Overall Survival up for Melanoma Brain Metastases

Excerpt:

“Overall survival (OS) for patients with melanoma brain metastases (MBM) has improved significantly since 2000, according to a study published online Oct. 12 in Cancer.

“Sarah Sloot, M.D., from Groningen University Medical Center in the Netherlands, and colleagues identified 610 patients with unresectable American Joint Committee on Cancer stage III/IV melanoma who received first-line systemic therapy at Moffitt Cancer Center between 2000 and 2012.”

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Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Survival Rates Higher Among Patients Treated at Academic Centers

Excerpt:

“As non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) survival rates have increased over time, new research sheds light on how NSCLC outcomes are significantly influenced by the type of treatment facility where patients undergo care. Dr. Bhagirathbhai Dholaria of the Moffitt Cancer Center in the United States presented these findings at the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) 18th World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC) in Yokohama, Japan.”

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Researchers Investigate New Targeted Therapy for Metastatic Prostate Cancer

Excerpt:

“Men with localized prostate cancer face good odds: Their relative five-year survival rate is nearly 100 percent. However, men with metastatic disease — prostate cancer that has spread to another organ like the lungs — have a relative five-year survival rate of only 29 percent.

“Currently, the mainstay treatment for metastatic prostate cancer is hormone therapy, which uses drugs to lower the levels of male sex hormones like testosterone in the body to slow the growth of prostate cancer. Two of the latest hormonal agents, abiraterone acetate and enzalutamide, have shown some improvements in overall survival. Unfortunately, hormone therapy isn’t a cure and most patients become resistant to the drugs.”

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Lung Cancer Survival Rates Improve with CT Scan Follow-Up

“Patients with recurrent lung cancer have better post-surgery survival rates if their management includes a follow-up programme based on computer tomography (CT) of the chest, according to new findings.

“The findings, presented at the ERS International Congress 2015 in Amsterdam today (27 September, 2015), is the first to show improved overall survival after surgery for a CT- based follow-up programme and could change the way patients are currently managed.

“Previous research has confirmed that after the introduction of the CT-based follow-up, most cases of recurrent lung cancer can be detected before the patient has any symptoms. This allows for earlier diagnosis and leads to an improved chance of having a radical treatment against the relapse. This new study aimed to assess whether this follow-up also improved survival rates.”


More Americans Surviving Cancer Today than 20 Years Ago

“Survival rates are improving for many people with cancers of the breast, prostate, lung, liver and colon or rectum, especially for those diagnosed at younger ages, a new study reports.

“Cancer is still a leading cause of death in the United States, but advances in radiation, chemotherapy and targeted treatments have improved , the researchers said.

” ‘Although for most cancers have improved over the past few decades, the improvements were less remarkable among elderly ,’ said lead researcher Dr. Wei Zheng, co-leader of the Cancer Epidemiology Research Program at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in Nashville.

“The study also found differences in survival based on race. Overall, blacks had poorer survival than whites. Black women with ovarian cancer experienced a decrease in survival over the past two decades for unknown reasons, he said.

” ‘Black Americans experienced poorer survival than whites for all cancers during the study period,’ Zheng said.”


Lung Cancer Patients With Minimally Invasive Adenocarcinoma Have Comparable 97.7 Percent 5-Year Survival Rate as Patients With Adenocarcinoma In-Situ

The gist: New research shows that knowing whether a patient has one of two different subtypes of lung cancer—adenocarcinoma in-situ (AIS) or minimally invasive adenocarcinoma (MIA)—may not actually be helpful. Both AIS and MIA are subtypes of a type of lung cancer called bronchioloalveolar carcinoma. They both affect the cells lining the small air sacs of the lungs. The difference is that MIA tumors grow past the lining. The new research found that people with AIS have similar survival rates as people with MIA.

“Lung cancer patients with minimally invasive adenocarcinoma (MIA) have similar, positive five-year disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) rates as patients with adenocarcinoma in-situ (AIS), according to research presented today at the 2014 Chicago Multidisciplinary Symposium in Thoracic Oncology. The Symposium is sponsored by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) and The University of Chicago Medicine.

