Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Cancer Research / 04.02.2024

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Takemi Tanaka, Ph. D. Professor, Stephenson Cancer Center Department of Pathology, School of Medicine University of Oklahoma Health Science Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Our previous cohort study has shown that breast cancer progresses 60 days after diagnostic biopsy in early-stage ER+ breast cancer. Others have also reported increased breast cancer mortality due to surgery delay. These observations raised the question of how slow-growing ER+ breast cancer progresses so quickly in just 60 days following diagnosis, prompting us to hypothesize whether needle biopsy of breast tumors accelerates pro-metastatic changes. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Case Western, Colon Cancer, JAMA / 07.12.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nathan A. Berger, M.D. Distinguished University ProfessorHanna-Payne Professor of Experimental MedicineProfessor of Medicine, Biochemistry, Oncology and GeneticsDirector, Center for Science, Health and SocietyCase Western Reserve University School of Medicine   Rong Xu, PhD Professor, Biomedical Informatics Director, Center for Artificial Intelligence in Drug Discovery Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine     MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: 75% of the US Population has overweight or obesity and 15% has Type 2 Diabetes. Both overweight/obesity and diabetes promote increased incidence and worse prognosis of colorectal cancer. The new GLP1RA drug class are rapidly becoming the most effective treatment for both diabetes and overweight/obesity. By controlling diabetes and overweight/obesity, we hypothesized that the GLP1RAs might be effective at reducing incidence of colorectal cancer. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Cost of Health Care, JAMA, Pharmacology / 17.11.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lisa-Marie Smale, PharmD
PhD Candidate Clinical Pharmacy
Radboud University Medical Center
Department of Pharmacy
Nijmegen, the Netherlands Lisa-Marie Smale, PharmDPhD Candidate Clinical PharmacyRadboud University Medical CenterDepartment of PharmacyNijmegen, the Netherlands   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Cancer drugs are not always fully used by patients, while these drugs are mostly expensive and environmentally damaging, both in production and (waste) disposal. Therefore we investigated whether unused drugs of patients can be collected, verified of quality by a pharmacy, to be redispensed to other patients instead of being disposed of. We were interested whether such an approach ultimately leads to lower environmental impacts and costs. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, JAMA, Lung Cancer, NIH, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Stanford / 01.11.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Summer S Han, PhD Associate Professor Quantitative Sciences Unit Stanford Center for Biomedical Informatics Research (BMIR) Department of Neurosurgery and Department of Medicine Department of Epidemiology & Population Health (by Courtesy) Stanford University School of Medicine Dr. Eunji Choi PhD Instructor, Neurosurgery Department: Adult Neurosurgery Stanford University School of Medicine   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
  • Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States, killing about 127,000 people annually, but it can be treatable if detected early.
  • Low-dose computed tomography, or CT scan, has been shown to significantly reduce the number of lung cancer deaths. But because the radiation delivered by the scans can be harmful (they use on average about 10 times the radiation of standard X-rays), only those people at relatively high risk for lung cancer should be screened. The two biggest risk factors for lung cancer are exposure to tobacco smoke and age. Current national guidelines that rely on age and smoking exposure to recommend people for lung cancer screening are disproportionally failing minority populations including African Americans, according to a new study led by researchers at Stanford Medicine.
  • In 2021, the national guidelines by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) issued revised recommendation guidelines on lung cancer screening, lowering the start age from 55-year to 50-year and the smoking pack-year criterion from 30 to 20, compared to the 2013 USPSTF criteria. In comparison to the 2013 criteria, the new modifications have been shown to lessen racial disparities in screening eligibility between African Americans and Whites. However, potential disparities across other major racial groups in the U.S., such as Latinos, remains poorly examined.
  • Meanwhile, risk prediction model assesses a person’s risk score of developing an illness, such as lung cancer.
