Wednesday, October 31, 2018

TTT 2018 Slideshow

"Improving Cancer Diagnosis and Care" from National Academies Press

This summary is cited from the National Academies Press. To download your free copy, follow this link.

Rapid advances in cancer research, the development of new and more sophisticated approaches to diagnostic testing, and the growth in targeted cancer therapies are transforming the landscape of cancer diagnosis and care. These innovations have contributed to improved outcomes for patients with cancer, but they have also increased the complexity involved in diagnosis and subsequent care decisions.
To examine opportunities to improve cancer diagnosis and care, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine developed a two-workshop series. The first workshop, held on February 12–13, 2018, in Washington, DC, focused on potential strategies to ensure that patients have access to appropriate expertise and technologies in oncologic pathology and imaging to inform their cancer diagnosis and treatment planning, as well as assessment of treatment response and surveillance. This publication chronicles the presentations and discussions at the workshop.

Free Event re: Recurrent O.C. Sponsored by Tesaro

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79 Main Street, Suite 202 • Framingham, MA  01702 • (508) 655-5412 •

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Facebook Live: Immunotherapy & Gynecological Cancers

This is a really exciting video from Dr. Matulonis that Anne alerted me to. Dr. Matulonis is the head of Gynecologic Cancer at Dana Farber.

12th Annual Downeast Living With Cancer Conference

Our dear friend Donna will be attending this conference in Maine. For those of you living in the area, the conference is free of charge and free transportation is available.

Read below to find out  more about the conference and details of how to register.

12 Annual Downeast Living with Cancer Conference set for November 1, 2018                
Bar Harbor, Maine–‘Integrating Science, Wisdom, and Compassion during the Cancer Journey’ is the theme of the 12th Annual Downeast Living with Cancer Conference set to take place on Thursday, November 1, 2018 at the Atlantic Oceanside Hotel & Conference Center in Bar Harbor. This inspiring conference will begin at 9:00 am and run until 3:30 pm, with registration beginning at 8:00 am.
Dr. Rob Rutledge, MD will present two talks, ‘The Body – Mind – Spirit Connection on the Cancer Journey’ and ‘How Understanding Your Brain Can Empower Your Life’. Dr. Rutledge is a Radiation Oncologist in Halifax, Nova Scotia, specializing in breast, prostate and pediatric cancers. He is also an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at Dalhousie University. He serves as the CEO and Chair of the Healing and Cancer Foundation, a Registered Charity that freely offers educational videos, documentaries, and seminars.
Dr. A. Merrill Garrett, MD will discuss ‘Advances in Technology Lead to Advances in Cancer Care’. Dr. Garrett is Board Certified in Medical Oncology and has been one of the pillars of the treatment team at Cancer Care of Maine for many years. She is currently spearheading the creation of a breast cancer survivorship program at Northern Light Cancer Institute and is seeing oncology patients at Northern Light Maine Coast.
Other event offerings include a patient panel, a caregiver panel, complementary therapies, a complimentary lunch and representatives from various community resources will be offering information throughout the day. The conference is open to cancer survivors, caregivers, family members and all interested community members and is free of charge. Free transportation is available, please call ahead to arrange transportation. You can register here or by calling 207-664-0339.

"Organoids Could Aid Cancer Drug Selection" - news out of DF

A big shout-out to Donna who posted this article from Dana Farber Insight.

Organoids are miniature versions of the tissue or organ they were taken from and therefore replicate faithfully cellular structures.

The key points in this article were:

  • Tests on living 'organoids' created from patients' ovarian cancer cells proved more accurate than DNA sequencing in prediction tumors' sensitivity or resistance to chemotherapy drugs
  • Ovarian cancer organoids were developed from patient tumor samples in just seven to ten days, instead of weeks or months, allowing for rapid, direct tests of drugs and drug combinations.
  • The organoids created in this study were found to contain immune cells, raising the prospect of testing immunotherapy drugs for ovarian cancer, the scientists say.
To read the article in its entirety, follow this link.

Monday, October 15, 2018

2 Studies Look at the Role of Aspirin and NSAIDs in Ovarian Cancer

JAMA Oncology (Oct 2018) and Lancet Oncology (Aug 2018) published research results that dove-tailed each other.

In the Lancet study entitled "Pre-diagnosis and post-diagnosis use of common analgesics and ovarian cancer prognosis (NIH/NIHII): a cohort study", the objective was to determine if regular use of aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) or paracetamol before and after diagnosis of epithelial ovarian cancer improved survival.

To do this, they looked at health outcomes from two, very large on-going studies: the Nurses Health Study (NHS) begun in 1976 and the Nurses Health Study II (NHSII), begun in 1989. These two studies rely on completed biennial self-reported questionnaires. Those women who had confirmed StageI-III epithelial OC were included in the study.

The results: "Recent  use of aspirin or non-aspirin NSAIDs, defined as current use in the past 2 years, after diagnosis appears to improve ovarian cancer-specific survival." They go on to say that further research needs to be done to determine timing and dosing and use w/traditional chemotherapies.

The second study was entitled, "Association of Analgesic Use with Risk of Ovarian Cancer in the Nurses' Health Studies." This study examined the use of analgesics in reducing the risk of developing ovarian cancer. Smaller case controlled studies showed correlation and they wanted to see if these results held using much larger samples. What they found was I think, quite interesting.

The use of low dose aspirin reduced the risk of developing ovarian cancer by 23% compared to non-users. However, "current use of nonaspirin NSAIDs was associated with a 19% higher risk of ovarian cancer compared with nonuse."


Saturday, October 13, 2018

Financial Toxicity: A Sad Reality

This article appeared in the American Journal of Medicine, Oct 18th issue.

Sadly, financial toxicity is a reality for many dealing with cancer.

To read the article, follow this link.