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.