(more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, Thyroid / 27.10.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Maaike van Gerwen, MD, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Otolaryngology- Head and Neck Surgery Institute for Translational Epidemiolog Director of Research Department of Otolaryngology- Head and Neck Surgery Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Where are these PFAS chemicals found? Response: Over the past decades, we have seen an increasing trend in thyroid cancer which cannot be fully explained by increased use of medical imaging (including ultrasound). Certain environmental exposure are known to impact on the thyroid gland, including thyroid dysfunction or development of cancer. PFAS are chemicals that are known to disrupt the function of endocrine organs, such as the thyroid gland. We therefore hypothesized that PFAS exposure may be one of the potential risk factors for thyroid cancer and thus one of the potential reason for the increasing thyroid cancer incidence. PFAS chemicals are widespread in the environment and have been found in the soil, water, and air. PFAS are also widely used in a variety of consumer products including non-stick cookware, stain resisting fabric, firefighting foams, but are also found in drinking water and food. This leads to an almost universal exposure of the general population. (more…)
Breast Cancer, Technology / 22.10.2023

Breast cancer accounts for 12.5% of new annual cases in the world, making it the most common of all cancers. Early detection is vital, since when breast cancer is localized, it boasts a 99% survival rate. Despite this fact, only 64% of breast cancer cases are detected at a localized stage in the US, according to data obtained from the National Breast Cancer Foundation. The good news is that scientists at MIT have developed a new device that can simply be incorporated into a bra. Doing so would allow more frequent monitoring of people with a high risk for breast cancer and it would enable women to detect very early stage tumors.
A Patch In Time
The device is a flexible patch that can be attached to any bra. It has an ultrasound tracker that can analyze breast tissue from various angles—and the images obtained are as high in quality as those obtained from ultrasound probes used in medical imaging clinics The device provides real-time information that is easy to access and interpret. The development of the device resulted from the personal experience of MIT associate professor. Canan Dagdeviren. The latter’s aunt was diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer at the age of 49, passing away six months later. While sitting by her aunt’s bedside, the researchers created a rough schematic of a diagnostic patch that could be incorporated into a brassiere. The aim was to enable women to obtain more frequent information instead of depending on a once-yearly (or less frequent) checkup. Dagdeviren’s device is essentially a miniature 3D-printed ultrasound scanner that has tiny openings. It can be rotated to obtain images from a plethora of angles, and does not require medical expertise to use. The device leverages the very latest technology, including AI algorithms, biomedical systems, and low-power circuits
(more…)
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Melanoma / 06.10.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Mitchell Stark B.App.Sc (Hons), PhD UQ Amplify Senior Research Fellow Skin Cancer Genomics and Biomarker Discovery Group Leader Frazer Institute Faculty of Medicine The University of Queensland Translational Research Institute Woolloongabba, QLD 4102   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Nodular melanoma (NM) is one of the most aggressive subtypes of melanoma. Despite making up only 14 per cent of cases, it is the largest contributor to melanoma deaths. Nodular melanoma is difficult to catch early because it grows fast and has often spread deeper in the skin by the time it’s diagnosed. Around a quarter of NM cases also appear as a skin-coloured tumour, which might go unnoticed for longer. In this study we wanted to determine whether there were genetic variants associated with nodular melanoma, which might contribute to nodular melanoma risk. We identified 39 genes with rare DNA variants which had the greatest frequency in nodular melanoma patients compared to non-NM patients. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, JAMA, OBGYNE, Surgical Research / 04.10.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Gabriele Martelli, MD Breast Unit, Surgery Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori Milan, Italy MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Approximately 8% of breast cancer cases are associated with pathogenic germline variants of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. Women with a pathogenic BRCA1 variant have lifetime risks of breast or ovarian cancer of 45% to 80% and 30% to 60%, respectively. Women with a pathogenic BRCA2 variant have lifetime risks of breast or ovarian cancer of 35% to 60% and 10% to 25%, respectively. BRCA1 breast cancer is often more aggressive than sporadic disease, while BRCA2 breast cancer is often of similar aggressivity to sporadic disease. However, few studies have investigated outcomes of breast-conserving surgery, prophylactic mastectomy, or prophylactic salpingo-oophorectomy in patients with BRCA1/2 breast cancer. We conducted a cohort study to assess outcomes of breast-conserving surgery vs mastectomy, prophylactic mastectomy vs no prophylactic mastectomy, and prophylactic salpingo-oophorectomy vs no prophylactic salpingo-oophorectomy in patients with BRCA1/2 breast cancer. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brain Cancer - Brain Tumors, Cancer Research / 09.08.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sibaji Sarkar, Ph.D. Division of Biotech, Quincy College Quincy MA. Biology/STEM MBC College, Wellesley MA, Boston MA. