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  • #31
    New cancer therapy promises to destroy tumours inside the body

    A new breast cancer therapy that promises to destroy tumours inside the body has been developed in Wrocław in Poland.

    The technology could eliminate the need for painful surgery - and it has already won the EU's top Innovation Radar Prize.

    For this episode of Futuris, we went to meet the team behind it.

    How does it work?

    The therapy is known as Nanocargo and involves injecting nanoparticles directly into a tumour.

    Dr Joanna Bauer is the head of the team behind it at Wrocław University of Science and Technology, developed in an EU project.

    She took us into the lab there and explained to us how the tests have been perfectly effective: "We see cancer cells here. The green ones are the cells we want to kill. They are all alive for now. You can see here that after 20 minutes there are fewer and fewer of these living cells that we want to kill. And finally, after 30 minutes, with the application of our nanoparticles, we have no more living cells at all," she said.

    An experiment with a vial containing thousands of nanoparticles allows us to see some of the effect of this new treatment. Inside the body, the nanoparticles would be heated by both the laser and a magnetic field. It is the heat that is kills the cancer cells. At the same time, chemotherapy drugs are released from the nanoparticles right inside the tumour.

    "So we have a core which is magnetic and it reacts with the magnetic field. Outside there is an additional metallic shell which is excited with the laser. On top of that we have also attached the dedicated drug, which is used during regular breast cancer chemotherapy," Dr Bauer explained.:

    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


    • #32
      Women More Likely to Survive Lung Cancer After Surgery

      Women have higher survival rates after lung cancer surgery than men, according to a new study.

      Previous research on sex differences in survival after lung cancer treatment has yielded conflicting results, so researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden decided to study the association between gender and survival after lung cancer surgery.

      "The health care sector is always striving to offer all patients equal treatment tailored to their individual needs," said study co-author Erik Sachs. He's a resident in cardiothoracic surgery at Karolinska University Hospital.

      "This kind of study can help shed light on systematic differences that ultimately affect patient outcomes," Sachs added in an institute news release.

      For the study, the researchers analyzed data on more than 6,500 people in Sweden who had lung cancer surgery between 2008 and 2017. Just over half of the patients were women, with an average age of 67. Average age of the men was 68.

      Women were less likely to be smokers and had fewer co-existing health problems.

      Follow-up on the patients was conducted one, five and 10 years after surgery.

      Women were 27% less likely to die after lung cancer surgery than men, independent of factors such as co-existing health problems, age, income, lifestyle, type and extent of surgery, tumor characteristics and tumor stage.

      The lower risk of death among women was seen in all age groups, except in the youngest patients, where the difference between women and men was not as significant, according to the report published online recently in the journal Chest.

      Study co-author Veronica Jackson, a specialist in thoracic surgery at the institute, said, "Our findings are significant, as they suggest that the prognosis for lung cancer can likely be improved, but more research is needed in this area. Further studies that specifically investigate the effects of lifestyle, sociocultural conditions and the presence of any inequalities in the delivery of care would likely be of value.":

      Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


      • #33
        UK to pilot blood test that may detect 50 types of cancer

        The UK's National Health Service (NHS) is to pilot a simple blood test that may detect more than 50 types of cancer and, it is hoped, could help thousands of people by allowing the disease to be treated more successfully at an earlier stage.

        The Galleri blood test, developed by Californian healthcare company Grail, will be piloted with 165,000 patients in what the NHS described as a "world-first deal" in a news release Friday.

        Grail, whose work is focused on detecting cancer early, is backed by investors including tech billionaire Bill Gates and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

        NHS England hopes the blood test will be particularly useful in identifying types of cancer that are currently difficult to diagnose and treat early.

        "Early detection -- particularly for hard-to-treat conditions like ovarian and pancreatic cancer -- has the potential to save many lives," said NHS chief executive Simon Stevens.

        More than 1,000 people are newly diagnosed with cancer every day in the UK, he added.

        The pilot program, due to start in mid-2021, will involve 165,000 people, including 140,000 aged from 50 to 79 who have no symptoms but will have annual blood tests over three years.

        The remaining 25,000 participants will be people with possible cancer symptoms who will be offered the blood test to speed up their diagnosis after they are referred to hospital in the normal way, the news release said.

        Results are expected by 2023, after which it is hoped one million people could receive the test by 2025, expanding this to the wider population thereafter, NHS England said.

