AACR, Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Cognitive Issues, Colon Cancer, UCSF / 24.10.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Yingjia Chen, M.Sc, MPH, Ph.D. Postdoctoral Fellow University of California, San Francisco  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Both colon cancer and dementia are prevalent among the elderly and have a high risk of co-occurrence. Previous studies found that patients with dementia were treated less aggressively. In this study, we hypothesized that presence of pre-existing dementia was associated with worse survival for stage III colon cancer patients, and that post-operative chemotherapy was on the causal pathway. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Chemotherapy, JAMA, MD Anderson, Surgical Research / 20.04.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Audree Tadros, MD, MPH Chief Administrative Fellow, Breast Surgical Oncology Training Program Department of Breast Surgical Oncology MD Anderson Cancer Center and Henry M. Kuerer, MD, PhD, FACS Executive Director, Breast Programs MD Anderson Cancer Network PH and Fay Etta Robinson Distinguished Professor in Cancer Research Dept of Breast Surgical Oncology Director, Breast Surgical Oncology Training Program MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NCT) has the ability to confer a pCR (pathologic complete response-when no residual cancer is found) in both the breast and axillary lymph nodes. We know that this is most likely to occur in women with HER2 positive and triple negative disease. The high rate of pCR among these patients raises the question of whether surgery is still required, particularly among those who will receive adjuvant radiation therapy. Until recently, we lacked the ability to pre-operatively predict patients who achieved a breast pCR. Recently, we completed a clinical feasibility trial examining the ability of image-guided biopsy to predict a pCR after neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Our biopsy technique was able to accurately predict a pCR in 98% of patients with only a 5% false negative rate. Based upon these findings, we believe we can accurately determine which patients achieve a breast pCR. This led us to develop a clinical trial to see if breast surgery is redundant in patients who achieve a pCR. An important question that remained was if we are going to omit breast surgery in these exceptional responders, can we also omit axillary surgery? (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Cancer, Chemotherapy, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 16.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:: Margaret Q. Rosenzweig PhD, CRNP-C, AOCNP, FAAN Acute and Tertiary Care Department University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: A significant survival disparity still exists between African American and non-Hispanic white women diagnosed with breast cancer. There is evidence that symptom incidence, associated distress, and overall cancer-related distress may be unexplored, important contributing factors. The current study was a secondary, exploratory aim from the Attitudes, Communication, Treatment, and Support (ACTS) Intervention to Reduce Breast Cancer Treatment Disparity study, which is a randomized controlled trial of a psychoeducational intervention to encourage acceptance and adherence to chemotherapy compared with usual care for  African American women with breast cancer. The purpose of the current study was to: 1) describe and compare the number of chemotherapy-related symptoms and associated distress among AA women with breast cancer over the course of chemotherapy at 3 time points (at baseline before initiating chemotherapy, midpoint, and at the completion of chemotherapy); and 2) to describe the relationship between the number of chemotherapy-related symptoms and overall cancer distress compared with the ability to receive at least 85% of the prescribed chemotherapy within the prescribed timeframe. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, Dermatology, Diabetes, Melanoma / 13.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Bin Zheng, PhD Assistant Professor Cutaneous Biology Research Center Massachusetts General Hospital Harvard Medical School Charlestown, MA 02129  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer with more than 75,000 newly diagnosed cases in the US each year. Over the years, various genetic driver mutations have been identified that cause melanoma, including mutations in the genes BRAF and NRAS. Recent genetic insights into the development of melanoma showed that also mutations in NF1 can lead to melanoma. While there are targeted therapies available for BRAF-mutant melanoma, thus far no such therapies are available for NF1-mutant melanoma. We identified that using a combination of an ERK inhibitor, SCH772984, and the antidiabetic drug phenformin could provide a novel therapeutic strategy for NF1-mutatnt melanomas. (more…)
