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Newswise Special Wire
Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Public edition |

Newswise Cancer Research Wire for 23-Jun-2015

Cancer Research Wire

Cancer research news for the public and news media. More stories can be found at the Newswise Cancer News Source.

Current Blood Cancer Drug Prices Not Justified

The costs associated with cancer drug prices have risen dramatically over the past fifteen years, which is of concern to many top oncologists. In a new analysis, researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center concluded the majority of existing treatments for hematologic, or blood, cancers are currently priced too high to be considered cost-effective in the United States.

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– University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center

‘Smarter’ Ordering of Breast Biomarker Tests Could Save Millions in Health Care Dollars

A review of medical records for almost 200 patients with breast cancer suggests that more selective use of biomarker testing for such patients has the potential to save millions of dollars in health care spending without compromising care.

The American Journal of Surgical Pathology, July-2015

– Johns Hopkins Medicine

Diabetes Research, Meatless Monday, Weight-Loss Surgery, and "Smart" Traffic Lights - Top Stories from 23 June 2015

Other topics include: breast cancer, blood thinners and surgery, cognitive impairment, and new ultra-dark galaxies discovered.

– Newswise Trends

Promising New Drug Combo Offers Hope for People Battling Melanoma

Monte Shaheen, MD, and colleagues from around the country recently published a paper in the New England Journal of Medicine about a promising new treatment for melanoma.

New England Journal of Medicine

– University of New Mexico Cancer Center

Stress Hormones Could Undermine Breast Cancer Therapy

Stress hormones often given to patients to treat the side effects of therapy may cause a subset of breast cancers to become treatment-resistant.

(Embargo expired on 22-Jun-2015 at 06:00 ET)


– Thomas Jefferson University

Trending Stories Report for 22 June 2015

Topics include: women's health, cancer care, research at the Large Hadron Collider, dementia drug treatment, dermatology, skin cancer, breast cancer, smoking risks, and genetics.

– Newswise Trends

Turning Fake Pills Into Real Treatments

A series of fascinating studies at Harvard University showed that many people respond positively to placebo pills — even when they are told that the pills don't have any active ingredients. Researchers at UAB are partnering with a Harvard scientist to test these "open-label" placebos for the first time among cancer survivors.

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– University of Alabama at Birmingham

Trending Stories Report for 19 June 2015

Topics include: treating advanced skin cancer, big data and bioenergy, cancer research, 10 reasons to eat quinoa, sleep issues in the nursing field, advances in cancer surgery, genes for sleep, brain receptor for cocaine addiction, and nano imaging on insect adaptations.

– Newswise Trends

Discovery Promises New Treatments to Thwart Colon Cancer

Scientists at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital have discovered how an immune system protein, called AIM2 (Absent in Melanoma 2), plays a role in determining the aggressiveness of colon cancer. They found that AIM2 deficiency causes uncontrolled proliferation of intestinal cells.

Cell; AR056296; CA163507; AI101935

– St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Latina Women Undergoing Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer Need More Culturally Relevant, Language-Specific Stress Management Tools

Moffitt Cancer Center researchers, along with collaborators at the University of South Florida, recently published a study about the attitudes and cultural perspectives of Latinas undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. The article also discusses their cancer experiences and the ways they manage stress associated with cancer.

Journal of Cancer Education, May-2015

– Moffitt Cancer Center

Researchers Discover Mechanism Leading to BRAF Inhibitor Resistance in Melanoma Patients

The development of targeted therapies has significantly improved the survival of melanoma patients over the last decade; however, patients often relapse because many therapies do not kill all of the tumor cells, and the remaining cells adapt to treatment and become resistant. Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have discovered a novel mechanism that can lead melanoma cells to develop resistance to drugs that target the protein BRAF.

Oncogene, June-2015

– Moffitt Cancer Center

Single Enzyme’s Far-Reaching Influence in Human Biology and Disease

Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have made a surprisingly simple discovery: The modification of more than 100 secreted proteins is the work of a single enzyme called Fam20C. The finding is published June 18 by Cell.

