News Releases



AACR Applauds President Obama's Focused Initiative on Precision Medicine 7793971/30/2015 2:47:40 PM Releases/AllItems.aspx662False2015-01-30T14:00:00Z​AACR Cancer Progress Report 2014 includes many personal stories from cancer survivors that highlight how cancer treatments are being customized based on the genetic makeup of a patient and their tumors<div class="ExternalClass72741CAA8CC44DF4A1A5A6E9CCAFF16B"><p>PHILADELPHIA&#160; — This morning’s <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">event at the White House</a> to highlight the investments that are needed to improve public health and treat the myriad of diseases we call cancer underscores the nation’s opportunities to exploit genomics in clinical medicine. This topic is a significant focus of the American Association for Cancer Research’s (AACR) <em><a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">Cancer Progress Report 2014</a></em>.</p><p>“We live in an extraordinary time when the scientific opportunities and our ability to translate this new knowledge into ways to both save and improve the quality of life of patients are simply astounding,” said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), chief executive officer of the AACR. “This is why we are so excited about today’s event at the White House and specifically about President Obama’s major investment in the enormous potential of precision medicine, which is in the very early stages of transforming health care.”</p><p>The president’s FY 2016 budget request will include $215 million for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), to support and foster the goals of precision medicine. Of the $215 million, the NIH will receive $130 million to recruit 1 million or more people to participate in a national volunteer research cohort that will help increase our understanding of disease. A total of $70 million will be provided to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), NIH, to scale up efforts to identify the genomic drivers in cancer and to translate this information into more effective strategies to prevent and treat cancer, which is the second-most common cause of death within the United States. The FDA will receive significant dollars to ensure that regulations are modernized.</p><p>The <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank"><em>AACR Cancer Progress Report 2012</em></a><em> </em>includes the personal story of one of the guests who was invited to attend the White House event, <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">Melanie Nix</a>, a survivor of triple-negative breast cancer. Less than 10 percent of all cancers are inherited; however, Melanie inherited a predisposition to developing breast and ovarian cancer from her mother in the form of an alteration in a gene called BRCA1. Genes like BRCA1 and the related BRCA2 gene produce proteins that normally prevent cancer-causing mutations from accumulating in our DNA. </p><p>Women, such as Melanie, her mother, and her aunts, who inherit mutated forms of these genes are at increased risk for breast and ovarian cancer, and affected men are at greater risk for breast and pancreatic cancer in addition to an aggressive form of prostate cancer. When Melanie was diagnosed, there were no precision medicines available to her, and she is with us today thanks to surgery, radiation, and traditional chemotherapy. However, in December 2014, the FDA approved olaparib (Lynparza), the first-ever molecularly targeted drug for treating women with ovarian cancer who carry a BRCA gene mutation. This is the first step toward precision medicine for a group of cancer patients like Melanie, who traditionally were left with few treatment options.</p><p>Another example of the power of precision medicine is the story of <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">Zach Witt</a>, featured in the <em>AACR Cancer Progress Report 2014</em>. Zach is a 10-year-old boy from Barto, Pennsylvania, who has a blood cancer called anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL). When Zach was first diagnosed in 2010 at the age of five, he was given standard-of-care treatment for ALCL consisting of traditional chemotherapies that made him sick. Initially, this treatment helped to reduce the extent of Zach’s cancer, but eventually he relapsed. Fortunately, genetic testing done at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia identified the mutation driving Zach’s cancer, and more importantly, a drug called crizotinib (Xalkori) had been developed to treat a similar mutation in adult non-small cell lung cancer that might benefit Zach. In 2011, Zach enrolled in a clinical trial testing the efficacy of crizotinib in treating the between 10 and 15 percent of children who have ALCL that harbors the same genetic mutation. Zach has been in remission for four years and as his mother, Pam Witt, says, is “living the life of a normal 10-year-old.” </p><p>Stories like Zach’s, and those of many other cancer patients who have been fortunate enough to be treated with such novel strategies, underscore the true power of precision medicine, which seeks to develop therapeutics that treat the underlying cause of a disease while sparing normal tissue, and deliver them to the individuals who will benefit from these therapeutics.