AACR, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Ovarian Cancer / 23.12.2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Genentech Priscilla White, spokesperson Senior Manager, Corporate Relations Genentech MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
  • Response: Mosunetuzumab is a T-cell engaging bispecific antibody designed to target CD20-positive B-cell blood cancers, by binding to both CD20 (on the surface of B-cells) and CD3 (on the surface of T-cells).
  • Analyses from the ongoing Phase I/Ib GO29781 study indicate that mosunetuzumab can produce durable responses in patients who have relapsed or who are refractory to prior treatment(s), including those who have relapsed or who are resistant to CAR T-cell therapy.
  • Results from this dose-escalation study showed encouraging efficacy with an objective response rate (ORR) of 62.7 percent (n=42/67) in slow-growing Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and 37.1 percent (n=46/124) in aggressive NHL across all dose levels assessed.
  • Additionally, data demonstrated a complete response (CR) rate of 43.3 percent (n=29/67) in slow-growing NHL and 19.4 percent (n=24/124) in aggressive NHL. CRs showed durability, with 82.8 percent (n=24/29) of patients with slow-growing NHL remaining in remission up to 26 months off initial treatment and 70.8 percent (n=17/24) of patients with aggressive NHL, remaining in remission up to 16 months off initial treatment.
  • Of the participants who received prior CAR T-cell therapy, the ORR was 38.9 percent (n=7/18), and 22.2 percent (n=4/18) achieved a CR.
  • Adverse reactions included cytokine release syndrome (CRS) in 28.9 percent of patients with 20.0 percent at Grade 1 and 1.1 percent at Grade 3. Grade 3 neurological adverse events occurred in 3.7 percent of patients.
(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, Hematology, Lymphoma / 10.12.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Steven M. Horwitz, MD Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center New York, NY MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Relapsed or refractory Peripheral T-Cell Lymphoma (R/R PTCL) remains a disease of significant unmet medical need. Duvelisib is an oral dual inhibitor of PI3K-δ and PI3K-γ approved for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL/SLL) after at least two prior therapies, relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma (FL) after at least two prior systemic therapies, and is being developed for the treatment of additional hematologic malignancies including R/R PTCL. In early studies, we saw a suggestion of quite good activity of duvelisib as a single agent in a range of subtypes of T-cell lymphoma. The PRIMO study is an ongoing, multi-center, open-label, registration-directed Phase 2 study evaluating duvelisib in patients with R/R PTCL that is expected to enroll approximately 120 patients. The study includes both a dose optimization phase and an expansion phase. The Primo study will be sufficiently powered to give a much more precise estimate of the activity in peripheral t cell lymphomas. However, prior to initiating the main cohort we needed to first try to identify an optimal dose. That “dose optimization cohort” is the subject of our presentation here. (more…)
Author Interviews, Hematology, Lymphoma / 10.12.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. John Seymour, MBBS, Ph.D Lead investigator of the MURANO Trial Director. Department of Hematology at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre & Royal Melbourne Hospital in Australia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
  • MURANO is an international, multicenter, open-label, randomized Phase 3 study designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of venetoclax in combination with rituximab compared with bendamustine in combination with rituximab in patients with relapsed/refractory (R/R) chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).
  • At this year’s American Society of Hematology (ASH) annual meeting, we presented results from the four-year updated analysis from the study, which showed an 81 percent reduction in the relative risk of disease progression or death in patients randomized to the chemotherapy-free, two year fixed-duration treatment course of venetoclax plus rituximab and higher rates of minimal residual disease (MRD)-negativity compared to the standard of care regimen, bendamustine plus rituximab.
  • The long-term data further support the sustained clinical benefit of fixed-duration treatment with venetoclax in combination with rituximab for this patient population.
  • The safety profile of the combination is consistent with the known safety profile of each individual therapy alone. There were no new serious safety issues observed in the MURANO study since the last update. 
