Research Desk

Jul 03, 2020

Watch Hosts Danielle Hicks and Bonnie Addario speak with Dr. Jacob Sands and Dr. William Mayfield about the progress that's been made over the last 50 years in lung cancer treatment. Their conversation looks at the incredible advances in everything from the number of driver mutations with FDA-approved targeted therapies (including for KRAS and HER2 that have drugs performing well currently in clinical trials), radiation, surgery, chemotherapy (and corresponding drugs to help better tolerate side effects) and screening. This episode is packed with lots of broad-ranging and useful information for lung cancer patients and caregivers.

 

Jul 03, 2020

Artificial intelligence (AI) holds promise for enabling earlier detection of pancreatic cancer, which is crucial to saving lives. The potential of AI is showcased in a study to be presented at the ESMO World Congress on Gastrointestinal Cancer. Overall, 12 in every 100,000 people develop pancreatic cancer. This means that screening everyone would be inefficient and would expose many people to unnecessary tests and potential side-effects. Between 70-80% of patients are diagnosed at an advanced stage when it is too late for curative treatment and five years after diagnosis, just 6% of patients have survived.

Jul 03, 2020

Researchers at the University of Alberta have found a way to deliver anti-cancer drugs with more precision, which could increase the effectiveness of many cancer treatments. U of A oncologist Frank Wuest altered the surface of nanoparticles, which are well suited to deliver drugs, with epidermal growth factor (EGF), a peptide that binds to EGF receptors on cancer cells.

Jul 03, 2020

Cancers diagnosed early are often more responsive to treatment. Blood tests that detect molecular markers of cancer have successfully identified individuals already known to have the disease. Lennon et al. conducted an exploratory study that more closely reflects the way in which such blood tests would be used in the future. 

Jul 03, 2020

Lung cancer screening (LCS) by low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) does not examine spirometry in eligible patients, but study findings published this week in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society suggest that adding this feature could improve the high burden of undiagnosed chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and emphysema. Based on prior trial findings, LCS by LDCT has been found to significantly reduce the relative risk of lung cancer-specific and all-cause mortality by 20.0% and 6.7%. When it comes to eligibility, those who undergo LCS are typical of older age or former smokers, which are 2 of the strongest predictors of the development of COPD.

 

Jul 01, 2020

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved pembrolizumab (Keytruda, Merck) for the first-line treatment of patients with unresectable or metastatic microsatellite instability-high (MSI-H) or mismatch repair deficient (dMMR) colorectal cancer. This is the first time that an immunotherapy agent has been approved in this setting and as monotherapy, without added chemotherapy.

Jul 01, 2020

At about 18 months' follow-up in treatment-naive acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) patients who were 75 years or older or otherwise unfit for intensive chemotherapy, median overall survival (OS) was 8.4 months when they were randomized to low-dose cytarabine (LDAC) plus the BCL-2 inhibitor venetoclax versus 4.1 months with LDAC plus placebo. The results from the phase 3 trial were reported at the virtual annual congress of the European Hematology Association. The combination also improved rates of remission, event-free survival, and patient-reported outcomes and lessened transfusion requirements. Adverse events were manageable.

Jul 01, 2020

For the first time in its long and storied history, hormonal therapy for advanced prostate cancer has received broad and detailed attention in a clinical practice guideline. AUA guideline provides direction for the use of hormonal therapy (or androgen-deprivation therapy, ADT) for men with multiple categories of advanced and metastatic prostate cancer.

Jul 01, 2020

Australian researchers have shown for the first time that a new drug used to treat breast cancer patients damages the store of immature eggs in the ovaries of mice. The authors of the study, which is published today in Human Reproduction, one of the world's leading reproductive medicine journals, say the drug olaparib is being used to treat young as well as older women with breast cancer that is driven by mutations in the BRCA1/2 genes, but without knowing its effect on fertility.

Jul 01, 2020

"Clean margins" are a goal of cancer excision surgery. If even a small piece of cancerous tissue is left behind, it increases the likelihood of a local recurrence and spread of the disease, possibly reducing overall survival time. With an innovative approach to cancer surgery, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania are investigating a technique to help surgeons clearly see whether they've left any diseased tissue behind. Using a dye that glows under near-infrared light and preferentially accumulates in cancer cells, they performed surgery to remove mammary tumors from dogs treated at the School of Veterinary Medicine's Ryan Hospital.