Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, JAMA, Weight Research / 06.12.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_46432" align="alignleft" width="200"]Neil M. Iyengar, MD Breast Medicine Service Department of Medicine Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Evelyn H. Lauder Breast And Imaging Center New York, NY Dr. Neil Iyengar[/caption] Neil M. Iyengar, MD Breast Medicine Service Department of Medicine Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Evelyn H. Lauder Breast And Imaging Center New York, NY  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Obesity is one of the leading modifiable risk factors for the development of hormone receptor positive breast cancer in postmenopausal women. Traditionally, physicians use a person's body mass index (weight in kilograms divided by height in squared meters, kg/m2) to estimate body fat levels. A BMI of 30 or greater is considered to be obese, and this level of BMI increases the risk of at least 13 different cancers. However, BMI is a crude measure of body fat and can be inaccurate. For example, some normal weight individuals (BMI less than 25) have obesity-related problems like diabetes and high blood pressure. Before our study, it was unknown whether high body fat levels in normal weight women contributes to obesity-related cancers such as breast cancer.
Author Interviews, Hematology, Leukemia, Pediatrics / 05.12.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_46330" align="alignleft" width="200"]Charles G. Mullighan, MBBS (Hons), MSc, MD Member, St. Jude Faculty Co-Leader, Hematological Malignancies Program Medical Director, St. Jude Biorepository William E. Evans Endowed Chair St. Judes Children’s Research Hospital Memphis, TN Dr. Mullighan[/caption] Charles G. Mullighan, MBBS (Hons), MSc, MD Member, St. Jude Faculty Co-Leader, Hematological Malignancies Program Medical Director, St. Jude Biorepository William E. Evans Endowed Chair St. Judes Children’s Research Hospital Memphis, TN MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: B-lineage acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) is the commonest form of ALL, and the commonest childhood tumor. It is a leading cause of childhood cancer death. It consists of multiple subtypes defined by genetic alterations. These are often chromosomal translocations that deregulate oncogenes or form fusion proteins. These alterations are disease initiating events and are associated with distinct patterns of leukemic cell gene expression. Most subtypes also have additional mutations that are important for cells to become fully leukemic. Identifying these initiating genetic changes is very important to identify patients that are likely to respond or do poorly with conventional therapy (multiagent chemotherapy). Also, some identify new opportunities for targeted therapy. However, using standard genetic testing approaches such as chromosomal cytogenetics, about 30% of B-ALL patients don’t have a subtype classifying alteration.
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Hematology, J&J-Janssen / 04.12.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_46272" align="alignleft" width="160"]Caroline McKay, PhD Real World Value & Evidence, Oncology Janssen Scientific Affairs Dr. McKay[/caption] Caroline McKay, PhD Real World Value & Evidence, Oncology Janssen Scientific Affairs MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Considering patient preferences in treatment decision-making in oncology is growing in importance. While recent introduction of new treatments for multiple myeloma have improved survival and the possibility of sustaining longer remission periods, regimen options still vary with respect to efficacy, safety, and dosing. Therefore, patients and providers must consider tradeoffs inherent in making treatment decisions that are growing in complexity. Despite this, there is a lack of research describing patient preferences within the context of currently available treatment regimens. To address this gap, this study examined how multiple myeloma patients evaluate, or weigh, treatment options. Key findings from the research are that treatment preferences do not appear to be static, but instead suggest that the relative importance of treatment attributes may change over time and treatment history. Further, patients place higher importance on overall survival and progression-free survival than other treatment attributes, and may be willing to accept an increase in the risk of serious side effects and reduced convenience in exchange for greater efficacy; however, when efficacy is comparable, patients appear to place greater weight on dosing frequency than on the duration of treatment administration, i.e., more frequent dosing appears to be less preferable to patients than longer administration/infusion time. 
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Mammograms / 03.12.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Stamatia Destounis MD, FACR, FSBI, FAIUM Elizabeth Wende Breast Care Clinical Professor University of Rochester Imaging Sciences Rochester, NY 14620  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response:  The current breast cancer screening recommendations in the United States are unclear regarding when to stop screening. Several societies with published recommendations conflict in regard to when to discontinue screeningmammography. There is little evidence studying the benefit of annual mammography in the population of women 75 and older. Due to this, we felt that it was a very important and timely topic to investigate, with the goal of providing further guidance on why screening mammography may be beneficial in this older population.