</p><p>In addition to the personal stories of many stunning examples of effective precision medicine, the <em>AACR Cancer Progress Report 2014 </em>chronicles the progress that has been made against the more than 200 diseases we call cancer and details how federal investment in the NIH, the NCI, and the FDA is transforming cancer care and the lives of patients in the United States and around the world.</p><p>Additional information regarding the Precision Medicine Initiative is available on <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">The White House Blog</a> and the <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">NIH website</a>. </p></div>
Cancer Fear and Discomforting Thoughts Impact Colorectal Cancer Screening Uptake7756061/29/2015 2:20:52 PM49 Releases/AllItems.aspx660False2015-01-29T05:10:00Z<div class="ExternalClass33C0C2DBB81F434CBC4EB585050E8B2C"><p>PHILADELPHIA — Men and women who worry about cancer are more likely to want to get screened for colon cancer, but feeling uncomfortable at the thought of cancer makes them less likely to actually go for the test, according to a <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">study</a> published in <em>Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers &amp; Prevention</em>, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. <img alt="Charlotte Vrinten" src="/PublishingImages/Vrinten_Charlotte_150x200.jpg" style="margin&#58;10px;vertical-align&#58;auto;float&#58;right;" /></p><p>“Many people are afraid of getting cancer, but fear doesn’t have the same effect on everyone,” said Charlotte Vrinten, a researcher at the Cancer Research U.K. Health Behaviour Research Centre at University College London. “For some people, cancer fear motivates them to get checked up; for others, it puts them off from finding out whether they have cancer.”</p><p>Vrinten and colleagues hypothesized that the differences might be based on how people experience fear&#58; Some fearful people tend to worry a lot about cancer, while others feel physically uncomfortable thinking about it. “In our study, instead of using a combined measure of cancer fear, as is often done, we distinguished these different aspects of fear to see whether they had different effects on people’s decisions about cancer screening,” Vrinten added.</p><p>Vrinten and colleagues found that the effect of cancer fear depended on the type of fear. Worriers were more likely to want to get screened for colon cancer, but those who felt uncomfortable were 12 percent less likely to attend screening. “Twelve percent may not seem like a lot,” added Vrinten, “but given that tens of thousands of people are eligible for this type of screening, it means a big difference in the number of people actually attending. Our study showed that cancer fear is still very common; more than half of our participants said they felt uncomfortable when thinking about cancer, and about a quarter worried a lot about cancer.</p><p>“Public campaigns often focus on increasing public fear about cancer, for example, by emphasizing how common cancer is or how deadly some types of cancer are. This might put some people off, rather than motivate them to get screened,” said Vrinten. “Public information about endoscopic screening for colon cancer should help people understand that it can actually prevent colon cancer, so having the test can mean they have one less cancer to worry about.”</p><p><br>Vrinten and colleagues recruited nearly 8,000 participants aged 55 to 64 years from the U.K. Flexible Sigmoidoscopy trial into their psychological substudy on cancer fear. This was 60 percent of those asked to participate, and 91 percent of them (54 percent women) had complete data on all three cancer fear indicators used in the study. Overall, 59 percent of the respondents were more afraid of cancer than of other diseases, 53 percent felt uncomfortable thinking about cancer, and 25 percent worried a lot about cancer. </p><p>Of the 6,299 participants (82 percent) who responded that they would “probably” or “definitely” take up the offer of colorectal cancer screening, 1,995 were randomized to receive a screening invitation. Records from the clinics that performed the endoscopic screening tests showed that 71 percent attended their appointment.</p><p>The study was supported by Cancer Research U.K. Vrinten declares no conflicts of interest.</p></div>
