Author Interviews, Cancer Research, JAMA, NIH, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 05.05.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Megan Clarke, Ph.D., M.H.S., Earl Stadtman Investigator Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics National Cancer Institute MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study? 
  • Through our prior work, we have demonstrated that uterine cancer incidence rates have been significantly increasing in the U.S. from 2003 to 2015 and that these increases were primarily driven by rising rates of aggressive (non-endometrioid) subtypes of this cancer. We observed that rates of these aggressive cancers increased among all women and were more than twice as high among Non-Hispanic Black women compared to other racial and ethnic groups. Factors explaining these trends, as well as the disproportionately higher rates of these aggressive subtypes among non-Hispanic Black women, remain unclear, in part because risk factors are poorly understood.
  • In addition to differences in incidence rates by race and ethnicity, we have also observed strong disparities in our prior studies, with Non-Hispanic Black women having substantially lower 5-year survival, regardless of subtype or stage at diagnosis, compared to other racial and ethnic populations.
  • The next logical step, and the focus of the current study, was to evaluate how increases in the incidence of aggressive, non-endometrioid uterine cancer affects racial disparities and rates of death from uterine cancer.
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Author Interviews, Cancer Research, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA, Prostate Cancer, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 23.07.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Andres F. Correa, MD Assistant Professor Department of Surgical Oncology, and Adrien Bernstein, MD Second Year Urologic Oncology Fellow Fox Chase Cancer Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Unfortunately, it has been well-established that historically Black Americans experience increased cancer specific mortality compared to white patients. In prostate cancer specifically studies have shown that when access to care is equitable this gap resolves. This suggests that biological factors are not driving these differences but rather the result of the complex interplay of social determinants and systemic inequities in our healthcare system. Early in the pandemic, multiple studies demonstrated that minority communities disproportionately shouldered poor COVID-19 outcomes.  On March 13th 2020, the American College of Surgeons recommended against elective procedures; however, the definition of an elective oncologic case was left to the discretion of the provider. As prostate cancer treatment can be safely deferred up to a year follow diagnosis, management of prostate cancer during the initial lockdown period of the COVID-19 Pandemic provided a useful analysis of the differential restrictions placed on non-emergent health care during the Pandemic. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, JAMA, Mammograms / 15.11.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Elham Kharazmi, MD, PhD Co-Leader, Risk Adapted Prevention (RAD) Group Division of Preventive Oncology National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) Germany MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide and the second leading cause of cancer death in American women, exceeded only by lung cancer. Available evidence suggests that implementation of a screening program can decrease breast cancer mortality. Reductions in breast cancer mortality in Europe over the past two decades have been associated at least in part with the implementation of screening programs. Screening enables the detection of tumors at an early stage, when more treatment options are feasible and most effective. However, screening is associated with substantial risks, such as over-diagnosis, false-positive results, and physical and psychological harms, particularly when large numbers of women with low risk are frequently screened. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Immunotherapy / 07.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Olivier Lambotte, MD, PHD Professor of Internal Medicine Paris XI University Medical School Research Director Control of Chronic Viral Infections DepartmentProf. Olivier Lambotte, MD, PHD Professor of Internal Medicine Paris XI University Medical School Research Director Control of Chronic Viral Infections Department MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) anti-programmed death-1 (PD-1) or anti-programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1) have proven efficacy in the treatment of many cancers but patients may experience immune-related adverse events (irAEs). Immune checkpoint inhibitors is usually stopped when grade 2 or higher irAE occur. Data are very limited  on the safety of resuming treatment after such an event. We  studied all adult patients referred to the ImmunoTOX toxicity review board at the Gustave Roussy cancer center (Villejuif, France) in 2015-2017 with  irAE grade 2 or higher for whom the  rechallenge was questioned. Among 93 patients with a broad spectrum of cancers, 40 patients (43%) were rechallenged with the same anti-PD-1 or anti-PD-L1. The rechallenged and non-rechallenged groups did not differ in terms of age, time to initial irAE, irAE severity, or steroid use. With a median follow-up period of 14 months, the same irAE or a different irAE occurred in 22 patients (55%). The second irAEs were not more severe than the first. Earlier initial toxicity was associated with more frequent irAE recurrence. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Cost of Health Care, JAMA / 19.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nina Niu Sanford, M.D.  Assistant Professor UT Southwestern Department of Radiation Oncology Dallas TX 75390  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The background for this study is that we know cancer survivors are at risk for uninsurance or underinsurance and the most commonly cited reason for this is cost of insurance.  However, there have been no prior studies assessing from the patient perspective the reasons for not having insurance. In addition, there has been further recent controversy over the Affordable Care Act, including threats from the current administration to dismantle it.  Thus assessing the impact of the ACA among at risk populations including cancer survivors is timely. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, JAMA, MD Anderson, Radiation Therapy / 30.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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.  (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
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Author Interviews, Cancer Research, JAMA, UT Southwestern / 11.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nina Niu Sanford, M.D. Assistant Professor UT Southwestern Department of Radiation Oncology Dallas TX 75390 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: There has been increasing interest in use of complementary and alternative medicine in the oncology population – both in terms of its potential efficacy and harms. The main finding of this study is that approximately 1/3 of cancer patients and survivors self-reported using complementary or alternative medicine over the past year, the most common being herbal supplements. Of these patients, approximately 1/3 did not disclose to their physicians that they were doing so. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, JAMA / 28.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Isaac Chua MD Instructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School Boston, Massachusetts  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: Opioids are routinely prescribed for cancer-related pain, but little is known about the prevalence of opioid-related hospitalizations for patients with cancer. Although opioid addiction among patients with cancer is estimated to be as high as 7.7%, our understanding of opioid misuse is based on small, preliminary studies. In light of the wider opioid epidemic, oncologists and palliative care clinicians frequently balance providing patients with legitimate access to opioids while protecting them and the general public from the risks of prescribing these medications. (more…)