Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Exercise - Fitness, Heart Disease, JAMA, UCLA / 29.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Christina M. Dieli-Conwright, PhD, MPH, FACSM, CSCS Assistant Professor of Research Director, Integrative Center for Oncology Research in Exercise Division of Biokinesiology & Physical Therapy, Ostrow School of Dentistry Department of Medicine, Keck School of Medicine University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA 90033 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This study was designed to assess the effects of an aerobic and resistance exercise on metabolic dysregulation in sedentary, obese breast cancer survivors, however we further examined the effects on cardiovascular disease risk measured by the Framingham Risk Score, reported here. Our findings indicated that exercise, indeed, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease in this population. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Cannabis, End of Life Care, NYU / 28.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Arum Kim, MD Assistant Professor Medicine and Rehabilitation Medicine NYU School of Medicine Director of the Supportive Oncology Program Perlmutter Cancer Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There is increasing interest in medical marijuana and its applications for patients with cancers. Despite increasing access, little is known regarding doses of cannabinoids - specifically delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-8-THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), methods of drug delivery, and differences in patterns of use between cancer and non-cancer patients. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, JAMA / 28.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Isaac Chua MD Instructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School Boston, Massachusetts MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Opioids are routinely prescribed for cancer-related pain, but little is known about the prevalence of opioid-related hospitalizations for patients with cancer. Although opioid addiction among patients with cancer is estimated to be as high as 7.7%, our understanding of opioid misuse is based on small, preliminary studies. In light of the wider opioid epidemic, oncologists and palliative care clinicians frequently balance providing patients with legitimate access to opioids while protecting them and the general public from the risks of prescribing these medications. (more…)
AACR, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Dental Research, Pancreatic, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 28.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Julie R. Palmer, ScD Professor, Boston University School of Medicine Associate Director, Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University Boston, MA 02118 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Since 1995, 59,000 African American women from all regions of the U.S. have participated in a Boston University research study of the health of Black women. Study participants complete mailed or online questionnaires every two years. Our major goal is to identify modifiable risk factors for cancers and nonmalignant conditions that disproportionately affect African Americans (e.g., pancreatic cancer, early-onset breast cancer, type 2 diabetes, uterine fibroids). The reasons for the higher incidence of pancreatic cancer in African Americans relative to non-Hispanic White women in the U.S. are unknown. I was aware that several recent studies in predominantly White populations had observed a higher incidence of pancreatic cancer in those who had reported poor oral health and wondered whether the higher prevalence of poor oral health among African Americans could play a role in their higher incidence of pancreatic cancer. We had already asked about gum disease, periodontal disease, and adult tooth loss in several rounds of data collection. After rigorous analysis, we found that women who reported any adult tooth loss had about two times the risk of future development of pancreatic cancer compared with those who had no tooth loss and had never reported periodontal disease. The estimated risk was even greater for those who had lost five or more teeth. A similar association was observed for reports of periodontal disease, but the association was not statistically significant. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Chemotherapy, NEJM / 27.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rita Mehta, MD, HS Clinical Professor, Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center University of California School of Medicine, Irvine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Most patients with HR-positive breast cancer become resistant to hormonal therapies like aromatase inhibitor-anastrozole over time, and downregulating estrogen receptor was identified as a mechanism for overcoming or delaying resistance to hormonal therapy in advanced HR-positive breast cancer. The prospective, randomized phase III S0226 trial, first reported by us in NEJM 2012, showed that the selective estrogen receptor degrader fulvestrant in combination with anastrozole significantly improved progression-free survival in 707 women with HR-positive metastatic breast cancer in first-line setting. Treatment with the selective estrogen receptor degrader (SERD) fulvestrant achieved a clinically significant and meaningful improvement in overall survival in patients with hormone receptor (HR)-positive advanced breast cancer in first-line therapy, according to the final analysis of overall survival results from the S0226 study reported by us (Mehta et al. NEJM 2019)
  • Results showed that median overall survival improved by 7.8 months with anastrozole plus fulvestrant (median overall survival = 49.8 months) compared to anastrozole (median overall survival = 42.0 months).
