Friday, 29 August 2014

How to heal when cancer strikes teenagers

The teenage years can be tough enough under the best of circumstances. But when cancer invades an adolescent’s life, the challenges grow exponentially. When the prospects for treatment are uncertain, there’s the fear of dying at so young an age. Even with an excellent chance of being cured, teenagers with cancer face myriad emotional, educational and social concerns, especially missing out on activities and losing friends who can’t cope with cancer in a contemporary. Read more here.

Nanoparticles could provide applications to diagnose, treat cancer

Kit Lam and colleagues from UC Davis and other institutions have created dynamic nanoparticles (NPs) that could provide an arsenal of applications to diagnose and treat cancer. Built on an easy-to-make polymer, these particles can be used as contrast agents to light up tumors for MRI and PET scans or deliver chemo and other therapies to destroy tumors. In addition, the particles are biocompatible and have shown no toxicity. Read more here.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Scientists uncover navigation system used by cancer, nerve cells

“Cell invasion is one of the most clinically relevant yet least understood aspects of cancer progression,” said David Sherwood, an associate professor of biology at Duke University. Sherwood is leading a team that is investigating the molecular mechanisms that control cell invasion in both normal development and cancer, using a one-millimeter worm known as C. elegans. At one point in C. elegans development, a specialized cell called the anchor cell breaches the dense, sheet-like membrane that separate the worm’s uterus from its vulva, opening up the worm’s reproductive tract. Read more here. Read more here.

New mouse model points to therapy for liver disease

Development of effective new therapies for preventing or treating NASH has been stymied by limited small animal models for the disease. In a paper published online in Cancer Cell, scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine describe a novel mouse model that closely resembles human NASH and use it to demonstrate that interference with a key inflammatory protein inhibits both the development of NASH and its progression to liver cancer. Read more here.

Post-Authorization Activity Table (PAAT) for ERIVEDGE

The PAAT describes post-authorization activity for Erivedge, a product which contains the medicinal ingredient vismodegib. Based on Health Canada's review, the benefit/risk profile of Erivedge is favourable for the treatment of adult patients with histologically confirmed metastatic basal cell carcinoma or locally advanced basal cell carcinoma inappropriate for surgery or radiotherapy. Read more here.

Post-Authorization Activity Table (PAAT) for Bosulif

The PAAT describes post-authorization activity for Bosulif, a product which contains the medicinal ingredient bosutinib. Based on Health Canada's review, the benefit/risk profile of Bosulif is favourable for the treatment of chronic, accelerated, or blast phase Philadelphia chromosome-positive (Ph+) chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) in adult patients with resistance or intolerance to prior tyrosine-kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapy, and for whom subsequent treatment with imatinib, nilotinib and dasatinib is not clinically appropriate. Read more here.

European Medicines Agency recommends granting a marketing authorisation for Ibrutinib

On 24 July 2014, the European Medicines Agency Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) adopted a positive opinion, recommending the granting of a marketing authorisation for the medicinal product ibrutinib (Imbruvica) 140 mg hard capsule intended for the treatment of relapsed or refractory mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) and chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL).
Ibrutinib was designated as an orphan medicinal product on 26 April 2012 for treatment of MCL and on 12 March 2013 for treatment of CLL. Read more here.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Youth more likely to smoke after e-cigarette

Electronic cigarettes may be more tempting to non-smoking youths than conventional cigarettes, and once young people have tried e-cigarettes they are more inclined to give regular cigarettes a try, U.S. researchers said Monday. A report released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lends evidence to the argument that e-cigarettes encourage youth smoking. Read more here.

E-cigarettes should be banned indoors, WHO says

The World Health Organization (WHO) called for stiff regulation of electronic cigarettes as well as bans on indoor use, advertising and sales to minors, in the latest bid to control the booming new market. “In a nutshell, the WHO report [that will be debated by member states at a meeting in October in Moscow] shows that e-cigarettes and similar devices pose threats to public health,” Douglas Bettcher, director of the agency’s department on non-communicable diseases, told a news briefing in Geneva. Read more here.

