Wednesday, 24 August 2016

CA-125 testing, CT scans still used for ovarian cancer surveillance despite lack of proven benefit


Despite evidence of no benefit from a 2009 randomized clinical trial, a new study shows that doctors appear to still routinely use the CA-125 blood test to monitor women for recurrent ovarian cancer. The findings, published July 21 in JAMA Oncology, also suggest that computed tomography (CT) scans continue to be routinely used to check for recurrences even though clinical practice guidelines discourage this practice.

Read the full update here.

Study mentioned:
Esselen KM, Cronin AM, Bixel K, et al. Use of CA-125 Tests and Computed Tomographic Scans for Surveillance in Ovarian Cancer. JAMA Oncol. Published online July 21, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2016.1842.


Changes needed to boost end-of-life care in Canada: doctors

Canada needs to broaden its approach to palliative care to provide support to patients with serious chronic illnesses, not just those with cancer, suggests a group of doctors who deal with end-of-life care.

The Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians has fewer than 500 members across the country, far below the number of practitioners in such specialities as cardiology or oncology, although some primary-care doctors also provide end-of-life care for their patients.

Read this from CBC Health.

Number and seriousness of side-effects in breast cancer patients influenced by expectations

A new study published in Annals of Oncology indicates that women afflicted with breast cancer experience worse side-effects following adjuvant hormone therapy due higher expectations of suffering.  According to the research team, led by professor Yvonne Nestoriuc of the Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy at the University Medical Centre in Hamburg, Germany, women with breast cancer may cease adjuvant hormone treatment due to side-effects or a lower health-related quality of life. Nestoriuc and her team belief that "if expectations can predict the risk of experiencing side effects, then interventions such as counselling could lower the risk and, therefore, improve adherence to medication."

To read more about this study, click here

Friday, 19 August 2016

Two genes may help predict breast cancer survival

A new study conducted at the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) in London indicates that 2 genes may help predict breast cancer survival and guide treatment.  According to lead ICR researcher Paul Huang, study results from almost 2,000 HER-2 positive breast cancer patients found that patients "whose tumors had high activity in a gene called F12, but low activity in a gene called STC2, were three times more likely to die within 10 years."

To read more about this study, click here.

FDA approves extended-release Granisetron injection for the prevention of CINV

Heron Therapeutics, Inc. announced on 10 August 2016 that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved extended-release granisetron injection (SUSTOL®), a serotonin-3 (5-HT3) receptor antagonist indicated in combination with other antiemetics in adults for the prevention of acute and delayed nausea and vomiting associated with initial and repeat courses of moderately emetogenic chemotherapy or anthracycline and cyclophosphamide (AC) combination chemotherapy regimens.

Read more here.

CAR T cell therapy for diffuse large B cell lymphoma included in EMA’s priority medicines scheme

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has released, on 1 June 2016, the outcome of the assessment of the first batch of applications received from medicine developers for its PRIME (PRIority MEdicines) scheme, a new initiative that aims to foster research on and development of medicines that have the potential to address an unmet medical need.

The names of the four active substances that will benefit from PRIME support are also released. The first four PRIME candidates are: Biogen’s aducanumab, a beta-amyloid targeting antibody for Alzheimer disease; Kite Pharma’s KTE-C19, a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy for diffuse large B cell lymphoma; ChemoCentryx’s CCX168, a C5a receptor inhibitor for ANCA-associated vasculitis; and Novoimmune’s NI-0501, an interferon-γ antibody for the rare autoimmune disease haemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis.

Read more here.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Overdiagnosis is a major driver of the thyroid cancer epidemic

18 August 2016 – A new report by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in collaboration with the Aviano National Cancer Institute in Italy shows that the growing epidemic of thyroid cancer reported in recent decades in several high-income countries is largely due to overdiagnosis (i.e. the diagnosis of tumours that are very unlikely to cause symptoms or death during a person’s lifetime).

The article, published today in The New England Journal of Medicine, used high-quality cancer registry data from IARC’s reference publication Cancer Incidence in Five Continents to estimate the number of overdiagnosed cases of thyroid cancer in 12 countries (Australia, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Norway, Republic of Korea, Scotland, Sweden, and the USA).

Full report is here.

Study mentioned:
Worldwide Thyroid-Cancer Epidemic? The Increasing Impact of Overdiagnosis

Women's cancer risk rises with years spent overweight

Results from the Women's Health Initiative, a study that followed U.S. women between 50-79 years old, indicates that length of overweight status is associated with a higher risk of developing cancer.  According to the American Cancer Society, "excess weight contributes to as many as 20% of all cancer deaths",with odds rising 10% for every 10 years of obese status.

To read more about this study, click here.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

New trial alert: living donor liver transplantation for unresectable colorectal cancer liver metastases

A new trial sponsored by the University Health Network in Toronto is presently recruiting patients to assess the combination of neo-adjuvant chemotherapy together with living donor liver transplantation for non-resectable liver metastases from colorectal cancer. Inclusion criteria includes biopsy proven colorectal liver metastases, availability of an acceptable ABO-compatible living donor, and a colorectal cancer tumour progression less than stage 3.

To read more about this trial, click here.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Nanoparticle delivers cancer drugs to tumor blood vessels

Blood vessels in some tumors naturally express P-selectin on their surfaces, providing a target for nanoparticles. In the study, a research team led by Daniel Heller, Ph.D., of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, engineered drug-carrying nanoparticles made of a sugar-based compound called fucoidan, which is derived from algae and binds to P-selectin.

Read more from National Cancer Institute Cancer Currents Blog.