  • The improvement was even greater in patients with endocrine naive disease, with an absolute improvement in median overall survival of 11.9 months.
  • No new safety signals were observed with longer follow-up.
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Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Genentech, Leukemia / 25.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nancy Valente, M.D. VP of Global Hematology Development Genentech Dr. Valenta discusses the announcement of the submission by Genentech of a supplemental New Drug Application to the FDA for Venclexta plus Gazyva for people with previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia with co-existing medical conditions. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings of the Phase III CLL14 study? Response: We completed the submission of a supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) to the FDA for Venclexta® (venetoclax) in combination with Gazyva® (obinutuzumab) in people with previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and co-existing medical conditions. CLL is the most common form of adult leukemia and more than 20,000 new cases will be diagnosed in the U.S. this year. The sNDA is based on data from the Phase III CLL14 study, which evaluated fixed-duration Venclexta in combination with Gazyva in people with previously untreated CLL. Results showed this chemotherapy-free combination can help people with previously untreated CLL live significantly longer without their disease worsening (progression-free survival; PFS) compared to standard-of-care Gazyva plus chlorambucil. The FDA is reviewing our application under the Real-Time Oncology Review (RTOR) pilot program, which is exploring a more efficient review process to ensure safe and effective treatments are available to patients as early as possible. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, JAMA / 21.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Peter R. Dixon, MD Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation University of Toronto Toronto, Ontario, Canada MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The word ‘cancer’ is often associated with an aggressive and lethal disease. Innovations in screening and diagnostic tests detect some ‘cancers’ that -- even if left untreated -- pose very low-risk of any symptoms, progression, or mortality. Still, many of these low-risk cancers are treated aggressively and those treatments can have harmful consequences and side-effects. We were interested in determining how influential the word ‘cancer’ is in decisions made by patients about low-risk malignant neoplasms relative to other labels for the same disease. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, CT Scanning, Lung Cancer, University of Pittsburgh / 14.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Panayiotis (Takis) Benos, Ph.D. Professor and Vice Chair for Academic Affairs Department of Computational and Systems Biology Associate Director, Integrative Systems Biology Program Department of Computational and Systems Biology, SOM and Departments of Biomedical Informatics and Computer Science University of Pittsburgh   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) scans is the main method used for early lung cancer diagnosis. Early lung cancer diagnosis significantly reduces mortality. LDCT scans identify nodules in the lungs of 24% of the people in the high-risk population, but 96% of these nodules are benign. Currently there is no accurate way to discriminate benign from malignant nodules and hence all people with identified nodules are subjected to follow up screens or biopsies. This increases healthcare costs and creates more anxiety for these individuals. By analyzing a compendium of low-dose computed tomography scan data together with demographics and other clinical variables we were able to develop a predictor that offers a promising solution to this problem. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, NEJM / 13.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Maud Jansen, MD | Resident Dermatology | PhD candidate Dermatologie, Maastricht MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Actinic keratosis is the most frequent premalignant skin disease in the white population and is caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation. With a prevalence of 37.5% among whites 50 years of age or older, actinic keratosis is one of the most frequent reasons for patients to visit a dermatologist. If left untreated, actinic keratosis may develop into squamous cell carcinoma. Current guidelines provide no clear recommendations about which treatment approach is preferred. Currently, the choice of treatment often depends on the preferences of patients and their treating physicians. Evidence from randomized trials with direct comparison between treatments and with long-term follow-up is scarce. Frequently prescribed and studied field-directed treatment approaches are 5-fluorouracil cream, imiquimod cream, photodynamic therapy (PDT), and ingenol mebutate gel. We investigated the effectiveness of these four frequently used field-directed treatments (for multiple lesions in a continuous area). Over 600 patients in four different hospitals (Maastricht UMC+, Zuyderland (Heerlen), VieCuri (Venlo and Venray) en Catharina (Eindhoven)participated in the study. Patients were randomly assigned to one of the four treatments. The main result of our study was that we found that after 12 months of follow-up, 5% fluorouracil cream was the most effective treatment in the treatment of patients with multiple actinic keratosis lesions. Moreover, patient satisfaction and increase in health-related quality of life were highest in the 5-fluorouracil group. (more…)
