Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Cleveland Clinic, Weight Research / 15.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50721" align="alignleft" width="150"]Siran M. Koroukian, PhD Associate Professor Case Western Reserve University Dr. Koroukian[/caption] Siran M. Koroukian, PhD Director, Population Cancer Analytics Shared Resource Case Comprehensive Cancer Center Director, Population Health and Outcomes Research Core Associate Professor Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences School of Medicine Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, OH MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Previous studies have shown that obesity-associated cancers (OACs) have been increasing in younger people. Using data from over 6 million cancer cases from 2000-2016, we identified the specific age/sex/race-ethnicity groups that were most affected by increases in OACs. We found a substantial shift of obesity-associated cancers to younger age groups, with the most notable increases occurring to the 50-64 age group. In addition, we observed the greatest percentage increase in the number of OAC cases during the study period in Hispanic men and women, as well as for cancers of the thyroid, gallbladder, liver and intrabiliary duct.
Author Interviews, Melanoma, Vaccine Studies / 11.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50664" align="alignleft" width="125"]Prof. Ronit Satchi-Fainaro, PhD Head, Cancer Research and Nanomedicine Laboratory Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel-Aviv 69978, Israel Prof. Satchi-Fainaro[/caption] Prof. Ronit Satchi-Fainaro, PhD Head, Cancer Research and Nanomedicine Laboratory Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel-Aviv 69978, Israel [caption id="attachment_50670" align="alignleft" width="116"]Prof. Helena Florindo, PhD Head, BioNanoSciences – iMed.ULisboa Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lisbon Lisbon, Portugal Prof. Florindo[/caption] Prof. Helena Florindo, PhD Head, BioNanoSciences – iMed.ULisboa Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lisbon Lisbon, Portugal    MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: The war against cancer in general, and melanoma in particular, has advanced over the years through a variety of treatment modalities, such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and immunotherapy. The immune checkpoint inhibitors brought a breakthrough solution for advanced melanoma patients, but only a low percentage of those respond to this therapy, developing resistance and being affected by severe side effects. Despite the success of several vaccines against viral diseases, this success has not been materialized yet against cancer. This study led by my lab at Tel Aviv University, and Helena Florindo’s lab at the University of Lisbon, describes the development of an effective nano-vaccine against melanoma, that also sensitizes the immune system to immunotherapies. This nano-vaccine prevented melanoma, and also led to remarkable tumor inhibition and prolonged survival in mice already affected by this disease. 
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Cancer Research / 05.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50542" align="alignleft" width="158"]Emeritus Professor Attila Lorincz, PhD Centre for Cancer Prevention Queen Mary University of London Dr. Lorincz[/caption] Emeritus Professor Attila Lorincz, PhD Centre for Cancer Prevention Queen Mary University of London  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The vast majority of women with cervical lesions are not at risk for cancer, however, because there is no way to accurately identify the very small proportion of women at risk of cervical cancer a recommendation for treatment is commonly given by doctors. Surgery on women with cervical lesions is risky for future pregnancies and can cause harm to the baby. Occasionally there are also problems in physical recovery and the mental well-being of the treated women. We wanted to see if the S5 DNA methylation test could identify the women who need treatment. We ran a two-year follow-up study on 149 young women with moderate dysplasia in Finland. Our results showed that the S5 test was by far the best method to reveal which women needed treatment. 
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Dental Research, Opiods / 23.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50367" align="alignleft" width="200"]Praveen Arany, DDS, PhD Department of Oral Biology School of Dental Medicine University of Buffalo Dr. Arany[/caption] Praveen Arany, DDS, PhD Department of Oral Biology School of Dental Medicine University of Buffalo MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? How is the light treatment delivered? Response: Cancers are usually treated with chemotherapy and/or radiation to destroy the tumor cells. However, an unfortunate side-effect of these treatments is pain and ulcers in the mouth due to breakdown of normal protective responses. Light has various applications in human health and normal physiology. Two good examples are vision and sunlight-Vitamin D for bone and health. The use of low dose light to alleviate pain or inflammation and promote tissue healing is termed Photobiomodulation (PBM) Therapy. This treatment can be provided with lasers or LED devices at specific wavelength (color) and dose (power). This treatment is currently being provided by a health care provider - usually a laser - either nurse or dentist prior or during the cancer treatments. There are several exciting innovation where take-home, self-use devices are becoming available.
