Wednesday, 18 April 2018

New drugs may help boost survival for lung cancer patients

2 new studies indicate that immunotherapy drugs, namely Keytruda (pembrolizumab), Opdivo (nivolumab), and Yervoy (ipilimumab) may increase survival rates for patients with lung cancer.  Results showed that Keytruda togetehr with chemotherapy lessened a patients change of dying within 11 months by more than 50% compared to chemotherapy treatment alone, while Opdivo and Yervoy saw a 42% less likely death rate.  According to the authors of the studies, the findings "offer an encouraging note in an effort to improve the odds against what is the leading cause of cancer-related death."

To read more about this study, click here

Blood pressure medication tied to pancreatic cancer risk in women

New research indicates that some drugs prescribed to treat high blood pressure, namely calcium channel blockers (CCB) lead to an increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer in women.  According to study lead author Zhensheng Wang, "the short-acting CCBs were the only blood pressure drugs linked to higher pancreatic cancer risk."  Despite these findings, the research suggests that the absolute risk of developing pancreatic cancer after taking CCBs remains very low, about 1.6%.

To read more about this study, click here.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Belly fat tied to lower kidney cancer survival odds in women

A new study conducted at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has found that belly fat reduces survival rate for women after being diagnosed with kidney cancer.  However, the same correlation could not be found in men. 

According to study senior author Dr. Joseph Ippolito, "a tumor growing in a man's body is in a different environment than one growing inside a women, so it's not surprising that the cancers behave differently between the sexes."

To read more about this study, click here.

New trial alert: re-setting the breast microbiome to lower inflammation and risk of cancer

A new trial taking place at St. Joseph's Hospital in London, Ontario is currently recruiting patients to trial introducing RepHresh Pro-B, a probiotic natural health product to lower inflammation and risk of cancer.  Women at high risk of developing breast cancer over the course of their lifetime who have not yet been diagnosed with the disease are eligible.  According to the principle investigators, the goal of the trial is to "test [the] theory that taking probiotic lactobacilli by mouth can lead to these organisms reaching the breast tissue and help...reduce inflammation which has close links to cancer."

To read more about this trial, click here

Friday, 6 April 2018

NIH completes in-depth genomic analysis of 33 cancer types

Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health have completed a detailed genomic analysis, known as the PanCancer Atlas, on a data set of molecular and clinical information from over 10,000 tumors representing 33 types of cancer. The PanCancer Atlas, published as a collection of 27 papers across a suite of Cell journals, sums up the work accomplished by The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) – a multi-institution collaboration initiated and supported by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), both part of NIH. The program, with over $300 million in total funding, involved upwards of 150 researchers at more than two dozen institutions across North America.

To read more about this study, click here.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Cancer immunotherapy drug simultaneously targets two proteins that block immune response

Two groups of researchers, working independently, have developed a type of drug that simultaneously targets two proteins involved in suppressing the body’s immune response against tumors to try to develop more effective immunotherapies. A growing number of patients with cancer have benefited from drugs that help the immune system fight cancer, such as immune checkpoint inhibitors. But most patients with cancers do not respond to these treatments.

To read more about this study, click here

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Light breakfast may cut cost of prostate cancer drug

Researchers at the University of Chicago have unveiled a new study indicating that taking the prostate cancer drug Zytiga together with a low-fat breakfast boosts the efficiency of the medication.  While Zytiga is typically prescribed as a 250mg pill, 4 of which are taken an hour before breakfast, the new study, led by Dr. Russell Szmulewitz, a prostate cancer specialist at the University of Chicago has found that patients "taking one-fourth of the recommended dose with a low-fast breakfast...was just as effective.  This, in term has cut drug costs by 75%.

To read more about this study, click here

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Higher risk of heart failure seen in some cancers

The results of a new study show that some people who have been treated for breast cancer or lymphoma have a higher risk of developing congestive heart failure than people who haven't had cancer. The study researchers retrospectively compared heart failure rates in people who were diagnosed with breast cancer or lymphoma with those in people who did not have cancer.

To read more about the study, click here

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Task force issues stronger skin cancer prevention guidelines

A new, revised recommendation issued by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force suggests that skin cancer advice from physicians to patients should begin earlier, particularly for patients that are light-skinned.  The new guidelines recommend beginning consultations at 6 months, since "children and teens who are exposed to the sun's harmful ultraviolet radiation are at greater risk for developing skin cancer in adulthood."

To read more about these new guidelines, click here

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Study finds shared decision making still lacking in prostate cancer screening

A new study finds many men receiving prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing do so without a comprehensive shared decision making process, contrary to current guidelines. In the Annals of Family Medicine a study conducted by the American Cancer Institute finds that in both 2010 and 2015 about 6 in 10 men who reported recent PSA testing said they had received at least one component of shared decision making. Meanwhile, only 1 in 10 with no PSA test reported receiving any component of shared decision making in both 2010 and 2015.