Anemia, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Hematology, Leukemia / 03.12.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_46334" align="alignleft" width="150"]Dr. Alan List MD President and Chief Executive Officer Moffitt Cancer Center Tampa, FL Dr. List[/caption] Dr. Alan List MD President and Chief Executive Officer Moffitt Cancer Center Tampa, FL MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: In patients with lower risk Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS), which accounts for the vast majority of patients with MDS overall, the most common symptomatic cytopenia is anemia. These patients, overtime, become dependent upon red blood cell transfusions and with that, they face a risk of iron loading as well as complications that occur with it. The standard first line therapy that we consider for these patients is erythropoietin-stimulating agents (ESAs). Patients who are transfusion dependent have a low response rate to ESAs, and responses are of short duration. There limited effective limited treatment options for those patients unresponsive or lose response to ESAs. For years, we’ve known that the transforming growth factor (TGF)-β pathway play an important pathogenetic role in suppressing red cell maturation and cell survival. Luspatercept is an agent that acts as an erythroid maturation agent by inhibiting the TGF-β signaling pathway by neutralizing a select group of TGF-β superfamily ligands. 
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Hematology / 03.12.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_46285" align="alignleft" width="148"]Maria-Victoria Mateos, MD, PhD Associate Professor of Medicine  University of Salamanca Salamanca, Spain Dr. Mateos[/caption] Maria-Victoria Mateos, MD, PhD Associate Professor of Medicine University of Salamanca Salamanca, Spain MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Alcyone trial is a phase 3 trial in which Daratumumab, the CD38 mAb has been added to a standard of care for elderly newly diagnosed myeloma patients, VMP, and compared with VMP. The main finding is that the addition of dara to VMP resulted into a significant benefit in PFS with a 57% reduction in the risk of progression and/or death. In addition, the benefit was also reported in terms of ORR and CR rate and 45% of patients receiving Dara VMP achieved CR. Minimal residual disease was evaluated and was undetectable in 27% of the patients what it is relevant because a 5% increase was observed in comparison with the publication one year ago. This means that Daratumumab as maintenance after the first 9 cycles daraVMP was able to upgrade the quality of response. Toxicity profile was acceptable and no new safety signals were reported.
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, JAMA, OBGYNE / 02.12.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_46338" align="alignleft" width="150"]Dr. Weimin Ye, MD MSC, PhD Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics Karolinska Institue Prof. Ye[/caption] Dr. Weimin Ye, MD MSC, PhD Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics Karolinska Institue MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine    disorder affecting 5-10% of women of reproductive age. Characterized by hyperandrogenism and metabolic abnormalities, PCOS is known to be related to various long-term health consequences, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and endometrial cancer. Besides, inconsistent results have been reported for the associations between PCOS and the risk of ovarian and breast cancer. Studies addressing the risks of other cancers are scarce. Thus, we conducted a large, population-based cohort study with a long follow-up and rather sufficient confounding adjustment to explore the full picture of associations between PCOS and the risks of various cancer types. We found that PCOS is a risk factor for certain types of cancer, including cancers of the endometrium, ovary, endocrine gland, pancreas, kidney and skeletal & hematopoietic system.
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Hematology, J&J-Janssen / 02.12.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_46315" align="alignleft" width="129"]Peter Voorhees, MD Plasma Cell Disorders Program Department of Hematologic Oncology and Blood Disorders Levine Cancer Institute Atrium Health Dr. Vorhees[/caption] Peter Voorhees, MD Plasma Cell Disorders Program Department of Hematologic Oncology and Blood Disorders Levine Cancer Institute Atrium Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: All multiple myeloma arises from its precursor conditions, monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) and smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM). Although the rate of progression to multiple myeloma for patients with MGUS is low (~5% over 5 years), patients with SMM have a ~50% likelihood of requiring therapy for their multiple myeloma within the first 5 years of diagnosis. For those at intermediate to high risk of disease progression, early intervention to delay progression of disease, thereby averting disease-related morbidities related and potentially changing the natural course of the disease, is highly desirable. On the other hand, given the fact that these patients are by definition asymptomatic and would otherwise be monitored off treatment, it is critical that any intervention applied in this group of patients is well tolerated. Daratumumab is a highly attractive candidate in this particular space, because it has single agent activity in heavily-pretreated relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma and a favorable side effect profile relative to many other myeloma therapeutics. Additionally, given the importance of impaired immune surveillance in multiple myeloma, the immuno-stimulatory effects of daratumumab in the bone marrow microenvironment could potentially reawaken robust T cell responses to the disease.
