Author Interviews, Cancer Research, JAMA, Prostate Cancer, Technology / 13.11.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dave Steiner MD PhD Clinical Research Scientist Google Health, Palo Alto, California MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: For prostate cancer patients, the grading of cancer in prostate biopsies by pathologists is central to risk stratification and treatment decisions. However, the grading process can be subjective, often resulting in variability among pathologists. This variability can complicate diagnostic and treatment decisions. As an initial step towards addressing this problem, we and others in the field have recently developed artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms that perform on-par with expert pathologists for prostate cancer grading. Such algorithms have the potential to improve the quality and efficiency of prostate biopsy grading, but the impact of these algorithms when used by pathologists has not been well studied. In the current study, we developed and evaluated an AI-based assistant tool for use by pathologists while reviewing prostate biopsies. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research / 10.11.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Brianna M. Jones, MD Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai New York, NY MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Oral tongue cancer has traditionally been a diagnosis associated with older age and habitual tobacco or alcohol use. However, in the past few decades there has been a disproportionate increase in oral tongue cancer in young patients, particularly in those without a prior history of significant alcohol or tobacco use. In the literature, these young patients without traditional risk factors seem to represent a distinct clinical entity with worse oncologic outcomes. The purpose of this study was to compare young patients (age ≤45) to older patients (>45) with oral tongue squamous cell carcinoma (OTSCC) without habitual smoking or drinking history. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Breast Cancer, Cancer Research, Radiation Therapy / 10.11.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Jayant S Vaidya MBBS MS DNB FRCS PhD Professor of Surgery and Oncology University College London MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What type of single dose radiation is used? Response: The findings of the large international randomised trial (TARGIT-A trial), published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ 2020;370:m2836), confirm the long-term effectiveness of Targeted Intraoperative Radiotherapy (TARGIT-IORT): a breast cancer treatment which is increasingly available throughout the world. For most women with early breast cancer, a single dose of targeted radiotherapy during surgery is just as effective as conventional radiotherapy, which requires several visits to hospital after surgery. Conventional external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) is delivered from outside the body via a radiotherapy machine (linear accelerator), and consists of a daily treatment session (known as fractions) to the whole breast, over a period between three to six weeks. Each of these treatments is given over a few minutes, but requires 15 to 30 hospital visits, which could be a significant distance from where the patient lives. TARGIT-IORT is delivered immediately after lumpectomy (tumour removal), via a small ball-shaped device placed inside the breast, directly where the cancer had been. The single-dose treatment lasts for around 20 to 30 minutes and replaces the need for extra hospital visits, benefiting both patient safety and well-being. The device used is called INTRABEAM. More details are described on the BMJ and UCL webpages: https://www.bmj.com/company/newsroom/single-dose-radiotherapy-as-good-as-conventional-radiotherapy-for-most-women-with-early-breast-cancer/ https://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/2020/aug/single-dose-radiotherapy-effective-treating-breast-cancer https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2020/08/20/targeted-intraoperative-radiotherapy-for-early-breast-cancer-new-evidence/ (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Colon Cancer / 05.11.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hisham Hussan, MD, FACG The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Early-onset colorectal cancer (i.e., CRC diagnosed before 50 years of age) is predicted to rise to 10.9% of all colon and 22.9% of all rectal cancers by 2030. Some studies identified an association between early-onset CRC and obesity. By contrast, other studies found a similar body mass index (BMI) between adults with and without early-onset CRC. These conflicting findings are possibly due to weight loss from colorectal cancer that may obscure its relation to obesity. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Journal Clinical Oncology, University of Pittsburgh / 03.11.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kristine Gade, MD Hematology/Oncology Fellow UPMC Hillman Cancer Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you briefly describe the “surprise question”? Response: Via Oncology Pathways, a cancer care platform used by UPMC and other institutions across the country, asks physicians to answer the surprise question – “Would I be surprised if this patient died in the next 12 months?” – whenever a new treatment plan is implemented. This question has been widely adopted by many oncology and palliative care frameworks and has been shown to be modestly predictive of mortality in multiple studies. We know that advanced cancer patients have a high utilization of the emergency department, even near end of life. Our group wanted to see if we could use the results of the surprise question to easily and quickly communicate to emergency department providers the expected prognosis for our advanced cancer patients. First, we set out to assess the surprise question’s ability to predict survival among our UPMC Hillman Cancer Center patients with select stage IV cancer diagnoses. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Dermatology, JAMA / 30.