Friday, 6 October 2017

How breast cancer gene mutations raise risk of tumours

Researchers at the Yale Cancer Center claim to have identified the molecular mechanism that enables the mutation to cause the BRCA1 gene to lose its DNA repair and tumour-fighting power" and thus trigger breast cancer.  According to Patrick Sung, study senior author, results from these findings could lead to more effective drugs to treat breast and ovarian cancers.

To read more about this study, click here.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Rituxan may prolong survival of patients with lymphoma

A new clinical trial conducted at Nantes Medical University in France has found that Rituxan (rituximab) can prolong the life of lymphoma patients.  The trial, conducted on 299 patients younger than 66 when first diagnosed with mantle-cell lymphoma determined that "after four years, 83% of rituximab patients were still alive and progression-free, versus 64% of patients who had standard treatment alone."

To read more about this clinical trial, click here.

Monday, 25 September 2017

Yoga can aid sleep difficulty for breast cancer patients

Researchers at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center's integrative medicine program  have shown that practicing Tibetan yoga benefits breast cancer patients with sleeping difficulties.  The study, conducted on 227 women receiving chemotherapy for breast cancer, found that those who practice Tibetan yoga over the course of 4 75-90 minutes classes, taught one-on-one by a trained instructor, "reported fewer sleep problems and less daytime drowsiness..."

To read more about this study, click here.

Inflammatory bowel disease may raise cancer risk in children

A new study conducted at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden indicates that children afflicted with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are at greater risk for developing gastrointestinal cancers as adults.  The international research team, lead by Dr. Ola Olen, a pediatric gastroenterologist at Karolinska found that "the risk of cancer up to an average age of 30 was 3.3 cases per 1,000 person years among those with IBD...compared with 1.5 cases per 1,000 person years in the control group."

To read more about this study, click here.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Expert panel supports HPV test alone for cervical cancer screening over 30

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), a panel of health experts, is supporting use of the HPV test as a routine component for cervical cancer screening.  The panel recommends that "the test for the human papillomavirus (HPV) can be used once every five years for women aged 30 to 65, in lieu of the once every three-year Pap test."  For women younger than 30, aged 21-29, undergoing a Pap test once every 3 years remains the recommended option.

To read more about the USPSTF's views on this issue, click here.

Friday, 8 September 2017

Recipe for reducing colon cancer risk

A new report produced by the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund International indicates that 3 servings of whole grains per day can lower colon cancer risk by 17%.  According to Dr. Edward Giovannucci, nearly 100 studies involving more than 29 000 000 adults were evaluated, upon which a number of recommendations were put forth, including limiting red meat and alcohol, avoiding processed meat, and increasing consumption of fiber and dairy products.

Click here to read the complete report.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

New research on how fat cells encourage tumours and raise cancer risk

New research conducted at the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City indicates that "16 different types of cancer [are] linked to obesity."  In a new review, published today (September 5, 2017) in Cancer Prevention Research, data from 20 studies, published over the past 70 years, focused on adipose stromal cells (fat cells) and their association with malignant tumours.  The findings indicated that "obese people with prostate or breast cancer appeared to have more [adipose stromal] cells than thinner people."

To read more about this study, click here.

Study mentioned: Himbert C, Delphan M, Scherer D, Bowers L, Hursting S, Ulrich C. Signals from the adipose microenvironment and the obesity-cancer-link: a systematic review. Cancer Rev Res. 2017 Sept; 10(9): 494-506.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

New trial alert: Management of malignant bowel obstruction (MBO) in patients with advanced gynecological cancers

A new trial, conducted at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto is seeking to optimize multidisciplinary care and evaluate treatment outcomes for malignant bowel obstruction (MBO) in women with advanced gynecological cancers.  According to the trial's hypothesis, "if patients with MBO can be effectively managed in an ambulatory setting, this may improve quality and consistency of patient care, and help reduce volume and duration of bed occupancy."

To read more about this trial, click here.

Monday, 28 August 2017

Common treatment for early prostate cancer may carry heart risk

A new study conducted on 7,600 men with early stage prostate cancer suggests that androgen-deprivation therapy may increase the risk for heart failure.  According to study author Reina Haque, a researcher with Kaiser Permanente, "patients should consider heart-healthy lifestyle changes, and physicians should actively monitor the patient's health for early signs of heart disease."  Dr. Nachum Katlowitz, director of urology at Staten Island University Teaching Hospital in New York City agrees with Haque; his reasoning is that all treatments carry potential side effects, however "if androgen-deprivation therapy increases the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, but decreases the risk of dying from prostate cancer, then we use it."