        In England, around half of cancers are currently diagnosed at stage one or two but the NHS aims to increase that to three quarters by 2028, the news release said.

        Grail said in a press release that according to modeling data, "adding Galleri to existing standard of care has the potential to decrease the number of cancers diagnosed at late stage by nearly half, which could reduce the total number of cancer deaths in the UK by approximately one-fifth."

        Five-year relative survival for cancer in the UK is below the European average, according to charity Cancer Research UK.

        Lawrence Young, professor of Molecular Oncology at the University of Warwick, said the Galleri test was one of a number of novel blood tests being developed to detect cancer at a very early stage when it is more easily treated.

        "There are a number of trials evaluating this approach and a publication from the Circulating Cell-free Genome Atlas (CCGA) consortium examining the Galleri test in 6,689 participants has generated very encouraging results in more than 50 different cancers at different stages of development," he told the Science Media Centre.

        However, not all cancer experts agree that the NHS should be piloting the Galleri blood test.

        Paul Pharoah, professor of Cancer Epidemiology at the University of Cambridge, told the Science Media Centre he had doubts about the scientific basis for the pilot based on the limited published research available.

        "The Galleri blood test is a test that might be able to detect cancer in the blood in individuals with early cancer, though the evidence that it does this effectively is weak," he said. "The NHS should not be investing in such a test before it has been adequately evaluated in well-conducted, large-scale clinical trials."

        Michelle Mitchell, Cancer Research UK's chief executive, said tests such as that developed by Grail had "great transformative potential" if they prove effective in detecting cancer earlier.

        Dr. Jodie Moffat, head of early diagnosis at Cancer Research UK, said results so far from studies outside the UK had been promising. "But the sample sizes, particularly for some cancer types, have been very small and so it needs to be tested in a much larger sample, and with longer follow up of patients not testing positive with the blood test to understand where it is missing cancers," she told the Science Media Centre.

        "Based on the evidence we have seen, the test is not currently that good at picking up stage I cancer, where it is small and hasn't spread to other parts of the body.":

        Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


        • #34
          Paige Achieves CE Marks for Breast Cancer Detection and Prostate Cancer Grading and Quantification AI-based Digital Diagnostics

          Paige, a global leader in AI-based digital diagnostics, today announced it received a CE mark for Paige Breast, its breast cancer detection software that indicates suspicious areas for further review to pathologists evaluating breast biopsies. The company also received a CE mark for Paige Prostate Grading & Quantification, a digital diagnostic that offers slide level information for primary and secondary Gleason patterns and tumor size to inform treatment planning. With these CE marks, both products are now available for use in laboratories and hospitals in the European Economic Area, Switzerland and the UK.

          “The CE mark in breast cancer represents an important regulatory validation for our computational pathology products as we broaden our applications in oncology, while the CE mark in prostate cancer adds valuable grading and quantification features for our existing CE marked Paige Prostate offering,” said Leo Grady, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Paige. “We continue to rapidly advance new products that improve pathology workflow and improve diagnostic confidence for some of the most prevalent cancers including breast cancer. I am incredibly grateful to all the Paige team members and our physician colleagues worldwide who have helped advance this technology in order to ultimately optimize patient outcomes.”

          Paige Breast Enables Slide and Case Level Predictions on Breast Cancer Presence

          For pathologists diagnosing breast cancer – the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women in European countries1 – the potentially large volume of breast tissue slides to be reviewed can pose challenges for workload management and pathologist productivity. Paige Breast is designed to draw pathologists’ attention to concerning features on a breast tissue slide and provides slide and case level predictions about the presence of cancer. This functionality enables pathologists to more easily, efficiently and confidently identify small foci of cancer that can be easily missed.

          “By reducing inter-observer variability, uncertainty, and time, this technology will enable pathologists to drive informed treatment more efficiently, helping to ensure patients receive the best care,” said Matthew Hanna, M.D., Director of Digital Pathology Informatics at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. “These technologies have the potential to increase physician productivity while minimizing burnout, particularly for diseases with high incidence, such as breast cancer, where hospitals may be faced with a large volume of patient cases.”

          Paige continues to enhance functionality for Paige Breast, including quantification and subtyping functionality, for future deployment.

          Streamlining Prostate Cancer Diagnosis Through AI-based Grading and Quantification

          Grading and quantification of prostate tissue are time consuming tasks that are often subjective with high inter-observer variability as part of the diagnosis process. With the addition of the new grading and quantification functionality, Paige Prostate can enhance diagnostic confidence for the pathologist while increasing consistency and standardization.