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Selin Tokez, PhD Student Department of Dermatology Erasmus MC, Rotterdam MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) is the second most common skin cancer worldwide with still increasing incidence rates. Given these high incidence rates together with the associated health costs and possibility of fatal progression, it is extremely important to have accurate and complete data on the epidemiology of this disease. Nevertheless, national cancer registries in many countries do not routinely record cSCC cases and therefore currently known numbers are mainly based on incomplete data sources. Additionally, if cSCC cases are registered, this usually only concerns the first cSCC per patient while we know that, contrary to many other malignant neoplasms, patients may develop numerous cSCCs over time. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: In the present study, we analyzed Dutch nationwide data comprising about 145,000 patients with a first invasive cSCC diagnosis between the years 1989 and 2017. We found that the incidence rates of a first cSCC per patient almost tripled in male patients and increased about fivefold in female patients in this 30-year time period. Also, we had data on all cSCCs per patient for the year 2017 and could therefore compare this with the data on only the first cSCC per patient: incidence rates increased by 58% for men and 35% for women when multiple cSCCs were considered. In absolute numbers, this resulted in an increase of 45% in cSCC diagnoses in 2017. Lastly, we extended our analyses by predicting future cSCC incidence rates up to 2027. Given that no substantially effective measures are undertaken in the near future, current cSCC incidence rates will increase with 23% in males and 29% in females in the next decade. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Esophageal, Gastrointestinal Disease / 20.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 加藤元嗣 Mototsugu KATO MD PhD 院長 独立行政法人国立病院機構函館病院 Director, National Hospital Organization Hakodate National Hospita MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The primary goal of upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopic examination is to detect neoplastic lesions in the pharynx, esophagus, and stomach. However, early-stage lesions may frequently be overlooked by conventional white light endoscopy. Since the recent launch of image-enhanced endoscopy, many studies have evaluated its efficacy in diagnosing upper GI neoplasms as well. Linked color imaging (LCI )emphasizes the difference in color to make it easier to detect neoplastic lesions. The aim of this trial is to compare the performance of LCI with white light imaging in detecting upper GI tract neoplastic lesions. (more…)
AstraZeneca, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, ESMO, Lung Cancer, NEJM, Yale / 08.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Roy S. Herbst, M.D., Ph.D. Ensign Professor of Medicine (Medical Oncology) and Professor of Pharmacology Chief of Medical Oncology Yale Cancer Center and Smilow Cancer Hospital Associate Cancer Center Director for Translational Research Yale Cancer Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? How does osimertinib differ from prior versions of EGFR-TKI Inhibitors? o ADAURA is a randomized, double-blinded, global and placebo-controlled Phase III trial in the adjuvant treatment of 682 patients with Stage IB, II, and IIIA EGFRm NSCLC following complete tumor resection and adjuvant chemotherapy as indicated. Patients were treated with osimertinib 80 mg once-daily oral tablets or placebo for three years or until disease recurrence. The primary endpoint is disease free survival (DFS) in Stage II and IIIA patients, and a key secondary endpoint is DFS in Stage IB, II and IIIA patients. Osimertinib is not currently approved in the adjuvant setting in any country. o Osimertinib is a third-generation, irreversible EGFR-TKI with clinical activity against central nervous system metastases. The results of the Phase III ADAURA trial of osimertinib demonstrate for the first time in a global trial that an EGFR inhibitor can change the course of early-stage EGFR-mutated lung cancer for patients. o ADAURA results were first presented in May during the American Society of Clinical Oncology ASCO20 Virtual Scientific Program. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Hepatitis - Liver Disease / 07.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Donna R. Cryer, JD President & CEO of the Global Liver Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this announcement? What is the mission of the GLI? Response: Global Liver Institute 's (GLI) mission is to improve the impact of the liver community by promoting innovation, collaboration, and scaling optimal approaches to eradicating liver diseases. Our vision is for liver health to take its proper place on the global public health agenda consistent with its prevalence and impact. One of the ways we seek to fulfill that mission is through a #OctoberIs4Livers worldwide awareness campaign for the fight against liver cancer, reinforcing October as liver disease and liver cancer awareness month. Not only are we seeing a continuous rise of prevalence of liver cancers, but survival rates for liver cancers are also some of the lowest of any cancer. Even more concerning is that the startling truth about the rise of liver cancer rates began before the COVID-19 pandemic. With the added burden of COVID-19, patients directly at risk from the virus may be diagnosed at a later stage due to delayed screening, and are getting sicker due to limitations on access to care during this pandemic. GLI is appealing to the US Congress to act now to secure the health and well-being of people living with liver disease and liver cancers during COVID-19. Funding is crucial to ensure federal agencies can restart and continue medical research, implement targeted prevention, and support awareness efforts for those impacted by liver disease as they are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. [1] (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Cancer Research / 07.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Padma Sundar, Senior Vice President of Commercial , OncocyteTM oncocyte.com MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this announcement? How common is Stage I-IIA non-squamous NSCLC? DetermaRxTM is a treatment stratification test to identify patients with Stage I-IIA non-squamous NSCLC who may benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy.
