Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Gender Differences, JAMA / 02.11.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nina Niu Sanford, M.D. Assistant Professor Dedman Family Scholar in Clinical Care UT Southwestern Department of Radiation Oncology Dallas TX MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Minority racial/ethnic groups present at later stages of cancer and have worse stage-specific survival rates.  Cultural competency represents a single element within the dynamic and trans-disciplinary field of health disparities, but is an important modifiable factor for both providers and health organizations that could be associated with disparities in cancer outcomes. There have been longstanding initiatives and training requirements in medical education specifically designed to improve provider cultural competency over the past couple of decades, and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has recently outlined goals for improving cultural competency within its policy statement on cancer disparities. Moreover, ASCO health disparity policies have recently highlighted the association between racial/ethnic disparities in cancer outcomes and a “lack of access to high-quality care that is understanding and respectful of diverse traditions and cultures plays a significant role.”  Given the above, we wished to assess access to culturally competent providers among patients with cancer by race/ethnicity. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, JAMA, Melanoma, Surgical Research, Weight Research / 30.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Magdalena Taube, PhD Institute of Medicine, Dept of Molecular and Clinical Medicine Sahlgrenska Academy at Gothenburg University Wallenberg laboratory Gothenburg Sweden  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Obesity is a cancer risk factor, and bariatric surgery in patients with obesity is associated with reduced cancer risk. However, evidence of an association among obesity, bariatric surgery and skin cancer is limited. In this study we used data from the Swedish Obese Subjects (SOS) study– a prospective controlled intervention trial examining bariatric surgery outcomes – to analyze the impact of bariatric surgery on skin cancer incidence. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Genetic Research, Pharmaceutical Companies / 23.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ambry GeneticsRachid Karam, MD, PhD Ambry Genetics Aliso Viejo, California MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: DNA genetic testing is a powerful tool used to tailor medical care based on an individual’s cancer risk. However, even medical grade DNA genetic testing can produce inconclusive results, finding a change in our DNA to be a variant of unknown significance (a VUS) and failing to determine whether it increases cancer risk. When this happens, healthcare providers might not have the information needed to recommend appropriate preventive and early detection steps, or certain cancer treatments, and relatives may not be referred for genetic testing for their own care. In this study, investigators from Ambry, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Rutgers Cancer Institute, and University of Kansas Cancer Center demonstrated that performing both DNA and RNA genetic testing reduces inconclusive results enabling clinicians to offer cancer screening and treatment resources to the right patients. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Lung Cancer / 23.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Li C. Cheung, PhD Staff Scientist, Biostatistics Branch Division of Cancer Epidemiology & Genetics NCI National Cancer Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Using individualized risk prediction models to select individuals for lung-cancer screening will prevent more lung cancer deaths than current USPSTF guidelines (ages 55-80y; 30+ pack-years; smoke in past 15y). However, risk-based screening would lead to screening even more older smokers with comorbidities, for whom the harms of screening may outweigh the benefits. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, JAMA, Melanoma, Technology / 21.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: https://skin-analytics.com/about-us/ Dr. Helen Marsden PhD Skin Analytics Limited London, United Kingdom MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In this technology age, with the explosion of interest and applications using Artificial Intelligence, it is easy to accept the output of a technology-based test - such as a smartphone app designed to identify skin cancer - without thinking too much about it. In reality, technology is only as good as the way it has been developed, tested and validated. In particular, AI algorithms are prone to a lack of “generalisation” - i.e. their performance drops when presented with data it has not seen before. In the medical field, and particularly in areas where AI is being developed to direct a patient’s diagnosis or care, this is particularly problematic. Inappropriate diagnosis or advice to patients can lead to false reassurance, heightened concern and pressure on NHS services, or worse. It is concerning, therefore, that there are a large number of smartphone apps available that provide an assessment of skin lesions, including some that provide an estimate of the probability of malignancy, that have not been assessed for diagnostic accuracy. Skin Analytics has developed an AI-based algorithm, named: Deep Ensemble for Recognition of Malignancy (DERM), for use as a decision support tool for healthcare providers. DERM determines the likelihood of skin cancer from dermoscopic images of skin lesions. It was developed using deep learning techniques that identify and assess features of these lesions which are associated with melanoma, using over 7,000 archived dermoscopic images. Using these images, it was shown to identify melanoma with similar accuracy to specialist physicians. However, to prove the algorithm could be used in a real life clinical setting, Skin Analytics set out to conduct a clinical validation study. (more…)