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Coffee / 21.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: coffee-smell caffeineMr Jue Sheng Ong,  PhD Student  QIMR Berghofer’s Statistical Genetics Group MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Previous findings have shown conflicting results on whether coffee is associated with cancer risk. To evaluate whether there’s any evidence for a causal relationship between coffee and cancer outcomes, we performed two types of association analyses using data from the half a million participants in the UK.
  • We first studied whether an individual’s self-reported coffee consumption is related to their overall risk of developing or dying from any cancers.
  • Then, we repeated the analyses using genetically predicted coffee intake (using about 35 genetic markers related with coffee intake) instead of their self-reported consumption: a technique known as mendelian randomization which is commonly used in modern epidemiology to remove bias from environmental confounders.
Using both techniques, we found no evidence to support a relationship between coffee consumption and the risk of developing or dying from cancers.
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Pediatrics, Technology / 02.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: atomwiseAbraham Heifets, PhD Department of Computer Science University of Toronto  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this announcement? How many children and adolescents are affected by pediatric cancer? Response: Cancer is diagnosed in more than 15,000 children and adolescents each year. Many cancers, including pediatric cancer, do not have effective treatments and for those that do, it is estimated that 80% have serious adverse effects that impact long-term health. 
Author Interviews, Bayer, Biomarkers, Colon Cancer / 05.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joseph Germino, M.D., PhD Vice President US Medical Affairs Oncology Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Whippany, N.J. 07981 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Regorafenib is an oral multi-kinase inhibitor that potently blocks multiple protein kinases involved in tumor angiogenesis (VEGFR1, -2, -3, TIE2), oncogenesis (KIT, RET, RAF-1, BRAF), metastasis (VEGFR3, PDGFR, FGFR) and tumor immunity (CSF1R). This prospective pharmacokinetic (PK) ancillary study is part of a prospective phase II study evaluating treatment response with regorafenib in patients with chemorefractory metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) called TEXAN, which aimed to investigate correlations between overall survival (OS) and regorafenib, or its enterohepatic cycle-dependent active metabolites M-2 and M-5 concentrations. As measured by LC-MS/MS, the main findings showed that regorafenib, M-2 and M-5 were respectively 1.99 (1.03-2.73), 1.44 (0.89-2.49) and 1.61 (0.79-2.37) mg/L during the first cycle at day 15 (C1D15) and 1.90 (1.10-2.76), 1.29 (0.77-2.24) and 1.17 (0.45-2.42) mg/L at during the second cycle at day 15 (C2D15). 
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Environmental Risks, University Texas, Urology / 08.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49064" align="alignleft" width="132"]Stephen B. Williams, MD, FACSChief, Division of UrologyAssociate Professor, Urology and RadiologyRobert Earl Cone ProfessorshipDirector of Urologic OncologyDirector of Urologic ResearchCo-Director Department of Surgery Clinical Outcomes Research ProgramUniversity of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston Dr. Williams[/caption] Stephen B. Williams, MD, FACS Chief, Division of Urology Associate Professor, Urology and Radiology Robert Earl Cone Professorship Director of Urologic Oncology Director of Urologic Research Co-Director Department of Surgery Clinical Outcomes Research Program University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Despite prior studies evaluating cancer in those living near and working in oil refineries, there remains a gap in knowledge regarding proximity to oil refineries and risk of bladder cancer. Aromatic amines have been associated with increased risk of various cancers including bladder cancer. Texas is a home to the largest numbers of oil refineries in the US. Our goal was to evaluate if there was a link between bladder cancer and living in close proximity to an oil refinery in Texas. Our data did suggest that living within 10 miles of an oil refinery was associated with a small increase in risk of bladder cancer. These data support further research to validate these findings.
