Author Interviews, Cancer Research, CHEST, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, University of Michigan / 22.06.2014

Colin R. Cooke, MD, MSc, MS; Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine Faculty, Center for Healthcare Outcomes & Policy University of MichiganMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Colin R. Cooke, MD, MSc, MS; Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine Faculty, Center for Healthcare Outcomes & Policy University of Michigan MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Cooke: There were three primary findings from our study. First, we determined that between 1992 and 2005 there was almost a 40% increase in the number of admissions to an intensive care unit (ICU) among patients with lung cancer who were hospitalized for reasons other than surgical removal of their cancer. Second, most of this increase was because doctors were admitting these patients to intermediate intensive care units. These are units that provide greater monitoring and nurse staffing than typically available in general hospital wards, but usually also have less ability to provide life support measures than full service ICUs. Third, over the same period the reasons for ICU admission have changed. Although the most common reason for admission continues to be for problems related to the patients’ lung cancer, problems such as breathing difficulties requiring a ventilator and severe infections are increasingly common. These findings suggest that although overall use of the ICU for patients with lung cancer is increasing over time, providers may be shifting some of the intensive care for lung cancer patients toward less aggressive settings such as the intermediate care unit. (more…)
Author Interviews, Johns Hopkins, Pancreatic / 21.06.2014

Lei Zheng, M.D., Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Oncology and Surgery Gastrointestinal Cancer Program Division of Immunology The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center and Department of Oncology Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine The Bunting-Blaustein Cancer Research Building (CRB1) Baltimore, MD 21231MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lei Zheng, M.D., Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Oncology and Surgery Gastrointestinal Cancer Program Division of Immunology The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center and Department of Oncology Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine The Bunting-Blaustein Cancer Research Building (CRB1) Baltimore, MD 21231 MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Zheng: This study shows for the first time that treatment with a vaccine-based immunotherapy directly re-programs the pancreatic cancer microenvironment, allowing the formation of lymphoid aggregates, which are organized, lymph node-like, functional immune structures and which convert an immunologically quiescent tumor into an immunologically active tumor. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, End of Life Care / 20.06.2014

Daniel Rocke, MD Medical School University of Michigan Medical School Ann Arbor, 2009.MedicalResearch.com Interview with Daniel Rocke, MD Duke Medicine Department Otolaryngology MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Rocke: I think the main point is that, to quote the paper, "end-of-life decision making by patients with cancer and their caregivers is significantly affected by their preference for quality of life or quantity of life, but OHNS physicians’ decision making is not." This is important because physicians counseling patients making end-of-life decisions are coming at these decisions from a different perspective that may not line up with their patients. If physicians recognize this, I think that these end-of-life discussions can be more productive (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, JAMA, MD Anderson, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 20.06.2014

Dalliah Black, MD F.A.C.S. Department of Surgical Oncology The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, HoustonMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dalliah Black, MD F.A.C.S. Department of Surgical Oncology The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Black: This is a retrospective study from 2002 - 2007 using the SEER/Medicare database of over 31,000 women with node negative breast cancer evaluating the utilization of sentinel node biopsy (SNB) as it transitioned from an optional method for axillary staging to the standard of care instead of complete axillary lymph node dissection (ALND). We found that SNB use increased each year in both white and black breast cancer patients throughout the study period. However, SNB was less often performed in black patients (62.4%)compared to white patients (73.7%) and this disparity persisted through 2007 with a 12% difference. Appropriate black patients more often had an ALND instead of the minimally invasive sentinel node biopsy which resulted in worse patient outcomes with higher lymphedema rates in black patients. However, when black patients received the minimally invasive SNB, their rates of lymphedema were low and comparable to white patients who received SNB. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research / 20.06.2014