American Association for Cancer Research and the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation Partner to Offer New Grant Opportunity 7641641/26/2015 3:52:46 PM48 Releases/AllItems.aspx659False2015-01-26T15:00:00Z<div class="ExternalClassDA0D7D4E7A614A9CA649AEBD13F65AF2"><p>PHILADELPHIA — The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and the <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation</a> are pleased to announce a new partnership and grant opportunity. </p><p>The <a href="/Funding/Pages/Funding-Detail.aspx?ItemID=46">AACR-Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation Career Development Award for Clinical/Translational Research</a> represents a joint effort to encourage and support junior faculty to conduct triple-negative breast cancer research and establish a successful career path in this field. </p><p>“The AACR is thrilled to be collaborating with the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation to offer a new grant opportunity to a promising young investigator who has the potential to make an impact for people diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer,” said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), chief executive officer of the AACR. “Triple-negative breast cancer is a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer for which there are no personalized medicines. This career development award will help foster new research and accelerate progress against this intractable disease.”</p><p>“We share AACR’s drive to find new treatments for triple-negative breast cancer, and to diminish the threat to women diagnosed with this type of cancer,” said Hayley Dinerman, co-founder and executive director of the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation. </p><p>Eligibility is limited to junior faculty who, at the start of the grant term, will have completed their most recent doctoral degree or medical residency within the past 11 years. The research proposed for funding must be clinical or translational in nature and must have direct applicability and relevance to triple-negative breast cancer.</p><p>The grant will provide $250,000 over three years, beginning July 1, 2015. The recipient will formally accept the grant at the <a href="/Meetings/Pages/MeetingDetail.aspx?EventItemID=25">AACR Annual Meeting 2015</a>, held April 18-22, in Philadelphia. </p><p>Further details are <a href="/Funding/Pages/Funding-Detail.aspx?ItemID=46">available online</a>. Applications must be submitted by noon ET, Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015, using the <a href="https&#58;//" target="_blank">proposalCENTRAL</a> website. Additional inquiries may be directed to Ashley Jones at <a href="mailto&#58;"></a>.</p></div>
New Grant Opportunity Available From American Association for Cancer Research, Fight Colorectal Cancer, and Michael’s Mission7641691/26/2015 3:54:01 PM65 Releases/AllItems.aspx658False2015-01-26T15:00:00Z<div class="ExternalClassD6CE6DAE25C34B7F9537A7169BA7206F"><p>PHILADELPHIA — The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">Fight Colorectal Cancer</a>, and <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">Michael’s Mission</a> are pleased to announce a new partnership and grant opportunity for research on young-onset, late-stage colorectal cancer. </p><p>The <a href="/Funding/Pages/Funding-Detail.aspx?ItemID=11">Fight Colorectal Cancer-Michael’s Mission-AACR Fellowship in Young-onset, Late-stage Colorectal Cancer Research</a> represents a collaborative effort to encourage and support a postdoctoral or clinical research fellow conducting mentored colorectal cancer research focused on developing novel therapeutic options. </p><p>“The AACR is delighted to partner with Fight Colorectal Cancer and Michael’s Mission to support a research fellow working on new therapies for young patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer,” said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), chief executive officer of the AACR. “The urgent need for more research in this area is highlighted by a recent study that reported that there has been a significant increase in the incidence of colorectal cancer diagnosed in young adults since 1998. We are proud to champion scientists working to make progress and inspire hope for these patients.”</p><p>The grant opportunity is an expansion of the Fight Colorectal Cancer-AACR Fellowship, in memory of Lisa Dubow, which has supported scientists with research dollars since 2008.</p><p>“We very much appreciate the collaboration with Michael’s Mission to support and expand this year’s grant through Fight Colorectal Cancer’s Lisa Fund,” said Anjee Davis, president of Fight Colorectal Cancer. “Lisa Dubow was a young survivor and advocate. She believed in and fought for innovation and research—looking at better treatment options for late-stage colorectal cancer patients. This joint effort reflects our mutual passion and commitment to support talented investigators and investigate young-onset colorectal cancer.” </p><p>“Michael’s Mission is privileged to partner with Fight Colorectal Cancer and the AACR on this important effort to identify additional treatment options for young adults battling this terrible disease,” said Cindy Price Gavin, executive director of Michael’s Mission.