Thursday, December 24, 2015

Gum disease increases breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women

History of smoking significantly affects the link

Image courtesy: National Institute
of Dental and Craniofacial Research
CANCER DIGEST – Dec. 24, 2015 – Research has shown that taking care of your teeth and gums can prevent a lot of diseases you don’t want. Adding to the body of evidence, a new study shows that postmenopausal women with gum disease were more likely to develop breast cancer than women who did not have the chronic inflammatory condition, and a history of smoking significantly increased the risk, researchers report.

Monday, December 14, 2015

FDA approves new drug for sub-type of non-small cell lung cancer

CANCER DIGEST – Dec. 14, 2015 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Alecensa (alectinib) to treat people with specific form of non-small cell lung cancer.

The Dec. 11 approval was for non-small cell lung tumors that have a mutation in the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene, which is present in several types of cancer in addition to about 5 percent of non-small cell lung cancers. The approval is for treatment in patients whose disease has worsened after treatment with a drug called Xalkori (crizotinib), or who could not tolerate it.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

5 of 6 at-risk women reject breast cancer prevention drug

CANCER DIGEST – Dec. 9, 2015 –Five in six women with increased risk of breast cancer turn down drugs likely to prevent the disease, according to research published in Annals of Oncology

Researchers at Queen Mary University of London collected data from 21,000 women of all ages who were at increased risk of developing breast cancer and had taken part in 26 international studies. 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Black breast cancer patients less likely to benefit from chemo before surgery

CANCER DIGEST – Dec. 1, 2015 – Among minority women treated with early chemotherapy, black women have worse outcomes than the other groups, a Yale Cancer Center analysis of the National Cancer Database shows.  

Black, Hispanic, and Asian women typically develop advanced-stage breast cancer more often than white women. As a result, black women are more likely to receive chemotherapy prior to surgery, or neoadjuvant chemotherapy, to reduce the tumor volume before the surgeon attempts to remove it in hopes of improving outcomes.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

New technology uses sound to kill pancreatic tumors

Ulster University's Professor John Callan
led the team of researchers who made the
pancreatic cancer breakthrough.
CANCER DIGEST – Nov. 22, 2015 – A new approach using sound waves to destroy cancer cells is showing promise for treating pancreatic cancer.

The treatment, called sonodynamic therapy (SDT) is the latest in a long line of approaches for delivering a toxic blow to cancer tumors without harming healthy tissues. 

Friday, November 13, 2015

Blood test could change cancer diagnosis

CANCER DIGEST – Nov. 13, 2015 – A new test of blood platelets can be used to detect, classify and pinpoint the location of cancer by analyzing as little as one drop of blood. 

Using this new method, researchers have been able to identify cancer with 96 percent accuracy, according to a study at Umeå University in Sweden recently published in the journal Cancer Cell.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Girl undergoes first-ever ‘gene-editing’ treatment

Layla, shown here at 16 months,
is the first patient to receive new
CANCER DIGEST – Nov. 7, 2015 – A one-year-old girl in London, England with leukemia is now cancer free and doing well as a result of a new treatment that uses ‘molecular scissors’ to edit genes and create designer immune cells.

The girl, named Layla, had relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) that had failed to respond to conventional therapies and had limited treatment options available.

The patient’s parents were keen to try the treatment. Mother, Lisa, says: "We didn’t want to accept palliative care and so we asked the doctors to try anything for our daughter, even if it hadn’t been tried before."

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

First viral therapy for melanoma approved

CANCER DIGEST – Nov. 3, 2015 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Imlygic (talimogene laherparepvec), the first FDA-approved anti-cancer virus therapy, for the treatment of melanoma in the skin and lymph nodes.

Imlygic is a genetically modified live herpes virus engineered to kill cancer cells. It is used to treat melanoma tumors that cannot be removed completely by surgery. Imlygic is injected directly into the melanoma lesions, where it replicates inside cancer cells and causes the cells to rupture and die. 