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Genetic Research, JAMA, Technology / 30.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_48863" align="alignleft" width="132"]Steven J.M. Jones, Professor, FRSC, FCAHSCo-Director & Head, BioinformaticsGenome Sciences CentreBritish Columbia Cancer Research CentreVancouver, British Columbia, Canada Dr. Jones[/caption] Steven J.M. Jones, Professor, FRSC, FCAHS Co-Director & Head, Bioinformatics Genome Sciences Centre British Columbia Cancer Research Centre Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and Jasleen Grewal, BSc.Genome Sciences CentreBritish Columbia Cancer Research CentreVancouver, British Columbia, CanadaJasleen Grewal, BSc. Genome Sciences Centre British Columbia Cancer Research Centre Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Cancer diagnosis requires manual analysis of tissue appearance, histology, and protein expression. However, there are certain types of cancers, known as cancers of unknown primary, that are difficult to diagnose based purely on their appearance and a small set of proteins. In our precision medicine oncogenomics program, we needed an accurate approach to confirm diagnosis of biopsied samples and determine candidate tumour types for where the primary site of the cancer was uncertain.  We developed a machine learning approach, trained on the gene expression data of over 10,688 individual tumours and healthy tissues, that has been able to achieve this task with high accuracy. Genome sequencing offers a high-resolution view of the biological landscape of cancers. RNA-Seq in particular quantifies how much each gene is expressed in a given sample. In this study, we used the entire transcriptome, spanning 17,688 genes in the human genome, to train a machine learning method for cancer diagnosis. The resultant method, SCOPE, takes in the entire transcriptome and outputs an interpretable confidence score from across a set of 40 different cancer types and 26 healthy tissues. 
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, JAMA, MD Anderson, Radiation Therapy / 30.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_48932" align="alignleft" width="140"]Quynh-Nhu Nguyen, MDDepartment of Radiation OncologyThe University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterHouston Dr. Quynh-Nhu[/caption] Quynh-Nhu Nguyen, MD Department of Radiation Oncology The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Houston MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: This is the first non-spine bone metastases trial comparing higher dose single fraction radiotherapy vs multifraction standard fractionated radiotherapy for patients with painful bone metastases. The results of this trial demonstrated more durable pain relief and superior local control for patients treated in the higher dose(12 Gy-16 Gy)  single fraction RT compared to standard 30 Gy/10 fractions multifractionated regimen.  This trial supports the previous multiple randomized trials which recommend single fraction should be standard palliative radiotherapy regimen for bone metastases.  This trial is unique in that it addressed previous criticism that single fraction does not provide durable palliation with lower 8 gy single fraction and result in higher re-irradiation rates.  This trial on the contrary with the utilization of modern radiotherapy techniques, demonstrated we can safely and more effectively deliver a higher single fraction radiotherapy regimen for improvement in the quality of life for patients.  This higher dose should be the new standard single fraction regimen for patients who are functional and have a longer life expectancy. 
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 18.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_46733" align="alignleft" width="120"]Farhad Islami, MD PhD Scientific Director, Surveillance Research American Cancer Society, Inc. Atlanta, GA 30303 Dr. Islami[/caption] Farhad Islami, MD PhD Scientific Director, Surveillance Research American Cancer Society, Inc. Atlanta, GA 30303  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Despite a continuous decline in cervical cancer incidence rates, earlier studies reported an increase in cervical adenocarcinoma incidence rates. However, those reports had major limitations, as they did not account for changes in hysterectomy prevalence and used cancer occurrence data covering only 10%-12% of the U.S. population (which may not be representative of the entire population, especially racial/ethnic minorities). Further, the most recent study examined the trends by age and histology through 2010. We examined contemporary trends in cervical cancer incidence rates in the U.S. (1999-2015) by age, race/ethnicity, major histological subtypes, and stage at diagnosis using up-to-date nationwide data after accounting for hysterectomy prevalence.
Author Interviews / 16.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_48601" align="alignleft" width="165"]Héctor Peinado PhDMicroenvironment and Metastasis LaboratoryMolecular Oncology ProgramSpanish National Cancer Research CenterMadrid, Spain Dr. Peinado[/caption] Héctor Peinado PhD Microenvironment and Metastasis Laboratory Molecular Oncology Program Spanish National Cancer Research Center Madrid, Spain  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: In this study we detected for the first time BRAF mutation by liquid biopsy in melanoma stage III patients that underwent lymphadenectomy. We obtained a novel biofluid from the drainage implanted 24-48 hours post-lymphadenectomy, called exudative seroma, and profiled BRAF mutation in circulating free DNA and extracellular vesicles. Those patients positive for BRAF mutation in the seroma had increased risk of relapse, therefore we believe that this technique identifies patients at risk of relapse by identifying residual disease.
