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Certain form of baldness at age 45 linked to higher risk for aggressive prostate cancer

Certain form of baldness at age 45 linked to higher risk for aggressive prostate cancer

A new, large cohort analysis from the prospective Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial, indicates that men who had moderate baldness affecting both the front and the crown of their head at age 45 were at a 40% increased risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer (usually indicates a faster growing tumor resulting in poorer prognosis relative to non-aggressive prostate cancer) later in life, compared to men with no baldness. Continue reading

Breast cancer specialist reports advance in treatment of triple-negative breast cancer

Breast cancer specialist reports advance in treatment of triple-negative breast cancer

William M. Sikov, a medical oncologist in the Breast Health Center and associate director for clinical research in the Program in Women’s Oncology at Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, served as study chair and lead author for a recently-published major national study that could lead to improvements in outcomes for women with triple-negative breast cancer, an aggressive form of the disease that disproportionately affects younger women. “Impact of the Addition of Carboplatin and/or Bevacizumab to Neoadjuvant Once-Per-Week Paclitaxel Followed by Dose-Dense Doxorubicin and Cyclophosphamide on Pathologic Complete Response Rates in Stage II to III Triple-Negative Breast Cancer: CALGB 40603 (Alliance)” was accepted as a rapid publication and published online this month by the Journal of Clinical Oncology Continue reading

Novel immunotherapy vaccine decreases recurrence in HER2 positive breast cancer patients

Novel immunotherapy vaccine decreases recurrence in HER2 positive breast cancer patients

A new breast cancer vaccine candidate, (GP2), provides further evidence of the potential of immunotherapy in preventing disease recurrence. This is especially the case for high-risk patients when it is combined with a powerful immunotherapy drug. These findings are being presented by The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center at the 2014 American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Breast Cancer Symposium in San Francisco Continue reading

New gene mutations for Wilms tumor found

New gene mutations for Wilms tumor found

Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center and the Gill Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s Medical Center, Dallas, have made significant progress in defining new genetic causes of Wilms tumor, a type of kidney cancer found only in children. Wilms tumor is the most common childhood genitourinary tract cancer and the third most common solid tumor of childhood Continue reading

Scientists call for investigation of mysterious cloud-like collections in cells

Scientists call for investigation of mysterious cloud-like collections in cells

About 50 years ago, electron microscopy revealed the presence of tiny blob-like structures that form inside cells, move around and disappear. But scientists still don’t know what they do — even though these shifting cloud-like collections of proteins are believed to be crucial to the life of a cell, and therefore could offer a new approach to disease treatment. In the Journal of Cell Biology , two researchers are issuing a call to investigators from various backgrounds, from biophysics to cell biology, to focus their attention on the role of these formations — for which they coin a new unifying term “assemblages.” “I want to know what these assemblages are doing in Ewing sarcoma, the disease I concentrate on — and I would think all other researchers who study human biology would want to know their functions in both health and disease,” says Jeffrey Toretsky, MD, professor in the department of oncology and pediatrics at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. Continue reading

Three-quarters of depressed cancer patients do not receive treatment for depression; new approach could transform care

Three-quarters of depressed cancer patients do not receive treatment for depression; new approach could transform care

Three papers published in The Lancet Psychiatry, The Lancet, and The Lancet Oncology reveal that around three-quarters of cancer patients who have major depression are not currently receiving treatment for depression, and that a new integrated treatment program is strikingly more effective at reducing depression and improving quality of life than current care. An analysis of data from more than 21,000 patients attending cancer clinics in Scotland, UK, published in The Lancet Psychiatry , found that major depression is substantially more common in cancer patients than in the general population Continue reading

Ovarian Cancer: Know your body, know your risk

Ovarian Cancer: Know your body, know your risk

Ovarian cancer is the fourth leading cause of death in American women, with about 22,000 diagnosed and 14,000 dying from the disease each year. Continue reading

Finding keys to glioblastoma therapeutic resistance

Finding keys to glioblastoma therapeutic resistance

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have found one of the keys to why certain glioblastomas — the primary form of a deadly brain cancer — are resistant to drug therapy. The answer lies not in the DNA sequence of the tumor, but in its epigenetic signature Continue reading

High concordance between EGFR mutations from circulating-free tumor DNA and tumor tissue in non-small cell lung cancer

High concordance between EGFR mutations from circulating-free tumor DNA and tumor tissue in non-small cell lung cancer

Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations found in the circulating free tumor DNA (ctDNA) from the plasma of advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients correlates well with the EGFR mutations from patient-matched tumor tissue DNA. EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapy is approved for EGFR activating mutation positive patients with advanced NSCLC, but the standard for determining mutation status is with DNA derived directly from tumor tissue, which can be limited or not available. A more abundant and less invasive source of tumor DNA may be cell free tumor DNA found circulating in the blood. Continue reading

Novel oncogenic RET mutation found in small cell lung cancer

Novel oncogenic RET mutation found in small cell lung cancer

For the first time an oncogenic somatic mutation at amino acid 918 in the RET (rearranged during transfection) protein has been identified in small cell lung cancer (SCLC) tumors and enforced expression of this mutation within SCLC cell lines produced increased intracellular signaling and cell growth. SCLC is a highly malignant form of lung cancer representing 15% of all lung cancers and is strongly associated with tobacco smoking Continue reading