          Paige Prostate Grading & Quantification provides slide level information for primary and secondary Gleason patterns, tumor length and tumor percentage. The product provides visual overlays that indicate the specific regions of the slide corresponding to each Gleason pattern, which can reduce the time it takes a pathologist to determine and measure a grade. Furthermore, Paige Prostate Grading & Quantification exhibits high concordance with sub-specialized pathologists which means the technology has the potential to decrease a pathologist’s need to defer cases for additional review without compromising diagnostic accuracy. This technology thereby streamlines workflows to decrease turnaround time for the patient and clinician.:

          Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


          • #35
            Greenwich LifeSciences Announces Poster Presentation of Five Year Data for GP2 Phase IIb Clinical Trial, Showing 0% Recurrence of Breast Cancer

            Greenwich LifeSciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: GLSI) (the “Company”), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of GP2, an immunotherapy to prevent breast cancer recurrences in patients who have previously undergone surgery, today announced the publication of a poster for the GP2 Phase IIb clinical trial final efficacy analysis at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium in a virtual format. The CEO of Greenwich LifeSciences, Snehal Patel, also recorded an audio track providing an overview. The full poster with figures, tables, and audio can be accessed or downloaded here on the Company website, as well as on the conference website by attendees.

            The poster presents the final 5 year follow-up disease-free survival curves evaluating the reduction of breast cancer recurrences for both HER2/neu 3+ (Figure 1) and HER2/neu 1-2+ (Figure 2) patient populations, including the demographics (Table 1) for stage of cancer, hormone receptor status, node status, and prior treatment with chemotherapy, radiation, endocrine therapy, or trastuzumab (Herceptin).

            Mr. Patel commented, “The poster presented at the SABCS is important because the Kaplan Meier survival curves and demographic data further validate our promising HER2 3+ Phase IIb data and support our plan to commence a Phase III trial in 2021. Recurring breast cancer affects 1 in 8 women. Approximately 50% of women with recurring breast cancer do not respond to Herceptin or Kadcyla, resulting in metastatic breast cancer and a poor prognosis. Approximately 80-85% of metastatic breast cancer patients do not survive. By addressing this unmet need, GP2 may reach a potential market exceeding $5 billion.”

            The conclusions of the poster are as follows:

            ‒ The trial met all of its clinical endpoints for HER2/neu 3+ patients, concluding that the first 6 intradermal injections of GP2+GM-CSF safely elicited a potent immune response and reduced recurrence rates to 0% in HER2/neu 3+ patients, who received a standard course of Herceptin after surgery. This reduction of recurrence rate was maintained over the gold standard of 5 years of follow-up. A pivotal Phase III trial is being initiated to treat HER2/neu 3+ patients in the neoadjuvant setting.

            ‒ GP2 may also be effective when administered in combination with Herceptin based therapeutics in HER2/neu 1-2+ patient populations or other HER2/neu expressing cancers.

            Excerpts of the poster are below:

            Poster PS10-23: San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium Poster Presentation of Median 5 Year Top-Line Data

            The median 5 year top-line data described below was presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium in a poster on December 9, 2020, entitled “Five year median follow-up data from a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, single-blinded, multicenter, Phase IIb study evaluating the reduction of recurrences using HER2/neu peptide GP2+GM-CSF vs. GM-CSF alone after adjuvant trastuzumab in HER2 positive women with operable breast cancer.”

            The final analysis of the GP2 prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, single-blinded, multicenter Phase IIb trial investigating GP2+GM-CSF administered in the adjuvant setting to node-positive and high-risk node-negative breast cancer patients with tumors expressing any degree of HER2 (immuno-histochemistry [IHC] 1-3+) (NCT00524277) is now complete with 5 year follow-up. The trial enrolled HLA-A02 patients randomized to receive GP2+GM-CSF versus GM-CSF alone. The trial's primary objective was to determine if treatment with GP2, a HER2-derived peptide, reduces recurrence rates.

            Each enrolled and consented subject was randomized and scheduled to receive a total of 6 GP2+GM-CSF (500 mcg GP2:125 mcg GM-CSF) or placebo (125 mcg GM-CSF alone) intradermal injections every 3-4 weeks as part of the Primary Immunization Series (“PIS”) for the first 6 months and 4 GP2+GM-CSF booster or placebo intradermal injections every 6 months thereafter. Boosters were introduced during the trial, thus some patients did not receive all 4 boosters.