Read the WHO backgrounder here.

Discovery of novel mechanism by which senescence is evaded in tumour cells

A team of researchers from the Institute of Research in Oncology in Bellinzona, Switzerland, led by Dr Andrea Alimonti has identified a novel mechanism by which senescence is evaded in tumour cells. They identified a novel non-cell-autonomous network, established by innate immunity, that controls senescence evasion and chemoresistance. Targeting this network provides novel opportunities for cancer therapy according to results published in Nature on 24 August 2014. Read more here.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Biomarker in an aggressive breast cancer is identified

Two Northwestern University scientists have identified a biomarker strongly associated with basal-like breast cancer, a highly aggressive carcinoma that is resistant to many types of chemotherapy. The biomarker, a protein called STAT3, provides a smart target for new therapeutics designed to treat this often deadly cancer. Read more here.

Monday, 25 August 2014

High concordance between EGFR mutations from ctDNA and tumour tissue in NSCLC: ctDNA as a surrogate for determination of EGFR status

Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations found in the circulating-free tumour DNA (ctDNA) from the plasma of advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients correlates well with the EGFR mutations from patient-matched tumour tissue DNA.
EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapy is approved for EGFR activating mutation positive patients with advanced NSCLC, but the standard for determining mutation status is with DNA derived directly from tumour tissue, which can be limited or not available. A more abundant and less invasive source of tumour DNA may be cell free tumour DNA found circulating in the blood. Read more here

Friday, 22 August 2014

Rare kidney tumor provides insights on role of metabolic changes in cancer

Researchers in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Network have made a number of new findings about the biology and development of a rare form of kidney cancer. They found that the disease – chromophobe renal cell carcinoma (ChRCC) – stems in part from alterations in genes in the mitochondria, the cell’s energy supplier. They also discovered that the tumor is characterized by genetic rearrangements near a gene important in DNA repair and in maintaining telomerase, the enzyme which determines a cell’s lifespan. Finally, investigators also found that ChRCC is a distinct disease and shares few genomic characteristics with other kidney cancers. Read more here.

Severing nerves may shrink stomach cancers

Research from Columbia University Medical Center shows that nerves may play a critical role in stomach cancer growth and that blocking nerve signals using surgery or Botox® (onabotulinumtoxinA) could be an effective treatment for the disease. Using three different mouse models of stomach cancer, researchers found that when they performed a procedure called a vagotomy to cut the nerves, the surgery significantly slowed tumor growth and increased survival rates. Removing nerve connections from only one side of the stomach allowed cancer to continue growing on the other side (with the intact nerves), providing further evidence of the importance of nerves in tumor growth. Read more here.

Blueprint for the next generation of chronic myeloid leukemia treatment

Researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah have identified and characterized mutated forms of the gene that encodes BCR-ABL, the unregulated enzyme driving the blood cancer chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). The research team focused on BCR-ABL compound mutants observed in patients and tested them against all approved TKIs, creating a dataset that can potentially help clinicians decide which drug will be most effective for each mutation combination. They found that none of the TKIs are effective for some compound mutations, indicating the need for further research to accommodate the growing population of CML patients. Read more here.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Common respiratory diseases tied to lung cancer risk

(HealthDay News) -- Three common respiratory diseases seem to be associated with an increased risk of lung cancer, researchers report.

The investigators analyzed data from seven studies that included more than 25,000 people and found that chronic bronchitis, emphysema and pneumonia were linked with a greater risk of developing lung cancer.

Having asthma or tuberculosis was not associated with a higher lung cancer risk, according to the study published in the Aug. 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

People who had all three -- chronic bronchitis, emphysema and...
Read the full story

Study mentioned:
Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2014 Jul 23. [Epub ahead of print]
Is Previous Respiratory Disease a Risk Factor for Lung Cancer?

