Friday, 2 December 2016

Cancer survivors at increased risk of severe heart attack

A new study conducted at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota indicates that cancer survivors are at increased risk of suffering a severe heart attack.  According to cardiologist and study senior author Dr. Joerg Herrmann, the study, conducted on 2,300 heart attack patients found that 10% were cancer survivors.  While not all of these heart attacks were fatal, a correlation was indicated, as "patients with a history of cancer were more likely to arrive at the hospital with cardiogenic shock, where the heart suddenly can't pump enough blood,"

To read more about this study, click here.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

In utero exposure to radiation and haematological malignancies: pooled analysis of Southern Urals cohort

The results of a study led by researchers from the IARC Section of Environment and Radiation analysing in utero exposure to low-dose ionizing radiation in the Southern Urals, Russian Federation, and its link to the lifetime risk of haematological malignancies have been published in the British Journal of Cancer.

The study is based on cohorts in the Southern Urals of people exposed in utero to ionizing radiation, because their mothers either worked at a large nuclear facility or lived in areas along the Techa River contaminated by nuclear accidents and nuclear waste dumping.

Study mentioned:
Schuz J, Deltour I, Krestinina LY, Tsareva YV, Tolstykh EI, Sokolnikov ME, Akleyev AV
In utero exposure to radiation and haematological malignancies: pooled analysis of Southern Urals cohort
Br J Cancer, Published online 17 November 2016;

Device uses cancer cells' mass to predict response to treatment

The presence of specific genetic mutations in a tumor may help predict whether the patient is likely to respond to treatment with a particular therapy. Some researchers are trying to pinpoint these genetic mutations for diverse cancer types and to develop tests that can reliably identify them. Some have designed a device that can detect minuscule changes in cell mass and may allow researchers to predict how cancer cells will respond to drug treatment. Such a device could potentially help clinicians determine personalized treatment regimens for individual patients, the study authors believe.

Using cancer cells from patients and mice, the researchers showed that the device, which measures changes in the mass of single cells, correctly predicted whether the cells were sensitive or resistant to a particular drug.

The results of the study, which was funded in part by NCI's Innovative Molecular Analysis Technologies (IMAT) program, appeared in Nature Biotechnology on October 10.

See the study:
Drug sensitivity of single cancer cells is predicted by changes in mass accumulation rate.
Stevens MM, Maire CL, Chou N, Murakami MA, Knoff DS, Kikuchi Y, Kimmerling RJ, Liu H, Haidar S, Calistri NL, Cermak N, Olcum S, Cordero NA, Idbaih A, Wen PY, Weinstock DM, Ligon KL, Manalis SR.
Nat Biotechnol. 2016 Nov;34(11):1161-1167. doi: 10.1038/nbt.3697.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Alcohol may increase prostate cancer risk

A new joint study conducted by Canadian and Australian scientists indicates that there is a considerable association between consumption of alcohol and an increased risk of prostate cancer.  According to the researchers, "even low levels of drinking [up to 2 drinks a day] were associated with an 8-23% higher risk of prostate cancer, compared to no drinking."

For more information on this study, click here.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Low vitamin D levels could raise risk of bladder cancer

A new study conducted at the University of Warwick in England indicates that low levels of vitamin D could increase the risk of bladder cancer.  According to lead author Rosemary Bland, honorary associate professor at the University of Warwick, findings, recently presented at the annual meeting of the Society of Endocrinology in Brighton, England purports that "low levels of vitamin D in the blood may prevent the cells within the bladder from stimulating an adequate response to abnormal cells."

To read more about this study, click here.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Gene test may identify chemotherapy patients at risk of blood clots

New research conducted in Sweden indicates that genetic testing may help identify breast cancer patients at risk of developing venous thromboembolism while undergoing chemotherapy.  According to study author Judith Brand, postdoctoral researcher in the department of medical epidemiology and biostatistics at Karolinska Institute in Sweden, the study, conducted on 4,2000 Swedish women with breast cancer showed that "the one-year rate of venous thromboembolism was 9.5% among those reeving chemotherapy and high genetic risk, compared to 1.3% of did not receive chemotherapy and who had a low genetic risk.

To read more about this study, click here.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

FDA submission completed for Niraparib in ovarian cancer

A new drug application (NDA) to the FDA has been completed for niraparib as a maintenance treatment for women with recurrent platinum-sensitive ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer, according to the company developing the PARP1/2 inhibitor, Tesaro.

The NDA is based on the phase III NOVA trial, in which niraparib reduced the risk of progression or death by 73% compared with placebo for patients with germline BRCA-positive platinum-sensitive, recurrent ovarian cancer.

Read more here.


Mirza MR, Monk BJ, Oza A, et al. A randomized, double-blind phase 3 trial of maintenance therapy with niraparib vs placebo in patients with platinum-sensitive recurrent ovarian cancer (ENGOT-OV16/NOVA trial). Presented at: 2016 ESMO Congress; October 7-11, 2016; Copenhagen, Denmark. Abstract LBA3_PR.
Mirza MR, Monk B, Herrstedt J, et al. Niraparib maintenance therapy in platinum-sensitive recurrent ovarian cancer [published online October 8, 2016]. N Engl J Med. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1611310.

Monday, 31 October 2016

Colon cancer's location may determine patient survival

A new report indicates that the area of the colon where cancer develops can affect a patient's rate of survival.  According to Dr. David Bernstein, chief of hepatology at Northwell Health, left-sided cancers (located near the anus, rectum, sigmoid colon and descending colon), "usually present with bleeding or partial obstruction [and] patients tend to seek medical care earlier."  On the other hand, right-sided colon cancers (near the intersection of the small intestine), "do not typically present with obstruction but tend to present with anemia [and] are more likely associated with metastatic disease, especially the liver."  As such, the survival rate is estimated to be 20% greater with left-sided vs. right-sided colon cancers.

To read more about this report, click here.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Immune checkpoint-related neurotoxicity may be more common during combination treatment

Neurotoxicity is not uncommon in patients with melanoma treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors such as nivolumab and pembrolizumab, but it may be more common in patients treated with nivolumab plus a CTLA-4-blocking antibody such as ipilimumab, a study published in the journal Annals of Oncology has shown.

Read more here.

Study mentioned:

Spain L, Walls G, Julve M, et al. Neurotoxicity from immune-checkpoint inhibition in the treatment of melanoma: a single centre experience and review of the literature. Ann Oncol. 2016 Oct 25. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdw558.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Monitoring, not treatment may be better for certain prostate cancer cases

A new study conducted on 33,000 Swedish men with very low risk (stage I) prostate cancer indicates that close monitoring maybe a more viable option than immediate treatment.  According to lead researcher Dr. Stacy Loeb, assistant professor in the departments of urology and population health at NYU Langone Perlmutter Cancer Center in New York, "there is no rush to get treatment...low-risk prostate cancer can be safely monitored...some men will eventually need treatment, but others will be able to preserve their quality of life for many years."

To read more about this study, click here.