Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Dermatology, JAMA / 19.02.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nikolai Dyrberg Loft MD, Ph.D.-fellow Department of Dermatology and Allergy Gentofte Hospital Hellerup MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Epidemiological studies examining the association between psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis and cancer have reported conflicting results. Some studies report an increased risk of cancer in individuals with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis and others do not. Whether individuals with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis have an increased risk of cancer is important as this might help guiding in clinical practice. In order to determine if there is an increased risk of cancer and the magnitude of this risk, a systematic review of the literature and meta-analysis is needed.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Environmental Risks, Melanoma / 19.02.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Farhad Islami, MD PhD Scientific Director, Surveillance Research American Cancer Society, Inc  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Many cases of cutaneous melanoma (melanoma) in the United States have been attributed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, but there was little information on the state-by-state burden of melanoma due to UV exposure. We estimated numbers, proportions and age-standardized incidence rates of malignant melanomas attributable to UV radiation in each US state by calculating the difference between observed melanomas during 2011–2015 and expected cases based on rates in a population with theoretically minimum UV exposure. As there is no population completely unexposed to UV radiation, the reference rates we used were historical melanoma incidence rates in Connecticut during 1942–1954, when the melanoma burden was low. For most adults, melanomas diagnosed in that period likely reflected UV exposure accumulated in the 1930s or earlier, when exposure was minimized by clothing style and limited recreational exposure. We estimated that 338,701 melanoma cases (91.0% of total, 372,335) in the United States during 2011–2015 were attributable to UV exposure; 94.3% of all these UV-attributable cases (or 319,412 cases) occurred in non-Hispanic whites. UV-attributable melanoma incidence rates and cases were higher among males than females, but attributable rates and cases in ages <45 years were higher among females. (more…)
ASCO, Author Interviews, Bayer, Cancer Research / 13.02.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. David S. Hong MD Deputy Chair Department of Investigational Cancer Therapeutics Division of Cancer MedicineThe University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Houston, TX    MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
  • A rare genomic alteration called a neurotrophic receptor tyrosine kinase (NTRK) gene fusion is a primary oncogenic driver that causes TRK fusion cancer, which has been found in a variety of common tumor types, including GI cancers such as colon, cholangiocarcinoma, pancreatic, and appendiceal cancers. In patients with gastrointestinal (GI) cancer, including pancreatic cancer and colorectal cancer, NTRK gene fusions are estimated to have a frequency of ~0.3%.
  • Larotrectinib is an oral and highly selective TRK inhibitor used for the treatment of adult and pediatric patients with solid tumors that have an NTRK gene fusion. Under the brand name Vitrakvi®, it is the first and only approved TRK inhibitor exclusively designed to treat tumors with an NTRK gene fusion with approval in the US in 2018 and other worldwide markets in 2019.
  • At ASCO GI 2020, we presented results of a new analysis of the efficacy and safety of larotrectinib specifically in patients with TRK fusion with gastrointestinal cancers, which is an often underdiagnosed patient group. The subset included 14 adult patients with GI tumor types with NTRK gene fusions, including colon, cholangiocarcinoma, pancreas, appendix and hepatic; of the eight patients with colon cancer, seven were microsite instability (MSI)-high.
  • In this subset of patients, the overall response rate (ORR) was 43%. Additionally, median overall survival was 33.4 months at 19 months of follow-up (range 2.8–36.5), median progression-free free survival (PFS) was 5.3 months (range 2.2-9.0) and median time to response was 1.8 months (range 1.7-2.1). In colon cancer patients, the ORR was 50% and the median PFS ranged from 1.5+ to 16.7+ months. 
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Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Dermatology, Gender Differences, JAMA, Melanoma / 12.02.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Arash Mostaghimi, MD, MPA, MPH Director, Inpatient Dermatology , Brigham and Women's Hospital Instructor, Harvard Medical School Department of Dermatology Brigham and Women's Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Smaller studies have demonstrated increased risk for skin cancer among gay men.  Prior to this study this data had not been confirmed in a nationally representative database. (more…)
ASCO, Author Interviews, Bayer, Cancer Research / 11.02.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: bayer-pharmaceuticalsDr. Kirhan Ozgurdal Global Medical Affairs Physician Oncology, Bayer MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
  • Regorafenib is an oral multi-kinase inhibitor that potently blocks multiple protein kinases involved in tumor angiogenesis, oncogenesis, metastasis and tumor immunity. It is approved for the treatment of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) who have previously been treated with sorafenib. The safety and effectiveness of regorafenib is being evaluated in patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (uHCC),a liver tumor not eligible for curative treatment approaches such as surgery, given the extent of disease.
