Immunotherapy Gel Sprayed on Surgical Site May Reduce Cancer Recurrence

MedicalResearch.comInterview with:

Zhen Gu, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Bioengineering
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
Dr. Zhen Gu

Zhen Gu, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Bioengineering
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings?

Response: Despite improvements in surgical techniques, local residual tumor micro infiltration and circulating tumor cells continue causing tumor recurrence after resection. 

Calcium carbonate nanoparticles could scavenge H+ in the surgical wound, reserving the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment and promoting the antitumor immuneresponses. 

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Phase I Study T-cell Bispecific Antibody For Aggressive Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr-Nancy Valente

Nancy Valente, M.D.,
Vice President, Global Hematology Development
Genentech

MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?

Response: Despite advances in treatments for people with relapsed or refractory (R/R) NHL, a substantial number of patients do not sustain a response to standard-of-care treatment, meaning new options are needed. For example, as many as 40 percent of people with diffuse largeB-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), an aggressive form of NHL, eventually relapse after initial treatment. Different mechanisms of action and different therapy combinations may help improve clinical outcomes in patients with R/R NHL.

At ASH, we presented initial safety and efficacy results from a Phase I study of our T-cell bispecific antibody, CD20-TCB, as a monotherapy in patients with R/RNHL.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: The preliminary results suggest thatCD20-TCB monotherapy have promising clinical activity and may induce durable complete responses in patients with late-line R/R aggressive NHL. In patients with aggressive NHL who received the highest tested dose roughly half (53 percent) of patients responded (objective response rate)to treatment and nearly a third (27 percent) saw the disappearance of all signs of cancer (complete response). Importantly, all complete responses have been sustained so far, with a median follow up of roughly three months (94 days). These responses are particularly encouraging since aggressive forms of NHL become harder to treat with each relapse.

Patient sin the study had previously received a median of three lines of therapy, with a range of 1-13 lines. Most were refractory to their most recent therapy (72percent) and refractory to prior treatment with an anti-CD20 antibody (74percent).

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: CD20-TCB is one of two bispecific antibodies we are developing that are designed to target CD20 and CD3. At ASH, we also presented data for mosunetuzumab. The results from the first clinical trials of these bispecific antibodies showed promising clinical activity and durable complete responses inpatients with R/R NHL. We are excited by the potential to harness the dual-targeting ability of CD20-CD3 bispecific antibodies to treat blood cancers and encouraged by these early results. We continue to study CD20-TCB and mosunetuzumab as potential new treatment options for patients with R/R NHL, an area of high unmet need.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: Bispecific antibodies can recognize and bind to two different targets simultaneously, and in doing so, combine the binding specificity of two antibodies in one molecule. In the treatment of cancer, bispecific antibodies are designed to physically link a cancer cell to an immune cell which leads to the destruction of the cancer cell by the patient’s immune system, representing a novel approach for the treatment of cancers.

Citation:
CD20-Tcb (RG6026), a Novel “2:1” FormatT-Cell-Engaging Bispecific Antibody, Induces Complete Remissions inRelapsed/Refractory B-Cell Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma: Preliminary Results from aPhase I First in Human Trial

ASH 2018, December 1, 2018: 4:45 PM

MartinHutchings, MD, PhD1*,Gloria Iacoboni, MD2*, Franck Morschhauser,MD3*, Fritz Offner, MD4, AnnaSureda, MD5*, Gilles Andre Salles, MD, PhD6,Carmelo Carlo-Stella, MD7,Joaquin Martinez Lopez, MD8*,Denise Thomas, BS9*, Peter N Morcos, PhD10*, BetsyQuackenbush, MD9*, Cristiano Ferlini, MD11*,Marina Bacac, PhD12*, Ann-Marie E. Broeske,PhD13*, Natalie Dimier, PhD14*, TomMoore, MD11*, Martin Weisser, MD15* andMichael Dickinson, MBBS, FRACP, FRCPA16

https://ash.confex.com/ash/2018/webprogram/Paper110207.html

Dec 11, 2018 @ 11:08 pm

The information on MedicalResearch.com is provided for educational purposes only, and is in no way intended to diagnose, cure, or treat any medical or other condition. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health and ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. In addition to all other limitations and disclaimers in this agreement, service provider and its third party providers disclaim any liability or loss in connection with the content provided on this website.