            This 168 patient (Intent to Treat, “ITT”: n=180) basket trial across 16 clinical sites explored 96 HER2 3+ patients, who received a standard course of trastuzumab after surgery and subsequently completed the full PIS or placebo, starting the PIS at median 17.1 months after surgery, and 72 HER2 1-2+ patients, who did not receive trastuzumab after surgery and subsequently completed the full PIS or placebo, starting the PIS at median 10.8 months after surgery. Subject disease characteristics are described in Table 1 of the poster.

            Since GP2 is synergistic with trastuzumab, and the HER2 1-2+ patients did not receive trastuzumab, it was prespecified to compare recurrence rates ITT versus per protocol in these 2 distinct, independently reported populations, excluding those patients who did not complete the PIS.

            Figure 1 of the poster depicts evidence that disease free survival (“DFS”) is more likely in HER2 3+ GP2-treated subjects. After 5 years of follow-up, the Kaplan-Meier estimated 5-year DFS rate in the 46 HER2 3+ patients treated with GP2+GM-CSF, if the patient completed the PIS, was 100% versus 89.4% (95% CI:76.2, 95.5%) in the 50 placebo patients treated with GM-CSF (p = 0.0338). As shown in Table 1, the treated versus placebo HER2 3+ patients were well-matched, where approximately 53% were stage T1, 41% were stages T2-T4, 55% were node positive, 58% were hormone receptor positive and received endocrine therapy, 77% received adjuvant radiation, 77% received adjuvant chemotherapy, and 89% received trastuzumab.

            GP2 was shown to be well tolerated with no SAEs and elicited a potent immune response measured by local skin tests and immunological assays, which suggest peak immunity is reached at 6 months upon completion of the PIS.

            About SABCS

            The 43rd annual SABCS has grown to be the industry’s premier breast cancer conference for basic, translational, and clinical cancer research professionals. It is well-known for presenting the latest breast cancer data from all over the world. More than 7,500 health care professionals from more than 90 countries attend annually. Baylor College of Medicine became a joint sponsor of SABCS in 2005. The Cancer Therapy & Research Center at UT Health Science Center San Antonio and American Association for Cancer Research began collaborations with SABCS in 2007. For more information, please visit the conference website at:

            About Breast Cancer and HER2/neu Positivity

            One in eight U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer over her lifetime, with approximately 266,000 new breast cancer patients and 3.1 million breast cancer survivors in 2018. HER2/neu (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2) protein is a cell surface receptor protein that is expressed in a variety of common cancers, including in 75% of breast cancers at low (1+), intermediate (2+), and high (3+ or over-expressor) levels.:

            Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


            • #36
              Experts Push for New Cancer Drug Dosing Recommendations

              WHEN CHATTING AT cocktail parties about his job, Mark Ratain, an oncologist and pharmacologist at the University of Chicago, often asks a short riddle: “Your doctor gives you a prescription for a new drug. The pharmacist says, ‘Make sure you take it on an empty stomach, twice a day.’ What do you think would happen if you took it with food?”

              Most don’t get the answer right. “Nobody would ever say, ‘Well, I could die from an overdose,’” Ratain says.

              That’s exactly what could happen to anyone taking the drug nilotinib — approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2007 to treat the blood cancer chronic myelogenous leukemia. The drug is among the most effective cancer therapies; a patient taking it may have a 96 percent chance of surviving the cancer for at least six years, according to one of the most recent long-term studies. But the FDA-approved label for nilotinib carries a black box warning: Take it on an empty stomach and don’t eat for two hours before or one hour after each dose. A high-fat meal ramps up the drug’s active ingredient in the blood and may cause a fatal overdose.

              Nilotinib’s dosing schedule is unrealistic, according to Ratain, since most patients take the drug twice daily for years. Other common oral cancer drugs are also prescribed to be taken while fasting despite studies suggesting that lower doses might be just as effective and less risky; ingesting more drug than necessary can not only be dangerous, he says, it is also wasteful.

              What began as Ratain’s curiosity about cancer drug labeling has evolved into a small movement of oncologists aiming to improve patient care and also to cut costs for both patients and insurers. Cancer drugs are expensive. In 2018, worldwide spending for such treatments was around $150 billion and had gone up by at least 10 percent each year during the previous five years, according to the data analytics company IQVIA.

