Saturday, 25 April 2015

Ovary removal reduces breast cancer death in BRCA1 carriers

A new study conducted at the Women's College Research Institute of the University of Toronto is lending support to ovary removal in women with breast cancer who carry the BRCA1 genetic mutation. According to researcher Kelly Metcalfe, of the 676 women, carriers of the BRCA1 or BRCA2, who participated in the study, more than 77% survived over a 20 year follow-up, a 56% in breast cancer death following ovary removal.

Click here to read more about this study

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Immune-focused drugs show promise against melanoma

A new pair of clinical trials conducted at the Johns Hopkins' Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center in Baltimore, indicate that two drugs, the immune checkpoint inhibitor Keytruda, along with the immune-boosting Yervoy, show promising signs for treating advanced melanoma.  According to Dr. Suzanne Topalian, director of the Melanoma Program at Johns Hopkins, these drugs "prod the immune system to attack and destroy cancer cells."

Click here to read more about this trial, presented on April 20, 2015 at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Philadelphia.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Mammograms most beneficial starting at age 50: U.S. task force

Women should get a mammogram every two years starting at age 50 -- and while routine screening brings little benefit in the 40s, beginning it that early should be a personal choice, a U.S. government task force said Monday. Also, there's not enough evidence to tell if new 3-D mammograms are the best option for routine screening, or if women with dense breasts need extra testing to find hidden tumors, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force concluded. Read more here.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

ELCC 2015 News: VEGF SNPs identified as prognostic markers for bevacizumab response in patients with advanced non-squamous NSCLC

Patients with advanced non-squamous non-small-cell lung cancer (NS-NSCLC) achieved median overall survival (OS) longer than one year in ANGIOMET, a prospective clinical trial of bevacizumab plus carboplatin and paclitaxel, leading the investigators to look for and identify biomarkers for this response. Read more here.

ELCC 2015 news: Promising results for surgical salvage of local recurrences after stereotactic ablative radiotherapy in patients with early-stage NSCLC

Results from two retrospective studies using data from a large registry confirmed that the rate of local recurrence (LR) following stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) for treatment of early-stage non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is low, but recurrence detected at 87 months suggests that a long follow-up is needed post SABR. Further findings showed that, in some cases, surgical salvage following LR can be done with limited post-surgical complications and may prolong overall survival. Read more here.

ELCC 2015 news: ‘Real-world’ EGFR mutation frequency results from a large population of chemotherapy naive patients with advanced NSCLC

Findings from IGNITE, a large, multinational (China, Russia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Australia, South Korea and Malaysia), diagnostic, non-comparative, interventional study, were presented by lead investigator Dr Baohui Han, Pulmonary Department, Shanghai Chest Hospital, Shanghai, China during the New Treatment Avenues Proffered Papers session at the European Lung Cancer Conference, 15-18 April 2015 in Geneva, Switzerland. Read more here.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Cancer researchers urge double-checking gene tests used in treatment decisions

More cancer patients are getting the genes in their tumors mapped to help guide their treatment. New research suggests that isn't always accurate enough, and a second test could help ferret out the culprit genes. This study found that mapping only the tumour's genome could provide misleading results and lead to treatment that's less likely to work. Comparing the two genomic sequences ensures that a mutation found in a tumour really helped fuel that cancer and isn't a harmless mutation sitting in the person's normal cells, too, explained lead researcher Dr. Victor Velculescu of Johns Hopkins University. Read more here.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Researchers find new approach to treat drug-resistant HER2-positive breast cancer

Resistance to therapy is a major problem in the cancer field. Even when a treatment initially works, the tumors often find ways around the therapy. Using human cell lines of the HER2-positive breast cancer subtype, researchers from the UNC School of Medicine and UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center have detailed the surprising ways in which resistance manifests and how to defeat it before it happens. The discovery provides the experimental evidence for the potential development of a novel combination therapy for HER2-positive breast cancer. Read more here.

Monday, 13 April 2015

ESMO Guides for Patients in Italian

The European Society for Medical Oncology cervical cancer, endometrial cancer and ovarian cancer patient guides are now available in Italian.

ESMO Guides for Patients are designed to assist patients, their relatives and caregivers to better understand the nature of different types of cancer and evaluate the best available treatment choices. Read more here.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Most Canadians have been touched by cancer, but many don’t feel prepared to support themselves or their loved ones

More than 75% of Canadians have had a personal connection with cancer, whether through their own diagnosis or that of a loved one, according to a new survey commissioned by the Canadian Cancer Society. The survey also shows that more than half (56%) do not feel well equipped to support themselves, a friend or loved one with cancer. The survey was conducted by Angus Reid in March 2015 and includes responses from 2,198 Canadians across the country. The results also show that upon learning of a cancer diagnosis, fewer than half of Canadians (49%) searched for information, while only 19% looked into support services. Read more here.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

ESMO Guides for Patients in Romanian

We are pleased to announce that our breast cancer and prostate cancer Guides for Patients are now available in Romanian!

