News Releases



Gene Alterations in Melanoma May Predict Immunotherapy Outcomes8892873/3/2015 2:35:46 PM Releases/AllItems.aspx668False2015-03-03T05:05:00Z<div class="ExternalClass697D7214CF89421E997F737F1FE5111E"><p>​PHILADELPHIA — Among melanoma patients who were treated with immunotherapies, those whose tumors had mutations in the gene NRAS had better response and treatment outcomes than those whose tumors did not have NRAS mutations, according to a study published in <a target="_blank" href="http&#58;//"><em>Cancer Immunology Research,</em></a> a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. </p><p>“In a retrospective study, we found that patients with NRAS-mutant melanoma seemed to respond better to immunotherapy compared with patients whose tumors had other genetic subtypes, and this was especially true for patients treated with anti-PD-1/PD-L1 therapies,” said <a target="_blank" href="http&#58;//">Douglas B. Johnson, MD,</a> an assistant professor of medicine at <a target="_blank" href="http&#58;//">Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center</a> (VICC) in Nashville, Tennessee. “We studied a small group of patients, but the results were quite suggestive. Our findings need to be confirmed in a prospective study.”<br><br>Johnson and colleagues found that 28 percent of the patients with NRAS-mutant melanoma had complete or partial responses with first-line immunotherapy compared with 16 percent of those who had the normal form of the gene. The clinical benefit rate (complete or partial response, or stable disease lasting 24 weeks or more) with anti-PD-1/PD-L1 drugs was 73 percent for those with NRAS mutations and 35 percent for those with the normal form of the gene. Patients with NRAS mutations had a trend for better outcome when treated with the immunotherapy ipilimumab as well.<br><br>Although immunotherapies have become a main treatment option for patients with melanoma, tumor markers that can identify patients who will benefit the most from these therapies is an important step in improving treatment outcomes, Johnson explained. “This study highlights the need to find predictive markers that can help us understand which patients will respond to therapy. Our study will hopefully lead to understanding the biological mechanisms that explain why NRAS mutations predict response. We are currently conducting studies to explain this finding.”<br><br>Johnson and colleagues used electronic medical records of 229 melanoma patients treated at VICC, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and Massachusetts General Hospital. Of the patients, 143 received ipilimumab, 58 received IL-2 therapy, and 28 received anti-PD-1/PD-L1 drugs as first-line therapy.<br><br>Sixty patients had tumors with NRAS mutations, 53 had BRAF mutations, and 116 had the normal forms of these two genes.<br><br>The researchers found that, compared with patients whose tumors had the normal form of NRAS, those with NRAS mutations had slightly higher levels of the PD-L1 protein—a protein which, in some cases, correlates with response to anti-PD-1/PD-L1 drugs. &#160;<br><br>This study was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator Award, the American Cancer Society, the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, the Joyce Family Foundation, the Martell Foundation, the Bradford Family Foundation, and the Anbinder Fund. Johnson declares no conflicts of interest. Study co-author Christine Lovly has research grants from AstraZeneca and Novartis; co-author A. John Iafrate has ownership in ArcherDx and is on the advisory board of BioReference Labs.<br></p></div>
Dr. William G. Nelson Appointed Editor-in-Chief of the AACR's Cancer Today Magazine 8699312/25/2015 7:06:48 PM Releases/AllItems.aspx667False2015-02-25T19:00:00Z<div class="ExternalClassEAAA0B31E5FD4D65961A484626B259E7"><p>PHILADELPHIA — The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is pleased to announce that William G. Nelson, MD, PhD, the Marion I. Knott professor of oncology and director of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, will serve as the editor-in-chief of <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank"><em>Cancer Today</em></a>, the AACR’s award-winning consumer magazine for cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers. <img alt="William G. Nelson, MD, PhD" src="/PublishingImages/Nelson_William_150x200.jpg" style="margin&#58;10px;vertical-align&#58;auto;float&#58;right;" /></p><p>In this role, he will work with the editorial board and staff to shape the magazine’s editorial direction and identify high-priority cancer topics and sources of information that are of great interest to the readers of this award-winning magazine. Nelson has been a member of the magazine’s editorial board since 2012. He is also a highly experienced communicator, not only to scientists and physicians, but also to the lay public. He has received numerous accolades for his “Cancer News Review” podcasts available on iTunes and videos appearing on YouTube, in which he discusses various aspects of basic and clinical research. </p><p>“Dr. Nelson is a world-renowned physician-scientist, and the AACR is delighted that he has agreed to take a leadership position with <em>Cancer Today</em>,” said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), chief executive officer of the AACR. “His extensive expertise in cancer science research and medicine will help us build upon the magazine’s success and facilitate the dissemination of information to cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers that will empower them to make sound decisions along every step of the cancer journey.”