Canadian Task Force Updates Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Ainsley Moore MD, CFPC, MSc(HB), MSc(CLinEpi) Cand
Associate Professor,McMaster University
Associate Editor,Canadian Medical Education Journal
Vice-Chairof the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care
Dr. Moore

Dr. Ainsley Moore MD, CFPC, MSc(HB), MSc(CLinEpi) Cand
Associate Professor,McMaster University
Associate Editor,Canadian Medical Education Journal
Vice-Chair,  Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care

MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?

Response: The Canadian Task Force for Preventive Health Care has updated its Breast Cancer Screening Guideline. It places an emphasis on shared decision-making between women and their health care provider so that women can make an informed decision based on how they prioritize the benefits and harms of screening with mammography.  

Screening may identify breast cancer earlier and lead to a reduction in breast cancer mortality; however, i talso has known harms such as false positive results, further testing including biopsy, and over diagnosis leading to unnecessary treatment with associated complications.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: An updated review of the evidence continues to show a close balance between potential benefits and harms of breast cancer screening; this balance appears to be less favourable for younger women than for women aged 50 to 74 years.

A separate review conducted for this guideline on women’s values and preferences about mammography screening suggests that many women aged 40 to 49 years would choose not to be screened if they were aware of the outcomes for their age group. On the other hand, women aged 50 to 74 years are more likely to choose screening given their more favourable balance of benefits and harms

The recommendations:

  • The TaskForce provides conditional recommendations against screening women age 40 to49 years who are not at increased risk of breast cancer, low certainty evidence shows a small potential reduction in breast cancer death along with higher risk of harms including false positive results, further testing including possible breast biopsy and overdiagnosis leading to unnecessary treatment with associated complications. Recommendations are conditional upon how an individual woman from this age group weighs the benefits and harms of screening
  • The TaskForce provides conditional recommendations in favour of screening women aged 50 to 74 years who are not at increased risk of breast cancer, very low-certainty evidence suggests a modest reduction in risk of breast cancer death and, while the risk of harms of screening are lower than for younger women, it remains a concern.  Recommendations are conditional upon who an individual woman of this age group weighs the benefits and harms of screening

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: The Task Force provides information on the benefits and harms of breast cancer screening and has developed tools on their website to help guide the discussion between women and their health care provider so that they can make the decision that is best for themFor more details on the Task Force’s findings and recommendations and patient tools, please visit: canadiantaskforce.ca

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: More and better-quality evidence is needed on the impact of breast cancer screening for women of all ages.  Additional studies on Canadian women’s values and preferences for screening that are based on accurate estimates of both benefits and harms conducted in a transparent and easily comparable manner would assist in guiding future recommendations.

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: The Public Health Agency of Canada established theCanadian Task Force for Preventive Health Care to make recommendations forCanadian primary care providers on a broad array of preventive health issues.The members of the Task Force were selected for their expertise in Preventive health care delivered in primary care settings. Task Force members adhere to the highest ethical standards including the avoidance of professional conflicts of interest in order to ensure the scientific credibility of its recommendations.

Citation:

Recommendations on screening for breast cancer in women aged 40–74 years who are not at increased risk for breast cancer

Scott Klarenbach, Nicki Sims-Jones, Gabriela Lewin, Harminder Singh, Guylène Thériault, Marcello Tonelli, Marion Doull, Susan Courage, Alejandra Jaramillo Garcia and Brett D. Thombs; for the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care

CMAJ December 10,2018 190 (49) E1441-E1451; DOI:https://doi.org/10.1503/cmaj.180463

Dec 11, 2018 @ 8:44 pm

The information onMedicalResearch.com is provided for educational purposes only, and is in no way intended to diagnose, cure, or treat any medical or other condition. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health and ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. In addition to all other limitations and disclaimers in this agreement, service provider and its third party providers disclaim any liability or loss in connection with the content provided on this website.

