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​Cancer Today Summer Issue Addresses Financial Strain of Cancer Treatment14566176/30/2015 3:48:03 PM Releases/AllItems.aspx742False2015-06-30T13:00:00Z<div class="ExternalClass3A01E1EC2D0743988850FC5028DC0245"><p>PHILADELPHIA — The Summer 2015 issue of <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank"><em>Cancer Today</em></a>, a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), features “<a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">The Cost of Cancer</a>,” about how cancer treatments can leave patients and their families heavily in debt. The article also offers resources patients can pursue for financial relief.<a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank"><img alt="Cancer Today Summer 2015 Cover" src="/PublishingImages/Cancer_Today_SUM15_Cover_320x411.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 includes “<a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">Preserving the Future</a>,” a story about how cancer treatment may affect the ability of young cancer patients to have children, and the steps they can take to preserve their fertility. </p><p>Brain cancer survivor and pediatrician P.J. Lukac <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">tells how cancer shaped his career path</a>, and “<a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">The DCIS Dilemma</a>” describes the tough treatment decisions that women diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ often face.</p><p>To read these stories and others, go to <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank"><em>Cancer Today</em></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 <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">monthly e-newsletter</a>, which contains links to web exclusives, information about events and resources, and highlights from new issues. </p><p>Media are welcome to use information from <em>Cancer Today</em>; however, we ask that you cite the source.</p></div>
American Association for Cancer Research Journals Receive Top Rankings in 2015 Report14482816/29/2015 6:14:14 PM Releases/AllItems.aspx740False2015-06-29T16:00:00Z<div class="ExternalClass90AF401C71B14CAF87484818931280AC"><p>PHILADELPHIA — The journals of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) ranked in the top 30 percent of all oncology journals with regard to Impact Factor, according to the latest <em>Journal Citation Report</em> from Thomson Reuters, the industry-standard measurement report. </p><p>The AACR’s highly cited journals received 17 percent of all citations in the oncology category whereas they represented 6 percent of all articles published in the oncology category. </p><p>Three of the AACR journals—<em>Cancer Discovery</em>, <em>Cancer Research</em>, and <em>Clinical Cancer Research</em>—ranked in the top 6 percent by Impact Factor (of 211 oncology journals measured by Thomson Reuters).</p><p>For the 19th consecutive year, <em>Cancer Research</em> ranked first among oncology journals in the number of total citations, with approximately 143,000. <em>Cancer Research</em> ranked 23rd in total citations among all 8,618 journals measured by Thomson Reuters. </p><p><em>Clinical Cancer Research</em> ranked third in total citations among oncology journals, with more than 72,000 citations. </p><p>“This report shows that the AACR’s eight peer-reviewed journals continue to be an authoritative and respected source of information for researchers from across the world’s cancer research community,” said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), chief executive officer of the AACR. “The outstanding success of our journals is a testament to the expertise and hard work of our authors, scientific editors, and staff. We deeply appreciate all of our colleagues who give so generously of their time and wisdom to ensure the dissemination of the highest-quality innovative cancer science and medicine among scientists. This is a priority for the AACR as it is crucial to accelerating the pace of progress in the prevention and cure of cancer.”</p><p><a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">View</a> the complete journal ranking information. </p><p>The eight journals of the AACR are&#58; <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank"><em>Cancer Discovery</em></a>; <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank"><em>Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers &amp; Prevention</em></a>; <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank"><em>Cancer Immunology Research</em></a>; <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank"><em>Cancer Research</em></a>; <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank"><em>Cancer Prevention Research</em></a>; <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank"><em>Clinical Cancer Research</em></a>; <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank"><em>Molecular Cancer Research</em></a>; and <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank"><em>Molecular Cancer Therapeutics</em></a>. </p></div>
