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.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

A new report suggests prioritizing tobacco control

A new report, appearing in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, says that the highest priority in a national cancer control plan must be expansion of tobacco control—the intervention with the largest potential health benefits—according to a new American Cancer Society report, the second in a series of articles that together inform priorities for a comprehensive cancer control plan.

To read more about this report, click here.

Friday, 5 October 2018

New trial alert: Move for surgery - a novel preconditoning program for lung cancer patients

A new clinical trial sponsored by St. Joseph's Healthcare in Hamilton, Ontario, is presently recruiting patients for Move for Surgery (MFS), "a preconditioning program that encourages and empowers patients to improve their health prior to surgery."  According to the investigative team, the randomized trial, capped at 186 participants  claims that MFS will lower respiratory complication rates, reduce length of stay in the hospital and increases changes of recovery after surgery.

To read more about this trial, click here.

Investigating the cardiac side effects of cancer treatments

Approximately 100 researchers attended a workshop in June, on the campus of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, MD, about an important but underappreciated side effect of some treatments for cancer: heart problems. Certain cancer treatments can damage the heart and the cardiovascular system. These side effects, including high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, and heart failure, can be caused or exacerbated by chemotherapy and radiation therapy, as well as by newer forms of cancer treatment, such as targeted therapies and immunotherapies.

To read more of this article, click here.

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Zika virus may aid in the fight against brain cancer

Preliminary research conducted by a joint team at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, and the Chinese Academy of Military Medical Sciences in Beijing indicates that a harmless form of the Zika virus could be used to destroy glioblastoma brain tumours.  According to a news release from the American Society of Microbiology, use of a Zika virus vaccine extended survival of mice with glioblastomas from 30 to 50 days.  These results are promising, and the research team's next step "is to collaborate with doctors to develop trials evaluating the approaches' safety in patients."

To read more about this study, click here.

Monday, 17 September 2018

Risk of developing endocrinopathy determined in children and young adults after radiotherapy for brain tumours

A recently published study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology reports on the association between radiotherapy dosage for brain tumours in children and young adults and the risk of developing endocrine dysfunction.  Following the analysis of 222 patients between 1 month-26 years of age, it was determined that "patients between 6 and 10 years of age had a higher rate of endocrinopathy than patients less than 6 years old at treatment outset; patients 10 years of age or older shows the lowest incidence of hormone deficiency."

To read more about this study, click here.

Study mentioned: Vatner RE, Niemierko A, Misra M, et al. Endocrine Deficiency as a Function of Radiation Dose to the Hypothalamus and Pituitary in Pediatric and Young Adult Patients With Brain Tumors. J Clin Oncol; Published online 17 August 2018. DOI:  10.1200/JCO.2018.78.1492

Friday, 14 September 2018

A new study shows that appendix cancers are genetically distinct

The largest-ever study of DNA changes in cancer of the appendix shows that this rare cancer is distinct from colorectal cancer and other cancers of the gastrointestinal (GI) systemExit Disclaimer. Moreover, the study authors reported that specific genetic mutations found in the tumors may help predict whether they are likely to be aggressive. are likely to be aggressive. The study was published online on August 8 in JCO Precision Oncology.

To read more about this study, click here.

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Vegetarian diet reduces colon cancer risk

A recently published study in JAMA Internal Medicine indicates that the adoption of a vegetarian diet lowers the risk of developing colon cancer.  The study, conducted on 77,000 adults, found that on average, "eating vegetarian may lower colon cancer risk by 19% and rectal cancer by 29% compared to non-vegetarians."  According to the different types of vegetarian diets listed in the study, pesco-vegetarians, those eating fish and seafood and avoiding other meats lowers colorectal cancer risk by up to 43%."

To read more about this study, click here.

Monday, 10 September 2018

Exosomes may help tumors evade immune system

A new study, led by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, has identified what may be an important and previously unknown route by which tumors evade the immune system: They secrete small membrane-encased sacs, called exosomes, that are studded with a protein that dials down the immune response. The study found that in lab models of the skin cancer melanoma and in humans with the disease, tumor cells release exosomes coated with proteins called PD-L1. These proteins are part of a family of immune checkpoint proteins that bind to partner molecules on immune cells, effectively deactivating them.

To read more about this study, click here.

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Two drugs work together to block ‘master regulator’ of breast cancer

A new study has found that the two-drug (arsenic trioxide and tretinoin) combination commonly used to treat a type of leukemia blocks an enzyme that has a central role in breast and many other cancers. The drug combination has essentially turned acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) from a fatal disease into a curable one. But the mechanism by which it kills cancer cells has been a mystery.

To read more about this study, click here.

Friday, 31 August 2018

NCI-led research team develops predictor for immunotherapy response in melanoma

In a new study led by the National Cancer Institute, researchers developed a gene expression predictor that can indicate whether melanoma in a specific patient is likely to respond to treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors, a novel type of immunotherapy. The study was published August 20, 2018 in Nature Medicine.