After Menopause, High Body Fat Associated with Doubled Risk of Estrogen+ Breast Cancer

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Neil M. Iyengar, MD Breast Medicine Service Department of Medicine Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Evelyn H. Lauder Breast And Imaging Center New York, NY

Dr. Neil Iyengar

Neil M. Iyengar, MD
Breast Medicine Service
Department of Medicine
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Evelyn H. Lauder Breast And Imaging Center
New York, NY 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Obesity is one of the leading modifiable risk factors for the development of hormone receptor positive breast cancer in postmenopausal women.

Traditionally, physicians use a person’s body mass index (weight in kilograms divided by height in squared meters, kg/m2) to estimate body fat levels. A BMI of 30 or greater is considered to be obese, and this level of BMI increases the risk of at least 13 different cancers.

However, BMI is a crude measure of body fat and can be inaccurate. For example, some normal weight individuals (BMI less than 25) have obesity-related problems like diabetes and high blood pressure. Before our study, it was unknown whether high body fat levels in normal weight women contributes to obesity-related cancers such as breast cancer.

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ASH18: RNA Sequencing Identifies More Subtypes of Childhood Leukemia

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Charles G. Mullighan, MBBS (Hons), MSc, MD Member, St. Jude Faculty Co-Leader, Hematological Malignancies Program Medical Director, St. Jude Biorepository William E. Evans Endowed Chair St. Judes Children’s Research Hospital Memphis, TN

Dr. Mullighan

Charles G. Mullighan, MBBS (Hons), MSc, MD
Member, St. Jude Faculty
Co-Leader, Hematological Malignancies Program
Medical Director, St. Jude Biorepository
William E. Evans Endowed Chair
St. Judes Children’s Research Hospital
Memphis, TN

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

 

Response: B-lineage acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) is the commonest form of ALL, and the commonest childhood tumor. It is a leading cause of childhood cancer death. It consists of multiple subtypes defined by genetic alterations. These are often chromosomal translocations that deregulate oncogenes or form fusion proteins. These alterations are disease initiating events and are associated with distinct patterns of leukemic cell gene expression. Most subtypes also have additional mutations that are important for cells to become fully leukemic.

Identifying these initiating genetic changes is very important to identify patients that are likely to respond or do poorly with conventional therapy (multiagent chemotherapy). Also, some identify new opportunities for targeted therapy. However, using standard genetic testing approaches such as chromosomal cytogenetics, about 30% of B-ALL patients don’t have a subtype classifying alteration.

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How Do Patients With Multiple Myeloma Weight Treatment Options?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Caroline McKay, PhD Real World Value & Evidence, Oncology Janssen Scientific Affairs

Dr. McKay

Caroline McKay, PhD
Real World Value & Evidence, Oncology
Janssen Scientific Affairs

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Considering patient preferences in treatment decision-making in oncology is growing in importance. While recent introduction of new treatments for multiple myeloma have improved survival and the possibility of sustaining longer remission periods, regimen options still vary with respect to efficacy, safety, and dosing.

Therefore, patients and providers must consider tradeoffs inherent in making treatment decisions that are growing in complexity. Despite this, there is a lack of research describing patient preferences within the context of currently available treatment regimens. To address this gap, this study examined how multiple myeloma patients evaluate, or weigh, treatment options. Key findings from the research are that treatment preferences do not appear to be static, but instead suggest that the relative importance of treatment attributes may change over time and treatment history.

Further, patients place higher importance on overall survival and progression-free survival than other treatment attributes, and may be willing to accept an increase in the risk of serious side effects and reduced convenience in exchange for greater efficacy; however, when efficacy is comparable, patients appear to place greater weight on dosing frequency than on the duration of treatment administration, i.e., more frequent dosing appears to be less preferable to patients than longer administration/infusion time.  Continue reading

Women Benefit from Mammography Screening Beyond Age 75 

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Stamatia Destounis MD, FACR, FSBI, FAIUM
Elizabeth Wende Breast Care
Clinical Professor University of Rochester Imaging Sciences
Rochester, NY 14620 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response:  The current breast cancer screening recommendations in the United States are unclear regarding when to stop screening. Several societies with published recommendations conflict in regard to when to discontinue screeningmammography. There is little evidence studying the benefit of annual mammography in the population of women 75 and older.

