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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.

Study identifies highly effective treatment option for patients with HER2-positive breast cancer
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 12/12/2013) - Combining the chemotherapy drugs docetaxel and carboplatin with the HER2-targeted therapy trastuzumab was identified to be an ideal postsurgery treatment option for patients with HER2-positive breast cancer, regardless of tumor size and whether or not disease has spread to the lymph nodes, according to results from the BETH study (led by researchers from the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center) presented at the 2013 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, held Dec. 10-14.

Drug-antibody pair has promising activity in non-Hodgkin lymphoma
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 12/11/2013) - A toxin linked to a targeted monoclonal antibody has shown "compelling" antitumor activity in patients with non-Hodgkin lymphomas who were no longer responding to treatment, according to a report from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The ongoing open-label phase 2 study presented at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) meeting was designed to test the activity of brentuximab vedotin (Adcetris) in relapsed or refractory non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) including B-cell cancers such as diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL).

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.

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