</p><p>The research proposed for funding may be translational or clinical in nature and must have direct applicability and relevance to young-onset, late-stage colorectal cancer.</p><p>The fellowship will provide $100,000 over the two-year term, which will begin July 1, 2015. The recipient will formally accept the grant at the <a href="/Meetings/Pages/MeetingDetail.aspx?EventItemID=25">AACR Annual Meeting 2015</a>, held April 18-22 in Philadelphia. </p><p>Interested investigators can find further details <a href="/Funding/Pages/Funding-Detail.aspx?ItemID=11">online</a>. Applications must be submitted by noon ET, Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015, using the <a href="https&#58;//" target="_blank">proposalCENTRAL</a> website. Additional inquiries may be directed to Shaun Fitzpatrick at <a href="mailto&#58;"></a>.</p></div>
Poor Metabolic Health Increases Risk for Postmenopausal Breast Cancer Irrespective of BMI7193171/15/2015 2:28:37 PM37 Releases/AllItems.aspx656False2015-01-15T05:05:00Z<div class="ExternalClassCB228E5A95444B04BCAFAF4D4720F20F"><p>PHILADELPHIA — Postmenopausal women who were metabolically unhealthy, as assessed by insulin abnormalities, were at increased risk for breast cancer compared with their metabolically healthy counterparts, according to a <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">study</a> published in <em>Cancer Research</em>, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. This was the case for both overweight and normal-weight individuals.</p><p>The study was a collaborative project between the lead author, <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">Marc J. Gunter, PhD</a>, associate professor of cancer epidemiology and prevention in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Imperial College London’s <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">School of Public Health</a>, senior author, <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">Howard Strickler, MD, MPH</a>, professor of epidemiology in the Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, at <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University</a> in New York, and colleagues at multiple other institutions.</p><p>“Obesity is a significant risk factor for a number of types of cancer including postmenopausal breast cancer,” said Gunter. “Most, but not all, individuals who are obese have metabolic abnormalities including high levels of fasting insulin and insulin resistance, which means that their bodies produce the hormone insulin but do not use it effectively.</p><p>“We found that postmenopausal women who were overweight or obese and metabolically unhealthy were at increased risk for breast cancer, but their metabolically healthy counterparts were not,” Gunter continued. “We also found that postmenopausal women who were lean but metabolically unhealthy were at similarly increased risk for the disease.</p><p>“These results suggest that metabolic health evaluated by, for example, insulin resistance, might be a better predictor of breast cancer risk than being overweight or obese,” said Gunter. “However, given that being overweight or obese significantly increases an individual’s risk of being metabolically unhealthy, it remains important that we all keep a healthy weight throughout life.”</p><p>Gunter and colleagues analyzed data from 3,327 nondiabetic women enrolled in the <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">Women’s Health Initiative</a>, a long-term study to investigate the most common causes of death, disability, and poor quality of life in postmenopausal women. Among this subcohort of women with available data on insulin resistance and body mass index (BMI), 497 received a breast cancer diagnosis over a mean of 8.2 years of follow-up.</p><p>Information on height and weight was collected at enrollment, as was a sample of fasting blood. Women with a BMI at enrollment of 25 or more kg/m2 were classed as overweight. Metabolic health was assessed using two measures&#58; fasting insulin levels and the homeostatic model assessment (HOMA-IR) method for quantifying insulin resistance.</p><p>The researchers found that women who were overweight and insulin-resistant had an 84 percent greater risk of breast cancer than women who were overweight but not insulin-resistant. When using fasting insulin levels to assess metabolic health, breast cancer risk more than doubled for those women who were overweight and had high fasting insulin levels. Further, breast cancer risk was twofold greater for women who were normal weight and had high fasting insulin levels, compared with those who were normal weight and had normal fasting insulin levels.