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– University of California, San Diego Health Sciences

Genomic Discovery of Skin Cancer Subtypes Provides Potential ‘Signpost’ for Drug Targets

Cutaneous melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, is now believed to be divided into four distinct genomic subtypes, say researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, a finding that could prove valuable in the ever-increasing pursuit of personalized medicine.

 • Image(s) embedded •  (Embargo expired on 18-Jun-2015 at 12:00 ET)


– University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center

Massively Parallel Gene Function Assays Aim to Reduce Uncertainty of Genetic Diagnoses

Patients seeking certainty in genetic tests often receive a perplexing result. Many learn they carry a “variant of unknown significance” of a disease-linked gene. Such variants might—or equally might not—increase disease risk. A study published in the June issue of the journal <em>GENETICS</em> characterized nearly 2000 variants of the breast cancer-associated gene <em>BRCA1</em>, demonstrating the potential of a new approach for sorting out which variants are harmful and which are harmless.


– Genetics Society of America

Detroit Researchers Help Identify a Key Gene Mutation That Can Trigger Lymphoblastic Leukemia

After collecting data on a leukemia-affected family for nearly a decade, Children’s Hospital of Michigan, Detroit Medical Center (DMC), Hematologist and Wayne State University School of Medicine Professor of Pediatrics Madhvi Rajpurkar, M.D., joined an international team of genetic researchers in an effort to track down a mutation partly responsible for causing the disease. Their findings, recently published in one of the world’s leading science journals, have “major implications” for better understanding the genetic basis of several types of cancer, including leukemia.

Nature Genetics, Mar. 25, 2015

– Wayne State University Division of Research

UNC Lineberger Researchers Help Map Genetic Mutations in Skin Cancer

A study by The Cancer Genome Atlas network of researchers refined and revealed molecular sub-groups of patients with cutaneous melanoma who could potentially benefit from targeted treatments based on their tumor genetics, and helped clarify the immune system’s role in the disease.

Cell, June-2015

– University of North Carolina School of Medicine

New Tool on Horizon for Surgeons Treating Cancer Patients

Surgeons could know while their patients are still on the operating table if a tissue is cancerous, according to researchers from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School.

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Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

– Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Trending Stories Report for 18 June 2015

Topics include: A bioengineered patch to improve stem cell therapy for heart patients, Antacid meds raise risk of C. Diff. bacteria infection in kids, nutrition, new treatments for aggressive breast cancer, lab tests, genetic risks.

– Newswise Trends

Mayo Clinic and TGen Help Launch Clinical Trials to Combat Advanced Skin Cancer

PHOENIX, Ariz. — Mayo Clinic and the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) are helping launch a national clinical trial that will apply the latest in precision medicine to treat advanced melanoma skin cancer.

– Mayo Clinic

Breast-Conserving Therapy for Early-Stage Cancers Has Increased Substantially, Though Access Remains an Issue

The first comprehensive national review of breast-conserving therapy (BCT) shows that over the last 13 years rates of this treatment modality for early-stage breast cancer have increased at a steady pace. However, the review also highlights important demographic factors that impact which patients have access to BCT.

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JAMA Surgery

– University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center

Beating Advanced Cancers: New Epigenomic Block for Advanced Cancer

An international research team led by Mayo Clinic oncologists has found a new way to identify and possibly stop the progression of many late-stage cancers, including bladder, blood, bone, brain, lung and kidney.

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– Mayo Clinic

Tests to Gauge Genetic Risks for Prostate Cancer Now Are Feasible

Men with an elevated, genetically inherited risk for prostate cancer could be routinely identified with a simple blood or urine test, scientists at UC San Francisco and Kaiser Permanente Northern California have concluded, potentially paving the way to better or earlier diagnosis. The study, which included 7,783 men with prostate cancer and 38,595 without the disease, is available online and will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Cancer Discovery.