AACR, Author Interviews, Melanoma / 20.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Qing Chen, M.D., Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Immunology, Microenvironment & Metastasis Program Scientific Director, Imaging Facility The Wistar Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We are focusing on how a specific type of brain cells, astrocytes, helps the cancer cells from melanoma and breast cancer to form metastatic lesions.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, Global Health, Melanoma / 10.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Suzanne Dobbinson, PhD Senior Research Fellow Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer Behavioural Science Division Australia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Skin cancer prevention programs, such as the SunSmart program in Victoria, have been implemented in Australia over 30 years with the aim of reducing the population’s exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV), the main cause of skin cancer. A recent reduction in melanoma rates among younger Australians has led to this paper which examines the extent of behaviour change in Melbourne, Australia, and the potential contribution of prevention programs to the decline in melanoma rates. Previous population-based studies assessing the impact of these programs have focused on measuring the change in the prevalence of individual sun protection behaviours, and thus have largely overlooked the use of sun avoidance and composite sun protection behaviours. The focus on tracking individual behaviours may have underestimated the behaviour change associated with these programs. We analysed data from a series of cross-sectional surveys conducted in Melbourne during summer months between 1987 and 2017. These data include the summer before the SunSmart program commenced (1987-88) and across summers in three subsequent decades. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Environmental Risks, General Medicine, JAMA, Melanoma, Stanford / 07.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Eleni Linos MD MPH DrPH Professor of Dermatology and Epidemiology Stanford University  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: We know that tanning beds are harmful: people who use tanning beds are more likely to get skin cancer. Sexual minority men are much more likely to use tanning beds and also more likely to get skin cancer. In a separate study we discovered that one reason sexual minority men use tanning beds is if it is convenient: e.g. if close to home, cheap, and easy. (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/bjd.17684). Recent research showed that tobacco retailers cluster in LGB neighborhoods: https://sph.unc.edu/sph-news/more-tobacco-retailers-in-lgbt-neighborhoods-may-explain-smoking-disparities/. This made us wonder if tanning salons also cluster in neighborhoods with more gay men.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Genetic Research / 04.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Ranjit Manchanda MD, MRCOG, PhD Professor & Consultant Gynaecological Oncologist NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA) Fellow Integrated Academic Training Programme Director London Specialty School of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Health Education England Cancer Research UK, Barts Centre | Queen Mary University of London Department of Gynaecological Oncology | Barts Health NHS Trust, Royal London Hospital London  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Current national and international guidelines recommend genetic-testing (for BRCA genes) in women with breast cancer (BC) who fulfil recognised/established clinical criteria which are based on a history of cancer in the patient and family. However 50% of BRCA carriers do not fulfil these criteria. Thus the current  family-history or clinical-criteria based approach misses half the people at risk. Additionally only 20%-30% of patients eligible tend to get referred for and access BRCA testing. Newer genes like PALB2 which cause breast cancer have been identified and can also be tested for. Knowing a patient’s mutation status (carrier identification) can have a number of benefits. After unilateral breast cancer, mutations carriers can choose contralateral prophylactic-mastectomy (CPM) or preventative mastectomy of the second breast to reduce their risk of developing contralateral breast cancer. Additionally they can opt for surgical prevention for ovarian-cancer (OC). Cancer affected carriers may become eligible for novel drugs (like poly-adenosine-diphosphate-ribose-polymerase (PARP) inhibitors) and other precision-medicine based novel drug therapies through clinical trials. A major advantage of genetic-testing is enabling testing relatives of breast cancer mutation carriers, to identify unaffected relatives carrying mutations who can benefit from early diagnosis and cancer prevention. Testing everyone instead of being restricted by family history will identify many more mutation carriers and their family members who can benefit from precision prevention. A large proportion of these cancers are preventable in known unaffected mutations carriers. (more…)
Antibiotic Resistance, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Genetic Research, Journal Clinical Oncology, University Texas / 03.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Fangjian Guo, MD, PhD Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Women’s Health University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston TX  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: The identification of BRCA1/BRCA2 pathogenic variants in women susceptible to breast or ovarian cancer in the 1990s created an opportunity for targeted, individualized cancer prevention. BRCA testing in young women before cancer onset enables early detection of those with increased cancer risk and creates an opportunity to offer life-saving prophylactic procedures and medication. We used insurance claims data to assess the use of BRCA testing in unaffected young women <40 years of age between 2006 and 2017 and found that BRCA testing among cancer-free women under 40 has more than doubled in recent years. However, only about 25% of all BRCA testing done in 2017 was performed in unaffected young women under 40. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research / 03.10.2019

