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.

Monday, 23 July 2018

Mouse study links immune cells to diarrhea caused by chemotherapy

New findings may shed light on how some chemotherapy agents cause diarrhea. Immune cells called macrophages may help regulate the contractions of muscles lining the walls of the intestines, according to a new study in mice. This could be the basis for developing new anti-diarrheal treatments for patients with cancer who experience chemotherapy-induced diarrhea, researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis reported in Immunity on July 17.

To read more about this study, click here.

Friday, 20 July 2018

New trial alert: steoreotactic body radiation therapy for breast cancer

A new trial investigating the use of stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) for unresected breast cancer has begun at the Sunybrook Regional Cancer Centre in Toronto.  The trial will involve 24 patients with advanced breast cancer, who either do not qualify as candidates for surgery or who have declined surgery as a treatment option.  These patients will each receive "4 fractions of radiation therapy over 12-15 days as the primary treatment modality. 


To read more about this trial, click here.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Sodium thiosulfate prevents cisplatin-induced hearing loss in some children

The results from a new study show the drug sodium thiosulfate can protect the hearing of children with cancer undergoing treatment with the chemotherapy drug cisplatin. The clinical trial involved children with liver cancer that had not spread (localized cancer), for whom cisplatin is the standard chemotherapy. Although cisplatin is very effective, it also causes hearing loss in many children.

To read more about this study, click here.

Friday, 13 July 2018

Blood test can help identify the target population to screen for lung cancer

A new press release from the International Agency for Research on Cancer announced the results of a new study published in JAMA oncology. Researchers found that a blood test measuring four protein biomarkers can improve the identification of individuals who would later develop lung cancer. These biomarkers may help refine the criteria for including current and former smokers in lung cancer screening programmes, using low-dose computed tomography (CT) scans, aimed at reducing deaths from this common cancer.

To read the full press release, click here.

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Immune-based therapy for metastatic melanoma that has spread to the brain

New research conducted on 2,700 patients in the U.S. indicates that a form of immunotherapy may provide hope for melanoma cancer that has spread to the brain.  This new form of treatment, known as the Checkpoint Blockade does not involve chemotherapy, but rather "manipulates the patient's immune system so that it targets and destroys the melanoma cells."  Study results indicate that patients receiving the CheckPoint Blockade experienced a rise in overall survival from 5.2 to 12.4 months.


To read more about this study, click here.


Source: Abate-Daga D. Ramello MC, Smalley I, Forsyth PA, Smalley KSM. The biology and therapeutic management of melanoma brain metastases. Biochem Pharmacol 2018 Jul; 153: 35-45.



Wednesday, 11 July 2018

The key to the HPV vaccination discussions with parents is cancer prevention

The conclusion of a new study found that health care providers should emphasize cancer prevention when discussing human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination with the parents of preteens who are due to receive the vaccine. The study asked a diverse group of parents what they felt are the most compelling reasons to get their children vaccinated. Results of the NCI-funded study were published in the July 2018 Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

To read more about this study, click here.

Friday, 29 June 2018

Altering chemotherapy improves outcomes in early-stage pancreatic cancer

The outlook for people diagnosed with early-stage pancreatic cancer can be expected to improve due to the results from two clinical trials. In the first trial, changing the type of chemotherapy given after surgery from a single drug to a multi-drug regimen greatly improved how long patients lived. Patients in the trial treated with the multi-drug regimen survived for an average of 4.5 years after treatment, substantially longer than expected.

To read more about the clinical trials, click here.



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.