  • Stage I-IIA non-squamous NSCLC represents ~20% of the lung cancer population and 40,000 patients annually in the U.S.1
  • Patients with this diagnosis usually undergo surgical resection and are presumed “cured”. While these patients are presumed “cured”, the recurrence rate in early-stage NSCLC of 30-50%. Usually, these recurrences happen within the first two years after surgery and are likely due to the presence of occult distant metastasis at the time of surgery.2
  • Until now, there has not been a validated means of identifying which early-stage patients are at a higher risk of disease recurrence and require adjuvant chemotherapy, versus those patients that are likely cured by surgery alone.
(more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Tobacco Research / 05.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Priti Bandi PhD Principal Scientist, Risk Factors Surveillance Research American Cancer Society, Inc. Atlanta, GA 30303 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Trends in e-cigarette prevalence and population count of users according to cigarette smoking histories are unknown. These data are needed to inform public health actions against a rapidly changing U.S. e-cigarette market. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Prostate Cancer / 01.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Maha Hussain, MD, FACP, FASCO Genevieve Teuton Professor of MedicineDivision of Hem/Onc Deputy Director Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: PROfound is an open-label international Phase III clinical trial which evaluated the efficacy and safety of Olaparib (Lynparza) versus enzalumatide or abiraterone and prednisone in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) who have progressed on prior treatment with NHA treatments (abiraterone and prednisone or enzalutamide) and have a qualifying tumor mutation in BRCA1/2, ATM or one of the other genes involved in the HRR pathway. The trial design included 2 cohorts; Cohort A included patients with BRCA1,2 or ATM and Cohort 2 included patients with 12 other HRR genes. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, HPV, Karolinski Institute, NEJM, Vaccine Studies / 30.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Jiayao Lei PhD Prof. Pär Sparén PhD Karolinski Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The efficacy and effectiveness of quadrivalent HPV (qHPV) vaccine protecting against HPV infection, genital warts and high-grade precancerous cervical lesions have been shown. However, there is lack of population-based studies in examining the association between HPV vaccine and invasive cervical cancer on individual level. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, ESMO, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Social Issues / 21.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ziad Bakouny, MD, MSc Post-doctoral research fellow Lank Center for Genitourinary Oncology Dana-Farber Cancer Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected patients with cancer, with these patients unfortunately having worse outcomes than the general population. In fact, a recent report by the COVID-19 and Cancer Consortium (CCC19) showed that the mortality rate in patients with cancer who develop COVID-19, at 30 days median follow-up, was 16%. Although the adverse outcomes of patients with cancer who develop COVID-19 has received much attention, few studies have thus far investigated the effects of the potential disruption to cancer care delivery caused by the pandemic. Our aim in the COVID and Cancer Outcomes Study (CCOS) was therefore to evaluate this disruption to cancer care caused by the pandemic. This is a multicenter prospective cohort study that included patients seen in the outpatient setting at the Tisch Cancer Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston during one week in March (between March 2 and March 6 2020). Data was collected 3 months before this index week and 3 months prospectively (during the first peak of the pandemic in the Northeastern United States). (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, ESMO / 21.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Guy Jerusalem MD PhD Medical Oncology, CHU Sart Tilman Liège and University of Liège Liège/BE MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: COVID-19 pandemic impacted healthcare systems globally and resulted in the interruption of usual care in many healthcare facilities exposing vulnerable cancer patients to significant risks. Our study aimed to evaluate the impact of this pandemic on cancer care worldwide. A 95 items survey was constructed and distributed worldwide by 20 oncologists from 10 of the most affected countries. 109 representatives from oncology centers in 18 countries filled out the survey between June 17 and July 14. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research / 17.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Arvin C. Dar, PhD Associate Professor Departments of Oncological Sciences & Pharmacological Sciences Tisch Cancer Institute Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Associate Director Mount Sinai Center for Therapeutic Discovery MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We were interested in better understanding the mechanism of action for the drug trametinib. We wanted to understand how the drug actually works – even though its clinically approved, the drug was a ‘serendipitous discovery’ and originally found through phenotypic screens. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Dermatology, Pediatrics / 16.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Irene Lara-Corrales, MD Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Toronto Staff physician in Pediatric Dermatology at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada She is a member of the Society for Pediatric Dermatology.   