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, JAMA, Vitamin D / 09.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mitsuyoshi Urashima MD, PhD, MPH Professor of Molecular Epidemiology Jikei University School of Medicine Tokyo, JAPAN MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: Serum levels of vitamin D, increase in response to exposure to sunlight, a vitamin D-rich diet, or vitamin D supplementation. In 1989, the risk of colon cancer was estimated to be 70% lower in people with serum vitamin D levels ≥ 20 ng/mL, compared with those < 20 ng/mL. In a cohort study, higher vitamin D levels were associated with lower total cancer incidence and lower total cancer mortality, particularly digestive system cancer mortality. However, because of the studies’ observational nature, whether lower levels of vitamin D is merely a precursor to relapse and death or causally related to shorter survival cannot be determined. To clarify this, a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial using vitamin D supplement was performed in patients with digestive tract cancer from esophagus to rectum; this is the first trial designed to evaluate the effect of vitamin D on survival of these patients. 
AACR, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, HPV, University of Michigan, Vaccine Studies / 05.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_48381" align="alignleft" width="157"]Diane Harper, M.D., M.P.H., M.S.Professor of Family Medicine and Obstetrics and GynecologySenior Associate Director, Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health ResearchPhysician Director for Community Outreach, Engagement and Health Disparities,Rogel Cancer CenterMichigan Medicine Dr. Harper[/caption] Diane Harper, M.D., M.P.H., M.S. Professor of Family Medicine and Obstetrics and Gynecology Senior Associate Director, Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research Physician Director for Community Outreach, Engagement and Health Disparities, Rogel Cancer Center Michigan Medicine  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There is no current cure for women with HPV infection that has progressed to CIN 2/3 disease. The only treatment is for the diseased cervix, and does not eliminate the risk of another CIN 2/3 from the HPV infection 15-20 years later. This vaccine is made from a live virus that has 3 genes inserted:  human cytokine IL-2, and modified forms of HPV 16 E6 and E7 proteins. When the vaccine is injected subcutaneously, the proteins for HPV 16/E6 and E7 and the cytokine LI-2 proteins are made. These proteins trigger the immune response.  This is very different form imiquimod which is topical and not specific for HPV.
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, FDA, JAMA / 01.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_48283" align="alignleft" width="158"]Emerson Chen, MDChief Fellow, Hematology-Oncology, PGY-6Oregon Health & Science University Dr. Chen[/caption] Emerson Chen, MD Chief Fellow, Hematology-Oncology, PGY-6 Oregon Health & Science University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Many cancer drugs are approved annually giving the appearance of innovation; however, some drugs may have been approved because of a lower bar. Use of lesser endpoints like response rate (how tumor shrinks) and progression-free survival (how tumor has delayed growth) have been proposed to speed trials when compared against traditional endpoints like overall survival (how long patients might live). Using published trials that led to cancer drug approval from 2006 to 2017, we estimated how long it would take to get each of these three endpoints across all cancer drugs and indications to see how much time we could save by using these weaker but faster endpoints. We see that many trials using overall survival used less time than anticipated, and many trials using response rate or progression-free survival actually took quite a bit of time.  In part that is due to researchers needing to document the duration of the response. But, whatever the reason, the time to get each of the three endpoints is actually more similar than different, and we estimate that our current use of  these faster endpoints are saving us only 11 months compared to using only overall survival.
Author Interviews, Cancer, Cancer Research, Supplements / 30.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_47225" align="alignleft" width="166"]Dr. Scott Litofsky, MD  Division of Neurological Surgery University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine Columbia, MO 65212  Dr. Litofsky[/caption] Dr. Scott Litofsky, MD Division of Neurological Surgery University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine Columbia, MO 65212  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Many patients take over-the-counter medications to held their cancers. Some of these remedies may be helpful; others are potentially harmful. Anti-oxidant medications are frequently selected by patients as they are inexpensive and available. We were approached by a high school student, Macy Williams (one of the authors) to do some research in our laboratory when she won a research scholarship (the 2016 Emperor Science Award) from Stand Up to Cancer. She worked with us several times per week doing experiments during her senior year of high school. When she graduated, we continued the work that she started. We studied effects of Vitamin D3, Melatonin, and alpha-Lipoic Acid on glioblastoma cells, a highly malignant brain tumor. We included experiments of these agents alone and in combination with Temozolomide, a chemotherapy agent used as standard of care in glioblastoma. The work was done in cultured cells, measuring growth and survival of cells. We used concentrations that could be achieved by oral intake of the drugs. We found that antioxidant medications, particularly alpha Lipoic Acid, had synergistic effects with Temozolomide – that is Temozolomide impair glioblastoma cell growth and survival better when combined with an antioxidant. The mechanism of action may be through reactive oxygen species. 