              In the U.S., pharmaceutical companies largely set their own drug prices — a process that is not always transparent. Members of Congress, and more recently the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, have tried for a decade to introduce legislation to rein in drug prices. One roadblock is that in the U.S., the idea of studying value in health care has been taboo, said Clifford Hudis, CEO of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, in a talk given at the First International Summit on Interventional Pharmacoeconomics earlier this year. Medicare, which insures about 62 million Americans, is legally prohibited from negotiating drug prices, for example, and the U.S. Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, established under the Affordable Care Act, isn’t allowed to consider cost comparisons or cost-effectiveness in its recommendations. Companies also have little incentive to slash dosing — and their bottom line — on their own.

              Until Ratain began drawing attention to the issue of cancer drug dosing over a decade ago, few oncologists had voiced much of an opinion about it publicly, says oncologist Peter Clark, of England’s National Health Service. Now, Clark says, “clinicians are opening their eyes and ears to this.”

              RATAIN’S CRITICISM of cancer drug labels came largely by accident. At a meeting in 2007, he struck up a conversation with another researcher who had been studying the food effect of an oral breast cancer drug called lapatinib, which the FDA had approved earlier that year. Manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the drug’s label states to take it on an empty stomach. But “there’s a huge food effect,” Ratain says: A high-fat meal could increase the total amount of the drug that enters the blood by as much as 325 percent.

              At the time, lapatinib cost $2,900 a month. A common side effect was debilitating diarrhea. Not long after the meeting, Ratain wrote a commentary for the Journal of Clinical Oncology arguing that the drug should be studied at lower doses with food, with potential savings of 60 percent and fewer side effects.

              The commentary provoked an unanticipated response. “The company went ballistic,” Ratain says. Both the FDA and GSK wrote letters to the editor defending the drug’s dosing schedule. Their primary argument was that food would increase variation in how much drug the body absorbs — potentially undertreating the cancer in some people. That food can either decrease or increase blood concentrations of drugs is well-known in drug research. While the exact interaction depends on the specific type of food — fat content, for instance, has a large effect — research has long shown that food doesn’t affect how the body absorbs all drugs and the effect is highly variable.

              A high-fat meal ramps up the drug’s active ingredient in the blood and may cause a fatal overdose.

              Ratain countered in his own letter to the editor that there wasn’t sufficient evidence available to conclude that food would make that much of a difference and implored the company to study the issue. Now, more than a decade later, the studies haven’t happened and the drug’s label remains unchanged.

              The experience got Ratain thinking about dosing schedules of other cancer drugs. He mined publicly available FDA databases and the scientific literature. In a 2010 study, he found that during the decade prior, eight out of every nine non-cancer drugs had been FDA approved to be taken with food, but all oral cancer drugs required fasting. Ratain had spent much of his academic career studying how people absorb and metabolize drugs; this did not make sense to him.

              Here was an important public health issue, he thought, but he needed more evidence to convince his peers. He teamed up with Russell Szmulewitz, an oncologist and professor of medicine at the University of Chicago, to conduct a small study of a drug for metastatic prostate cancer called abiraterone, which was approved by the FDA in 2011. Abiraterone prescriptions require fasting, and food increases its concentration by 5- to 10-fold or more. In a trial of 72 patients published in 2018, Ratain and Szmulewitz showed that a quarter of the recommended dose taken with a low-fat breakfast was as effective as the full dose in delaying the disease from progressing.

              The lower dose would also slash cost. The full dose of the brand version is more than $9,000 per month, and a generic introduced in 2018 costs about $3,000 per month or less — following the study’s lowered dosing would save the health care system thousands of dollars per month per patient.:

              Evolution may be to blame for high risk of advanced cancers in humans

              Compared to chimpanzees, our closest evolutionary cousins, humans are particularly prone to developing advanced carcinomas—the type of tumors that include prostate, breast, lung and colorectal cancers—even in the absence of known risk factors, such as genetic predisposition or tobacco use.

              A recent study led by researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center helps explain why. The study, published December 9, 2020 in FASEB BioAdvances, suggests that an evolutionary genetic mutation unique to humans may be at least partly to blame.

              "At some point during human evolution, the SIGLEC12 gene—and more specifically, the Siglec-12 protein it produces as part of the immune system—suffered a mutation that eliminated its ability to distinguish between 'self' and invading microbes, so the body needed to get rid of it," said senior author Ajit Varki, MD, Distinguished Professor at UC San Diego School of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center. "But it's not completely gone from the population—it appears that this dysfunctional form of the Siglec-12 protein went rogue and has now become a liability for the minority of people who still produce it."

