Cancer Currents: An NCI Cancer Research Blog
A blog featuring news and research updates from the National Cancer Institute.
- Vitamin D Supplements Don’t Reduce Cancer Incidence, Trial Shows
In the largest-ever randomized trial testing vitamin D for cancer prevention, the supplement did not lower the risk of developing cancer. The Vitamin D and Omega-3 Trial (VITAL) includes a nationally representative sample of nearly 26,000 participants.
- Targeted Treatment for Rare Digestive Tract Cancers May Extend Survival
In an early-phase trial, dabrafenib plus trametinib shrank tumors in patients with biliary tract cancer and adenocarcinoma of the small intestine whose tumors had a specific mutation in the BRAF gene.
- Genomic Test Helps Identify Thyroid Nodules That Don’t Require Surgery
The test measures genomic changes in thyroid biopsy samples and generates a score based on how strongly each change is associated with thyroid cancer. A study showed the test accurately identified samples that, after surgery, were found to be benign.
- Tailored Radiation to Treat Brain Metastases Reduces Impact on Cognitive Function
Results from a clinical trial suggest that, in patients with brain metastases, an advanced radiotherapy technique limits harm to patients’ cognitive function without affecting the treatment’s effect on tumors.
- Olaparib after Initial Treatment Delays Ovarian Cancer Progression
In a recent trial, the PARP inhibitor olaparib substantially delayed ovarian cancer from coming back after the first line of chemotherapy. Could the findings change the standard of care for newly diagnosed ovarian cancer with a BRCA mutation?
- The Cancer Moonshot: Moving from Planning to Research
Dr. Dinah Singer, co-chair of the Cancer Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel, provides an update to the cancer community on the science being supported under the Moonshot initiative.
- NCI-MATCH Update: More Labs, New Arms, and Initial Findings
NCI’s Dr. Lyndsay Harris provides an update on the NCI-MATCH trial, including the opening of new trial treatment arms and the addition of new laboratories to perform testing on tumor samples of prospective trial participants.
- Gene Tied to Alzheimer’s May Be Associated with Cancer-Related Cognitive Problems
Findings from a clinical study and a mouse study may shed light on genetic risk factors for developing cancer-related cognitive problems in older breast cancer survivors. The results suggest a gene associated with Alzheimer’s disease may play a role.
- Eight Factors May Link Disparities in Cancer Death Rates and Income
Eight factors may explain more than 80% of the relationship between poverty and disparities in cancer death rates at the county level, according to a new study. The largest mediator was a surprise to the researchers.
- Blood Test Shows Promise for Detecting Genetic Changes in Brain Tumors
A liquid biopsy blood test can detect DNA from brain tumors called diffuse midline gliomas, researchers have found. This minimally invasive test could be used to identify and follow molecular changes in children with these highly lethal brain tumors.
- Reflections on My First Year as NCI Director
October 2018 marked Dr. Norman Sharpless’s one-year anniversary as NCI director. He reflects on noteworthy events from the past 12 months and his excitement about leading NCI at such a critical juncture in the history of cancer research.
- Studying “Total Diet” and Its Impact on Health, Including Cancer Risk
Researchers are shifting how they assess diet and cancer risk, looking beyond the impact of individual foods or nutrients on health, and taking a more holistic approach, considering dietary patterns across the lifespan.
- Study Improves the Quality of Biopsy Specimens for Cancer Research
An NCI-led team of researchers has developed and tested recommendations for improving the quality of biopsy specimens collected from patients participating in cancer clinical trials.
- 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.