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Hematology, J&J-Janssen, Lymphoma / 02.12.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_46320" align="alignleft" width="133"] Dr. Sundaram[/caption] Murali Sundaram, MBA, Ph.D. Director of Real World Value and Evidence Oncology, Janssen MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Ibrutinib is a novel Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor approved for the treatment of patients with newly diagnosed chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Ibrutinib is administered orally while standard of care (CD20 monoclonal antibody-based chemoimmunotherapy [CIT]) is administered intravenously. This difference in route of administration impacts what type of benefit covers these treatments (i.e., pharmacy benefit for oral ibrutinib and medical benefit for intravenous CIT). Previous studies evaluating the costs burden of patients treated with ibrutinib versus CIT did not include the full spectrum of real-world healthcare costs.
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Cancer Research / 28.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_46241" align="alignleft" width="200"]Ricardo Alvarez MD MSc Medical Director of the Breast Cancer Center Director of Cancer Research Cancer Treatment Centers of America, CTCA Atlanta Dr. Alvarez[/caption] Ricardo Alvarez MD MSc Medical Director of the Breast Cancer Center Director of Cancer Research Cancer Treatment Centers of America, CTCA Atlanta MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: “The background of this study comes from five years of experience in one of our precision medicine programs that was launched in 2013 and this is the experience of a group of personnel from a hospital that helps physicians in five different hospitals that are a part of the CTCA network and for physicians who order a next generation sequencing test. In this particular report, we have only one vendor, and that is Foundation Medicine and we analyze three different genomic platforms, Foundation One test, Foundation Act and Foundation One Hem. In total, approximately 8,800 tests have been analyzed and that was the presentation at ESMO 2018. It’s important that the Precision Medicine Program (PMed) helps physicians to identify actionable and potentially actionable targets for the result of this test so patients can be treated with targeted therapy, and this can be done by selecting clinical trials or recommending patients to be treated off-label agents. When we say off label, meaning that they are not specifically FDA-approved drugs for this indication that we are treating.”
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Cost of Health Care, JAMA, Pharmacology / 26.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_46210" align="alignleft" width="128"]Abiy Agiro, PHD HealthCore Inc Wilmington, Delaware Dr. Agiro[/caption] Abiy Agiro, PHD HealthCore Inc Wilmington, Delaware  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Biosimilar approval pathway, authorized in 2010 by the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act as part of the Affordable Care Act, aims to increase adoption of biosimilar products and generate significant cost savings to payers and patients alike. Biosimilar filgrastim, used to prevent febrile neutropenia, is one of the first biosimilars to be approved in the United States. A large scale, post-approval real-world analysis was needed that compares biosimilar filgrastim to the original drug for safety and efficacy.
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, JAMA / 26.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_46183" align="alignleft" width="200"]Ola Landgren, MD, PhD Professor of Medicine  Chief, Myeloma Service  Department of Medicine  Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center New York, NY 10065 Dr. Landgren[/caption] Ola Landgren, MD, PhD Professor of Medicine Chief, Myeloma Service Department of Medicine Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center New York, NY 10065 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Meta-analysis show that minimal residual disease (MRD) negativity is a strong predictor of longer progression-free survival (PFS). Emerging data show that an increasing proportion of newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients obtain MRD negativity after modern combination therapy, even in the absence of bone marrow transplant. The first generation of 3-drug combination therapy (RVd) was associated with quite high rates of peripheral neuropathy which may be life-long. The current study was designed to define the rates of peripheral neuropathy in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma treated with the second generation of 3-drug combination therapy (KRd), and per default delayed transplant (i.e. collection of stem cells which were stored for potential future use). This single arm, phase 2 study found no cases of grade 3 peripheral neuropathy. The rates of MRD negativity wereunprecedented; 28 of 45 patients achieved MRD-negative CR (62%). The durability of MRD-negative CR has been observed up to 70 months (median duration 52.4 months). Patients who achieved MRD negativity by the end of cycle 8 had a 78% reduced risk of progression. The results were regardless of age or cytogenetic risk category. The results from this second generation of 3-drug combination therapy (KRd) without transplant,  compare favorably to first generation of 3-drug combination therapy (RVd) followed by stem cell transplant.
