Friday, 15 March 2019

Genomics could improve treatment of pancreatic cancer

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have analyzed genomes of 3,600 pancreatic tumours worldwide in an effort to diagnose pancreatic cancer at earlier stages and thus increase odds of survival.  According to study lead author Dr. Aatur Singh, "every pancreatic cancer is different.  Developing a molecular profile of each patient's tumor could help determine best treatments." 

To read more about this study, click here.

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Artificial Intelligence to improve lung cancer screening

A new study conducted at the University of Pittsburgh has introduced a type of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to improve lung cancer screening.  According to study co-author Panayiotis Benos, vice chairman of computational and systems biology, CT scan data from high-risk patients was entered into "a machine learning algorithm - a form of artificial intelligence" to create a model that calculates the probability of cancer."  Upon comparison of the results from the model vs. a patient's diagnosis via traditional screening methods, "the model would have spared 30% of patients with benign nodules from further, unnecessary tests, without missing a single case of cancer."

To read more about this study, click here.

Study mentioned: Raghu VK, Zhao W, Pu J, Leader JK, Wang R, Herman J, Yuan JM, Benos PV, Wilson DO. Feasibility of lung cancer prediction from low-dose CT scan and smoking factors using causal models. Thorax 2019 Mar 12. doi: 10.1136/thoraxjnl-2018-212638 [Epub ahead of print]

Monday, 4 March 2019

New fact sheet on HPV and pap testing

The National Cancer Institute has released an updated fact sheet on HPV and pap testing. It describes cervical cancer screening and information about cervical cancer screening guidelines.

To read more, click here.

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

HPV may be cause of vocal cord cancers in the young

A new study conducted at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston purports that a recent increase in vocal cord cancers among the young under 30 years of age ay the result of human papilloma virus (HPV).  According to study senior author Dr. Steven Zeitels, nearly 50% of vocal cord (glottic) cancer patients diagnosed today are nonsmokers under 40 years old.  Further, while only 11 of the 241 patients studied from 2004-2018 were under 30 years old, 90% (10) had high-risk strains of HPV.  While the study does not offer definitive proof that HPV caused vocal cord cancer, Zeitels stated that "large-scale studies are now needed to determine the pace of the increase in glottic cancer among nonsmokers, the incidence of high-risk HPV in these cancers, and changes in the age and genders of those affected."

To read more about this study, click here   

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Aspirin can help prevent colon cancer, however many patients do not take it

Despite the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommending that "health care providers prescribe low-dose aspirin with advance (colon) polyps", a recent study conducted at the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine in Boca Raton found that only 43% of patients actually took aspirin.  According to study co-author Dr. Lawrence Fiedler, 90% of colon cancer patients are 50 years of age or older, with lifestyle changes and risk factors similar to heart attacks, stroke, obesity, and physical inactivity.

To read more about this study, click here

Friday, 8 February 2019

Curbing immune checkpoint protein production slows liver cancer in mice

In a NCI-funded study, Researchers have found an unconventional way to unleash the immune system against liver cancer in mice. Rather than directly blocking the activity of an immune checkpoint protein that shields tumors from the immune system, the researchers used an investigational drug to curb production of the protein.

To read more about this study, click here.

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

World Health Organization: action for protection against cervical cancer

On World Cancer Day, WHO/Europe aims to raise awareness that timely vaccination against human papillomavirus (HPV) in combination with regular screening for cervical cancer is the best way to protect girls’ futures from this tragic disease.

To read more, click here.

Monday, 28 January 2019

Developing better methods for managing cancer pain

The increased prevalence of cancer pain and the impact of the opioid epidemic on cancer pain management—and on managing chronic pain in general—have sparked renewed interest in developing new, nonaddictive pain medications as well as nondrug approaches for managing chronic pain. Thanks in part to the development of animal models of some types of cancer pain, researchers are beginning to better understand its underlying biology. In particular, scientists are identifying molecules that generate pain signals and gaining insights into how the nervous system transmits these signals from the pain site to the brain, where pain is perceived.

To read more on this topic, click here.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

cancer diagnosis may quadruple suicide risk

A new study conducted at the Penn State Cancer Institute has found a significant correlation between cancer diagnosis and risk of committing suicide.  According to radiation oncologist Dr. Nicholas Zaorsky, "even though cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, most cancer patients do not die from cancer; the patients usually die of another cause."  Of these multiple other causes, distress and depression, potentially leading to suicide occurs 4 times more often than in the general population.  These findings stress the importance of screening cancer patients for forms of mental distress. 

To read more about this study, click here.

Source mentioned: Zaorsky NG, Zhang Y, Tuanquin L, Bluethmann S, Park HS, Chinchilli VM. Suicide among cancer patients. Nat Commun. 2019; 10(1): 207.

