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Latest cancer Policy News from ecancer.org

Surgery associated with better survival for patients with advanced laryngeal cancer

​Approximately 11,000 to 13,000 cases of laryngeal cancer are diagnosed each year and squamous cell carcinoma accounts for the vast majority of these tumours. Prior to 1991, total surgical removal of the larynx with postoperative radiation was the standard of care for advanced cancer. Since then, chemoradiation has become increasingly popular treatment because it can preserve the larynx. How the study was conducted The authors evaluated survival outcomes for surgical vs. nonsurgical treatment for advanced laryngeal cancer.

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NSAIDs may lower breast cancer recurrence rate in overweight and obese women

​Recurrence of hormone-related breast cancer was cut by half in overweight and obese women who regularly used aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), according to data published in Cancer Research. “Our studies suggest that limiting inflammatory signalling may be an effective, less toxic approach to altering the cancer-promoting effects of obesity and improving patient response to hormone therapy,” said Linda A. deGraffenried, PhD, associate professor of nutritional sciences at The University of Texas in Austin. The study found that women whose body mass index (BMI) was greater than 30 and had oestrogen receptor alpha (ERα)-positive breast cancer had a 52 percent lower rate of recurrence and a 28-month delay in time to recurrence if they were taking aspirin or other NSAIDs.

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Sequence of rare kidney cancer reveals unique alterations involving telomerase

An international scientific collaboration led by Baylor College of Medicine has revealed clues about genetic alterations that may contribute to a rare form of kidney cancer, providing new insights not only into this rare cancer but other types as well. The collaboration, a project of the National Institutes of Health’s Cancer Genome Atlas initiative, completed the sequence of chromophobe renal cell carcinoma and published the results in Cancer Cell. “The Cancer Genome Atlas is a federally funded national effort that has already completed the sequence of many major types of cancer (breast, lung, ovarian, for example), but this project is now branching out to sequence more rare types of cancer,” said Dr. Chad Creighton, associate professor of medicine and a biostatistician in the NCI-designated Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center at Baylor and the lead and corresponding author on the report.

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Research offers insight into cellular biology of colorectal cancer

​A study recently published in Carcinogenesis by researchers at the University of Kansas shows a new role for the protein adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) in suppressing colorectal cancer — the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the US. Lead author Kristi Neufeld, associate professor in the Department of Molecular Biosciences and co-leader of the Cancer Biology programme at the KU Cancer Center, has spent the better part of her career trying to understand the various activities of APC, a protein whose functional loss is thought to initiate roughly 80 percent of all colon polyps, a precursor to colon cancer. Neufeld, along with her postdoctoral fellow Maged Zeineldin, undergraduate student Mathew Miller and veterinary pathologist Ruth Sullivan, now reports that APC found in a particular subcellular compartment, the nucleus, protects from inflammation as well as tumour development associated with chronic colitis.

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Genetics and lifestyle have a strong impact on biomarkers for inflammation and cancer

​In a new study published in Nature Communications, research scientists from Uppsala University present for the first time a large-scale study of the significance of genetic, clinical and lifestyle factors for protein levels in the bloodstream. The results of the study show that genetics and lifestyle are determining factors for protein levels, a discovery which greatly influences the possibilities for using more biomarkers to identify disease. Biomarkers used for diagnosing disease should preferably indicate variations in protein levels only for those individuals who are suffering from a particular disease. Nor should they vary for reasons which have nothing to do with the disease.

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Study suggests repurposing anti-depressant medication to target medulloblastoma

​An international research team has reported a novel molecular pathway that causes an aggressive form of medulloblastoma, and suggests repurposing an anti-depressant medication to target the new pathway may help combat one of the most common brain cancers in children. The multi-institutional group, led by scientists at Cancer and Blood Diseases Institute (CBDI) at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, publish their results in the online edition ofNature Medicine. The researchers suggest their laboratory findings in mouse models of the disease could lead to a more targeted and effective molecular therapy that would also reduce the harmful side effects of current treatments, which include chemotherapy, radiation or surgery.

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RNA sequence could help doctors to tailor unique prostate cancer treatment programmes

​Sequencing RNA, not just DNA, could help doctors predict how prostate cancer tumours will respond to treatment, according to research published in Genome Biology. Because a tumour’s RNA shows the real time changes a treatment is causing, the authors think this could be a useful tool to aid diagnosis and predict which treatment will most benefit individual cancer patients. Colin Collins and Alexander Wyatt, and other researchers from the Vancouver Prostate Centre at the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute, matched 25 patients’ treatment outcomes with the RNA sequence of their prostate cancer tumours. They suggest that similarities between the RNA of some of the patients’ tumours could open up new avenues of treatment.

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US has seen widespread adoption of robot-assisted cancer surgery to remove the prostate

​A new study reveals that the US has experienced widespread adoption of robot-assisted prostate removal surgery to treat prostate cancer in recent years. The BJU International study also found that while such surgeries are more expensive than traditional surgeries, their costs are decreasing over time. In 2001, surgeons began using robotic technologies in operations to remove the prostate. To examine trends in the use of such robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP) procedures for prostate cancer patients, Steven Chang, MD, MS, of Harvard Medical School, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, led a team that analysed 489,369 men who underwent non-RARP (i.e., open or laparoscopic radical prostatectomy) or RARP in the United States from 2003 to 2010.

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