A new class of cancer drug which targets a faulty gene might be effective in treating some aggressive pancreatic cancers, researchers from Cancer Research UK's Cambridge Research Institute and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute reported in the journal Nature. Pancreatic cancer kills approximately 37, 000 people in the USA and 8, 000 in the UK every year. Even though survival rates have been steadily getting better, fewer than 20% of patients survive for at least 12 months after diagnosis, the authors explained. In this study, the researchers demonstrated that in human cancer cells and mice, USP9x - a gene - switches off through chemical tags located on the surface of DNA. Professor David Tuveson believes that 15% of all patients with pancreatic cancer may have this faulty gene, and that medications might be created which strip away the chemical tags.
In a new study, scientists at the University of Copenhagen show that a specific type of carbohydrate plays an important role in the intercellular signalling that controls the growth and development of the nervous system. In particular, defects in that carbohydrate may result in the uninhibited cell growth that characterizes the genetic disease neurofibromatosis and certain types of cancer. The results have just been published in the well-reputed journal PNAS. Scientists from The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen have put a special type of fruit fly under the microscope. The new research results turn the spotlight on a certain group of carbohydrates - the so-called glycolipids - and their influence on the cells' complicated communication system. In the long term, this model study can shine new light on the disease neurofibromatosis for the benefit of patients the world over.
Researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center have placed new emphasis on gathering data on cancer patient quality of life during both treatment and survivorship. Their focus is on gathering and using that data to develop interventions to improve the quality of life for patients in treatment and for cancer survivors. Much of the quality of life and survivorship research is carried out by researchers in Moffitt's Department of Health Outcomes & Behavior. "Among the several research goals of the Department of Health Outcomes & Behaviors is the evaluation and improvement of quality of life and quality of care, " said department chair Thomas H. Brandon, Ph.D. "We aim to understand and improve a patient's quality of life throughout the disease course by identifying clinical practices and health outcomes that can inform our efforts to improve the quality of cancer care.
New guidelines from the American Cancer Society say for many cancers, maintaining a healthy weight, getting adequate physical activity, and eating a healthy diet can reduce the chance of recurrence and increase the likelihood of disease-free survival after a diagnosis. The recommendations are included in newly released Nutrition and Physical Activity Guidelines for Cancer Survivors, published early online in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. Increasing evidence shows that for many cancers, excess weight, lack of exercise, and poor nutrition increase the risk of cancer recurrence and reduce the likelihood of disease-free and overall survival for cancer patients. "The data suggests that cancer survivors, just like everyone else, benefit from these important steps, " said Colleen Doyle MS RD, American Cancer Society director of nutrition and physical activity and co-author of the guidelines.
Amgen's application for expanded indications for denosumab ( Xgeva ) were turned down by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) - the expanded indications were to include bone metastases prevention in patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer. The FDA told Amgen in a CRL (Complete Response Letter) that evidence regarding better bone metastasis-free survival was "insufficient", and as such, the potential adverse effects of osteonecrosis of the jaw, among others were not so far compellingly outweighed by the benefits. Earlier on this year, an FDA Advisory Committee (Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee) voted that the expanded indication should not go ahead - mainly because of the risk of osteonecrosis. Osteonecrosis of the jaw or ONJ is when the jaw bone is exposed and suffers from the consequences of not enough blood supply.