In the News

Patients with HER2+ breast cancer who develop resistance to trastuzumab may soon have an alternative therapy, according to recent findings published in Clinical Cancer Research. This therapy involves HER2-Affitoxin, a protein that combines HER2-specific affibody molecules and a modified bacterial toxin, PE38, according to study investigator Jacek Capala, PhD, DSc, of the National Cancer Institute.

A recently developed urine test can assist in the early detection of and treatment decisions regarding prostate cancer, a study from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Michigan Center for Translational Pathology finds.

Designed to supplement an elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening result, this test also defines men at highest risk for clinically significant prostate cancer and could delay or negate the need for a needle biopsy in some patients.

Maintaining a healthy body weight is important for all patients. But this is especially true for women with a breast cancer diagnosis, as an analysis of the California Teachers Study has shown a correlation between breast cancer deaths and body mass index (BMI).

Obesity (defined as BMI ≥30 kg/m²) increased a woman’s risk of dying of her breast cancer by 69%, compared with a woman with a BMI <25. For patients who were overweight at 18 years of age (defined as BMI 25-29), a similar increased risk in breast cancer mortality was detected.

Late-stage ovarian cancer patients responded well to an experimental carboplatin/decitabine combination therapy, even though they had become resistant to carboplatin, Indiana University researchers report. Furthermore, the researchers believe they have discovered biomarkers that could assist in identifying patients who are most likely to benefit from this therapy.

Objective response rates, median progression-free survival, and overall survival increased in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and sunitinib-induced hypertension, according to results of a retrospective analysis of more than 500 RCC patients treated with sunitinib. The rate of adverse events did not increase in hypertensive patients, except for renal adverse events (5% vs 3%). Because of the ease of clinical monitoring, the researchers concluded that, if prospectively validated, sunitinib-induced hypertension will make a desirable biomarker in these patients.

The US Food and Drug Ad ministration (FDA) held a public meeting in February to assess whether stricter criteria are needed when considering oncology drugs for accelerated approval. Measures enacted in 1992 allow the FDA to grant accelerated approval for drugs targeted at unmet needs in cancer based solely on data from single-arm studies and relying on end points other than the standard metric of overall survival.

Timing of Hormonal Replacement Therapy Affects Breast Cancer Risk

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