Cancer Research Pioneer Works with Apple on Mobile App to Track Breast Cancer Survivors' Experiences

“UCLA cancer research pioneer Dr. Patricia Ganz and collaborators Apple and Sage Bionetworks today announced the launch of Share the Journey: Mind, Body and Wellness after Breast Cancer, a patient-centered mobile app that empowers women to be partners in the research process by tracking their symptoms and successes.

“Available for download today at the iTunes App Store, Share the Journey was developed by UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, Penn Medicine, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Sage Bionetworks. The app is an interactive research study that aims to understand why some breast cancer survivors recover faster than others, why their symptoms vary over time and what can be done to improve symptoms.

“Ganz, who is director of cancer prevention and control research at the Jonsson Cancer Center, was a key collaborator with Apple and Sage in developing Share the Journey, which marries science and technology by using surveys and sensor data on the iPhone to collect and track fatigue, mood and cognitive changes, sleep disturbances and reductions in exercise.”


Watchdog approves skin cancer drugs ipilimumab and vemurafenib

Patients with an advanced form of skin cancer were given new hope today after the health watchdog recommended that two life-extending treatments should be available on the NHS.


Progression of RAS-Mutant Leukemia during RAF Inhibitor Treatment

Vemurafenib, a selective RAF inhibitor, extends survival among patients with BRAF V600E–mutant melanoma. Vemurafenib inhibits ERK signaling in BRAF V600E–mutant cells but activates ERK signaling in BRAF wild-type cells. This paradoxical activation of ERK signaling is the mechanistic basis for the development of RAS-mutant squamous-cell skin cancers in patients treated with RAF inhibitors. This study reports the accelerated growth of a previously unsuspected RAS-mutant leukemia in a patient with melanoma who was receiving vemurafenib. Exposure to vemurafenib induced hyperactivation of ERK signaling and proliferation of the leukemic cell population, an effect that was reversed on drug withdrawal.


New melanoma trial initiated at Moffitt Cancer Center to investigate utility of immunotherapy biomarkers

Phase I melanoma patient trial will test whether the drug PV-10 works better in patients with a distinct immune biomarker signature in both blood and tumor tissue.


Circulating tumor cells may be predictive for recurrence and survival in melanoma patients

Circulating tumor cells detected in the blood of stage III melanoma patients may be a predictive blood biomarker helpful for deciding which patients could benefit from aggressive adjuvant therapy.


‘‘Intermittent dosing’ strategy for BRAF inhibitor treatment holds promise for advanced melanoma

In an industry-academia collaboration, researchers have found an intermittent dose of vemurafenib, an oral BRAF inhibitor used to treat metastatic melanoma can help delay resistance in a mouse model. The results have implications for patients taking the drug.


Mutation Linked to Better Outcomes For Uveal Melanoma Patients

Researchers at Washington University found mutations in the gene SF3B1 are associated with a type of uveal melanoma that has better outcomes and is less likely to spread to other parts of the body.


Smartphone Applications for Melanoma Diagnosis Are Not All Ready for Primetime

Researchers assessed latest apps that claim to help diagnose questionable moles as melanoma. The performance of the apps is highlight variable- 3 of 4 apps incorrectly classified one-third of melanomas as “not concerning”.