  • Following the Phase 3 RESORCE trial, which showed that regorafenib significantly improves overall survival versus placebo in patients with uHCC who progressed on prior sorafenib therapy, we conducted an interim analysis (the first 500 of 1000 patients) of the global REFINE observational trial to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of regorafenib in uHCC in the real-world setting.
  • The REFINE study shows a more varied patient population than the Phase 3 RESORCE trial, including a higher proportion of patients with ECOG performance status ≥1, and a higher proportion with Child–Pugh B liver function.
  • The incidence of regorafenib-related grade ≥3 treatment-emergent adverse events were lower than that reported in the RESORCE trial, possibly indicating improved adverse event management with the use of regorafenib in clinical practice.
  • The median overall survival was longer than that reported in RESORCE, but the proportion of censored patients was high in this interim analysis; the median progression free survival was similar to that reported in RESORCE.
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Author Interviews, Cancer Research, CT Scanning, Lung Cancer / 04.02.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Carlijn M. van der Aalst, Ph.D. MPH Department of Public Health Erasmus MC MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related mortality among both men and women. About 70% of patients with lung cancer are diagnosed with advanced disease, which results in only 15% surviving five years. About 70% of patients with lung cancer are diagnosed with advanced disease, a stage in which cure is problematic. This results in only 15% surviving five years. Although quit smoking is most effective in preventing lung cancer, about half of all lung cancers are currently diagnosed in former smokers, who remain at high risk for decades after quitting smoking. The National Lung Screening Trial (NLST; U.S.) reported a 20% lung cancer-related mortality reduction and a 6.7% reduction in all-cause mortality for CT screening compared with chest radiography screening for lung cancer in 53,454 enrolled subjects at high risk for lung cancer.1 As a consequence, the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) requested an independent review and a modelling study. Based on these NLST data, an efficient strategy with a reasonable harm-benefit ratio could be established, resulting in the recommendation to annually screen persons aged 55-80 with ≥30 pack-years of smoking history, who currently smoke or quit smoking <15 years ago. However, data of only one trial provides limited evidence and more trial data are needed. NELSON is the second largest lung cancer screening trial that is adequately designed to provide the evidence that is needed to conclude whether CT screening can reduce lung cancer mortality. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Colon Cancer, Gastrointestinal Disease, JAMA / 03.02.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jordan J. Karlitz, MD Staff Gastroenterologist Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System Associate Professor, Division of Gastroenterology Director, GI Hereditary Cancer and Genetics Program, Tulane University School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Currently, there is debate over whether average-risk colorectal cancer screening should begin at age 45 or 50. Given this controversy, we sought to conduct a colorectal cancer incidence rate analysis by yearly-age, as opposed to age range blocks (i.e. 30-39, 40-49 etc.) as has been done in the past. We believed that this type of "high definition" analysis would allow a better understanding of incidence rates of those approaching or at screening in age.  We were particularly interested in the transition from age 49 to 50 as this is when average risk screening has historically been recommended.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Gender Differences, Genetic Research / 21.01.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alejandro Cáceres PhD Juan R. González, PhD Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) Barcelona, Spain. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Men have more risk and worse prognosis to cancer than women. There are many environmental factors but also biological differences. We find that the loss of function of six genes (DDX3Y, EIF1AY, KDM5D, RPS4Y1, UTY and ZFY) in chromosome Y is one of the biological factors for the differences between sexes in relation to cancer risk and prognosis.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Cancer Research, Cognitive Issues / 20.01.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Annelise Madison Lead author of the study Graduate Student in Clinical Psychology Ohio State MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Recently, there have been some reports of cognitive problems among those using proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). Some breast cancer survivors use PPIs during and after treatment to manage gastrointestinal side effects of cancer treatment or to prevent damage to the gut lining. We were interested in whether PPI use among breast cancer survivors related to cognitive problems. We conducted secondary analyses on data from three studies with breast cancer survivors. We found that breast cancer survivors taking PPIs reported cognitive problems that were between 20-29% worse than those reported by non-users. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Cost of Health Care, JAMA / 18.01.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Evan M. Graboyes, MD Surveillance and Health Services Research American Cancer Society, Atlanta, Georgia Department of Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Prior studies have shown that Medication Expansions under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) are associated with a decrease in uninsured individuals and increases in the percentage of nonelderly patients diagnosed with localized (stage I-II) cancer, primarily for cancers for which effective screening tests exist. Because no screening test exists for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), access to care for physical examination and tissue-based biopsy- and thus health insurance coverage- are critical for the timely recognition of symptoms, early disease stage at diagnosis, and treatment initiation. However, the downstream association of changes in health insurance coverage following Medicaid expansion under the ACA with stage at diagnosis and time to treatment initiation, key metrics for access to care for HNSCC, remain unknown. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Nature / 16.01.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Augusto Villanueva Rodriguez, MD, PhD Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai New York, NY MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There is limited understanding of the extent of molecular heterogeneity in liver cancer. This cancer is the second most lethal tumor and the fourth cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide. Most patients diagnosed at advanced stages have a dismal survival, as most of them will develop resistance to systemic therapies. One of the potential mechanisms for this relates to the presence of different tumor clones within the same tumor nodule. This heterogeneity has been barely studied in liver cancer and our study provides a comprehensive analysis of the extent and potential clinical implications of intra-tumoral heterogeneity (ITH) in liver cancer. (more…)
Author Interviews, Melanoma / 14.01.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Victoria Sanz-Moreno Professor of Cancer Cell Biology Cancer Research UK Senior Fellow and Cancer Research UK Werth Trust Fellow Barts Cancer Institute- a Cancer Research UK Centre of Excellence Queen Mary University of London MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Malignant melanoma- a cancer of the skin- has very poor survival rates despite being at the forefront of personalised medicine. This is mostly due to therapy resistance. Our current study indicates that melanoma cells escape anti-cancer drugs by changing their internal skeleton (cytoskeleton) – opening up new therapeutic venues for melanoma. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Cost of Health Care, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 09.01.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Naomi Y Ko, MD Director, Inpatient Medical Operations Assistant Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine Boston University School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The background for this study is to help understand the association between risk of more advanced cancer in racial minorities and insurance.   (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Radiation Therapy, University of Pennsylvania / 09.01.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Keith A. Cengel, M.D., Ph.D. Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: FLASH radiotherapy involves delivering the treatment dose at a rate that is 1000s of times faster than standard radiotherapy.  Scientists have studied the differential biological effects of various dose rates for dose rates for the past ~80 years, but the unique effects of FLASH dose rates have only been appreciated in the last few years. While the mechanism(s) and applications of FLASH radiotherapy remain an area of active investigation,  t is clear so far that FLASH dose rates can provide similar levels of tumor control with less toxicity to normal tissues when compared to the same dose of radiotherapy delivered at a standard dose rate. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, JAMA, Surgical Research / 08.01.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mehra Golshan, MD, MBA Dr. Abdul Mohsen & Sultana Al-Tuwaijri Distinguished Chair Surgical OncologyDirector of Breast Surgical Oncology Fellowship Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Triple negative breast cancer is an aggressive form of breast cancer that often requires chemotherapy. In this study we provided neoadjuvant chemotherapy with or without a PARP inhibitor and showed that many women who were originally ineligible for breast conservation (lumpectomy) became eligible after treatment. If lumpectomy was tried it was usually successful.  Many more women in the US compared to Europe and Asia chose mastectomy when lumpectomy was an option even when genetics is negative. (more…)