John L. VandeBerg PhD Southwest National Primate Research Center Texas Biomedical Research Institute San Antonio, TX 78245-0549MedicalResearch.com Interview with: John L. VandeBerg PhD Southwest National Primate Research Center Texas Biomedical Research Institute San Antonio, TX 78245-0549 MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of this study? Dr. VandeBerg: Despite the increasing use of sunscreen in recent decades, the incidence of melanoma continues to rise by 3% annually, leading to concerns that sunscreen may not be effective in preventing melanoma despite its efficacy in preventing sunburn. Our results established in the laboratory opossum, which is the only natural mammalian model of UVB-induced melanoma, that SPF 15 sunscreen applied to infants prior to low dose UVB radiation leads later in life to a 10-fold reduction in pre-melanotic lesions, which are known to progress to malignant melanoma. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Gastrointestinal Disease / 18.06.2014

Nynne Nyboe Andersen, MD, PhD student Department of Epidemiology Research Statens Serum Institut 2300 Copenhagen, Denmark MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nynne Nyboe Andersen, MD, PhD student Department of Epidemiology Research Statens Serum Institut 2300 Copenhagen, Denmark MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Andersen: Previous studies evaluating the risk of cancer associated with the use of TNF-α antagonists are mainly based on data from randomized clinical trials with a short follow up time. Consequently, we used the national Danish registries to conduct a nationwide population-based cohort study assessing the risk of cancer in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) exposed to these drugs from their introduction in 1999 until 2012. We included more than 56.000 patients with IBD and among those 4500 were exposed to TNF-α antagonists, contributing with almost 20.000 person-years of follow-up. Our main results revealed that the risk of overall cancer was significantly increased in the analysis adjusted for propensity score and potential confounders except for azathioprine, however, when we additionally adjusted for azathioprine use the relative risk decreased markedly leaving no significant increased risk of cancer. Given the upper limit of the confidence intervals, this study could rule out a more than 36% relative increase in the risk of overall cancer over a median follow-up of 3.7 years among TNF-α antagonist-exposed patients with 25% of these followed for 6 years or longer. We also did some stratified analyses according to cumulative number of TNF-α inhibitor doses, and time since first TNF-α inhibitor dose, but these results did not reveal any significantly increased risk of cancer nor did the analyses on site-specific cancers. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Journal Clinical Oncology / 18.06.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Yosuke Uchitomi, MD, PhD Professor and Chairman, Department of Neuropsychiatry, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry, and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Okayama, Japan MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Uchitomi: This study demonstrated the effect of communication skills training (CST) consisted of didactic lecture, role-plays, and peer discussion for oncologists with extensive experience in comprehensive cancer center hospitals in improving the psychological distress of cancer patients as well as oncologist performances and confidence in communicating with patients, using a randomized design. Reasons for this positive result might include that the communication skills training program had been developed based on patient preferences regarding the communication of bad news and oncologists’ needs. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer / 17.06.2014

Jack Cuzick PhD Centre for Cancer Prevention Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine Queen Mary University of London, London UKMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jack Cuzick PhD Centre for Cancer Prevention Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine Queen Mary University of London, London UK Dr. Cuzick offers the manuscript below to put the results of the Anastrozole for prevention of breast cancer in high-risk postmenopausal women (IBIS-II): an international, double-blind, randomised placebo-controlled trial in focus for MedicalResearch.com.