              Ajit Varki, who is also co-director of both the Glycobiology Research and Training Center and Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny, led the study with Nissi Varki, MD, professor of pathology at UC San Diego School of Medicine.

              In a study of normal and cancerous tissue samples, the researchers discovered that the approximately 30 percent of people who still produce Siglec-12 proteins are at more than twice the risk of developing an advanced cancer during their lifetimes, compared to people who cannot produce Siglec-12.

              Normally, genes that encode such dysfunctional proteins are eliminated by the body over time, and approximately two-thirds of the global human population has stopped producing the Siglec-12 protein. Where the gene still hangs around in humans, it was long thought be of no functional relevance, and there have been very few follow-up studies over the two decades since it was discovered. Meanwhile, chimpanzees still produce functioning Siglec-12.

              When Nissi Varki's team set out to detect the Siglec-12 in non-cancerous tissue samples using an antibody against the protein, approximately 30 percent of the samples were positive, as expected from the genetic information. In contrast, the majority of advanced cancer samples from the same populations were positive for the Siglec-12 protein.

              Looking at a different population of patients with advanced stage colorectal cancer, the researchers found that more than 80 percent had the functional form of the SIGLEC-12 gene, and those patients had a worse outcome than the minority of patients without it.

              "These results suggest that the minority of individuals who can still make the protein are at much greater risk of having an advanced cancer," Nissi Varki said.

              The researchers also validated their findings in mice by introducing tumor cells engineered to produce Siglec-12. The resulting cancers grew much faster, and turned on many biological pathways known to be involved in advanced cancers, compared to control tumor cells without functioning Siglec-12.

              According to Ajit Varki, this information is important because it could be leveraged for future diagnostics and treatments. The team got a jump start by developing a simple urine test that could be used to detect the presence of the dysfunctional protein, and "we might also be able to use antibodies against Siglec-12 to selectively deliver chemotherapies to tumor cells that carry the dysfunctional protein, without harming non-cancerous cells," he said.:

              Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


              • #37
                Best Life: Reducing radiation during breast cancer treatment

                Radiation treatment after breast cancer surgery used to be a prescribed one-size-fits-all. Now, clinicians in the U.S. are considering a reduction in radiation for one group of breast cancer patients following the results of a European study.

                This is one serious side effect of breast cancer radiation treatment designed to destroy any lingering cancer cells can damage the skin. For many patients, doctors prescribe radiation five days a week for five or six weeks. But what if they could get the same outcome with fewer visits?

                “When patients get breast cancer treatment, they come daily for treatment. So, each visit is counted as a fraction. So, in this five-fraction, they come five times instead of like 20 or 30 times,” explained Sushil Beriwal, MD, a radiation oncologist, at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center

                The results of the APBI clinical trial from Florence, Italy studied patients diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer that had not spread to the lymph nodes. Results suggested a shorter course of focused radiation is just as effective in preventing cancer from recurring.

                “So, it’s a win-win situation. If you are a suitable candidate, it causes less physical discomfort, less financial discomfort, and less visits to the hospital,” shared Dr. Beriwal.

                Experts said reducing the amount of time a woman spends in radiation treatment may encourage more women to undergo lumpectomy and radiation rather than mastectomy. Some women choose mastectomy because of the inability to get to a radiation facility every day for several weeks.:

                Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                • #38
                  Extensive genomic data can improve breast cancer risk assessment

                  Findings from the FinnGen study encompassing 120,000 women indicate that inherited breast cancer risk should be assessed in an increasingly comprehensive manner. Currently, only individual gene mutations are taken into consideration in breast cancer therapy and prevention. The study demonstrates that more extensive genomic data can be used to identify women who are at high risk of breast cancer with considerably greater accuracy. Such knowledge can especially improve risk assessment among the close relatives of breast cancer patients.

                  In women, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the leading cause of cancer-related deaths. Genetic predisposition is one of the key risk factors associated with the disease.

                  A study coordinated by University of Helsinki researchers examined the risk of developing the disease on both the population level and in individual carriers of specific gene defects which significantly increase breast cancer risk. The results, published today in the journal Nature Communications, are based on the FinnGen project encompassing more than 120,000 women, which combines genomic information with health data from national health registries.

