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Less painful drug delivery for pediatric leukemia patients is safe, effective
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 12/11/2013) - Children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common form of pediatric cancer, can safely receive intravenous infusions of a reformulated mainstay of chemotherapy that has been delivered via painful intramuscular injection for more than 40 years, research from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute ALL Consortium suggests.

Screening decisions must balance potential benefits with potential patient harms
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 12/11/2013) - Screening to detect medical conditions has become standard practice for many diseases, but insufficient attention has been paid to the potential for harm, according to research conducted at the University of North Carolina, including members of its UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. In an article published by the Journal of American Medical Association - Internal Medicine, the authors outline a framework that physicians, patients, policy makers and researchers can use to think systematically about the harms of screening programs. This rationale – a “taxonomy of harms” – makes it easier for decision makers to fully consider all harms to balance against anticipated benefits.

Gene sequencing project finds family of drugs with promise for treating childhood tumor
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 12/11/2013) - Drugs that enhance a process called oxidative stress were found to kill rhabdomyosarcoma tumor cells growing in the laboratory and possibly bolstered the effectiveness of chemotherapy against this aggressive tumor of muscle and other soft tissue. The findings are the latest from the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital–Washington University Pediatric Cancer Genome Project and appear in the December 9 edition of the scientific journal Cancer Cell.

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.

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.

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.

Diabetes identified as risk factor for liver cancer across ethnic groups
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 12/09/2013) - Diabetes was associated with an increased risk for developing a type of liver cancer called hepatocellular carcinoma, and this association was highest for Latinos, followed by Hawaiians, African-Americans, and Japanese-Americans, according to results presented by researchers from the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (home of the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center) at the Sixth AACR Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved, held Dec. 6-9.

Economic factors may affect getting guideline-recommended breast cancer treatment
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 12/09/2013) - Women with interruptions in health insurance coverage or with low income levels had a significantly increased likelihood of failing to receive breast cancer care that is in concordance with recommended treatment guidelines, according to results presented at the Sixth AACR Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved, held Dec. 6-9. Women with a break in their insurance coverage had a 3.5-fold higher likelihood of nonconcordance with National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines for radiation therapy and chemotherapy compared with women with uninterrupted coverage, according to a study from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Novel method could help bring cancer biomarkers to clinic
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 12/09/2013) - An international team of scientists led by a Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center cancer proteomics expert has demonstrated the feasibility of large-scale, standardized protein measurements, which are necessary for validation of disease biomarkers and drug targets. The study, published Dec. 8 online in the journal Nature Methods, shows that the scientists' targeted protein-detection approach has the potential to systematically and reliably measure the entire human repertoire of proteins, known as the proteome.

Novel drug regimen can improve stem cell transplantation outcomes
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 12/09/2013) - Adding bortezomib (Velcade) to standard preventive therapy for graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD) results in improved outcomes for patients receiving stem cell transplants from mismatched and unrelated donors, according to researchers from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. In a new phase 2 trial, patients treated with bortezomib had lower rates of severe acute GVHD and treatment-related mortality, and experienced better one-year overall survival than has been seen historically with such patients receiving standard preventive therapy, the investigators reported at the American Society of Hematology annual meeting.

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