Saturday, June 23, 2018

Cyanide drug cuts hearing loss in half in children treated for liver cancer

Photo courtesy of CDC Early Hearing Detection and
Intervention program
CANCER DIGEST – June 21, 2018 – A drug used as an antidote to cyanide poisoning reduces hearing loss by nearly 50 percent in children treated with chemotherapy for liver cancer, researchers say.

The drug is sodium thiosulphate (STS) and has been used for decades primarily as an antidote to cyanide poisoning, and is also used as a chemical to reduce excess chlorine levels in swimming pools. In the study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, British researchers led by Dr. Penelope Brock for Cancer Research UK treated children with a rare type of childhood liver cancer called hepatoblastoma.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Higher levels of vitamin D linked to lower colorectal cancer risk in women

CANCER DIGEST – June 15, 2018 – People with higher levels of vitamin D in their blood appear to have protection against colorectal cancer, according to a new study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Vitamin D plays a key role in maintaining bone health, but research has produced clues that it may also lower the risk of colorectal cancer due to effects on cell growth and regulation, however the studies aimed to evaluate a protective effect have been inconsistent.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Immunotherapy approach wiped out advanced breast cancer patient's tumors

CT scans 14 months after treatment (right) 
show all tumors have disappeared. 
Image provided by National Cancer Institute
CANCER DIGEST – June 9, 2018 – Researchers at the National Cancer Institute used certain cells taken from a breast cancer patient’s immune cells to wipe out all tumors in a case of advanced disease that had spread to other parts of the body.

The patient with metastatic disease had undergone several other treatments, including chemotherapy and hormonal treatments that had not stopped her cancer from progressing.

Monday, May 28, 2018

FDA-approved drug for blood cancer holds promise for aggressive breast cancer

CANCER DIGEST – May 28, 2018 – An already FDA- approved drug for the treatment of certain blood cancers, could significantly inhibit the growth of triple-negative breast cancers, and also treat tumors resistant to chemotherapy.

The drug called decitabine is used to treat myelodysplastic syndrome, a type of cancer that produces abnormal blood forming cells in bone marrow.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

New regimen could cut cost of breast cancer treatment in half

Herceptin has been shown to prolong survival in about 12
percent of women whose breast cancer is positive for the
gene HER2 and has not spread to other parts of the body.
Image courtesy Roche Pharmaceuticals
CANCER DIGEST – May 19, 2018 – A new study shows that treatment with half as much of an expensive breast cancer drug is just as effective as the current treatment regimen.

The study of 4,088 women with HER2-positive, early stage breast cancer showed that 89.4% of women treated for just 6 months with the expensive drug trastuzumab (Herceptin) remained disease free compared to 89.9% of the women treated for 12 months with the drug. The difference is not trivial with a drug that costs about $54,000 per month.