Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Journal Clinical Oncology, Prostate Cancer, Radiation Therapy / 04.06.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anthony D'Amico, MD, PhD Professor and Chief of Genitourinary Radiation Oncology Brigham and Women's Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: 3 randomized trials published in Sept, 2020 in the Lancet and Lancet Oncology concluded that delivering radiation therapy (RT) after surgery for prostate cancer when the PSA rises signaling recurrence (i.e. early salvage RT) as opposed to when the PSA is undetectable (i.e. adjuvant RT) did not compromise subsequent cancer progression. However these trials may have missed the benefit of adjuvant RT because a minority of men (9 to 17% of the study cohorts) were found to have adverse factors at prostatectomy which are associated with cancer progression and death from prostate cancer. Specifically, men with adverse pathology at prostatectomy comprise the vast majority of men who go on to die from prostate cancer and therefore have the most to gain from adjuvant RT. Yet, given the results of the 3 randomized trials many physicians are no longer offering adjuvant RT, even in men with adverse pathology at surgery. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Heart Disease, Nature / 04.02.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Hugo Aerts, PhD Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Associate Professor, Brigham and Women's Hospital Harvard Medical School Director, Program for Artificial Intelligence in Medicine Brigham And Women's Hospital MedicalResearch.com: Deep convolutional neural networks to predict cardiovascular risk from computed tomography Response: Cardiovascular disease is the most common preventable cause of death in Europe and the United States. Effective lifestyle and pharmacological prevention is available, but identifying those who would benefit most remains an ongoing challenge. Hence, efforts are needed to further improve cardiovascular risk prediction and stratification on an individual basis. One of the strongest known predictors for adverse cardiovascular events is coronary artery calcification, which can be quantified on computed tomography (CT). The CT coronary calcium score is a measure of the burden of coronary atherosclerosis and is one of the most widely accepted measures of cardiovascular risk. Recent strides in artificial intelligence, deep learning in particular, have shown its viability in several medical applications such as medical diagnostic and imaging, risk management, or virtual assistants. A major advantage is that deep learning can automate complex assessments that previously could only be done by radiologists, but now is feasible at scale with a higher speed and lower cost. This makes deep learning a promising technology for automating cardiovascular event prediction from imaging. However, before clinical introduction can be considered, generalizability of these systems needs to be demonstrated as they need to be able to predict cardiovascular events of asymptomatic and symptomatic individuals across multiple clinical scenarios, and work robustly on data from multiple institutions. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, Genetic Research, Melanoma, Prostate Cancer / 23.11.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Saud H AlDubayan, M.D. Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School Attending Physician, Division of Genetics, Brigham and Women's Hospital Computational Biologist, Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Associate Scientist, The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The overall goal of this study was to assess the performance of the standard method currently used to detect germline (inhered) genetic variants in cancer patients and whether we could use recent advances in machine learning techniques to further improve the detection rate of clinically relevant genetic alterations. To investigate this possibility, we performed a head to head comparison between the current gold-standard method for germline analysis that has been universally used in clinical and research laboratories and a new deep learning analysis approach using germline genetic data of thousands of patients with prostate cancer or melanoma. This analysis showed that across all different gene sets that were tested, the deep learning-based framework was able to identify additional cancer patients with clinically relevant germline variants that went undetected by the standard method. For example, several patients in our study also had germline variants that are associated with an increased risk of ovarian cancer, for which the surgical removal of the ovaries (at a certain age) is highly recommended. However, these genetic alterations were only identified by the proposed deep learning framework. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Lymphoma / 06.12.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Matthew S. Davids MD MSC Associate Director of the Dana-Farber CLL Center Attending physician Lymphoma Program, Division of Hematologic Malignancies Dana-Farber   Dr. Jennifer Crombie MD Instructor in Medicine Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: New data from our investigator-sponsored Phase 1 study exploring duvelisib in combination with venetoclax will be presented at ASH on December 7. In relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL/SLL), duvelisib plus venetoclax demonstrated promising clinical activity, a manageable tolerability profile, and identified a recommended Phase 2 dosing (RP2D) regimen. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, JAMA, Radiation Therapy, Technology / 19.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Raymond H Mak, MD Radiation Oncology Brigham and Women's Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
  • Lung cancer remains the most common cancer, and leading cause of cancer mortality, in the world and ~40-50% of lung cancer patients will need radiation therapy as part of their care
  • The accuracy and precision of lung tumor targeting by radiation oncologists can directly impact outcomes, since this key targeting task is critical for successful therapeutic radiation delivery.
  • An incorrectly delineated tumor may lead to inadequate dose at tumor margins during radiation therapy, which in turn decreases the likelihood of tumor control.
  • Multiple studies have shown significant inter-observer variation in tumor target design, even among expert radiation oncologists
  • Expertise in targeting lung tumors for radiation therapy may not be available to under-resourced health care settings
  • Some more information on the problem of lung cancer and the radiation therapy targeting task here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=An-YDBjFDV8&feature=youtu.be
(more…)
Author Interviews, Leukemia / 11.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hans van Eenennaam, Ph.D. Executive vice president antibody research and site head Aduro Biotech Europe MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: A PRoliferation Inducing Ligand (APRIL) is a member of the tumor necrosis factor superfamily and has been shown to stimulate the proliferation and survival of healthy B-lymphocytes. Malignant B-lymphocytes, such as multiple myeloma, use APRIL primarily in the bone marrow to support its proliferation and survival. Studies have shown that APRIL is overproduced in patients with multiple myeloma and mediates primarily via binding to B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA) to stimulate a wide variety of responses that promote multiple myeloma growth and survival, as well as suppressing the immune system so that the tumor cells are protected and sustained in the bone marrow and can escape current available treatments. (more…)