April 2011 Blog Posts (54)

Increased Health Literacy May Improve Elderly Cancer Patients’ Care and Outcomes

Low health literacy is a significant barrier to quality care, especially among elderly patients, but increased use of simple and effective health literacy assessment tests by nurses and clinicians can help improve communication and health outcomes.

Several screening tools are available to assess health literacy but they are underutilized, according to a presentation at the 36th… Continue

Added by Peter Hofland, PhD on April 29, 2011 at 4:30pm — No Comments

Nurses Uncomfortable Talking About Sexuality with Cancer Patients - New Initiatives Addresses Issues

Nurses and other health care providers are unprepared and uncomfortable when initiating discussions about sexuality with their patients, according to an abstract presented at the 36th Annual Congress of the Oncology Nursing Society by nurses from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Sexual problems often… Continue

Added by Peter Hofland, PhD on April 29, 2011 at 4:00pm — No Comments

Policies and Practice Settings Impact Access to Advanced Radiation for Breast Cancer Patients

Billing for intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) for the treatment of breast cancer increased more than ten-fold from 2001-2005, thus contributing to a 33% increase in the cost of breast radiation, according to a new report from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

According to the report, Medicare coverage for IMRT for breast cancer varied across the 16 geographical regions researchers examined in… Continue

Added by Peter Hofland, PhD on April 29, 2011 at 3:30pm — No Comments

No Benefit by Adding Atrasentan to Standard Chemotherapy in Advanced Prostate Cancer

The addition of atrasentan (Xinlay™, Abbott Laboratories) to standard chemotherapy for advanced prostate cancer shows no benefit in phase III clinical trial NCI-supported SWOG trial S0421 closes early based on interim finding that atrasentan added to docetaxel and prednisone did not confer additional survival benefit to patients with hormone-refractory prostate cancer.

A Data and Safety Monitoring Committee… Continue

Added by Peter Hofland, PhD on April 28, 2011 at 8:30pm — No Comments

Proteins in Blood Serum Distinguish Cancer From Non-cancerous Conditions, Study Shows

Researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center have identified a protein that shows distinct changes in structure between pancreatic cancer, non-cancerous diseases and normal blood serum. The protein also changes from early stage pancreatic cancer to advanced disease.

The finding suggests a blood test could serve as a potential screening tool to detect pancreatic cancer – which has… Continue

Added by Peter Hofland, PhD on April 28, 2011 at 6:30pm — No Comments

Abiraterone Acetate Approved by FDA for Late-Stage Prostate Cancer

The American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today approved abiraterone acetate (Zytiga™, Centocor Ortho Biotech, Inc) in combination with the steroid prednisone to treat patients with metastatic or late-stage castration-resistant prostate cancer who have received prior treatment with the chemotherapeutic drug docetaxel.

Metastatic castration-resistant…


Added by Peter Hofland, PhD on April 28, 2011 at 3:30pm — No Comments

FDA Approves Phase I Trial for Anti-Cancer Stem Cell Therapeutic OMP-18R5

The FDA has accepted an IND filing for OMP-18R5 (OncoMed Pharmaceuticals). As a result, OncoMed Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a company developing novel therapeutics that target cancer stem cells or tumor-initiating cells can start Phase I clinical testing for the drug candidate.

OMP-18R5 is a monoclonal antibody that binds selected receptors in the Wnt signaling pathway and is the first antibody to specifically… Continue

Added by Peter Hofland, PhD on April 28, 2011 at 5:30am — No Comments

Biomarker Activation may be Associated with Improved Survival Among Obese Colorectal Cancer Patients

Among obese patients, activation of the protein biomarker CTNNB1 was associated with better colorectal cancer-specific survival and overall survival, whereas post-diagnosis physical activity was associated with better colorectal cancer-specific survival among patients negative for CTNNB1, according to a study led by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researchers that was published in the April 27 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Activation… Continue

Added by Peter Hofland, PhD on April 27, 2011 at 8:30pm — No Comments

Researchers Develop Technique To Extends Cancer-fighting Cells’ Potency in Melanoma Patients

Like brainy bookworms unprepared for the rough and tumble of post-graduation life, white blood cells trained by scientists to attack tumors tend to fade away quickly when injected into cancer patients. Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists, however, have developed a technique that can cause such cells to survive in patients’ bloodstreams for well over a year, in some cases, without the need of other, highly toxic treatments, a… Continue

Added by Peter Hofland, PhD on April 27, 2011 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Omega-3 Fatty Acids Linked to Reduced Risk of Childhood Obesity, Recurrent Breast Cancer and Stroke

New research shows a possible connection between the risk of childhood obesity and maternal consumption of omega-3 fatty acids during pregnancy. Intake of the omega-3s found in seafood is also linked to reduced risk of recurrent breast cancer, stroke in women and early age-related macular degeneration (AMD). These findings and more are summarized in the April 2011… Continue

Added by Peter Hofland, PhD on April 27, 2011 at 10:00am — No Comments

PARP Inhibitors Could Work in Colon Cancers with Genetic Mutation

A class of drugs that shows promise in breast and ovarian cancers with BRCA gene mutations could potentially benefit colorectal cancer patients with a different genetic mutation, a new study from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center finds.