To read more about this study, click here.

Friday, 9 March 2018

Testing an interactive approach to promote exercise in young cancer survivors

A study at the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital created an interactive website designed to promote physical activity among children and adolescents who have completed treatment for cancer. According to preliminary results from a pilot study, the website may indeed help encourage them to get regularly exercise.

To read more about this study, click here.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Breast cancer radiation not as fearful as previously thought

New research conduced on more than 300 women undergoing radiation therapy for breast cancer has found that this treatment procedure may not be as unnerving and fear-inducing as originally thought, alleviating common misconceptions.  According to Dr. Beryl McCormick, radiation oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, "47% [of patients] said that before treatment, they'd read or heard scary stories about the effects of breast radiation."  However, when these patients were asked in hindsight to reflect back on their treatment experience, "84% said their side effects had been less serious than expected."

To read more about this study, click here.


Friday, 23 February 2018

Newer Breast MRI may be more accurate and faster

Research conducted out of Germany suggests that a new MRI technique without use of a contrast agent may more accurately detect cancer vs. harmless lesions.  According to lead researcher Dr. Sebastian Bickelhaupt, head of teh Breast Imaging Research Group at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg, the new MRI "maps the movement of water molecules in the tissue.  If a malignant tumor grows in the tissue, it disrupts the healthy tissue structure, which changes the movement of water molecules in this area."  According to the study, this new technique detected 98% of breast cancers accurately, reducing false-positive findings by 70%.

To read more about this study, click here.

Study mentioned

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Cancer-causing HPV can reside in throat

Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York claim that the HPV "virus could be present in people's throats without people aware that they're carriers."  While it is believed that only 5% of individuals with HPV will develop cancer of the mouth or throat, the researchers do expect that cases of head and neck cancer will outnumber cervical cancer cases by 2020.  Thus, according to study author Dr. Matthew Miller, the findings observed at Rochester "could have far-reaching implications for identifying people at risk of developing HPV-related head and neck cancers and ultimately preventing them."

To read more about this study, click here.

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Cancer survival rates vary across the world

A new study published in the January 30 issue of The Lancet shows that while cancer survival rates are, in general, improving worldwide, diversity continues to exist between wealthy and poor countries.  Conducted from 2000-2014, the study assessed "five-year cancer survival rates among 37.5 million children and adults diagnosed with one of 18 common cancers." from 71 countries and territories.  Of significant note is the 5-year survival rate of breast cancer, brain tumour, and lung cancer; breast cancer survival has risen to 90% in the USA and Australia vs. 66% in India; brain tumour survival in children is listed as 80% in Denmark and Sweden, but less than 40% in Mexico and Brazil; lung cancer survival rates have risen from 7%-13% in the United Kingdom, with significant increases in China (from 8%-20%), Japan (23%-33%) and Korea (10%-25%).

To read more about this study, click here.

Friday, 26 January 2018

New treatments for lung cancer

A new report authored by a team at the Yale Cancer Center presents a synopsis of lung cancer treatments over the past 20 years.  According to co-lead author Dr. Roy Herbst, chief of medical oncology at Yale Cancer Center, "options for treatments have improved in recent years with the advent of two classes of drugs - molecularly targeted therapies, and more recently, immunotherapies."

To read more about this report, click here.

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Blood test could detect cancer in early stages

Scientists at Johns Hopkins University are currently testing a blood test purported to detected several cancers, including ovary, liver, stomach, pancreas, oesophagus, colorectal, lung, and breast, at early stages.  Known as liquid biopsies, the tests "look for DNA and other things that tumours she into blood, to try to find cancer before it spreads, when chances of cure are best."  While the test is not ready for use yet, it is seen as a significant step towards early detection of cancer before tumours can spread.

To read more about this blood test, click here.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

BRCA breast cancer gene doesn't affect patient survival

A new study conducted by the NHS Foundation Trust in England indicates that there is no distinction in survival rates between young breast cancer patients with a BRCA gene mutation and those without.  The study was conducted on more than 2,700 women in the United Kingdom between 18-40 years old, with a first-time breast cancer diagnosis.  12% of the women studied had a BRCA mutation, however lead researcher Diana Eccles stated that findings showed "survival rates after 2 years were 97% for women with a BRCA mutation and 96.6% for those without the mutation."

To read more about this study, click here.

Monday, 8 January 2018

Medicinal cream may aid in recurrence of skin cancer

A study conducted at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island on 930 U.S. veterans, with an average age of 70, indicates that a generic cream known as 5-FU  can reduce recurrence of skin cancer.  According to study results, "just a month's application of 5-FU (fluorouracil 5%) appeared to have a lasting impact in preventing a recurrence - even after use of the cream was stopped." Despite these findings, many dermatologists caution against the side effects associated with 5-FU, including redness, scaling, irritation and plain, which affects ~ 40% of those applying the medicinal cream.