</p><p><em>Cancer Today </em>is published quarterly and has a circulation of approximately 200,000. As editor-in-chief, Nelson will serve a term of five years, which is renewable for an additional term.</p><p>“I am pleased to accept the challenge of serving as editor-in-chief of <em>Cancer Today</em>, which is a wonderful resource for people affected by cancer,” Nelson said. “I like the practical advice the magazine gives, and I support its message of hope and inspiration.”</p><p>At Johns Hopkins, Nelson has held the position of director of the cancer center since 2008. In addition to being professor of oncology, he is also professor of urology, pharmacology, medicine, pathology, and radiation oncology. He specializes in the research and treatment of prostate cancer. </p><p>Nelson is a recognized leader in translational research for cancer. Along with Johns Hopkins colleagues, he discovered the most common genome alteration in prostate cancer. This discovery led to new diagnostic tests for the disease and has fueled interest in new drug discovery and other treatment options, now ongoing at Johns Hopkins. He was one of three co-chairs of the National Cancer Institute’s Translational Research Working Group, which worked to reengineer translational cancer science across the nation.</p><p>Nelson served on the AACR board of directors from 2000 to 2003. He is a senior editor of two AACR journals, <em>Cancer Research</em> and <em>Cancer Prevention Research</em>, and is a member of the editorial board of <em>Clinical Cancer Research</em>. He serves as vice chair of the scientific advisory committee of Stand Up To Cancer and as a member of the scientific advisory board for the Prostate Cancer Foundation.</p><p>Nelson received both his medical degree and doctoral degree in pharmacology in 1987 from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. </p><p>He is the author or co-author of approximately 120 scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals and 23 book chapters or monographs. He is a co-holder of nine U.S. patents. </p></div>
American Association for Cancer Research Inducts 2015 Class of Fellows of the AACR Academy8470122/18/2015 3:55:31 PM Releases/AllItems.aspx666False2015-02-18T11:00:00Z<div class="ExternalClassA3A21B9884F2450ABB97023C66FFFB7F"><p>​PHILADELPHIA — The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) today announced 11 new fellows of the AACR Academy.<br><br>The <a href="/MEMBERSHIP/PAGES/FELLOWS-OF-THE-AACR-ACADEMY.ASPX">AACR Academy</a> serves to recognize and honor distinguished scientists whose major scientific contributions have propelled significant innovation and progress against cancer. All fellows are nominated and elected through a rigorous peer-review process conducted by existing fellows of the AACR Academy and ratified by the AACR Executive Committee. This process involves an assessment of each candidate on the basis of his or her scientific achievements in cancer research and cancer-related biomedical science. <br><br>“Our 2015 class of fellows includes 11 luminaries in the field of cancer research, in honor of the 11 founders of the AACR in 1907. We are delighted to recognize the incredible scientific accomplishments of these illustrious researchers and celebrate how their dedicated efforts have helped accelerate the pace of progress against many of the hundreds of diseases we collectively call cancer,” said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), chief executive officer of the AACR.<br><br>The AACR Academy is an entity of the AACR that recognizes individuals who have made exceptional contributions to cancer research and/or cancer-related biomedical science. Only individuals whose work has had a significant and long-lasting impact on the field are eligible for election as an AACR fellow. <br></p><p>This brain trust of global leaders in cancer research offers invaluable insight into the future of cancer research and patient care, and continues to work with the AACR in its mission to prevent and cure all cancers. <br></p><p>Members of the 2015 class of fellows of the AACR Academy are&#58;<br></p><ul><li><strong>Kenneth C. Anderson, MD,</strong> director, Jerome Lipper Multiple Myeloma Center and LeBow Institute for Myeloma Therapeutics, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts;</li><li><strong>Carlos L. Arteaga, MD,</strong> director, Center for Cancer Targeted Therapies; director, Breast Cancer Program; and associate director for Clinical Research, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee; </li><li><strong>Anton J.M. Berns, PhD,</strong> senior group leader, Division of Molecular Genetics, Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam; director, Skoltech Center for Stem Cell Research, Moscow, Russia;</li><li><strong>Bruce A. Chabner, MD,</strong> director of clinical research, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts;</li><li><strong>Ronald A. DePinho, MD,</strong> president, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas;</li><li><strong>Susan D. Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH,</strong> chief executive officer, Bill &amp; Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle, Washington;</li><li><strong>Robert N. Eisenman, PhD,</strong> member, Division of Basic Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington;</li><li><strong>Douglas R. Lowy, MD,</strong> deputy director, Center for Cancer Research; chief, Laboratory of Cellular Oncology; and head, Signaling and Oncogenesis Section, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland; </li><li><strong>Carol L. Prives, PhD,</strong> Da Costa professor, Columbia University, New York, New York;</li><li><strong>Steven A. Rosenberg, MD, PhD,</strong> chief of surgery, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland; and </li><li><strong>Craig B. Thompson, MD,</strong> president and chief executive officer, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York. </li></ul><p><br>The AACR will formally induct its 2015 class of elected fellows of the AACR Academy at the <a href="/Meetings/Pages/MeetingDetail.aspx?EventItemID=25">AACR Annual Meeting 2015</a>, to be held in Philadelphia, April 18-22.</p></div>
Coffee Intake May Lower Endometrial Cancer Risk8052782/6/2015 2:18:04 PM98 Releases/AllItems.aspx665False2015-02-06T05:05:00Z<div class="ExternalClass2466B68557ED4C97922754DBF0174027"><p>PHILADELPHIA — Women who drank about four cups of coffee per day appeared to have decreased endometrial cancer risk compared with those who drank less than a cup each day, 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="Melissa A. Merritt, PhD" src="/PublishingImages/Merritt_Melissa_150x200.jpg" style="margin&#58;10px;vertical-align&#58;auto;float&#58;right;" /></p><p>“We used a ‘nutrient-wide association study,’ a new approach to systematically evaluate the association of dietary factors with endometrial cancer risk,” said <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">Melissa A. Merritt, PhD</a>, a research fellow in cancer epidemiology at <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">Imperial College London</a> in the United Kingdom. “This approach was inspired by genome-wide association studies that look at genetic risk factors for cancer, but in our case we investigated 84 foods and nutrients in place of genes as risk factors for endometrial cancer.</p><p>“We confirmed observations from previous studies that having a high versus low intake of coffee was associated with a reduced risk for endometrial cancer, and for most other dietary factors there was no association with endometrial cancer risk,” Merritt added.</p><p>“Coffee intake is worth investigating further to see if coffee can be used for the prevention of endometrial cancer. However, before clinical recommendations can be made, further studies are needed to evaluate this question in other studies and to try to isolate the components of coffee that may be responsible for any influence on endometrial cancer,” Merritt said.</p><p>Merritt and colleagues evaluated the association of 84 foods and nutrients based on dietary questionnaires from a prospective cohort study, the European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) Study. They then validated nine foods and nutrients identified from the EPIC study as having associations with endometrial cancer risk in two prospective cohort studies, the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) and NHSII, two cohorts based at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, and Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, respectively.</p><p>Among the EPIC study participants, those who drank about three cups of coffee per day (750 g/day) had a 19 percent lower risk for endometrial cancer compared with those who drank less than one cup of coffee per day. Among the NHS/NHSII participants, those who drank about four cups of coffee per day (1,000 g/day) had an 18 percent lower risk for endometrial cancer compared with those who never drank coffee.</p><p>This study focused on 1,303 endometrial cancer cases in the EPIC study, and 1,531 endometrial cancer cases from the NHS/NHSII studies.</p><p>The nine foods/nutrients that were found to have associations with endometrial cancer in the EPIC cohort were total fat, monounsaturated fat, carbohydrates, phosphorus, butter, yogurt, cheese, potatoes, and coffee.