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main developmental differences between adult and pediatric tumors? Response: The treatment of both pediatric and adult types of brain tumors is complex.  The treatment and prognosis depend on their origin, development, progression and location. It is extremely important that the origin, which involves formation of cancer stem/progenitor cells, is investigated to understand growth, drug resistance and relapse of the brain tumors. Pediatric brain tumors often are less metastatic and treatable but chemo leaves adverse effects for longer times. Adult metastatic brain tumors usually have worse prognosis. To understand and develop better treatments we need to understand the differences in the origin and progression of these different types of brain tumor [1]. One of the important aspects is epigenetic alterations. Epigenetic alterations are reversible and different from mutations in genes, which are usually permanent. In epigenetic alterations, modifications occur on DNA or the protein histones around which the DNA is folded and they regulate whether a gene will express or not (will make a protein or not), that determines a special function. (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Cancer Research, Genetic Research, Ovarian Cancer / 07.08.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Pei Wang, PhD Professor, Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY 10029, USA Michael J. Birrer MD PhD Director, Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Little Rock, AR 72205 Amanda G. Paulovich MD PhD Translational Science and Therapeutics Division Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center Seattle WA 98109 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? How common is serous ovarian cancer? Response: Epithelial ovarian cancer accounts for >185,000 deaths/year worldwide. The most common subtype, high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC), accounts for 60% of deaths. Despite improvements in surgical and chemotherapeutic approaches, HGSOC mortality has not changed in decades. Five-year survival remains ~30% for the majority of patients. Standard of care involves surgical debulking combined with adjuvant or neoadjuvant chemotherapy with carbo- or cisplatin in combination with a taxane. At diagnosis, HGSOC is among the most chemo-sensitive of all epithelial malignancies, with initial response rates of ~85%, presumably related to DNA repair defects. Platinum is thought primarily to drive the response rate, due to the lower single-agent response rate for taxanes. Unfortunately, 10-20% of HGSOC patients have treatment-refractory disease at diagnosis, fail to respond to initial chemotherapy, and have a dismal prognosis. The poor response to subsequent therapy and median overall survival of ~12 months for these patients has not changed in 40 years. Despite >30 years of literature studying platinum resistance in cancer, there currently is no way to distinguish refractory from sensitive HGSOCs prior to therapy. Consequently, patients with refractory disease experience the toxicity of platinum-based chemotherapy without benefit. Due to their rapid progression, they are commonly excluded from participating in clinical trials. Consequently, there is no ongoing clinical research that could identify effective therapeutic agents for these patients or provide insights into molecular mechanisms of refractory disease.  “Right now, we can’t identify drug-resistant ovarian cancer patients up front,” said co-senior author Michael Birrer, MD, PhD, who directs UAMS’ Winthrop J. Rockefeller Cancer Institute. “We find them by default: They get sick and pass away so quickly that they can’t even be put on new clinical trials.” To address this unmet clinical need, we performed proteogenomic analysis of treatment-naïve HGSOCs (chemo-sensitive and chemo-refractory) to identify molecular signatures of refractory HGSOC and to identify potential treatment targets. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Ovarian Cancer / 04.08.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Zai LabRafael Amado, M.D. President, head of Global Oncology Research and Development Zai Lab MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Zai lab is focused on discovering and developing innovative therapies that will help address medical conditions where there are serious unmet needs. Advanced ovarian cancer, with a low survival and high recurrence rate, is a key focus of our oncology R&D research. In addition to our own discovery program, as part of our open innovation model we partner with companies to license drugs for patients in China and co-develop therapies to address leading causes of cancer death. We currently have a license and collaboration agreement with GSK for the development and commercialization of ZEJULA (niraparib) in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau. PRIME was a follow-on study to a previously conducted study called PRIMA, which demonstrated clinical benefit of niraparib in newly diagnosed patients with advanced ovarian cancer regardless of biomarker status. The PRIMA study enrolled a population at high risk of recurrence. Thirty-five percent of patients in PRIMA received an individualized starting dose (ISD) of niraparib based on their baseline weight and platelet count. To further evaluate the efficacy and safety of niraparib with an ISD in a broad population, we decided to conduct the PRIME study. We wanted to explore further whether we could decrease toxicity using an ISD and how it would affect clinical outcomes. The Phase 3 PRIME study was conducted at 29 hospitals in mainland China. PRIME was a randomized, placebo-controlled trial designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of niraparib at an ISD as first-line maintenance therapy in a broad range of patients with newly diagnosed advanced ovarian cancer. All patients in PRIME received an ISD based on their baseline body weight and platelet count. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Hematology, Leukemia / 15.06.2023

