Earlier discovery of cancer and greater precision in the treatment process are the objectives of a new method recently developed. | ScienceDaily
Screening of at-risk groups for certain types of cancer, leading to earlier diagnosis, is being described as an area with major potential, both with regard to saving lives and saving money within healthcare. No tissue samples are needed for the method, and the tumor does not even need to be located. Investments are now being made to roll out this innovation across healthcare and broaden the scope of the research in this field.
The technique was created based on the fact that people with cancer also have DNA from tumor cells circulating in the blood, molecules that can be discovered in a regular blood sample long before the tumor is visible via imaging such as tomography, MRI, X-ray and ultrasound.
The researchers have now increased the sensitivity of detecting tumor DNA in blood thousand-fold by eliminating the background noise from the measurements using “DNA barcoding.”
A new way to slow cancer cell growth. | University of Rochester Medical Center | ScienceDaily
Researchers have identified a new way to potentially slow the fast-growing cells that characterize all types of cancer. By removing a specific protein from cells, they were able to slow the cell cycle, which is out of control in cancer.
The findings, reported in the journal Science were made in kidney and cervical cancer cells and are a long way from being applied in people, but could be the basis of a treatment option in the future.
Researchers identified a protein called Tudor-SN that is important in the “preparatory” phase of the cell cycle – the period when the cell gets ready to divide. When scientists eliminated this protein from cells, using the gene editing technology CRISPR-Cas9, cells took longer to gear up for division. The loss of Tudor-SN slowed the cell cycle.
People who drink more coffee are less likely to develop liver cancer, an analysis of data from 26 studies has found | Story via The Guardian | BMJ
Researchers have found that people who drink more coffee are less likely to develop hepatocellular cancer (HCC), the most common form of primary liver cancer – and the effect was also found in decaffeinated coffee.
Experts from the University of Southampton and the University of Edinburgh examined data from 26 studies involving more than 2.25 million participants. Compared with people who drank no coffee, those who drank one cup a day had a 20% lower risk of developing HCC, according to the study, published in the journal BMJ Open.
Those who consumed two cups a day had a 35% reduced risk and for those who drank five cups, the risk was halved. They found the protective effect for decaf was “smaller and less certain than for caffeinated coffee”
Scientists investigate how and why brown pigmented moles turn into malignant melanoma | via ScienceDaily
Malignant melanoma is one of the most common and dangerous types of cancer. Researchers have investigated how and why brown pigmented moles turn into malignant melanoma using innovative robot technology. The insights gained can simplify methods of diagnosis in the future; furthermore, they suggest that certain cosmetic products and creams should be avoided.
Until now, researchers only knew which genetic mutations were responsible for triggering the transformation of benign pigmented moles into malignant tumours. But little was known about what happens to proteins and signalling pathways when a malignant melanoma develops.
The research group have now discovered that the ADAM10 signalling pathway is activated during the transformation. This pathway is a protein chain that passes the signal from one protein to the next, similar to chasing LED lights. This protein chain is normally inactive in healthy skin and is only activated in an immune response. It is known for its role in psoriasis, rosacea and inflammation, i.e. when the immune system is activated but is also key in the development of malignant melanoma.
Study finds men with over 40in waist and women with over 35in waist are more at risk of cancer as waist size is as good at predicting cancer risk as BMI | via Cancer Research UK
Scientists have found that carrying fat around your middle could be as good an indicator of cancer risk as body mass index (BMI), according to research published in the British Journal of Cancer .
The study combined data from around 43,000 participants who had been followed for an average of 12 years and more than 1,600 people were diagnosed with an obesity-related cancer.
The study found that adding about 11cm to the waistline increased the risk of obesity related cancers by 13 per cent. For bowel cancer, adding around 8 cm to the hips is linked to an increased risk of 15 per cent.
Being overweight or obese is the single biggest preventable cause of cancer after smoking and is linked to 13 types of cancer including bowel, breast, and pancreas.
The report analysed 119 studies and including data on 12 million women and 260,000 cases of breast cancer | World Cancer Research Fund
Many epidemiologic studies have classified breast cancer cases by menopausal status at time of diagnosis, and therefore in this report we chose to highlight associations between diet, weight, and physical activity separately in premenopausal and postmenopausal breast cancer, where possible.