</p><p>Total fat, monounsaturated fat, and phosphorus were associated with decreased risk for endometrial cancer, and carbohydrates and butter intake were associated with increased risk for endometrial cancer in the EPIC cohort, but these findings could not be validated in the NHS/NHSII cohorts.</p><p>The coordination of EPIC is financially supported by the European Commission (DGSANCO) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer. The national cohorts are supported by Danish Cancer Society (Denmark); Ligue Contre le Cancer, Institut Gustave Roussy, Mutuelle Générale de l’Education Nationale, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM) (France); Deutsche Krebshilfe, Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum and Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Germany); the Hellenic Health Foundation (Greece); Associazione Italiana per la Ricerca sul Cancro-AIRC (Italy); Dutch Ministry of Public Health, Welfare and Sports (VWS), Netherlands Cancer Registry (NKR), LK Research Funds, Dutch Prevention Funds, Dutch ZON (Zorg Onderzoek Nederland), World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), Statistics Netherlands (Netherlands); ERC-2009-AdG 232997 and Nordforsk, Nordic Center of Excellence Program on Food, Nutrition, and Health (Norway); Health Research Fund (FIS), Regional Governments of Andalucía, Asturias, Basque Country, Murcia (no. 6236) and Navarra, ISCIII RETIC (Spain); Swedish Cancer Society, Swedish Scientific Council and County Councils of Skåne and Västerbotten (Sweden); Cancer Research U.K., Medical Research Council (United Kingdom). The NHS/NHSII were supported by the National Institutes of Health. Merritt declares no conflicts of interest. </p></div>
AACR Announces Various International Initiatives on World Cancer Day7967692/4/2015 2:42:10 PM98 Releases/AllItems.aspx664False2015-02-04T14:00:00Z<div class="ExternalClassF67BCC6137954EAEB6002EC51A98A41A"><p>PHILADELPHIA — In recognition of World Cancer Day, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) announced several international activities to support and promote collaboration among cancer researchers around the world in 2015. </p><p>“Defeating the global scourge of cancer will require a global effort,” said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), chief executive officer of the AACR. “The AACR is on the front lines of this fight. Our membership spans 101 countries, and our new offices in China and Canada, as well as our longstanding partnerships with cancer research organizations around the world, help facilitate the innovative international collaborations we need to achieve the scientific breakthroughs that will lead to future cures. On this World Cancer Day, we are proud to join people across the globe in raising awareness about the importance of cancer research, prevention, and treatment. Together, we can stem the tide against this insidious disease.”</p><p>The organization’s initiatives include the second annual <a href="/Meetings/Pages/MeetingDetail.aspx?EventItemID=66">New Horizons in Cancer Research Conference</a> in Shanghai, China, Nov. 12-15, 2015. This meeting will highlight the latest discoveries in basic, translational, and clinical cancer research; feature talks from international speakers and local experts; and draw on findings presented at the <a href="/Meetings/Pages/MeetingDetail.aspx?EventItemID=25">AACR Annual Meeting 2015</a> in Philadelphia, April 18-22. The AACR opened its Shanghai office—the organization’s first satellite office outside the United States—last year.</p><p>In addition to the New Horizons conference, the AACR will partner with a number of international organizations at meetings and workshops throughout the year. Examples of these partnerships include&#58;</p><ul><li>conducting joint AACR-Chinese Society of Clinical Oncology sessions at the organizations’ respective annual meetings;</li><li>sponsoring an AACR Workshop and Special Lecture at the 13th International Conference on Malignant Lymphoma in Lugano, Switzerland; </li><li>collaborating with the Croucher Foundation on a Croucher Summer Course on Cancer Biology in Hong Kong;</li><li>hosting AACR Symposia at the 10th International Conference on Cancer in Africa in Marrakech, Morocco; and</li><li>organizing a joint conference with Cold Spring Harbor Asia on big data and cancer research in Suzhou, China.</li></ul><p>The AACR is also laying groundwork for collaborations in North and South America, recently opening its second international satellite office in Toronto, Canada. In March, Foti and AACR President Carlos Arteaga, MD, will travel to Brazil to meet with cancer experts and other leaders in science, policy, and industry from across Latin America.