AACR, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Ovarian Cancer / 23.12.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rugang Zhang, Ph.D Professor & Co-Leader, Gene Expression & Regulation Program Deputy Director, The Wistar Institute Cancer Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Although the majority of epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) patients initially respond well to platinum therapy, relapse ultimately occurs, which remains a major challenge in the clinical management of EOC. Substantial evidence suggests that cancer stem-like cells (CSC) contribute to chemotherapy resistance and elimination of CSC prevents the therapeutic relapse including in EOCs. Thus, therapeutic elimination of EOC CSCs represents a promising approach to achieve a durable therapeutic outcome by preventing chemotherapy resistance. Platinum-based chemotherapies are known to induce senescence that limits the propagation of cells subjected to insults such as cancer chemotherapeutics. In contrast to apoptosis, senescent cells remain viable. Senescent cells secrete a plethora of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, which is termed senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP). Therapy-induced inflammation promotes tumor progression and therapy resistance, and the SASP is known to promote cancer stem-like cells. However, clinically applicable approaches to target stemness associated with therapy-induced senescence remain to be explored.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Cancer Research / 21.12.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: https://www.kariusdx.com/ Dr. Asim Ahmed MD co-author of the study Senior medical director at Karius  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you briefly explain the basis of the Karius Test? Response: The Karius Test is a non-invasive blood test that uses next-generation sequencing of microbial cell-free DNA to rapidly detect over 1,400 bacteria, DNA viruses, fungi, and other pathogens. Doctors primarily use the test to detect specific causative pathogens, complicated pneumonia, cardiovascular infections, and infections in immunocompromised hosts. The Karius Test is transforming how doctors diagnose infectious diseases by helping doctors identify the precise pathogens infecting patients. The Karius Test offers a higher diagnostic yield and faster time-to-diagnosis than conventional tests - with the potential to eliminate invasive diagnostic procedures like biopsies. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research / 20.12.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jennifer L Marti MD FACS Assistant Professor of Surgery, Breast & Endocrine Surgery Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, NY Luc GT Morris MD, Co-senior author Head & Neck Surgery MSKCC, New York, NY MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The incidence of thyroid cancer has increased dramatically over the past 3 decades. There is controversy whether this increased incidence is due to increased detection of an existing reservoir of disease, versus a true increase in the occurrence of the disease, due to an environmental carcinogen or other factors (eg obesity). (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Weight Research / 19.12.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lauren Teras, PHD Scientific Director, Epidemiology Research American Cancer Society MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Excess body weight is a known cause of postmenopausal breast cancer, but an important question is: can you reverse it? Believe it or not, this not something we knew for certain. We had hoped it was true, but the scientific evidence was not there. This research question is, of course, particularly important for the more than two-thirds of U.S. women who are overweight or obese, and therefore at higher risk for breast cancer. To try to answer this question, we used a very large pooled study of 180,000 women aged ≥50 years from 10 different prospective studies.  (more…)
AACR, Author Interviews, Cancer Research / 19.12.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Samir Parekh, MBBS Associate Professor Medicine, Hematology and Medical Oncology Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you briefly describe what is meant by 'neoantigens'? How might they be used to stimulate immunity in a multiple myeloma patients?  Response: Myeloma is considered a “cold” tumor for immunotherapy (as compared to some solid tumors such as melanoma) given the relatively fewer DNA mutations in an average myeloma patient. Our clinical experience suggests that this may not be totally correct.  Our findings focus on mutations that can become antigens (neo-antigens) and challenges the stereotype. We can create vaccines based on peptides resulting from these mutations to stimulate immune responses. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Mammograms / 19.12.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nancy R. Kressin, PhD VA Medical Center, Jamaica Plain Campus Boston, MA   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: State-level legislation requires informing women about breast density (BD) with mammogram results, to increase awareness of BD’s tendency to mask cancers on mammography, its association with increased breast cancer risk, and to encourage women to discuss personal risk and supplemental screening with physicians. The Food and Drug Administration is currently developing dense breast notification (DBN) language for use nationwide; information about effects of state DBNs could be informative for FDA’s language. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Genetic Research / 18.12.