HOT Tea Raises Risk of Esophageal Cancer Interview with:
“Hot tea #steam” by Thomas Ricker is licensed under CC BY 2.0Jun / 吕筠

Professor, Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics
School of Public Health, Peking University Health Science Center
Beijing 100191 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Esophageal cancer (EC) remains a global concern because of its increasing incidence and persistently poor survival. It poses a bigger threat to less developed regions and men.

Tea is one of the most common beverages worldwide and usually consumed at elevated temperature. Existing evidence remains inconclusive as to the association between tea consumption and EC risk. Tea consumers, especially in Chinese men, are more likely to smoke and drink alcohol. Tobacco smoking and alcohol consumption, as well as the chemical compounds and adverse thermal effect of high-temperature tea, considerably complicate the association between tea consumption and esophageal cancer risk.

Continue reading

Chronic Disease Linked To Increased Risk of Cancer and Cancer Death Interview with:

Dr. Xifeng Wu, MD PhD Department Chair, Department of Epidemiology, Division of OVP, Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences Director, Center for Translational and Public Health Genomics Professor, Department of Epidemiology Division of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas

Dr. Xifeng Wu

Xifeng Wu MD PhD
Prevention and Population Sciences
MD Anderson Center What is the background for this study?

Response: Previous studies have shown that certain chronic diseases may predispose to cancer. These studies generally assessed chronic diseases or disease markers individually. As chronic diseases are typically clustered, it is necessary to study them simultaneously to elucidate their independent and joint impact on cancer risk. Therefore, we investigated the independent and joint effect of several common chronic diseases or disease markers on cancer and life span in a large prospective cohort. Also, we compared the contribution of chronic diseases or disease markers to cancer risk with that of lifestyle factors. We further assessed whether physical activity could attenuate the cancer risk associated with chronic diseases or disease markers. We hope the results of this study can contribute to evidence-based recommendations for future cancer prevention strategies.

Continue reading

Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment Leaves Young Adults Vulnerable to Sexual Dysfunction Interview with:

Chiara Acquati, Ph.D., MSW Assistant Professor Graduate College of Social Work University of Houston Houston, TX  

Dr. Acquati

Chiara Acquati, Ph.D., MSW
Assistant Professor
Graduate College of Social Work
University of Houston
Houston, TX What is the background for this study?

Response: Adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with cancer are individuals between the ages of 15 and 39 years at diagnosis, as defined by the National Cancer Institute. Considerable research has unveiled unique psychosocial challenges experienced by AYAs, including poor quality of life, an altered body image, and social isolation.

As a result of these life disruptions, normative psychological and emotional development is affected by the disease and its treatment, particularly with respect to sexual identity, development, and behavior. However, few studies have examined sexual functioning and AYA patients’ needs with respect to emotional intimacy and sexual relationships. Estimates of the prevalence of sexual dysfunction in AYAs are limited to date and vary because of data derived from mixed-age groups, single items instead of standardized instruments, and cross-sectional designs. Yet, the state of the science suggests that one-third to two-thirds of cancer patients experience sexual dissatisfaction and a reduced frequency of intercourse. Furthermore, failure to address sexual health may place AYAs at risk for long-term consequences related to sexual functioning and identity development, interpersonal relationships, and quality of life. Hence, detecting changes in the rate of sexual dysfunction over time may help in identifying the appropriate timing for interventions to be delivered.

This study was conceptualized to increase our current knowledge of sexual functioning among AYAs by examining the prevalence of sexual dysfunction over the course of 2 years after the initial cancer diagnosis and the identification of variables that contribute to the probability of reporting sexual dysfunction in order to recognize individuals at higher risk. Young adult patients (≥18 years old) were administered the sexual functioning scale as part of a larger longitudinal multisite survey, and only those who completed the instrument at least once were included in this analysis; for this reason the article focuses on the experience of “young adults”.

Continue reading

Bright Light Exposure Improved Sleep In Cancer Patients Interview with:

Lisa M. Wu, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Department of Medical Social Sciences Chicago, Illinois 60611

Dr. Lisa Wu

Lisa M. Wu, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Northwestern University
Feinberg School of Medicine
Department of Medical Social Sciences
Chicago, Illinois 60611 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Sleep disturbances are reported by cancer patients at a significantly higher rate than in the general population. Among post‐treatment cancer survivors, 23% to 44% experience insomnia symptoms even years after treatment. Sleep disturbances are most commonly treated with medications which many cancer patients are reluctant to add to the large group of medications already prescribed. Furthermore, systematic light exposure intervention is less burdensome than other non‐pharmacologic interventions for sleep disturbance.

