhD student at Manchester Cancer Research Center in England, "even very small [positioning] errors can have a major impact on patients' survival chances, particularly when tumors are close to a vital organ like the heart.

To read more about this study, click here.

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

New drugs may help boost survival for lung cancer patients

2 new studies indicate that immunotherapy drugs, namely Keytruda (pembrolizumab), Opdivo (nivolumab), and Yervoy (ipilimumab) may increase survival rates for patients with lung cancer.  Results showed that Keytruda togetehr with chemotherapy lessened a patients change of dying within 11 months by more than 50% compared to chemotherapy treatment alone, while Opdivo and Yervoy saw a 42% less likely death rate.  According to the authors of the studies, the findings "offer an encouraging note in an effort to improve the odds against what is the leading cause of cancer-related death."

To read more about this study, click here

Blood pressure medication tied to pancreatic cancer risk in women

New research indicates that some drugs prescribed to treat high blood pressure, namely calcium channel blockers (CCB) lead to an increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer in women.  According to study lead author Zhensheng Wang, "the short-acting CCBs were the only blood pressure drugs linked to higher pancreatic cancer risk."  Despite these findings, the research suggests that the absolute risk of developing pancreatic cancer after taking CCBs remains very low, about 1.6%.

To read more about this study, click here.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Belly fat tied to lower kidney cancer survival odds in women

A new study conducted at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has found that belly fat reduces survival rate for women after being diagnosed with kidney cancer.  However, the same correlation could not be found in men. 

According to study senior author Dr. Joseph Ippolito, "a tumor growing in a man's body is in a different environment than one growing inside a women, so it's not surprising that the cancers behave differently between the sexes."

To read more about this study, click here.

New trial alert: re-setting the breast microbiome to lower inflammation and risk of cancer

A new trial taking place at St. Joseph's Hospital in London, Ontario is currently recruiting patients to trial introducing RepHresh Pro-B, a probiotic natural health product to lower inflammation and risk of cancer.  Women at high risk of developing breast cancer over the course of their lifetime who have not yet been diagnosed with the disease are eligible.  According to the principle investigators, the goal of the trial is to "test [the] theory that taking probiotic lactobacilli by mouth can lead to these organisms reaching the breast tissue and help...reduce inflammation which has close links to cancer."

To read more about this trial, click here

Friday, 6 April 2018

NIH completes in-depth genomic analysis of 33 cancer types

Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health have completed a detailed genomic analysis, known as the PanCancer Atlas, on a data set of molecular and clinical information from over 10,000 tumors representing 33 types of cancer. The PanCancer Atlas, published as a collection of 27 papers across a suite of Cell journals, sums up the work accomplished by The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) – a multi-institution collaboration initiated and supported by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), both part of NIH. The program, with over $300 million in total funding, involved upwards of 150 researchers at more than two dozen institutions across North America.

To read more about this study, click here.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Cancer immunotherapy drug simultaneously targets two proteins that block immune response

Two groups of researchers, working independently, have developed a type of drug that simultaneously targets two proteins involved in suppressing the body’s immune response against tumors to try to develop more effective immunotherapies. A growing number of patients with cancer have benefited from drugs that help the immune system fight cancer, such as immune checkpoint inhibitors. But most patients with cancers do not respond to these treatments.

To read more about this study, click here

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Light breakfast may cut cost of prostate cancer drug

Researchers at the University of Chicago have unveiled a new study indicating that taking the prostate cancer drug Zytiga together with a low-fat breakfast boosts the efficiency of the medication.  While Zytiga is typically prescribed as a 250mg pill, 4 of which are taken an hour before breakfast, the new study, led by Dr. Russell Szmulewitz, a prostate cancer specialist at the University of Chicago has found that patients "taking one-fourth of the recommended dose with a low-fast breakfast...was just as effective.  This, in term has cut drug costs by 75%.

To read more about this study, click here

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Higher risk of heart failure seen in some cancers

The results of a new study show that some people who have been treated for breast cancer or lymphoma have a higher risk of developing congestive heart failure than people who haven't had cancer. The study researchers retrospectively compared heart failure rates in people who were diagnosed with breast cancer or lymphoma with those in people who did not have cancer.

To read more about the study, click here

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Task force issues stronger skin cancer prevention guidelines

A new, revised recommendation issued by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force suggests that skin cancer advice from physicians to patients should begin earlier, particularly for patients that are light-skinned.  The new guidelines recommend beginning consultations at 6 months, since "children and teens who are exposed to the sun's harmful ultraviolet radiation are at greater risk for developing skin cancer in adulthood."

To read more about these new guidelines, click here

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Study finds shared decision making still lacking in prostate cancer screening

A new study finds many men receiving prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing do so without a comprehensive shared decision making process, contrary to current guidelines. In the Annals of Family Medicine a study conducted by the American Cancer Institute finds that in both 2010 and 2015 about 6 in 10 men who reported recent PSA testing said they had received at least one component of shared decision making. Meanwhile, only 1 in 10 with no PSA test reported receiving any component of shared decision making in both 2010 and 2015.

To read more about this study, click here.

Friday, 9 March 2018

Testing an interactive approach to promote exercise in young cancer survivors

A study at the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital created an interactive website designed to promote physical activity among children and adolescents who have completed treatment for cancer. According to preliminary results from a pilot study, the website may indeed help encourage them to get regularly exercise.

To read more about this study, click here.