To read more about this study, click here.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Study supports annual mammograms starting at age 40

A new study conducted at the University of Colorado School of Medicine supports guidelines suggesting that annual mammograms begin at age 40.  According to study co-author R. Edward Hendrick, computer modeling was conducted by his team of investigators on mammogram recommendations for three age groups: annual screening from ages 40-84, annual screening from ages 45-54; every other year from 45-54, and screening every other year from 50-74.  According to projections, "deaths from breast cancer would fall by an average of 40% with annual screenings" from ages 40-84.

To read more about this study, click here.  

Monday, 21 August 2017

National estimates of genetic testing in women with a history of breast or ovarian cancer: new report

A new report published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology provides new U.S. estimates of genetic testing in women with a history of breast or ovarian cancer.  According to cross-sectional data from three Cancer Control Modules, "up to 10% of breast and 15% of ovarian cancers are attributable to hereditable mutations."  This report thus quantifies the unmet need for genetic testing in patients with a history of breast and/or ovarian cancer.

To read this report in its entirety, click here.

Source mentioned: Childers CP, Childers KK, Maggard-Gibbons M, Macinko J. National estimates of genetic testing in women with a history of breast or ovarian cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2017 Aug 18:JCO2017736314. [Epub ahead of print]

Friday, 18 August 2017

New genetic blood test for detecting early stage cancers

A new study conducted at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center has unveiled that a genetic blood test may aid in detecting early stage cancers.  According to Dr. Victor Velculescu, the genetic test "scans blood for DNA fragments released by cancerous tumors, [detecting] many early stage cancers without rending false positives for healthy people."

To read more about this study, click here. 

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Researchers ID genes in mice that cause aggressive brain cancer

Researchers at Yale University have identified a specific combination of genes causing aggressive brain cancer glioblastoma in mice.  Following the assessment of more than 1,500 genetic combinations in mice, co-corresponding author Sidi Chen stated that with the human cancer gnome mapped, "we can use this information to determine which existing drugs are most likely to have therapeutic value for individual patients, a step towards personalized cancer therapy,"

To read more about this study, click here

Friday, 11 August 2017

DNA blood test screen for rare sinus cancer

Researchers at the Li Ka Shing Institute of Health Sciences in Hong Kong have discovered that at DNA blood test can screen for nasopharyngeal cancer.  While this form of cancer is rare in the United States (with an occurrence of 1 case in every 100,000 people), it is far more common in southern China and North Africa.  Following a clinical trial conducted on more than 20,000 individuals, "the DNA test would up accurately detecting nasopharyngeal cancer 97% of the time."

To read more about this study, click here.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Breast-feeding lowers mom's breast cancer risk

A new report published by the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) states that the risk of breast cancer is lowered by 2% per 5 months that a woman breastfeeds her child.  In addition, the report further states that "breast-fed babies are less likely to gain excess weight as they grow, which could reduce their cancer risk later in life."

To read more about this report, click here.

Gum disease may be linked to cancer risk in older women

A new study conducted at the School of Public Health and Health Professions at the State University of New York at Buffalo indicates a causal relationship between gum disease and increased cancer risk in postmenopausal women.  According to lead researcher Jean Waclawski-Wende, periodontal disease was associated with a "14% higher risk of developing any type of cancer [especially] esophageal cancer, which was more than three times more likely in older women who had gum disease..."

To read more about this study, click here.

Monday, 31 July 2017

Squamous cell carcinoma increasingly common

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is becoming more common, with dermatology experts warning the public to remain vigilant for warning signs of the disease.  According to Dr. M. Laurin Council, assistant professor of dermatology at Washington University in St. Louis, identifies several signs of possible squamous cell carcinoma, including "a pink or white bump; a rough, scaly patch; or a sore that won't heal."

To read more, click here.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Asbestos-associated genome-wide DNA methylation changes in lung cancer

An Epub ahead of print article published July 19, 2017 in the International Journal of Cancer follows up on previous studies correlating exposure to asbestos and lung cancer.  The current study, a cooperative endeavour between researchers in Finland, France, and Lithuania, reveals "distinctive DNA methylation changes" after a comparison of lung tissue from asbestos-exposed and non-exposed patients (primarily smokers).

 The abstract of this study can be found here.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Nerlynx approved to help prevent breast cancer recurrence

The US. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the drug Nerlynx (neratinib) to help prevent HER2-positive breast cancer recurrence.  According to the FDA news release, Nerlynx was administered to more than 2,800 early-stage HER2-positive breast cancer patients over a 2-year clinical trial.  Results showed that "after 2 years, 94.2% of users hadn't had their cancer recur, compared with 91.9% of those treated with an inactive placebo.

To read more about this news release, click here.

Little evidence that vasectomy raises prostate cancer risk

A new study conducted at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota finds very little evidence associating a vasectomy with an increased risk of prostate cancer.  According to the study authors, led by Dr. R. Jeffrey Karnes, 53 worldwide studies involving over 14 million men were analyzed; the overall consensus was that "there is no link between vasectomy and 'high-grade' aggressive prostate tumors", with a weak association of ~5% between a vasectomy and any form of prostate cancer.

