Blood Thinner Safe for Cancer Patients with Brain Metastases

“Cancer patients with brain metastases who develop blood clots may safely receive blood thinners without increased risk of dangerous bleeding, according to a study, published online today in Blood, the Journal of the American Society of Hematology

“Cancer increases a patient’s risk of developing blood clots. When a patient with cancer develops a clot, treatment with a blood thinning medication called an anticoagulant is often added to their treatment regimen in order to prevent the potentially fatal complication of blood clots traveling to the lungs. However, if cancer spreads to the brain, anticoagulant treatment may be withheld because it could cause dangerous bleeding in the patient’s head, which is already a risk for these patients. The task of preventing dangerous blood clots and avoiding life-threatening bleeding presents a particular challenge for specialists in patients with tumor metastases in the brain. Until recently, no data had confirmed whether blood thinners could be safely administered in these patients.

“In order to determine whether administering blood-thinning medication to patients with brain metastases and blood clots increases bleeding, researchers studied the medical records of 293 patients, 104 of whom had received a widely used blood thinner (enoxaparin). The remaining 189 patients did not receive blood-thinning treatment. Researchers matched the patients in each group by year of brain metastases diagnosis, tumor type, age, and gender.”


Melanoma Treatment 2014: Emerging News


Immunotherapy may be patients’ biggest hope for transforming cancer treatment. This approach boosts a patient’s own immune system to fight cancer. More and more immunotherapy treatments are showing promise for more and more patients, and Science magazine named immunotherapies 2013’s Breakthrough of the Year. Continue reading…


Associations between Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms in the PI3K/PTEN/AKT/mTOR Pathway and Increased Risk of Brain Metastasis in Patients with Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer

The phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase (PI3K)-AKT-mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway is important in the control of cell growth, tumorigenesis, and cell invasion. Genotype variants in this pathway could predict brain metastases (BM) in patients with NSCLC.

In analysis of individual SNPs, the GT/GG genotype of AKT1: rs2498804, CT/TT genotype of AKT1: rs2494732 and AG/AA genotype of PIK3CA: rs2699887 were associated with higher risk of BM at 24 months’ follow-up. These SNPs had a cumulative effect on BM risk, with that risk being highest for patients carrying both of these unfavorable genotypes.


A Melanoma Brain Metastasis with a Donor-Patient Hybrid Genome following Bone Marrow Transplantation: First Evidence for Fusion in Human Cancer

“Tumor cell fusion with motile bone marrow-derived cells (BMDCs) has long been posited as a mechanism for cancer metastasis. While there is much support for this from cell culture and animal studies, it has yet to be confirmed in human cancer, as tumor and marrow-derived cells from the same patient cannot be easily distinguished genetically.”


Survival Patterns Following Brain Metastases for Patients with Melanoma in the Targeted Therapy Era

“Survival from metastatic melanoma (MM) has been significantly prolonged with the introduction of molecularly targeted therapy, including BRAF inhibitors (BRAFi) for patients (pts) with the V600E mutation. Here, we present the first data describing patterns of survival after diagnosis of brain metastases (BM) in a large cohort of these pts with long follow-up.”


Advances in Therapy for Melanoma Brain Metastases

Melanoma cells frequently metastasize to the brain, and approximately 50% of patients with metastatic melanoma develop intracranial disease. Historically, central nervous system dissemination has portended a very poor prognosis. Recent advances in systemic therapies for melanoma, supported by improved local therapy control of brain lesions, have resulted in better median survival for these patients. We review current local and systemic approaches for patients with melanoma brain metastases.”


New treatment option for brain metastases associated with lung cancer

In a study by the Comprehensive Cancer Center at the MedUni Vienna (CNS Unit / Central Nervous Systems Tumours Unit) headed up by Matthias Preusser and Peter Birner, it was possible to demonstrate for the first time in collaboration with the University of Heidelberg that changes to the ALK gene are also demonstrable in the brain metastases of lung cancers – and not just in the lung tumour itself.


CNS metastases in non-small-cell lung cancer: Current role of EGFR-TKI therapy and future perspectives

In NSCLC patients with activating epidermal growth factor receptor gene (EGFR) mutations EGFR-specific tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) represent effective and well tolerated modes of therapy, however, it has been unclear whether these drugs are also able to cross the blood–brain-barrier (BBB) and cause remission of CNS metastases. Recent studies suggest that this might indeed be the case and intracerebral response rates of 70–80% in molecularly selected patients are considerably higher compared to what would be expected for standard approaches like systemic chemotherapy and whole brain radiation therapy.


ALK gene translocations and amplifications in brain metastases of non-small cell lung cancer

ALK translocations and amplifications are found in approximately 3% and 11% of NSCLC-BM, respectively. While ALK translocations appear to be constant between primary tumors and BM, amplifications seem to be more prevalent in BM. ALK translocation, but not ALK amplification is associated with ALK protein overexpression. Further studies are needed to determine whether NSCLC-BM patients with ALK gene aberrations may benefit from specific inhibitor therapy.