Cancer Discovery's Impact Factor Rises to 19.453 in 2015 14482736/29/2015 6:13:30 PM Releases/AllItems.aspx741False2015-06-29T15:00:00ZMeasurement of the journal's impact has increased 92 percent in just two years<div class="ExternalClass52D08D85452C4D25A2C549DCF6D27501"><p>PHILADELPHIA — <em>Cancer Discovery</em>, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), reported an Impact Factor of 19.453 in 2015, which is a 22 percent increase over the 15.929 Impact Factor from 2014 and a 92 percent increase over the 10.143 Impact Factor from 2013.</p><p>The journal ranked fifth out of 211 oncology journals, according to the latest <em>Journal Citation Report</em> from Thomson Reuters, the industry standard for journal impact measurement. It ranked third in regard to the Immediacy Index, which indicates how quickly an article is cited.</p><p><em>Cancer Discovery</em> is co-led by editors-in-chief Lewis C. Cantley, PhD, director of the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, and José Baselga, MD, PhD, president of the AACR and physician-in-chief and chief medical officer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.</p><p>“The AACR is thrilled that the <em>Cancer Discovery</em> Impact Factor has increased significantly yet again this year,” said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), chief executive officer of the AACR. “We applaud the vision and hard work of Drs. Cantley and Baselga, the editors-in-chief of the journal, as well as our expert scientific editors of the journal’s editorial board and the many authors whose outstanding papers we have published. Clearly, under the direction of the editors-in-chief, we are providing an important resource to cancer researchers around the world that presents the most compelling and innovative cancer science and medicine in the cancer field.” </p><p><em>Cancer Discovery</em> publishes high-impact, peer-reviewed articles describing major advances in basic, translational, and clinical research, as well as cancer science news, review articles, perspectives, commentaries, and summaries of other important peer-reviewed journal articles.</p><p><em><a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">Cancer Discovery</a></em> is one of eight journals published by the AACR. The other journals are <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank"><em>Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers &amp; Prevention</em></a>; <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank"><em>Cancer Immunology Research</em></a>; <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank"><em>Cancer Prevention Research</em></a>; <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank"><em>Cancer Research</em></a>; <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank"><em>Clinical Cancer Research</em></a>; <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank"><em>Molecular Cancer Research</em></a>; and <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank"><em>Molecular Cancer Therapeutics</em></a>.</p><p>Read more information on <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank"><em>Cancer Discovery</em></a>. </p></div>
AACR Launches New Funding Initiative to Promote Innovative Research From Young Investigators103376/25/2015 2:30:47 PM Releases/AllItems.aspx739False2015-06-25T14:30:00ZLetters of Intent for the NextGen Grants for Transformative Cancer Research are due Aug. 10<div class="ExternalClassCD0202C695D44FBEB572899FB0B1EA61"><p>​PHILADELPHIA — The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is pleased to announce the launch of the <a href="/Funding/Pages/Funding-Detail.aspx?ItemID=48">AACR NextGen Grants for Transformative Cancer Research</a>, a new funding initiative to stimulate highly innovative research from young investigators.</p><p>This new grant mechanism is intended to promote and support creative, paradigm-shifting cancer research that, because of its very nature, may not otherwise be funded through existing channels. It is expected that these grants will catalyze significant scientific discoveries and help talented young investigators gain scientific independence.</p><p>“The AACR NextGen Grants for Transformative Cancer Research represent an exciting new initiative to provide funding to young investigators who are working on projects that have the potential to lead to major breakthroughs in the field of cancer research,” said Carlos L. Arteaga, MD, AACR immediate past-president, and the Donna S. Hall chair in breast cancer research and director of the Center for Cancer Targeted Therapies at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in Nashville, Tennessee. “Young investigators are vital to our future progress against cancer because they are the source of many of the most novel, ambitious, and transformative ideas in cancer research. We at the AACR are proud to be able to offer them this mechanism of support.”</p><p>“The American Association for Cancer Research is thrilled to offer this new funding opportunity to support the work of promising young investigators,” said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), chief executive officer of the AACR. “We are in the midst of a serious crisis in funding for biomedical research, and early-career researchers are particularly vulnerable when funding stagnates or declines. The AACR is committed to sustaining the pipeline of young investigators, and strengthening the support for these individuals is essential if we are to continue to make advances that lead to patient benefits.”</p><p>Eligibility will be limited to junior faculty who, at the start of the grant term, have held a full-time, tenure-track appointment as an assistant professor for no more than three years. The proposed research must represent a highly innovative approach to a major contemporary challenge in cancer research. The funded projects must have the potential to lead to groundbreaking discoveries in the field, and transform our understanding of the tumorigenesis process and/or our ability to treat, detect, or prevent cancer. The research can be in any area of basic, translational, or clinical science.</p><p>The grants will provide a total of $450,000 over a period of three years, beginning July 1, 2016. The recipients will formally accept the grants at the AACR Annual Meeting 2016, held April 16-20, in New Orleans.</p><p>Further details are <a href="/Funding/Pages/Funding-Detail.aspx?ItemID=48">available online</a>. Letters of intent must be submitted by noon ET, Aug. 10, 2015, using the <a href="https&#58;//" target="_blank">proposalCENTRAL website</a>. Additional inquiries may be directed to Ashley Jones at <a href="mailto&#58;"></a>.</p></div>