Author Interviews, Lung Cancer, Nature, Technology / 05.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Saeed Hassanpour, PhD Assistant Professor Departments of Biomedical Data Science, Computer Science, and Epidemiology Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth Lebanon, NH 03756 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Lung cancer is the deadliest cancer for both men and women in the western world. The most common form, lung adenocarcinoma, requires pathologist’s visual examination of resection slides to determine grade and treatment. However, this is a hard and tedious task. Using new technologies in artificial intelligence and deep learning, we trained a deep neural network to classify lung adenocarcinoma subtypes on histopathology slides and found that it performed on par with three practicing pathologists. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Prostate Cancer / 05.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Charlotte Skriver, PhD student, MSc Danish Cancer Society Research Center Statistics & Pharmacoepidemiology Danish Cancer Society Copenhagen MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The drug aspirin is widely used due to its established protection against cardiovascular diseases. Increasing evidence also supports an effect of aspirin use on reducing the risk of and mortality from colorectal cancer and possibly other cancer types. Recent studies have suggested that aspirin use after a diagnosis of prostate cancer may improve the prognosis. We examined whether use of low-dose aspirin was associated with survival after prostate cancer in a nationwide study of prostate cancer patients in Denmark. (more…)
AACR, Author Interviews, Biomarkers, MD Anderson / 05.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Vassiliki Papadimitrakopoulou, MD Professor of Medicine Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: 30% of patients with newly diagnosed advanced NSCLC can be treated successfully with targeted therapies, often yielding higher response rates than chemotherapy or immune checkpoint inhibitors. Selecting first-line therapy for patients with NSCLC requires assessment of an expanding list of guideline-recommended genomic biomarkers (EGFR, ALK, ROS1, BRAF, RET, MET amplification and exon 14 skipping, and ERBB2, with NTRK newly added) Standard-of-care (SOC) testing relies on tissue, which is limited by biopsy-related risks, specimen insufficiency, and lab processing duration, which hamper timely optimal treatment selection - NILE is a large, prospective, multicenter, head-to-head study of SOC tissue-based genomic testing to plasma-based comprehensive cfDNA genomic testing (Guardant360®). For the four biomarkers with FDA approved therapies, up to 34% of patients were tested by SOC tissue testing versus 95% with cfDNA testing. NILE met its primary endpoint - cfDNA performed similar to tissue in the detection of guideline-recommended biomarkers and cfDNA results were delivered significantly faster than SOC tissue testing (median 9 days vs. 15 days).Using cfDNA testing first, 87% of patients with a guideline-recommended biomarker would have been detected, compared to 67% if SOC tissue testing was first. (more…)
AACR, Author Interviews, Colon Cancer / 04.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ronit Yarden, PhD, MHSA Director of Medical Affairs Colorectal Cancer Alliance, a patient advocacy organization Washington, D.C. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The colorectal Cancer Alliance is a patient advocacy group (the largest advocacy group for colorectal cancer) and its mission is to provide support to patients, survivors, their caregivers and family members as well as advocate on their behalf for. The organization is also committed to raise awareness for screening and early detection of colorectal cancer to help save lives and to provide funding for innovative colorectal cancer research. As part of our support we sought to identify some of the clinical, emotional and financial experiences and unmet needs of patients under 50 years old. We conducted an online survey that was promoted through social media and 1195 patients and survivors completed our survey. (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, CT Scanning, JAMA, Lung Cancer, Medical Imaging / 01.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Martin C. Tammemägi PhD Senior Scientist Cancer Care Ontario | Prevention & Cancer Control Scientific Lead Lung Cancer Screening Pilot for People at High Risk Professor (Epidemiology) | Brock University Department of Health Sciences Ontario, Canada MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Some prediction models can accurately predict lung cancer risk (probability of developing lung cancer during a specified time). Good model predictors include sociodemographic, medical and exposure variables. In recent years, low dose computed tomography (LDCT) lung cancer screening has become widespread in trials, pilots, demonstration studies, and public health practice. It appears that screening results provides added valuable, independent predictive information regarding future lung cancer risk, aside from the lung cancers directly detected from the diagnostic investigations resulting from positive screens. (more…)