</p><p>Breast cancer risk was no different for overweight and normal-weight women who were metabolically healthy by both measures of metabolic health.</p><p>“Our data suggest that insulin resistance may be a significant factor in the development of breast cancer, irrespective of whether a woman is overweight or normal weight,” said Gunter. “However, we need to conduct further larger-scale studies, preferably ones that allow us to follow a woman’s metabolic health over time, to better understand this and to verify our current findings.”</p><p>The study was supported by funds from the National Cancer Institute awarded to Strickler. The WHI program is funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Gunter and Strickler declare no conflicts of interest.</p></div>
Sputum Biomarker Panel May Help Identify Which Patients With Lung Nodules Have Lung Cancer7193181/15/2015 2:28:41 PM159 Releases/AllItems.aspx657False2015-01-15T05:05:00Z<div class="ExternalClassA0159D3C6AF24FCB8B568891949C86BC"><p>PHILADELPHIA — Among patients who had an unidentifiable lung nodule detected by a chest CT scan, testing sputum for a panel of three microRNA (miRNA) biomarkers successfully distinguished early-stage lung cancers from nonmalignant nodules most of the time, according to a <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">study</a> published in <em>Clinical Cancer Research</em>, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. <img alt="Feng Jiang, MD, PhD" src="/PublishingImages/Jiang_Feng_150x200.jpg" style="margin&#58;10px;vertical-align&#58;auto;float&#58;right;" /></p><p>“We are facing a tremendous rise in the number of lung nodules identified because of the increasing implementation of the low-dose CT lung cancer screening program,” said <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">Feng Jiang, MD, PhD</a>, an associate professor in the Department of Pathology at the <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">University of Maryland School of Medicine</a> in Baltimore. “However, this screening approach has been shown to have a high false-positive rate. Therefore, a major challenge is the lack of noninvasive and accurate approaches for preoperative diagnosis of malignant nodules.</p><p>“Our work may help address this important clinical challenge,” continued Jiang, who is also a researcher at the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center. “We developed and then validated a panel of three miRNA sputum biomarkers, miR-21, miR-31, and miR-210, that have the potential to help find lung cancer among indeterminate solitary pulmonary nodules that are initially found by CT scan. However, before these results can be translated into the clinic, we need to identify other biomarkers to add to the existing panel, to increase its sensitivity and specificity, and we need to evaluate the panel in a prospective clinical trial.”</p><p>Jiang and colleagues first tested the miRNA sputum biomarker panel in a group of 122 patients identified by chest CT scan to have a lung nodule. The test identified the 60 patients found to have lung cancer by invasive testing with 82.93 percent sensitivity and 87.85 percent specificity. This means that the test correctly predicted 82.93 percent of the time that a person with lung cancer had lung cancer and that it correctly predicted 87.85 percent of the time that a person without lung cancer did not have the disease.</p><p>In two independent groups of 136 and 155 patients with a lung nodule, the three-miRNA sputum biomarker panel had a sensitivity and specificity of 82.09 percent and 88.41 percent, and 80.52 percent and 86.06 percent, respectively.</p><p>“These values for sensitivity and specificity are not high enough for the three-biomarker panel to be used in the clinic,” said Jiang. “Because the specificity is only 87 percent, we cannot be certain enough that a patient does not have lung cancer. To be nearly certain whether a patient does or does not have lung cancer, the specificity of a test should be close to 100 percent.</p><p>“We are now applying new technologies to identify additional miRNA sputum biomarkers of lung cancer with the goal of expanding our biomarker panel to generate a test with high efficiency that can be practically used in clinical settings for lung cancer early detection,” added Jiang.</p><p>The study was supported by funds from the National Cancer Institute, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and the LUNGevity Foundation. Jiang declares no conflicts of interest.</p></div>
