Brain Cancer Survival Improves with Novel Electrical Device, Data Suggest

Excerpt:

“A wearable medical device that delivers electrical fields through the scalp helped to extend the survival of patients with lethal brain tumors, according to data presented Sunday.

“In a study involving major medical centers in the United States and abroad, the novel treatment was used to administer alternating, low-intensity ‘tumor-treating fields’ to newly diagnosed glioblastoma patients who also were getting chemotherapy. Such electrical fields may block the division of cancer cells and cause their demise, according to Roger Stupp, the study’s lead investigator and a neuro-oncologist at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.”

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High Doses of Vitamin C to Improve Cancer Treatment Passes Human Safety Trial

Excerpt:

“Clinical trials found that it is safe to regularly infuse brain and lung cancer patients with 800—1000 times the daily recommended amount of vitamin C as a potential strategy to improve outcomes of standard cancer treatments. In a work presented March 30, 2017 in Cancer Cell, University of Iowa researchers also show pathways by which altered iron metabolism in cancer cells, and not normal cells, lead to increased sensitivity to cancer cell death caused by high dose vitamin C.”

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Encouraging Results for Patients with Aggressive Brain Cancer

Excerpt:

“Being diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor is devastating news for patients and their loved ones. Whereas some types of tumor respond well to treatment, others such as glioblastomas – the most common and aggressive brain tumors – are known to recur and progress within short times from the diagnosis. Patients diagnosed with this type of cancer, and who undergo current standard treatment, have a median survival of 16 months.

Based on recent information on the mechanisms of chemotherapy, a team of researchers of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) developed a new clinical approach to increase the efficiency of treatment in glioblastomas that increased the median survival to 22 months – bringing much needed hope to those affected by this aggressive disease. The findings of this promising phase II clinical trial have been published in the International Journal of Radiology Oncology.”

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New Study Finds That Most Cancer Mutations Are Due to Random DNA Copying ‘Mistakes’

Excerpt:

“Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center scientists report data from a new study providing evidence that random, unpredictable DNA copying ‘mistakes’ account for nearly two-thirds of the mutations that cause cancer. Their research is grounded on a novel mathematical model based on DNA sequencing and epidemiologic data from around the world.

” ‘It is well-known that we must avoid environmental factors such as smoking to decrease our risk of getting . But it is not as well-known that each time a normal cell divides and copies its DNA to produce two new cells, it makes multiple mistakes,’ says Cristian Tomasetti, Ph.D., assistant professor of biostatistics at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. ‘These copying mistakes are a potent source of cancer that historically have been scientifically undervalued, and this new work provides the first estimate of the fraction of mutations caused by these mistakes.’ ”

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Glioblastoma Clinical Trial Shows Combined Therapy Extends Life for Patients 65 and Older

Excerpt:

“Treating older patients who have malignant brain cancer with the chemotherapy drug temozolomide plus a short course of radiation therapy extends survival by two months compared to treating with radiation alone, show clinical trial results published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

“For 45% of the study participants, improved survival almost doubled — from 7 months to 13.5 months, says co-principal investigator Normand Laperriere, radiation oncologist at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network. This was linked to a molecular marker that indicated if a DNA repair mechanism against the drug was active. When the mechanism was ‘off,’ tumours responded better to treatment.”

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Leading Cancer Organizations: Trump’s Proposed NIH Budget Cuts Will Threaten Research, Patient Care

Excerpt:

“Many of the nation’s leading research organizations and cancer centers have voiced their opposition to President Donald Trump’s proposed budget, which includes a $5.8 billion cut to NIH funding in 2018.

“The budget ‘blueprint’ — released Thursday — proposes $54 billion in cuts overall, including a 16.2% decrease, or $12.6 billion, for the Department of Health and Human Services.”

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ASCO Statement: President’s Budget Will Devastate U.S. Research Enterprise

Excerpt:

“ASCO President Daniel F. Hayes, MD, FACP, FASCO, released the following statement today:

” ‘We soundly oppose President Trump’s budget outline, which would cut $6 billion from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Reducing NIH’s funding by nearly 20% will devastate our nation’s already-fragile federal research infrastructure and undercut a longstanding commitment to biomedical science that has fueled advances in cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.

” ‘When we are on the cusp of tremendous advances in cancer care, the United States can’t turn back the clock on research that will benefit millions of Americans with life-threatening diseases and their families. Gutting the U.S. research infrastructure won’t make America First, but will decidedly place the United States behind other countries in scientific advances. Failure to nurture the historic U.S. investment in research places health outcomes, scientific leadership, and economic growth at risk.’ ”

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AACR Strongly Opposes the Draconian Cuts to Medical Research Proposed in President Trump’s FY 2018 Budget

Excerpt:

“On behalf of the entire cancer research community, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) was shocked to learn that the Trump administration is proposing to cut $5.8 billion from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget in fiscal year (FY) 2018.  At a time when extraordinary progress is being made against cancer and many other diseases, these draconian cuts would set research back for decades and also threaten the careers of an entire generation of young investigators working in labs and clinics all over the country who are committed to improving public health and saving lives.”

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Short RT Plus Chemo Benefits Older Brain Cancer Patients

Excerpt:

“Adding temozolomide chemotherapy to short-course radiotherapy for older patients with glioblastoma was tied to longer progression-free and overall survival than with a short course of radiotherapy alone, researchers found.

“In a randomized controlled trial of glioblastoma patients ages 65 and up, those on combination therapy had a significantly lower risk of death during the study than those who had only radiation (HR 0.67, 95% CI 0.56-0.80, P<0.001), James Perry, MD, of Sunnybrook Research Institute in Toronto, and colleagues reported in the New England Journal of Medicine.”

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