ASCO, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, NEJM, Prostate Cancer / 25.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Karim Fizazi, MD, PhD Head of the Department of Cancer Medicine Institute Gustave Roussy MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? How does darolutamide differ from other medications for prostate cancer? Response: Despite recent treatment advances, there is still significant unmet need for new therapeutic options for men with non-metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (nmCRPC). In laymen’s terms, nmCRPC is cancer that has not spread beyond the prostate region; PSA levels are elevated, despite treatment with hormone therapy, and men with nmCRPC generally feel well and do not have symptoms. The unmet medical need is for treatments that achieve disease control and delay the spread of the cancer without impacting their daily lives or increasing the burden of disease with treatment side effects. While the current treatments in this space are effective in delaying onset of metastases, the side effects can be unpleasant and disruptive to men’s lives; particularly cognitive issues, seizures, impact on balance which may lead to falls and bone fractures, rash and hypertension. Furthermore, new treatment options that have limited interactions with medications typically used in this patient population are also important. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Chemotherapy, NEJM / 24.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Aditya Bardia, MBBS, MPH Director, Precision Medicine, Center for Breast Cancer, Attending Physician Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center Harvard Medical School Boston, MA 02114 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Metastatic triple negative breast cancer is associated with aggressive tumor biology, and tends to affect younger patients and African Amerians. The response rate with standard chemotherapy regimens in patients with pre-treated metastatic TNBC ranges from 10-15%, and median progression-free survival ranges from 3-4 months. The median survival of metastatic TNBC is around 12 months and has not changed in the past 20 years. Thus, treatment of metastatic triple negative breast cancer represents an unmet clinical need. (more…)
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, JAMA, Prostate Cancer / 24.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Masaki Shiota MD, PhD Department of Urology Graduate School of Medical Sciences Kyushu University Fukuoka , Japan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase-1 encoded by HSD3B1 is a rate-limiting enzyme required for all pathways of dihydrotestosterone synthesis, as well as converts abiraterone into Δ4-abiraterone (D4A), which blocks multiple steroidogenic enzymes and antagonizes the androgen receptor. A mutation (1245A>C) in HSD3B1 is shown to be resistant to proteasomal degradation, causing substantial accumulation of this enzyme and gain-of-function. Although the HSD3B1 (1245C) allele can be acquired by mutation, germ-line single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP; rs1047303) is also known to exist. Then, in this study, we investigated the significance of missense polymorphism in HSD3B1 gene among men treated with primary ADT or abiraterone. The results showed men carrying variant allele showed higher risk of progression in primary androgen-deprivation therapy, but vulnerable to abiraterone treatment. (more…)
Author Interviews, Colon Cancer, Gastrointestinal Disease / 23.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Michael Epstein MD Dr. Epstein has over 30 years of experience in the field of Gastroenterology with extensive medical training as a practicing clinician, including treating patients with a range of gastroenterological conditions, such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Hepatology and Liver diseases. Dr. Epstein is also the founder and principle physician at Digestive Disorders Associates and is the president of the Maryland Diagnostic and Therapeutic Endo Center, both in Annapolis, Maryland. He is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine with a sub-specialty in Gastroenterology. He is a fellow of the American Gastroenterology Association and the American College of Gastroenterology, and a member of the Society of Gastrointestinal Surgeons. MedicalResearch.com: What is the importance of colonoscopy? Response: We lose more people to colon cancer each year than who have died in the Vietnam War. I believe that colon cancer has become a public health issue and there is a great need to increase public awareness around screening. It is so important for patients to take part in routine screenings as the symptoms of colon cancer are often silent. Sadly, often times people do not know they have colon cancer until the cancer is in an advanced state. A colonoscopy is important because it is the only test that can currently detect and treat this type of cancer that is also one of the leading killers in the United States. Not only can we often detect pre-cancerous polyps, but we can often remove these polyps during the procedure. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Dermatology, Radiation Therapy / 23.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: William I. Roth MD Dermatology and Dermatological Surgery Boynton Beach, FL MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
  • This retrospective study reviewed medical records of patients with biopsy-proven, primary cutaneous basal and squamous cell carcinoma (BCC and SCC) lesions on the lower extremities. These patients were treated with the Sensus Healthcare’s Superficial Radiation Therapy SRT-100 Unit between 2011 and 2014. The SRT-100 is most amenable for treating non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) in patients aged 65 and older although many younger patients are treated as well when a non-scarring method is desired.