                  The study focused on specific mutations in the PALB2 and CHEK2 genes, the two most common high-risk breast cancer mutations in the Finnish population. A gene test for identifying these mutations is employed in the clinic when a strong hereditary predisposition to breast cancer is suspected in the family. The PALB2 mutation is found in approximately 1% of Finnish breast cancer patients, while the CHEK2 mutation is found in roughly 2.5%.

                  However, it has been known for a long time that these genes defects do not result in cancer in all women. The new study demonstrates that the lifetime risk of developing breast cancer among carriers of the mutations varies considerably on the basis of the cumulative effects of risk factors originating elsewhere in the genome.

                  The researchers determined for the individuals what is known as a polygenic risk score, which sums up a number of genetic risk factors associated with breast cancer risk. Individually, such genetic risk factors have a modest impact on the risk of developing the disease but, collectively pooled into a risk score, women with an unusually high or low risk of developing breast cancer can be distinguished from others.

                  The polygenic risk score proved to be a significant risk factor also on its own, as the researchers found that those in the top ten percent according to the score have at least as high a risk of developing the disease as carriers of the CHEK2 mutation. In particular, the polygenic risk score can provide a much more accurate disease risk assessment among the patient's close relatives.

                  "Even in the case of marked accumulation of breast cancer cases in individual families, clinical gene panel testing identifies a high-risk mutation in only one out of every six patients. In fact, an exceptionally high polygenic risk score, with similar impact, underlies the breast cancer risk of many families. This is why risk-related information could be used especially in assessing the risk of patients' close relatives," says Professor Samuli Ripatti from the University of Helsinki, the principal investigator of the study.

                  The research group considers the utilization of polygenic risk information a promising tool on the path towards an increasingly comprehensive risk assessment for breast cancer.

                  "Next we are starting the first trials where these scores will be integrated into the care of breast cancer patients and their families," Ripatti adds.

                  "These exciting results chart a clear path towards significantly improved risk assessment that will ultimately save lives and reduce healthcare costs by ensuring that cancer screening is delivered to those who need it most," says Mark Daly, the Director of FIMM.:

                  Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                  • #39
                    My cousin died of cancer a month ago, she was only 51.


                    • #40
                      ^Cancer sucks!

                      Awful to hear about anyone who has lost a loved one to cancer.

                      Last week the girlfriend (53) had her yearly checkup. On her chest x-ray they found a spot. It was removed the same day. They don’t think it’s cancer but she will not get the biopsy result until later this week.

                      Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                      • #41
                        Jump in cancer diagnoses at 65 implies patients wait for Medicare, according to Stanford study

                        Analyzing a national cancer database, researchers find a bump in diagnoses at 65, suggesting that many wait for Medicare to kick in before they seek care.

                        Researchers analyzed data from hundreds of thousands of patients who were 61-69 years old and were diagnosed with lung, breast, colon or prostate cancer from 2004 to 2016. The patients, identified from a national database, included 134,991 with lung cancer, 175,558 with breast cancer, 62,721 with colon cancer and 238,823 with prostate cancer.

                        There was a greater jump in lung, breast, colon and prostate cancer diagnoses at the transition from 64 to 65 than at all other age transitions, the research showed. Lung cancer rates showed a consistent increase of 3-4% each year for people aged 61 to 64, then at 65 that percentage doubled. The increase was even more pronounced in people with colon cancer, which showed an annual growth rate of just 1-2% in the years leading up to Medicare eligibility, then jumped to nearly 15% at 65. In the years following age 65, diagnosis rates declined for all cancers, the study found.

                        The study showed that insured cancer patients (lung, breast, colon, prostate) older than 65 are more likely to undergo surgical intervention, and they had lower five-year cancer-specific mortality rates than did their younger uninsured counterparts.

                        “Collectively, these results demonstrate that Medicare eligibility, an event coincident with becoming 65 years old, is associated with a rise in early-stage cancer diagnoses and a resulting survival benefit,” the study concluded.

                        The researchers proposed that a number of factors cause 61- to 64-year-olds to wait for medical treatments and screenings until Medicare eligibility kicks in.

                        “These individuals often lack insurance as a result of early retirement, pre-existing conditions hindering renewal, the high cost of private insurance and other causes,” the study said, noting that 13-25% of this group of adults are uninsured or have a gap in medical coverage at some point preceding Medicare eligibility.

                        Previous research has shown that medical insurance is a strong predictor of receiving appropriate care, promoting earlier diagnosis and improved outcomes, the study noted.

