Sunday, September 17, 2017

Gene Therapy Approach for Ovarian Cancer Shows Encouraging Signs in Animal Model

I came upon this article tonight from the National Cancer Institute's website. Although printed in 2015, I thought it might be of interest.

Here's the copy of the article:

A single injection of a gene therapy viral vector can deliver effective and long-lasting levels of a protein that inhibits the growth of some mouse tumors derived from patients with recurrent ovarian cancer, according to a new study published July 27 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Article from JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association)

Thought this article might be of interest to women with BRCA + breast cancer mutations - worth passing along....

Uterine Cancer After Risk-Reducing Salpingo-oophorectomy Without Hysterectomy in Women With BRCA Mutations

Key Points
Question  Are women with BRCA mutations who undergo risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy (RRSO) without hysterectomy at increased risk for uterine cancer compared with expected rates from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database?

Friday, September 8, 2017

Income and Cancer Overdiagnosis — When Too Much Care Is Harmful — NEJM

Income and Cancer Overdiagnosis — When Too Much Care Is Harmful — NEJM: Perspective from The New England Journal of Medicine — Income and Cancer Overdiagnosis — When Too Much Care Is Harmful

This article explores the concern that over-diagnosis leads to potentially harmful treatment especially in cancers that are known to be slow growing. Over-diagnosis is associated wtih income levels: the greater the income, the more over-diagnosing which the authors of the article state causes an "observational intensity" leading to more lab work, more scans, more procedures etc.

What I found interesting is that there are four cancers that are subject to observational intensity: breast, prostate, melanoma and thyroid. "The combined incidence of these cancers has been rising in all U.S. counties but there hasn't been an increase in cancer-specific mortality..." The combined cancer mortality is similar in high-income and low-income counties in these four cancers.  In fact, the cancer mortality has been decreasing especially in breast and prostate cancers which is attributed to better treatments. "Too little medical care needs to be balanced with a concern about too much."

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

When Cancer Co-opts the Vasculature — NEJM

When Cancer Co-opts the Vasculature — NEJM: Clinical Implications of Basic Research from The New England Journal of Medicine — When Cancer Co-opts the Vasculature.

We hear a lot about angiogenesis - here's some of what this interesting article has to say about it...

"The availability of oxygen and nutrients supplied by the vasculature is crucial for tumor growth and metastasis. The study of angiogenesis, the formation of new vessels from preexisting vessels, has provided a wealth of data on how tumors regulate this process and has led to new therapeutic approaches to cancer. However, an increasing body of evidence has uncovered an added layer of complexity: some primary and metastatic tumors can develop and progress in the absence of angiogenesis by co-opting the preexisting vasculature.1 The best descriptions of this type of malignant growth were reported initially in the lungs2 and subsequently in liver and brain.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Maintenance Lynparza Tablets Approved in Ovarian Cancer

Maintenance Lynparza Tablets Approved in Ovarian Cancer: Lynparza tablets (olaparib) tablets were granted FDA approval as a maintenance therapy for patients with recurrent epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer, who are in a complete or partial response to platinum-based chemotherapy.

According to the article, "...maintenance treatment with Lynparza showed a 70% reduction in the risk of progression or death compared with placebo for patients with platinum-sensitive, relapse, BRCA-mutant ovarian cancer. In Study 19, the risk of progression or death was reduced by 65%...regardless of BRCA status."

By the way, the article also stated that Lynparza tablets and capsules are not interchangeable and that the capsules are being phased out of the US. Apparently, it will only be available through the Lynparza Specialty Pharmacy Network.