To read more about this study, click here.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Clinical trial alert: comparison of endoscopic visualization and CT imaging of head and neck cancers with pathological validation

A new clinical trial, sponsored by the University Health Network in Toronto, discusses endoscopy as a new method of optimal imaging for radiation therapy in head and neck cancer patients. This method is particular important, as "radiation needs to cover the entire tumour while minimizing the amount of normal tissue that is exposed to radiation.

To read more about this trial, click here.

Friday, 22 December 2017

Blog posts will resume in January 2018 - Happy Holidays

To all Grey Horizon readers:

Thank you for supporting our blog these past 5 years.  Postings will resume in January 2018.

Thank you and Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Electric cap device offers hope to glioblastoma patients

A recent CTV news report introduced an electric cap-like device for patients with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer with a 5-year survival rate of only 5%.  Known as Optune, the device, which is worn by patients 18 hours per day, "emits a low-intensity electromagnetic field to stop or slow cancer cells from dividing."  Regular use of the device has increased life expectancy by 4 months, however it has also increased the survival rate after 5 years to 13%.

To read more about this news story, click here.

Cancer survivors often age prematurely

Mayo Clinic researchers have recently conducted a study indicating that cancer survivors are often susceptible to premature aging following treatment.  Long-term health problems include "hormone and gland disorders, heart problems, brittle bones, lung scarring, and new cancers."

To read more about this study, click here.

Monday, 18 December 2017

New cancer drug shows promise against wide range of tumors

A preliminary trial, conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital is showing promise against many different tumor types.  Known as ulixertinib, the drug was administered to 135 cancer patients who had failed treatments for a variety of advanced, solid tumors.  According to the trial, ulixertinib "inhibits the MAPK/ERK pathway...a chain of proteins in the cell that communicates a signal from a receptor on the surface of the cell to the DNA in the nucleus of the cell."

To read more about this trial, click here

Friday, 15 December 2017

Prior cancers common in patients newly diagnosed with cancer

A new study conducted at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas indicates that between 2009 and 2013, nearly 20% of patients newly diagnosed with cancer had a previous history of cancer diagnosis.  According to lead author Dr. Caitlyn Murphy, "some types of second primary cancer - such as leukemia - can be related to chemotherapy or radiation therapy used to treat a prior cancer", necessitating that clinicians be aware of these possible links when caring for cancer survivors.

To read more about this study, click here.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

New trial alert: Ipatasertib in combination with Paclitaxel as a treatment for patients with PIK3CA/AKT1/PTEN-altered, locally advanced or metastatic, triple-negative breast cancer

A new clinical trial, being conducted at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, is seeking to evaluate the efficiency of ipatasertib + paclitaxel in patients with locally advanced or metastatic triple-negative breast cancer. The primary outcome of this investigation is progression-free survival, while secondary outcomes include health status, health-related quality of life, incidence and severity of adverse events, and changes in vital signs. This trial is currently in pending status, with an anticipated December 2017 start date.

To read more about this trial, click here.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Acupuncture may ease pain tied to breast cancer care

New research conducted at the Breast Cancer Program, Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center in New York City indicates that acupuncture may ease joint pain, a common side effect of breast cancer medications. According to Dr. Lauren Cassell, chief of breast surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, "if something so simple as acupuncture can improve...symptoms and the patients' quality of life, we will have more women becoming compliant in taking their medication."

To read more about this research, click here. 

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Gum disease tied to esophageal cancer

A new study conducted at NYU Langone Health in New York City has drawn a correlation between gun disease bacteria and the risk of developing esophageal cancer.  The study, conducted on 122,000 Americans who's oral health was observed over a period of 10 years found that "the presence of one oral bacterium in particular, Tannerella forsythia...led to a 21% increase in the odds of developing esophageal tumors."  This find noted emphasized the importance of regularly brushing, flossing, and dental visits.

To read more about this study, click here.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

6% of cancers caused by excess weight and diabetes

A new report conducted at Imperial College in London indicates that excess weight and diabetes is a direct cause of 6% of cancers worldwide.  According to lead author Dr. Jonathan Pearson-Stuttard, the report analyzed health data from 175 countries, concluding that "5.6% of new cancers care..were caused by high body mass index (BMI) and diabetes."

To read more about the report, click here.


Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Cancer survivors can develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

New research conducted at the National University of Malaysia indicates that the trauma endured by cancer survivors can lead them to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  According to lead researcher Caryn Mai Hsien Chan, the study, conducted on 469 adults with different types of cancer, "showed that nearly 22% had symptoms of PTSD six months after their cancer diagnosis...6% still had the condition four years after diagnosis." 

To read more about this study, click here.