Monday, October 26, 2015

FDA approves new drug for advanced pancreatic cancer

CANCER DIGEST – Oct. 26, 2015 –  Patients with advanced pancreatic cancer now have a new FDA approved drug, Onivyde, that increased overall survival rates by two months in an international clinical study conducted in part by researchers at HonorHealth Research Institute and the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).

Monday, October 19, 2015

Antioxidants may boost cancer spread

CANCER DIGEST ­– Oct. 19, 2015 - A team of scientists at the Children’s Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI) has made a discovery that suggests cancer cells benefit more from antioxidants than normal cells, raising concerns about the use of dietary antioxidants by cancer patients. 
The study done in mice suggests a mechanism that may explain why cancer patients have often had worse outcomes in clinical trials involving giving antioxidants to these patients.
Dr. Sean Morrison, director of pediatric genetics, UT

 “The idea that antioxidants are good for you and has been so strong that there have been clinical trials done in which cancer patients were administered antioxidants,” Dr. Sean Morrison director of pediatric genetics at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center said in a press release. “Some of those trials had to be stopped because the patients getting the antioxidants were dying faster. Our data suggest the reason for this: cancer cells benefit more from antioxidants than normal cells do.”

Monday, October 12, 2015

More peace, no increased pain for cancer patients who die at home

CANCER DIGEST – Oct. 12, 2015 – Dying at home could be beneficial for terminally ill cancer patients and their relatives, according to a study published online in the journal BMC Medicine.

The study shows that, according to questionnaires completed by their relatives, those who die at home experience more peace and a similar amount of pain compared to those who die in a hospital, and their relatives also experience less grief. However, this requires discussion of preferences, access to a comprehensive home care package and facilitation of family caregiving.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Surgery for certain melanoma patients doubles survival time

CANCER DIGEST – Oct. 8, 2015 – Patients with melanoma who undergo surgery to remove cancer that has spread into the abdomen live more than twice as long as those treated with drug therapy alone, according a new research study presented to 2015 Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons in Chicago this week.

In this study, which updated data tracked over 45 years of 1,623 patients treated at the John Wayne Cancer Institute, overall survival was defined as how long the patient lived after diagnosis of stage 4 melanoma, in which the cancer has spread to parts of the abdomen, including the GI tract, liver, spleen, adrenal glands and other organs.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Imperfect match may be just as good as perfect match for blood cancers

scanning electron 
microscope image 
from normal circulating 
human blood. – Wikipedia
CANCER DIGEST – Oct. 7, 2015 – Using a half-matched donor bone marrow transplant may be just as good as a full match for treating blood cancers like leukemia and lymphomas, new research shows.

In the first study to compare the gold standard full-match to a half-match transplant using an identical protocol, researchers at the Thomas Jefferson Kimmel Cancer Center have shown three years after transplant approximately 70 percent of the patients in both groups were still alive and cancer free.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

New hope for older Hodgkin lymphoma patients

They lymph node system
throughout the body is part
of the immune system.
CANCER DIGEST – Sept. 27, 2015 – A new engineered antibody drug may offer hope for people over 60 with Hodgkin lymphoma, early results from a clinical trial show.

In the small trial of 27 people averaging 78 years old, with the disease, who were not able or willing to undergo standard chemotherapy, 24 achieved an objective response, meaning the drug halted the progression of the cancer or caused it to go into remission.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Biomarker may predict which HER2-negative breast cancer patients will benefit from targeted therapy

CANCER DIGEST – Sept. 22, 2015 – A new study has demonstrated that brief exposure to a targeted therapy can tell doctors which HER2-negative patients will respond — and which should switch to another kind of treatment.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Pancreatic cancer stem cells could be 'suffocated' by diabetes drug

CANCER DIGEST – Sept. 21, 2015 – A new study shows that pancreatic cancer stem cells (PancSCs) are virtually addicted to oxygen–based metabolism, and could be “suffocated” with a drug already used to treat diabetes. 