Christina Boull, MD Assistant Professor of Dermatology at the University of Minnesota Program Director for the Advanced Dermatology Medical Student Rotation Fellowship Director for the Pediatric Dermatology Fellowship MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We got involved in this project a couple of years ago when many members of the Pediatric Dermatology Research Alliance's (PeDRA) Skin Tumors and Reactions to Cancer Therapies (STARC) group started seeing many patients with skin toxicities given by targeted therapies. We recognized that this was a new and growing area of skin concerns that pediatric dermatologists were starting to see. Being such a new field, and with little known about these medications, we thought it would be important to put our cases together and describe what we were seeing. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, Dermatology / 09.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jennifer Huang, MD Dr. Huang is a pediatric dermatologist at Boston Children’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. She is an Associate Professor of Dermatology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Huang is a member of the Society for Pediatric Dermatology. Connie Zhong, MD, MSc Dr. Zhong is an intern at Brigham and Women’s Hospital She will be doing her dermatology residency at the Harvard Combined Dermatology Program. She is a member of the Society for Pediatric Dermatology. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Pediatric nonmelanoma skin cancers (NMSC) are rare and when they do occur, are often associated with genetic/predisposing skin conditions or iatrogenic risk factors. There are some pediatric patients who develop NMSCs who do not have identifiable risk factors. The objective of our study was to describe the demographic and clinical features of these children without identifiable risk factors and compare them with those who have either genetic or iatrogenic risk factors. We conducted a retrospective study at 11 tertiary care institutions across North America through the Pediatric Dermatology Research Alliance (PeDRA) (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, Dermatology / 03.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Yin Zhang MD Research Fellow in Medicine Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Among modern hair dyes, permanent hair dye is the most popular type, and is the most aggressive and extensively used type that has posed the greatest potential concern about cancer risk. Monitoring and investigating the carcinogenic hazard to people from personal use of permanent hair dyes has major public health implications. In 2008, the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer, after comprehensive reviewed prior evidence, classified occupational exposure to hair dyes as a probable carcinogen to humans (group 2A), whereas personal use of hair dyes was not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans (Group 3). Data on hair dye safety has also been continuously monitored by the USFDA. Prior epidemiological evidence may have been influenced by not discriminating between personal and occupational exposure, an inability to distinguish types and colors of hair dyes used, imprecise assessment of several critical domains of exposure history (duration, frequency and cumulative dose), and inadequate control for potential confounding. (more…)
Author Interviews, ESMO, Immunotherapy, Melanoma, NEJM / 03.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Reinhard Dummer, Prof. Dr. med. Stv. Klinikdirektor Universitätsspital Zürich, Dermatologische Klinik Zürich MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Based on molecular biology analysis, a substantial proportion of melanomas are driven by mutations of BRAF resulting in an ongoing growth activating signal. Based on the key role of BRAF several multiple kinase molecules have been developed in order to target this crucial pathway. These medications have shown to improve progression free survival and overall survival in advanced metastatic melanoma. Because there is a tendency for improved outcome in patients with low tumor burden, combined targeted therapy using Dabrafenib and Trametinib have been investigated in the adjuvant (after complete surgical resection) setting in stage III melanoma. And the 5 year data are now available in the New England Journal of Medicine. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Genetic Research, Immunotherapy, Melanoma, Surgical Research / 03.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Edmund K Bartlett, M.D. Department of Surgery/Division of Surgical Oncology Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center New York, New York MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Indications for adjuvant therapy for resected, high-risk melanoma is a controversial and rapidly-evolving topic in melanoma treatment. Immunotherapy treatments targeting PD-1 have significantly improved survival in advanced-stage disease, but the magnitude of survival benefit in stage III disease--particularly stage IIIA--remains unclear. Recently, 31-GEP (a gene expression profiling assay) has been studied as a risk-stratifying tool to identify patients who are at higher risk for systemic recurrence. Ideally such a tool could identify patients most likely to benefit from immunotherapy treatment in the adjuvant setting (when all visible disease has been removed). (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Cancer Research / 20.