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, JAMA, Melanoma / 24.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_46151" align="alignleft" width="200"]One example of malignant melanoma, courtesy of skin cancer foundation One example of malignant melanoma, courtesy of Skin Cancer Foundation[/caption] Reza Ghiasvand, PhD Oslo Centre for Biostatistics and Epidemiology Faculty of Medicne University of Oslo Oslo, Norway  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer. It is estimated that about 288,000 individuals will be diagnosed and about 61,000 will die from it in 2018, with the majority of patients in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and North America. Ultraviolet (UV) exposure (from both the sun and tanning beds) is the most important preventable risk factor for melanoma. However, the association between UV exposure and melanoma is complex and does not accord with a simple model in which risk increases directly with exposure. An individual risk of melanoma also depends on personal characteristics such as skin color and skin sensitivity to the UV exposure, hair color, number of moles, and age. It has been hypothesized that the pattern of UV exposure may play a role in melanoma development in different body sites. For example, melanoma on the trunk (chest and back) has been linked to the recreational UV exposure such as sunbathing and frequent sunburns in people with high number of moles on their body. In contrast, melanomas on the head and neck have been linked to constant sun exposure such as occupational UV exposure, mainly in older people. Epidemiologic and molecular evidence in support of this hypothesis has been published based on analyses of small datasets. Also, melanoma on legs and arms is less studied under this hypothesis. In our study, we examined UV exposure (sunbathing, sunburn and sunbed use) and pigmentary factors (skin, eye, and hair color, freckling, and number of moles), and risk of melanoma on different body sites. We used information from the Norwegian Women and Cancer Study, a population-based cohort study that started in 1991, and includes more than 161,000 Norwegian women followed for an average of 18 years.
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, JAMA, Prostate Cancer, Radiation Therapy, Surgical Research / 16.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_45955" align="alignleft" width="200"]Anthony Victor D'Amico, MD, PhD Professor and Chief, Genitourinary Radiation Oncology Harvard Medical School Dr. D'Amico[/caption] Anthony Victor D'Amico, MD, PhD Professor and Chief, Genitourinary Radiation Oncology Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: This study investigated whether surgery followed by the use of adjuvant low dose radiation and short course hormonal therapy as compared to high dose radiation and hormonal therapy could provide an equivalent low risk of death from prostate cancer amongst men presenting with aggressive and not infrequently fatal Gleason score 9 or 10 prostate cancer. It has been shown previously (https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2673969) and validated in the current study that surgery alone in such cases leads to a more then 2.5-fold increase in the risk of death from prostate cancer as compared to high dose radiation and hormonal therapy. 
Author Interviews, Immunotherapy, Pancreatic / 14.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_45950" align="alignleft" width="200"]Dr James Kuo, MBBS Medical oncologist and Deputy Medical Director Scientia Clinical Research Sydney, Australia  Dr. Kuo[/caption] Dr James Kuo, MBBS Medical oncologist and Deputy Medical Director Scientia Clinical Research Sydney, Australia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) that have seen success in the treatment of patients with various tumour types have not been as effective in patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer and therefore immune-therapeutic agents of novel mechanism of action, in particular in combination with existing ICI, need to be investigated. This study set out to test the safety and efficacy of pixatimod, a novel immunomodulatory agent, in combination with nivolumab, firstly in the dose escalation cohorts in patients with any solid tumour for the maximal tolerable dose, and then using this dose to further treat an expansion cohort of patients with pancreatic cancer. Altogether 16 patients had received the combination and in 10 patients in whom treatment response was evaluable, 4 patients experienced a clinical benefit and continued treatment in the trial, with 1 patient having a significant partial response now treated for 48 weeks. Interestingly, all these 4 patients had metastatic colorectal cancer. Side effect profile has been consistent with other immunotherapeutic agent combination and in the patients who had clinical benefit, no treatment related side effects were observed. 