Cancer Today Winter Issue Addresses Tobacco-related Cancers and the Stigma Patients May Face7121601/13/2015 4:49:03 PM50 Releases/AllItems.aspx655False2015-01-13T14:00:00Z<div class="ExternalClass04A4B75DE44E4AC892F39C45F8254265"><p>PHILADELPHIA — The Winter 2014/2015 issue of <em>Cancer Today</em>, a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), features “<a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">Lighting a Fire Under Tobacco-Related Cancers</a>.” Patients, doctors, and researchers are challenged to address tobacco addiction and the stigma often attached to cancer patients who have used tobacco. <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank"><img alt="Cancer Today Winter 2014/2015 Cover" src="/PublishingImages/CT_Winter2015_Cover_250x321.jpg" style="margin&#58;10px;vertical-align&#58;auto;float&#58;right;" /></a></p><p>Published quarterly by the AACR, <em>Cancer Today</em> is an authoritative resource for cancer patients, survivors, and their family members and friends. In every issue, <em>Cancer Today</em> offers information and inspiration to help readers face the challenges of diagnosis, treatment, survivorship, and caregiving.</p><p>This issue of <em>Cancer Today</em> also recounts the experiences of bladder cancer survivor and advocate Randy Layne in “<a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">Hope and Endurance</a>,” while “<a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">A Beautiful Neighbor</a>” tells the story of Fred Rogers, better known as Mister Rogers, who died of stomach cancer in 2003. “<a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">When Age Is Only a Number</a>” describes the emerging field of geriatric oncology.</p><p>The magazine also features “<a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">Telling Cancer’s Story</a>” about the making of the PBS documentary, Cancer&#58; The Emperor of All Maladies, of which the AACR is a supporter. Noted documentary filmmaker Ken Burns is the executive producer, co-writer, and senior creative consultant for the project, which is based on Siddhartha Mukherjee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, <em>The Emperor of All Maladies&#58; A Biography of Cancer</em>. </p><p>To read these stories and others, go to <em></em><a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">Cancer Today</a>, or follow the magazine on <a href="https&#58;//" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https&#58;//" target="_blank">Twitter</a>. </p><p><em>Cancer Today</em> also publishes a free monthly e-newsletter, which contains links to web exclusives, information about events and resources, and highlights from new issues. <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">Sign up</a> online.</p><p>Media are welcome to use information from <em>Cancer Today</em>; however, we ask that you cite the source.</p></div>
Metabolic Syndrome is Associated With Increased Endometrial Cancer Risk Independent of Being Overweight/Obese7114941/13/2015 2:23:55 PM47 Releases/AllItems.aspx654False2015-01-13T05:05:00Z<div class="ExternalClass23A72EEABEC947849A08D5DEE2CC07D1"><p>PHILADELPHIA — Women age 65 or older who had metabolic syndrome—a common disorder characterized by a number of medical conditions, including low levels of “good” cholesterol and high levels of fats called triglycerides—were at increased risk of endometrial cancer, and this increased risk was independent of being overweight or obese, according to a <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">study</a> published in <em>Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers &amp; Prevention</em>, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. <img alt="Britton Trabert, PhD" src="/PublishingImages/Trabert_Britton_150x200.jpg" style="margin&#58;10px;vertical-align&#58;auto;float&#58;right;" /></p><p>“Almost one-quarter of nondiabetics in the United States are estimated to have metabolic syndrome,” said <a title="Britton Trabert, PhD" href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">Britton Trabert, PhD</a>, an investigator in the <a title="Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics" href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics </a>of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland. “There are a number of definitions of metabolic syndrome, but it is diagnosed when patients have several of the following conditions at the same time&#58; Being overweight/obese, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, impaired fasting glucose, and low HDL [high-density lipoprotein] cholesterol.</p><p>“We found that a diagnosis of metabolic syndrome was associated with higher risk of endometrial cancer, and that metabolic syndrome appeared to increase risk regardless of whether the woman was considered obese,” continued Trabert.</p><p>“Although our study was not designed to evaluate the potential impact of preventing metabolic syndrome on endometrial cancer incidence, weight loss and exercise are the most effective steps a woman can take to prevent developing metabolic syndrome,” Trabert added.