Dr. Dario Altieri in his lab with Dr. Ekta Agarwal conducting an experimentMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ekta Agarwal, Ph.D. Postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Dario Altieri, M.D. Wistar president and CEO ,Director of the Institute’s Cancer Center Robert & Penny Fox Distinguished Professor and co-first author on the study. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: Mitochondrial reprogramming is one of the hallmarks of cancer cell growth and metastasis. There are several studies correlating mitochondrial dynamics to increased cancer cell motility and invasion. However, therapies that can target molecular markers associated with mitochondrial functions and integrity are still obscure. Thus, it is crucial to identify novel targets and pathways that regulate mitochondrial functions in cancer. This study reveals one such mitochondrial molecular pathway which might serve as an actionable anti-cancer therapy. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Lung Cancer, Vaccine Studies / 28.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Naomi E Aronson, MD, FIDA, FACP Professor and Director, Infectious Diseases Division Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences Bethesda, MD  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: BCG is a live attenuated mycobacteria vaccine used to prevent tuberculosis which has been reported to have associated nonspecific effects such as treatment of diabetes, bladder cancer, prevention of severe respiratory infections in children, and suppressed autoimmune responses. In earlier reports in the 1970s, results of epidemiologic studies were divided as to whether BCG vaccine was associated with subsequent rates of malignancy, specifically leukemia (protective) and non Hodgkins lymphoma (higher rates). To further evaluate these observations we studied cancer data collected in the 60 year follow up of a controlled trial of BCG in American Indian/ Alaska Native schoolchildren. (more…)
AACR, Author Interviews, Pancreatic / 24.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hadas Reuveni, PhD VP of Research and Development Kitov Pharma MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is the fourth leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Current treatments fail to provide patients with an effective and long-lasting response, mostly given to the nature of the tumor microenvironment which hinders drug accessibility, the late stage on diagnosis and the rapid upregulation of compensatory alternative signaling pathways by the tumor cells that lead to cancer drug resistance. Two of the major parallel pathways regulating tumor survival and metastasis as well as the crosstalk of the tumor and its microenvironment are mediated by insulin receptor substrate (IRS) 1 and 2, and by the signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3). Both IRS1 and STAT3 have been shown to play a significant role in development of drug resistance by tumor cells. NT219, the focus of the current study, is a small molecule that presents a new concept in cancer therapy. NT219 represents a new family of novel compounds acting as a dual inhibitor of both IRS1/2 and STAT3 signaling both directly in the tumor and its microenvironment. We have previously shown that simultaneous inhibition of these two pathways is crucial to overcome drug resistance, and to prolong the positive response of the anti-cancer activity of approved cancer drugs. NT219 targets IRS1/2 for degradation using a unique mechanism, supported by a feed-forward decrease in IRS gene expression. A long-term suppression of both IRS and STAT3 by NT-219 has been demonstrated in previous preclinical studies, which lasted days following removal of NT219 from the cancer cells, assuring a strong and prolonged anti-cancer activity. This study was designed to investigate the efficacy of NT219 at overcoming drug resistance to several approved oncology therapies using patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models of KRAS mutant pancreatic cancer, as well as to validate NT219's mechanism of action and optimal dose regimen.  (more…)
Author Interviews, CT Scanning, JAMA, Lung Cancer, UCSF / 23.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joshua Demb, PhD, MPH Postdoctoral Scholar, Moores Cancer Center University of California, San Diego Health Science Research Specialist Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Our study leveraged radiation dose data from 72 facilities performing CT scans around the United States to learn more about the radiation dose used for lung cancer screening scans, as well as possible institutional predictors that might be associated with higher dose.  Currently, the American College of Radiology has recommendations for how these low-dose lung cancer screening scans should be performed. However, it is unclear how much adherence there currently is to these guidelines. Our findings indicated that there is wide variation in the distribution of radiation doses for low-dose lung cancer screening scans both within- and between facilities in our sample—in some cases this variation led to doses higher than the ACR recommendations.   (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, End of Life Care, JAMA / 19.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Donald Sullivan, MD, MA, MCR Associate Professor of Medicine & Associate Fellowship Program Director Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine Oregon Health & Science University Investigator, Center to Improve Veteran Involvement in Care (CIVIC) VA-Portland Health Care System  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
  • Patients with lung cancer suffer from considerable physical and psychological symptom burden and palliative care is underutilized or delivered too close to death to provide meaningful benefits for these patients. Palliative care is associated with improved quality of life for these patients, but the findings regarding a survival benefit are not clear.