“Lung adenocarcinoma accounts for 60 percent of all non-small cell lung cancers and is the most common form of lung cancer in both smokers and non-smokers and patients younger than 45 years old. Bronchioloalveolar carcinoma is a type of adenocarcinoma that affects the cells lining the alveoli (small air sacs) of the lungs. Invasion occurs when the tumor extends beyond the alveolar lining and evokes a fibroblastic stromal response. These types of tumors, if ≤3 cm in size, are reclassified as AIS (no tumor invasion) or MIA (≤0.5 cm of tumor invasion), according to the 2011 IASLC/American Thoracic Society /European Respiratory Society (IASLC/ATS/ERS) International Multidisciplinary Classification of Lung Adenocarcinoma. This study examines the difference in DFS and OS rates for patients with diseases classified as AIS and MIA and determines if it is beneficial to categorize tumors according to additional sub-types…

” ‘Some researchers have advocated that AIS and MIA should have separate categorization,’ said lead author Madhusmita Behera, PhD, associate director of research in the Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University in Atlanta. ‘Our analysis demonstrates that these carcinomas, especially when the tumor is 3 centimeters or less in size, are associated with excellent survival outcomes; therefore, tumor sub-classification into AIS and MIA may not provide additional prognostic information.’ “


Years After Treatment for HER2-Positve Early Stage Breast Cancer, Trastuzumab Continues to Show Life-Altering Benefit

“After following breast cancer patients for an average of eight-plus years, researchers say that adding trastuzumab (Herceptin) to chemotherapy significantly improved the overall and disease-free survival of women with early stage HER2-positive breast cancer.

“They found that the use of trastuzumab produced a 37 percent improvement in survival and a 40 percent reduction in risk of cancer occurrence, compared to patients treated with chemotherapy alone.

“These findings, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, demonstrate how important trastuzumab has been to the treatment of this form of breast cancer, says the study’s lead author, Edith A. Perez, M.D., deputy director at large, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center and director of the Breast Cancer Translational Genomics Program at Mayo Clinic in Florida.

” ‘This long follow-up of patients shows that we have really altered the natural history of this disease,’ says Dr. Perez. ‘Herceptin works — and it works for a long period of time. The drug has impacted the lives of many women in the U.S. and worldwide.’

“HER2-positive breast cancer accounts for 15-20 percent of invasive breast cancers. Before the development of trastuzumab, women with early stage breast cancer faced a worse prognosis than those with HER2-negative breast cancer, including quicker relapse, higher incidence of metastasis, and shorter survival, according to Dr. Perez.”


Patients Who Have Left Breast Tumors Have Comparable OS to Those with Right Breast Tumors

“Tumor laterality (left-side vs. right-side) does not impact overall survival in breast cancer patients treated with breast-conserving surgery and adjuvant external beam radiation therapy, according to a study published in the October 1, 2014 issue of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology • Biology • Physics (Red Journal), the official scientific journal of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO).

“Studies have shown that breast cancer patients treated with radiation therapy have improved local-regional recurrence, and breast cancer-specific survival after breast-conserving surgery and overall survival (OS) after mastectomy. Long-term follow-up of historic radiation therapy trials for breast cancer has demonstrated a potential increase in cardiac mortality. However, these studies used earlier modes of radiation therapy including Cobalt and orthovoltage radiotherapy, and did not employ CT-based planning, which allows for greater cardiac avoidance. Three recent studies suggest that cardiac mortality has not been greater for patients treated for left-sided breast cancer since the 1980s, when techniques allowing for greater cardiac avoidance became more commonplace[1-3].

“This study, ‘Breast Cancer Laterality Does Not Influence Survival in a Large Modern Cohort: Implications for Radiation-Related Cardiac Mortality,’ examines the impact of tumor laterality on overall survival in a modern cohort of patients from the National Cancer Database (NCDB). The NCDB, a joint project of the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons and the American Cancer Society, contains deidentified data from approximately 70 percent of newly diagnosed cancers in the United States. The NCBD is more than two times larger than the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database, and the NCBD contains data not found in SEER, including histopathologic data and specific treatment information such as sequencing of therapies, dose, technique (e.g., intensity modulated radiation therapy vs. brachytherapy) and target (e.g., breast only vs. breast and regional nodes).”


Herceptin Boosts Survival for Breast Cancer, Study Reports

“Adding the drug Herceptin to chemotherapy for certain breast cancer patients increases overall survival and reduces the risk of recurrence compared to chemotherapy alone, new research shows.

“The study found that adding a year of Herceptin (trastuzumab) to standard chemotherapy improved overall survival by 37 percent. The addition of Herceptin also boosted 10-year overall survival rates from 75 percent to 84 percent.

“And the 10-year disease-free survival rate went from 62 percent to 74 percent for those also taking Herceptin, the study found.

“The women who were given Herceptin were patients with a type of breast cancer known as HER2-positive, said study author Dr. Edith Perez at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla.

“Up to 20 percent of invasive breast cancers are HER2-positive, according to background information in the study. Too much human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) helps breast cancer cells grow. Herceptin works by targeting HER2 proteins to stop cancer cell growth.

“The study is published online Oct. 20 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. It was supported by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and others, including Genentech, the company that makes Herceptin.”