Friday, 11 January 2019

Regular exercise before and after cancer diagnosis increases lifespan

A new study conducted at the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Centre in Buffalo, N.Y. has shown that regular exercise both before and after a cancer diagnosis "significantly improves odds of survival."  The study conducted on 5,800 patients with a wide range of cancers in all stages who exercised 3-4 times/week before and after cancer diagnosis had a 40% lower death rate than those patients that were inactive.  However, study author Rikki Cannioto stated that even those patients who never exercised prior to cancer diagnosis still reduced their death rate by 25%-28%, provided they began an exercise regimen once they were afflicted with cancer.

To read more about this study, click here.

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Cancer mortality rates have declined continuously for the past 25 years

Cancer death rates in the United States have continuously declined between 1991 and 2016, there has been a 27% drop overall which translates to approximately 2.6 million fewer cancer deaths. The article appears early online in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, and is accompanied by a consumer version, Cancer Facts & Figures 2019.

To ready more about this study, click here.

Monday, 7 January 2019

A study tracked cancer patients using crowdfunding to pay for homeopathy

Health policy researchers from Simon Fraser University (SFU) and University of Alberta conducted a study to find out how often cancer patients or their supporters turned to crowdfunding platforms to raise money for complementary treatment. The analysis was published in The Lancet, identified 220 active fundraising campaigns in June 2018.

To read more about this study, click here.

Thursday, 3 January 2019

Testicular cancer greater threat to young men

Although testicular cancer is quite rare (an estimated 9,000 cases are predicted this year in the United States), "it is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in males aged 15 to 40."  According to Dr. Aditya Bagrodia, assistant professor of urology at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, early diagnosis is essential, and men should be aware of conditions such as painless swelling or pea/marble-size mass in the testicle, along with a dull ache in the groin or scrotum.  Dr. Bagrodia further emphasized that "diagnosis at an early stage can mean the difference between a straightforward surgical cure and having to potentially undergo chemotherapy, radiation, and multiple surgeries", should the cancer spread to other parts of the body.

To read more, click here.

Thursday, 20 December 2018

Season's Greetings & Happy Holidays - blog posts will resume in January 2019

To all our readers,

Blog postings will resume in January 2019, so that our library staff can celebrate the festive season with family.  Happy Holidays!

New chemotherapy regimen can considerably extend lifespan of pancreatic cancer patients

A new clinical trial consisting of a 4-drug chemotherapy combination has resulted in considerable extensions in lifespan for early-stage pancreatic cancer patients.  According to trial results, median survival rate of patients who were administered the new drug regimen was 4.5 years.  While authors of the trial mentioned that 75% of patients experienced more serious side-effects after taking the new experimental drug combination (compared to 53% of those on standard chemotherapy treatment), they remain cautiously optimistic that this new drug discovery is "an important step forward." 

To read more about this trial, click here.

Monday, 17 December 2018

Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis may be linked to prostate cancer

A new study conducted at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago has uncovered a link between men with inflammatory bowel disease and a subsequent higher risk of developing prostate cancer.  According to lead author Dr. Shilajit Kundu, the study, conducted on over 1,000 men with inflammatory bowel disease, showed higher prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels over long-term follow-up, levels representative of a 4-5 times more likely change of being diagnosed with prostate cancer.

To read more about this study, click here.

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

New Canadian breast cancer screening guideline for women aged 40-74

The Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care has released a new guideline for breast cancer screening among women aged 40-74.  The fundamental difference in this latest guidelines release from the 2011 previous edition is with regards to the 40-49 age group.  The 2011 guidelines recommended against routine mammograms for women between 40-49 years old.  According to task force vice-chair Dr. Ainsley Moore, physician at McMaster University, the 2018 guidelines "are intended for an empowered position, [putting] the decision-making into the hands of the individual woman in terms of what she prioritizes." 

The complete guideline is available here.

Test helps identify thyroid nodules that don’t require surgery

Researchers in JAMA Oncology, found that a test measuring genomic changes in tissue samples taken from the thyroid can help identify which patients likely need diagnostic surgery for thyroid cancer and which do not. When a suspicious small growth or lump (called a nodule) is found in the thyroid, doctors perform a fine-needle biopsy so that the cells can be examined by a pathologist.

To read more about this study, click here.

Monday, 10 December 2018

System is broken: medical journals do not reveal doctor's ties

A recent article in the New York Times has revealed that several prominent physicians who publishing in prestigious academic medical journals, including the Journal of Clinical Oncology, "have failed in recent years to report their financial relationships with pharmaceutical and health care companies when their studies are published..."  As a result, journal editors have or are in the process of implementing changes that will clarify submission process and reduce errors. 

To read more about this review, click here.

