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Penn Medicine reveals findings on two new weapons against thyroid cancer
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 09/30/2013) - For many years, patients with advanced thyroid cancer faced bleak prospects and no viable treatment options. But now, building on recent discoveries about the genetics and cell signaling pathways of thyroid tumors, researchers are developing exciting new weapons against the disease, using kinase inhibitors that target tumor cell division and blood vessels. Two recent clinical trials led by a researcher from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (home to the Abramson Cancer Center) showcase the great promise of these new approaches. The work will be presented at the European Cancer Congress in Amsterdam.

The benefits of looking across many cancer genomes
NCI Perspective
(Posted: 09/27/2013) - Cancer is not a single entity, but rather, it is more than one hundred complex and distinct diseases, with most cancer types demanding a unique treatment strategy. TCGA researchers have developed a formal project for a cross tumor analysis, called Pan-Cancer. Its goal is to assemble TCGA’s wealth of data across tumor types, analyze and interpret those data, and finally, make both the analyses and the data freely available.

Lifestyle can reduce obesity-related cancers
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 09/27/2013) - It is estimated that over a third of the new cancer cases expected to occur in the U.S. in 2013 will be related to overweight or obesity, physical inactivity, and poor nutrition. A study from researchers at New York University (home of the NYU Cancer Institute), which appears in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Prevention, concludes that disturbances in body insulin and glucose levels, specifically exposures to longer periods, are associated with an increased risk of obesity-related cancers and offers suggestions for clinicians to screen for these disturbances to aid in the prevention of these cancers.

Cancer-killing cells controlled by epigenetic process, new study shows
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 09/27/2013) - For the first time, a new study from the Keck School of Medicine of USC (home of the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center) has described how natural killer (NK) cells in the human body, which can kill and contain viruses and cancerous tumors, can be manipulated by epigenetics. The discovery, detailed in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, paves the way for developing more effective cancer drugs.

FDA-approved antidepressant may combat deadly form of lung cancer, study finds
NCI Cancer Center news
(Posted: 09/27/2013) - A little-used class of antidepressants appears potentially effective in combating a particularly deadly form of lung cancer, according to a new study from researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine (home of the Stanford Cancer Institute). And because the drugs have already been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in humans, the researchers have been able to quickly launch a clinical trial to test their theory in patients.

Fewer weeks of hormone therapy before radiation reduces side effects in intermediate risk prostate cancer
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 09/25/2013) - A shorter course of androgen suppression therapy prior to radiation therapy, when compared to a longer course of androgen suppression therapy, yields favorable outcomes and fewer adverse effects for intermediate-risk prostate cancer patients, according to research presented at the American Society for Radiation Oncology's (ASTRO) 55th Annual Meeting by researchers from the Mayo Clinic. The study confirmed a disease-specific-survival (DSS) rate of 95 percent when patients received fewer weeks of neoadjuvant (NEO) total androgen suppression (TAS).

Avoiding specific region of brain during whole-brain radiotherapy prevents memory loss
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 09/25/2013) - Limiting the amount of radiation absorbed in the hippocampal portion of the brain during whole-brain radiotherapy (WBRT) for brain metastases preserves memory function in patients for up to six months after treatment, according to research presented at the American Society for Radiation Oncology's (ASTRO's) 55th Annual Meeting by researchers from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, home of the UW Paul P. Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Sulfasalazine does not reduce diarrhea for patients receiving pelvic radiation therapy
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 09/23/2013) - Patients receiving radiotherapy (RT) for cancers in the pelvic region can experience diarrhea, a negative side effect of radiation treatment. Sulfasalazine, an oral tablet used to treat inflammation of the bowels, had been shown in a past trial of 31 patients to decrease diarrhea during pelvic RT (Killic 2001). Sulfasalazine does not reduce diarrhea, according to research presented at the American Society of Radiation Oncology's (ASTRO's) 55th Annual Meeting by researchers from the Mayo Medical School and the Mayo Clinic. The study also determined that the medication may be associated with a higher risk of diarrhea than placebo.

Proton therapy is a cost-effective treatment for pediatric brain tumor patients
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 09/23/2013) - Proton therapy, an external beam radiotherapy in which protons deliver precise radiation doses to a tumor and spare healthy organs and tissues, is cost-effective in treating medulloblastomas, fast-growing brain tumors that mainly affect children, when compared to standard photon radiation therapy, according to research presented at the American Society for Radiation Oncology's (ASTRO's) 55th Annual Meeting by researchers from the Mount Auburn Hospital, the teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School (a component of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute).

Adult cancer patients younger than 50 with limited brain mets have improved overall survival after stereotactic radiosurgery alone
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 09/23/2013) - When treated with stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), that is not combined with whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT), adult brain cancer patients who were 50 years old and younger were found to have improved survival, according to research presented at the American Society for Radiation Oncology's (ASTRO's) 55th Annual Meeting. Younger patients (under 50 years old) were also found to be at no greater risk of new brain metastases developing despite omission of WBRT. The study included authors from the University of Southern California (home of the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center) and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

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