                        “If you don’t get the right screening or prompt diagnosis you are going to have lower cure rates,” Shrager said. “This study underlines the important difference that some sort of Medicare expansion could make.”


                        Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by S Landreth View Post
                          ^Cancer sucks!

                          Awful to hear about anyone who has lost a loved one to cancer.

                          Last week the girlfriend (53) had her yearly checkup. On her chest x-ray they found a spot. It was removed the same day. They don’t think it’s cancer but she will not get the biopsy result until later this week.
                          Any update? I hope it's good news.


                          • #43
                            ^ she's fine
                            Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                            • #44
                              Breast cancer leads Latinas' cancer deaths

                              The most common cancer diagnosed among U.S. Latinas is breast cancer, and it's their leading cause of cancer-related death, research published in the journal Cancer Control found.

                              Why it matters: "While they are less likely to get breast cancer than other ethnic groups, Hispanic women who are diagnosed are 20% more likely than white women to die from the disease," the Baltimore Sun writes.

                              The big picture: Despite evidence that Latinas have the second-highest prevalence of the breast cancer genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, their awareness of hereditary cancer risks and genetic testing is low, Susan M. Domcheck, executive director of the Basser Center for BRCA at Penn Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Center, writes, limiting their options for early treatment.

                              What's happening: The Latino community is more likely to have difficulties accessing health care and insurance, making it harder to access medical counseling, referrals and testing services.
                              • A 2017 study found that cultural beliefs can influence whether Latinas decide to prolong delays when seeking "preventive services or timely follow-up for breast symptoms regardless of access."
                                • Almost 50% of the women who participated in the study said they believed "Faith in God can protect you from breast cancer."
                              • The lower incidence of breast cancer among Latinas can also lead to the misconception that they should not worry about the disease, according to the Dr. Susan Love Foundation for breast cancer research.
                              • For those who only speak Spanish, there are fewer resources than in English. The Oncology Nursing Society recommends diversifying the workforce to increase the number of Spanish-speaking counselors.

                              By the numbers: A National Cancer Society survey conducted between 2018 and 2020 found that 61% of Hispanic women over the age of 40 reported getting a mammogram compared to 65% of white women in the same age group.
                              • Research conducted in Texas found that 21.3% of Hispanic patients younger than 50 developed advanced breast cancer, compared to 13.5% for non-Hispanic patients.

                              Worth noting: The overall breast cancer mortality rate for Hispanic women is 13.8 per 100,000, fewer than Black (27.5 per 100,000) or white women (19.4 per 100,000), according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

                              But, but, but: Breast cancer affects the Latino community differently depending on ethnicity. Puerto Ricans and Mexicans are more likely to die from the disease than other Hispanic women, USA Today reports.
                              • The mortality rate for Puerto Rican women with breast cancer in the U.S. is 19.04 per 100,000 women. For Mexicans, it is 18.78 per 100,000.
                              • In comparison, the rate for Central and South American women is 10.15 per 100,000.

                              The bottom line: "Unless we can gain momentum with more discussion and education about breast cancer and more research into specific causes and prevention of breast cancer in Hispanics, the mortality rate could soon surpass that of non-Hispanic whites," said Susan Love, founder of the Dr. Susan Love Foundation for breast cancer research.

                              Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                              • #45
                                FDA approves first drug targeting lung cancer with common mutation

                                The Food and Drug Administration approved Amgen's Lumakras drug as the first treatment for adult patients with a common form of lung cancer.
                                Why it matters: Non-small cell lung cancer with a specific mutation in a gene known as KRAS has been considered to be resistant to any sort of drug treatment, per the FDA. Lumakras was able to shrink the tumors of between 36% and 58% of patients studied.
                                What they're saying: "Today’s approval represents a significant step towards a future where more patients will have a personalized treatment approach," said Richard Pazdur, director of the FDA’s Oncology Center of Excellence and acting director of the FDA's Office of Oncologic Diseases.
                                Details: The drug will target specifically KRAS G12C mutations, which comprise approximately 13% of mutations in non-small cell lung cancers, which is the most common type of lung cancer.
                                • The approval is for a daily 960 milligram pill
                                • The drug "will have U.S. list price of $17,900 per month," per NBC News.
                                What to watch: Amgen said the FDA is requiring the company conduct a post-approval trial to see if a lower dose could have a similar effect.:

                                Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


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