Medical Research Interview: Dr. Daniel Thomas MD PhD FRACP FRCPA Program Leader, Blood Cancer Precision Medicine Theme at the South Australia Health Medical Research Institute Clinical Hematologist, Royal Adelaide Hospital Associate Professor, Adelaide Medical School, The University of Adelaide MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you briefly describe the condition of CMML? Response: Chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML) is a rare, but increasingly frequent, clonal stem cell disorder that results in hyperproliferation of inflammatory monocytes, a form of white blood cells. It features both myelodysplasia and myeloproliferation. CMML is most often found in older adults and leads to anemia, decreased quality of life, and an increased risk of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) is a cytokine that stimulates production, growth, differentiation, activation, and function of myeloid cells (monocytes, neutrophils, and eosinophils). In the presence of RAS-pathway mutations, a greater sensitivity to GM-CSF contributes to the hyperproliferation of myelocytes in myelodysplastic leukemias such as CMML, juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML), and acute myeloid leukemia (AML).  In CMML, greater sensitivity to GM-CSF stimulates excessive monocytic precursor proliferation. The PREACH-M Trial, which stands for PREcision Approach to CHronic Myelomonocytic Leukemia, assesses the efficacy of lenzilumab in addition to azacitidine in treatment-naïve CMML participants with RAS-pathway mutations (KRAS, NRAS, CBL) and separately high dose ascorbate in participants with TET2 mutations who do not have RAS-pathway mutations. The study is currently underway and actively enrolling.  It is being conducted and funded by the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI).  (more…)
ASCO, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Colon Cancer, Red Meat / 13.06.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Suneel Kamath MD Gastrointestinal Oncologist Cleveland Clinic Senior Author on this research       MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Colorectal cancer rates in young people under age 50 are skyrocketing and have been for the last 3-4 decades. We really don’t understand why because most cases (probably around 70%) are not genetic or hereditary, just random, unfortunate events. We suspect that it is some exposure(s) like excess consumption of red meat, processed foods, sugar-sweetened beverages, excess antibiotic use altering the microbiome, rising incidence of obesity or some other factors. We really don’t know why yet. Our study used a technology called metabolomics, the study of breakdown products and production building blocks for our bodies, to look for differences in colorectal cancer in young people versus people that are older that developed colorectal cancer. Because metabolomics measures how each individual interacts with the exposures in our environment like diet, air quality, etc., it is a way to bridge the gap between our nature (determined by genetics) and nurture (determined by our exposures). (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Nature, Prostate Cancer, UCSF / 12.06.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rebecca E. Graff, ScD Assistant Professor University of California, San Francisco Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics Mission Hall: Global Health & Clinical Sciences Building San Francisco, CA 94158 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: PSA screening for prostate cancer has long been controversial. While it does seem to reduce mortality attributable to prostate cancer, it also results in the diagnosis of many cancers that never otherwise would have presented symptomatically. In addition, PSA levels are affected by factors other than prostate tumors (e.g., age, prostatic inflammation, and genetics), such that men with high PSA values are often referred for biopsy but do not end up having cancer. We hypothesized that accounting for the genetic component of PSA could yield adjusted values that better distinguish who should get a prostate biopsy. (more…)
ASCO, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Genetic Research, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Stanford / 06.06.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Allison W. Kurian, M.D., M.Sc. Professor of Medicine and of Epidemiology and Population Health Associate Chief, Division of Oncology Co-Leader, Population Sciences Program, Stanford Cancer Institute Director, Women’s Clinical Cancer Genetics Program Stanford University School of Medicine Stanford, CA 94305-5405 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What types of cancers were in the study? Response: Genetic testing for cancer risk is increasingly important after a cancer diagnosis, to inform use of targeted therapies, secondary cancer prevention approaches and cascade genetic testing of family members. However, very little is known about how genetic testing is used after a cancer diagnosis at the population level. We leveraged a very large population-based data resource, the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) cancer registries of the states of California and Georgia, and linked data from these registries to clinical genetic testing results provided by the four major laboratories that provide such testing. We used this linked registry-genetic testing dataset to study adults (age >=20 years) diagnosed with all types of cancer in the states of Georgia and California from 2013-2019. (more…)