AACR, Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Breast Cancer, Chemotherapy / 26.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Helena Jernström, PhD Associate Professor in Experimental Oncology Study Coordinator for Graduate studies Division of Oncology and Pathology Coordinator of the programmes in statistics and epidemiology for doctoral students at the Medical Faculty, Lund University Division of Oncology and Pathology, Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund Lund University Cancer Center/Kamprad Lund, Sweden MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There is a need for better predictive markers to guide selection of therapy in breast cancer patients. Estrogen receptor beta (ER-beta) may confer prognostic information beyond what is currently obtained by the established clinical markers, including ER-alpha, which is routinely evaluated. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Chemotherapy, Immunotherapy / 09.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Vince Giranda, M.D., PH.D. Project Director AbbVie Oncology Development MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In this Phase 2 study, called BROCADE 2, veliparib combined with the platinum chemotherapy regimen carboplatin and paclitaxel showed positive trends in overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS), although these were not statistically significant. Importantly there were no meaningful increase in side effects with the addition of veliparib to carboplatin and paclitaxel. The veliparib combination regimen also demonstrated a significantly higher objective response rate. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Chemotherapy / 27.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kelvin K. Tsai, MD, PhD Associate Investigator and Attending Physician Laboratories for Tumor Aggressiveness and Stemness National Institute of Cancer Research, National Health Research Institutes Associate Professor and Principal Investigator Laboratories of Advanced Molecular Therapeutics Graduate Institute of Clinical Medicine College of Medicine, Taipei Medical University, Taiwan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Human cancer is a complex organ consisting of a heterogenous collection of cancer cells and stroma cells. Many solid tumors such as breast cancer and pancreatic cancer are characterized by a pronounced stromal fibrosis termed desmoplasia. Studies showed that systemic chemotherapy can target not only cancer cells but also the stromal fibroblasts, which may have significant impacts on the treatment response in desmoplastic cancers. We set out to study whether and how traditional “maximum tolerated dose (MTD)” chemotherapy affects the tumor fibroblasts and thereby modulates the treatment response, and if so how this therapy-induced stroma perturbation can be avoided or attenuated. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Chemotherapy, JAMA, Karolinski Institute / 09.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jonas Bergh M.D, Ph.D. F.R.C.P. (London, UK) Professor of Oncology (Mimi Althainz´donation) Director Strategic Research Program in Cancer Karolinska Institutet Radiumhemmet, Karolinska University Hospital Stockholm, Swede MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Present standard dosing of chemotherapy is aiming at a similar dose for each individual (similar effects and side-effects) , by calculating the dose per mg/m2 based on a formula originally established by du Bois (1916), based on body surface calculations by measuring height and weight. As I recall it, this was done on nine individuals… However, the body surface has very little to do with how you cytotoxic drugs are metabolized and excreted… in practice this means that chemotherapy dosing based on body surface area will result in under- or overdosing of quite a proposition of the patients… Please Google/run a PubMed research on H. Gurney in Australia, he and other have really expressed their concerns with our present chemotherapy dosing strategies. In our prospective adjuvant chemotherapy study of high risk breast cancer patients we tested a very well established standard chemotherapy regimen given every third week (FEC100 mg/m2 x 3+ docetaxel 100 mg/m2 x3) vs. our experimental arm given very second week in a dose dense fashion. We also tried to optimize the dosing, aiming at avoiding overdosing some patients at the first course and increase the dose for those without predefined toxicities. Therapy duration was similar in both groups, 15 weeks. Please see the end of the discussion in JAMA for the shortcomings with our study. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, JAMA / 04.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ayako Okuyama, RN, PHN, MW, PhD Center for Cancer Control and Information Services National Cancer Center, Japan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) is a major concern for chemotherapy patients. Despite widespread concern, not all chemotherapeutic drugs cause severe CINV. Our study illustrated that the potential for overuse of prophylactic antiemetics for chemotherapy with minimal and low emetic risks according to the antiemetic guidelines. (more…)