  • Palliative care is distinct from hospice. Palliative care is meant to be delivered along with disease-modifying therapy and focuses on improving quality of life by addressing pain and other problems, including physical, psychosocial and spiritual for patients and their families. Hospice care is focused on reducing suffering, pain and anxiety at the very end of life; typically within a few months of death.
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Author Interviews, Dermatology, Melanoma, Technology / 19.09.2019

SkinVision   MedicalResearch.com Interview with:  Andreea Udrea, PhD Associate Professor University Politehnica of Bucharest   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? The skin cancer incidence rate is increasing worldwide. Early diagnosis and prevention can reduce morbidity and are also linked to decreased healthcare costs. During the last years, efforts have been made in developing smartphone applications for skin lesion risk assessment to be used by laypersons. In parallel, as machine learning (ML) is on the rise, and medical image databases are increasing in size, a series of algorithms have been developed and compared in clinical studies to dermatologists for skin cancer diagnosis. The accuracy of the algorithms and experts were comparable. One drawback of these clinical studies is that they use images acquired by professionals in standardized conditions. So, there is little knowledge of what the accuracy will be when including an ML algorithm in an app and testing it in a non-clinical setup where the image quality may be lower, and the variability in image taking scenarios is higher as images are acquired by non-professionals using the smartphone camera. This study is one of the first that evaluates the accuracy of an app (SkinVision) when being used for risk assessment of skin lesions in the general population. (more…)
ASCO, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Cost of Health Care, End of Life Care / 17.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Richy Agajanian, M.D. Chief Medical Officer and Senior Regional Director The Oncology Institute of HopeRichy AgajanianM.D. Chief Medical Officer and Senior Regional Director The Oncology Institute of Hope and Innovation MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Cancer patients and their families face status-quo treatment protocols and reimbursement models which often result in confusion and unnecessary pain and suffering in the final weeks or months of life while also causing enormous financial burden. To help combat these issues, The Oncology Institute, in collaboration with the Stanford University School of Medicine and CareMore Health, released the study, Enhancing community capacity to deliver value-based cancer care at the end-of-life. This study evaluated the effect of using lay health workers (LHWs), who are non-physician members of the community who have received specialized training to support patient care and navigation, on end-of-life cancer care outcomes, quality and cost.  (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Cancer Research, Infections / 13.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Kai-feng Pan Director. Department of Cancer Epidemiology Peking University School of Oncology Beijing Cancer Hospital & Institute Peking University Cancer Hospital  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Based on a high-risk population in China, we have conducted a large randomized factorial-designed intervention trial (Shandong Intervention Trial) to examine the effect of short-term Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) treatment and 7.3-year vitamin and garlic supplementation on gastric cancer. During 14.7-years’ follow-up in the trial, 2-week treatment for H. pylori resulted in statistically significant reduction in gastric cancer incidence. Results for gastric cancer mortality and for the effects of garlic and vitamin supplementation, though promising, were not statistically significant. Longer follow-up was needed to determine whether the reductions in gastric cancer incidence from H. pylori treatment would persist and lead to a demonstrable reduction in gastric cancer mortality. It also remained unknown whether vitamin and garlic supplementation would yield a statistically significant reduction in gastric cancer incidence and mortality with additionally extended follow-up. In addition, the entire spectrum of effects of these interventions needs to be understood.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, JAMA, USPSTF / 12.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Carol Mangione, M.D., M.S.P.H., F.A.C.P. Division Chief of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research Professor of Medicine Barbara A. Levey, MD, and Gerald S. Levey, MD, endowed chair in Medicine David Geffen School of Medicine University of California Los Angeles Professor of public health at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We all want to find better ways to help prevent breast cancer, a disease that impacts the lives of too many women in the United States each year. Fortunately, the Task Force found there are steps that women at increased risk can take to reduce their chances of developing breast cancer. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, JAMA, MRI, Prostate Cancer, UCLA / 12.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rajiv Jayadevan, MD and  Leonard S. Marks, MD Department of Urology UCLA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Men with low risk prostate cancer often enter “active surveillance” programs. These programs allow patients to defer definitive treatment (and avoid their associated side effects) until more aggressive disease is detected, if at all. Patients typically undergo a “confirmatory biopsy” 6 to 12 months after diagnosis to verify that their disease is low risk, and then undergo repeat biopsies every 1 to 2 years. These biopsies have traditionally been performed under the guidance of transrectal ultrasonography. Transrectal ultrasonography is unable to accurately visualize tumors within the prostate, necessitating that biopsy cores be obtained systematically from all parts of the prostate. MRI-ultrasonography fusion biopsy is a newer technology that has been shown to characterize biopsy findings more accurately than transrectal ultrasonography, leading to improved disease detection. This technology also allows us to visualize tumors within the prostate, and directly target these tumors during a biopsy session. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, Chemotherapy / 04.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Bishal Gyawali, MD, PhD Department of Medicine Brigham and Women’s Hospital  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Cancer drugs are prescribed to the patients based on results from trials. Usually, these are superiority trials meaning the cancer drugs prove that they are better than the treatment we already have. Recently, more and more cancer drugs are approved on the basis of non-inferiority trials. In these trials, the cancer drugs only prove that they are not worse than the treatment we already have ( instead of proving they are better). Such an approach is considered justified if the new drug provides any other benefit such as lower cost, easy to administer or improved quality of life. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Cancer Research, Genetic Research, JAMA, Ovarian Cancer, USPSTF / 28.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Carol Mangione, M.D., M.S.P.H., F.A.C.P. Division Chief of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research Professor of Medicine Barbara A. Levey, MD, and Gerald S. Levey, MD, endowed chair in Medicine David Geffen School of Medicine University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Professor of public health at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Every year, too many American women are faced with the challenge of dealing with a cancer diagnosis related to potentially harmful mutations of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.  However, the Task Force found that there are several steps women can take to determine if they’re potentially at increased risk for BRCA gene mutations – and if genetic counseling and BRCA testing are needed. It is important to note that while some women can benefit from risk assessment, counseling, and testing, these services are not for everyone. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, JAMA / 23.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Dr. Lukas Flatz MD Institute of Immunobiology Kantonsspital St Gallen, St Gallen Switzerland MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Toxicity is an important limiting factor of treatment with checkpoint inhibitors. We aimed in investigating the relationship between immune-related adverse events during anti-PD-1 therapy and tumor mutational burden by comparing large scale surveillance data of irAEs with the median tumor mutational burden across multiple cancer types. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brain Cancer - Brain Tumors, Imperial College / 20.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Georgios Giamas, (Dr. Biol. Hum.) Professor of Cancer Cell Signalling Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange University of Sussex -School of Life Sciences Visiting Professor, Imperial College, London MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: This study focuses on Glioblastoma (GBM), which is one of the most aggressive solid tumours for which treatment options and biomarkers are limited. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? - Glioblastoma cells produce nanosized vesicles (aka: extracellular vesicles) that contain specific protein signatures, which can indicate the behaviour and phenotype of the respective cells of origin. -We have identified and described certain vesicle-associated biomarkers that correspond to the most aggressive brain cancers. -Our results can provide insights for the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic methods as well as personalized treatment strategies (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Genetic Research / 19.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Tengteng Wang, PhD, MSPH, MBBS Postdoctoral Research Fellow Department of Epidemiology Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Channing Division of Network Medicine Brigham and Women's Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Chronic inflammation is a key player in the development of multiple cancer types, including breast cancer. Aspirin is one of the major non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) which clearly has anti-inflammatory properties. Given this, substantial evidence from laboratory and population studies suggests that taking aspirin may reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. However, the association of aspirin use with death outcomes following breast cancer diagnosis remains inconclusive and inconsistent across studies. Therefore, we choose to focus on mortality outcomes in this paper and we hypothesized that the inconsistent results for aspirin in relation to mortality could be due to differences in the association by patients’ biological profiles, specifically DNA methylation profiles here.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Bayer, FDA, Prostate Cancer / 16.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Neal D. Shore, MD, FACS Director, CPI, Carolina Urologic Research Center Atlantic Urology Clinics Myrtle Beach, South Carolina Neal D. Shore, MD, FACS is the Medical Director for the Carolina Urologic Research Center. He practices with Atlantic Urology Clinics in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Dr. Shore discusses the recent announcement that the FDA has approved Nubeqa®(darolutamide),  for the treatment of patients with non-metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer..  