Monday, March 31, 2014

Aspirin after colon cancer therapy linked to immune system

JAMA INTERNAL MEDICINE – Mar. 31, 2014 – Patients who took aspirin after surgery for colon cancer had a better chance of surviving if the tumor expressed a particular immune system antibody generator. Researchers at Leiden University Medical Center, the Netherlands, examined tumor tissue to try to determine the mechanism by which aspirin might increase survival.  Of the 999 patients, 182 (18.2 percent) were aspirin users and among them there were 69 deaths (37.9 percent). There were 396 deaths among 817 nonusers of aspirin (48.5 percent). The survival benefit of aspirin use was greatest for those whose tumors expressed a protein called HLA-1, which is part of the signaling the immune system uses to determine which cells to attack.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Organic foods don’t reduce cancer risk

MAIL ONLINE – Mar. 28, 2014 – A British study of 600,000 women has found that eating organic food had no affect on cancer risk. The study followed women over 50 for nine years asking them about diet and organic food consumption. More than 50,000 of them developed one of 16 cancers during that time. When the researchers at the United Kingdom Cancer Research Fund analyzed the data and compared the 45,000 who regularly consumed organic food to the 180,000 who never did, they found no difference between the two groups in terms of cancer. The study is part of Oxford University's ongoing Million Women Study. The results of this analysis were published in the British Journal of Cancer, which is owned by Cancer Research UK.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Drug resistant lung cancer responds to new drug

HEALTH DAY – Mar. 26, 2014 – An early trial of an experimental lung cancer drug halted or shrank tumors in 58 percent of the 59 people treated. This response rate indicates the drug is highly active in patients with a specific type of advanced non-small cell lung cancer called, ALK-rearranged NSCLC. The result is encouraging for the drug’s maker and trial sponsor, Novartis, but it is not an indication of effectiveness. The objective of the trial is to determine the safety of the oral drug, ceritinib, and the optimal dose needed for further trials. Some of the patients in the study had previously been treated with another ALK-targeted drug called, crizotinib. The early results were published online today in the New England Journal of Medicine. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Obesity increases risk of uterine cancer

MEDICAL NEWS TODAY – Mar. 25, 2014 – Obese women reduced their risk of uterine cancer by 71 percent following bariatric surgery that resulted in a dramatic weight loss and 81 percent if normal weight is maintained. Analyzing data from more than 7 million patients compiled by a consortium of university health systems, researchers at the University of California, San Diego found that a woman with a BMI of 40 has approximately eight times greater risk of endometrial cancer compared to women with a BMI of 25. Their findings suggest that bariatric surgery may be useful for heading off endometrial cancer in certain patients. They published the study in the April issue of Gynecologic Oncology

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FDA panel not impressed with one colon cancer test, more favorable to another

CBS-DC NEWS – Mar. 24, 2014 – An FDA advisory panel was not impressed with the Epi proColon genetic test that has been approved in Europe and Argentina. In the manufacturer's key study involving more than 1,500 participants (including 44 with cancer confirmed by colonoscopy), the test detected 68 percent of the cancers, but only correctly ruled out cancer 79 percent of the time, in other words it had a high false-positive rate. The panel noted that this specificity value completely failed to meet the prespecified target of 85 percent. The panel also favorably reviewed a similar test, called Cologuard, by Exact Sciences, that uses a DNA marker to detect cancer. In a study of 10,000 people, the test correctly detected 92.3 percent of cancers, and correctly ruled out cancer 84 percent of the time. The panel is expected to recommend the Cologuard test for approval with conditions for additional research following marketing of the test.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Early study promising for advanced breast cancer

SCIENCE DAILY – Mar. 24, 2014 – In a study of advanced breast cancer, researchers using highly targeted radiation therapy called radioembolization, reported that imaging showed 98.5 percent of liver tumors treated in 69 women had stopped growing. Radioembolization delivers micro-beads containing the radioactive isotope yttrium-90 (Y-90) directly to the main artery serving the liver through an image-guided catheter. The study in 75 women with cancer too advanced for other therapies was presented at the Society of Interventional Radiology's 39th Annual Scientific Meeting in San Diego, this week.

Smokers still unable to quit using e-cigarettes 

MEDPAGE TODAY – Mar. 24, 2014 – An analysis of 949 smokers in a nationally representative panel followed from 2011 through 2012 showed that e-cigarette use made little difference in helping smokers quit or even smoke fewer tobacco cigarettes. The analysis was based on data from a online market research firm Knowledge Networks (now GfK). The study was published in the JAMA Internal Medicine. The results add to similar results of earlier studies.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Lumpectomy better than mastectomy

MEDPAGE TODAY – Mar. 21, 2014 – An analysis of 132,149 women treated for early stage breast cancer shows that those treated with breast-conserving surgery had a 30 percent better five- and 10-year survival compared to women who had mastectomy. The difference rose to 47 percent when radiation was added to breast-conserving surgery. The study by researchers at the University of Utah analyzed data from the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program from 1998 to 2008. They published their report in  JAMA Surgery.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Hormone blockade no advantage over surveillance

MEDPAGE TODAY – Mar. 17, 2014 – A data analysis of more than 15,000 men diagnosed with prostate cancer showed that the 3,435 men whose first or primary treatment was hormone blockade lived no longer compared to men who chose watchful waiting, or monitoring. The results overturn a widely held assumption that blocking male hormones would provide an advantage to men who did not want to undergo surgery or radiation but wanted to do something more than surveillance. The study results are in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Big drop in colon cancer rate

MEDICAL NEWS TODAY – Mar. 17, 2014 – Colon and rectal cancers have dropped dramatically as older Americans get colonoscopies a new report from the American Cancer Society has found. While colonoscopies have nearly tripled among those 50 and older, and the colon cancer rate has dropped by 30 percent over the last 10 years.  The report appears in the organization’s Colorectal Cancer Statistics 2014, which is due out in the March/April issue of the journal CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Data shows vaccine effective for late stage melanoma

REUTERS – Mar. 14, 2014 – Updating data from an ongoing clinical trial of 295 patients with advanced melanoma show the vaccine drug effective in shrinking both tumors directly injected with the vaccine and un-injected tumors. The result indicates the vaccine had the desired effect of triggering the immune system to attack cancer cells elsewhere in the body. Sixty-four percent of the directly injected tumors shrank by half, and 47 percent of the tumors disappeared. Of the un-injected tumors, 34 percent shrank by at least half, and 21 percent of those disappeared.  The findings were presented at the Society of Surgical Oncology Cancer Symposium in Phoenix.