The Prevention of Breast Cancer

The first human evidence that drug treatment might reduce the incidence of breast cancer was reported in 19851, where it was found that use of tamoxifen in a trial of women with breast cancer to reduce recurrence of existing tumours also had a major impact on new tumours in the opposite breast, reducing them from 10 to 3. That observation has subsequently been confirmed in several other adjuvant trials and an overview of all such trials indicates that after an average of about 8 years of follow up, 5 years of tamoxifen reduced new contralateral tumours by 39%, with similar effects in years 0-5 and 5-10 in women with oestrogen receptor positive or unknown primary tumours2. These observations and positive results from animal studies3, led to the evaluation of 5 years of tamoxifen in women without breast cancer, but at high risk in 4 large trials. A recent overview4 indicates a 33% reduction in all breast cancer after a 10 years follow up, with a larger reduction in years 0-5 (48%), when treatment was given, and a continuing (22%) effect in years 5-10. Reductions were seen for oestrogen receptor positive invasive cancer (44%) and DCIS (28%), but no effect was seen for both oestrogen receptor negative invasive cancer, where in fact a non-significant 13% (P=0.4) increase was observed. Somewhat larger effects were seen for these other selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) – raloxifene, lasofoxifene and arzoxifene – in trials of osteoporotic women, where the primary endpoint was fracture reduction4. A subsequent head-to-head trial of raloxifene vs tamoxifen, showed tamoxifen to be about 20% more effective, but raloxifene had fewer side effects5. Lasofoxifene not only showed benefits for breast cancer reduction but also reduced fracture rates and heart disease6, and this multi-dimensional set of benefits makes it an attractive candidate for prevention. (more…)
Melanoma, Sloan Kettering / 17.06.2014

Dr. Richard D. Carvajal MD Director, Developmental Therapeutics; Elizabeth and Felix Rohatyn Chair for Junior Faculty Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer CenterMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Richard D. Carvajal MD Director, Developmental Therapeutics; Elizabeth and Felix Rohatyn Chair for Junior Faculty Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Carvajal: This is the first study to show that a systemic therapy provides significant clinical benefit in a randomized fashion to patients with advanced uveal melanoma, a population of patients who have very limited treatment options. This clinical benefit has never previously been demonstrated with other agents, both conventional or investigational. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Infections / 14.06.2014

Dr. Stuart Gordon MD Gastroenterologist Henry Ford Hospital Detroit, MI 48202.MedicalResearch.com Interview with Dr. Stuart Gordon MD Gastroenterologist Henry Ford Hospital Detroit, MI 48202. MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Gordon: In a large American cohort of Hepatitis B patients, those who took antiviral therapy had a significantly lower risk of developing liver cancer than those who did not take such therapy. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, MD Anderson, Surgical Research / 11.06.2014

Dr. Benjamin D. Smith MD Associate Professor Department of Radiation Oncology The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Houston, TX 77030 MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Benjamin D. Smith MD Associate Professor Department of Radiation Oncology The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Houston, TX 77030 MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Smith: Although use of needle biopsy to diagnose breast cancer increased during the time period we studied, it remained lower than targeted benchmarks. The patient’s surgeon seemed to exert a major influence on use of needle biopsy. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Occupational Health / 11.06.2014

Gabriella Johansson Occupational and Environmental Medicine Lund University Hospital Lund, SwedenMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Gabriella Johansson Occupational and Environmental Medicine Lund University Hospital Lund, Sweden   MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: Our main focus was to study hairdressers’ exposure to carcinogenic aromatic amines. We found that the concentrations of the carcinogenic compound o-toluidine in blood increased with the number of treatments per week of light color permanent hair dyeing and hair waving treatments. Another aromatic amine, m- toluidine (assessed as not classifiable as carcinogenic to humans owing to a lack of data) in blood, increased with the number of treatments per week of light color hair dyeing and all other hair dyeing. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Breast Cancer, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Nutrition / 11.06.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with Dr. Maryam Farvid MSc, Ph.D. Takemi fellow, and Associate ArofessorMedicalResearch.com Interview with Dr. Maryam Farvid MSc, Ph.D. Takemi fellow, and Associate Arofessor Senior author: Prof Walter Willett Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Farvid: Compared to women who had one serving per week red meat, those who consumed 1.5 serving per day red meat had a 22 percent higher risk of breast cancer. Red meat intake is associated with breast cancer risk in a dose-response manner. Each additional serving/day increase in total red meat was associated with a 13% increase in risk of breast cancer. Furthermore, each additional serving/day of poultry was associated with a 25% lower risk of postmenopausal breast cancer. Substituting one serving/day of legumes for one serving/day of red meat was associated with a 15% lower risk of breast cancer, substituting one serving/day of poultry for one serving/day of red meat was associated with a 17% lower risk of breast cancer overall, and substituting one serving/day of combined legumes, nuts, poultry, and fish for one serving/day of red meat was associated with a 14% lower risk of breast cancer. (more…)
Author Interviews, Melanoma / 09.06.2014