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Alexey Aleshin, M.D., MBA Senior Medical Director Natera MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Checkpoint inhibitor-based immunotherapies (ICI) have changed the management of a range of cancers of diverse histologies. While these therapies are well tolerated and efficacious, only a minority (<20%) of patients respond to treatment or derive durable clinical benefit from them, highlighting the need for a pan-cancer biomarker that can predict response prior to, or shortly after, treatment initiation. With immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) rapidly becoming a cornerstone of cancer therapy, early determination of response to ICI treatment can optimize patient benefit and minimize the risk of toxicities, while potentially reducing unnecessary treatment and costs to patients and payers. Additionally, due to the nature of immune checkpoint inhibition, atypical patterns of response have emerged. For instance, tumor pseudoprogression — a transient increase in tumor size due to the infiltration of immune cells, followed by delayed shrinkage — has been reported in as much as 10% of patients receiving ICI therapy. Distinguishing pseudoprogression from true progression is clinically important to avoid premature discontinuation of a treatment that may have future benefit, or delay the initiation of an alternative line of therapy. However, they are hard to differentiate using current imaging techniques. Our study published in Nature Cancer earlier this month, demonstrates that bespoke circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) testing may be a valuable tool that sheds light on both of these issues. (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Lymphoma / 14.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Ivana Špaková Pavol Jozef Šafárik University Košice, Slovakia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The background is the plenty of space for studying "waste metabolites" which tell us more about the metabolism of the whole body as well as about the metabolism of the smallest compartment - cell. So we decided to study what is the difference in urine spectra (absorbance, excitation, and emission spectra) in patients with malignant melanoma and healthy subjects without positive cancer history. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: The main findings are "discovery" (it is not true discovery because the target molecules or metabolites are known for decades) of molecules{metabolites which together describe the stage of malignant melanoma. These findings could be used for future tracking the patient's response for treatment or for tracking the previously treated patients for malignant melanoma and are healthy at the moment of sampling. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, Dermatology, JAMA / 14.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Maryam M. Asgari, MD MPH Professor Department of Dermatology, Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are Topical Calcineurin Inhibitors used for? Response: Topical calcineurin inhibitors (TCIs) are FDA approved for the treatment of atopic dermatitis (though they are used off-label to treat a wide range of inflammatory conditions of the skin, including psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, and contact dermatitis). There are currently two drugs available – tacrolimus and pimecrolimus – both of which carry a black box label warning users about the potential for increased skin cancer risk. The risk associated with keratinocyte carcinoma, the most common cancer (defined as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma), remains poorly defined because findings from large-scale post-marketing surveillance studies are lacking. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Nature, Technology / 06.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Moritz Gerstung PhD Group Leader: Computational cancer biology EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We have learned a lot in the last ten years about the molecular nature about various cancers thanks to the resources created by TCGA, ICGC and many other initiatives. Similarly, digital pathology has progressed hugely due to new AI algorithms. Yet it hasn’t been explored deeply how a cancer’s genetic makeup and its histopathological appearance are related. Here computers can be very helpful as they can process large amounts of digital microscopy slide images and test whether there are any recurrent histopathological patterns in relation to hundreds or thousands of genetic and other molecular abnormalities. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA / 04.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Harvey W. Kaufman, MD, MBA, FCAP Senior Medical Director, Medical Informatics Quest Diagnostics Needham, MA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted routine healthcare and in particular cancer screenings. We documented the impact on patients who were newly identified by cancer in the early months of the pandemic by analysis of Quest Diagnostics data. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: We saw a 46% decline in newly identified patients with six common types of cancer. In accordance to healthcare recommendations, many patients didn’t receive mammograms, colonoscopies, low-dose CT scans, and avoided physician visits for minor complaints. When these patients return, some will present with more advanced stages of cancer than they would have without the disruption of the pandemic. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, Dental Research, Esophageal, Gastrointestinal Disease / 24.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mingyang Song, MD, ScD. Division of Gastroenterology Clinical and Translational Epidemiology Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School Department of Nutrition and Department of Epidemiology Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Boston, Massachusetts MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Recent studies showed a presence of dysbiotic oral microbiome in patients with esophageal and gastric cancer, suggesting a link between oral health and these cancers. However, how periodontal disease and tooth loss may influence the risk of these cancers has been inconsistent. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: Our findings support a possible role of oral health in the development of upper GI cancer. Individuals with periodontal disease and tooth loss are at higher risk of developing esophageal and gastric adenocarcinoma. The risk is particularly high for individuals with both periodontal disease and tooth loss. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Cancer Research, Genetic Research, Ovarian Cancer / 22.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof Ranjit Manchanda MD, MRCOG, PhD Professor of Gynaecological Oncology & Consultant Gynaecological Oncologist NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA) Fellow Integrated Academic Training Programme Director London Specialty School of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Health Education England Specialty Research Lead for Gynaecological Cancer, NIHR, North Thames Clinical Research Network Cancer Research UK, Barts Centre | Queen Mary University of London Centre for Cancer Prevention, Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine | Charterhouse Square | London Department of Gynaecological Oncology | Barts Health NHS Trust, Royal London Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Around 10–20% of ovarian cancers and 6% breast cancers overall are caused by inheritable BRCA1/BRCA2 mutations. Women carrying BRCA1/BRCA2 mutations have a 17–44% risk of ovarian cancer and 69–72% risk of breast cancer until age 80 years. Most of these cancers can be prevented in unaffected BRCA1/BRCA2 women carriers. Women can opt for a range of options including screening, preventive, and reproductive choices to minimise their risk. The current approach uses established clinical-criteria/family-history (FH) based a priori BRCA probability thresholds to identify high-risk individuals eligible for BRCA testing. However, this requires individuals and health practitioners to recognise and act on a significant FH. BRCA carriers, who are unaware of their FH, unappreciative of its risk/significance, not proactive in seeking advice, or lack a strong FH (small families/paternal inheritance/chance) get excluded. Over 50% BRCA carriers do not fulfil clinical criteria and are missed. Despite >25 years of BRCA testing and effective mechanisms for prevention, current guidelines and access to testing pathways remain complex and associated with a massive under-utilisation of genetic testing. Only 20% of eligible women have accessed/undergone genetic testing and our earlier analysis showed that 97% of BRCA carriers in the population remain unidentified. Current detection rates are inadequate to identify all BRCA carriers and even doubling detection rates will not work. Why should we wait for decades for people to develop cancer before identifying BRCA carriers and unaffected at-risk family members to offer prevention?. This highlights substantial missed opportunities for early detection and prevention. A new population testing approach can change this. Jewish population studies show this is feasible, acceptable, has high satisfaction (91–95%), significantly reduces anxiety, doesn’t harm psychological well-being or quality of life, and is extremely cost-effective. However, this has not been evaluated in the general population and in particular across different countries or health systems. The potential applicability and scope for this approach transcends continents and countries. Additionally, for interventions to be sustainable, they need to be cost-effective and affordable. We have undertaken a cost-effectiveness analysis of population based BRCA testing compared with current standard clinical testing of women designated as high risk, across high income countries (UK/USA/Netherlands), upper-middle income countries (China/Brazil), and low-middle income country (India). (more…)
AACR, Author Interviews, Cancer Research / 16.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Radek Spisek MD PhD Charles University in Prague MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Immune cytokine IL-15 is a highly promising immuno-oncology target that mobilizes the two most important cell types driving anti-cancer immune responses: cytotoxic T cells and natural killer (NK) cells. Stimulating IL-15 receptors on these cells represents a potent and complementary mechanism to existing cancer treatments, such as PD-1 checkpoint inhibitors or monoclonal antibodies. Sotio is developing an IL-15 superagonist, SO-C101, as a potent immunotherapy for patients with cancer. This study examined SO-C101 in multiple tumor mouse models alone and in combination with PD-1 inhibition. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Mammograms / 30.06.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rachel Farber, MPH School of Public Health Faculty of Medicine and Health University of Sydney New South Wales, Australia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Most breast screening programs worldwide have replaced the use of film mammography with digital mammography. While digital mammography provides significant technical and practical advantages over film mammography in the provision of population screening programs, the effect of this move on health outcomes remained unclear. An increase in screen detected cancer rates is only beneficial if the additional cancers detected would have otherwise presented at a later stage and caused morbidity and premature mortality. An indirect measure of this is an observed decrease in interval cancer rates. Interval cancers are cancers that are diagnosed after a woman has a negative screening result and before her subsequent scheduled screening. (more…)