Cancer Currents: An NCI Cancer Research Blog
A blog featuring news and research updates from the National Cancer Institute.
- Immunotherapy Drug Cemiplimab Approved for Advanced Squamous Cell Skin Cancer
The Food and Drug Administration approved the immunotherapy drug cemiplimab (Libtayo) for an advanced form of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), a common type of skin cancer. It is the first agent to be approved specifically for advanced SCC.
- Trial Results Highlight Changing Lung Cancer Treatment Landscape
Results from two large clinical trials should cement the value of the drugs brigatinib (Alunbrig) and durvalumab (Imfinzi) in treating non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The trial results, several experts said, confirm that the drugs can improve the outcomes of patients with advanced NSCLC.
- For HPV-Positive Women, Test Can Guide Cervical Cancer Screening Follow-Up
A new test can help to improve the clinical management of women who screen positive for HPV infection during routine cervical cancer screening, an NCI-led study has shown.
- Using Artificial Intelligence to Classify Lung Cancer Types, Predict Mutations
Cancer researchers have trained a computer program to scan images of tissue samples to differentiate normal lung tissue from the two most common forms of lung cancer. The program also learned to detect cancer-related genetic mutations in the samples.
- Vaping Pods Produce High Nicotine Levels in Young Users
Adolescents who use pod-style e-cigarettes had higher levels of nicotine in their bodies than is typically found in adolescents who smoke conventional cigarettes, a new study has found. The study's findings are concerning for several reasons.
- For Small Cell Lung Cancer, Immunotherapy Drug Finally Brings Improved Survival
In a large clinical trial, the immunotherapy drug atezolizumab (Tecentriq), combined with a standard chemotherapy regimen, modestly increased survival in patients with advanced small cell lung cancer (SCLC). The trial is the first in more than 20 years to show a survival improvement in this cancer.
- The R50 Research Specialist Award: Ensuring a Stable Cancer Research Workforce
With the increasing reliance on advanced technologies and the rise of big data in cancer research, NCI launched the R50 Research Specialist Award to help sustain a stable workforce of experienced scientists who can take fullest advantage of these tools and resources.
- Stimulating the Immune System Shrinks Some Slow-Growing Lymphomas
In a small trial involving patients with slow-growing B-cell lymphoma, injecting the compound SD-101 directly into tumors (in situ vaccination) and giving low-dose radiation shrank the injected tumors and, frequently, tumors elsewhere in the body.
- Hope and Challenge: The NCI Annual Plan and Budget Proposal for Fiscal Year 2020
NCI has released its Fiscal Year 2020 Annual Plan and Budget Proposal. The plan represents NCI’s best professional judgement on the optimum funding needed to make the most rapid progress against cancer.
- Heart Problems: Investigating the Cardiac Side Effects of Cancer Treatments
Certain cancer treatments can damage the heart and the cardiovascular system, a problem known as cardiotoxicity. Cardiologists and oncologists met recently to discuss strategies and future research directions for addressing these side effects.
- Nivolumab and Ipilimumab Effective against Melanoma That Has Spread to the Brain
Results from a clinical trial show that the combination of nivolumab (Opdivo) and ipilimumab (Yervoy) halted the growth of or shrank metastatic brain tumors in more than half of participants with melanoma that had spread to the brain.
- NCI and FDA Address Common Concerns: A Win–Win for Making Progress against Cancer
NCI Director Dr. Norman Sharpless discusses efforts between NCI and FDA to advance progress against cancer, including initiatives to improve labeling of patient tumor and tissue samples and to address challenges presented by new tobacco products.
- Moxetumomab Approved by FDA for Hairy Cell Leukemia
The FDA has approved moxetumomab pasudotox (Lumoxiti), a bacterial toxin–based drug, for the treatment of some patients with hairy cell leukemia (HCL). Moxetumomab is approved to treat patients with HCL who have already undergone at least two lines of standard treatments.
- Appendix Cancers Are Genetically Distinct from Other Gastrointestinal Cancers, Study Shows
The largest-ever study of DNA changes in appendix cancer shows that it is distinct from colorectal and other gastrointestinal cancers and suggests that specific mutations in appendix tumors may help predict whether they may be aggressive.
- Integrating Geriatric Assessment into Cancer Care: A Conversation with Dr. Supriya Mohile
Dr. Supriya Mohile discusses the unique issues experienced by older adults with cancer and efforts to incorporate geriatric assessment into patient care, including the publication of recent ASCO clinical guidelines on geriatric cancer care.
- Exosomes May Help Tumors Evade Immune System
A new study has identified what may be an important and previously unknown route by which tumors evade the immune system: They secrete small membrane-encased sacs, called exosomes, studded with a protein that dials down the immune response.
- Two Drugs Work Together to Block ‘Master Regulator’ of Breast, Other Cancers
Arsenic trioxide and retinoic acid work together to target the master regulator protein Pin1, a new study shows. In cancer cell lines and mice, the drug combination slowed the growth of triple-negative breast cancer tumors.
- Study Provides Closer Look at Postmenopausal Bleeding and Endometrial Cancer
A new study has found that 90% of postmenopausal women diagnosed with endometrial cancer reported vaginal bleeding before their diagnosis. Approximately 9% of postmenopausal women who saw a doctor for bleeding, the study showed, later received an endometrial cancer diagnosis.
- Enhancements to NCI’s SEER Program Creating New Research Opportunities
NCI’s SEER program is expanding in size and operating a series of innovative pilot studies. As Dr. Lynne Penberthy explains, these studies are setting the stage for the routine collection of more clinical and genomic data that will help researchers better understand cancer and its impact.
- Ribociclib Approval Expanded for Some Women with Advanced Breast Cancer
FDA has expanded the approved uses of ribociclib (Kisqali) for women with advanced breast cancer, including new uses in pre- and postmenopausal women. It’s the first approval under a new FDA program to speed the review of cancer drugs.