Author Interviews, NEJM, Prostate Cancer / 15.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Jenny Donovan  PhD OBE FMedSci NIHR-SI AcSS FFPHM Director, NIHR CLAHRC West (National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care West) at University Hospitals Bristol NHS Trust Bristol, UK MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: PSA testing identifies many men with prostate cancer, but they do not all benefit from treatment. Surgery, radiation therapy and various programs of active monitoring/surveillance can be given as treatments for fit men with clinically localized prostate cancer. Previous studies have not compared the most commonly used treatments in terms of mortality, disease progression and patient-reported outcomes. In the ProtecT study, we used a comprehensive set of validated measures, completed by the men at baseline (before diagnosis), at six and 12 months and then annually for six years. The main finding is that each treatment has a particular pattern of side-effects and recovery which needs to be balanced against the findings from the paper reporting the clinical outcomes (Hamdy et al). (more…)
ASCO, Author Interviews, Journal Clinical Oncology, MD Anderson, Ovarian Cancer / 14.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Larissa A. Meyer, MD MPH F.A.C.O.G. Assistant Professor Dept of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine Houston, TX 77030-1362 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Despite the completion of two randomized controlled trials, controversy regarding the optimal approach for the treatment of advanced ovarian cancer remains. Our observational study highlights the importance of thoughtful selection of individuals for primary cytoreductive surgery for advanced ovarian cancer. Our results suggest that primary cytoreductive surgery may improve survival for patients with stage IIIC ovarian cancer who are likely to achieve an optimal cytoreduction, while neoadjuvant chemotherapy may be the preferred option for many women with stage IV ovarian cancer. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer, Cancer Research, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 14.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Pooja Rao, MD, MSCE Assistant Professor Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Milton S. Hershey Medical Center Penn State College of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Although many chemotherapy drugs can cause birth defects, no standardized guidelines exist for pregnancy screening in adolescent female patients with cancer. Additionally, little is known about how often they are screened prior to receiving treatment. Our study found that adolescent girls are not adequately screened for pregnancy prior to receiving chemotherapy or CT scans that could potentially harm a developing fetus. Adolescents with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common childhood cancer, had the lowest pregnancy screening rates of the patients studied. (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Cancer Research, Lung Cancer / 11.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Karen L. Reckamp, M.D. Associate Professor City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center Duarte, CA 91010 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: • Approximately 60% of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) receiving EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) will develop TKI resistance through the acquisition of the EGFR T790M mutation. • A major challenge for assessing EGFR mutation status in advanced NSCLC is the availability of suitable biopsy tissue for molecular testing, specifically for determination of the emergence of T790M following progression on initial EGFR TKI therapy. • The objective of this study was to demonstrate that a highly sensitive and quantitative next-generation sequencing analysis of EGFR mutations is feasible from urine and plasma, providing comparable clinical information while potentially mitigating the issues associated with tissue biopsies. • This blinded, retrospective study was conducted on matched tissue, urine and plasma specimens collected from 63 patients with Stage IIIB-IV NSCLC enrolled in the TIGER-X trial of rociletinib, an investigational 3rd generation tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), targeting T790M. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Technology / 04.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Adam G Alani, PhD Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences College of Pharmacy Oregon State University-Oregon Health & Science University Affiliate Assistant Professor Department of Biomedical Engineering School of Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University Oregon State University-Portland Campus at OHSU Portland Oregon MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Current chemotherapeutic regimens while effective are difficult for patients and affect their quality of life. Our research tackles this issue by designing a nanotherapy that can deliver multiple chemotherapeutic agents by targeting the entire tumor microenvironment and not just the cancer cells and by reducing drug resistance. This, then is intended to simplify the treatment regimen, reduce drug related side effects and extends the life of the drugs by preventing resistance should the patient need it in the future. Thus, the ultimate underlying goal is to improve the patient’s quality of life by not just maximizing the drug’s efficacy but also trying to decrease its impact on the overall lifestyle of the individual. (more…)