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Hematology, J&J-Janssen / 04.12.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_46272" align="alignleft" width="160"]Caroline McKay, PhD Real World Value & Evidence, Oncology Janssen Scientific Affairs Dr. McKay[/caption] Caroline McKay, PhD Real World Value & Evidence, Oncology Janssen Scientific Affairs MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Considering patient preferences in treatment decision-making in oncology is growing in importance. While recent introduction of new treatments for multiple myeloma have improved survival and the possibility of sustaining longer remission periods, regimen options still vary with respect to efficacy, safety, and dosing. Therefore, patients and providers must consider tradeoffs inherent in making treatment decisions that are growing in complexity. Despite this, there is a lack of research describing patient preferences within the context of currently available treatment regimens. To address this gap, this study examined how multiple myeloma patients evaluate, or weigh, treatment options. Key findings from the research are that treatment preferences do not appear to be static, but instead suggest that the relative importance of treatment attributes may change over time and treatment history. Further, patients place higher importance on overall survival and progression-free survival than other treatment attributes, and may be willing to accept an increase in the risk of serious side effects and reduced convenience in exchange for greater efficacy; however, when efficacy is comparable, patients appear to place greater weight on dosing frequency than on the duration of treatment administration, i.e., more frequent dosing appears to be less preferable to patients than longer administration/infusion time. 
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Cancer Research / 28.11.2018

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

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

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_46183" align="alignleft" width="200"]Ola Landgren, MD, PhD Professor of Medicine  Chief, Myeloma Service  Department of Medicine  Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center New York, NY 10065 Dr. Landgren[/caption] Ola Landgren, MD, PhD Professor of Medicine Chief, Myeloma Service Department of Medicine Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center New York, NY 10065 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Meta-analysis show that minimal residual disease (MRD) negativity is a strong predictor of longer progression-free survival (PFS). Emerging data show that an increasing proportion of newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients obtain MRD negativity after modern combination therapy, even in the absence of bone marrow transplant. The first generation of 3-drug combination therapy (RVd) was associated with quite high rates of peripheral neuropathy which may be life-long. The current study was designed to define the rates of peripheral neuropathy in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma treated with the second generation of 3-drug combination therapy (KRd), and per default delayed transplant (i.e. collection of stem cells which were stored for potential future use). This single arm, phase 2 study found no cases of grade 3 peripheral neuropathy. The rates of MRD negativity wereunprecedented; 28 of 45 patients achieved MRD-negative CR (62%). The durability of MRD-negative CR has been observed up to 70 months (median duration 52.4 months). Patients who achieved MRD negativity by the end of cycle 8 had a 78% reduced risk of progression. The results were regardless of age or cytogenetic risk category. The results from this second generation of 3-drug combination therapy (KRd) without transplant,  compare favorably to first generation of 3-drug combination therapy (RVd) followed by stem cell transplant.
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Cancer Research, JNCI / 09.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_45816" align="alignleft" width="132"]Angela Mariotto PhD Chief of the Data Analytics Branch  Surveillance Research Program (SRP) Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences National Cancer Institute  Dr. Mariotto[/caption] Angela Mariotto PhD Chief of the Data Analytics Branch Surveillance Research Program (SRP) Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences National Cancer Institute (NCI MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Progressing to metastatic breast cancer (MBC) is one of the major concerns for women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer. Before our study there were no reliable numbers on risk of metastatic breast cancer recurrence after a (non-metastatic) breast cancer diagnosis, as registries do not routinely collect this data.
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Exercise - Fitness / 10.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_45101" align="alignleft" width="120"]Laurien Buffart, PhD  Chair Amsterdam eXercise in Oncology (AXiON) research Departments of Epidemiology & Biostatistics and Medical Oncology VUmc  Amsterdam | The Netherlands Dr. Buffart[/caption] Laurien Buffart, PhD Chair Amsterdam eXercise in Oncology (AXiON) research Departments of Epidemiology & Biostatistics and Medical Oncology VUmc  Amsterdam | The Netherlands MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: There is evidence from randomized controlled trials that exercise has beneficial effects on physical fitness, fatigue, quality of life and self-reported physical function during and following cancer treatment. The magnitude of the effects, however, often appear modest, possibly because interventions rarely target patients with worse symptoms and quality of life. Based on individual patient data from 34 randomized controlled trials, we found that exercise interventions during cancer treatment are effective in maintaining muscle strength and quality of life, regardless of their baseline values. Offering exercise interventions post cancer treatment to patients with a relatively high muscle strength and quality of life does not appear to further improve these outcomes. For aerobic fitness, exercise interventions during treatment had larger effects in patients with higher baseline aerobic fitness, whereas all patients were able to improve aerobic fitness post treatment. Greater effects on fatigue and self-reported physical function were found for patients with worse baseline fatigue and physical function, both during and post-treatment. 
