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New breast cancer test links immune ‘hotspots’ to better survival

Researchers used statistical software previously used in criminology studies of crime hotspots to track the extent to which the immune system was homing in and attacking breast cancer cells. The test, described in the journal Modern Pathology, could assess whether a woman’s immune system is holding a cancer at bay — and pick out those who will need intensive treatment to combat their more aggressive disease. Scientists at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, analysed tumour samples from 245 women with a type of breast cancer called oestrogen receptor negative (ER negative), which is particularly hard to treat. …

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Growth signal can influence cancer cells’ vulnerability to drugs, study suggests

“There are several reasons why some cancer stem cells, the cells at the root of tumors and metastases, can withstand therapy meant to eradicate them. Our results point to the importance of the environment immediately surrounding the skin cancer stem cells, specifically, their exposure to the signal TGF-β,” says senior researcher Elaine Fuchs. “Ultimately, we hope this new insight could lead to better means for preventing the recurrence of these life-threatening cancers, which can occur in the skin, head, neck, esophagus, and lung, and often evade treatment.” Her team, which included first author Naoki Oshimori, a postdoctoral research associate in the lab and lab technician Daniel Oristian, focused on squamous cell carcinomas in the skin of mice. Like many normal tissue stem cells, the stem cells that produce squamous cell tumors can be classified into two types: those that divide and proliferate rapidly, and those that do so more slowly. …

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New target for prostate cancer treatment discovered

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in American men, after skin cancer, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). The ACS projects more than 27,000 deaths from prostate cancer in 2015 and is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men, behind lung cancer. One man in seven will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime…

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Palbociclib shows promise in patients with hormone-resistant breast cancer

“The FDA approval has expanded treatments options for many metastatic breast cancer patients, but these new results are showing how effective the drug can also be for breast cancer patients who have already tried endocrine therapies and may be running out of options,” said lead investigator Angela DeMichele, MD, MSCE, associate professor in the division of Hematology/Oncology and Epidemiology and co-leader of the Breast Cancer Research Program at the Abramson Cancer Center. “Combined with the promising results from other trials looking at the effectiveness of this drug, our results indicate that palbociclib can extend the duration of disease control and produce tumor shrinkage in patients with estrogen-receptor positive (ER+) breast cancer, without the debilitating side effects of chemotherapy.” The newly-published phase II trial primarily sought to evaluate disease response and control, while monitoring for the presence of side effects such as neutropenia, an abnormally low white blood cell count. Patients enrolled in the trial had previously undergone several prior chemotherapy and hormonal regimens for metastatic disease…

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Certain factors influence whether cancer patients involve family members in treatment decisions

For the study, Gabriella Hobbs, MD, and Nancy Keating, MD, MPH, of Harvard Medical School, and their colleagues surveyed 5284 patients with a new diagnosis of lung or colon cancer, and asked participants how they involved their families in decisions about their care. Only 1.5 percent of patients reported family-controlled decisions. Among the remaining patients, 49.4 percent reported equally sharing decisions with family, 22.1 percent reported some family input, and 28.5 percent reported little or no input from their families. Non-English speaking Asian patients and Spanish-speaking Hispanic patients were more likely to report equally shared decisions with their families than other patients. …

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Human neural stem cells restore cognitive functions impaired by chemotherapy

In preclinical studies using rodents, they found that stem cells transplanted one week after the completion of a series of chemotherapy sessions restored a range of cognitive functions, as measured one month later using a comprehensive platform of behavioral testing. In contrast, rats not treated with stem cells showed significant learning and memory impairment. The frequent use of chemotherapy to combat multiple cancers can produce severe cognitive dysfunction, often referred to as “chemobrain,” which can persist and manifest in many ways long after the end of treatments in as many as 75 percent of survivors — a problem of particular concern with pediatric patients. “Our findings provide the first solid evidence that transplantation of human neural stem cells can be used to reverse chemotherapeutic-induced damage of healthy tissue in the brain,” said Charles Limoli, a UCI professor of radiation oncology…

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Molecule that provides cellular energy found key to aggressive thyroid cancer

In an online issue of The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, they identify Stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1 (SCD1) as an oncogenic enzyme that when inhibited and paired with another targeted drug effectively shuts down ATC cell growth and induces cell death. Investigators think that ATC relies on SCD1 to provide the fuel the cancer cells need to rapidly duplicate. The molecule provides this energy by promoting the cancer cell’s ability to generate certain fatty acids that are important for several biological processes such as cell division, survival, drug resistance and migration. …

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Cancer Treatment | Cancer Health Center - Part 3