Blood Antibodies May Predict HPV-positive Oropharyngeal Cancer Survival103356/15/2015 1:15:02 PM Releases/AllItems.aspx737False2015-06-15T04:05:00Z<div class="ExternalClass027CD674F416477BA3B0A91BFE18340E"><p>PHILADELPHIA — The presence of certain human papillomavirus (HPV)-16 antibodies in the blood was associated with improved rates of survival among patients with HPV-related oropharyngeal carcinoma, 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. This study implies that antibody positivity may help identify those patients with HPV-positive tumors who could benefit from altered monitoring or treatments.</p><p>“We found that patients who were serologically positive to the E proteins of HPV16 had a better prognosis than those patients who were seronegative to these antigens,” said study author <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">Erich M. Sturgis, MD, MPH</a>, professor in the Department of Head and Neck Surgery at <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center</a>. “This seemed particularly true of patients who had tumors that we could confirm were HPV-positive.”</p><p>According to Sturgis, the incidence of HPV-positive oropharyngeal carcinoma has increased dramatically in recent years. Although patients with HPV-positive disease have a better prognosis than those with HPV-negative disease, researchers are still seeking a better understanding of what group of patients is more likely to respond to treatment.</p><p>In this study, Sturgis and colleagues used blood samples from 209 patients with previously untreated oropharyngeal carcinoma, including 96 who had confirmed HPV-positive disease, and screened the samples for HPV16 antibodies E1, E4-7, L1, L2, and the N-terminal and C-terminal fragments of E2. Samples were taken as part of the initial patient workup, six weeks after the end of treatment, and at six-month intervals up to three years.</p><p>Patients who were positive for any of the E antibodies tested had improved overall and progression-free survival compared with those negative for the antibodies.</p><p>The five-year overall survival estimate for patients positive for E antibodies was 87.4 percent compared with 42.2 percent for patients negative for E antibodies. The five-year progression-free survival estimate was 82.9 percent for antibody-positive patients compared with 46.1 percent for antibody-negative patients.</p><p>Patients with HPV-positive disease who were also positive for the NE2, E1, or E6 antibodies had an 80 percent reduced risk for death and a 70 percent reduced risk for disease progression.<br>No survival advantage was noted for the L antibodies tested in the study.</p><p>E proteins of HPV are antigens that play a role in HPV-mediated carcinogenesis, and L proteins are involved in the development of the virus shell, which are lost once the HPV DNA is integrated into human DNA, Sturgis explained.</p><p>“If this testing became commercially available it could not only be used as a means of identifying people who are at risk for oropharyngeal and other HPV cancers, but may also allow identification of HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer patients at greater or lower risk for cancer recurrence and death. These data further suggest that if we can modify patient immunity and increase a patient’s E antibody response, we might be able to affect cancer outcomes,” Sturgis said. “Clinical trials are now testing whether vaccines that can stimulate these antibodies have clinical utility in HPV-related cancers.”</p><p>This study was funded by the National Institutes of Health, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Arizona State University institutional funds, the National Cancer Institute Early Detection Research Network, and the Stiefel Oropharyngeal Research Fund. Sturgis declares no conflicts of interest.</p></div>
ALK1 Protein May Play a Role in Breast Cancer Metastasis103366/15/2015 1:19:08 PM Releases/AllItems.aspx738False2015-06-15T04:05:00ZAn investigational drug targeting ALK1 prevented disease spread in preclinical studies<div class="ExternalClass22374A68B6084877A3F62EE76DC39B5F"><p>​PHILADELPHIA — Breast cancer patients with high levels of the protein activin-like receptor kinase (ALK1) in the blood vessels of their tumors were more likely to develop metastatic disease, 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. <img alt="Kristian Pietras, PhD" src="/PublishingImages/Pietras_Kristian_150x200.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px 10px;vertical-align&#58;auto;float&#58;right;" /></p><p>This makes inhibition of the ALK1 pathway a possible new target for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer.</p><p>“Although prognosis for breast cancer is relatively good when detected in its early stages, metastatic disease is the cause of 90 percent of all cancer-related deaths. Therefore, learning more about the metastatic process and finding new cures to inhibit disease spread is at the center of clinical attention,” said <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">Kristian Pietras, PhD</a>, the Goran and Birgitta Grosskopf professor of molecular medicine at <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">Lund University</a>. </p><p>“We are investigating the role of ALK1 protein expressed by endothelial cells in promoting metastatic dissemination from primary breast tumors,” Pietras said.