Due to this, we felt that it was a very important and timely topic to investigate, with the goal of providing further guidance on why screening mammography may be beneficial in this older population.

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The Medalist Trial: Luspatercept Reduced Transfusion Need in Some Myelodysplastic Syndromes

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Alan List MD President and Chief Executive Officer Moffitt Cancer Center Tampa, FL

Dr. List

Dr. Alan List MD
President and Chief Executive Officer
Moffitt Cancer Center
Tampa, FL

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  

Response: In patients with lower risk Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS), which accounts for the vast majority of patients with MDS overall, the most common symptomatic cytopenia is anemia. These patients, overtime, become dependent upon red blood cell transfusions and with that, they face a risk of iron loading as well as complications that occur with it. The standard first line therapy that we consider for these patients is erythropoietin-stimulating agents (ESAs). Patients who are transfusion dependent have a low response rate to ESAs, and responses are of short duration. There limited effective limited treatment options for those patients unresponsive or lose response to ESAs.

For years, we’ve known that the transforming growth factor (TGF)-β pathway play an important pathogenetic role in suppressing red cell maturation and cell survival.

Luspatercept is an agent that acts as an erythroid maturation agent by inhibiting the TGF-β signaling pathway by neutralizing a select group of TGF-β superfamily ligands.  Continue reading

Alcyone Trial: DaraVMP New Standard for Transplant-Ineligible Newly Diagnosed Multiple Myeloma

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Maria-Victoria Mateos, MD, PhD Associate Professor of Medicine  University of Salamanca Salamanca, Spain

Dr. Mateos

Maria-Victoria Mateos, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Medicine
University of Salamanca
Salamanca, Spain

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Alcyone trial is a phase 3 trial in which Daratumumab, the CD38 mAb has been added to a standard of care for elderly newly diagnosed myeloma patients, VMP, and compared with VMP. The main finding is that the addition of dara to VMP resulted into a significant benefit in PFS with a 57% reduction in the risk of progression and/or death. In addition, the benefit was also reported in terms of ORR and CR rate and 45% of patients receiving Dara VMP achieved CR. Minimal residual disease was evaluated and was undetectable in 27% of the patients what it is relevant because a 5% increase was observed in comparison with the publication one year ago. This means that Daratumumab as maintenance after the first 9 cycles daraVMP was able to upgrade the quality of response. Toxicity profile was acceptable and no new safety signals were reported. Continue reading

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Linked to Increased Risk of Some Cancer Types

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Weimin Ye, MD MSC, PhD Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics Karolinska Institue

Prof. Ye

Dr. Weimin Ye, MD MSC, PhD
Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Karolinska Institue

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine    disorder affecting 5-10% of women of reproductive age. Characterized by hyperandrogenism and metabolic abnormalities, PCOS is known to be related to various long-term health consequences, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and endometrial cancer. Besides, inconsistent results have been reported for the associations between PCOS and the risk of ovarian and breast cancer. Studies addressing the risks of other cancers are scarce. Thus, we conducted a large, population-based cohort study with a long follow-up and rather sufficient confounding adjustment to explore the full picture of associations between PCOS and the risks of various cancer types.

We found that PCOS is a risk factor for certain types of cancer, including cancers of the endometrium, ovary, endocrine gland, pancreas, kidney and skeletal & hematopoietic system. Continue reading

ASH18: CENTAURUS Study Evaluates Dosing Schedule of DARZALEX® (daratumumab) for High Risk Smoldering Multiple Myeloma

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Peter Voorhees, MD Plasma Cell Disorders Program Department of Hematologic Oncology and Blood Disorders Levine Cancer Institute Atrium Health

Dr. Vorhees

Peter Voorhees, MD
Plasma Cell Disorders Program
Department of Hematologic Oncology and Blood Disorders
Levine Cancer Institute
Atrium Health

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: All multiple myeloma arises from its precursor conditions, monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) and smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM). Although the rate of progression to multiple myeloma for patients with MGUS is low (~5% over 5 years), patients with SMM have a ~50% likelihood of requiring therapy for their multiple myeloma within the first 5 years of diagnosis. For those at intermediate to high risk of disease progression, early intervention to delay progression of disease, thereby averting disease-related morbidities related and potentially changing the natural course of the disease, is highly desirable.