Delivering as One: A recent report by the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer

The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer is pleased to present Delivering as One: Annual Highlights 2013/14, showcasing selected achievements from the Partnership's recent work with partners throughout the cancer community.

Delivering as One offers a brief summary of the accomplishments of 2013/14. A more detailed view of the Partnership's recent work is available in the full 2013/14 annual report.

Researchers develop web-based app to predict glioma mutations

A new web-based programme developed by the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center researchers will provide a simple, free way for healthcare providers to determine which brain tumour cases require testing for an IDH1 mutation. Read more here

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Massachussetts General-developed device monitors key step in development of tumor metastases

A microfluidic device developed at Massachusetts General Hospital may help study key steps in the process by which cancer cells break off from a primary tumor to invade other tissues and form metastases. Investigators describe a fundamental change in cellular characteristics that has been associated with the ability of tumor cells to migrate and invade other sites in the body. Therapies that target this process may be able to slow or halt tumor metastasis. "This device gives us a platform to be used in testing and comparing compounds to block or delay the epithelial-mesenchymal transition, potentially slowing the progression of cancer," says Daniel Irimia, MD, PhD, associate director of the BioMEMS Resource Center in the MGH Department of Surgery. Read more here.

Older patients with limited life expectancy still receiving cancer screenings

A substantial number of older patients with limited life expectancy continue to receive routine screenings for prostate, breast, cervical and colorectal cancer although the procedures are unlikely to benefit them. The paper authored by Dr Trevor Royce of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and colleagues is published online first on 18 August 2014 in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. Read more here

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

NIH announces the launch of 3 integrated precision medicine trials

The Adjuvant Lung Cancer Enrichment Marker Identification and Sequencing Trials, or ALCHEMIST, was launched to identify early-stage lung cancer patients with tumors that harbor certain uncommon genetic changes and evaluate whether drug treatments targeted against those changes can lead to improved survival. “We believe that the findings from ALCHEMIST will not only help answer an important question about the addition of targeted therapies in earlier stage disease but will also help us in understanding the prevalence and natural history of these genomic changes in earlier stage lung cancer,” said Shakun Malik, M.D., head of Thoracic Cancer Therapeutics in the Clinical Investigations Branch of the National Cancer Institute. Read more here.

Protein found to block benefits of vitamin A cancer therapy

Retinoic acid is a form of vitamin A that is used to treat and help prevent the recurrence of a variety of cancers, but for some patients the drug is not effective. The reason for this resistance was unclear until this week when researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Massey Cancer Center demonstrated that a protein known as AEG-1 blocks the effects of retinoic acid in leukemia and liver cancer. Because AEG-1 is overexpressed in nearly every cancer, these findings could impact the care of countless cancer patients. Read more here.

Over-the-counter pain reliever may slow recurrence in breast cancer patients

With promising new information on the risks of obesity and the benefits of anti-inflammatories, researchers at the Cancer Therapy & Research Center have launched a new study on aspirin and fish oil open to postmenopausal women who are cancer-free. It’s based on their own findings which reveal that some postmenopausal overweight breast cancer patients who use common anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin or ibuprofen have significantly lower breast cancer recurrence rates. Read more here.

New hope for patients with hard-to-treat head and neck cancers

Using a technique that looks for genes that tumor cells need to survive, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center scientists have identified a potential new drug for a class of difficult-to-treat head and neck cancers. The gene they identified as essential for these tumor cells to survive happens to be the target of an existing cancer drug, and an early-phase clinical trial will soon launch to help determine whether the drug can shrink tumors faster for patients with head and neck cancer. Read more here.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Delivering as one: Annual highlights 2013/14 presents recent achievements of Canada's cancer strategy

The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer is pleased to present Delivering as One: Annual Highlights 2013/14, showcasing selected achievements from the Partnership’s recent work with partners throughout the cancer community. Read more here.

