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, 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…)
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…)
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, 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, 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, Cancer Research, Lymphoma / 06.12.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Matthew S. Davids MD MSC Associate Director of the Dana-Farber CLL Center Attending physician Lymphoma Program, Division of Hematologic Malignancies Dana-Farber   Dr. Jennifer Crombie MD Instructor in Medicine Harvard Medical School    MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: New data from our investigator-sponsored Phase 1 study exploring duvelisib in combination with venetoclax will be presented at ASH on December 7. In relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL/SLL), duvelisib plus venetoclax demonstrated promising clinical activity, a manageable tolerability profile, and identified a recommended Phase 2 dosing (RP2D) regimen.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Genetic Research, Pharmaceutical Companies / 26.11.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ambry GeneticsRachid Karam, MD PhD Director, Ambry Translational Genomics Lab Ambry Genetics MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Standard DNA testing for hereditary cancer risk excludes large portions of DNA, thereby missing some mutations. In addition, DNA testing can produce inconclusive results and fail to determine that an error in our DNA increases cancer risk. These limitations impact patients and their families because doctors may not have the information needed to recommend appropriate preventive, early detection, or therapeutic steps. Additionally, relatives may not be referred for genetic testing and obtain the care they would otherwise have gotten if they had learned they had mutations. The study looked at how the addition of RNA genetic testing to standard DNA testing for hereditary cancer risk was able to increase diagnostic yield. The study looked at the first 2,500 patients that received Ambry Genetics +RNAinsight™, paired RNA and DNA genetic testing for hereditary cancer risk. The data from this study showed that the addition of RNA genetic testing to DNA testing (1) identified new mutations that would have been missed with DNA testing alone, and (2) clarified inconclusive results as disease-causing. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, HPV / 20.11.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ashish Deshmukh, PhD, MPH Assistant Professor UTHealth School of Public Health Houston MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Anal cancer is one of the six human papillomavirus associated cancers.  Rates of anal cancer are increasing in the US, but no prior study quantified the contemporary trends (i.e., increase in rates over time) in anal cancer incidence. It was unknown whether the rise is real or driven by increased screening in some high-risk populations. Incidence trends according to age and stage at diagnosis was also never comprehensively studied. Furthermore, it was unknown whether the rise in incidence has led to a rise in mortality. Our objective was to answer these questions. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Pediatrics / 13.11.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sairaman Nagarajan, MD Clinical Fellow at State University New York (SUNY) Downstate Medical Center College of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The impetus for this study came from our previous research linking asthma, hay-fever and overall cancer diagnoses using the CDC’s National Health Interview Survey database. The division of Allergy and Immunology at SUNY Downstate has also conducted two pilot studies on the relationship between parental cancer and childhood asthma in Brooklyn’s population; one from Lutheran Medical Center focusing on Hispanics and Asian patients, and the other on African-American and Afro-Caribbean patients. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, HPV, JAMA, OBGYNE / 07.11.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rachel L. Winer, PhD Professor Department of Epidemiology School of Public Health HPV Research Group University of Washington Seattle, WARachel L. Winer, PhD Professor Department of Epidemiology School of Public Health HPV Research Group University of Washington Seattle, WA  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In the U.S., 25% of women do not receive recommended cervical cancer screening. Increasing screening participation is a high priority, because over half of the 12,000 cervical cancers diagnosed each year in the U.S. are in women who are underscreened. Currently available options for cervical cancer screening in the U.S. include Pap testing or HPV testing, either alone or in combination. HPV self-sampling is an emerging option for screening because HPV tests – unlike Pap tests – can be performed on either clinician- or self-collected samples, with similar accuracy. Internationally, several countries (including Australia and the Netherlands) include HPV self-sampling as a cervical cancer screening option for underscreened women.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Gender Differences, JAMA / 02.11.2019

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

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

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

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Li C. Cheung, PhD Staff Scientist, Biostatistics Branch Division of Cancer Epidemiology & Genetics NCI National Cancer Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Using individualized risk prediction models to select individuals for lung-cancer screening will prevent more lung cancer deaths than current USPSTF guidelines (ages 55-80y; 30+ pack-years; smoke in past 15y). However, risk-based screening would lead to screening even more older smokers with comorbidities, for whom the harms of screening may outweigh the benefits. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Genetic Research / 04.10.2019

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

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

Dr. Dario Altieri in his lab with Dr. Ekta Agarwal conducting an experimentMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ekta Agarwal, Ph.D. Postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Dario Altieri, M.D. Wistar president and CEO ,Director of the Institute’s Cancer Center Robert & Penny Fox Distinguished Professor and co-first author on the study. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: Mitochondrial reprogramming is one of the hallmarks of cancer cell growth and metastasis. There are several studies correlating mitochondrial dynamics to increased cancer cell motility and invasion. However, therapies that can target molecular markers associated with mitochondrial functions and integrity are still obscure. Thus, it is crucial to identify novel targets and pathways that regulate mitochondrial functions in cancer. This study reveals one such mitochondrial molecular pathway which might serve as an actionable anti-cancer therapy. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, End of Life Care, JAMA / 19.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Donald Sullivan, MD, MA, MCR Associate Professor of Medicine & Associate Fellowship Program Director Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine Oregon Health & Science University Investigator, Center to Improve Veteran Involvement in Care (CIVIC) VA-Portland Health Care System  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
  • Patients with lung cancer suffer from considerable physical and psychological symptom burden and palliative care is underutilized or delivered too close to death to provide meaningful benefits for these patients. Palliative care is associated with improved quality of life for these patients, but the findings regarding a survival benefit are not clear.
  • Palliative care is distinct from hospice. Palliative care is meant to be delivered along with disease-modifying therapy and focuses on improving quality of life by addressing pain and other problems, including physical, psychosocial and spiritual for patients and their families. Hospice care is focused on reducing suffering, pain and anxiety at the very end of life; typically within a few months of death.
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ASCO, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Cost of Health Care, End of Life Care / 17.09.2019

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

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