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International gene therapy trial for 'bubble boy' disease shows promising early results
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 12/09/2013) - Researchers reported promising outcomes data for the first group of boys with X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome (SCID-X1), a fatal genetic immunodeficiency also known as "bubble boy" disease, who were treated as part of an international clinical study of a new form of gene therapy. The mechanism used to deliver the gene therapy is designed to prevent the serious complication of leukemia that arose a decade ago in a similar trial in Europe, when one-quarter of boys treated developed the blood cancer. Researchers from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute presented the study results annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology, on behalf of the Transatlantic Gene Therapy Consortium.

Advances in stem cell transplantation strategies show promise to improve availability, success
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 12/09/2013) - Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), once considered an effective yet risky alternative to drug therapy for blood cancer, has become more accessible and successful in a wide range of patients as a result of major advances in transplant strategies and technologies. Several studies representing these advances were presented during the 55th American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting and Exposition in New Orleans. Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center presented a study of haploidentical bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cell transplants (haploBMT) as an alternative to fully matched transplants. Researchers from the City of Hope Cancer Center presented a study exploring whether transplants – and specifically the intensity of transplant-related chemotherapy and radiation – might be associated with cognitive decline.

Gut microbes may be a risk factor for colorectal cancer
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 12/09/2013) - In one of the largest epidemiological studies of human gut bacteria and colorectal cancer ever conducted, a team of researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center (home of the NYU Cancer Institute) has found a clear association between gut bacteria and colorectal cancer. The study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, discovered that colorectal cancer patients had fewer beneficial bacteria and more harmful bacteria than people without the disease.

New studies demonstrate that modified T cells are effective in treating blood-borne cancers
NCI News Note
(Posted: 12/09/2013) - At the 2013 American Society of Hematology meeting in Dec. 2013, James Kochenderfer, M.D., NCI, presented findings from two clinical trials evaluating the use of genetically modified immune system T cells as cancer therapy. These reports represent important advances in the understanding of gene therapy for treatment of advanced blood-borne cancers.

Cancer mutation likely trigger of scleroderma
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 12/06/2013) - Johns Hopkins scientists have found evidence that cancer triggers the autoimmune disease scleroderma, which causes thickening and hardening of the skin and widespread organ damage. A report on the discovery, published in the Dec. 5 issue of Science, also suggests that a normal immune system is critical for preventing the development of common types of cancer. Johns Hopkins is home to the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center.

Unlocking how brain cancer cells hide from drugs
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 12/06/2013) - Researchers from UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (JCCC) have discovered a biological mechanism that allows brain tumor cells to escape from the drugs designed to target them, resulting in drug resistance. The study was published in the December 5, 2013 online issue of Science.

NIH-funded study shows increased survival in men with metastatic prostate cancer who receive chemotherapy when starting hormone therapy
NCI Press Release
(Posted: 12/05/2013) - Men with hormone-sensitive metastatic prostate cancer who received the chemotherapy drug docetaxel given at the start of standard hormone therapy lived longer than patients who received hormone therapy alone, according to early results from a NIH-supported randomized controlled clinical trial.
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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center study examines predicting ovarian cancer by counting tumor-attacking immune cells
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 12/05/2013) - Scientists at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have developed a new method for counting a special class of cancer-fighting cells – called tumor-infiltrating T lymphocytes, or TILs – reliably, quickly and cheaply in patients with early stage and advanced ovarian cancer.

3-D mammography increases cancer detection and reduces call-back rates
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 12/04/2013) - Compared to traditional mammography, 3D mammography—known as digital breast tomosynthesis—found 22 percent more breast cancers and led to fewer call backs in a large screening study at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP), researchers reported at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). The University of Pennsylvania is home to the Abramson Cancer Center.

New drug cuts risk of deadly transplant side effect in half
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 12/03/2013) - A new class of drugs reduced the risk of patients contracting a serious and often deadly side effect of lifesaving bone marrow transplant treatments, according to a study from researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. The study, the first to test this treatment in people, combined the drug vorinostat with standard medications given after transplant, resulting in 22 percent of patients developing graft-vs.-host disease compared to 42 percent of patients who typically develop this condition with standard medications alone. Results of the study appear in The Lancet Oncology.

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