Dr. Juliet A. Usher-Smith Clinical Lecturer in Primary Care The Primary Care Unit, University of Cambridge Strangeways Research Laboratory Cambridge, United Kingdom MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Juliet A. Usher-Smith Clinical Lecturer in Primary Care The Primary Care Unit, University of Cambridge Strangeways Research Laboratory Cambridge, United Kingdom MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Dr Usher-Smith: Our systematic review identified 25 risk models that have the potential to identify individuals at higher risk of developing melanoma. Comparison between the different models was difficult due to the lack of validation studies and heterogeneity in choice and definition of variables. We were, however, able to show that most include well established risk factors and that, despite including a range of different variables, there is very little heterogeneity in the discriminatory ability of the models. There was also little difference in model performance between those scores suitable for self-assessment and those requiring a health care professional, suggesting potential for use at a population level to identify people at higher risk of melanoma. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Cost of Health Care, Journal Clinical Oncology / 09.06.2014

Ayal A. Aizer, MD, MHS Harvard Radiation Oncology Program Boston, MAMedicalResearch Interview with: Ayal A. Aizer, MD, MHS Harvard Radiation Oncology Program Boston, MA MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Aizer: We studied Americans between the ages of 20-40 using the SEER Database (a national cancer registry) and found that patients who had insurance were more likely to present with localized (curable) versus metastatic (generally incurable) cancer. Patients with localized tumors were more likely to receive the appropriate treatment and, most importantly, survived longer than patients without insurance. Our analysis accounted for demographic and socioeconomic differences between patients who were insured versus uninsured. Our results indicate that insurance status is a powerful predictor of outcome among young adults with cancer. The Affordable Care Act, which will likely improve insurance coverage nationally, may yield improved cancer outcomes among Americans. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, HPV / 08.06.2014

Dr. Christian S Hinrichs MD Assistant Clinical Investigator Center for Cancer Research National Cancer Institute Bethesda, MD 20814MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Christian S Hinrichs MD Assistant Clinical Investigator Center for Cancer Research National Cancer Institute Bethesda, MD 20814 MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Hinrichs: Objective tumor regression occurred in 3/9 patients with metastatic cervical cancer. Two responses were complete and are ongoing 22 and 15 months after treatment with a single infusion of T cells targeting the HPV oncoproteins. (more…)
Breast Cancer, Mayo Clinic / 08.06.2014

Dr. Barbara Pockaj, MD Professor of Surgery Mayo Clinic, ArizonaMedicalResearch.com Interview Invitation Dr. Barbara Pockaj, MD Professor of Surgery Mayo Clinic, Arizona   MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Pockaj: The study analyzed 515 triple negative breast cancer samples using a multi-platform approach including whole genome mRNA expression, protein expression, gene copy number changes and gene sequencing for immune markers. The study found that a cohort of the triple negative breast cancer patients had high expression of PD-L1 (program death ligand) and other immune regulators such as CTLA-4 (Cytotoxic T-lymphocyte Antigen) and IDO-1 (indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase). High PD-L1 expression was found in patients whose tumors were triple negative and androgen receptor negative. High PD-L1 expression was related to DNA repair gene abnormalities including BRCA1. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Vitamin D / 08.06.2014