</p><p>Obesity is a strong risk factor for endometrial cancer. According to Trabert, prior studies have suggested that metabolic syndrome is also associated with increased endometrial cancer risk but it was unclear whether the association was driven by obesity alone or if it was also driven by other metabolic syndrome components.</p><p>To investigate this, Trabert and colleagues performed a case-control study using data from the SEER-Medicare linked database. They analyzed data from 16,323 women diagnosed with endometrial cancer between 1993 and 2007 and 100,751 women without endometrial cancer.</p><p>A diagnosis of metabolic syndrome, as defined by U.S. National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III criteria and International Diabetes Foundation criteria, was associated with an increased endometrial cancer risk of 39 percent and 103 percent, respectively. After taking into account if a woman was overweight/obese, the associations with increased risk of endometrial cancer were 21 percent and 17 percent for the two metabolic syndrome definitions, respectively.</p><p>The researchers also observed that each distinct metabolic syndrome condition that they could evaluate within the database—excessive weight, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, and impaired fasting glucose—was associated with increased risk for endometrial cancer individually.</p><p>The study was supported by the National Cancer Institute Intramural Research Program. Trabert declares no conflicts of interest.</p></div>
Potentially Targetable Signaling Pathway Generates Slowly Proliferating, Chemo-resistant Cancer Cells7067971/12/2015 2:24:02 PM72 Releases/AllItems.aspx653False2015-01-12T05:05:00Z<div class="ExternalClass85FC67DF26134B25AAE5385C42850185"><p>PHILADELPHIA — A signaling pathway responsible for the generation of slowly proliferating cancer cells, which are hard to eradicate with current treatments and thought to be a cause of subsequent disease relapse, has been reported in a Rapid Impact <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">study</a> published in <em>Molecular Cancer Research</em>, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.<img alt="Sridhar Ramaswamy, MD" src="/PublishingImages/Ramaswamy_Sridhar_150x200.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px 10px;vertical-align&#58;auto;float&#58;right;" /></p><p>“We have identified a new pathway in which well-studied signaling molecules string together to regulate cell proliferation,” said <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">Sridhar Ramaswamy, MD</a>, an associate professor of medicine at <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center</a> and Harvard Medical School in Boston. “Since a number of these molecules are under intensive study as therapeutic targets for various cancer types, we are currently designing strategies to target this pathway in animal models in order to better clarify the potential clinical implications of these findings.</p><p>“All cancers contain some cells that are rapidly proliferating and many that proliferate only very slowly,” explained Ramaswamy, who is also an associate member of the Broad Institute and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. “Most cancer treatments target rapidly dividing cancer cells but leave the slowly dividing ones unharmed and still capable of causing disease recurrence after the initial treatment. Our goal has been to understand how these slow proliferators are produced in order to devise ways to eliminate them.”</p><p>When cancer cells growing in the laboratory divide, they usually produce two daughter cells that have the same rate of proliferation, but sometimes one daughter cell proliferates at a much slower pace than the other.</p><p>Ramaswamy and colleagues have been investigating why cancer cells undergo this type of asymmetric cell division for a number of years. In a previously published study, they found that if a cancer cell asymmetrically suppresses expression of a protein called AKT right before dividing, it produces two daughter cells&#58; one that has normal levels of AKT protein and proliferates rapidly like the parent cell, and one that has low levels of AKT and proliferates slowly. They also detected these rare cancer cells with low levels of AKT in breast cancer patients and found that these cells were highly resistant to the combination chemotherapy being used to treat the patients.</p><p>In this new study, the researchers used a number of molecular biology techniques to investigate how cancer cells dividing in the laboratory produce daughter cells with different levels of AKT. They found that decreased signaling through beta1-integrin, a molecule found on the surface of most cancer cells, decreased the activity of the signaling molecule FAK. This, in turn, increased the activity of a complex of signaling molecules called mTORC2, which led to suppression of AKT1 protein levels by a molecule called TTC3 and the proteasome complex.