Early detection of breast cancer through screening can lower breast cancer mortality rates and reduce the burden of this disease in the population | International Journal of Cancer
In most western countries, mammography screening starting from age 50 is recommended. However, there is debate about whether breast cancer screening should be extended to younger women. This systematic review provides an overview of the evidence from RCT’s on the benefits and harms of breast cancer screening with mammography in women aged 40 to 49 years. The quality of the evidence for each outcome was appraised using the GRADE approach.
Four articles reporting on two different trials, the Age trial and the Canadian National Breast Screening Study-I (CNBSS-I), were included. The results showed no significant effect on breast cancer mortality (Age trial: RR 0.93, 95% CI 0.80-1.09; CNBSS-I: HR 1.10 (95% CI 0.86-1.40) nor on all-cause mortality (RR 0.98, 95% CI 0.93-1.03) in women aged 40 to 49 years offered screening. Among regularly attending women the cumulative risk of experiencing a false-positive recall was 20.5%. Overdiagnosis of invasive breast cancer at five years post cessation of screening for women aged 40to 49 years was estimated to be 32%; 20 years post cessation of screening 48%. Including ductal carcinoma in situ, these numbers were 41% and 55%.
Based on the current evidence from randomised trials, extending mammography screening to younger age groups cannot be recommended. However there were limitations including relatively low sensitivity of screening and screening attendance, insufficient power, and contamination, which may explain the non-significant results.
Full reference: van den Ende, C. et al. (2017) Benefits and harms of breast cancer screening with mammography in women aged 40-49 years: A systematic review. International Journal of Cancer. DOI: 10.1002/ijc.30794
Something as simple as eating tree nuts may make a difference in the long-term survival of patients with colon cancer, a new study concludes.American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) | ScienceDaily | 18th May 2017
An observational study of 826 patients with stage III colon cancer showed that those who consumed two ounces or more of nuts per week had a 42% lower chance of cancer recurrence and 57% lower chance of death than those who did not eat nuts.
A secondary analysis revealed the benefit of nut consumption was limited to tree nuts. Tree nuts include almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews, and pecans, among others. These findings will be presented at the upcoming 2017 ASCO Annual Meeting in Chicago.
Updated Review of the Literature with a Focus on Tumour Subsite and Treatment Modality | Clinical Oncology
Technological advances in radiation therapy permit steep dose gradients from the target to spare normal tissue, but increase the risk of geographic miss. Suboptimal target delineation adversely affects clinical outcomes. Prospective peer review is a method for quality assurance of oncologists’ radiotherapy plans. Published surveys suggest it is widely implemented. However, it may not be feasible to review every case before commencement of radiation therapy in all departments. The rate of plan changes following peer review of cases without a specific subsite or modality is typically around 10%. Stereotactic body radiation therapy, head and neck, gynaecological, gastrointestinal, haematological and lung cases are associated with higher rates of change of around 25%. These cases could thus be prioritised for peer review. Other factors may limit peer review efficacy including organisational culture, time constraints and the physical environment in which sessions are held. Recommendations for peer review endorsed by the American Society for Radiation Oncology were made available in 2013, but a number of relevant studies have been published since. Here we review and update the literature, and provide an updated suggestion for the implementation of peer review to serve as an adjunct to published guidelines. This may help practitioners evaluate their current processes and maximise the utility and effectiveness of peer review sessions.
A mixed method study on what patients experience as a suitable stage to participate | Supportive Care in Cancer
Purpose: Breast cancer is associated with high levels of psychological distress. Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) has proven to be effective in reducing distress in cancer patients. In several studies, patients who are currently undergoing somatic anticancer treatment are excluded from participating in MBSR. Little is known about what would be the most suitable stage of disease to offer MBSR. We examined whether stage of disease facilitated and/or hindered participation in MBSR for breast cancer patients.
Conclusions: In contrast to the common practice to tailoring the timing of MBSR to physical impairments or demands of the anticancer treatment, our findings revealed that emotional readiness is equally important to take into account. These findings might support professionals in their choices whether and when to inform and refer patients to MBSR.