Using Alternative Medicine Only for Cancer Linked to Lower Survival Rate

Excerpt:

“Patients who choose to receive alternative therapy as treatment for curable cancers instead of conventional cancer treatment have a higher risk of death, according to researchers from the Cancer Outcomes, Public Policy and Effectiveness Research (COPPER) Center at Yale School of Medicine and Yale Cancer Center. The findings were reported online by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

“There is increasing interest by  and families in pursuing alternative medicine as opposed to conventional  treatment. This trend has created a difficult situation for patients and providers. Although it is widely believed that conventional cancer treatment will provide the greatest chance at cure, there is limited research evaluating the effectiveness of alternative medicine for cancer.”

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Anti-Inflammatory, Anti-Stress Drugs Taken Before Surgery May Reduce Metastatic Recurrence

Excerpt:

“Most cancer-related deaths are the result of post-surgical metastatic recurrence. In metastasis, cells of primary tumors travel to other parts of the body, where they often proliferate into inoperable, ultimately fatal growths.

“A new Tel Aviv University study finds that a specific drug regimen administered prior to and after surgery significantly reduces the risk of post-surgical cancer recurrence. These medications, a combination of a beta blocker (which relieves stress and high blood pressure) and an anti-inflammatory, may also improve the long-term survival rates of patients. The treatment is safe, inexpensive—two medications similar in price to aspirin—and easily administered to patients without contraindications.”

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Testing for Immune ‘Hotspots’ Can Predict Risk That Breast Cancer Will Return

Excerpt:

“Scientists have developed a new test that can pick out women at high risk of relapsing from breast cancer within 10 years of diagnosis.

“Their study looked for immune cell ‘hotspots’ in and around tumours, and found that women who had a high number of hotspots were more likely to relapse than those with lower numbers.

“The new test could help more accurately assess the risk of cancer returning in individual patients, and offer them monitoring or preventative treatment.”

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Targeted Radiotherapy Limits Side Effects of Breast Cancer Treatment

Excerpt:

“Breast cancer patients who have radiotherapy targeted at the original tumour site experience fewer side effects five years after treatment than those who have whole breast radiotherapy, and their cancer is just as unlikely to return, according to trial results published* in The Lancet (link is external) today (Wednesday).

“The Cancer Research UK-funded IMPORT LOW trial** revealed that five years after treatment, almost all patients were disease free.***

“The researchers at 30 radiotherapy centres across the UK, led by The Institute of Cancer Research, London(link is external), and the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Centre(link is external), studied more than 2,000 women aged 50 or over who had early stage breast cancer that was at a low risk of coming back.”

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New Online Navigator Helps Patients and Doctors Access Experimental Treatments

Excerpt:

“When approved therapies don’t work, or stop working, for people with serious or life-threatening illnesses, it puts them in a difficult position. Some turn to clinical trials that are testing experimental treatments. But many can’t do that because they are too sick, don’t meet the requirements of the trial, or can’t afford to travel to the site of a trial. That doesn’t mean they are out of options.”

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Immune Checkpoint Agents Advance in Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“With the prospect of phase III data that could confirm their efficacy, checkpoint inhibitors against PD-1 and PD-L1 have shown promise, both as monotherapies and in combination with chemotherapy for patients with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), Sylvia Adams, MD, said during a presentation at the 16th Annual International Congress on the Future of Breast Cancer East.

” ‘We think there is definitely value for immune checkpoint blockade in triple-negative disease. When you look at the metastatic trials, while the response rates are relatively low, most of the responses are durable,’ said Adams, from the NYU Langone Medical Center. ‘For patient selection, it is important to consider the line of therapy. The earlier the better.’ ”

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New Study Provides BRCA Mutation Carriers Guidance for When Surgery Has Greatest Impact

Excerpt:

“Of the women who carry the mutated BRCA1/2 genes, 45-65 percent will develop breast cancer, and 15-39 percent will develop ovarian cancer in their lifetimes. Many women, especially those who have experienced the death of family members to these cancers, elect to undergo preventive surgeries that can significantly increase life expectancy, but require extensive recovery time and can impact later fertility and quality-of-life. However, few guidelines exist that shed light on the optimal age to undergo these procedures, and in what sequence. A new study in the INFORMS journal Decision Analysis provides insight to help enable physicians and patients make better-informed choices.

“The study, ‘Was Angelina Jolie Right? Optimizing Cancer Prevention Strategies Among BRCA Mutation Carriers,’ was conducted by Eike Nohdurft and Stefan Spinler of the Otto Beisheim School of Management, and Elisa Long, of the UCLA Anderson School of Management.”

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Radiation Prior to Surgery Reduces Risk of Secondary Tumors in Early-Stage Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“Moffitt Cancer Center researchers launched a first of its kind study comparing the long-term benefits of radiation therapy in women with breast cancer either before surgery (neoadjuvant) or after surgery (adjuvant). Their study, published in the June 30 issue of Breast Cancer Research, found that patients who have neoadjuvant radiation therapy have a significantly lower risk of developing a second primary tumor at any site.

“The majority of patients who have early stage breast cancer have surgery to remove their tumor or a complete mastectomy. Surgery is commonly followed by radiation therapy, which has been shown to increase relapse-free survival. However, in some cases, patients may require neoadjuvant radiation therapy to decrease the size of the tumor before surgery. Currently, there are no studies that have analyzed the long-term effects of neoadjuvant radiation therapy on breast cancer patients.”

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FDA Approves New Treatment to Reduce the Risk of Breast Cancer Returning

Excerpt:

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Nerlynx (neratinib) for the extended adjuvant treatment of early-stage, HER2-positive breast cancer. For patients with this type of cancer, Nerlynx is the first extended adjuvant therapy, a form of therapy that is taken after an initial treatment to further lower the risk of the cancer coming back. Nerlynx is indicated for adult patients who have been previously treated with a regimen that includes the drug trastuzumab.”

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