ASCO, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Lung Cancer, University of Pennsylvania / 05.06.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lova L. Sun, MD, MSCE Medical Oncology Assistant Professor of Medicine Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: An common clinical question for patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer with long-term response to immunotherapy-based treatment is how long to continue treatment. The major clinical trials stopped immunotherapy at a maximum of 2 years, but in clinical practice many patients and clinicians continue treatment beyond this time point. We conducted a retrospective study of lung cancer patients across the US with long-term response to immunotherapy, to compare survival between those who stopped treatment at 2 years vs those who continued beyond 2 years. We found that there was no statistically significant difference in survival between the two groups. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Cancer Research, JAMA, MRSA, Radiation Therapy / 06.05.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Beth McLellan, M.D. Chief, Division of Dermatology Montefiore Medical Center Albert Einstein College of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? How is the decolonization initiated and maintained? Response: We were interested in exploring whether bacteria on the skin plays a role in radiation dermatitis like it does in other skin diseases that cause a breakdown in the skin barrier. We used a bacterial decolonization regimen that includes chlorhexidine 2% cleanser for the body and mupirocin 2% ointment to the inside of the nose for 5 consecutive days before starting radiation therapy and repeated for an additional 5 days every other week for the duration of radiation. (more…)
Lung Cancer, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 02.05.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Andres Kohan MD MHSc. in Translational Research Joint Department of Medical Imaging University Health Network Mount Sinai Hospital and Women's College Hospital University of Toronto Toronto, Canada   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Inequalities in access to healthcare for oncologic patients and its impact on quality of life and survival have been previously described. However, there also exists reports pointing out that when factors contributing to socioeconomic inequality are accounted for differences in outcome between races remain identifiable. In this context, we sought to evaluate the presence of disparities in imaging in a selected population of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) within AACRs Project GENIE Biopharma Consortium (BPC) dataset v 1.1. This database is the largest in existence that has not only the patients’ imaging and clinical staging/follow-up, but also the genetic profile of the patients’ tumors. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Melanoma, USPSTF / 27.04.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: John M. Ruiz, Ph.D Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology Department of Psychology University of Arizona Dr. Ruiz is the incoming editor-in-chief of the American Psychological Association (APA) journal, Health Psychology Dr. Ruiz joined the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force in January 2022     MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States, but it often does not cause serious complications or death. The Task Force’s recommendation on screening for skin cancer focuses on the effectiveness of visual skin exams for children and adults who do not have any symptoms. When reviewing the latest research, we found that there is currently not enough evidence to tell us whether or not screening people without signs or symptoms is beneficial. This is an I statement. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 25.04.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mahdi Fallah, MD, PhD Study and Group Leader Risk Adapted Prevention (RAD) Group Division of Preventive Oncology National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) Heidelberg, Germany   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Breast cancer is a significant public health problem, being the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in women in the US. Breast cancer screening from age 50 has been associated with a reduction in mortality and is recommended by the US Preventive Services Task Force. However, there is a significant disparity in mortality rates between Black and White individuals, with Black women having a higher death rate, especially before age 50. The current one-size-fits-all policy for breast cancer screening may not be equitable or optimal, and risk-adapted starting ages of screening based on known risk factors, such as race and ethnicity, may be recommended to optimize the benefit of screening. Our study aimed to provide evidence for a risk-adapted starting age of screening by race and ethnicity. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, JAMA, NCI, Ovarian Cancer / 21.04.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lauren Hurwitz, PhD Postdoctoral Fellow Division of Cancer Epidemiology & Genetics National Cancer Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Prior studies have demonstrated that frequent (i.e., daily or near daily) use of aspirin is associated with a lower risk of developing ovarian cancer. We sought to determine if this risk reduction is also observed for individuals with greater genetic susceptibility to ovarian cancer, who may benefit more from preventive interventions. Our study found that individuals who took aspirin frequently had a lower risk of ovarian cancer, regardless of whether they had higher or lower genetic susceptibility to ovarian cancer. (more…)
AACR, Author Interviews, Cancer Research / 18.04.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Matthew H. Taylor, MD Earle A. Chiles Research Institute Providence Cancer Institute Portland, OR MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What is the importance of ILT4 or LILRB2 in tumor growth?
  1. ILT4, also known as LILRB2, is expressed on myeloid cells, including monocytes, DCs, macrophages and neutrophils. LILRB2 expressing myeloid cells promote tumor immune evasion and contribute to anti-PD1 resistance, making this a promising target to reverse myeloid-mediated immune suppression in the TME.
