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Adding cediranib to chemotherapy improves progression-free survival for metastatic or recurrent cervical cancer, phase II trial shows

Adding cediranib to chemotherapy improves progression-free survival for metastatic or recurrent cervical cancer, phase II trial shows

For patients with cervical cancer that has recurred after treatment or has spread elsewhere in the body, adding the experimental drug cediranib to standard chemotherapy improves tumour shrinkage and adds a modest improvement in progression-free survival, researchers report at the ESMO 2014 Congress in Madrid. In Europe, about 70% of patients with cervical cancer are cured by either surgery or chemo-radiotherapy. Continue reading

Pertuzumab adds 16 months survival benefit to trastuzumab and chemotherapy treatment for HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer

Pertuzumab adds 16 months survival benefit to trastuzumab and chemotherapy treatment for HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer

Patients with HER2-positive breast cancer that has spread to other parts of their body live around 16 months longer if treated with a combination of pertuzumab, trastuzumab and chemotherapy compared to those treated with trastuzumab and chemotherapy alone, updated results from the CLEOPATRA study reveal. CLEOPATRA was a pivotal phase III study where researchers evaluated the safety and efficacy of pertuzumab, trastuzumb and chemotherapy in 808 patients with previously untreated HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer. HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer has historically been one of the most aggressive forms of the disease Continue reading

Crizotinib treatment effective against ROS1-positive lung cancer, study suggests

Crizotinib treatment effective against ROS1-positive lung cancer, study suggests

Treatment with the targeted therapy drug crizotinib effectively halts the growth of lung tumors driven by rearrangements of the ROS1 gene. In an article receiving Online First publication in the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with a presentation at the European Society for Medical Oncology meeting, an international research team reports that crizotinib treatment led to significant tumor shrinkage in 36 of 50 study participants and suppressed tumor growth in another 9 Continue reading

French studies measure benefits of  colorectal cancer screening

French studies measure benefits of colorectal cancer screening

The introduction of biennial colorectal cancer screening in a region of France increased the rate of diagnosis of high risk pre-cancerous adenomas (sometimes called polyps) by 89%, researchers have reported at the ESMO 2014 Congress in Madrid. Dr Vanessa Cottet from INSERM Unité 866 in Dijon, France, and colleagues studied the region of Côte-d’Or, where a registry has been collecting data on adenomas since 1976. Continue reading

Customizing chemotherapy in lung cancer: New phase II data reported

Customizing chemotherapy in lung cancer: New phase II data reported

Measuring the expression levels of an enzyme involved in DNA synthesis can help predict the response of lung cancers to certain treatments, a Korean study has shown at the ESMO 2014 Congress in Madrid. In a randomized phase II study, researchers showed that patients whose lung cancers expressed low levels of an enzyme called thymidylate synthase experienced a greater benefit from treatment with the combination of pemetrexed and cisplatin than those whose tumours expressed high levels. “Thymidylate synthase is one of the proteins that is targeted by pemetrexed which is the most widely used chemotherapeutic regimen in the treatment of non-squamous NSCLC,” explains study author Professor Myung-Ju Ahn, from the Section of Hematology-Oncology at Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. Continue reading

Chemotherapy: Rolapitant reduces nausea and vomiting in phase III trial

Chemotherapy: Rolapitant reduces nausea and vomiting in phase III trial

Rolapitant reduces nausea and vomiting in patients receiving cisplatin-based chemotherapy, according to the results of a phase III trial presented for the first time today at the ESMO 2014 Congress in Madrid, Spain. Dr Martin Chasen, lead author and medical director, Palliative Care, Ottawa Hospital Cancer Centre, Canada, said: “This agent makes a significant difference in the way people tolerate their chemotherapy. Patients experienced no loss in quality of life and, in fact, many saw meaningful improvements Continue reading

Many Patients Excluded From Lung Cancer Clinical Trials Due to Prior Cancer, Study Finds

Many Patients Excluded From Lung Cancer Clinical Trials Due to Prior Cancer, Study Finds

Lung cancer clinical trials exclude a substantial proportion of patients due to a history of prior cancer, as shown in an analysis by cancer researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center. Among more than 50 lung cancer clinical trials examined, more than 80 percent excluded patients with prior cancer from participating, according to the study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute Continue reading

Researchers engineer ‘Cas9′ animal models to study disease, inform drug discovery

Researchers engineer ‘Cas9′ animal models to study disease, inform drug discovery

Researchers from the Broad Institute and Massachusetts Institute of Technology have created a new mouse model to simplify application of the CRISPR-Cas9 system for in vivo genome editing experiments. The researchers successfully used the new “Cas9 mouse” model to edit multiple genes in a variety of cell types, and to model lung adenocarcinoma, one of the most lethal human cancers. Continue reading

Bacterial ‘communication system’ could be used to stop, kill cancer cells, study finds

Bacterial ‘communication system’ could be used to stop, kill cancer cells, study finds

Cancer, while always dangerous, truly becomes life-threatening when cancer cells begin to spread to different areas throughout the body. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have discovered that a molecule used as a communication system by bacteria can be manipulated to prevent cancer cells from spreading. Senthil Kumar, an assistant research professor and assistant director of the Comparative Oncology and Epigenetics Laboratory at the MU College of Veterinary Medicine, says this communication system can be used to “tell” cancer cells how to act, or even to die on command. Continue reading

Modest acute changes in cardiac biomarkers, electrocardiogram findings following thoracic radiation therapy

Modest acute changes in cardiac biomarkers, electrocardiogram findings following thoracic radiation therapy

There were only modest acute changes in cardiac biomarkers and electrocardiograms and there were no clinically significant cardiac events in patients with high-dose radiation exposure to the heart following thoracic radiation therapy (RT) and short-term follow-up. Radiation therapy is standard of care for some patients with thoracic malignancies such as lung cancer, esophageal cancer, thymoma, or malignant mesothelioma Continue reading