Cancer cells commonly rely on glycolysis, a type of metabolism that does not use molecular oxygen to generate energy. PancSCs can make use of an even more efficient form of metabolism, called oxidative phosphorylation or OXPHOS, which occurs in a part of the cell called mitochondria. Metformin blocks PancSCs from using OXPHOS triggering cell death, or apoptosis. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Olive oil and Mediterranean diet may reduce breast cancer risk

CANCER DIGEST – Sept. 14, 2015 – Eating a Mediterranean diet with added extra virgin olive oil was associated with a 68 percent lower risk of breast cancer compared to women who did not follow the diet in a study of women in Spain, according to an article published online by JAMA Internal Medicine.

The Mediterranean diet comes from foods characterized by the traditional cooking style of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. It emphasizes eating primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains,

Thursday, September 10, 2015

New targeted therapy improves lung cancer survival

Image courtesy NCI
CANCER DIGEST – Sept. 10, 2015 – The world’s largest clinical trial comparing two targeted therapies for a form of advanced non-small cell lung cancer has found that a newer medication called afatinib decreased the risk of cancer progression and the risk of death by 19 percent compared to an older therapy called erlotinib. 

The type of non-small cell cancer studied is called squamous cell carcinoma of the lung, and begins in the tissue that lines the air passages in the lungs, most often located in the larger airways that join the lungs to the trachea or windpipe.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Common heart drug linked to longer survival in ovarian cancer

A very large ovarian cancer (in circle) as seen on CT
CANCER DIGEST – Sept. 2, 2015 – A common drug used to lower blood pressure has been linked to longer survival in women who underwent chemotherapy for ovarian cancer.

The study looked at the records of 1,425 women who had previously been treated for ovarian cancer, including 269 who were also taking a beta-blocker during chemotherapy. The study was published in the journal Cancer.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

New blood test may predict breast cancer relapse

Cancer Digest – Aug. 26, 2015 – Scientists have developed a blood test for breast cancer able to identify which patients will suffer a relapse after treatment, months before tumors are visible on hospital scans.

Researchers at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), London, and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust took tumor and blood samples from 55 breast cancer patients with early-stage disease who had received chemotherapy followed by surgery, and who had potentially been cured of their disease.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Drinking coffee may prevent colon cancer recurring after treatment

CANCER DIGEST – Aug. 20, 2015 – Drinking three to four cups of caffeinated coffee a day may help prevent the return of colon cancer after treatment and improve the chances of a cure, according to a new, large study from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, in Boston. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Aspirin may reduce bowel cancer risk for obese people

Two examples of colorectal tumors
– via Wikipedia
CANCER DIGEST – Aug. 17, 2015 – A regular dose of aspirin reduces the long-term risk of cancer in those who are overweight with a family history of the disease, an international study has found.

The large clinical trial is part of an ongoing CAPP 2 study that is being conducted by scientists and clinicians from over 43 centers in 16 countries, and has been following nearly 1,000 patients with Lynch Syndromean inherited genetic disorder which affects genes responsible for detecting and repairing DNA damage. 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Five heads better than two for cancer diagnosis

CANCER DIGEST – Aug. 15, 2015 – If two heads are better than one, can having four or five radiologists read your mammogram increase the accuracy of the diagnosis? A new study of such “collective intelligence” suggests it might.

Currently two physicians typically read mammography screens resulting in about 20 percent of women with cancer diagnosed cancer-free, and another 20 percent without cancer diagnosed as having the disease. 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Shapeshifting marker for cancer cells identified

CANCER DIGEST – Aug. 10, 2015 – In a first of its kind study researchers have identified a genetic biomarker responsible for the progression of many breast and prostate cancers. 

The newly identified biomarker is called diaphanous-related formin-3 or DIAPH3, which participates in a protein interaction that makes cells rigid. The study found that when this biomarker is lost or decreased, cells become flexible or pliable allowing them to squeeze through tissue spaces. Cancer cells with this property can invade normal tissues and adhere to other tissues in the body.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Study shows dramatic shift to prostate cancer treatments that match risk

CANCER DIGEST – July 27, 2015 – In the first study to document updated treatment trends, researchers found that from 2010 to 2013, 40 percent of men with low-risk prostate cancer opted for active surveillance, in which the disease is monitored closely with blood tests, imaging studies and biopsies. Treatment is deferred unless these tests show evidence of progression.