In a pilot study, systematic light exposure intervention (i.e., bright white light from a small light source for 30 minutes each morning for 4 weeks) with a mixed group of fatigued cancer survivors was significantly more effective than comparison dim light exposure in improving sleep efficiency (i.e., clinically large effects). Medium to large effect sizes were also seen in self‐reported sleep quality, total sleep time, and wake time. Results support the conclusion that systematic light exposure intervention has considerable promise for reducing negative side effects among cancer survivors. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Resulting improvement in sleep efficiency was sustained to 3 weeks post‐intervention. Moreover, sleep efficiency in thebright light group improved to clinically normal levels on average (>85%) by the end of the intervention; this improvement was observed even 3 weeks afterward. The comparison dim light group remained at low sleep efficiency levels on average for the entire study. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response:Systematic light exposure using bright white light is a low cost and easily disseminable intervention that offers a feasible and potentially effective alternative to improve sleep in cancer survivors, particularly for those who are fatigued. Future large-scale studies are warranted. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: Lisa M. Wu, Ph.D. was lead author on the manuscript. William H. Redd, Ph.D. at the Icahn School of Medicine of Mount Sinai was the principal investigator of the study itself. This study was conducted at Mount Sinai.
Lisa Wu’s Primary Job Title: Assistant Professor

Lisa Wu’s Primary Affiliation: Department of Medical Social Sciences, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Member of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, Northwestern University

Lisa Wu’s Secondary Affiliation: Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Population Health Science and Policy, Icahn School of Medicine at
Mount Sinai (where the study was conducted).
William Redd’s Affiliation: Professor, Department of Population Health Science and Policy, Icahn School of Medicine at
Mount Sinai.


Lisa M. Wu, Ali Amidi, Heiddis Valdimarsdottir, Sonia Ancoli-Israel, Lianqi Liu, Gary Winkel, Emily E. Byrne, Ana Vallejo Sefair, Alejandro Vega, Katrin Bovbjerg, William H. Redd. The Effect of Systematic Light Exposure on Sleep in a Mixed Group of Fatigued Cancer Survivors. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, 2018; 14 (01): 31 DOI: 10.5664/jcsm.6874 is not a forum for the exchange of personal medical information, advice or the promotion of self-destructive behavior (e.g., eating disorders, suicide). While you may freely discuss your troubles, you should not look to the Website for information or advice on such topics. Instead, we recommend that you talk in person with a trusted medical professional.

The information on is provided for educational purposes only, and is in no way intended to diagnose, cure, or treat any medical or other condition. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health and ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. In addition to all other limitations and disclaimers in this agreement, service provider and its third party providers disclaim any liability or loss in connection with the content provided on this website.


Feasibility of Anticoagulating Cancer Patients At Increased Risk of Stroke Interview with:

Babak B. Navi MD, MS

Dr. Navi

Babak B. Navi MD, MS
Department of Neurology
Weill Cornell Medicine
New York, New York What is the background for this study?

Response: About 10% of patients with ischemic stroke have comorbid cancer and these patients face an increased risk of stroke recurrence. Many strokes in patients with cancer are attributed to unconventional mechanisms from acquired hypercoagulability. Therefore, many physicians recommend anticoagulation, especially low molecular weight heparins, for the treatment of cancer-associated stroke. However, hypercoagulable stroke mechanisms, such as nonbacterial thrombotic endocarditis, are rarely definitively diagnosed in cancer patients antemortem; while atherosclerosis, which is generally treated with antiplatelet medicines such as aspirin, is common in cancer patients. In addition, many historic indications for anticoagulation in ischemic stroke have been disproven by randomized trials because any reductions in stroke risk were offset by increased risks of bleeding. Given these considerations, we believed that a randomized trial comparing anticoagulation with enoxaparin to antiplatelet therapy with aspirin was necessary to determine the superior strategy, prompting implementation of the TEACH pilot randomized trial. The primary aim of TEACH was to determine whether the random assignment of different antithrombotic strategies to cancer patients with acute ischemic stroke would be sufficiently feasible and safe to proceed with a larger efficacy trial.  Continue reading

GERD Associated With Increased Risk of Malignancy of the Upper Aerodigestive Tract Interview with:

Dr. Edward D. McCoul, MD, MPH Ochsner Medical Center

Dr. McCoul

Dr. Edward D. McCoul, MD, MPH
Ochsner Medical Center What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Population-level data suggests a link between gastroesophageal reflux disease and cancer of the throat and sinuses in adults over 65 years of age.  T

he strength of association between reflux and cancer is strongest for anatomic sites closest to the esophagus, where acid and other stomach contents may have the greatest exposure.

