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New approach to treat drug-resistant HER2–positive breast cancer

The discovery, published in the journal CELL Reports, provides the experimental evidence for the potential development of a novel combination therapy for HER2-positive breast cancer. The combination includes the FDA approved drug lapatinib and a new experimental drug called a BET bromodomain inhibitor, which works by disrupting the expression of specific genes…

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Most women with early-stage breast cancer avoid extensive lymph node removal

Until now, it was unclear to what extent surgeons were following the recommendations of a landmark clinical trial published more than four years ago, known as the American College of Surgeons Oncology Group Z0011, or ACOSOG Z-11, trial. Those researchers reported that most early-stage breast cancer patients with tumor in their sentinel lymph node (the first draining node) who undergo lumpectomy do not benefit from surgical removal of the remaining lymph nodes in the underarm area, called completion axillary lymph node dissection (ALND). That study found no difference in cancer recurrence1 and five-year survival2 between patients who underwent ALND and those who did not but were monitored for recurrences…

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Research aims to reduce health care disparities

Gwendolyn P. Quinn, Ph.D., scientific director of the Survey Methods Core Facility at Moffitt, identified physicians largely operate under a, “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that prohibits open and honest dialogue between doctor and patient about cancer risk. The study highlights that LGBTQI populations face barriers to health insurance such as when partnerships and marriages are not legally recognized; concerns about disclosure in a health care setting, discrimination, misconceptions, legal and financial barriers and the disenfranchised stress and distress of caregiving same-sex partners. …

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Geography matters: Imaging overuse seen for breast, prostate cancer in certain regions across the U.S.

Researchers from NYU Langone Medical Center and its Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center, in a new retrospective study publishing online March 12th in JAMA Oncology, conclude that patients with low-risk prostate or breast cancer were more or less likely to receive inappropriate imaging during treatment, depending on the region of the country in which they received medical care. They examined medical records from 2004-2007 of 9,219 men with low-risk prostate cancer and 30,398 women with low-risk breast cancer, across 84 separate hospital referral regions (HRRs). …

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Anderson algorithm increases surgical success with advanced ovarian cancer

The researchers describe the Anderson Algorithm in a perspective piece outlining a personalized surgical approach to ovarian cancer published online at Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology. “Our algorithm allows us to be much smarter about whom we operate on up front, providing a more individualized approach to surgery that’s led to better results for our patients,” said Anil Sood, M.D., professor of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine and senior author of the paper. The multi-step process was developed through MD Anderson’s Moon Shots Program, an ambitious effort launched in 2012 to dramatically reduce cancer deaths. Sood is co-leader of the Breast and Ovarian Cancer Moon Shot…

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Gene mutation drives cartilage tumor formation

In a study published in the Feb. 16, 2015, issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Duke researchers and their colleagues revealed that mutations in the isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) gene contribute to the formation of benign tumors in cartilage that can be a precursor to malignancies. These benign tumors, known as enchondromas, are associated with severe pain, fractures, and skeletal deformities…

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Origins of colorectal cancer tumor cells traced

The scientists employed a “Big Bang” model of human colorectal cancer growth similar to the theory that the universe started from a single point and exploded outward. The team was led by Keck faculty researchers Darryl Shibata, M.D., professor of pathology, Keck School of Medicine of USC and Christina Curtis, Ph.D., M.Sc., assistant professor of medicine and genetics at Stanford University and adjunct assistant professor, department of Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine of USC. “It’s like going back in time,” said Shibata. …

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