Adetunji Toriola, MD, PhD, MPH Assistant Professor Division of Public Health Sciences Department of Surgery Washington University School of Medicine Siteman Cancer Center St. Louis, MO MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Adetunji Toriola, MD, PhD, MPH Assistant Professor Division of Public Health Sciences Department of Surgery Washington University School of Medicine Siteman Cancer Center St. Louis, MO MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Toriola: Very little is known about the impact of vitamin D in prognosis among cancer patients. This knowledge is of importance because of the increasing number of people living cancer and the high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency among cancer patients. We conducted a systematic review of studies published to date on the association of circulating vitamin D (25-OHD) levels with prognosis among cancer patients. This review suggests that higher circulating vitamin D levels may improve overall survival among breast and colorectal cancer patients but there is paucity of information on the role of circulating vitamin D levels in prognosis among patients with other cancer types. (more…)
Ovarian Cancer / 06.06.2014

Sean C. Dowdy, MD, FACS Professor and Chair, Division of Gynecologic Surgery Vice-Chair for Research, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Co-Leader, Women’s Cancer Program Mayo Clinic College of Medicine MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sean C. Dowdy, MD, FACS Professor and Chair, Division of Gynecologic Surgery Vice-Chair for Research, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Co-Leader, Women’s Cancer Program Mayo Clinic College of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Dowdy: This study was a collaboration between four groups in 3 countries to determine if a genetic “signature” could predict which patients with ovarian cancer benefit from Bevacizumab (a very expensive drug with marginal benefit in patients with ovarian cancer). We hypothesized that while benefit may be marginal in a large group, patients with specific genetic changes could derive significant benefit from it. Using gene expression arrays (analyzing over 18,000 genes) we separated patients into four subgroups as described by The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). We show that patients in the proliferative and mesenchymal groups had a 8-10 month improvement in outcome compared to a 3 month improvement for the other two groups (immunoreactive and differentiated). (more…)
Author Interviews, Nutrition, Pancreatic / 05.06.2014

Wai-Nang Paul Lee, M.D. Division Chief, Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism Professor of Pediatrics Director of Biomedical Mass Spectrometry LaboratoryMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Wai-Nang Paul Lee, M.D. Division Chief, Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism Professor of Pediatrics Director of Biomedical Mass Spectrometry Laboratory Harbor-UCLA MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Wai-Nang Lee: The study reports that EGCG, the active biologic constituent in green tea, changed the metabolism of pancreatic cancer cells by suppressing the expression of an enzyme associated with cancer, LDHA. The researchers also compared the effects of EGCG with those of an enzyme inhibitor, oxamate, which is known to reduce LDHA activity, and found that they both operated in a similar manner by disrupting the pancreatic cancer cells metabolic system. Scientists had believed they needed a molecular mechanism to treat cancer, but this study shows that they can change the metabolic system and have an impact on cancer. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, NEJM / 05.06.2014

Dr. Olivia Pagani Institute of Oncology of Southern Switzerland Ospedale San Giovanni, SwitzerlandMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Olivia Pagani Institute of Oncology of Southern Switzerland Ospedale San Giovanni, Switzerland   MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Pagani: The studies show that also in premenopausal women (as already proven in postmenopausal women), aromatase inhibitors (AIs) (in this case Exemestane) given as adjuvant treatment are more effective than Tamoxifen in women with hormone receptor positive early breast cancer who are given concomitantly ovarian suppression to lower estrogen production. The 28% improvement in disease free survival is comparable to that seen in postmenopausal women. In particular, outcomes in women who did not receive chemotherapy (43% of the entire population, 29% of whom with node positive disease) were strikingly good (<97% were breast cancer free at 5 years). (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Colon Cancer, Erasmus, Sloan Kettering / 03.06.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Frank van Hees MSc Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam, the Netherlands and Ann G. Zauber PhD Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: The main finding of our study is that colorectal cancer screening of individuals without previous screening is worthwhile well beyond age 75, which is the recommended age to stop screening in individuals with an adequate screening history. The exact age up to which screening should be considered in unscreened elderly depends on an individual's health status: in healthy individuals screening remains worthwhile up to age 86, whereas in individuals with a severe illness, such as heart failure, screening remains worthwhile up to age 80. (more…)
Biomarkers, Journal Clinical Oncology, Lung Cancer / 02.06.2014