Cancer Discovery

– University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)

Early Menarche May Be Important in Development of Aggressive Breast Cancer in African-American Women

Early age at menarche, or first menstrual cycle, could play a role in the disproportionate incidence of estrogen receptor (ER)-negative breast cancers diagnosed among African-American women, according to a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Journal of the National Cancer Institute

– Roswell Park Cancer Institute

New Biomarkers Might Help Personalize Metastatic Colorectal Cancer Treatment

Metastatic colorectal cancer patients tend to live longer when they respond to the first line of chemotherapy their doctors recommend. To better predict how patients will respond to chemotherapy drugs before they begin treatment, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine conducted a proof-of-principle study with a small group of metastatic colorectal cancer patients. The results revealed two genes that could help physicians make more informed treatment decisions for patients with this disease.

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– University of California, San Diego Health Sciences

Discovery May Lead to Targeted Melanoma Therapies

Melanoma patients with high levels of a protein that controls the expression of pro-growth genes are less likely to survive, according to a new study.

Molecular Cell, June-2015

– Mount Sinai Medical Center

Trending Stories Report for 17 June 2015

Trending news releases with the most views in a single day. Topics include: A nutrition expert's take on the trans fat ban, Prenatal DDT exposure tied breast cancer risk, new anesthesia monitoring technology.

– Newswise Trends

Study Finds Significant Drop in New Prostate Cancer Diagnoses

A new study led by Vanderbilt University Medical Center investigators found new diagnoses of prostate cancer in the U.S. declined 28 percent in the year following the draft recommendation from the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) against routine PSA screening for men. The new research, led by first author Daniel Barocas, M.D., MPH, assistant professor of Urological Surgery and Medicine, was posted online in the June 15 issue of The Journal of Urology in advance of publication.

Journal of Urology

– Vanderbilt University Medical Center

New Study Discovers Potential Target for Tissue Regeneration

A new study co-led by Hsin-Hsiung Tai, professor of pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Kentucky, suggests that a key prostaglandin (PG) metabolic enzyme shows promise as a drug target to help tissue regeneration and repair, particularly after bone marrow transplantation and tissue injuries.

Science, June 12 issue

– University of Kentucky

Lymph Nodes Signal More Aggressive Thyroid Cancer Even in Young Patients

Researchers at the Duke Cancer Institute and the Duke Clinical Research Institute have found that younger thyroid cancer patients with lymph node involvement are also at increased risk of dying, contrary to current beliefs and staging prognostic tools that classify young patients as having low-risk disease.

Journal of Clinical Oncology

– Duke Medicine


NCI Funds $3.1M Fred Hutch Clinical Trial of a Smoking-Cessation Smartphone App

Dr. Jonathan Bricker, a behavioral scientist at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington, has received a $3.1 million, five-year grant from the National Cancer Institute to conduct a randomized, controlled clinical trial of SmartQuit, a smoking-cessation smartphone app.

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– Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Henry Ford Receives PCORI Award to Explore Quality of Life for Oropharyngeal Cancer Patients

A clinical research award from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute’s (PCORI) Pipeline to Proposal program may help Henry Ford Hospital otolaryngologist Steven Chang, M.D., answer this question: “What's the SCOOP?” The “SCOOP” is squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx – and the real question is focused on learning from long-term survivors how to improve both treatment options and post-treatment rehabilitation of this cancer to advance quality-of-life outcomes for patients.

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– Henry Ford Health System

Autophagy Defect Explored in Hereditary Breast Cancer

Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey researchers Bing Xia, PhD, and Eileen P. White, PhD, have been awarded a $2.4 million R01 grant from the National Cancer Institute to explore the relationship between the cellular-survival mechanism of autophagy and tumor suppression function in hereditary breast cancers.

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– Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey

Roswell Park Photodynamic Therapy Center Receives $10M Federal Award to Optimize Head & Neck Cancer Treatments

Roswell Park will receive a five-year, $10 million NCI award to continue its PDT research program in head and neck cancers and conduct clinical trials in collaboration with other centers.

– Roswell Park Cancer Institute



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