Author Interviews, Chemotherapy, Prostate Cancer / 30.08.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Ronald de Wit, MD, PhD Medical Oncologist Medical Oncology Erasmus MC University Medical Center, Rotterdam MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Mainsail is one of the largest phase 3 trials in the setting of  Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer (mCRPC)  in the past decade that investigated the addition of a second active biological drug to standard docetaxel every 3 weeks plus prednisone. In Mainsail the greater myelotoxicity caused by the addition of lenalidomide to docetaxel resulted in a reduction of the number of cycles of docetaxel that patients were able to tolerate – median of 6 cycles in the DPL arm vs. 8 in the DP arm. Median overall survival (OS) was shorter in patients receiving lenalidomide, which could have attributed to either a direct adverse effect of lenalidomide on OS, or, alternatively because of the reduction in the number of docetaxel treatment cycles. In this study we investigated the impact of the cumulative dose of docetaxel as reflected by the total number of cycles of docetaxel on median OS, in Univariate and Multivariate analyses on the ITT Population, both dependent upon the treatment arm, as well as irrespective of the treatment arm. In subsequent sensitivity analyses we addressed potential confounding factors on the eventual survival outcome. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Chemotherapy, JAMA / 25.08.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Leni van Doorn, MSc Department of Medical Oncology Erasmus MC Cancer Institute Rotterdam, the Netherlands MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The common cancer treatment capecitabine, a regular treatment for patients mostly diagnosed with breast-, colon- or gastic cancer, induces hand foot syndrome (HFS). HFS is a cutaneous condition that may lead to red palms and blisters in approximately 50% to 60% of the patients and is believed to result in the loss of fingerprints. This fingerprint loss has been described sporadically in the literature. The main aim of our prospective study was to have a closer look of the association between  hand foot syndrome and the loss of fingerprints. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Chemotherapy, Nature / 25.08.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Shyamala Maheswaran, PhD Associate Professor of Surgery Harvard Medical School Assistant Molecular Biologist Center for Cancer Research MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: About 85% hormone receptor positive HER2 negative metastatic breast cancer patients show that cancer cells acquire HER2 expression during disease progression. These HER2 positive cells coexist with HER2 negative cancer cells, and these two populations are able to spontaneously oscillate between these two states; in culture and in cancers established in mice. Both HER2 positive and HER2 negative cells form tumors when injected into mice, but HER2 positive cancer cells form tumors more rapidly than HER2 negative tumors. At a molecular level, several growth factor pathways are activated in HER2 positive cancer cells, while activation of the Notch pathway, an embryonic signaling event, is observed in HER2 negative cells. Thus the HER2 positive and HER2 negative cancer cells exhibit differential sensitive to drugs: the HER2 positive cells, which are more proliferative and non-responsive to HER2-targeting agents, are responsive to chemotherapy drugs whereas the HER2 negative tumor cells are sensitive to Notch inhibitors. A combination of chemotherapeutic drugs and notch inhibitors effectively eliminate tumors formed by a mixture of these two population of cancer cells compared to either drug alone. These findings highlight the importance of tumor heterogeneity in cancer progression and drug responses and suggest that targeting all the different populations within cancers is necessary to effectively manage cancer progression. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Chemotherapy, Johns Hopkins, Pancreatic / 11.08.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rajesh Kumar NV, Ph.D. Instructor of Oncology and Pathology Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Baltimore, MD, USA Current Affiliation: Senior Manager, Human Therapeutics Division, Intrexon Corporation, 20358 Seneca Meadows Parkway, Germantown, MD, USA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Pancreatic cancer remains as one of the most deadly malignancies in the world. Recently, a cremophor-free and albumin-bound formulation of paclitaxel (nab-PTX, Abraxane) in combination with gemcitabine (GEM, Gemzar) is recently approved as a standard of care treatment option for patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer. Majority of the newly diagnosed pancreatic cancer patients use the nab-PTX plus GEM regimen. Currently there are over 100 clinical trials at various stages with this regimen as a backbone to approved medicines or investigational agents. Since widely available cremophor-based paclitaxel (PTX, Taxol) is a key chemotherapy component for the treatment of several human malignancies and the treatment cost of nab-PTX is relatively higher than