On the other hand, given the fact that these patients are by definition asymptomatic and would otherwise be monitored off treatment, it is critical that any intervention applied in this group of patients is well tolerated. Daratumumab is a highly attractive candidate in this particular space, because it has single agent activity in heavily-pretreated relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma and a favorable side effect profile relative to many other myeloma therapeutics. Additionally, given the importance of impaired immune surveillance in multiple myeloma, the immuno-stimulatory effects of daratumumab in the bone marrow microenvironment could potentially reawaken robust T cell responses to the disease.

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CLL: Overall Treatment Savings With Ibrutinib (Imbruvica) Despite Higher Prescription Costs

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Sundaram

Murali Sundaram, MBA, Ph.D.
Director of Real World Value and Evidence
Oncology, Janssen

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Ibrutinib is a novel Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor approved for the treatment of patients with newly diagnosed chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

Ibrutinib is administered orally while standard of care (CD20 monoclonal antibody-based chemoimmunotherapy [CIT]) is administered intravenously. This difference in route of administration impacts what type of benefit covers these treatments (i.e., pharmacy benefit for oral ibrutinib and medical benefit for intravenous CIT).

Previous studies evaluating the costs burden of patients treated with ibrutinib versus CIT did not include the full spectrum of real-world healthcare costs.

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CTCA Reports Thousands of Patients Have Had Treatment Based On Precision Biomarkers

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Ricardo Alvarez MD MSc Medical Director of the Breast Cancer Center Director of Cancer Research Cancer Treatment Centers of America, CTCA Atlanta

Dr. Alvarez

Ricardo Alvarez MD MSc
Medical Director of the Breast Cancer Center
Director of Cancer Research
Cancer Treatment Centers of America, CTCA
Atlanta

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: “The background of this study comes from five years of experience in one of our precision medicine programs that was launched in 2013 and this is the experience of a group of personnel from a hospital that helps physicians in five different hospitals that are a part of the CTCA network and for physicians who order a next generation sequencing test.

In this particular report, we have only one vendor, and that is Foundation Medicine and we analyze three different genomic platforms, Foundation One test, Foundation Act and Foundation One Hem.

In total, approximately 8,800 tests have been analyzed and that was the presentation at ESMO 2018. It’s important that the Precision Medicine Program (PMed) helps physicians to identify actionable and potentially actionable targets for the result of this test so patients can be treated with targeted therapy, and this can be done by selecting clinical trials or recommending patients to be treated off-label agents.

When we say off label, meaning that they are not specifically FDA-approved drugs for this indication that we are treating.”

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Use of Biosimilar Growth Factor Increases in Supportive Cancer Care

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Abiy Agiro, PHD HealthCore Inc Wilmington, Delaware

Dr. Agiro

Abiy Agiro, PHD
HealthCore Inc
Wilmington, Delaware 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Biosimilar approval pathway, authorized in 2010 by the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act as part of the Affordable Care Act, aims to increase adoption of biosimilar products and generate significant cost savings to payers and patients alike. Biosimilar filgrastim, used to prevent febrile neutropenia, is one of the first biosimilars to be approved in the United States. A large scale, post-approval real-world analysis was needed that compares biosimilar filgrastim to the original drug for safety and efficacy.

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Second Generation 3-Drug Combination Found Safe & Effective for Newly Diagnosed Multiple Myeloma

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Ola Landgren, MD, PhD Professor of Medicine  Chief, Myeloma Service  Department of Medicine  Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center New York, NY 10065

Dr. Landgren

Ola Landgren, MD, PhD
Professor of Medicine
Chief, Myeloma Service
Department of Medicine
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
New York, NY 10065

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Meta-analysis show that minimal residual disease (MRD) negativity is a strong predictor of longer progression-free survival (PFS). Emerging data show that an increasing proportion of newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients obtain MRD negativity after modern combination therapy, even in the absence of bone marrow transplant. The first generation of 3-drug combination therapy (RVd) was associated with quite high rates of peripheral neuropathy which may be life-long.