  2. IO-108 is a fully human IgG4 therapeutic antibody that binds to LILRB2 with high affinity and specificity, and blocks binding of LILRB2 to multiple cancer-relevant ligands. This blockade causes re-programming of immune suppressive myeloid cells to pro-inflammatory in the tumor microenvironment leading to the activation of T cells.
  3. This first-in-human, open-label Phase 1 study of IO-108 as monotherapy or in combination with pembrolizumab was designed to learn about safety, tolerability and preliminary efficacy of IO-108 as monotherapy or in combination with a PD-1 inhibitor in patients with advanced, metastatic solid tumors. The study was also designed to find a dose of IO-108 that is safe and efficacious to be tested in patients with various solid tumors.
(more…)
Author Interviews, Prostate Cancer / 05.04.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Freddie C. Hamdy FRCS, FMedSci Nuffield Professor of Surgery, University of Oxford Jenny L. Donovan PhD, FMedSci Professor of Social Medicine, University of Bristol     MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response:  Prostate cancer is a common malignancy in men. Prostate cancer diagnosis is made largely through opportunistic screening with a PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) blood test, followed by prostate biopsies. The ProtecT study, funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research in the UK, is the largest randomised trial of treatment in screen-detected localised prostate cancer. The study began by testing 82,429 men between the ages of 50 and 69 years, across nine UK centres with a PSA blood test, followed by biopsies of the prostate if the PSA level was elevated. 2,664 men with clinically localised prostate cancer were found. From these, 1,643 (62%) agreed to be randomised to Surgery (radical prostatectomy to remove the prostate gland), Radiotherapy (external beam with a period of hormone treatment beforehand), or Active Monitoring (where men received regular checks and further investigations, with change to radical treatment as necessary). The men were carefully followed up for an average of 15 years. In parallel, the side-effects of treatments and quality of life of these men was investigated using patient-reported outcomes included in an annual study questionnaire completed for at least 12 years. (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Cancer Research, Genetic Research / 27.03.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Florence Le Calvez-Kelm, Ph.D. Genomic Epidemiology Branch International Agency for Research on Cancer Lyon, France and Trevor Levin Ph.D. Founder and CEO of Convergent Genomics that produces the Uroamp assay San Francisco, CA     MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Bladder cancer is one of the most expensive and challenging to diagnose and treat. Therefore, identifying cost-effective urine bladder cancer biomarkers to complement or replace the gold-standard invasive and costly cystoscopy for the early detection and monitoring of this highly recurrent disease is crucial. At the international Agency for research on Cancer (IARC-WHO), we have developed a simple urine-based assay TERT promoter mutations, the most common mutations in bladder cancer, and showed that the urine biomarker could detect bladder cancer patients at diagnosis but many years prior to clinical diagnosis. However, in this study, we wanted to see whether a more comprehensive genomic profiling of urine samples collected years prior to clinical diagnosis of bladder cancer could identify even more patients before they develop any symptoms. The study was based on the UroAmp test, a general urine test that identifies mutations in 60 genes, developed by the Oregon Health Science University spin out company, Convergent Genomics. Drawing on previous research to identify genetic mutations linked to bladder cancer, the research team narrowed the new test down to focus on mutations within just ten genes. Working with colleagues from the Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Iran, they trialled the potential new test using samples from the Golestan Cohort Study, which has tracked the health of more than 50,000 participants over ten years, all of whom provided urine samples at recruitment. Forty people within the study developed bladder cancer during that decade, and the team were able to test urine samples from twenty-nine of them, along with samples from 98 other similar participants as controls. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Immunotherapy, Melanoma, Science, UT Southwestern / 22.03.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Andrew Y. Koh, M.D. Associate Professor, Pediatrics and Microbiology University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Director of Pediatric Cellular and ImmunoTherapeutics Program University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Children's Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We asked the basic question how does a bacteria in your gut help your immune system fight a cancer outside the gut (extraintestinal tumor).  Based on work that our group and others have published in the infectious diseases, microbiology, and inflammation fields, we knew that certain conditions (e.g. inflammation, infection) promote gut microbiota to move from the gut to the mesenteric lymph nodes.  So we hypothesized that immune checkpoint therapy (which essentially induces inflammation to promote tumor killing) might induce gut microbiota translocation to the mesenteric lymph nodes and that this might be the first step by which gut bacteria can engage with host immune cells (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Genetic Research, JAMA, Personalized Medicine, Vanderbilt / 18.03.