PTX, patients, clinicians, third party payers and regulatory agencies have a substantial interest in understanding whether these two drugs provide a similar level of therapeutic efficacy in pancreatic cancer. We utilized orthotopic models of human pancreatic cancer, which were shown to better recapitulate the histologic and metastatic characteristics of disease, and compared the anticancer efficacy, effect on tumor stroma modulation, metastatic spreading to distant organs and survival following GEM, PTX, nab-PTX and combinations of GEM plus PTX or nab-PTX. The preclinical trial used a total of 300 mice with established orthotopic pancreatic tumors. The tumors used for implantation were originally resected from the primary tumors of patients with moderately differentiated and poorly differentiated pancreatic cancer. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Chemotherapy, Parkinson's / 13.07.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Charbel Moussa MD. PhD Assistant Professor of Neurology Director- Laboratory for Dementia and Parkinsonism Clinical Research Director- National Parkinson's Foundation Center for Excellence Translational Neurotherapeutics Program Department of Neurology Georgetown University Medical Center Washington DC. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We conducted a pilot open label proof-of-concept study to evaluate the safety and tolerability of Nilotinib in participants with advanced Parkinson’s disease (PD) with dementia (PDD) or dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). Our primary objective is to demonstrate that low oral daily doses of 150mg or 300mg Nilotinib (compared to 600-800mg in cancer) are safe and tolerated. Our secondary objectives are that Nilotinib will cross the blood brain barier and may inhibit cerebral spinal fluid Abl. Based on preclinical data we also hypothesized that Nilotinib will increase DA levels. Motor and cognitive functions were also measured as exploratory clinical outcomes. Other exploratory outcomes are that Nilotinib may alter PD-related CSF biomarkers DJ-1 and α-synuclein. As most participants in this study had dementia we also explored the effects of Nilotinib on Alzheimer's Disease-related CSF biomarkers, including Aβ40 and Aβ42, total tau and phosphorylated tau (p-tau). (more…)
ASCO, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Chemotherapy, Lung Cancer / 22.06.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Lan Huang PhD Co-founder, Chairman and CEO BeyondSpring Pharmaceuticals, Inc MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The background for this study is the toxicity of Docetaxel chemotherapy causes inadequate dosing with Docetaxel due to dose delay, reduction or discontinuation, thus leaving the patient with inadequate chemotherapy treatment. A main finding is a statistically significant p value of 0.002 in lower rates of grade 3 and 4 Neutropenia for patients dosed with a combination of BeyondSpring’s Plinabulin and Docetaxel compared to those patients dosed with Docetaxel alone. As a result, approximately 14 percent more patients stayed on the adequate (dense) dose of Docetaxel in the Docetaxel + Plinabulin arm as compared to Docetaxel alone. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Chemotherapy, Heart Disease, Karolinski Institute, Leukemia / 15.06.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Torsten Dahlén MD Centre for Hematology Karolinska University Hospital Solna Stockholm Sweden MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  Dr. Dahlén: Patients diagnosed with CML have had a dramatic increase in life-expectancy since the widespread introduction of tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) in 2001. However, treatment is today regarded as life-long. We thus need to observe for late-effects of continuous TKI exposure. Recent reports have demonstrated a linkage between TKI treatment, especially more potent 2nd and 3rd generation drugs, and to the occurrence of peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAOD). This study aimed to use real-world data utilizing Swedish population based registries together with the dedicated Swedish CML registry which contains data and follow-up on more than 98% of all CML patients diagnosed in Sweden since 2002. (more…)
ASCO, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Chemotherapy / 06.06.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dawn L. Hershman, MD MS Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology Leader, Breast Cancer Program Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center Columbia University NY NY MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Hershman: Chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy is a common side effect of anti cancer therapy and there are currently no ways to prevent it. We used a large clinical trials database, SWOG, and linked it to Medicare claims for patients over the age of 65. We found that age and type of taxane were associated with the development of CIPN. We also found a significant increase when a taxane was given along with a platinum agent. We found a doubling of risk among patients with a prior history of diabetes. No other chronic condition was associated with an increased risk of CIPN. We found a suggestion of a decreased risk among patients with a prior history of auto-immune disease. (more…)