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Aaron Elliott, PhD CEO Ambry Genetics Dr. Elliott discusses The New York State Clinical Laboratory Evaluation Program (CLEP) approval of +RNAinsight™, a new genetic test for hereditary cancer risk.  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this announcement? What types of cancers can be genetically tested for predisposition? To whom should the testing be offered?  Response: The New York State Clinical Laboratory Evaluation Program (CLEP) has approved +RNAinsight, which enables clinicians – for the first time ever – to conduct both DNA and RNA genetic testing at the same time. This is the first genetic testing advancement in over a decade to significantly increase the diagnostic yield (meaning the number of patients identified with a specific hereditary risk for cancer) in genes like BRCA1 and BRCA2. With +RNAinsight, Ambry is the first and only lab to offer this paired RNA and DNA genetic testing. Genetics may contribute to individuals’ risk of developing a number of cancers, including breast, ovarian, prostate, colorectal, and others. Approximately five to 10 percent of cancer cases are hereditary, according to the National Cancer Institute. The National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) guidelines indicate who should receive genetic testing to learn whether they have increased risks to develop hereditary cancer. For example, someone with close family members who developed cancer at young ages may be a good candidate. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Exercise - Fitness / 16.12.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Tiffany Won-Shau Chen MD Internal Medicine Residency Mount Sinai Beth Israel MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The research I presented on details a randomized, prospective study done to evaluate whether it would be feasible and effective to implement a yoga program for breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy that could reduce patients' chemotherapy-related symptoms and improve their quality of life. 50 patients were recruited, half of whom underwent a 12-week long yoga program with weekly courses, while the other half did not participate in the program. Surveys were completed at baseline, 6 weeks, and 12 weeks assessing patients' functional wellbeing, sleep quality, and anxiety/depression levels. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Genetic Research / 15.12.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Julia Blanter, MD MS Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai First author of the study MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The Oncotype DX Breast Cancer Assay was developed to genetically profile patients with early stage, hormone positive breast cancer and predict their 10-year risk of distant recurrence. A high-risk recurrence score is associated with a benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy whereas a low risk recurrence score is associated with little to no benefit. BRCA mutated tumors have been associated with higher risk recurrence scores as compared to BRCA negative breast cancer patients. However, there have been minimal studies relating discordance to BRCA mutations. Discordance refers to a poorly differentiated or high-grade tumor with a low risk recurrence score. Prior studies demonstrated 7-19% discordance, or difference between recurrence score and tumor grade in breast cancer patients regardless of BRCA mutation status. It has been concluded that patients who exhibit discordance may benefit from additional therapy in conjunction with endocrine therapy. (more…)
Author Interviews, Hematology, Lymphoma / 12.12.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Genentech Priscilla White, spokesperson Senior Manager, Corporate Relations Genentech MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
  • Response: Mosunetuzumab is a T-cell engaging bispecific antibody designed to target CD20-positive B-cell blood cancers, by binding to both CD20 (on the surface of B-cells) and CD3 (on the surface of T-cells).
  • Analyses from the ongoing Phase I/Ib GO29781 study indicate that mosunetuzumab can produce durable responses in patients who have relapsed or who are refractory to prior treatment(s), including those who have relapsed or who are resistant to CAR T-cell therapy.
  • Results from this dose-escalation study showed encouraging efficacy with an objective response rate (ORR) of 62.7 percent (n=42/67) in slow-growing Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and 37.1 percent (n=46/124) in aggressive NHL across all dose levels assessed.
  • Additionally, data demonstrated a complete response (CR) rate of 43.3 percent (n=29/67) in slow-growing NHL and 19.4 percent (n=24/124) in aggressive NHL. CRs showed durability, with 82.8 percent (n=24/29) of patients with slow-growing NHL remaining in remission up to 26 months off initial treatment and 70.8 percent (n=17/24) of patients with aggressive NHL, remaining in remission up to 16 months off initial treatment.
  • Of the participants who received prior CAR T-cell therapy, the ORR was 38.9 percent (n=7/18), and 22.2 percent (n=4/18) achieved a CR.
  • Adverse reactions included cytokine release syndrome (CRS) in 28.9 percent of patients with 20.0 percent at Grade 1 and 1.1 percent at Grade 3. Grade 3 neurological adverse events occurred in 3.7 percent of patients.