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? How does NUBEQA®(darolutamide) differ from other treatments for nmCRPC?  Response: In 2017, patients did not have an approved therapy for non-metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, or nmCRPC. If untreated, patients with this diagnosis will go on to develop metastases, or progression of the cancer throughout the body. NUBEQA® (darolutamide) became the third and most recently approved treatment for nmCRPC, demonstrating a benefit of metastasis-free survival, or MFS. NUBEQA is different due to its adverse event and safety profile reported in the Phase III ARAMIS trial. In that study, there were no significant findings of falls and fractures as well as other adverse events reported from the earlier Phase III trials.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, HPV, OBGYNE / 15.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Marc Eloit, D.V.M, Ph.D. Pathogen Discovery Laboratory, Biology of Infection Unit, Institut Pasteur Paris, France MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Human papillomaviruses (HPV) are responsible for >99% of cervical cancers. Currently, cervical cancer screening either focuses on testing for the presence of HPV or identifying abnormal cervical cells with cytology (Pap test). However, molecular diagnostic tests based on the detection of viral DNA or RNA have low positive predictive values for the identification of cancer or precancerous lesions, and analysis of cervical cells with the Pap test, even when combined with molecular detection of high-risk HPV, results in a significant number of unnecessary colposcopies. We have developed HPV RNA-Seq, a new “two-for-one” molecular diagnostic test that not only detects the type of HPV, but also identifies precancerous markers. This test is therefore designed to diagnose the riskiest forms of HPV infection, provide rapid results at moderate cost, and helps avoiding unnecessary diagnostic procedures. HPV RNA-Seq is based on the dual combination of multiplexed reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR) and next-generation sequencing (NGS). RT-PCR is a sensitive way to detect small amounts of RNA, the genetic material that reflects the activity of the HPV genes, and NGS finely characterizes the amplified viral sequences. This enables detection of up to 16 high-risk or putative high-risk HPV in a sample as well as the presence of precancerous markers. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Cleveland Clinic, Weight Research / 15.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Siran M. Koroukian, PhD Director, Population Cancer Analytics Shared Resource Case Comprehensive Cancer Center Director, Population Health and Outcomes Research Core Associate Professor Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences School of Medicine Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, OH MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Previous studies have shown that obesity-associated cancers (OACs) have been increasing in younger people. Using data from over 6 million cancer cases from 2000-2016, we identified the specific age/sex/race-ethnicity groups that were most affected by increases in OACs. We found a substantial shift of obesity-associated cancers to younger age groups, with the most notable increases occurring to the 50-64 age group. In addition, we observed the greatest percentage increase in the number of OAC cases during the study period in Hispanic men and women, as well as for cancers of the thyroid, gallbladder, liver and intrabiliary duct. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, FDA, Vaccine Studies / 14.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Graca Dores MD MPH US Food and Drug Administration Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research Office of Biostatistics and Epidemiology Division of Epidemiology Silver Spring, Maryland Oklahoma City, OK MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you briefly explain what Sipuleucel-T is used for?  Response: Sipuleucel-T was the first therapeutic vaccine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2010.  It is indicated for the treatment of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic, metastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC; prostate cancer that spreads while an individual is on hormone-blocking therapy).  During the preparation of this product, the patient’s cells are collected (leukapheresis), sent for processing to generate a dose of patient-specific vaccine, and then administered intravenously back to the patient.  This process is repeated approximately every two weeks for a total of three doses. Except for the pre-marketing clinical trials that were reviewed during the sipuleucel-T approval process, post-marketing studies that have evaluated the safety profile of sipuleucel-T are scarce. Therefore, we used the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) database to summarize the adverse events reported to FDA by industry, medical professionals, and consumers.  We also assessed whether sipuleucel-T and specific adverse events (product-event pairs) were reported more than expected compared to all other drug/biologic-adverse event pairs in the FAERS database. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Dermatology / 14.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Alessia Visconti, PhD Department of Twin Research King's College London, London MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We know from previous studies that the body site where melanoma skin cancer develops varies according to sex, with men having melanoma more often on the head, neck, and trunk, and women on the legs. The body site where moles, a major risk factor for melanoma development, are more abundant also varies according to sex, at least in childhood, with boys having more moles on the head, neck, and trunk, and girls on the legs. (more…)