The current study was designed to define the rates of peripheral neuropathy in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma treated with the second generation of 3-drug combination therapy (KRd), and per default delayed transplant (i.e. collection of stem cells which were stored for potential future use).

This single arm, phase 2 study found no cases of grade 3 peripheral neuropathy. The rates of MRD negativity wereunprecedented; 28 of 45 patients achieved MRD-negative CR (62%). The durability of MRD-negative CR has been observed up to 70 months (median duration 52.4 months). Patients who achieved MRD negativity by the end of cycle 8 had a 78% reduced risk of progression. The results were regardless of age or cytogenetic risk category.

The results from this second generation of 3-drug combination therapy (KRd) without transplant,  compare favorably to first generation of 3-drug combination therapy (RVd) followed by stem cell transplant.

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Risk Factors for Melanoma in Women

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

One example of malignant melanoma, courtesy of skin cancer foundation

One example of malignant melanoma, courtesy of Skin Cancer Foundation

Reza Ghiasvand, PhD
Oslo Centre for Biostatistics and Epidemiology
Faculty of Medicne
University of Oslo
Oslo, Norway 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer. It is estimated that about 288,000 individuals will be diagnosed and about 61,000 will die from it in 2018, with the majority of patients in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and North America. Ultraviolet (UV) exposure (from both the sun and tanning beds) is the most important preventable risk factor for melanoma. However, the association between UV exposure and melanoma is complex and does not accord with a simple model in which risk increases directly with exposure. An individual risk of melanoma also depends on personal characteristics such as skin color and skin sensitivity to the UV exposure, hair color, number of moles, and age.

It has been hypothesized that the pattern of UV exposure may play a role in melanoma development in different body sites. For example, melanoma on the trunk (chest and back) has been linked to the recreational UV exposure such as sunbathing and frequent sunburns in people with high number of moles on their body. In contrast, melanomas on the head and neck have been linked to constant sun exposure such as occupational UV exposure, mainly in older people. Epidemiologic and molecular evidence in support of this hypothesis has been published based on analyses of small datasets. Also, melanoma on legs and arms is less studied under this hypothesis.

In our study, we examined UV exposure (sunbathing, sunburn and sunbed use) and pigmentary factors (skin, eye, and hair color, freckling, and number of moles), and risk of melanoma on different body sites. We used information from the Norwegian Women and Cancer Study, a population-based cohort study that started in 1991, and includes more than 161,000 Norwegian women followed for an average of 18 years.

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Advanced Prostate Cancer: Risk of Mortality with Surgery vs Radiotherapy

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Anthony Victor D'Amico, MD, PhD Professor and Chief, Genitourinary Radiation Oncology Harvard Medical School

Dr. D’Amico

Anthony Victor D’Amico, MD, PhD
Professor and Chief,
Genitourinary Radiation Oncology
Harvard Medical School

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: This study investigated whether surgery followed by the use of adjuvant low dose radiation and short course hormonal therapy as compared to high dose radiation and hormonal therapy could provide an equivalent low risk of death from prostate cancer amongst men presenting with aggressive and not infrequently fatal Gleason score 9 or 10 prostate cancer.

It has been shown previously (https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2673969) and validated in the current study that surgery alone in such cases leads to a more then 2.5-fold increase in the risk of death from prostate cancer as compared to high dose radiation and hormonal therapy.  Continue reading

Novel Immunotherapy Combination Shows Promise in Some with Resistant Metastatic Colon Cancer

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr James Kuo, MBBS Medical oncologist and Deputy Medical Director Scientia Clinical Research Sydney, Australia 

Dr. Kuo

Dr James Kuo, MBBS
Medical oncologist and Deputy Medical Director
Scientia Clinical Research
Sydney, Australia

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) that have seen success in the treatment of patients with various tumour types have not been as effective in patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer and therefore immune-therapeutic agents of novel mechanism of action, in particular in combination with existing ICI, need to be investigated.