  • The types of skin cancers treated included superficial, well differentiated and moderately differentiated squamous cell carcinomas, squamous cell carcinoma in situ and basal cell carcinomas including infiltrative basal cell carcinomas. Higher energy linear accelerator radiation units have been reported to have a high incidence of healing problems. With the SRT-100 the radiation is concentrated primarily in the higher layers of the skin where the skin cancer is located and thus the treatments are well tolerated.
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ASCO, Author Interviews, Prostate Cancer / 22.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kim Nguyen Chi, MD FRCPC Professor of Medicine, University of British Columbia Regional Medical Director, BC Cancer - Vancouver MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: For over 70 years, androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) has been the main treatment therapy for metastatic prostate cancer patients. This Phase 3 final analysis study looked at adding abiraterone acetate and prednisone to ADT for patients with metastatic prostate cancer, with the primary objectives being to assess improvements in overall survival and radiographic progression-free survival. At the first interim analysis reported in 2017, both primary endpoints were met, and the study was unblinded and patients on the ADT and placebos arm crossed over to receive ADT with abiraterone and prednisone. This study is the final analysis reporting on overall survival. The study findings found abiraterone acetate and prednisone plus ADT continued to demonstrate an improvement in overall survival, hazard ratio (HR) = 0.66, meaning a 34% decrease in the risk of death associated with the use of ADT with abiraterone and prednisone. The median overall survival, which had not been reached before in the ADT with abiraterone and prednisone arm, was 53.3 months compared to 36.5 months for ADT plus placebo, prolonging median overall survival by 16.8 months. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, Hepatitis - Liver Disease, JAMA / 22.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Xuehong Zhang, MD, ScD Assistant Professor in Medicine Harvard Medical School Associate Epidemiologist Brigham and Women's Hospital Boston, MA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In the United States., liver cancer incidence is rapidly increasing and over 42,200 new cases were projected to be diagnosed in 2018. The majority of individuals with liver cancer are diagnosed at a late stage, are not eligible for curative therapy, and die within 1 year of diagnosis. Established risk factors for liver cancer are limited to hepatitis B and C virus (HBV/HCV) infections, metabolic disorders, and smoking. Clearly, identification of novel risk factors, particularly those that are modifiable, is urgently needed. Dietary factors have been suspected as important, but only excessive alcohol use and aflatoxin-contaminated foods are considered to be established dietary risk factors for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Consumption of whole grains and dietary fiber, especially cereal fiber, have been associated with lower risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, which are known predisposing factors for HCC. We thus hypothesized that long-term intake of whole grains and dietary fiber may lower the risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and tested this hypothesis using data from two large prospective cohort studies, the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS). (more…)
Author Interviews, Emory, JAMA, Prostate Cancer, Radiation Therapy / 15.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Deborah Watkins Bruner RN, PhD, FAAN Senior Vice President of Research Emory University Professor and Robert W. Woodruff Chair in Nursing Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology Emory University School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In a randomized clinical trial entitled, “Quality of Life in Patients With Low-Risk Prostate Cancer Treated With Hypofractionated vs Conventional Radiotherapy” the NRG Oncology Group previously demonstrated that men with low risk prostate cancer had similar 5-year disease- free survival of about 85% when treated with either conventional radiotherapy (C-RT) of 73.8 Gy in 41 fractions over 8.2 weeks, or with hypofractionated radiotherapy (H-RT) of 70 Gy in 28 fractions over 5.6 weeks. However, late physician reported side effects of mild bowel and bladder symptoms were increased in patients treated with H-RT and raised questions if the H-RT arm is acceptable to patients. The current study asked the patient’s directly about their bowel, bladder, sexual function, anxiety, depression and general quality of life using valid patient reported questionnaires. These questionnaires have been found to be more accurate for reporting patient symptoms than physician report alone. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Cancer Research, HPV, OBGYNE / 13.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Matejka Rebolj, PhD King’s College London, London, UK   Professor Henry Kitchener, MD FRCOG FRCS University of Manchester, Manchester, UK   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We now have reliable and affordable technologies to detect human papillomavirus (HPV), a virus which is universally accepted as the cause of cervical cancer. Various large trials confirmed that cervical screening could be improved by replacing the smear (cytology) test that has been in use for decades, with HPV testing. Many countries are now making the switch. In England, this is planned for the end of 2019. To test how to run HPV testing within the English National Health Service, a pilot was initiated in 2013 in six screening laboratories. We also wanted to determine whether the encouraging findings from the trials could be translated to everyday practice. This is important not only because we will be using different HPV tests, but also because women undergoing screening in trials are much more selected than those who are invited to population-based screening. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Prostate Cancer, Radiation Therapy / 12.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Amar U. Kishan, MD Assistant Professor Department of Radiation Oncology University of California, Los Angeles MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Typical external beam radiation courses range up to 8-9 weeks in length (39-45 treatments). There are data that shorter courses, delivering a higher dose per day, may be just as effective. Stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) really pushes this concept by condensing the treatment to just four to five treatments, with a high dose per day. Here, we present the pooled results of the outcomes of 2142 men with low and intermediate risk prostate cancer and a median of 6.9 years of followup. We demonstrate a very favorable efficacy and safety profile. Specifically, the rates of recurrences were 4.5% and 10.2% for low and intermediate risk disease at 7 years, and rates of late severe toxicity were 2.4% for urinary toxicity and 0.4% for gastrointestinal toxicity. (more…)
Author Interviews, MRI, Prostate Cancer, Technology / 12.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Gaurav Pandey, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences Icahn Institute of Data Science and Genomic Technology Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging (mpMRI) has become increasingly important for the clinical assessment of prostate cancer (PCa), most routinely through PI-RADS v2, but its interpretation is generally variable due to its relatively subjective nature. Radiomics, a methodology that can analyze a large number of features of images that are difficult to study solely by visual assessment, combined with machine learning methods have shown potential for improving the accuracy and objectivity of mpMRI-based prostate cancer assessment. However, previous studies in this direction are generally limited to a small number of classification methods, evaluation using the AUC score only, and a non-rigorous assessment of all possible combinations of radiomics and machine learning methods. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Prostate Cancer, Radiation Therapy / 12.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Graham Kelly, BSc (Vet) (Hons, BVSc (Hons), PhD Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Noxopharm MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this announcement? What are the main findings? Response: Veyonda is an experimental drug being developed as a means of enhancing the anti-cancer effect of radiotherapy. The Phase 1b DARRT-1 study is assessing the ability of Veyonda to boost a palliative dose of external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) applied to a single lesion, to result in a systemic response in non-irradiated lesions (known as an abscopal response) in men with metastatic, end-stage prostate cancer. The aim is to provide at the least better palliation, and at best a survival advantage. The reported data concerns the study’s initial dose-finding arm involving three different dosages of Veyonda. This arm involves 12 subjects and the report concerns their clinical status at 12-weeks post-irradiation. The data provide clinical evidence of an abscopal effect in at least half of the eight subjects receiving the two highest Veyonda dosages and demonstrate that the combination of Veyonda and palliative radiotherapy was well-tolerated. The 1200 mg dosage was confirmed as the therapeutic dose. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, JAMA, Kidney Disease, Melanoma, Transplantation / 11.