Prof. Nir Peled MD PhD FCCP Pulmonologist & Medical Oncologist Thoracic Cancer Unit, Davidoff Cancer Center, RMC, Kaplan St, Petach Tiqwa, Israel International Lung Cancer Association; Committee Chair; Prevention, Screening & Early Detection of Lung Cancer, IASLC.MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Nir Peled MD PhD FCCP Pulmonologist & Medical Oncologist Thoracic Cancer Unit, Davidoff Cancer Center, RMC, Kaplan St, Petach Tiqwa, Israel International Lung Cancer Association; Committee Chair; Prevention, Screening & Early Detection of Lung Cancer, IASLC. MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of this study? Dr. Peled: The study focuses on early detection of lung cancer through the exhale breath NaNose which was developed by Prof Hossam Haick (Israel). The study included 358 patients who were diagnosed or at risk for lung cancer. The multisite enrollments included UC Denver (Dr Fred Hirsch), Tel Aviv University (Dr Nir Peled), Jacksonville (Dr Stuart Millstone, Dr Douglas Johnson) and Liverpool (Dr John Field). The NaNose was able to detect lung cancer with a very high accuracy (~90%) even when the lung nodule was tiny and hard to sample. It was even able to discriminate between sub histologies of cancer, which was unexpected. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer, Cancer Research / 01.06.2014

Recinda L Sherman, MPH, PhD, CTR Program Manager, Data Use & Research North America Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR)MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Recinda L Sherman, MPH, PhD, CTR Program Manager, Data Use & Research North America Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR)   MedicalResearch: What is the context of the study? Dr. Sherman:
  • It has long been known that poverty is associated with adverse health conditions. In general, increasing poverty results in higher disease rates and higher mortality.
  • This study assessed the relationship between poverty and cancer incidence using national cancer data on nearly 3 million tumors from the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR).
  • Cancer registries do not collect economic information on cancer patients, so we used an area-based social measure: % of persons living below poverty within a census tract. This measure is a proxy for an individual’s economic status and also gives insight into the type of neighborhood in which an individual lives.
(more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, University of Pittsburgh / 30.05.2014

Yael Schenker, MD, MAS Assistant Professor Division of General Internal Medicine Section of Palliative Care and Medical Ethics University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA 15213 MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Yael Schenker, MD, MAS Assistant Professor Division of General Internal Medicine Section of Palliative Care and Medical Ethics University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA 15213 MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Schenker: We analyzed the content of cancer center advertisements placed in top TV and magazine media markets in 2012. Out of 1427 advertisements that met our initial search criteria, we found 409 unique advertisements that promoted clinical services at 102 cancer centers across the country. These advertisements promoted cancer treatments (88%) more often than cancer screening (18%) or supportive services (13%). Provision of information about clinical services was scant. For example, 27% of advertisements mentioned a benefit of advertised services and 2% quantified these benefits. 2% mentioned a risk of advertised services and no advertisements quantified these risks. 5% mentioned costs or insurance coverage and no advertisements mentioned availability under specific insurance plans. In contrast, use of emotional appeals was frequent (85%). Emotional appeals commonly evoked hope for survival, focused on treatment advances, used fighting language, and/or evoked fear. Nearly half of all advertisements included patient testimonials, overwhelmingly focused on stories about survival or cure. Only 15% of testimonials included a disclaimer (for example, “most patients do not experience these results”) and none described the outcome that a typical patient may expect. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, General Medicine / 29.05.2014