AACR, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, MD Anderson, University Texas / 01.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_44913" align="alignleft" width="120"]Filip Janku, MD, PhD Associate Professor, Investigational Cancer Therapeutics (Phase I Clinical Trials Program) Center Medical Director, Clinical and Translational Research Center The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Houston, TX 77030 Dr. Janku[/caption] Filip Janku, MD, PhD Associate Professor, Investigational Cancer Therapeutics (Phase I Clinical Trials Program) Center Medical Director, Clinical and Translational Research Center The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Houston, TX 77030 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Clostridium novyi-NT is an attenuated strain of bacteria Clostridium, which induced a microscopically precise, tumor-localized response in a rat brain tumor model and in companion dogs bearing spontaneous cancers. Clostridium novyi-NT can only grow in hypoxic (low-oxygen) tumor environment and destroys cancer cells by secreting lipases, proteases, and other hydrolytic enzymes; recruiting inflammatory cells to tumors eliciting anti-tumor immune responses in animals. Furthermore, intratumoral injection can plausibly induce an immune mediated abscopal effect in non-injected tumor sites. Therefore, we designed a phase I dose-finding study to test for safety and tolerability of the single intratumoral injection of Clostridium novyi-NT in 24 patients with advanced cancers with no available standard therapies. We also designed experiments to study activation of antitumor immune response in blood and tumor samples from patients undergoing the therapy. We demonstrated that single dose of intratumoral injection of Clostridium novyi-NT is feasible and has led to significant destruction of injected tumor masses. Adverse events, which were often related to the tumor destruction at the infected site, could have been significant but mostly manageable. Correlative studies of pre-treatment and post-treatment tumor and blood samples suggested immune response to therapy.
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, HPV, UCLA / 28.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_44899" align="alignleft" width="200"]Manon Eckhardt, PhD Gladstone Institutes Quantitative BioSciences Institute University of California San Francisco  Dr. Manon Eckhardt[/caption] Manon Eckhardt, PhD Gladstone Institutes The Quantitative Biosciences Institute University of California San Francisco  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Infection with Human Papillomavirus (HPV) causes 5% of all cancers worldwide, including cervical cancer and an increasing number of head and neck cancers. Most cancers are caused by mutations in genes, leading to the production of malfunctioning proteins that result in unconstrained cell division. However, certain viruses like HPV can cause cancer without introducing mutations. In this study, we compared cancers of the same type (i.e. head and neck) that are caused by either mutation or virus infection to identify important processes that are dysregulated in both subsets. We hypothesized that identifying which proteins the virus binds can lead the way to prioritize which of the proteins and cellular processes (pathways) that are affected in cancer cells are most important. To do this, we identified the complete set of human proteins that interact with HPV. We next determined genes that were more frequently mutated in non-viral cancers, and combined both data sets. The proteins we find to be both binding to HPV and mutated in non-viral cancers will be potential targets for new, more specific drug development, and help better understand the development of head and neck cancer. From the many pathways we identified in this study, we highlighted two pathways with further mechanistic studies: the oxidative stress response, which helps cancer cells survive, as well as a pathway that allows the cancer to spread to other parts of the body.
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Gastrointestinal Disease, Microbiome, Science / 27.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_44863" align="alignleft" width="200"]Joao Xavier PhD Associate Faculty Member | Computational & Systems Biology Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center New York, NY 10065 Dr. Joao Xavier[/caption] Joao Xavier PhD Associate Faculty Member | Computational & Systems Biology Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center New York, NY 10065  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Our team at Memorial Sloan Kettering has been investigating the intestinal microbiota of patients receiving bone marrow transplantations for more than eight years now. We have found through several studies that these patients lose important healthy bacteria from their microbiota, and that these losses are mostly caused by the antibiotics given as prophylaxis or to treat infections. We also found that the drastic changes in the microbiota composition, especially the intestinal dominations by bacteria such as Enterococcus, increase the risk of transplant-related complications and lowered patient survival. We aimed to determine the feasibility of autologous microbiota transplant (auto-FMT) as a way to reconstitute lost bacteria. This randomized study found that indeed auto-FMT could reconstitute important microbial groups to patients. 