To read more about this study, click here.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Parkinson's and melanoma may co-occur

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota have unveiled a co-occurring link between Parkinson's disease and melanoma skin cancer. The study, led by Dr. Lauren Dalvin and conducted on 1,000 Parkinson's patients as well as 1,500 patients with melanoma established that individuals with Parkinson's were about 4 times more likely to develop melanoma"; the converse relationship between melanoma patients developing Parkinson's was at the same rate.

To read more about this study, click here.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

New microscope scans breast tumors during surgery

A new microscope developed by scientists and engineers at the University of Washington is touted as being able to assist surgeons in completely removing breast tumours, "reducing the number of women who must undergo repeat surgeries to remove cancer cells that were missed the first time."

According to study co-author Adam Glaser, postdoctoral fellow at the University of Washington Molecular Biophotonics Laboratory, the microscope is able to scan tumours and examine cells in 3D within 30 minutes.

To read more about this microscope, click here.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Childhood chemotherapy may have lasting effects on memory

A new study conducted at the University of Leuven, Belgium indicates a correlation between childhood cancer survivors who underwent chemotherapy treatment and memory problems as these children become young adults.

According to Iris Elens, psychiatrist, and Rudi D'Hooge, professor at the University of Leuven, the 31 young adults assessed in the study started receiving chemotherapy treatment at 6 years of age.  When testing 10-15 years later, "the cancer survivors had poorer thinking flexibility and short-term memory."

To read more about this study, click here.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Nearly 1 in 2 Canadians expected to get cancer: new Canadian Cancer Statistics 2017 report

A new report, entitled Canadian Cancer Statistics 2017, was released today by the Canadian Cancer Society in partnership with the Public Health Agency of Canada and Statistics Canada.  Latest figures indicate that  "for males, the lifetime risk (of a cancer diagnosis) is 49% and for females it is 45%."  However, the overall cancer survival rate has increased from 25% in the 1940s to approximately 60% today.

To read more about this report, click here.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Amy Reed, physician and patient who “moved mountains” to end widespread use of power morcellation, dies at 44

“I always wanted to be a doctor when I was little,” Reed said in 2015. “I wanted to go into medicine and be a doctor and fix things, and cure the world.”


Reed’s dream came true, albeit not in the way she envisioned.


Reed, a Pennsylvania native, died May 24 from complications stemming from disseminated uterine cancer. She was 44.


Read this true story of how the use of power morcellators should not be used for hysterectomies or fibroid removal.

Monday, 29 May 2017

WHO list of priority medical devices for cancer management

Have you checked the new priority list of medical devices for cancer management? This list also describes for six types of cancer: breast, cervical, colorectal, leukemia, lung and prostate.

Scientists report progress on genetic test for anal cancer

A new genetic test being conducted at Cancer Research U.K.may be a "less invasive method to help doctors identify people who are at a higher risk of anal cancer and avoid unnecessary procedures for those who are at a lower risk."  According to Dr. Rachel Orritt, Cancer Research U.K.'s health information officer, this study provides a stronger connection between what is known regarding cell DNA changes and cervical cancer, providing a new more definitive set of biomarkers to identify men and women at increased risk of anal cancer.

To read more about this study, click here 

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Association of delayed adjuvant chemotherapy with survival after lung cancer surgery

A recent retrospective study of 12 473 patients with NSCLC from the National Cancer Database found that, adjuvant chemotherapy given later (57–127 days) in the postoperative period was not associated with mortality. Furthermore, patients who received adjuvant chemotherapy later had a significantly better survival when compared with patients treated with surgery alone.

Read more here.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Eating nuts linked to improved chances of survival for colon cancer patients

2 New studies, scheduled for presentation at next month's annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago, indicate that consumption of nuts, along with a healthy diet and regular exercise increases a colon cancer patients chances of survival.  One of the studies, funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, followed 800 patients who underwent surgery and chemotherapy for colon cancer.  These patients were followed for 7 years following completion of chemotherapy, and asked specific questions pertaining to their diet, in particular the amount of nuts consumed.  19% of patients surveyed reported eating at least 2 ounces of nuts per week, with researchers finding "both a lower risk of cancer recurrence and higher overall survival in that group."

To read more about this study, click here.

E-cigarettes linked to bladder cancer risk

A recent news release by the American Urological Association indicates that the use of e-cigarettes leads to an increased risk of bladder cancer.  According to a study conducted at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in Nashville, researchers found that "e-cigarettes triggered cancer-related damage to bladder tissue...[while also showing that] nicotine, nitrosamines and formaldehyde led to damage while blocking DNA repair, boosting cancer risk."

To read more about this study, click here.