Sunday, December 28, 2014

Arming anti-cancer virus with immunity protein boosts effectiveness

CANCER DIGEST – Dec. 28, 2014 – A new anti-cancer virus combined with an immune system protein is showing promise as a treatment for pancreatic cancer, a new study shows.

The study done in mice engineered to have form of pancreatic cancer similar to humans uses the relatively new treatment approach, called oncolytic viral therapy, and combines it with the long studied immunotherapy in an effort to make the cancer treatment last longer. 

Monday, December 22, 2014

FDA approves Opdivo for advanced melanoma

CANCER DIGEST – Dec. 22, 2014 – The FDA  today granted accelerated approval to Opdivo (nivolumab), a new treatment for patients with melanoma that cannot be treated with surgery or have advanced disease who no longer respond to other drugs.

The FDA granted Opvido breakthrough therapy designation, priority review and orphan product designation because the sponsor demonstrated through preliminary clinical evidence that the drug may offer a substantial improvement over available therapies. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Words of war and cancer

CANCER DIGEST – Dec. 18, 2014 – War and enemy metaphors are the most common metaphors found in news reports about cancer, and they pervade public discussion about the disease. The entire effort to find a cure for cancer, in fact, has been called a “war on cancer” since President Nixon signed the National Cancer Act in 1971.

But are such metaphors actually keeping us from taking the steps that can prevent more than half of all cancers? 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

FDA expands approval of Cyramza to non-small cell lung cancer

CANCER DIGEST – Dec. 13, 2014 – The FDA today expanded the approved use of Cyramza® (ramucirumab) to treat patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Marketed by Eli Lily, Cyramza works by blocking the blood supply that fuels tumor growth. The drug is intended for NSCLC patients whose tumors have grown (progressed) during or following treatment with platinum-based chemotherapy, and it is to be used in combination with docetaxel, another type of chemotherapy.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Tamoxifen reduces breast cancer by 30 percent after 20 years

CANCER DIGEST – Dec. 12, 2014 – Tamoxifen remains effective for preventing breast cancer for at least 20 years a new analysis published in The Lancet Oncology shows.

The researchers analyzed data from 7,154 pre- and post-menopausal women who participated in the International Breast Cancer Intervention Study (IBIS I) study, which ended in 2001. The women were randomly assigned to receive either tamoxifen (20mg daily) or a matching placebo for five years. After completing treatment, the health of all participants was monitored with an average follow-up time of 16 years and maximum of 22 years.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Most breast cancer patients receiving radiotherapy longer than recommended

CANCER DIGEST – Dec. 10, 2014 – Two-thirds of women treated for early-stage breast cancer in the U.S. receive longer radiation therapy than necessary, according a new study published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association

Led by University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine's Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel, and Dr. Justin E. Bekelman, the researchers analyzed insurance claims data provided by Anthem, Inc., a health benefits company (formerly WellPoint, Inc.) from 14 commercial healthcare plans covering 9 million women.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Ultrasound screening of dense breasts will cost a lot with little benefit

CANCER DIGEST – Dec. 9, 2014 – Adding ultrasound screening for all U.S. women with dense breasts would substantially increase healthcare costs with little improvement in overall health, according to an analysis released today in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

With more states mandating notification of women when mammograms shows they have dense breasts, a risk factor for breast cancer, researchers at Dartmouth Hitchcock’s Norris Cotton Cancer Center looked at the costs and benefits of following up mammograms with ultrasound for these women.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Drug for rare form of leukemia given FDA nod

Amgen's blinatumomab allows T-cells to
attach to an immature B-cell and destroy it.
CANCER DIGEST – Dec. 4, 2014 – The FDA has approved Blincyto (blinatumomab) to treat patients with a rare type of leukemia, called Philadelphia chromosome-negative precursor B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-cell ALL).

Precursor B-cell ALL is a rapidly growing type of leukemia in which the bone marrow makes too many immature B-cells that are not yet functional in the immune system. The National Cancer Institute estimates that 6,020 Americans will be diagnosed with this form of leukemia and 1,440 will die from it in 2014. The Philadelphia chromosome is an abnormality that sometimes occurs in the bone marrow cells of leukemia patients and is linked to chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML).