This study set out to test the safety and efficacy of pixatimod, a novel immunomodulatory agent, in combination with nivolumab, firstly in the dose escalation cohorts in patients with any solid tumour for the maximal tolerable dose, and then using this dose to further treat an expansion cohort of patients with pancreatic cancer. Altogether 16 patients had received the combination and in 10 patients in whom treatment response was evaluable, 4 patients experienced a clinical benefit and continued treatment in the trial, with 1 patient having a significant partial response now treated for 48 weeks. Interestingly, all these 4 patients had metastatic colorectal cancer. Side effect profile has been consistent with other immunotherapeutic agent combination and in the patients who had clinical benefit, no treatment related side effects were observed.  Continue reading

Advanced Prostate Cancer: Androgen-Receptor Testing May Guide Selection of Treatment

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Diagram_showing_prostate_cancer_that_has_spread_to_the_bones_CRUK_183.svg.png

Prostate cancer that has metastasized to the bone: Wikipedia Image

Vincenza Conteduca, MD, PhD
Istituto Scientifico Romagnolo per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori (IRST) Srl – IRCCS
Meldola , Italy

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: In our previous publications, we showed that the study of plasma cell-free DNA holds promise for improving treatment choice in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). Specifically, we demonstrated that the detection in plasma of aberrations (copy number alterations and/or point somatic mutations) of androgen receptor (AR), using an easy and robust multiplex droplet digital PCR method, predicted an adverse outcome in mCRPC patients treated with second-generation AR-directed therapies (abiraterone or enzalutamide) in both settings: chemotherapy-naïve and post-docetaxel.

This current multi-institution work builds on our previous discoveries. We investigated the association of androgen receptor status and survival in men treated with docetaxel. Moreover, we performed an exploratory analysis in patients treated with docetaxel or AR-directed therapies as first-line therapy.

Interestingly, we observed that plasma AR-gained patients do not have a worse outcome compared to AR-normal patients when treated with docetaxel as first-line therapy. This introduces the opportunity to use plasma to select for docetaxel in preference to androgen receptor-directed therapies in AR gained mCRPC patients.

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Brain Metastases: Stereotactic Radiation vs Surgery Compared

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Stephanie E. Weiss MD FASTRO Chief, Division of Neurologic Oncology Associate Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology Director, Radiation Oncology Residency and Fellowship Training Program Fox Chase Cancer Center Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Dr. Weiss

Dr. Stephanie E. Weiss MD FASTRO
Chief, Division of Neurologic Oncology
Associate Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology
Director, Radiation Oncology Residency and Fellowship Training Program
Fox Chase Cancer Center
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Brain metastasis are the most common form of brain tumor.

Historically all patients received whole brain radiation as the primary therapy. Patients required neurosurgery to remove lesions if there was a question of diagnosis, what the diagnosis is and if there was a mass effect not relieved with steroids. Surgery was also indicated for patients with a single brain lesion because this offers a survival benefit over just receiving whole brain radiotherapy.

In 2003 a randomized trial proved that radiosurgery offers a similar benefit. So the question taxing patients and doctors at tumor boards since has been: which is better? If neurosurgery is superior, we are under-treating a lot of patients with radiosurgery. If radiosurgery is superior, we are subjecting a lot of patients to unnecessary brain surgery. Attempts to study this in a head-to-head randomized trial have failed. Patient and physician preference for one treatment or the other has proven to be a barrier to randomization and accrual. The EORTC 22952-2600 trial was originally designed to compare outcomes with and without whole brain radiation for patients receiving surgery or radiosurgery for brain metastasis.

We used this as the highest-quality source data available to compare local control of brain metastasis after surgery or radiosurgery, adjusted for by receipt or not of whole brain radiation.   Continue reading

Estrogen Receptors More Versatile and Widespread Than Previously Recognized

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
"Mammogram" by slgckgc is licensed under CC BY 2.0Prof. Cathrin Brisken MD, PhD

ISREC, School of Life Sciences
Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale (EPFL)
CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Estrogen receptor signaling has been well characterized in various in vitro models, like breast cancer cell lines.  Understanding estrogen receptor action in complex in vivo context is much more challenging.

We obtained elegant mouse models in which either all estrogen receptor function or specifically either the hormone dependent (AF-2) or the hormone independent (AF-1) function were ablated. Using the mammary glands from these mice we performed tissue recombination studies to discern the role of the different aspects of estrogen receptor signaling in the mouse mammary epithelium and its different cell populations.