ESMO Guides for Patients are designed to assist patients, their relatives and caregivers to better understand the nature of different types of cancer and evaluate the best available treatment choices. Read more here.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Penn study shows risk of breast and ovarian cancer may differ by type of BRCA1, BRCA2 mutation

In a study involving more than 31,000 women with cancer-causing mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes, researchers at the Basser Center for BRCA, the Abramson Cancer Center, and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, identified mutations that are associated with significantly different risks of breast and ovarian cancers. Authors say the results – which show that some mutations confer higher risks of breast cancer, while other mutations show higher risks of ovarian cancer – may lead to more effective cancer risk assessment, care and prevention strategies for health care providers and carriers. Read more here.

Using sound waves to detect rare cancer cells

Cancer cells often break free from their original locations and circulate through the bloodstream, allowing them to form new tumors elsewhere in the body. Detecting these cells could give doctors a new way to predict whether patients’ tumors will metastasize, or monitor how they are responding to treatment, but finding these extremely rare cells has proven challenging because there might be only one to 10 such cells in a 1-milliliter sample of a patient’s blood. A team of engineers from MIT, Penn State University, and Carnegie Mellon University is developing a novel way to isolate these cells: using sound waves to separate them from blood cells. Read more here.

Income inequality affects who gets an underutilized test for breast cancer

Wealthier women who live in communities with the greatest income divide between rich and poor had better access to a new genetic test that can determine the most effective form of treatment for early-stage breast cancer, according to a new study by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, Harvard Medical School’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Aetna. The study, published in the journal Health Affairs, also indicated that only a small minority of women with breast cancer received the test at all. Read more here.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Childhood cancer survivors face chronic health problems

The number of childhood cancer survivors in the U.S. has increased, but the majority of those who have survived five or more years after diagnosis face chronic health problems related to their treatment, according to a new Northwestern Medicine study in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. "We've been able to increase the number of survivors of pediatric cancer, but simply curing their disease isn't enough," said lead author Siobhan Phillips, assistant professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. "We need a more coordinated approach to their care to help prevent or delay some of these chronic health problems that affect the quality of their lives." Read more here.

Monday, 6 April 2015

Study reports peak longevity benefit with an hour of daily exercise

A new study has found that people who engage in three to five times the recommended minimum level of leisure-time physical activity derive the greatest benefit in terms of mortality reduction when compared with people who do not engage in leisure-time physical activity. This study confirms that much of the mortality benefit is realized by meeting the minimum recommended levels of physical activity and describes the increased mortality benefit associated with higher levels of physical activity. Read more here.

'Big Bang' model of cancer heterogeneity

A new commentary, published in Nature Genetics discusses integrative approach to study cancer heterogeneity. Heterogeneity is the single most important factor driving cancer progression and treatment failure, yet little is understood about how and when this heterogeneity arises. A new study shows that colorectal cancers acquire their dominant mutations early in development and that subsequent mutations, even if they confer greater fitness, are unlikely to sweep through the tumour.Read more here

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Researchers develop new potential drug for rare leukemia

Researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center have developed a new drug candidate that shows potential in laboratory studies against a rare type of acute leukemia. The compound was developed in the labs of Jolanta Grembecka, Ph.D., and Tomasz Cierpicki, Ph.D., who have been working for several years to identify a small-molecule inhibitor that would block the interaction between the protein menin and MLL fusion proteins that cause a rare type of acute leukemia. Read more here.

Circulating tumor DNA in blood can predict recurrence of the most common type of lymphoma

Measurement of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) in blood can be used to detect disease recurrence in patients with a curable form of cancer known as diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). In most patients, measurement of ctDNA enabled detection of microscopic disease before it could be seen on computerized tomography (CT) scans, which is the current standard for disease assessment. Read more here.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

New analysis of breast cancer subtypes could lead to better risk stratification; Annual Report to the Nation shows that mortality and incidence for most cancers continue to decline

For the first time, researchers have used national data to determine the incidence of the four major molecular subtypes of breast cancer by age, race/ethnicity, poverty level, and several other factors. These four subtypes respond differently to treatment and have different survival rates. The new data will help researchers more accurately stratify breast cancer by clinically relevant degrees of risk and potentially have an impact on breast cancer treatment. Moreover, armed with this information, women will be able to better understand the implications for their health based on their breast cancer subtype. Read more here.