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

3-D mammography boosts cancer detection in dense breasts

A malignancy easily missed on 2-D
mammography was clearly seen on
3-D mammography. Credit - RSNA
Click image to enlarge
CANCER DIGEST – Dec. 2, 2014 – A major new study presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) in Chicago this week has found that digital breast tomosynthesis, also known as 3-D mammography, has the potential to significantly increase the cancer detection rate in mammography screening of women with dense breasts.

The researchers compared cancer detection using full-field digital mammography (FFDM) versus FFDM plus digital breast tomosynthesis in 25,547 women between the ages of 50 and 69.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Promising drug for advanced bladder cancer given breakthrough status

Genentech video. Click to view 
CANCER DIGEST – Nov. 26, 2014 – A team of British scientists are reporting made a major breakthrough with a new therapy for advanced bladder cancer - for which there have been no major treatment advances in the past 30 years.

Led by Dr. Tom Powles, consultant medical oncologist, Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University of London, the researchers published early results of a small phase I study today in the journal Nature.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Malaria drug may be effective treatment for colorectal cancer

Artemisinin comes from the plant 
Artemisia annua - Image courtesy
University of St George's London 
CANCER DIGEST – Nov. 20, 2014 – A common malaria drug could reduce recurrence of colorectal cancer providing a inexpensive alternative to current expensive chemotherapy given before surgery.

In an early pilot study, the drug, artesunaten, was given in 14 daily doses to 12 patients prior to surgery for colon cancer. Eleven similar patients were given a placebo before surgery. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Anti-leukemia drug may also work against ovarian cancer

Ovarian cancer cells are shown
forming small tumor. Image courtesy
of University of Gothenburg
CANCER DIGEST – Nov. 17, 2014 – An experimental monoclonal antibody called cirmtuzumab is currently in a first-in-human phase 1 clinical trial to assess its safety and effectiveness in treating chronic lymphocytic leukemia CLL may also prove effective against ovarian cancer as well as others, a new study shows.

Developed at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center by Thomas Kipps, MD, PhD, and colleagues, cirmtuzumab targets a specific protein that is normally inactive in adult normal cells. The new study appears on the Nov. 17 online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Test predicts prostate cancer recurrence

YouTube courtesy Princess Margaret Cancer
University of Toronto
CANCER DIGEST – Nov. 12, 2014 – Researchers have developed a genetic test to identify which men are at highest risk for prostate cancer recurrence after treatment with surgery or radiotherapy.

The researchers developed the genetic test with two groups of patients. In the first group, the team analyzed DNA from initial diagnostic biopsies of 126 men who were treated with image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) and followed for an average 7.8 years.

Monday, November 10, 2014

New drug shows promise for people with BRCA1 or 2 cancers

CANCER DIGEST – Nov. 10, 2014 – People with certain cancers that stem from mutations of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene may soon have another treatment option to slow the cancer progression.

In an early stage clinical trial of the twice-daily drug olaparib, 26 percent of patients had their tumors shrink or disappear for up to 7 months. The phase II trial was designed to determine whether tumors responded to the drug. Whether the drug significantly increases survival will need to be tested in larger phase III studies.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Colorectal cancer increasing in young adults

Colorectal cancer 
rates are lower for 
most people, but up 
for young adults –
photo: NIH archives
CANCER DIGEST – Nov. 7, 2011 – The number of people aged 20-34 with colorectal cancer increased by nearly 2 percent from 1975 to 2010, but declined overall by a little less than 1 percent.

Using data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) colorectal cancer registry, researchers from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center analyzed trends in four age ranges of 393,241 patients diagnosed with colon or rectal cancer from 1975 through 2010. The study was published in the current issue of JAMA Surgery.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Combination therapy boosts melanoma survival by 50 percent

CANCER DIGEST – Nov. 4, 2014 – Patients with metastatic melanoma who were treated with an unusual combination of an immunotherapy with an immune stimulant survived 50 percent longer compared to patients who received only the immunotherapy.

The study by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists enrolled 245 patients with stage 3 or stage 4 metastatic melanoma who had been treated with other drugs.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Canadian Medical Association gives thumbs down to PSA test

CANCER DIGEST – Oct. 27, 2014 – About 10 percent to 20 percent of men diagnosed with prostate cancer using PSA screening won’t have cancer. Overall 40 percent to 56 percent of men will be overdiagnosed, meaning they will be considered to have more or more aggressive cancer than they actually do, leading to invasive treatment. 