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Endocrinology, Prostate Cancer / 14.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_45946" align="alignleft" width="200"]Diagram_showing_prostate_cancer_that_has_spread_to_the_bones_CRUK_183.svg.png Prostate cancer that has metastasized to the bone: Wikipedia Image[/caption] Vincenza Conteduca, MD, PhD Istituto Scientifico Romagnolo per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori (IRST) Srl - IRCCS Meldola , Italy MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In our previous publications, we showed that the study of plasma cell-free DNA holds promise for improving treatment choice in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). Specifically, we demonstrated that the detection in plasma of aberrations (copy number alterations and/or point somatic mutations) of androgen receptor (AR), using an easy and robust multiplex droplet digital PCR method, predicted an adverse outcome in mCRPC patients treated with second-generation AR-directed therapies (abiraterone or enzalutamide) in both settings: chemotherapy-naïve and post-docetaxel. This current multi-institution work builds on our previous discoveries. We investigated the association of androgen receptor status and survival in men treated with docetaxel. Moreover, we performed an exploratory analysis in patients treated with docetaxel or AR-directed therapies as first-line therapy. Interestingly, we observed that plasma AR-gained patients do not have a worse outcome compared to AR-normal patients when treated with docetaxel as first-line therapy. This introduces the opportunity to use plasma to select for docetaxel in preference to androgen receptor-directed therapies in AR gained mCRPC patients.
Author Interviews, Brain Cancer - Brain Tumors, Radiation Therapy, Surgical Research / 12.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_45901" align="alignleft" width="148"]Dr. Stephanie E. Weiss MD FASTRO Chief, Division of Neurologic Oncology Associate Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology Director, Radiation Oncology Residency and Fellowship Training Program Fox Chase Cancer Center Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Dr. Weiss[/caption] Dr. Stephanie E. Weiss MD FASTRO Chief, Division of Neurologic Oncology Associate Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology Director, Radiation Oncology Residency and Fellowship Training Program Fox Chase Cancer Center Philadelphia, Pennsylvania MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Brain metastasis are the most common form of brain tumor. Historically all patients received whole brain radiation as the primary therapy. Patients required neurosurgery to remove lesions if there was a question of diagnosis, what the diagnosis is and if there was a mass effect not relieved with steroids. Surgery was also indicated for patients with a single brain lesion because this offers a survival benefit over just receiving whole brain radiotherapy. In 2003 a randomized trial proved that radiosurgery offers a similar benefit. So the question taxing patients and doctors at tumor boards since has been: which is better? If neurosurgery is superior, we are under-treating a lot of patients with radiosurgery. If radiosurgery is superior, we are subjecting a lot of patients to unnecessary brain surgery. Attempts to study this in a head-to-head randomized trial have failed. Patient and physician preference for one treatment or the other has proven to be a barrier to randomization and accrual. The EORTC 22952-2600 trial was originally designed to compare outcomes with and without whole brain radiation for patients receiving surgery or radiosurgery for brain metastasis. We used this as the highest-quality source data available to compare local control of brain metastasis after surgery or radiosurgery, adjusted for by receipt or not of whole brain radiation.  
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Nature / 10.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: "Mammogram" by slgckgc is licensed under CC BY 2.0Prof. Cathrin Brisken MD, PhD ISREC, School of Life Sciences Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale (EPFL) CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Estrogen receptor signaling has been well characterized in various in vitro models, like breast cancer cell lines.  Understanding estrogen receptor action in complex in vivo context is much more challenging. We obtained elegant mouse models in which either all estrogen receptor function or specifically either the hormone dependent (AF-2) or the hormone independent (AF-1) function were ablated. Using the mammary glands from these mice we performed tissue recombination studies to discern the role of the different aspects of estrogen receptor signaling in the mouse mammary epithelium and its different cell populations.
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Cancer Research, JNCI / 09.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_45816" align="alignleft" width="132"]Angela Mariotto PhD Chief of the Data Analytics Branch  Surveillance Research Program (SRP) Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences National Cancer Institute  Dr. Mariotto[/caption] Angela Mariotto PhD Chief of the Data Analytics Branch Surveillance Research Program (SRP) Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences National Cancer Institute (NCI MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Progressing to metastatic breast cancer (MBC) is one of the major concerns for women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer. Before our study there were no reliable numbers on risk of metastatic breast cancer recurrence after a (non-metastatic) breast cancer diagnosis, as registries do not routinely collect this data.
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, ENT, JAMA, Surgical Research / 06.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_45744" align="alignleft" width="200"]Dr. Evan M. Graboyes is a otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeon with the Medical University of South Carolina. CREDIT Emma Vought, Medical University of South Carolina Dr. Graboyes[/caption] Dr. Evan M. Graboyes MD Otolaryngologist: Head and Neck Surgeon Medical University of South Carolina MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Unfortunately, there is no screening test for head and neck cancer like there is for colorectal, prostate, breast, lung, or cervical cancers. As a result, two-thirds of patients with head and neck cancer (HNC) present with loco-regionally advanced disease, making other aspects of timely treatment that much more critically important. We therefore sought to understand the association between treatment delay at different points along the cancer care continuum and oncologic outcomes for patients with head and neck cancer.