That is much higher than the 10 percent of low-risk prostate cancer patients who pursued active surveillance in the years from 1990 through 2009. Rates for radiation therapy for this low-risk group have also slipped since 1995. The analysis was based on an ongoing study called, Cancer of the Prostate Strategic Urologic Research Endeavor or CaPSURE Registry. The study published in the July 7, 2015 JAMA.

Monday, July 20, 2015

T-cell therapy slows plasma cancer

The micrograph shows abundant
cancerous plasma cells. – by Nephron
via Wikimedia
CANCER DIGEST – July 20, 2015 – Results from a clinical trial testing a new therapy for multiple myeloma  demonstrated a clinical response in 80 percent of patients with advanced disease who had undergone a stem cell transplants. A clinical response indicates a therapeutic effect for the treatment that uses a person's own immune system to recognize and destroy cancer cells.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Blood test for cancer? Maybe

Dr. Diana Bianchi
CANCER DIGEST – July 13, 2015 – Genetic tests for abnormal chromosomes associated with Downs syndrome and other defects in the fetus, may also detect underlying conditions in the mother, including cancer according to a new study. 

The study reports on the accidental findings from a case series of eight women who had abnormal noninvasive prenatal testing results. While their fetuses had normal chromosomes, later genetic analysis showed that the abnormal findings were due to a variety of undiagnosed cancers in the mothers.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Study shows dramatic shift in prostate cancer treatment

CANCER DIGEST – July 8, 2015 – A new analysis of national prostate cancer treatment trends shows that there has been a big shift away from aggressive treatment to watchful waiting and active surveillance for men diagnosed with prostate cancer since the early 1990s.

Watchful waiting avoids aggressive testing and watches for any physical symptoms of progressive disease. It is generally reserved for avoiding treatment altogether for older, sicker patients who will most likely die from something else. Active surveillance uses repeated PSA testing and prostate biopsies to monitor for development of more aggressive disease in younger, healthier patients who might benefit from delaying treatment.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Experimental combination treatment halts rare leukemia

prolymphocyte is a white
blood cell
 – Wikipedia

CANCER DIGEST – June 30, 2015 –An experimental new treatment approach for a rare, deadly leukemia can send the disease into remission even in patients for whom the standard therapy has failed, buying them more time to have the stem cell transplant that could save their lives, a small pilot study has found.

The new approach to battling T-cell prolymphocytic leukemia uses a combination of two drugs already approved for cancer and other therapies, alemtuzumab and cladribine. 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Vitamin D and weight loss linked to reduced inflammation

Lead author Catherine
Duggan, Ph.D
CANCER DIGEST – June 24, 2015 – For the first time, researchers have found that weight loss, in combination with taking vitamin D, has a greater effect on reducing chronic inflammation than weight loss alone. 

Chronic inflammation is known to contribute to the development and progression of several diseases, including some cancers. Led by Catherine Duggan, Ph.D., researchers in the Public Health Sciences Division at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA published their findings online ahead of the July issue of the journal Cancer Prevention Research

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Cancer doctors publish tool to help compare treatment values

CANCER DIGEST – June 23, 2015 – The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) today published an initial version of what it hopes to develop into a standardized tool to help patients and their doctors assess the value of cancer treatment options based on clinical benefit, side effects, and for the first time cost. 

While cancer patients have long been confronted with discussions of complicated treatment options with varying degrees of effectiveness and side effects. Seldom is

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Quality of colonoscopy exam matters

CANCER DIGEST – June 18, 2015 – Patients whose doctors tend to detect more adenomas, or abnormalities in the intestines had a 50 to 60 percent lower lifetime risk of dying of colorectal cancer, a new analysis shows.