Surgery can cause postoperative complications, such as infection (in 11 percent to 21 percent of men), urinary incontinence (in up to 18 percent, and erectile dysfunction in nearly a quarter of those treated along with other complications.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Researchers find missing link between vitamin D and prostate cancer

CANCER DIGEST – Oct. 23, 2014 – A new study shows that a gene known to be stimulated into action by vitamin D, is notably absent in samples of human prostate cancer driven by inflammation.

Since demonstrating that vitamin D stimulates production of GDF-15, researchers at the University of Colorado Cancer Center wondered if this gene might be a mechanism through which vitamin D works in prostate cancer. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Herceptin extends survival for in HER2 breast cancer

CANCER DIGEST – Oct. 20, 2014 – Women with early stage, HER 2 positive breast cancer had a 37 percent improvement in survival and a 40 percent reduction in risk of recurrence, when treated with Herceptin (trastuzumab) compared to patients treated with chemotherapy alone. Tumors with the human epidermal growth factor 2 protein, or HER 2 positive breast cancer, tend to have more aggressive cancer.

Friday, October 17, 2014

New test may boost accuracy of ovarian cancer diagnosis

Photo courtesy of BMJ – Dr. P. Marazzi
CANCER DIGEST – Oct. 17, 2014 – A new test to help doctors diagnose ovarian tumors and choose the most appropriate treatment is ready for clinical use, researchers say.

In a study published today in the British Medical Journal, an international team led by Imperial College London and KU Leuven, Belgium describe the new test, called ADNEX, which can discriminate between benign and malignant tumors, and identify different types of malignant tumor, with a high level of accuracy.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Prostate cancer’s need for copper may offer new treatment approach

Donald McDonnell, PhD
CANCER DIGEST – Oct. 15, 2014 – Loading up prostate cancer tumors with copper and then treating them with a drug that acts selectively on cells crammed with the mineral may provide a new treatment approach for the prostate cancer, Duke Medicine researchers say.

In a study published in today’s journal Cancer Research the new approach uses two drugs already FDA-approved for other uses, and could soon be tested in human clinical trials of men with late stage prostate cancer.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Stomach position can cut radiation exposure in breast cancer treatment

YouTube video courtesy OSU
Comprehensive Cancer Center
CANCER DIGEST – Oct. 14, 2014 – Researchers at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center have devised a treatment board that allows breast cancer patients to lie on their stomachs for radiation treatments following surgery for the cancer.

The center’s Dr. Julia White says the prone board allows gravity to pull the breast away from the chest wall and create a more uniform shape that enables better distribution of the radiation dose.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Hormone loss could trigger colon cancer

Guanylin plays a role in replenishing
skin cells lining the gut. (Illustration
from Wikipedia) 
CANCER DIGEST – Oct. 10, 2014 – Lack of a hormone may be linked to colon cancer, a laboratory study has shown. If confirmed, it would be the first time a cancer has been linked to hormone loss, which could lead to hormone replacement therapy to prevent colon cancer.

The hormone guanlyn is produced by normal colon cells and activates a receptor called GUCY2C (pronounced "goosy toosy" by researchers). The activation of GUC2YC signaling is critical to helping replenish the skin cells lining the gut and maintaining their overall function. People over 50 years old tend to produce much less of the hormone in their normal colon cells, which could help explain the increase in colon cancer risk in older individuals. The study was published online Oct. 10 in Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Increasing tobacco exposure linked to rise in oral cancer virus infection

CANCER DIGEST – Oct. 7, 2014 – People with higher levels of the tobacco-related chemicals in their blood and urine were more likely to have the herpes virus that causes oral cancers, a new study shows.

While previous studies have shown higher risk of oral infection with the HPV16 virus among smokers, this study looked at HPV16 infection among people who have tobacco-linked chemicals in their blood or urine, regardless of how they are exposed to tobacco including second-hand smoke. The new study appears in the Oct. 7 issue of JAMA.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Bone loss drug could prevent breast cancer spread to bones

CANCER DIGEST – Oct. 1, 2014 – A drug used to slow osteoporosis may prevent breast cancer from spreading to the bones, a new study suggests.