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with "Kidney Model 9" by GreenFlames09 is licensed under CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0 Donal J. Sexton, MD, PhD Department of Nephrology and Kidney Transplantation Beaumont Hospital Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Dublin, Ireland MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Patients who receive a kidney transplant as treatment for end stage kidney disease are at risk of malignancy due to immunosuppression. In contrast to other solid organ transplant types, when kidney transplants fail it is possible for recipients to return to dialysis. Immunosuppression is usually reduced or completely stopped when the allograft fails due to the risk of infection on dialysis. We decided to investigate what the trajectory of risk for non-melanoma skin cancer and invasive cancers overall (composite group) looked like for patients who have received multiple consecutive kidney transplants with intervening periods of graft failure. We compared cancer risk during periods of allograft failure and periods of functioning kidney transplants. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Dermatology, Global Health, Melanoma / 08.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Catherine M. Olsen Associate Professor Cancer Control Group QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Melanoma incidence and mortality rates are increasing globally. Public health campaigns aiming to reduce sun exposure and use of sunbed have been implemented in many parts of the world, but there is significant variability in terms of the history and reach of these campaigns across countries. We examined melanoma incidence rates in eight different countries with different patterns of sun exposure and varying approaches to melanoma control. (more…)
Author Interviews, Compliance, Electronic Records, Lung Cancer, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 07.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Samuel Cykert, MD Professor of Medicine and Director of the Program on Health and Clinical Informatics UNC School of Medicine, and Associate Director for Medical Education, NC AHEC Program Chapel Hill, NC MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Reports going as far back as the early 1990’s through reports published very recently show that Black patients with early stage, curable lung cancer are not treated with aggressive, curative treatments as often as White patients. These type of results have been shown in other cancers also. It’s particularly important for lung cancer because over 90% of these patients are dead within 4 years if left untreated. In 2010, our group published a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association that showed that Black patients who had poor perceptions of communication (with their provider), who did not understand their prognosis with vs. without treatment, and who did not have a regular source of care ( a primary care doctor) were much less likely to get curative surgery. Also our results suggested that physicians who treated lung cancer seemed less willing to take the risk of aggressive treatments in treating Black patients (who they did not identify with as well) who had other significant illnesses. Because of the persisting disparities and our 2010 findings, we worked with a community group, the Greensboro Health Disparities Collaborative to consider potential solutions. As these omissions were not overt or intentional because of race on the part of the patients or doctors, we came up with the idea that we needed transparency to shine light on treatment that wasn’t progressing and better communication to ensure that patients were deciding on good information and not acting on mistrust or false beliefs. We also felt the need for accountability – the care teams needed to know how things were going with patients and they needed to know this according to race. To meet these specifications, we designed a system that received data from electronic health records about patients’ scheduled appointments and procedures. If a patient missed an appointment this umbrella system triggered a warning. When a warning was triggered, a nurse navigator trained specially on communication issues, re-engaged the patient to bring him/her back into care. In the system, we also programmed the timing of expected milestones in care, and if these treatment milestones were not reached in the designated time frame, a physician leader would re-engage the clinical team to consider the care options. Using this system that combined transparency through technology, essentially our real time warning registry, and humans who were accountable for the triggered warnings, care improved for both Black and White patients and the treatment disparity for Black patients was dramatically reduced. In terms of the numbers, at baseline, before the intervention, 79% of White patients completed treatment compared to 69% of Black patients. For the group who received the intervention, the rate of completed treatment for White patients was 95% and for Black patients 96.5%. (more…)