Three new studies published in The Lancet bolster the mounting evidence that for people in middle age, taking a low dose of aspirin every day can help prevent cancer, particularly if they are at increased risk of the disease. The researchers also suggest this benefit kicks in after two to three years, instead of the ten years previously thought. And they also found aspirin can treat cancer in people who already have it, adding to evidence that it reduces the risk of metastasis, or spread to other parts of the body. Experts are now calling for government analysis and advice on the use of aspirin to prevent cancer. The studies, by one of the world's top aspirin researchers, Professor Peter Rothwell of the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences at Oxford University in the UK, and colleagues, are published on Wednesday, two in The Lancet and one in The Lancet Oncology.
According to a new study from the University of Leicester that has been published in the international journal Sociology of Health and Illness, patient information leaflets for cancer trials miss the mark, with patients declaring they are far too long, incomprehensible, and even intimidating. Study author, Professor Mary Dixon-Woods, Professor of Medical Sociology at the University of Leicester Department of Health Sciences reports: "These information sheets are poorly aligned with patients' information needs and how they really make decisions about whether to join a cancer trial. Some patients did find them very useful, but many others paid them little attention. They preferred to rely on discussions they had with their doctor to make up their minds." The authors set out to find out why it is so difficult for cancer trial information sheets to get it right, and decided to evaluate the proceedings of 13 cancer trials in collaboration with the (UK) Departments of Health Sciences and Cancer Studies at the University of Leicester (UK) by examining information sheets from the time they were prepared by the researchers leading the trials, through being reviewed and approved by research ethics committees.
Scientists at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) have discovered a literal 'break through' in pancreatic cancer. A unique biological barrier that pancreatic cancer tumors build around themselves have made them especially resistant to chemotherapy treatments, according to the Hutchinson Center/TGen study published in the highly-regarded journal Cancer Cell. Pre-clinical experiments show that a combination of drugs could break down the barrier surrounding these tumors, allowing chemotherapy drugs to freely spread and permeate throughout the cancerous tissue, according to the study. "Discovering how to break through this barrier is a significant finding that could eventually enable therapeutic compounds to be much more effective in combating this deadly cancer and helping patients, " said Dr.
Federal laws that motivate or require drug and biologic developers to conduct pediatric studies have yielded beneficial information to guide the use of medications in children, says a new report by the Institute of Medicine. Still, studies involving children continue to be limited, especially in certain areas such as medications' use in newborns and long-term safety and effectiveness in children. The report identifies ways that Congress and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration could further improve the utility of clinical information obtained from pediatric studies, including expanding innovative strategies to research drugs and biologics in children, using FDA's authority to require long-term pediatric studies of possible safety risks, and giving FDA flexibility to impose sanctions for unreasonably delayed studies.
A 21, 626-person study publishedin the Journal of Clinical Oncology found that the five-year survival rate for children and adolescents with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common childhood cancer, improved from 83.7 percent in those diagnosed during the years 1990-1994, to 90.4 percent for those diagnosed in the years 2000-2005. "The improved survival is due to using existing drugs better, not because of the introduction of new drugs. We're indebted to all the families who choose to join these clinical trials, allowing us to optimize these combinations, " says Stephen Hunger, MD, investigator at the University of Colorado Cancer Center, professor of pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and director of the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children's Hospital Colorado, the study's lead author.