Dr. Richard Kremer and co-lead author, Dr. Nancy Mayo, of McGill University Health Center, in Montreal, Canada, worked with colleagues to evaluate data from more than 21,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer. The study was published in this month’s issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI).

Monday, September 29, 2014

Combination treatment boosts melanoma treatment

OncoLetter YouTube – Sep 29, 2012
CANCER DIGEST – Sept. 25, 2014 – Patients with advanced stage melanoma had their cancer growth halted for an average of almost 10 months when treated with a combination therapy compared to a little more than 6 months for those treated with a single chemotherapy drug.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Engineered vitamin D may be key to effective pancreatic cancer treatment

Click for Salk Institute video
CANCER DIGEST – Sept. 25, 2014 – A modified form of vitamin D appears to make pancreatic cancer cells more vulnerable to chemotherapy, say researchers at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, Ca., which could open the door to this hard-to-treat cancer.

The researcher led by Dr. Ron Evans, director of Salk's Gene Expression Laboratory, developed a synthetic form of vitamin D that deactivates inflamed cells surrounding the cancer cells that form a kind of “shield” that keeps immune cells and chemotherapy from reaching the tumor. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Increasing skirt size linked to breast cancer risk

CANCER DIGEST – Sept. 24, 2014 – Increases in skirt size every 10 years was linked to a 33 percent rise in breast cancer risk, a new analysis of a large ongoing population study shows.

The findings stem from analysis of data accumulated from the 93,000 UK Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening study in England, which is following the women over a long time with periodic questionnaires. All the women were over 50 and post menopausal when they entered the study between 2005 and 2010. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Lilly drug improves survival in colorectal and gastric cancers, not breast cancer

CANCER DIGEST – Sept. 19, 2014 – Mixed results for Eli Lilly’s targeted drug CYRAMZA™ (ramucirumab) were published this week in a pair of studies, one showing a significant increase in overall survival for people with gastric (stomach) and colorectal cancers but no significant increase for patients with breast cancer.

Ramucirumab blocks VEGFR-2 (vascular endothelial growth factor) a protein important for the formation of blood vessels needed to support tumor growth. A number of these agents are being tested in a variety of solid tumor cancers.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Wild berry extract may boost effect of pancreatic cancer drug

CANCER DIGEST – Sept. 18, 2014 – In a laboratory study, extract of chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) appeared to increase the number of cancer cells killed following an application of a common chemotherapy drug used for a number of cancers.

The study used a well-known line of pancreatic cancer cells (AsPC-1) in the laboratory and tested how well the cells grew when treated with either the chemotherapy drug gemcitabine (Gemzar®) or different levels of commercially available chokeberry extract alone, and when treated with a combination of gemcitabine and chokeberry extract.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Throat cancer patients with HPV may not need neck surgery

CANCER DIGEST – Sept. 17, 2014 – Patients with neck cancer, who are infected with human papillomavirus (HPV), are significantly more likely to have the cancer shrink completely from radiation therapy before neck surgery than those with who had not been infected by the virus.

Researchers reviewed the medical records from 396 patients whose neck (oropharyngeal) cancer had spread to at least one lymph node. Within 180 days after completing radiation therapy, 146 patients underwent neck surgery. For 99 patients, their records indicated whether or not their tumors had likely been triggered by HPV, the same virus associated with both cervical and head and neck cancer.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Triple chemo regimen improves response in triple-negative breast cancer

CANCER DIGEST – Sept. 9, 2014 – More women with triple-negative breast cancer achieved a complete response to chemotherapy when either an additional chemo agent or targeted therapy was added to paclitaxel, followed by a combination chemotherapy.

Triple-negative breast cancer accounts for 15 to 20 percent of invasive breast cancers and occurs more commonly in younger women, African-Americans, Hispanics and BRCA1-mutation carriers.

Friday, September 5, 2014

No link between bras and breast cancer

Copyright: Kovalvs via
CANCER DIGEST – Sept. 5, 2014 – Wearing a bra may not increase your risk of breast cancer, a new population-based study has found.

