Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Music interventions for improving psychological and physical outcomes in cancer patients

According to a recently published Cochrane systematic review indicates that music medicine interventions are a comforting therapy and can help with both psychological and physical symptoms experienced by cancer patients.  Upon a review of 52 identified trials encompassing 3731 participants, music interventions were seen to reduce a cancer patient's anxiety and depression levels.  Further, it is believed that music "may have a small effect on heart rate, respiratory rate and blood pressure."

To read more about this systematic review, click here

Study mentioned:
Bradt J, Dileo C, Magil L, Teague A. Music interventions for improving psychological and physical outcomes in cancer patients. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. Published online August 15, 2016. 


Monday, 29 August 2016

Adding additional drugs to chemotherapy treatment does not benefit patients withosteosarcoma

A new study conducted at the Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California  indicates that the addition of drugs to standard chemotherapy treatments has not proven successful for patients afflicted with osteosarcoma.  According to lead author Dr. Neyssa Marina, the study, conducted on more than 600 osteosarcoma patients in 17 countries shows that "adding two drugs to standard chemotherapy not only failed to improve patients' outcomes, it also increased toxic side effects."  This finding has led Dr. Marina and colleagues to search for new treatment methods, namely targeting cancer-causing gene mutations.

To read more about this study, click here.

Friday, 26 August 2016

Excess weight linked to high risk for many cancers

A new study conducted by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the World Health Organization, indicates that reducing excess body weight may lower the risk of developing at least 8 types of cancer.  These cancers include stomach, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, ovary, thyroid, as well as meningioma and multiple myeloma.  The study further remarked that "those who avoid gaining weight can curtail their risk for developing five other types of cancer [namely] cancer of the colon, esophagus, kidney, breast, and uterus."

To read more about this study, click here

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Scientists discover drug combination slows lung cancer cell growth

A study shows that a drug combination slows cancer cell growth in a type of non small cell lung cancer when tested in the lab, offering potential for developing new treatments in the future, according to a Cancer Research UK funded study published in the British Journal of Cancer today.

The drug combination delivers a double whammy to the way the KRAS gene makes cancer cells grow. KRAS is estimated to be mutated in 15 to 25 per cent of people with non-small cell lung adenocarcinomas.

Read more at Cancer Research UK.

Study mentioned:
Sophie Broutin, Adam Stewart, Parames Thavasu, Angelo Paci, Jean-Michel Bidart and Udai Banerji. Insights into significance of combined inhibition of MEK and m-TOR signalling output in KRAS mutant non-small-cell lung cancer. Br J Cancer 115: 549-552; doi:10.1038/bjc.2016.220 (link is external)


Wednesday, 24 August 2016

CA-125 testing, CT scans still used for ovarian cancer surveillance despite lack of proven benefit


Despite evidence of no benefit from a 2009 randomized clinical trial, a new study shows that doctors appear to still routinely use the CA-125 blood test to monitor women for recurrent ovarian cancer. The findings, published July 21 in JAMA Oncology, also suggest that computed tomography (CT) scans continue to be routinely used to check for recurrences even though clinical practice guidelines discourage this practice.

Read the full update here.

Study mentioned:
Esselen KM, Cronin AM, Bixel K, et al. Use of CA-125 Tests and Computed Tomographic Scans for Surveillance in Ovarian Cancer. JAMA Oncol. Published online July 21, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2016.1842.


Changes needed to boost end-of-life care in Canada: doctors

Canada needs to broaden its approach to palliative care to provide support to patients with serious chronic illnesses, not just those with cancer, suggests a group of doctors who deal with end-of-life care.

The Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians has fewer than 500 members across the country, far below the number of practitioners in such specialities as cardiology or oncology, although some primary-care doctors also provide end-of-life care for their patients.

Read this from CBC Health.

Number and seriousness of side-effects in breast cancer patients influenced by expectations

A new study published in Annals of Oncology indicates that women afflicted with breast cancer experience worse side-effects following adjuvant hormone therapy due higher expectations of suffering.  According to the research team, led by professor Yvonne Nestoriuc of the Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy at the University Medical Centre in Hamburg, Germany, women with breast cancer may cease adjuvant hormone treatment due to side-effects or a lower health-related quality of life. Nestoriuc and her team belief that "if expectations can predict the risk of experiencing side effects, then interventions such as counselling could lower the risk and, therefore, improve adherence to medication."

To read more about this study, click here

Friday, 19 August 2016

Two genes may help predict breast cancer survival

A new study conducted at the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) in London indicates that 2 genes may help predict breast cancer survival and guide treatment.  According to lead ICR researcher Paul Huang, study results from almost 2,000 HER-2 positive breast cancer patients found that patients "whose tumors had high activity in a gene called F12, but low activity in a gene called STC2, were three times more likely to die within 10 years."

To read more about this study, click here.

FDA approves extended-release Granisetron injection for the prevention of CINV

Heron Therapeutics, Inc. announced on 10 August 2016 that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved extended-release granisetron injection (SUSTOL®), a serotonin-3 (5-HT3) receptor antagonist indicated in combination with other antiemetics in adults for the prevention of acute and delayed nausea and vomiting associated with initial and repeat courses of moderately emetogenic chemotherapy or anthracycline and cyclophosphamide (AC) combination chemotherapy regimens.

Read more here.

CAR T cell therapy for diffuse large B cell lymphoma included in EMA’s priority medicines scheme

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has released, on 1 June 2016, the outcome of the assessment of the first batch of applications received from medicine developers for its PRIME (PRIority MEdicines) scheme, a new initiative that aims to foster research on and development of medicines that have the potential to address an unmet medical need.

The names of the four active substances that will benefit from PRIME support are also released. The first four PRIME candidates are: Biogen’s aducanumab, a beta-amyloid targeting antibody for Alzheimer disease; Kite Pharma’s KTE-C19, a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy for diffuse large B cell lymphoma; ChemoCentryx’s CCX168, a C5a receptor inhibitor for ANCA-associated vasculitis; and Novoimmune’s NI-0501, an interferon-γ antibody for the rare autoimmune disease haemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis.

Read more here.