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Pain drugs used in prostate gland removal linked to cancer outcome
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 12/18/2013) - The methods used to anesthetize prostate cancer patients and control pain when their prostate glands are surgically removed for adenocarcinoma may affect their long-term cancer outcomes, a study led by Mayo Clinic has found. Opioids, painkillers commonly given during and after surgery, may suppress the immune system's ability to fight cancer cells. The research suggests that supplementing general anesthesia with a spinal or epidural painkiller before a radical prostatectomy reduces a patient's need for opioids after surgery, and this finding was associated with a lower risk of cancer recurrence. The findings are published online in the British Journal of Anaesthesia.

Personalized vaccine for most lethal type of brain tumor shows promise
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 12/17/2013) - Patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) treated with an experimental vaccine made from the patient's own resected tumor tissue showed an improved survival compared with historical patients who received the standard of care alone, according to an analysis of a phase 2 trial of this vaccine that was recently published in the journal Neuro-Oncology and accompanied by an editorial highlighting the importance of the trial. This phase 2 trial, conducted by researchers from the Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine and its Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, enrolled 41 adult patients with recurrent tumors between 2007 and 2011.

Additional drug shows promise for women with triple-negative breast cancer
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 12/16/2013) - In a nationwide study of women with triple-negative breast cancer, adding the chemotherapy drug carboplatin or the angiogenesis inhibitor Avastin to standard chemotherapy drugs brought a sharp increase in the number of patients whose tumors shrank away completely, investigators reported at the 2013 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. The study, sponsored by the Cancer and Leukemia Group B, includes authors from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brown University, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. New York University, Washington University in St. Louis, City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Mount Sinai Medical Center.

Lung cancer death rates continue to fall, helping drive decrease in overall cancer death rates; Annual Report to the Nation includes special feature highlighting the contribution of other diseases on survival of patients
NCI Press Release
(Posted: 12/16/2013) - The Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, covering the period 1975–2010, showed death rates for lung cancer, which accounts for more than one in four cancer deaths, dropping at a faster pace than in previous years. The recent larger drop in lung cancer deaths is likely the result of decreased cigarette smoking prevalence over many years, and is now being reflected in mortality trends
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Changing chemo not beneficial for metastatic B.C. patients with elevated circulating tumor cells
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 12/13/2013) - For women with metastatic breast cancer who had elevated amounts of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in their blood after a first line of chemotherapy, switching immediately to a different chemotherapy did not improve overall survival or time to progression, according to the results of a phase III clinical trial presented by researchers from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center at the 2013 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, held Dec. 10-14.

New presurgery combination therapy may improve outcomes for women with triple-negative breast cancer
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 12/13/2013) - The I-SPY 2 trial, an innovative, multidrug, phase II breast cancer trial, has yielded positive results with the first drug to complete testing in the trial. Adding the chemotherapy carboplatin and the molecularly targeted drug veliparib to standard presurgery chemotherapy improved outcomes for women with triple-negative breast cancer, according to results from the I-SPY 2 trial (led by researchers from the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center) presented at the 2013 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, held Dec. 10-14.

Ibrutinib and rituximab trigger 95 percent response rate among CLL patients
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 12/13/2013) - Nearly all of the high-risk chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients in a phase II clinical trial responded to treatment with the targeted therapy ibrutinib and the antibody rituximab, researchers from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center reported at the 55th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology.

New models of drug-resistant breast cancer point to better treatments
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 12/13/2013) - Human breast tumors transplanted into mice are excellent models of metastatic cancer and are providing insights into how to attack breast cancers that no longer respond to the drugs used to treat them, according to research from Washington University School of Medicine (home of the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center) in St. Louis, presented Dec. 12 at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

Multi-gene test could help spot breast cancer patients most at risk
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 12/12/2013) - A new test has the potential to help physicians identify patients with the most lethal forms of triple-negative breast cancer, a disease which requires aggressive and innovative treatment. The test, whose development was led by researchers from the University of Chicago (home of the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center) and described in the Dec. 11 issue of PLOS ONE, was able to distinguish between patients with a good or poor prognosis, even within groups of patients already stratified by existing tests such as MammaPrint and Oncotype, as well as to extend its predictions to patients with more advanced or difficult-to-treat cancers.

Combined therapy linked to lower chance of recurrence in women with small, HER2-positive breast cancers
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 12/12/2013) - In a new study, women with relatively small, HER2-positive breast tumors who received a combination of lower-intensity chemotherapy and a targeted therapy following surgery or radiation therapy were very unlikely to have the cancer recur within a few years of treatment, investigators at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and other research centers report at the 2013 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

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