Molecular classification of 12 cancer types

Researchers from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Research Network have completed the largest, most diverse tumour genetic analysis ever conducted, revealing a new approach to classifying cancers. The study not only revamps traditional ideas of how cancers are diagnosed and treated, but could also have a profound impact on the future landscape of drug development. Read more here.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Impact of health behaviour on hospital use in Ontario

This report, 900,000 days in hospital: the annual impact of smoking, alcohol, diet and physical activity on hospital use in Ontario, describes the proportion of Ontario adults at risk for four health behaviours—smoking, unhealthy alcohol consumption, poor diet and physical inactivity—and estimates the impact of these behaviours on hospital use and hospital costs in Ontario in 2011. Read more and download the full report here.

Injected bacteria shrink tumors in rats, dogs and humans

A modified version of the Clostridium novyi (C. novyi-NT) bacterium can produce a strong and precisely targeted anti-tumor response in rats, dogs and now humans, according to a new report from Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center researchers. The microbe thrives only in oxygen-poor environments, which makes it a targeted means of destroying oxygen-starved cells in tumors that are difficult to treat with chemotherapy and radiation. Read more here.

RPCI researchers identify priority targets for immunotherapy in epithelial ovarian cancer

Researchers at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) have found that the expression pattern of a unique class of tumor-associated antigens, known as the MAGE cancer-testis antigens (CTAs), correlates with clinical outcome in epithelial ovarian cancer. Based on their findings, the researchers have identified priority targets for ovarian cancer immunotherapy. Read more here.

FDA approves Avastin for advanced cervical cancer

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new use for the targeted therapy drug, Avastin (bevacizumab). The new use is for cervical cancer that has not improved with treatment, has come back after treatment, or has spread to other parts of the body. It’s to be taken along with chemotherapy drugs. Avastin works by interfering with blood vessels that help cancer grow. It is already used to treat certain types of colon, kidney, lung, and brain cancer. Read more here.

Regular exercise after menopause tied to lower breast-cancer risk

Middle aged women who get a few hours of activity each week, including walking or more vigorous exercise, are less likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer than more sedentary women, according to a new study from France. “The women who recently, in the previous four years, performed physical activity had a decreased risk of breast cancer compared with women who were not so active,” said co-author Fran├žoise Clavel-Chapelon. But that decrease disappeared after the physical activity stopped, she added. Read more here.

Painkillers may reduce risk of breast cancer return in obese women

A recent study conducted at the University of Texas in Austin indicates that women with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30 may have their chances of a breast cancer recurrence cut in half if they take painkillers (aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs - NSAIDs) on a regular basis. According to study author Linda deGraffenried, the anti-inflammatory properties of pain killers reduce inflammation induced by obesity: "reducing the inflammation with aspirin and other NSAIDs...may improve how well hormone therapies work." To learn more about this study, click here.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

How breast cancer usurps the powers of mammary stem cells

During pregnancy, certain hormones trigger specialized mammary stem cells to create milk-producing cells essential to lactation. Scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center have found that mammary stem cells associated with the pregnant mammary gland are related to stem cells found in breast cancer. David A. Cheresh, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Pathology and vice-chair for research and development, Jay Desgrosellier, PhD, assistant professor of pathology, and colleagues specifically identified a key molecular pathway associated with aggressive breast cancers that is also required for mammary stem cells to promote lactation development during pregnancy. Read more here.

CRI scientists pinpoint gene likely to promote childhood cancers

Researchers at the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI) have identified a gene that contributes to the development of several childhood cancers, in a study conducted with mice designed to model the cancers. If the findings prove to be applicable to humans, the research could lead to new strategies for targeting certain childhood cancers at a molecular level. Read more here.