Author Interviews, Chemotherapy, Mental Health Research / 27.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael A. Johnson Ph.D Associate Professor Department of Chemistry University of Kansas MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Johnson: We undertook these studies because chemotherapy induced cognitive dysfunction, also known as ‘chemobrain’, has become a major health issue in recent years. For example, up to a third of patients who have undergone chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer have reported symptoms of chemobrain. These symptoms may include loss of verbal and visual memory as well as decreased mental flexibility and difficulty focusing. For this study, we wanted to understand how treatment with chemotherapeutic agents affects the ability of neurons to communicate. An impairment of neurotransmitter release would imply that communication is hindered. This inability to communicate normally could contribute to cognitive dysfunction. We initially measured the release of dopamine in a region of the brain called the striatum. Our measurement of dopamine in this region was motivated by two key issues: its importance in cognitive function and our ability to measure it with high temporal resolution. From a cognitive standpoint, dopamine is important because the striatum helps translate signals, received from the cortex, into plans by forwarding wanted signals to other parts of the brain and suppressing unwanted signals. Fortunately, we can easily measure dopamine release using an electrochemical technique called fast-scan cyclic voltammetry. This method allows us to not only measure how much dopamine is released from a living brain slice, but also it affords us the capability to measure how quickly dopamine is taken back up. We also measured serotonin release using this method. Our main finding was that the ability of neurons to release dopamine was impaired after carboplatin treatment. We also found that serotonin release was similarly impaired. These release impairments corresponded to a decrease in cognitive ability of the treated rats. (more…)
Author Interviews, Chemotherapy, Urology / 24.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alejandro Sousa, MD, PhD Department of Urology, Comarcal Hospital Monforte, Spain MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Dr. Sousa: Bladder Cancer management has remained stable over the past 25 years, with very little in the way of new therapies or approaches being developed. Traditional treatment using intravesical Mitomycin C for Non Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer (NMIBC) patients is limited due it's low absorption levels. Device assisted therapies that deliver Chemo-hyperthermia offer a new hope, with the potential for improved outcomes and better disease management due the the increased drug activity and better efficacy. We wanted to investigate the optimal treatment regime for this new therapy and whether it provides a safe and effective alternative to current standard treatment. (more…)
Author Interviews, Chemotherapy, Lancet / 08.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Christina H Ruhlmann PhD Department of Oncology Odense University Hospital, Denmark  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The background for the GAND-emesis study is the result of a phase II study in patients with gynecological cancer receiving fractionated radiotherapy and concomitant weekly cisplatin 40 mg/m2. In that study, patients received weekly antiemetic prophylaxis with palonosetron and prednisolone, and we found that 57% of patients were continuously free from emesis (sustained no emesis) during 5 weeks of treatment. We hypothesized that the addition of a NK1 receptor antagonist could increase the number of patients with sustained no emesis, and we therefore planned the GAND-emesis study: a multinational, randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind study that has recently been published. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: In the GAND-emesis study we compared efficacy of weekly antiemetic prophylaxis with fosaprepitant, palonosetron, and dexamethasone to placebo, palonosetron, and dexamethasone during 5 weeks of radiotherapy and concomitant weekly cisplatin 40 mg/m2 for cervical cancer. The primary endpoint was sustained no emesis during 5 weeks of treatment (competing risk analysis). We found that the proportion of patients with sustained no emesis was 48.7% for the placebo group compared with 65.7% for the fosaprepitant group, and the treatments were well tolerated. To our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate the efficacy of a NK1 receptor antagonist during 5 weeks of chemoradiotherapy. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Chemotherapy, Lancet / 04.