These Experimental Treatments Target Brain Cancer Like John McCain’s

Excerpt:

“For patients, like Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who develop aggressive brain cancer, the first-line treatment is almost always radiation and chemotherapy. But if the glioblastoma recurs, and it almost always does, what then?

“The answer could be one of the many experimental treatments being tested in clinical trials across the country. Depending on how you count them, there are dozens or hundreds of trials, many of which are focused on immunotherapy, a new approach designed to spur the immune system to attack cancer.”

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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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Surgery Isn’t Necessarily Best for Prostate Cancer, According to Study Led by Minneapolis Va

Excerpt:

“The largest and longest trial to compare treatment options for prostate cancer has found little difference in outcomes between men who underwent surgery vs. those who were simply observed by their doctors.

“Led by a researcher at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center, the 20-year national study provides the best evidence yet that most men can live with their prostate cancers, avoiding the potential risks of surgery. The results, though, did show that surgery was probably a better option for younger men with long life expectancies, and some urologists dispute the findings.”

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Proton-Beam Therapy in Limited-Stage SCLC Shows Promising Efficacy

Excerpt:

“Proton-beam therapy (PBT) was found to be safe for patients with limited-stage (LS) small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) in the first prospective registry study of the therapy, with only a small number of high-grade toxicities.

” ‘Radiation therapy is essential for the management of limited-stage SCLC,’ wrote study authors led by Jean-Claude M. Rwigema, MD, of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. ‘When it is given with concurrent chemotherapy, radiation therapy can result in substantial toxicities.’ PBT can reduce the exposure to nearby organs at risk in non–small-cell lung cancer, and is under substantial investigation in that setting; before the new study, though, only a six-patient case series had examined its use in SCLC.”

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Test Identifies Breast Cancer Patients With Lowest Risk of Death

Excerpt:

“A molecular test can pinpoint which patients will have a very low risk of death from breast cancer even 20 years after diagnosis and tumor removal, according to a new clinical study led by UC San Francisco in collaboration with colleagues in Sweden. As a result, ‘ultralow’ risk patients could be treated less aggressively and overtreatment avoided, leading to fewer toxic effects.

” ‘This is an important step forward for personalizing care for women with ,’ said lead author Laura J. Esserman, MD, MBA, a breast cancer specialist and surgeon with UC Health. ‘We can now test small node-negative breast cancers, and if they are in the ultralow risk category, we can tell women that they are highly unlikely to die of their cancers and do not need aggressive treatment, including radiation after lumpectomy.’ ”

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Study: Common Surgical Treatment for Melanoma Does Not Improve Patients’ Overall Survival

Excerpt:

“Patients who receive the standard surgical treatment for melanoma that has spread to one or more key lymph nodes do not live longer, a major new study shows.

“The study, published today in The New England Journal of Medicine, found that immediately removing and performing biopsies on all lymph nodes located near the original tumor, a procedure called completion lymph node dissection, did not result in increased overall survival rates.”

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Thousands of Men with Prostate Cancer Get Risky Treatment They Don’t Need. New Approaches Could Curb That

Excerpt:

“They look like glowing jade necklaces of such unearthly brilliance they could be a Ming emperor’s. But if Dr. Gerardo Fernandez is right, the green fluorescent images of prostate cells could be even more valuable, at least to the thousands of men every year who unnecessarily undergo aggressive treatment for prostate cancer.

“That’s because the glimmering images promise to show which prostate cancers are destined to remain harmless for the rest of a man’s life, and thus might spare many patients treatment that can cause impotence and incontinence.”

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Active Surveillance of Prostate Cancer Associated with Favorable Outcomes in Younger Men

Excerpt:

“Younger age was associated with lower risks for disease progression and biopsy-based Gleason score upgrades during active surveillance of low- or intermediate-risk prostate cancer, according to a study published in Journal of Clinical Oncology.

” ‘The results of this study indicate that younger patients with low-risk prostate cancer experienced favorable outcomes when managed with active surveillance at nearly 5-year median follow-up,’ Michael Leapman, MD, assistant professor in the department of urology at Yale University School of Medicine, told HemOnc Today. ‘Younger patients have conventionally been counseled to receive definitive treatment, even in the setting of low-risk disease. This study is impactful as it may expand the use of surveillance, potentially limiting the harms of overtreatment for patients with screening-detected low-grade tumors.’ ”

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Discuss Prostate Screening With Your Doctor, Experts Now Say

Excerpt:

“Older men should talk to their doctors about the pros and cons of prostate cancer screening and make an individual decision that is right for them, an influential national panel of experts has proposed.

“The new recommendation, based on new data from a European trial as well as changes in the way men with prostate cancer are treated, modifies an earlier panel guideline from 2012 that advised men to skip prostate cancer screenings altogether. Screening is typically done using a blood test that measures levels of a protein released by the prostate gland called prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, which may indicate the presence of prostate cancer when elevated. But increased levels can also be caused by less serious medical conditions, like inflammation.”

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