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.