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Massimo Cristofanilli, MD, FACP Professor of Medicine Associate Director of Translational Research and Precision Medicine Department of Medicine-Hematology and Oncology Robert H Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center Feinberg School of Medicine Chicago, IL 60611  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Cristofanilli: The majority of breast cancer are estrogen-receptor positive and therefore candidate for treatment with endocrine therapy in the adjuvant and advanced settings. The most significant issue in the management of estrogen-receptor positive metastatic breast cancer is the development of drug resistance. Very few effective options are available for patients that demonstrate progression of disease while on standard endocrine therapy, particularly in premenopausal women and/or women that have even progressed on chemotherapy. The study demonstrated that the combination of fulvestrant with palbociclib, a novel inhibitor of CDK4/6 kinases, significantly improve response to treatment and delays disease progression with minimal toxicity.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Lancet, Leukemia / 12.12.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Christoph Röllig Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik I Universitätsklinikum der Technischen Universitä Dresden, Germany Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Röllig: When this trial began in 2009, standard treatment for Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML) consisted of a combination of cytarabine plus anthracyclin/anthracendion and the need for improvement was obvious in the light of only around 50% long-term survivors even amongst younger patients. Although a promising approach, the use of kinase inhibitors in AML had not been shown to be beneficial and was not widely used. Sorafenib had been shown to be tolerable as single agent and in combination with commonly used chemotherapeutic agents. The results of the trial show that the addition of sorafenib to standard chemotherapy for newly diagnosed AML patients up to the age of 60 years is associated with significant prolongation of event-free survival and relapse-free survival compared to placebo plus standard chemotherapy. That means that patient who took sorafenib had less AML relapses. To our knowledge, this is the first randomized-controlled showing that integrating a kinase inhibitor into standard intensive chemotherapy of younger patients with AML is associated with significant improvement of relapse-free survival, with no increase in treatment-related mortality. After a decade of evaluating the potential of kinase inhibitors in AML, their use in combination with standard treatment is becoming an important option for newly diagnosed younger patients. (more…)
Author Interviews, Immunotherapy, Lymphoma, NYU / 11.12.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Catherine S. M. Diefenbach MD Assistant Professor of Medicine NYU Langone Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center New York, NY 10016  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Diefenbach: The background of the study is that through an understanding of the unique immunobiology of Hodgkin lymphoma we can derive rational treatment strategies which may heighten the efficacy of existing therapies, and improve the outcomes for patients with relapsed disease.  In E4412 which is a national study sponsored by the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG-ACRIN) we explore the safety and efficacy of combination of the antibody drug conjugate brentuximab vedotin which targets CD30 on the surface of the Hodgkin lymphoma tumor cells, and immune stimulation of the T cells in the tumor microenvironment using checkpoint inhibitors.  We reported the data from the first arm of the study Brentuximab Vedotin and Ipilimumab.  To date 23 patients with relapsed Hodgkin lymphoma have been treated; the combination of brentuximab and ipilimumab was safe and well tolerated with primarily grade 1 and 2 toxicities.  In 18 patients evaluable for response the ORR was 72% with a complete response rate of 50%. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Chemotherapy / 10.12.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sam Smith, PhD CPsychol Cancer Research UK Postdoctoral Fellow Centre for Cancer Prevention Queen Mary University of London Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine London Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Smith:  Several trials have demonstrated that agents (e.g. ) can be used to prevent breast cancer among women at increased risk. However, their effectiveness is dependent upon their appropriate use by this patient group. Several studies have suggested that uptake is low, and that women are not taking the medications for the full 5 year course. We attempted to synthesize the evidence investigating these topics, as well as identify the factors affecting these behaviours. The main findings are that only 1 in 6 women (16.3%) were willing to start taking oral medications to prevent breast cancer. Furthermore, uptake rates were lower in routine clinical practice (9%) compared with trial enrollment rates (25%), suggesting that there may be problems with implementing chemoprevention within routine clinical care. We noted that day to day adherence and persistence over a short period (e.g. 1 year) was adequate, but when looking at the longer term studies only 1 in 10 reported that >80% of women were still taking their medications at the 5 year end point. Women may not be experiencing the full preventive effect of these medications. (more…)