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Author Interviews, Hematology, Lymphoma / 07.12.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Constantine Tam, M.D. Hematologist and Disease Group Lead Low Grade Lymphoma and CLL at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre Victoria, Australia, and Lead study investigator of CAPTIVATE MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The Phase 2 CAPTIVATE (PCYC-1142) clinical trial evaluated 164 patients younger than 70 years (median age of 58 years) with previously untreated CLL/SLL. Patients were planned to receive ibrutinib for 3 cycles, followed by 12 cycles of ibrutinib and venetoclax in combination. Ninety percent of patients was able to complete the planned therapy. MRD status was evaluated in PB after 6, 9, and 12 cycles and in BM after 12 cycles of the combination. (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, Breast Cancer, Mammograms / 06.12.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sarah Moorman, MD Department of Radiology Michigan Medicine   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Professional societies and government agencies have variable recommendations regarding how often women should get a screening mammogram. Breast cancer screening may be recommended annually or biennially. These differing recommendations lead to confusion for both referring physicians and patients. The goal of our study was to better understand differences between annual and biennial screening. We reviewed clinical outcomes of women undergoing annual or biennial mammographic screening to determine if there is an advantage to annual screening. (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Prostate Cancer / 02.12.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Jeremy Clark University of East Anglia Norwich Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Earlier this year we published our pilot study which showed how useful we have found urine to be for diagnosing prostate cancer and predicting which cancers will get bigger and nastier up to 5 years later (Connell et al 2019). – Our PUR (Prostate Urine Risk) signatures separated men with low-risk cancer into two groups one of which had 8-times the rate of future development of aggressive cancer that the other. There is nothing in clinical use at present that can do this. The new development is our At-Home Urine collection system which means that we can now send out a urine collection kit to a man at home, he fills up a small pot with his first wee of the day and posts it back to us for PUR analysis. This makes the whole system so much less stressful for the patient. The idea behind it is as follows: the prostate lays just below the bladder, it is a secretory organ and these secretions carry cells and molecules from all over the prostate to the urethra which then get flushed out of the body on urination. If a cancer is present then tiny bits of the tumour are also carried with the secretions and we can detect these in the urine. As the prostate is constantly secreting the levels of biomarkers in the urethra will build up with time. Collecting from the first wee of the day means that overnight secretions can be collected which makes the analysis more sensitive and more robust. (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, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Colon Cancer, JAMA, Omega-3 Fatty Acids / 26.11.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: MINGYANG SONG, MD, ScD Assistant Professor, Epidemiology Harvard T.H. Chan School Of Public Health Assistant Professor of Medicine Clinical and Translational Epidemiology Unit Massachusetts General Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Increasing data indicate that high intake of omega-3 fatty acid may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. Since effects of nutritional factors on risk of cancer, a slow-developing disease, typically emerge only after several years, it is useful to study the effect of preventive agents on cancer precursors such as colorectal polyps. Colorectal polyps are small growths on the lining of the colon or rectum. Most polyps are harmless, but some can become cancerous. (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…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Prostate Cancer / 20.11.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jeffrey L. Anderson, MD FAHA FACC MACP Distinguished Research Physician Professor of Medicine with Tenure University of Utah School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Omega-3 supplements are widely used for cardiovascular prevention. However, a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (105:1132, 2013) reported as an incidental finding in a plasma bank study that the risk of prostate cancer increased with increasing levels of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and trended to increase with eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, JAMA, Melanoma / 17.11.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jennifer M. Gardner, MD Clinical Assistant Professor of Dermatology University of Washington School of Medicine  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: This study looked at age-specific differences of melanoma incidence in the United States. It was an observational study looking at population-based registry data extracted from the combined National Program of Cancer Registries-Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results United States Cancer Statistics (NPCR-SEER) database. The overall take home message from this study is that though melanoma incidence has continued to climb in the past decade for both men and women, most of the increase is seen in adults greater than age 40 years of age.  In contrast, melanoma incidence decreased in adolescents (ages 10-19 years of age) and young adults (ages 20-29) after peaking around 2004-2005. Melanoma is more common in males in older individuals (older than 50 years of age) but in younger individuals (<50 years of age), melanoma is more common in females.  According to a recently published JAMA-Otolaryngology paper by Bray and colleagues, there may be a subset of younger individuals where males are at a higher risk than females in regard to head and neck melanoma, and after that study was published we noted this to be true in our numbers, as well (we didn’t publish this in our study), further identifying a possibly “at risk” demographic within the younger age groups in addition to young women. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, JAMA, Mammograms / 15.11.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Elham Kharazmi, MD, PhD Co-Leader, Risk Adapted Prevention (RAD) Group Division of Preventive Oncology National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) Germany MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide and the second leading cause of cancer death in American women, exceeded only by lung cancer. Available evidence suggests that implementation of a screening program can decrease breast cancer mortality. Reductions in breast cancer mortality in Europe over the past two decades have been associated at least in part with the implementation of screening programs. Screening enables the detection of tumors at an early stage, when more treatment options are feasible and most effective. However, screening is associated with substantial risks, such as over-diagnosis, false-positive results, and physical and psychological harms, particularly when large numbers of women with low risk are frequently screened. (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Melanoma, Ophthalmology / 15.11.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Mitchell Stark, B.App.Sc (Hons), PhD NHMRC Research Fellow The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute Woolloongabba, QLD MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Uveal nevi (moles) mimic the appearance of uveal melanoma and their transformation potential cannot be definitively determined without a biopsy. Moles or naevi in the eye are common but can be difficult to monitor because changes to their shape or colouring can’t always be seen as easily as on the skin. As naevi are difficult to biopsy, they are usually “monitored” at regular intervals. If there is a melanoma in the eye, then outcomes are poor for people if their cancer spreads to the liver. This study aimed to identify a “biomarker” that could be measured in patients’ blood that could be used as an early indicator of melanoma formation (from a mole) or progression to other body sites.  (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…)