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Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Fertility, OBGYNE / 11.12.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Marie Hargreave, PhD Senior Researcher Danish Cancer Society Research Center Copenhagen MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Very few studies have examined the association between frozen embryo transfer and the risk of childhood cancer and most of them have been too small to show any effects. In our large nationwide population based study we found that frozen embryo replacement was associated with an increased risk of childhood cancer and especially for leukemia and neuroblastomas. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Dermatology, JAMA / 11.12.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lily Wang Student at University of Toronto Toronto, Ontario, Canada  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response:  Impaired skin barrier and aberrant immune function in atopic dermatitis (AD) may impact immune response to malignancy. Conflicting data exist on the risk of cancer in patients with AD. The purpose of our study was to determine the risk of non-cutaneous and cutaneous cancers in patients with atopic dermatitis compared to the general population (i.e. without AD).  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Leukemia / 11.12.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Bridget Marcellino, MD Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Mount Sinai Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Our work focuses on elucidating the mechanisms that drive the pathogenesis and progression of myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN). Dysregulation of the TP53 pathway is associated with MPN progression evidenced by the association of TP53 loss of heterozygosity with transformation to acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and the presence of inactivating mutations of TP53 found in a proportion of MPN-related AML patients.   Studies have shown that TP53 mutations, TP53 deletions and overexpression of the negative regulator of TP53, Murine Double Minute 2 (MDM2) all contribute to TP53 downregulation in MPNs and we therefore are interested in exploring other potential means by which TP53 is downregulated. Protein Phosphatase, Mg2+/Mn2+ Dependent 1D (PPM1D) is another negative regulator of the TP53 pathway and activating mutations in this gene are present in myeloid malignancies including MPNS. We therefore hypothesized that genomic alterations in PPM1D and/or overexpression of PPM1D would be found in the hematopoietic cells of MPN patients. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Cancer Research / 10.12.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jian Jin, Ph.D. Mount Sinai Endowed Professor in Therapeutics Discovery Professor, Department of Pharmacological Sciences Professor, Department of Oncological Sciences Director, Mount Sinai Center for Therapeutics Discovery Co-leader, Cancer Clinical Investigation Program, Tisch Cancer Institute Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), a subtype of breast cancer that lacks estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), represents 12-20% of all breast cancers. TNBC has poor prognosis, high recurrence, a low survival rate, and has higher incidence in African-American and Hispanic women. Currently, there are no effective therapies for treating a substantial portion of TNBC patients. Enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2) is the main enzymatic subunit of the polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) which catalyzes trimethylation of histone H3 lysine 27 (H3K27me3) to promote transcriptional silencing. EZH2 is overexpressed in multiple types of cancer including triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) and high expression levels correlate with poor prognosis. Several EZH2 inhibitors which inhibit the enzymatic activity of EZH2 have shown promise in treating sarcoma and follicular lymphoma in clinics. However, current EZH2 inhibitors are ineffective at blocking proliferation of TNBC cells even though they effectively inhibit the enzymatic activity of EZH2. While the proteolysis targeting chimera (PROTAC) technology for selective degradation of the target protein has been rapidly gaining momentum in the drug discovery field, the hydrophobic tagging approach for selective protein degradation has received considerately less attention from the scientific community.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Hematology, Lymphoma / 10.12.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Steven M. Horwitz, MD Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center New York, NY MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Relapsed or refractory Peripheral T-Cell Lymphoma (R/R PTCL) remains a disease of significant unmet medical need. Duvelisib is an oral dual inhibitor of PI3K-δ and PI3K-γ approved for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL/SLL) after at least two prior therapies, relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma (FL) after at least two prior systemic therapies, and is being developed for the treatment of additional hematologic malignancies including R/R PTCL. In early studies, we saw a suggestion of quite good activity of duvelisib as a single agent in a range of subtypes of T-cell lymphoma. The PRIMO study is an ongoing, multi-center, open-label, registration-directed Phase 2 study evaluating duvelisib in patients with R/R PTCL that is expected to enroll approximately 120 patients. The study includes both a dose optimization phase and an expansion phase. The Primo study will be sufficiently powered to give a much more precise estimate of the activity in peripheral t cell lymphomas. However, prior to initiating the main cohort we needed to first try to identify an optimal dose. That “dose optimization cohort” is the subject of our presentation here. (more…)