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jonathan Mosley, MD, PhD Associate Professor Division of Clinical Pharmacology Departments of Internal Medicine and Biomedical Informatics Vanderbilt University Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Prostate cancer is an important source of morbidity and mortality among men. Earlier detection of disease is essential to reduce these adverse outcomes. Prostate cancer is heritable, and many single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with disease risk have been identified. Thus, there is considerable interest in using tools such as polygenic risk scores, which measure the burden of genetic risk variants an individual carries, to identify men at elevated risk of disease. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Dermatology, Melanoma / 17.03.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jenni Komulainen University of Eastern Finland | UEF MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The background for this study comes from the earlier findings that the skin cancer risk and atopic status have some connection, but the results have been inconsistent. The connection between atopy and skin cancers may be related to the stimulation of protective immune response or the predisposition to carcinogenesis through chronic inflammation. The aim of this study was to investigate if atopic disorders associate with skin cancers. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Nature, NYU, Pancreatic / 17.03.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Aristotelis Tsirigos, Ph.D. Professor of Medicine and Pathology Co-director, Precision Medicine Director, Applied Bioinformatics LaboratoriesNew York University School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Pancreatic cancer is one of the most lethal types of cancer with only 12% of patients surviving more than 5 years after diagnosis. One of the main reasons behind the dismal prognosis is the complexity of the tumor. Pancreatic cancer cells are very heterogenous and interact with different types of non-malignant cells in what is known as the tumor microenvironment. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Cancer Research, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 09.03.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Hyuna Sung, PHDHyuna Sung, PHD Senior Principal Scientist, Cancer Surveillance Research American Cancer Society Kennesaw, GA 30144
  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) accounts for 10% to 20% of all breast cancer diagnoses in the US. This subtype of breast cancer tends to spread faster and has fewer treatment options. In the US, Black women are about two-fold more likely than White women to develop TNBC. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Dermatology, Melanoma, Vitamin C / 10.01.2023

MedicalResearch.com Editors' note:  Please consult your health care provider before initiating any vitamin supplementation, including Vitamin D as potentially serious side effects are possible. MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Ilkka T Harvima Department of Dermatology University of Eastern Finland and Kuopio University Hospital Kuopio, Finland MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The North Savo Skin Cancer Program in Eastern Finland was launched in 2017, and it aims at reducing the incidence, morbidity and mortality caused by skin cancers, such as basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. A part of this program constituted a follow-up project of patients with an assessed risk of skin cancer. There are also several other parts, such as analysis of skin cancer material reposited in the Biobank of Eastern Finland (see the enclosed BMC Cancer 2021 reference), public information, education of general physicians and medical students etc. In 2021, we published the article in BMC Cancer (enclosed), where we attempted to clarify the reasons for the relatively high melanoma mortality in relation to its incidence in this region (North Savo) of the country. By using the biobank material we also published an article in 2022 showing that melanoma and melanoma in situ associate with keratinocytic premalignant lesions and keratinocyte skin carcinomas (Suhonen V, Siiskonen H, Suni M, Rummukainen J, Mannermaa A, Harvima IT. Malignant and in situ subtypes of melanoma are associated with basal and squamous cell carcinoma and its precancerous lesions. Eur J Dermatol 2022 Apr 1;32(2):187-194. doi: 10.1684/ejd.2022.4221.). The follow-up study of about 500 subjects is ongoing (COVID-19 caused pretty much trouble for the recruitment). This is focused on finding risk factors and biomarkers for skin cancers and carcinogenesis. The first study on these follow-up patients was published in 2021 (Komulainen J, Siiskonen H, Harvima IT. Association of elevated serum tryptase with cutaneous photodamage and skin cancers. Int Arch Allergy Immunol 2021;182(11):1135-1142. doi: 10.1159/000517287.). The article on vitamin D just recently published in Melanoma Research on Dec 28, 2022, is the second one. The third work in pipeline deals with the association of atopic disorders with skin cancers, and the manuscript is under revision. So, these provide with some background for the article in Melanoma Research. Actually, we thought that vitamin D use might associate with skin photoaging, actinic keratoses and carcinogenesis, but the only, though very important, finding was its association with melanoma. We have not focused our research just on vitamin D only, but it looks like we need to go further. (more…)