University of Birmingham | June 2018 | Trial to test new treatment combination for children and adults with Leukaemia
A clinical trial testing a new treatment combination in patients with leukaemia launches through the Combinations Alliance, a joint initiative between Cancer Research UK and the Experimental Cancer Medicine Centres (ECMC) Network based at University of Birmingham.
Researchers want to discover whether pharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca and MSD’s experimental medicine, selumetinib (AZD6244, ARRY-142886), can be effective in combination with a treatment, dexamethasone, already used for several conditions including leukaemia.
This clinical trial, the first of its kind to include both adults and children is based at the Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit at the University of Birmingham. This trial is planned to open in 23 centres throughout the UK and in 11 additional centres in 6 European countries, to help recruit 42 patients.
Professor Josef Vormoor, international clinical lead for the trial, said: ‘Although there are effective treatments for leukaemia, for some patients, the disease can return after they have been treated. If this combination is successful, it could give us an urgently needed new way to treat patients who have relapsed and have few treatment options left.’ (Source:University of Birmingham)
The full press release can be read at the University of Birmingham’s website
Further details on the clinical trial are available from Cancer Research
The Francis Crick Institute | April 2018 | ‘Killer’ kidney cancers identified by studying their evolution
Three new studies funded by Cancer Research UK have led scientists to better understand that kidney cancer follows a specific evolutionary path. The first two studies involved the analysis of more than 1,000 tumour samples from kidney cancer patients (n equal to 100) to reconstruct the sequence of genetic events that led to the cancer in each patient. Their analysis gave rise to the three evolutionarily distinct types of kidney cancer and each has its own path:
- The first type never acquires the ability to become aggressive
- The second tumour type forms the most aggressive tumours, evolving through a rapid burst of genomic damage early on. This enables the tumour all it needs to spread to other regions of the body.
- The third tumour spreads over a longer period of time and are made of different populations of cancer cells, some of which are aggressive
Dr Samra Turajlic lead author of the study said: “The outcomes of patients diagnosed with kidney cancer vary a great deal – we show for the first time that these differences are rooted in the distinct way that their cancers evolve.
“Knowing the next step in cancer’s evolutionary trajectory could tailor the treatment choice for individual patients in the next decade. For instance, patients with the least aggressive tumours could be spared surgery and monitored instead, and those with gradually evolving tumours could have the primary tumour surgically removed even after it has spread.”
The Francis Crick Institute have created a video to accompany this press release
The third study found that events that trigger kidney cancer can take place in childhood or adolescence years before the primary tumour is diagnosed.
Dr Peter Campbell, corresponding author of this study said: “We can now say what the initiating genetic changes are in kidney cancer, and when they happen.” (The Francis Crick Institute).
The full news story can be read at The Francis Crick Institute website
All of the articles are published in Cell and can be read by following the links
Turajlic, S. et al |Deterministic Evolutionary Trajectories Influence Primary Tumor Growth: TRACERx Renal
Turajlic, S. et al |Tracking Cancer Evolution Reveals Constrained Routes to Metastases: TRACERx Renal
Turajlic, S. et al | Timing the Landmark Events in the Evolution of Clear Cell Renal Cell Cancer: TRACERx Renal
In the media
BBC News Why some cancers are born to be bad
Cancer Reseach UK: Science Surgery series
Answering this question isn’t a simple case of ‘yes’ or ‘no’, because it depends on the way that the term ‘cancer’ is defined. The word ‘cancer’ is singular, but it reflects more than just one disease. It should actually be viewed as an umbrella term for a collection of hundreds of different diseases. They all share the fundamental characteristic of rogue cells growing out of control, but each type of cancer, and each person’s individual cancer, is unique and comes with its own set of challenges.
That’s why it’s very unlikely that there will be one single cure that can wipe out all cancers. But, as explained in the short animation below, that doesn’t mean individual cases of cancer can’t be cured:
Read more at Cancer Research UK
Cancer Research UK launches trial to test new drug in patients with advanced cancer | Cancer Research UK
A clinical trial to test a new cancer drug in patients with advanced solid tumours, launches in four centres across the UK, through Cancer Research UK’s Centre for Drug Development.
This early phase trial will test the safety and tolerability of the drug and establish the recommended dose for patients with a variety of cancers including advanced bowel, lung, ovarian, urothelial, pancreatic, breast, head and neck, and oesophageal cancer.
In the first part of the trial, groups of patients will receive increasing doses of the drug, called LY3143921 hydrate, to find the safest dose that best targets the cancer cells. The drug, discovered by Eli Lilly, was brought to Cancer Research UK through the charity’s Clinical Development Partnership scheme.
In the second part, larger groups of patients will receive the highest tolerated dose, so that researchers can investigate how the drug is working on the cancer cells.
The drug has not yet been tested in people but has shown promise in mice by selectively inhibiting Cdc7, a protein that helps cells to reproduce correctly.
Full story at Cancer Research UK
Cancer Research UK is offering a free online cancer awareness training Talking about cancer. This course aims to separate myths from facts and encourage healthy lifestyle changes and spotting cancer early.
There’s a lot of confusing information and advice out there around sugar. It’s been made the villain of our diet, but where does the consensus lie between how sugar and cancer are linked? | Cancer Research UK Science Blog
Does it cause cancer? Does sugar feed cancer cells, making them grow more aggressively? And how does the sugar we consume through food and drink affect our health, and what can be done about this?
In this post we’re taking a long hard look at sugar.
We’ll focus specifically on sugar and cancer, busting some myths and covering what researchers are studying in the hopes of finding new ways to treat people with cancer.
And we’ll cover why the amount of sugar in our diets is cause for concern. A high-sugar diet can be bad news when it comes to cancer risk, but not for the reasons that often appear in the headlines.
But first the basics, what our bodies need sugar for and where it comes from in our diet.
Read the full blog post here
Better GP access to cancer diagnostic tools would benefit doctors and patients, says RCGP |via OnMedica
The Royal College of GPs has welcomed a £5 million grant aimed at giving GPs better access to cancer diagnostic tools. Cancer Research UK (CRUK), which is funding the research project, said having more effective ways to diagnose cancer in GP surgeries would save both doctors’ and patients’ time, and reduce anxiety for patients.
The charity announced its £5 million funding for the “revolutionary” CanTest project as part of its Catalyst Award, which it said “aims to help researchers from around the world deliver trailblazing progress in their field with long-lasting results”. CanTest will investigate and develop new ways for GPs, physician’s assistants and nurse practitioners to diagnose cancer in GP surgeries. It will assess the accuracy, cost effectiveness and suitability of a range of diagnostic methods and tools, with the aim of cutting both the wait for diagnosis and the number of referrals.