Working in cell lines from colorectal cancer patients, researchers found that a new class of drugs called PARP inhibitors - which inhibits PARP or… Continue

Added by Peter Hofland, PhD on April 26, 2011 at 8:30pm — No Comments

First Patient Enrolled in Phase II Clinical Study of HQK-1001 in Patients With Sickle Cell Disease

San Diego and Seattle-based biopharmaceutical company HemaQuest Pharmaceuticals, Inc. which focuses its clinical research on developing small molecule therapeutics based on its proprietary Short Chain Fatty Acid Derivatives or SCFADs technologies to treat hemoglobin diseases, earlier today announced that clinical investigators have enrolled the first patient in a randomized multi-dose Phase II study of HQK-1001 in patients with… Continue

Added by Peter Hofland, PhD on April 25, 2011 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Brain Cells Migrating During Normal Neurological Development May Offer Insight In Mechanism of Metastasis

By shedding new light on how cells migrate in the developing brain, researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center also may have found a new mechanism by which other types of cells, including cancer cells, travel within the body.

The findings by Jonathan Cooper, Ph.D., member and director of the Hutchinson Center’s Basic Sciences Division, and Yves Jossin, Ph.D., a research fellow in Cooper’s laboratory,… Continue

Added by Peter Hofland, PhD on April 24, 2011 at 9:30pm — No Comments

Presenting Cancer Treatment Options in Small Doses Yields Smarter Choices

Women who choose among different breast cancer treatment options make smarter choices when getting the information and making decisions in small doses rather than all at once, as is customary, a University of Michigan study found.

It's long been known that people who aren't good with numbers have a harder time understanding the risk information they need to make good medical decisions, says… Continue

Added by Peter Hofland, PhD on April 21, 2011 at 7:30pm — No Comments

Sequencing Cancer Patients’ Genomes - Powerful Diagnostic Tool Helping Doctors Find Best Treatment

Two new studies highlight the power of sequencing cancer patients’ genomes as a diagnostic tool, helping doctors decide the best course of treatment and researchers identify new cancer-susceptibility mutations that can be passed from parent to child.

Both studies, by Washington University School of Medicine researchers at the Siteman Cancer Center, are reported April 20 in the… Continue

Added by Peter Hofland, PhD on April 20, 2011 at 10:30pm — No Comments

Roundtable Addresses the Many Faces and Challenges of Caregivers

A roundtable dedicated to the challenges that caregivers confront highlighted the need for honest information and emotional support at the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) 16th Annual Conference. Sam Donaldson, ABC News veteran and cancer survivor, moderated a moving roundtable discussion between notable caregivers ranging from spouses, mothers, daughters, and clinicians.

Of the more than 1.3… Continue

Added by Peter Hofland, PhD on April 20, 2011 at 9:30pm — No Comments

Breast Cancer Treatment Offers Statistically Significant Survival Benefit in MBC

Eribulin (Halaven™, Eisai Europe Ltd) a novel treatment for patients with locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer who have progressed after at least two chemotherapeutic regimens for advanced disease is launched today in Sweden, Denmark and Finland after approval by the European Drug Agency (EU) for the whole EU area by March 24, 2011. Prior therapy should have included two common types of chemotherapy, an anthracycline and a… Continue

Added by Peter Hofland, PhD on April 20, 2011 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Personalized Cancer Care is Promising and Improving Survival Rates

Cancer survival rates could improve soon with whole-genome sequencing, according to two studies published in the April 20, 2011, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association that describe the first clinical applications of the high-tech process in patients with cancer.

The papers are remarkable examples of the power that genomic data hold for patients with a cancer diagnosis, according to an accompanying editorial by Boris Pasche, M.D., deputy… Continue

Added by Peter Hofland, PhD on April 19, 2011 at 5:00pm — No Comments

New Research Offers Hope For Patients With Basal Cell Carcinoma

People with a genetic condition called basal cell nevus syndrome develop hundreds or even thousands of skin cancers, or basal cell carcinomas, each year. Now Jean Tang, MD, PhD, assistant professor of dermatology, is reporting that a drug produced by Genentech called GDC-0449,a synthetic Hedgehog Pathway Inhibitor which blocks signals in the Hedgehog Pathway that is known to play a role in tumor growth,… Continue

Added by Peter Hofland, PhD on April 19, 2011 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Study Shows Parents May Embrace Predictive Genetic Testing for Their Children

Parents offered genetic testing to predict their risks of common, adult-onset health conditions say they would also test their children. That is the finding of a new national study published in the May issue of Pediatrics (published online April 18). The study authors note these and other findings should put pediatricians on alert that parents may chose predictive genetic tests for… Continue

Added by Peter Hofland, PhD on April 18, 2011 at 6:30pm — No Comments

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