</p><p>“Prior to these studies, we thought that asymmetric suppression of AKT might just relate to random fluctuations in protein levels during cell division,” said Ramaswamy. “We discovered that this is not the case; it is actually regulated by a potentially targetable signaling pathway, which may offer new avenues for reducing the proliferative heterogeneity within tumors for therapeutic effect.”</p><p>The study was supported by funds from Stand Up To Cancer, the National Cancer Institute, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Susan G. Komen, the Prostate Cancer Foundation, CNPq (the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development in Brazil), and Instituto de Salud Carlos III in Spain. Ramaswamy declares no conflicts of interest.</p></div>
Oral Human Papillomavirus Infection More Likely to Persist in Older Men6969511/9/2015 2:24:07 PM68 Releases/AllItems.aspx652False2015-01-09T05:05:00Z<div class="ExternalClassC60FCBCBD4C346D99243CCFE4AF6ACD8"><p>PHILADELPHIA — Oral infection with human papillomavirus 16 (HPV16), which is the type of HPV most frequently linked to HPV-driven head and neck cancers, was more likely to persist 12 or more months in men older than 45 than in those younger than 45, according to a <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">study</a> published in <em>Cancer Prevention Research</em>, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.<img alt="Christine M. Pierce Campbell, PhD, MPH" src="/PublishingImages/Campbell_Pierce_150x200.jpg" style="margin&#58;10px;vertical-align&#58;auto;float&#58;right;" /></p><p>“Oral HPV16 is the HPV type most commonly found in HPV-driven oropharyngeal cancers, which have been increasing in incidence recently in the United States,” said Christine M. Pierce Campbell, PhD, MPH, an assistant member in the Department of Cancer Epidemiology and Center for Infection Research in Cancer at the <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">Moffitt Cancer Center</a> in Tampa, Florida. “We don’t know how long oral HPV infection must persist to increase risk for head and neck cancer, but we assume it would be similar to cervical infection, where it is generally believed that infections persisting beyond two years greatly increase the risk of developing cervical cancer.</p><p>“Our results show that some oral HPV16 infections persist in men for four years or more and that persistence seemed to increase with age,” continued Pierce Campbell. “Genital HPV infections are generally cleared within two years, so our data show that oral infections may be more likely to persist than genital infections.</p><p>“Unfortunately, there are currently no methods to detect precancerous lesions of the head and neck,” Pierce Campbell added. “So, before our data can be translated for patient benefit, we need more studies of HPV-related head and neck cancers to develop screening methods that may be useful in a clinical setting.”</p><p>Pierce Campbell and colleagues analyzed oral samples from 1,626 men participating in the HPV Infection in Men (HIM) Study, an ongoing, multi-national cohort study of the natural history of HPV infections in men. Oral samples were collected at enrollment and then every six months for up to four years.</p><p>Over the course of the study, HPV16 was detected in two or more oral samples from 23 men. For 10 men, it was present in the sample collected at enrollment. Infections present at the start of a study are called prevalent infections while those that arise during the study are called incident infections.</p><p>Among the 10 prevalent infections, nine lasted one year or longer, eight lasted two years or longer, and two lasted for four years or longer. Among the 13 incident infections, four lasted one year or longer, one lasted two years or longer, and none lasted three or more years. </p><p>The proportion of incident infections persisting for one year or longer increased with age. All incident infections among men older than 45 persisted for one year or longer, 50 percent of those infections among men ages 31 to 44 persisted for one year or longer, and none of the incident infections detected among men ages 18 to 31 persisted for one year.</p><p>“Our observation that prevalent oral HPV infections persisted longer than incident infections is consistent with what has been seen for cervical and anal HPV infections,” said Pierce Campbell. “Prevalent infections are likely to have been present for a while, increasing the likelihood that they will be persistent.”</p><p>Funding for the study was provided by Merck Sharp &amp; Dohme, the American Cancer Society, and the National Cancer Institute Intramural Research Program. The infrastructure of the HIM Study cohort was supported through a grant from the National Cancer Institute. Pierce Campbell declares no conflicts of interest.</p></div>