To read more about this study, click here.

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Tailored psychotherapy eases depression in people with advanced cancer

A new clinical trial has found that just three to six sessions of a tailored psychotherapy approach known as Managing Cancer and Living Meaningfully, or CALM, helped to lessen symptoms of depression in people recently diagnosed with advanced cancer. Results from the trial also showed that the approach may help prevent the onset of depression in those with advanced disease.

To read more about this clinical trial, click here.

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Radiation for childhood brain tumour can cause memory loss

A new study conducted at Baylor University in Waco, Texas indicates that radiation therapy for brain tumours in children can lead to memory loss.  In the study, 12 medulloblastoma brain cancer survivors between the ages of 7-18 underwent surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.  According to study author Melanie Sekeres, "there are some known cognitive effects from radiation treatment, including short-term memory loss...but previously acquired memories, which children had before treatment, were preserved."

To read more about this study, click here.

Monday, 20 August 2018

Risk of adult lung disease death my be increased by childhood exposure to secondhand smoke

A new study in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine suggests that long-term exposure to secondhand smoke during childhood increases the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) death in adulthood. The study also suggests secondhand smoke exposure as an adult increases the risk of death not only from COPD but also several other conditions.

To read more about this study, click here.

Thursday, 16 August 2018

Breast cancer drug promising in phase 3 trial

An experimental drug known as talazoparib has shown promising results in improving survival for women with BRCA1 and BRCA2 genetic mutations.  The phase 3 trial, conducted on 431 women at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, has shown that women receiving talazoparib live longer by about 3 months compared to standard chemotherapy.   While the response rate to treatment was promising in the trial conducted, the results are considered preliminary and have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

To read more about this trial, click here.

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Triple-negative breast cancer genes identified

Geneticists at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota have identified additional genes attributed to an increased risk of triple-negative breast cancer.  Following genetic tests on 11,000 patients with triple-negative breast cancer, the newly identified mutations, namely BARD1, BRCA1, PALB2 and RAD51D were linked to "high risk for triple-negative breast cancer and a greater than 20% lifetime risk of any type of breast cancer..." 

To read more about this study, click here

Source mentioned: Fasching PA, Loibl S, Hu C, Hart SN, Shimelis H, Moore R, et al. BRCA1/2 mutations and bevacizumab in the neoadjuvant treatment of breast cancer: response and prognosis results in patients with triple-negative breast cancer from the GeparQuinto study. J Clin Oncol. 2018 Aug 1; 36(22): 2281-2287.

Friday, 3 August 2018

Aggressive prostate cancer subtype more common than expected

A new study has shown that nearly one-fifth of men with metastatic prostate cancer whose tumors were resistant to hormone therapy subsequently developed an aggressive prostate cancer subtype. Men with this subtype, called treatment-emergent small-cell neuroendocrine prostate cancer (t-SCNC), appear to have shorter survival than men with other subtypes. The researchers also found genetic differences between t-SCNC and the adenocarcinoma subtype, which accounts for most prostate cancers at diagnosis. Taking advantage of these unique features may improve the diagnosis and treatment of t-SCNC, said lead investigator Rahul Aggarwal, M.D., of the University of California, San Francisco.

To read more about this study click here.

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

IARC evaluation of carcinogenic risks to humans: Welding, Molybdenum Trioxide, and Indium Tin Oxide

This volume of the IARC Monographs provides evaluations of the carcinogenicity of welding and welding fumes, molybdenum trioxide, and indium tin oxide. Welding can involve exposures to fumes, gases, ultraviolet radiation and electromagnetic fields, and co-exposures to asbestos and solvents. The extent and type of exposure can depend on the process used, the material welded, ventilation, degree of enclosure, and use of personal protection.

To read the full monograph click here.

Friday, 27 July 2018

FDA alters approved use of two checkpoint inhibitors for bladder cancer

Last year, the drugs—pembrolizumab (Keytruda) and atezolizumab (Tecentriq)—received approval for the treatment of patients with previously untreated urothelial carcinoma that has spread beyond the bladder. The 2017 approvals covered the use of the drugs for patients who, because of other health-related factors, cannot receive the chemotherapy drug cisplatin, which is a standard treatment for patients with advanced bladder cancer.

To read more about these changes click here.

Thursday, 26 July 2018

European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) releases new patient guide in breast cancer

The European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) has released a new edition of the ESMO Patient Guide in Breast Cancer, as part of their guideline series. 

Updates to the new edition include:
  • section on locally-advanced disease
  • new section on sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB)
  • new drugs (neratinib, olaparib, and talazoparib) and associated treatment algorithms
  • section on special populations (BRCA-associated disease, pregnancy, young women, elderly patients, men)
  • Section on supplementary interventions (supportive and palliative care, survivorship, end-of-life care
 To access the new guide, click here.