Cancer Currents: An NCI Cancer Research Blog
A blog featuring news and research updates from the National Cancer Institute.
In patients with metastatic colorectal cancer, the location in the colon where the tumor originated appears to strongly influence how long patients live, according to a new study.
The study—a retrospective analysis of data from a large NCI-funded phase III clinical trial—found that patients whose cancer originated in the left side of the colon (distal colon) lived more than a year longer after initial treatment than patients whose disease originated in the right side of the colon (proximal colon).
Today, in JAMA Oncology, with my colleagues in the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics and elsewhere, we published a study on a risk prediction model developed to assess the absolute risk of breast cancer in women of European background in the United States.
The model takes into effect risk factors that can be modified, like alcohol use, and those that can’t, like family history and the constellation of previously identified common genetic risk variants, or SNPs. This multifaceted model can more precisely identify the subsets of women at highest risk of breast cancer who would be most likely to benefit from alterations to those modifiable factors.
African Americans who are diagnosed with colorectal cancer at a young age have significantly worse survival rates than young white patients, according to a new study.
The disparity was found even among those who were diagnosed with early-stage disease, Elena Stoffel, M.D., of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, and her colleagues reported May 2 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
As Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month comes to a close and summer begins, NCI has launched a new online tool called Moles to Melanoma: Recognizing the ABCDE Features.
The new tool is intended to help educate the public about the appearance and features of common moles (nevi), which pose no health risk, as well as those of atypical moles (dysplastic nevi), which can increase melanoma risk, and actual melanomas.
Researchers from several NCI-Designated Cancer Centers and NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) sites that serve rural parts of the United States recently met with NCI leaders to discuss the disparities in cancer outcomes in many rural areas of the country. The meeting was part of NCI’s efforts to prioritize its research activities to improve cancer control in rural areas.
In this interview, Robert Croyle, Ph.D., director of NCI’s Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, discusses some of the issues faced by rural communities and how NCI is approaching this important problem.
Pancreatic tumor cells and neighboring normal cells engage in a two-way molecular conversation that helps drive malignant behavior in the cancer cells, according to new study results.
Working in cell lines from mice, researchers showed that pancreatic cancer cells that have cancer-causing mutations in the KRAS gene can coerce nearby healthy cells to release growth signals. These signals then activate a chain of events in the tumor cells that enhance their ability to survive and multiply.
NCI researchers have identified new therapeutic targets in a common subtype of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). Drugs that hit these targets, known as SMAC mimetics, are already under clinical development, and the research team hopes to begin testing them in clinical trials of patients with DLBCL.
In a study published April 11 in Cancer Cell, the NCI researchers showed that the proteins cIAP1 and cIAP2 control the activity of a key signaling pathway in B cells that drives proliferation and survival in the ABC subtype of DLBCL (ABC DLBCL). In cell lines and animal models of the ABC subtype, they found that SMAC mimetics, which inhibit cIAP1 and cIAP2, killed cancer cells and shrank tumors.
May 5, 2016, will forever be noted as a remarkable milestone in the history of cancer control. On that day, the Secretary of Health and Human Services announced that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had finalized a rule extending its regulatory authority over tobacco products to include cigars, e-cigarettes, and hookah (waterpipe) tobacco.
Although the harms of cigarettes have been well studied, the harms of some other tobacco products are less well understood. We do know, however, that all traditional tobacco products, including cigars and smokeless tobacco, are highly addictive and cause cancer. There is no safe level of use for any of these products.
Health data enthusiasts of all stripes have arrived in Washington, DC, for an annual event known as Health Datapalooza. Incredibly smart participants from government, academia, companies, startups, and patient groups meet to share ideas and brainstorm about how to share and unleash health information to improve health outcomes for all.
Although the meeting is broader than any single disease, it will explore a topic that is central to NCI's efforts against cancer: creating knowledge from data. And the institute is reaching out to the data innovation community to help us do just that.