Researchers uncover cancer-causing mechanism behind powerful human oncogene

A protein present at high levels in more than half of all human cancers drives cell growth by blocking the expression of just a handful of genes involved in DNA packaging and cell death, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. The researchers found that the protein, called Myc, works through a tiny regulatory molecule called a micro RNA to suppress the genes' expression. It marks the first time that a subset of Myc-controlled genes has been identified as critical players in the protein's cancer-causing function, and suggests new therapeutic targets for Myc-dependent cancers. Read more here.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Study shows flexible sigmoidoscopy effective for colon cancer screening

A team of researchers led by doctors in Norway has found that screening with flexible sigmoidoscopy, one of the colon screening tests recommended by the American Cancer Society, reduced the rates of colon cancer diagnoses and deaths compared to no screening. The researchers randomly assigned about 100,000 people in Norway between ages 50 and 64 to receive either a flexible sigmoidoscopy alone, a flexible sigmoidoscopy and fecal occult blood testing (FOBT), or no screening. During the time of the study, Norway did not have a national colon cancer screening program and people there generally did not receive screening. Read more here.

Experimental colon cancer tests pass FDA panel review

A committee of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has decided the benefits outweigh the risks of 2 experimental tests that look for certain DNA changes (mutations) in cells that can cause colon cancer. One of the tests, Epi proColon developed by the German company Epigenomics, is a blood test that looks for DNA changes that can indicate cancer. The other test, Cologuard, made by the Wisconson-based company Exact Sciences, is a stool test that can find abnormalities that indicate cancer or pre-cancerous growths (polyps). Read more here.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Editing HPV's genes to kill cervical cancer cells

Researchers have hijacked a defense system normally used by bacteria to fend off viral infections and redirected it against the human papillomavirus (HPV), the virus that causes cervical, head and neck, and other cancers. Using the genome editing tool known as CRISPR, the Duke University researchers were able to selectively destroy two viral genes responsible for the growth and survival of cervical carcinoma cells, causing the cancer cells to self-destruct. Read more here.

Gut microbiome analysis improved noninvasive colorectal cancer screening

Analysis of the gut microbiome more successfully distinguished healthy individuals from those with precancerous adenomatous polyps and those with invasive colorectal cancer compared with assessment of clinical risk factors and fecal occult blood testing, according to data published in Cancer Prevention Research. By analyzing stool samples from 90 individuals—30 healthy individuals, 30 patients with precancerous adenomatous polyps, and 30 patients with invasive colorectal cancer—Patrick D. Schloss, associate professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and his colleagues established that the composition of the gut microbiome was different for individuals in the three groups. Read more here.

A new way to model cancer

Sequencing the genomes of tumor cells has revealed thousands of mutations associated with cancer. One way to discover the role of these mutations is to breed a strain of mice that carry the genetic flaw — but breeding such mice is an expensive, time-consuming process. Now, MIT researchers have found an alternative: They have shown that a gene-editing system called CRISPR can introduce cancer-causing mutations into the livers of adult mice, enabling scientists to screen these mutations much more quickly. Read more here.

Metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer: ESMO clinical practice guidelines

Primary lung cancer is the most common malignancy after non-melanocytic skin cancer, and the leading cause of human cancer deaths worldwide. This guidelines focuses on diagnosis, staging and risk assessment, treatment of stage IV NSCLC, treatment of oligometastatic NSCLC, and follow-up. Read more here.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Researchers learn more about a rare genetic mutation linked to breast cancer

An international team of researchers has found that abnormal changes (mutations) to a gene called PALB2 increase the risk of breast cancer much more than previously thought. According to the study published in the August 7, 2014 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, women with this gene mutation have a risk anywhere from 5 times to 9 times as high as women in the general population. The mutation was previously thought to raise risk by about 2 to 4 times.

Study mentioned:
Breast-Cancer Risk in Families with Mutations in PALB2. Published in the August 7, 2014 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. First author A. C. Antoniou, PhD, University of Cambridge, UK.

Randon: the second leading cause for lung cancer

CancerView Digest has published this week on a series of reports on radon as a radioactive substance including:

Odourless. Tasteless. Dangerous.

Radon: What is it?