Continue reading

Older Diabetes Drug Metformin May Resensitize Tumors to Chemotherapy Interview with:

Terra G Arnason, MD PhD, Associate Professor, Division of Endocrinology, Department of Medicine University of Saskatchewan Saskatoon, SK, Canada 

Dr. Arnason

Terra G Arnason, MD PhD, Associate Professor,
Division of Endocrinology,
Department of Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Saskatoon, SK, Canada What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Response: Metformin has been used worldwide for decades to treat Type diabetes.

Metformin is a cheap non-toxic compound that was originally plant derived. In the past decade a number of meta-analyses have demonstrated that Type 2 individuals taking
metformin have a reduced risk of developing many different cancers and do better
longterm. The molecular events facilitating metformin’s activity remain obscure and
it is unknown whether metformin can help cancer patients avoid the development of
drug resistant cancers years after successful treatment.

In our study we asked whether metformin can not only restore sensitivity of multiple drug resistant tumors to chemotherapy once again, but whether metformin can prevent the development of multiple drug resistance in the “rst place. We demonstrate that metformin can sensitize drug resistant cells to chemotherapy once again, which supports recent
studies, but we also show for the “first time that Metformin can prevent the
progression of cancer cells towards drug resistance using cell culture experiments.

Continue reading

FDA Grants IND of ARTEMIS™ T cell Platform To Enhance CAR-T Cancer Therapies Without Cytokine Storm Interview with:
Dr. Cheng Liu PhD
President and Chief Executive Officer of Eureka Therapeutics. What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?


    • Eureka Therapeutics, Inc. is a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on improving the safety profile of T cell therapies and developing novel T cell therapies for the treatment of solid tumors.
    • ET190L1-ARTEMISTM utilizes Eureka’s proprietary ARTEMISTM T cell receptor platform and proprietary human anti- CD19 binder to target CD19-positive malignancies. In preclinical studies, ET190L1-ARTEMISTM matched the cancer killing potency of current CAR-T therapies but with a dramatic reduction in the levels of inflammatory cytokines released, a main cause of cytokine release syndrome. In addition, these studies have shown that ET190L1-ARTEMISTM T cells are less exhausted and more naive and therefore, expected to have improved persistence in vivo. If confirmed in the clinic, this could result in a longer term therapeutic benefit to patients with an improved safety profile.
    • Eureka is also focused on developing the next evolution of T cell therapies against solid tumors which represent 90% of all cancers. While CAR-T therapies have been successful with liquid tumors such as leukemia and lymphoma, they have not been successful in solid tumors because of a lack of specific cell surface antigens. Eureka has pioneered the use of TCR mimic antibodies to target intracellular antigens in solid tumors that were once considered undruggable. Using its proprietary human E-ALPHA® phage display library, Eureka has discovered highly-specific, high affinity TCR mimic antibodies that can target intracellular antigens in solid tumors when processed into peptides and presented onto the cell surface by the MHCI complex. Pre-clinical studies have shown that when these TCR mimic antibodies were engineered onto the ARTEMISTM or CAR-T cell receptor platform against hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer) cells, the T cells launched a potent anti-tumor response.

Continue reading

Black Men and Women Continue To Have Lower Colon Cancer Survival Rates Interview with:

“Large Colon Cancer Arising in Adenoma” by Ed Uthman is licensed under CC BY 2.0

“Large Colon Cancer Arising in Adenoma” by Ed Uthman

Dr. Arica White PhD MPH
Division of Cancer Prevention and Control
CDC What is the likelihood of reaching the 80% CRC screening rate goal by next year?

Response: As of 2016, 67% of adults age 50-75 years reported being up-to-date with colorectal cancer screening. The 80% by 2018 initiative represented an aspirational goal that public health, non-profit, and community-based organizations will continue to strive for regardless of the outcome in 2018.

Continue reading

Cost and Side Effects Influence Patients’ Preferences for Leukemia Medications Interview with:

Carol Mansfield, PhD, Senior Research Economist Health Preference Assessment RTI Health Solutions

Dr. Mansfield

Carol Mansfield, PhD,
Senior Research Economist

Health Preference Assessment
RTI Health Solutions What is the background for this study?

Response: As the most prevalent form of leukemia, chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) affects approximately 130,000 people in the United States. More than 20,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. In recent years, more treatment options–each with its own associated benefits, side effects, and price tag–have been approved. This leaves patients and physicians with a variety of factors they must consider when choosing a treatment plan.

While every patient wants the most effective drug with the fewest side effects, most people don’t have that option available. By asking patients to make tradeoffs and rank their preferences, we can form an understanding of how patients approach their treatment.

This study showed that patients with CLL value medicines that provide the longest progression-free survival, but are willing to trade some benefits for a lower risk of serious adverse events. Additionally, we found that cost clearly has an impact on which treatment a patient would choose. When patients get prescribed something they can’t afford, they are forced to make very difficult choices.

Continue reading