Since Sydney Ross Singer and Soma Grismaijer published their book, “Dressed to Kill” in 1995, claiming that bra-wearing may be a major cause of breast cancer there have been persistent concerns about about bras and breast cancer. The study they based their claim on has never been published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

FDA grants accelerated approval to Keytruda for melanoma

CANCER DIGEST – Sept. 4, 2014 – The FDA granted fast-track approval to the first of a new class of drugs that promise to hold the key to turning off cancer cells’ ability to evade the body’s immune system.

The drug, pembrolizumab, was approved for treatment of advanced melanoma that is no longer responding to other drugs. It works by blocking a protein called PD-1, which cancer cells produce to restrict the immune system’s ability to attack melanoma cells. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

No better survival for women who choose double mastectomies

CANCER DIGEST – Sept. 2, 2014 – A study of breast cancer treatment has shown no survival advantage for women who have surgery to remove both breasts.

The study of nearly 190,000 California women with cancer is the first to directly compare survival rates of the three most common surgical therapies used to treat breast cancer in one breast. The study published in the Sept. 2, Journal of the American Medical Association confirms results of a July study showing only modest increase in survival for women with early stage breast cancer. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Invisible blood in urine should spark further testing in those over 60

Anatomy & Physiology, Connexions Web site 
via Wikimedia Commons
CANCER DIGEST – Sept. 1, 2014 – Invisible blood in urine may be clue to bladder cancer that could make all the difference in successfully treating the disease, new research shows.

The study examined data from 26,000 people and found that one in 60 people over the age of 60 who had invisible blood in their urine found by laboratory testing, turned out to have bladder cancer.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Tomato-rich diet may prevent prostate cancer

CANCER DIGEST – Aug. 27, 2014 – Men who eat over 10 servings of tomatoes a week have an 18 percent lower risk of developing prostate cancer, new research suggests. 

Published in the medical journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, the researchers led by Vanessa Er, from the School of Social and Community Medicine at the University of Bristol and Bristol Nutrition BRU sought to develop a prostate cancer 'dietary index' which consists of dietary components – selenium, calcium and foods rich in lycopene, found in such foods as tomatoes, bread and pasta, and dairy products.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Protein may predict breast cancer outcomes

CANCER DIGEST – Aug. 25, 2014 – Researchers have identified a protein that may be the first biomarker for breast cancer that has begun to spread to other parts of the body. 

In a study published online today, Canadian researchers at McGill University, Montreal led by Josie Ursini-Siegel show that elevated levels of the protein, named p66ShcA, in the blood is strongly linked to genes that trigger a process that aids tumor cells to begin seeping into the blood stream. The study appeared online in the journal Molecular and Cellular Biology.

Cost gap for robotic surgery for prostate cancer narrows

CANCER DIGEST – Aug. 26, 2014 – Widespread adoption of robot-assisted surgery to treat prostate cancer has narrowed the gap in costs compared to conventional open or laparoscopic surgery. A study comparing robotic assisted surgery with non-robotic surgery for prostate cancer showed that robotic surgeries surged from 0.7 percent of all prostatectomies to nearly 42 percent in just  seven years from 2003 to 2010. In the beginning there was debate about the cost-effectiveness of robotic-assisted surgery as outcomes were not decisively better, while the cost was much higher than conventional surgery. Over the study period, however, the cost of robotic surgery has declined and leveled off at slightly over $10,000 compared to $9,000 for non-robotic surgery. The study led by Steven Chang, MD of Harvard Medical School and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute was published today in the British Journal of Urology International.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Leukemia drug may slow metastasis in skin, breast and other cancers

CANCER DIGEST – Aug. 20, 2014 – A drug used to treat leukemia may be useful in slowing or halting cancer spread in other cancers, a new study shows.

The drug, Dasatinib is a type of drug called a protein tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI). Tyrosine kinases are proteins that act as chemical messengers to stimulate cancer cells to grow.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Overweight breast cancer patients may benefit from aspirin, ibuprofen

CANCER DIGEST – Aug. 15, 2014 – Post menopausal women with breast cancer who are overweight or obese and taking tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors were less likely to have their cancer recur if they took aspirin or ibuprofen, a new analysis shows.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Bacteria used to shrink tumors

Video credit: © AAAS/Carla Schaffer
CANCER DIGEST – Aug. 13, 2014 – Researchers have shown that injections of a weakened version of a bacterium that thrives in a very low oxygen environment can shrink tumors in rats, pet dogs, and a human patient.