&#160; </p><p>AACR membership now includes more than 33,000 laboratory, translational, and clinical researchers; population scientists; other health care professionals; and cancer advocates residing in 101 countries. Thirty percent of AACR members are located outside the United States. As the Scientific Partner of Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), the AACR collaborates with SU2C and cancer research organizations around the world on several research grants. The AACR is a longstanding co-host of the annual International Symposium on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics with the U.S. National Cancer Institute and the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer.</p><p>Held annually on Feb. 4, <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">World Cancer Day</a> is an international initiative of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) that aims to raise awareness about the global cancer burden, empower individuals with information that will help them take a positive and proactive approach to the fight against cancer, and encourage governments to make cancer research, screening, and treatment national priorities. The AACR is an active member of the UICC, an organization that brings together the world’s major cancer societies, ministries of health, research institutes, and patient groups to accelerate the fight against cancer.</p></div>
Metformin May Lower Lung Cancer Risk in Diabetic Nonsmokers7892552/2/2015 2:24:56 PM68 Releases/AllItems.aspx663False2015-02-02T05:05:00Z<div class="ExternalClass9A5425099E9D4616894A2BC454BE8E6A"><p>PHILADELPHIA — Among nonsmokers who had diabetes, those who took the diabetes drug metformin had a decrease in lung cancer risk, 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="Lori C. Sakoda, PhD, MPH" src="/publishingimages/Sakoda_Lori_150x200.jpg" style="margin&#58;10px;vertical-align&#58;auto;float&#58;right;" /></p><p>“Metformin use was not associated with lung cancer risk when we looked at all patients with diabetes. However, our results suggest that risk might differ by smoking history, with metformin decreasing risk among nonsmokers and increasing risk among current smokers,” said <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">Lori C. Sakoda, PhD, MPH</a>, research scientist at the <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">Kaiser Permanente Division of Research</a> in Oakland, California.</p><p>“Our results suggesting that the risk associated with metformin might differ by smoking history were unexpected,” added Sakoda. “Additional large, well-conducted studies are needed to clarify whether metformin may be used to prevent lung or other cancers, particularly in specific subpopulations, such as nonsmokers.”</p><p>Some laboratory studies and a number of observational studies suggest that metformin may prevent cancer, but the data from human studies are conflicting, explained Sakoda. The researchers conducted this study to further clarify the association between metformin use and lung cancer risk.</p><p>Sakoda and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study of 47,351 diabetic patients (54 percent men), 40 years or older, who completed a health-related survey between 1994 and 1996. Information on their diabetes medications was collected from electronic pharmacy records. About 46 percent of them were “ever-users” of metformin, defined as those who filled two or more prescriptions within a six-month period.</p><p>During 15 years of follow-up, 747 patients were diagnosed with lung cancer. Of them, 80 were never smokers, and 203 were current smokers.</p><p>Metformin use was not associated with lower lung cancer risk overall; however, the risk was 43 percent lower among diabetic patients who had never smoked, and the risk appeared to decrease with longer use. Nonsmokers who used metformin for five years or longer had a 52 percent reduction in lung cancer risk, but this finding was not statistically significant.</p><p>Metformin use for five or more years was associated with a 31 percent decrease in the risk for adenocarcinoma, the most common type of lung cancer diagnosed in nonsmokers, and an 82 percent increase in the risk for small-cell carcinoma, a type of lung cancer often diagnosed in smokers, but neither of these findings were statistically significant.</p><p>This study was funded by the National Institutes of Health. Sakoda declares no conflicts of interest. Assiamira Ferrara, Charles Quesenberry Jr., and Laurel Habel, coauthors on this study, have received research funding from Takeda to Kaiser Foundation Research Institute for a study of pioglitazone and cancer and from Sanofi through a subcontract from University of North Carolina to Kaiser Foundation Research Institute for a study of insulin glargine and cancer. Habel has received additional research funding from Genentech to Kaiser Foundation Research Institute for a study of HER2-positive breast cancer, including risk of cardiotoxicity following trastuzumab.</p></div>
AACR Applauds President Obama's Focused Initiative on Precision Medicine 7793971/30/2015 2:47:40 PM110 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 PM52 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>