Alai Tan, MD, PhD Assistant Professor Institute for Translational Science Dept. of Preventive Medicine & Community Health University of Texas Medical BranchMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alai Tan, MD, PhD Assistant Professor Institute for Translational Science Dept. of Preventive Medicine & Community Health University of Texas Medical Branch MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Tan: We found that substantial proportions of women with limited life expectancy receive screening mammography. The screening rates were higher among women who saw more than one generalist physician and who had more visits to generalist physicians. The screening rates were higher among U.S. hospital referral regions with more primary care physicians, mammography facilities and radiologists. (more…)
Author Interviews, Mayo Clinic, Pancreatic / 27.05.2014

Dr. Derek Radisky PhD Associate Professor and Consultant Mayo Clinic Cancer CenterMedicalResearch.com Interview with Dr. Derek Radisky PhD Associate Professor and Consultant Mayo Clinic Cancer Center MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Radisky: The study used human tissue biopsies to find that production of matrix metalloproteinse-3 (MMP3) in pancreatic cancer biopsies was associated with poorer patient prognosis, and showed through transgenic animal and cell culture experiments that this was due to activation of the oncogenic protein Rac1b. The study thus identifies an MMP3-Rac1b signaling axis that drives pancreatic cancer progression. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, JAMA, Vaccine Studies / 27.05.2014

Scott A. Gruber, M.D., Ph.D., MBA, FACS, FCP, FACHE, CPE Chief of Staff, John D. Dingell VA Medical Center Associate Dean for Veterans Affairs & Professor of Surgery Wayne State University School of Medicine John D. Dingell VA Medical Center Chief of Staff Detroit, MI 48201MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Scott A. Gruber, M.D., Ph.D., MBA, FACS, FCP, FACHE, CPE Chief of Staff, John D. Dingell VA Medical Center Associate Dean for Veterans Affairs & Professor of Surgery Wayne State University School of Medicine John D. Dingell VA Medical Center Chief of Staff Detroit, MI 48201 MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Gruber: We successfully addressed the problem of inadequate intracellular delivery of tumor- specific antigens (TSAs) to dendritic cells (DCs) by using synthetic cell-penetrating domains or peptides (CPPs) to create fusion tumor antigens (Ags) that readily penetrate through the plasma membrane. We demonstrated cloning and purification of the TSA melanoma-associated antigen 3 (MAGE-A3) in frame with CPP, producing enhanced cytosolic bioavailability in dendritic cells without altering cell functionality. Further, we showed that recombinant bacterial proteins can be easily engineered to purify large amounts of CPP-MAGE-A3. Use of full-length proteins circumvents the need to define HLA class I allele binding before vaccination and increases the number of epitopes recognized by CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) when compared with peptide-pulsed dendritic cells. Finally, the use of proteins rather than plasmids or viral vectors for in vitro dendritic cell vaccine preparation avoids the practical and theoretical safety concerns regarding genomic modification. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, JAMA / 25.05.2014

Dr. Sarah Hawley PhD MPH Associate Professor in the Division of General Medicine University of Michigan Research Investigator, Ann Arbor VA Center of Excellence in Health Services Research & DevelopmentMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Sarah Hawley PhD MPH Associate Professor in the Division of General Medicine University of Michigan Research Investigator, Ann Arbor VA Center of Excellence in Health Services Research & Development   MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Hawley: There are a couple of main findings.
  • First, we found that nearly 20% of women in our population based sample of breast cancer patients reported strongly considering having contralateral prophylactic mastectomy (CPM, which means they had their unaffected breast removed at the same time as the breast with cancer), and about 8% received it. Of those who did receive contralateral prophylactic mastectomy, most (about 70%) did not have a clinical indication for it, which included a positive genetic mutation of BRCA1 or BRCA2 or a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer.
  • However, most women (90%) who received it reported having a strong amount of worry about the cancer coming back (also called worry about recurrence).
  • We also found that when women had an MRI as part of their diagnostic work-up for breast cancer, they more often received contralateral prophylactic mastectomy than when they did not have an MRI.
(more…)