The microbe, Clostridium novyi, is commonly found in soil and lives only in oxygen-poor environments, which makes it ideal for adaption to oxygen-starved cells in tumors that are difficult to treat with chemotherapy and radiation.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

FDA approves first DNA screening test for colorectal cancer

YouTube by Exact Sciences
CANCER DIGEST – Aug. 12, 2014 –The U.S. FDA today approved Cologuard, the first stool-based DNA colorectal screening test that detects genetic mutations that may indicate colon cancer or precursors to cancer.

Using a stool sample, Cologuard detects blood components and certain mutations associated with colorectal cancer in the DNA of cells shed by advanced adenomas as stool moves through the large intestine and rectum. Patients with positive test results are advised to undergo a diagnostic colonoscopy.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Osteoporosis drugs don't protect against breast cancer

Alendronic acid (Fosamax) is taken for
osteoporosis (NIH image)
CANCER DIGEST – Aug. 11, 2014 – Osteoporosis drugs known as bisphosphonates may not protect women from breast cancer as had been thought, according to a new study led by researchers at UC San Francisco (UCSF) despite several observational studies that showed women who took them were less likely to get breast cancer.

Bee, snake and scorpion venoms may be promising next cancer therapy

Courtesy Publications Division of the American
Chemical Society.
CANCER DIGEST – Aug. 11, 2014 – Venoms may be the newest approach to be used in targeted therapies say researchers at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

In a report presented at the 248th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS), Dipanjan Pan, Ph.D outlined

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Case for daily aspirin grows stronger

copyright  Sauligno via Creative Commons
CANCER DIGEST – Aug. 7, 2014 – In the first review of all the available evidence from many studies and clinical trials of preventive aspirin use, researchers found that taking aspirin for 10 years could cut bowel cancer cases by around 35 percent and deaths by 40 percent. 

Led by Jack Cuzick, head of Queen Mary University of London’s Centre for Cancer Prevention, the researchers also found the rates of esophageal and stomach cancers were cut by 30 percent and deaths from these cancers by 35-50 percent. The study was published today in the journal Annals of Oncology.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Some birth control pills may boost breast cancer risk

CANCER DIGEST – Aug. 4, 2014 – A study of 1,102 women diagnosed with breast cancer and 21,952 who were cancer free, found that recent oral contraceptive use increased breast cancer risk by 50 percent, compared with never or former use. 

The study led by Elisabeth F. Beaber, PhD, MPH, at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Wash. looked at the electronic pharmacy records of women who recently used birth control pills containing high-dose estrogen. They found that some of the formulations increased breast cancer risk 2.7 times, and those containing moderate-dose estrogen increased the risk 1.6-fold compared to women who did not use those contraceptives. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Making tumors glow to improve cancer

Photo courtesy of the University of Pennsylvania
CANCER DIGEST – July 29, 2014 – Between 20 and 50 percent of cancer patients who undergo surgery end up with recurrence of their cancer, indicating that the surgeon missed some of the diseased tissue from the site. Identifying the edges of a tumor can be difficult to do during a procedure, and typically surgeons have to rely on visual examination of the tumor and feeling for differences with their fingers.

Monday, July 28, 2014

One third of cancer patients are killed by a 'fat-burning' process

Video courtesy – CNIO
CANCER DIGEST – July 28, 2014 – Transforming “bad” fat into “good” fat is currently one of the most researched processes of the body, thanks to the obesity epidemic. The bad fat is white and stored throughout the body, but in a process not fully understood, that stored fat is turned into good fat or brown fat that is burned for energy. While spurring that process is sought as a means to reduce obesity and diabetes, researchers in Spain

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Incidence of head and neck cancer higher for those with diabetes

YouTube – courtesy Orange County Cyberknife
Oncology Center in Orange County
CANCER DIGEST – July 24, 2014 – A database analysis of 89,089 patients appears to show that diabetes increases the risk of head and neck cancer, according to a study in today’s JAMA Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery.

The researchers at the Tainan University of Technology, Taiwan, used their country’s Longitudinal Health Insurance Research Database to examine the risk of head and neck cancers in patients with diabetes. While they did not distinguish between type 1 and type 2 in the study, all of the patients were newly diagnosed and the highest incidence of head and neck cancer was among those 40 to 65 years old.