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Ovarian Cancer / 25.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_44766" align="alignleft" width="200"]Site of Ovarian Cancer - Wikipedia Image Site of Ovarian Cancer - Wikipedia Image[/caption] Fabian Coscia PhD Department of Proteomics and Signal Transduction, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Martinsried, German and Ernst Lengyel MD PhD Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Section of Gynecologic Oncology University of Chicago, Chicago, IL  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Ovarian cancer is a very aggressive disease. Only one in six patients survives more than 10 years after the first diagnosis. This high mortality is primarily because the disease is usually detected late in its course, when the tumor has already spread from the ovaries to the surrounding organs in the abdomen. In an interdisciplinary collaboration between the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried, Munich, the University of Chicago and the University of Copenhagen, we performed deep tissue proteomics on archived biobank material to identify drivers of long-term patient survival. 
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Genetic Research, JAMA, Yale / 22.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_44634" align="alignleft" width="142"]Michael F. Murray, MD, FACMG, FACP Director for Clinical Operations in the Center for Genomic Health Yale School of Medicine Dr. Murray[/caption] Michael F. Murray, MD, FACMG, FACP Director for Clinical Operations in the Center for Genomic Health Yale School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Population screening for the cancer risk associated with the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes has been suggested by some.  We screened a cohort of about 50,000 adult patient volunteers at Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania for this risk. 
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Cancer Research, Chemotherapy, Radiation Therapy / 22.08.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_44079" align="alignleft" width="200"]Kathleen Horst, MD Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology (Radiation Therapy)  Stanford University Medical Center Dr. Kathleen Horst[/caption] Kathleen Horst, MD Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology (Radiation Therapy) Stanford University Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We were interested in focusing on young women with breast cancer as this is a high-risk patient population that is not studied on its own in clinical trials. Furthermore, the available data on treating breast cancer with neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) does not include detailed outcomes for women under the age of 40 years. Because most women who are diagnosed with breast cancer in this age group will have aggressive disease, most of them will be treated with NAC followed by surgery. From prospective randomized trials we know that women with breast cancer who attain a pathologic complete response (PCR) to neoadjuvant chemotherapy fare significantly better than those who do not. In addition, existing data suggest that a complete response in the lymph nodes also portends a better prognosis. This is the foundation for the currently ongoing NSABP B-51/RTOG 1304 trial, which is evaluating the role of nodal irradiation in those women who attain a pathologic complete response in the lymph nodes after NAC. We wanted to know whether differences in pathologic response in the breast versus lymph nodes led to different clinical outcomes in this patient group. We evaluated outcomes following neoadjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer in 155 women age 40 and younger. We focused on pathologic response in the breast and lymph nodes as predictors of disease recurrence and survival. We found that any residual disease in either the breast or lymph nodes lessened the chance of cure significantly. Importantly, women who attained a complete response in the lymph nodes but continued to have residual disease in the breast fared just as poorly as those who remained lymph node positive following neoadjuvant chemotherapy. 
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, JAMA, Prostate Cancer / 26.07.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_43522" align="alignleft" width="168"]Alison L. Allan, PhD Department of Oncology, Western University London Regional Cancer Program, London Health Sciences Centre London, Ontario, Canada  Dr. Allan[/caption] Alison L. Allan, PhD Department of Oncology, Western University London Regional Cancer Program, London Health Sciences Centre London, Ontario, Canada  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: This was an international collaborative study between Lawson Health Research Institute (London, ON), Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (New York), the Royal Marsden (London, UK) and molecular diagnostics company Epic Sciences (San Diego, CA). The study used a liquid biopsy test developed by Epic Sciences that examines circulating tumour cells (CTCs) in blood samples from patients with advanced prostate cancer who are deciding whether to switch from hormone-targeting therapy to chemotherapy. CTCs are cancer cells that leave a tumour, enter the blood stream and invade other parts of the body, causing the spread of cancer. The test identifies whether or not a patient’s CTCs contain a protein in the nucleus called AR-V7. The research team set out to determine whether the presence of this protein predicted which treatment would best prolong a patient’s life. They found that patients who tested positive for the protein responded best to taxane-based chemotherapy while those who tested negative for the protein responded best to hormone-targeting therapy with drugs called androgen-receptor signaling (ARS) inhibitors. These are the two most widely used drug classes to treat advanced prostate cancer.