The researchers led by Reinier G.S. Meester, M.Sc., of Erasmus Medical Center University Rotterdam, the Netherlands analyzed data from 57,000 patients in the Kaiser Permanente health system who underwent colonoscopies administered by 136 different gastrointestinal specialists. The study was published in the June 16 Journal of the American Medical Association.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Study shows how aspirin might halt breast cancer recurrence

Dr. Sushanta Banerjee (seated) is seen 
with his research team (from left): 
Samdipto Sarkar, Dr. Snigdha Banerjee, 
Dr. Amlan Das, Archana De, and Dr. 
Gargi Maity. photo by: Tony F. Barnett
CANCER DIGEST – June 13, 2015 – Aspirin may block or slow breast cancer, a laboratory study shows. The Veterans Affairs researchers in Kansas City, MO, have shown that acetylsalicylic acid, commonly known as aspirin, dramatically increased the rate of death of cancer cells in a petri dish and in mice.

While it has been shown to be effective for a host of ailments, including colon, gastrointestinal and prostate cancers, the new study shows how it might also be effective in stopping or slowing the growth of breast cancer by changing the microenvironment of the cancer. The study was published in the April 13, 2015 issue of Laboratory Investigation.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Yogurt bacteria developed into urine test for liver tumors

CANCER DIGEST – June 10, 2015 – Researchers have found a new use for bacteria, identifying liver tumors much earlier so treatment can be more effective.

Researchers have long been pursuing the use of bacteria to develop anti-cancer vaccines, engineering bacteria to specifically target and kill cancer cells. Now researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and University of California at San Diego have engineered a strain of the E. coli

Friday, June 5, 2015

Melanoma rates double over past 30 years

CANCER DIGEST – June 5, 2015 – Melanoma rates doubled between 1982 and 2011 but comprehensive skin cancer prevention programs could prevent 20 percent of new cases between 2020 and 2030, according to a Centers for Disease Control report.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

First large clinical trial shows benefit for melanoma
CANCER DIGEST – May 26, 2015 – For the first time a large clinical trial comparing a viral immunotherapy to a standard treatment has definitively shown to increase cancer-free survival for patients with cancer.

Led by British researchers at the Institute of Cancer Research, London, 436 patients at 64 centers worldwide with aggressive, inoperable malignant melanoma

Friday, May 22, 2015

Imaging technique identifies early metastasis in lymph nodes

Upper left: A sPA signal cannot
be obtained if the gold nano-
particles have no targeting anti-
body -- and thus cannot be
captured by metastatic cells
(drawing bottom left).
Upper right: A strong sPA signal
is obtained from gold nanoparticles
with a targeting antibody that are
captured by the metastatic cells
(drawing bottom right).2
CANCER DIGEST – May 22, 2015 – Researchers at the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Engineering have developed a highly sensitive and accurate imaging technique for visualizing cancer cells in the lymph nodes. 

The non-invasive screening method could one day reduce the need for the current practice of surgically removing lymph nodes to determine whether metastatic cancer cells have invaded the lymph nodes. 

The new imaging technique – so far tested only in mice – offers a rapid and effective tool to non-invasively identify very small numbers of these cells, known as micrometastases, thus detecting cancer’s spread at its earliest stages, which is critical for timely treatment. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Chemo before surgery shortened hospital stay for advanced ovarian cancer

CANCER DIGEST – May 20, 2015 – Women with advanced ovarian cancer have fewer side effects and tend to have a better quality of life if given chemotherapy before surgery, according to a Cancer Research UK study published today in The Lancet.

The CHORUS trial, conducted at the Medical Research Council Clinical Trials Unit at University College London, challenged the international standard for treating advanced ovarian cancer.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

A type of vitamin B3 cuts risk of recurring non-melanoma skin cancers

CANCER DIGEST – May 14, 2015 – Taking a form of vitamin B3 called nicotinamide twice a day reduced the rates of new skin cancers in people who had previously been treated for non-melanoma skin by 23 percent, a new study shows.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Drug combination extends survival in advanced colorectal cancer

CANCER DIGEST – May 13, 2015 – A drug developed 50 years ago and abandoned because it was considered to be too toxic, extended survival for colorectal cancer patients whose standard treatments were no longer working. 

Scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston led the clinical trial involving 800 patients worldwide. Results showed the drug in combination with another agent lengthened the lives of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer by an average of almost two months. All participants had metastatic colorectal cancer that was progressing despite previous treatment.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Compliance and follow-up boosts head and neck cancer survival

CANCER DIGEST – May 8, 2015 – Treatment compliance and post-treatment follow up care makes a big difference in five-year survival of people with a form of head and neck cancer, a new study shows.

Researchers led by Michael W. Deutschmann, MD of the University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, followed 332 patients for an average of 45 months after treatment for head and neck squamous cell cancer. The five-year survival rate for this cancer is a little above 50 percent.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Diet swap has dramatic effects on colon cancer risk

CANCER DIGEST – May 5, 2015 – The relationship between dietary fiber and colorectal cancer has been confirmed in many research studies, however a new study suggests the role of fiber in preventing cancer may be even greater than had been thought.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Toxic mushroom may offer new cancer therapy

CANCER DIGEST – April 22, 2015 – For some time cancer scientists have considered the toxin found in “death cap” mushrooms, called alpha-amanatin, as a possible colorectal cancer treatment. While it has been shown to kill cancer cells, its drawback has been the unacceptable damage it causes to the liver.

In a study published April 22, 2015 in the journal Nature, researchers led by Xiongbin Lu, PhD at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center may have found a way to limit the liver toxicity of alpha-amanatin.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

New blood test can predict future breast cancer

CANCER DIGEST – April 17, 2015 – It sounds like something out of Dr. McCoy’s physician’s bag on Star Trek, a simple test that can tell whether a patient would likely develop cancer within the next five years, but that’s what Dutch scientists say they have developed.

By analysing a simple blood sample, scientists from the University of Copenhagen have succeeded in predicting if a woman will get breast cancer within two to five years. The method – a metabolic blood profile – is still in the early stages but over time the scientists expect it could be used to predict breast cancer and more generally to predict chronic disease.

Circulating tumor DNA can be used to tailor treatment

CANCER DIGEST – April 17, 2015 – Cancer DNA circulating in the bloodstream of lung cancer patients can provide doctors with vital mutation information that can help optimize treatment when tumor tissue is not available, an international group of researchers has reported at the European Lung Cancer Conference (ELCC) in Geneva, Switzerland.

The results have important implications for the use of cancer therapies that target specific cancer mutations, explains Dr Martin Reck from the Department of Thoracic Oncology at Lung Clinic Grosshansdorf, Germany, who presented the findings at the conference.

Monday, April 13, 2015

HPV vaccine for boys could prevent oral cancer, save money

Imagae: courtesy CDC
CANCER DIGEST – April 13, 2015 – The vaccine that prevents cervical cancer in girls may save healthcare dollars if comprehensive vaccination of boys were implemented to prevent oral cancers in boys.

A new study suggests that vaccinating 12-year-old boys against the humanpapilloma virus (HPV) may be a cost-effective strategy for preventing oropharyngeal squamous cell cancer, a cancer that starts at the back of the throat and mouth, and involves the tonsils and base of the tongue.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Tumor DNA in blood predicts recurrence of lymphoma

CANCER DIGEST – April 9, 2015 – Patients who have had the most common form of lymphoma might learn if their cancer has returned earlier with a blood test, researchers say.

In a study that followed 126 patients who achieved complete remission of their diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) for many years, researchers found that measuring blood levels of the tumor’s DNA enabled detection of microscopic disease before it could be seen on computerized tomography CT scans.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Cheap, fast test improves on PSA

Dr. Qun "Treen" Huo 
CANCER DIGEST – April 5, 2015 – A test that costs less than a dollar and yields results in minutes has been shown to be more sensitive and more exact than the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test for early-stage prostate cancer.

