Monday, May 28, 2018

FDA-approved drug for blood cancer holds promise for aggressive breast cancer

CANCER DIGEST – May 28, 2018 – An already FDA- approved drug for the treatment of certain blood cancers, could significantly inhibit the growth of triple-negative breast cancers, and also treat tumors resistant to chemotherapy.

The drug called decitabine is used to treat myelodysplastic syndrome, a type of cancer that produces abnormal blood forming cells in bone marrow.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

New regimen could cut cost of breast cancer treatment in half

Herceptin has been shown to prolong survival in about 12
percent of women whose breast cancer is positive for the
gene HER2 and has not spread to other parts of the body.
Image courtesy Roche Pharmaceuticals
CANCER DIGEST – May 19, 2018 – A new study shows that treatment with half as much of an expensive breast cancer drug is just as effective as the current treatment regimen.

The study of 4,088 women with HER2-positive, early stage breast cancer showed that 89.4% of women treated for just 6 months with the expensive drug trastuzumab (Herceptin) remained disease free compared to 89.9% of the women treated for 12 months with the drug. The difference is not trivial with a drug that costs about $54,000 per month.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Could fasting help people treated for gastrointestinal cancer?

Intestinal stem cells from mice that fasted for 24 hours,
at right, produced much more substantial intestinal
organoids than stem cells from mice that did not fast,
at left. Photo courtesy MIT taken by 
Maria Mihaylova
and Chia-Wei Cheng
CANCER DIGEST – May 12, 2018 – In a study in mice, researchers at MIT in Boston have found that fasting caused stem cells in the animals become more regenerative. The researchers also found that they could boost regeneration with a molecule that activates the same metabolic switch.

The study published in the May 3, 2018 issue of the journal Cell Stem Cell, showed that fasting causes cells in the intestine to switch from their usual metabolism, which burns carbohydrates such as sugars, to metabolizing fatty acids. This switch occurs through activation of genetic switches called transcription factors.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Osteoprosis drug may be effective for aggressive breast cancer

CANCER DIGEST – May 5, 2018 – A common drug used to treat osteoporosis may be key to halting the most aggressive form of breast cancer, researchers say.

The drug zoledronic acid (Zometa®) is used to treat high blood calcium levels (hypercalcemia) that may occur with cancer. It is used in combination with chemotherapy for cancers of the breast and lung that have spread to bones.