After rising steadily for decades, the incidence of thyroid cancer in the United States may have stabilized, according to a new study. Although still increasing, the number off new cases has risen at a much slower rate in recent years than in the past.
The incidence of thyroid cancer in the United States began to rise during the early 1990s, with incidence in 2013 triple that of 30 years earlier. But the new analysis found that incidence began to level off in 2009 and remained relatively stable through 2012. The findings appeared April 14 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.
The accelerated approval is for patients with CLL whose tumor cells are missing a portion of chromosome 17, commonly referred to as a 17p deletion, and who have received at least one prior therapy for their cancer.
At last week's annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, Vice President Biden's historic address to more than 4,000 researchers in attendance made clear that he and President Obama agree with many of us in the research community: We are at a critical juncture where the convergence of expanded knowledge and a more detailed understanding of cancer, the availability of advanced technologies, and a national commitment to collaborating in new ways has produced an unprecedented opportunity for rapidly accelerating progress against cancer.
Vice President Biden's National Cancer Moonshot Initiative is the catalyst that is intended to help us achieve that goal.
Two new studies from NCI researchers add to growing evidence of the promise of a novel type of cancer immunotherapy that uses infrared light to activate rapid and selective killing of cancer cells.
One of the studies, presented last week at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting in New Orleans, showed that this approach, called near-infrared photoimmunotherapy (NIR-PIT), could unleash immune activity against tumors in mice by depleting the tumor microenvironment of certain immune cells that act to restrain the immune response against tumors.
Researchers have identified a potential alternative approach to blocking the activity of a key molecular driver of an advanced form of prostate cancer, called androgen-independent or castration-resistant prostate cancer.
In prostate cancer cell lines and in several mouse models of prostate cancer, treatment with drug-like small molecules that target a protein called ROR-γ disrupted the activity of the androgen receptor (AR), the researchers showed. Signaling through AR is the chief means by which prostate cancer cells grow and spread.
We’re coming off an exciting week for the cancer research community and the ongoing efforts behind the Vice President’s National Cancer Moonshot Initiative.
The big event, which took place in New Orleans, was the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), which featured many oral and poster presentations of promising results, from basic research studies to late-stage clinical trials.
In a small clinical trial, more than half of the patients with an aggressive form of skin cancer called Merkel cell carcinoma responded to the drug pembrolizumab (Keytruda®), which strengthens the immune response against cancer. Overall, the responses have been longer-lasting than those typically seen in patients with this very rare cancer who have received chemotherapy.
The 26 patients in this phase II trial had an advanced form of the disease, and none had received prior systemic treatment. Among the 25 patients who could be evaluated, 14 patients (56 percent) had a complete or partial response, Paul Nghiem, M.D., Ph.D., of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center reported on April 19 at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) in New Orleans.
A deficiency in vitamin D is associated with tumor progression and metastasis in breast cancer, suggests a new study.
The study, primarily conducted using cell lines and mice, also identified an association between vitamin D levels and the expression of ID1, an oncogene that has been associated with tumor growth and metastasis in breast cancer and other cancer types.
Based on the results of a new study, NCI is launching a clinical program called ClinOmics, which will use genomic approaches to help guide the treatment of patients with cancer who are treated at the NIH Clinical Center.
In this interview, Javed Khan, M.D., of NCI’s Center for Cancer Research (CCR), discusses the promise and the challenges of genome-based therapy for children and adults with cancer.
Researchers have developed and tested a new injectable nanoparticle-generating technology that can deliver doxorubicin (Adriamycin®), a commonly used chemotherapy drug, straight to the nucleus of metastatic breast cancer cells with high effectiveness.
In the study, the treatment approach led to complete remissions in mice with a hard-to-treat form of breast cancer. The findings appeared in Nature Biotechnology on March 14. The research team that led the study hopes to start testing the treatment in human clinical trials by the end of 2017.