Friday, 23 November 2018

2018 World Cancer Congress report

The World Cancer Congress has released a summary report of proceedings that took place from October 1-4, 2018 in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia.  The top 5 congress highlights consisted of networking and creating collaborations, sharing best practices, big debates, creating a global village, and meeting experts. 

To access the summary report, click here.

Monday, 19 November 2018

Study links social isolation to higher risk of death

A large American Cancer Society study, appearing in the American Journal of Epidemiology, links social isolation with a higher risk of death from all causes combined and heart disease for all races studied, and with increased cancer mortality in white men and women. The study says addressing social isolation holds promise if studies show interventions are effective, as they could be relatively simple and could influence other risk factors, as social isolation is also associated with hypertension, inflammation, physical inactivity, smoking, and other health risks.

To read more about this study, click here.

Friday, 16 November 2018

Eight factors may link disparities in cancer death rates and income

The results of a recent study in JAMA Network Open linked food insecurity to an increased risk of cancer death. People in low- and middle-income counties in the United States are more likely to die of cancer than those who live in high-income counties. Eight factors, including lack of access to high-quality clinical care, food insecurity, smoking, and obesity may explain more than 80% of the relationship between poverty and disparities in cancer death rates at the county level.

To read more about this study, click here.

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Blood test shows promise for detecting genetic changes in brain tumors

A new study, published in Clinical Cancer Research on October 15, 2018, has found that a blood test may reveal whether a child with a type of brain tumor known as a diffuse midline glioma has a specific genetic mutation associated with the disease. The test is called a liquid biopsy. The finding that DNA from these tumors can be detected in blood means that it should be possible to identify and follow molecular changes in children with these rare and highly lethal brain tumors using a minimally invasive test, according to the study's leaders.

To read more about this study, click here.

Monday, 5 November 2018

Global melanoma deaths up among men, but not women

A new report from the World Health Organization analyzing global melanoma skin can cancer death rates from 1985-2015 indicates that in nearly all 33 countries studied, men had higher melanoma death rates compared to women.  Australia exhibited the largest increase in death rates while Japan registered the lowest.  Further the Czech Republic was the only country of those studies that had a decrease (albeit it only 0.7%) over the 30-year study.  While study author Dr. Dorothy Yang explains that there are a number of biological factors explaining the difference in mortality rates among genders, she does also state that "men are less likely to protect themselves from the sun or engage with melanoma awareness and prevention campaigns."

To read more about this report, click here.

Friday, 2 November 2018

How necessary is HPV cervical screening for women after 55?

A new Canadian study questions the necessity of screening for cervical cancer in women over 55 with one negative result from the HPV test.  The study, conducted on 200,000 women in British Columbia indicated that a single negative HPV SNA test at age 55 resulted in a very low risk (less than 1%) of developing cervical cancer.  According to study author Talia Malagon, "continued screening [for[ women [that] have a negative HPV test would provide little benefit."

To read more about this study, click here.

Immunotherapy drug cemiplimab approved for advanced squamous cell skin cancer

Cemiplimab. a drug that belongs to a class of agents known as immune checkpoint inhibitors, Has been approved by the FDA for patients with an advanced form of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), a common type of skin cancer. This is the first agent to be approved by FDA specifically for advanced SCC.

To read more about this drug, click here.

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Luxembourg molecular diagnostic programme for better cancer treatment

On October 29, 2018, the Luxembourg Institut National du Cancer (INC) launched MDLUX2, a molecular diagnostics program with a goal of "improving the effectiveness of cancer treatment whilst supporting cancer research." It is believed that this program will allow further analysis of tumours and determine potential clinical trials that a patient may benefit from.

To learn more about MDLUX2, click here

Monday, 29 October 2018

Better outcomes in colorectal cancer can be linked to a healthy diet

According to a new American Cancer Society study, Colorectal cancer patients who followed healthy diets had a lower risk of death from colorectal cancer and all causes, even those who improved their diets after being diagnosed. To read more about this study, click here.

Friday, 19 October 2018

Using artificial intelligence to classify lung cancer types and predict mutations

Researchers are working on training a computer program to read slides of tissue samples to diagnose two of the most common types of lung cancer with 97% accuracy. The program also learned to detect cancer-related genetic mutations in the samples just by analyzing the images of cancer tissue.

To read more about this research, click here.

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Bacteria that causes stomach cancer may lead to increased tisk of colon cancer

A new study conducted at the Duke Cancer Institute in the United States has shown a strong cause and effect relationship between the bacteria causing stomach cancer and a subsequent increased risk for colon cancer.  The study, conducted on 4,000 colon or rectal cancer patients, also found a correlation between genetic origin or heritage and the level of antibodies present in H. pylori bacteria proteins.  According to lead study author Meira Epplein, "VacA antibodies increased the odds of colorectal cancer in African Americans and Asian Americans, and not in whites and Latinos."

To read more about this study, click here.