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Cancer Research, Prostate Cancer / 28.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_45534" align="alignleft" width="128"]Davide Pellacani Ph.D. Postdoctoral Fellow, Eaves' Lab Terry Fox Laboratory, BC Cancer Research Centre Vancouver, BC Dr. Pellacani[/caption] Davide Pellacani Ph.D. Postdoctoral Fellow, Eaves' Lab Terry Fox Laboratory, BC Cancer Research Centre Vancouver, BC MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Prostate cancer is characterized by frequent DNA methylation changes compared to normal tissue. Nevertheless, understanding which of those changes lead to the acquisition of malignant proprieties is complicated by the predominance of cells with luminal features in prostate cancers. In this study we generated DNA methylation maps of two distinct cell populations found within prostate cancer samples (called basal and luminal) and their normal counterparts. These datasets clearly showed that many of the common DNA methylation changes found in prostate cancer are present in luminal cells from both cancer and normal tissues. These changes are not necessarily cancer-specific, and are likely due to the bias associated with analyzing tissues in bulk, where most cancer cells have luminal-like features. We used these datasets to derive two cancer-specific and phenotype-independent DNA methylation signatures: one specific to prostate cancer luminal cells, and one composed of changes measured in both luminal and basal cancer cells. We then validated the potential clinical utility of these signatures by testing their ability to distinguish prostate cancer from normal samples, and tumours that have already escaped the prostate from those that have not, using the publicly available dataset from The Cancer Genome Atlas.
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, JAMA, Nutrition / 23.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: "Sunday market in Paris: all organic food" by Richard Smith is licensed under CC BY 2.0Julia Baudry & Emmanuelle Kesse-Guyot PhD Centre de Recherche Epidémiologie et Statistique Sorbonne Paris Cité, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM) U1153, Institut National de la Recherche MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Among the environmental risk factors for cancer, there are concerns about exposure to different classes of pesticides, notably through occupational exposure. Organic foods are less likely to contain pesticide residues than conventional foods, and studies have showed that an organic diet reduces exposure to certain pesticides (Baudry et al 2018, Oates et al 2014, Curl et al 2015). In the general population, the primary route of exposure is diet, especially intake of conventionally grown fruits and vegetables. However, few studies have examined the association of organic food consumption with cancer risk. In a population of 68 946 French adults from the NutriNet-Santé study, we found a reduction of 25% of cancer risk among consumers with a high frequency of organic foods compared to consumers with a low frequency, after accounting for many factors (such as lifestyle, diet and sociodemographic factors). Specifically a 34% and 76% decrease in risk was observed for post-menopausal breast cancer and all lymphomas, respectively, among frequent organic food consumers compared to consumers with a low organic food consumption frequency.
Author Interviews, Lung Cancer / 21.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_45388" align="alignleft" width="160"]Prof. Yi-Long Wu, PI of CTONG1103 Tenured Professor of Guangdong Lung Cancer Institue, South China University of Technology (SCUT) Chair of Chinese Thoracic Oncolgy Group (CTONG) Prof. Yi-Long Wu[/caption] Prof. Yi-Long Wu, PI of CTONG1103 Tenured Professor of Guangdong Lung Cancer Institue, South China University of Technology (SCUT) Chair of Chinese Thoracic Oncolgy Group (CTONG) MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Patients with stage IIIA-N2 non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) are considerable heterogeneity with variable ipsilateral mediastinal lymph node involvement. Current treatment options for this group of NSCLC patients include surgery followed by adjuvant chemotherapy, neoadjuvant therapy followed by surgical resection or definitive chemoradiation. The optimal strategy is controversial and neoadjuvant chemotherapy only give patients more 5% 5-year survival.