Take Action on Radon

CAREX (CARcinogen Exposure), a national evidence-based carcinogen surveillance program

Machealth: Radon Education Program

And, more

Friday, 8 August 2014

Study reveals one reason brain tumors are more common in men

New research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis helps explain why brain tumors occur more often in males and frequently are more harmful than similar tumors in females. The researchers found that retinoblastoma protein (RB), a protein known to reduce cancer risk, is significantly less active in male brain cells than in female brain cells. Read more here.

Study finds new genetic risk markers in pancreatic cancer

A large DNA analysis of people with and without pancreatic cancer has identified several new genetic markers that signal increased risk of developing the highly lethal disease, report scientists from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The markers are variations in the inherited DNA code at particular locations along chromosomes. Several of these variations in the DNA code were identified that influence an individual’s risk for pancreatic cancer. Read more here.

Tumor suppressor mutations alone don’t explain deadly cancer

Although mutations in a gene dubbed “the guardian of the genome” are widely recognized as being associated with more aggressive forms of cancer, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have found evidence suggesting that the deleterious health effects of the mutated gene may in large part be due to other genetic abnormalities, at least in squamous cell head and neck cancers. Read more here.

Blood and saliva tests help predict return of HPV-linked oral cancers

Physicians at Johns Hopkins have developed blood and saliva tests that help accurately predict recurrences of HPV-linked oral cancers in a substantial number of patients. The tests screen for DNA fragments of the human papillomavirus (HPV) shed from cancer cells lingering in the mouth or other parts of the body. Read more here.

New cancer classification system might boost patient outcomes

Researchers at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging at the University of California, San Francisco have unveiled a new genomic study analyzing more than 3,500 tumour samples of 12 different types of cancer. According to the study findings, changes in the classification of cancers may lead to more accurate diagnoses and more effective treatments in approximately 10% of cancer patients. According to study co-senior author Dr. Christopher Benz, the most significant findings occurred in bladder and breast cancers, which may explain why "bladder cancer patients "often respond very differently when treated with the same systemic therapy for their seemingly identical cancer type". To read more about this study, part of the Cancer Genome Atlas Initiative, click here.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Bladder cancer: ESMO clinical practice guidelines

ESMO guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of bladder cancer include revised chapters about treatment of non- and muscle-invasive bladder cancer, neoadjuvant and adjuvant therapy, organ preservation therapy, treatment of advanced and metastatic disease, and treatment of relapse. Read more here

Pepper and halt: spicy chemical may inhibit gut tumors

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report that dietary capsaicin – the active ingredient in chili peppers – produces chronic activation of a receptor on cells lining the intestines of mice, triggering a reaction that ultimately reduces the risk of colorectal tumors. The receptor or ion channel, called TRPV1, was originally discovered in sensory neurons, where it acts as a sentinel for heat, acidity and spicy chemicals in the environment. Read more here.

Master heat-shock factor supports reprogramming of normal cells to enable tumor growth and metastasis

Long associated with enabling the proliferation of cancer cells, the ancient cellular survival response regulated by Heat-Shock Factor 1 (HSF1) can also turn neighboring cells in their environment into co-conspirators that support malignant progression and metastasis. The finding, reported by Whitehead Institute scientists, lends new insights into tumor biology with significant implications for the diagnosis, prognosis, and management of cancer patients. Read more here.

Rare developmental disorder linked to tumor-suppressing protein

A protein known for its tumor-suppressing properties can also trigger developmental disorders, including CHARGE syndrome, according to researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. CHARGE, which affects 1 in 10,000 babies, is an acronym whose letters stand for some of the more common symptoms of the condition: coloboma of the eye, heart defects, atresia of the choanae, retardation of growth and/or development, genital and/or urinary abnormalities, and ear abnormalities and deafness. Read more here.