The test detects the immune response using gold nanoparticles about 10,000 times smaller than a freckle. It was developed by a research team led by Dr. Qun “Treen” Huo, of the University of Central Florida.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Men’s midlife fitness linked to lower risk of cancer and death

CANCER DIGEST – Mar. 26, 2015 – Men who exercise and stay fit, especially in midlife, could be lowering their risk of lung cancer and colorectal cancer, but not prostate cancer, researchers say. Before you say two out of three isn’t bad, there's better news. While fitness didn’t protect against getting prostate cancer, fit men appear to be less likely to die of the disease.

Led by Dr. Susan Lakoski of the University of Vermont, Burlington, the researchers looked at Medicare data from 1999 to 2009 for a link between midlife cardiorespiratory fitness and cancer and survival following a cancer diagnosis at the Medicare age of 65 or older. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Delayed radiation after prostate removal provides no benefit

CANCER DIGEST – Mar. 23, 2015 – Delaying radiation therapy after surgery to remove the prostate for men with aggressive prostate cancer adds no protective benefit and may increase the risk of gastrointestinal complications, a new study shows.

There has long been a debate among physicians about the best way to follow prostate cancer surgery with radiation therapy. Many believed that delaying the radiation therapy reduced the risk of complications including intestinal and urinary incontinence and loss of erectile function. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Lethal type of prostate cancer identified

CANCER DIGEST – March 17, 2015 – Researchers have identified a subtype of prostate cancer with specific genetic mutations that result in recurrent cancer, and ultimately leads to death.

The researchers at the University of Colorado Cancer Center analyzed tumor samples from publicly available databases and found that MAP3K7-CHD1 loss was a major genetic marker of cancers that

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Very low breast density linked with lower survival in women with breast cancer

CANCER DIGEST – March 13, 2015 – Women with breast cancer whose breasts have very low density have a higher risk of dying from the disease than women with high breast density, a new Finnish study shows.

Dense breast tissue has long been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer, and it is difficult to detect small tumors when screening dense breasts. This results in a higher occurrence of clinically detectable cancers. Breast density is matter of the amount of glandular tissue present compared to fat tissue.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Vegetarian diet may protect against colorectal cancer

CANCER DIGEST – March 9, 2015 – Going vegetarian has been a growing trend over the last few decades for a variety of reasons. If you are looking at the pros and cons of eschewing chewy protein, a new study suggests you can add lower risk of colorectal cancers to the pro side of the list, according to a study in the Mar. 9, 2015 JAMA Internal Medicine.

The dietary patterns of 77,659 Seventh-Day Adventist men and women were analyzed over a 5-month period from June 2014 and October 2014. An estimated 35 percent of Adventists practice vegetarianism, according to a 2002 worldwide survey of local church leaders. The researchers led by Dr. Michael Orlich, of the School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, California, categorized four vegetarian diets, including vegan, (no animal consumption),

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Genetics reveals deceptively 'normal' looking prostate cells

Prostate cellimage courtesy
Cancer Research UK
CANCER DIGEST – Mar. 3, 2015 – Researchers in Britain have found that normal looking prostate cells often harbor genetic mutations that can develop into cancer. The finding may prompt new ways to treat the disease.

Prostate cancer is often made up of many small tumors with different genetic fingerprints, and it is still unclear what causes these different tumors to develop in the prostate at the same time. But this new research sheds new light on how that happens.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Adding local anesthesia can cut risk of chronic pain after mastectomy

CANCER DIGEST – Feb. 25, 2015 – Up to 60 per cent of women may experience chronic pain three months after they've had a mastectomy for breast cancer, and at least half of those will still suffer from this pain one year later.

Unlike the soreness and aching associated with conventional pain, which may also affect these patients, neuropathic pain also affects sensation. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

New oral drug shows promise for advanced breast cancer

Click to view YouTube explanation of palbociclib
CANCER DIGEST – Feb. 23, 2015 –Women diagnosed with advanced breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body achieved longer progression-free survival after treatment with a new oral drug, called palbociclib.

The new drug was recently approved by the FDA for metastatic breast cancer patients just beginning to undergo hormone therapy after an initial phase I clinical trial conducted by researchers in the Abramson Cancer Center and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.