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Cancer Research, FASEB / 21.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_45374" align="alignleft" width="133"]Professor Diana Anderson Established Chair in Biomedical Sciences The University of Bradford Richmond Road Bradford West Yorkshire Prof Anderson[/caption] Prof. Diana Anderson Established Chair in Biomedical Sciences The University of Bradford Richmond Road Bradford West Yorkshire MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: I have worked in this field for over 40 years both as a research scientist in industry and as a university-based researcher. It has always been my ambition to develop a relatively simple and affordable test to predict if a person is sensitive to cancer. In fact, in 1974, I was appointed as Head of Mutagenesis Studies at ICI’s Central Toxicology Laboratory in Manchester, UK, and I was looking at developing a short-term test to predict cancer even back then. Our ‘universal’ cancer test is different from other ‘universal’ tests being developed, because ours is not looking for a specific biomarker or mutation. Ours is a generic test for cancer in an individual, regardless of any underlying mechanism that’s causing their cancer. It is known that levels of damage to the DNA in the cellular genome can correlate with cancer and this is what we set out to investigate with the Comet assay. Of the available tests to detect damage to the genome the Comet assay is very straightforward. This assay was primarily developed as a method to measure DNA damage. Briefly, cells are embedded in agarose on a microscope slide and lysed to remove membranes leaving supercoiled DNA loops, breaks in which after alkaline treatment and alkaline electrophoresis move towards a positive charge. The DNA is stained with a fluorescent dye and visualised by fluorescent microscopy. The image is like Haley‘s comet and the greater number of breaks the greater is the migration to the anode and the greater the damage. 
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, Colon Cancer, JAMA, Weight Research / 15.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_45267" align="alignleft" width="180"]Stuart Po-Hong Liu, MD, MPH Dr. Po-Hong Liu[/caption] Stuart Po-Hong Liu, MD, MPH Clinical and Translational Epidemiology Unit Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School Boston MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Although there were global decreases in overall colorectal cancer (CRC) incidence, CRC rates have increased dramatically in those aged 20 to 49 years in the United States, parts of Europe, and Asia. The etiology and early detection of young-onset becomes an emerging research and clinical priority. Another important fact that is that this emerging public health concern has resulted in updated guidelines from the American Cancer Society advising average-risk screening begin at age 45, rather than 50. However, up to this point, the etiology of young onset CRC remains largely unknown. Elucidating the role of traditional CRC risk factors in the etiopathogenesis of young-onset CRC is one of the first research agenda.
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, JAMA, Melanoma / 14.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_45286" align="alignleft" width="160"]Caroline C. Kim, M.D. Associate Professor, Department of Dermatology Harvard Medical School Director, Pigmented Lesion Clinic Associate Director, Cutaneous Oncology Program Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Boston, MA 02215 Dr. Kim[/caption] Caroline C. Kim, M.D. Associate Professor, Department of Dermatology Harvard Medical School Director, Pigmented Lesion Clinic Associate Director, Cutaneous Oncology Program Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Boston, MA 02215 MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings? Response: Atypical/dysplastic nevi have been identified as risk factors for melanoma, however the majority of melanomas arise as new lesions on the skin. Unlike other models of dysplasia having a clear trajectory towards cancer as seen in cervical dysplasia, dysplastic nevi are not proven to be obligate precursors for melanoma.  However, there is little evidence to guide the management of biopsied dysplastic nevi with positive margins, with much clinical variation in the management of moderately dysplastic nevi in particular. In this multi-center national study of 9 U.S. academic centers, we examined outcomes of 467 moderately dysplastic nevi excisionally biopsied without residual clinical pigmentation but with positive histologic margins with at least 3 years of clinical follow-up.  We found that no cases developed into a same-site melanoma with a mean follow-up time of 6.9 years. However, 22.8% of our patients went on to develop a future separate site melanoma.
Author Interviews, Colon Cancer, Gastrointestinal Disease, Technology / 14.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_45196" align="alignleft" width="200"]Nadim Mahmud, MD, MS, MPH Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Dr. Mahmud[/caption] Nadim Mahmud, MD, MS, MPH Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Colonoscopy is an effective screening technique for colorectal cancer (CRC) prevention, but many patients either do not show up or have poor bowel preparation for the procedure. There are many contributors to this issue, including challenges with colonoscopy bowel preparations and communication barriers between healthcare systems and their patients. To address this, we performed a pilot of 21 patients using automated text messages sent over the course of one week prior to scheduled colonoscopy. These messages included instructional, educational, and reminder messages regarding aspects of the colonoscopy preparation process. We found significantly improved colonoscopy adherence among patients who received the text message program as compared to routine care controls (90% versus 62%). Furthermore, patient satisfaction and likelihood to recommend the text messaging program was high. Similar texting programs are simple to create and manage, and should be considered to improve outpatient colonoscopy adherence.