Many cancer survivors smoke years after diagnosis

Nearly one in ten cancer survivors reports smoking many years after a diagnosis, according to a new study by American Cancer Society researchers. Further, among ten cancer sites included in the analysis, the highest rates of smoking were in bladder and lung cancers, two sites strongly associated with smoking. Researchers led by Lee Westmaas, PhD, looked at survey responses from nearly three thousand cancer survivors in the American Cancer Society’s Study of Cancer Survivors–I (SCS-I), a longitudinal nationwide study of adult cancer survivors. Read more here.

ARZERRA (ofatumumab) - Fatal infusion reaction reported in a patient with chronic lymphocytic leukemia - for health professional

GlaxoSmithKline Inc., in consultation with Health Canada, would like to inform you of important new safety information regarding a fatal infusion-related reaction following the use of ARZERRA™ (ofatumumab). ARZERRA™ is an anti-CD20 antibody that is authorized in Canada under a Notice of Compliance with conditions, for the treatment of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) refractory to fludarabine and alemtuzumab. A post-marketing case of fatal infusion reaction has been reported in a patient with CLL with no known history of cardiac disease. Read more here.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Aspirin significantly cuts cancer rates, scientific review finds

Taking a small daily dose of aspirin can significantly reduce the risk of developing – or dying from – bowel, stomach and oesophageal cancer, according to a large review of scientific studies. Researchers who analyzed all available evidence from studies and clinical trials assessing benefits and harm found that taking aspirin for 10 years could cut bowel cancer cases by around 35 per cent and deaths from the disease by 40 per cent. Read more here.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) gets underway

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has awarded 53 new 5-year grants to researchers across the country to conduct multi-site cancer clinical trials and cancer care delivery research studies in their communities. The grants are being awarded under the NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP), a national network of investigators, cancer care providers, academic institutions, and other organizations that provide care to diverse populations in community-based healthcare practices across the United States. Read more here.

Recent use of some birth control pills may increase breast cancer risk

Women who recently used birth control pills containing high-dose estrogen and a few other formulations had an increased risk for breast cancer, whereas women using some other formulations did not, according to data published in Cancer Research. "Our results suggest that use of contemporary oral contraceptives [birth control pills] in the past year is associated with an increased breast cancer risk relative to never or former oral contraceptive use, and that this risk may vary by oral contraceptive formulation," said Elisabeth F. Beaber, PhD, MPH, a staff scientist in the Public Health Sciences Division of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington. Read more here.

New study explores physician attitudes about use of e-cigarettes

Physicians are increasingly discussing and recommending electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) as cessation devices for their patients, but more research needs to be done on their efficacy and safety, according to a new survey of North Carolina physicians. This study is believed to be the first to measure attitudes toward e-cigarettes among physicians treating adult smokers. Read more here.

Patients with NSCLC treated with chemo before surgery live longer

POEMs Research Summaries - Your daily update for the Latest Patient Oriented Evidence that Matters

Clinical question
Do patients with non-small-cell lung cancer have better outcomes when receiving chemotherapy before surgery?

Bottom line
In this meta-analysis, patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treated with chemotherapy before surgery had better overall survival and fewer recurrences than patients treated with surgery alone. (LOE = 1a)

NSCLC Meta-analysis Collaborative Group. Preoperative chemotherapy for non-small-cell lung cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis of individual participant data. Lancet 2014;383(9928):1561-1571.

Study design
Meta-analysis (randomized controlled trials)



Various (meta-analysis)

Friday, 1 August 2014

Target growth-driving cells within tumors, not fastest-proliferating cells, new study suggests

Of the many sub-groups of cells jockeying for supremacy within a cancerous tumor, the most dangerous may not be those that can proliferate the fastest, researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute report in a paper appearing in Nature. The findings have important implications for the treatment of cancer with precision medicines. Read more here.

Role of molecular clocks in tumor growth

Just as no two people possess the same genetic makeup, a recent study has shown that no two single tumor cells in breast cancer patients have an identical genome. In fact, depending on the tumor cell, they grow at dramatically different speeds, according to a study led by Nicholas Navin, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Genetics at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. The study findings may have important implications for the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. Read more here.