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About 20% of Women With Earlier Stage Breast Cancer Progress to Metastatic Disease Within 20 Years

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Angela Mariotto PhD Chief of the Data Analytics Branch  Surveillance Research Program (SRP) Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences National Cancer Institute 

Dr. Mariotto

Angela Mariotto PhD
Chief of the Data Analytics Branch
Surveillance Research Program (SRP)
Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences
National Cancer Institute (NCI

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Progressing to metastatic breast cancer (MBC) is one of the major concerns for women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer. Before our study there were no reliable numbers on risk of metastatic breast cancer recurrence after a (non-metastatic) breast cancer diagnosis, as registries do not routinely collect this data.

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Treatment Delays Linked To High Mortality for Head and Neck Cancer

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Evan M. Graboyes is a otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeon with the Medical University of South Carolina. CREDIT Emma Vought, Medical University of South Carolina

Dr. Graboyes

Dr. Evan M. Graboyes MD
Otolaryngologist: Head and Neck Surgeon
Medical University of South Carolina

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Unfortunately, there is no screening test for head and neck cancer like there is for colorectal, prostate, breast, lung, or cervical cancers. As a result, two-thirds of patients with head and neck cancer (HNC) present with loco-regionally advanced disease, making other aspects of timely treatment that much more critically important. We therefore sought to understand the association between treatment delay at different points along the cancer care continuum and oncologic outcomes for patients with head and neck cancer.

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Computer Algorithm Can Distinguish Dangerous From Manageable Prostate Cancer

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Davide Pellacani Ph.D. Postdoctoral Fellow, Eaves' Lab Terry Fox Laboratory, BC Cancer Research Centre Vancouver, BC

Dr. Pellacani

Davide Pellacani Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Eaves’ Lab
Terry Fox Laboratory,
BC Cancer Research Centre
Vancouver, BC

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Prostate cancer is characterized by frequent DNA methylation changes compared to normal tissue. Nevertheless, understanding which of those changes lead to the acquisition of malignant proprieties is complicated by the predominance of cells with luminal features in prostate cancers.

In this study we generated DNA methylation maps of two distinct cell populations found within prostate cancer samples (called basal and luminal) and their normal counterparts. These datasets clearly showed that many of the common DNA methylation changes found in prostate cancer are present in luminal cells from both cancer and normal tissues. These changes are not necessarily cancer-specific, and are likely due to the bias associated with analyzing tissues in bulk, where most cancer cells have luminal-like features.

We used these datasets to derive two cancer-specific and phenotype-independent DNA methylation signatures: one specific to prostate cancer luminal cells, and one composed of changes measured in both luminal and basal cancer cells.

We then validated the potential clinical utility of these signatures by testing their ability to distinguish prostate cancer from normal samples, and tumours that have already escaped the prostate from those that have not, using the publicly available dataset from The Cancer Genome Atlas.

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Can an Organic Diet Reduce Cancer Risk?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

"Sunday market in Paris: all organic food" by Richard Smith is licensed under CC BY 2.0Julia Baudry &
Emmanuelle Kesse-Guyot PhD
Centre de Recherche Epidémiologie et Statistique Sorbonne Paris Cité, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM) U1153, Institut National de la Recherche

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Among the environmental risk factors for cancer, there are concerns about exposure to different classes of pesticides, notably through occupational exposure. Organic foods are less likely to contain pesticide residues than conventional foods, and studies have showed that an organic diet reduces exposure to certain pesticides (Baudry et al 2018, Oates et al 2014, Curl et al 2015). In the general population, the primary route of exposure is diet, especially intake of conventionally grown fruits and vegetables. However, few studies have examined the association of organic food consumption with cancer risk.

In a population of 68 946 French adults from the NutriNet-Santé study, we found a reduction of 25% of cancer risk among consumers with a high frequency of organic foods compared to consumers with a low frequency, after accounting for many factors (such as lifestyle, diet and sociodemographic factors). Specifically a 34% and 76% decrease in risk was observed for post-menopausal breast cancer and all lymphomas, respectively, among frequent organic food consumers compared to consumers with a low organic food consumption frequency.

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