</p><p>Pietras explained that in order for a tumor to spread, a cancer cell must detach and traverse the vascular wall to escape into the blood stream, exit the vasculature to enter the metastatic site, and colonize the new tissue. The fact that the process of escape into and from the vasculature is regulated implies that it is possible to use drugs to block this process, he said.</p><p>“Our results suggest that the presence of high levels of ALK1 in the breast tumor vasculature is a prognostic biomarker for metastatic disease,” Pietras added. “Moreover, our work encourages clinical testing of drugs blocking ALK1 in breast cancer with prevention of metastatic dissemination as the primary outcome.”</p><p>Using multiple mouse models of breast cancer, Pietras and colleagues found that a mouse version of the ALK1 inhibitor dalantercept prevented metastatic dissemination and that combination therapy with dalantercept and the chemotherapy docetaxel was effective in preventing the spread of the primary breast tumor to the lungs.<br>&#160;<br>Next, the researchers analyzed gene-expression patterns in tumors from 768 patients in a population-based, nested case-control study. This analysis showed that expression of ALK1 was significantly associated with the incidence of metastatic disease. In order to further validate their findings, Pietras and colleagues analyzed breast cancer gene-expression data from The Cancer Genome Atlas and found that ALK1 expression correlated with the expression of well-known endothelial markers and that higher levels of ALK1 expression were an independent prognostic factor for poor survival in breast cancer patients.</p><p>“We are currently performing therapeutic studies with dalantercept in models of breast cancer in order to pinpoint the precise therapeutic regimen and disease stage at which the treatment is the most effective,” Pietras said.</p><p>This study was funded by the European Research Council; the Swedish Research Council; the Swedish Cancer Society; the STARGET Consortium; BioCARE; Lund University; BRECT; the Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm County Council; and the Radiumhemmet, Karolinska Institutet, and Karolinska University Hospital. Pietras is an inventor on a patent pertaining to ALK1 antagonism held by the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research Ltd., and licensed to Acceleron Pharma, a company that develops dalantercept for commercial purposes.</p></div>
Comorbid Conditions Associated With Worse Lung Cancer Survival103346/11/2015 1:32:35 PM Releases/AllItems.aspx736False2015-06-11T04:05:00Z<div class="ExternalClass81FD146831D04409B468DF4B6EE0FF29"><p>PHILADELPHIA — Lung cancer patients with comorbid conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, or congestive heart failure had a higher risk of death than lung cancer patients without comorbid conditions, 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="K.M. Monirul Islam, MD, PhD" src="/PublishingImages/Islam_Monirul_150x200.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px 10px;vertical-align&#58;auto;float&#58;right;" /></p><p>“The prevalence of comorbidities is higher in older lung cancer patients than patients who are younger,” said <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">K.M. Monirul Islam, MD, PhD</a>, an assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">College of Public Health</a>. “As the population of the United States ages, there will be a higher number of lung cancer patients with comorbidities at diagnosis.”</p><p>Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States, killing more than 135,000 people per year. More people die from lung cancer annually than die from breast, colon, and prostate cancers combined. The five-year survival rate is only about 17 percent. </p><p>Currently, survival is the only significant measure of treatment success, Islam said. Comorbid conditions can affect lung cancer survival in many ways, including complicating diagnostic evaluation, leading to less accurate disease staging, he added.</p><p>“We found that lung cancer patients with comorbidities had about a nine-month average survival, which is shorter than the national average,” Islam said. “We also found that 74 percent of the patients had one or more comorbidities. More than 50 percent of those with comorbidities had pulmonary disease, while 16 percent had diabetes, and 13 percent had congestive heart failure.”</p><p>Islam and colleagues found that among patients with localized lung cancer, those with one comorbidity had a 30 percent higher risk of mortality compared with those who had no comorbidity. Among patients with metastatic lung cancer, comorbidity had less impact on survival. </p><p>“This could be due to the very short survival in advanced-stage lung cancer patients,” Islam said. </p><p>Patients with comorbidity were found to have poorer survival at each stage, he said, and the difference in survival between patients with and without comorbidity seemed to be greater in less advanced stages.</p><p>To analyze the overall survival of lung cancer patients with or without comorbidities, Islam’s research team conducted a population-based cohort study of 5,683 lung cancer patients identified from the Nebraska Cancer Registry and Nebraska Hospital Discharge Data. They also studied the overall survival in patients with any of the 14 comorbidities identified from the Charlson Comorbidity Index.</p><p>“Most previous studies aggregate all comorbidities into an index with little consideration of how a specific comorbid condition can impact lung cancer outcomes in an individual,” Islam said.</p><p>“Our results are based on cancer registry data from one state, so the results may not be generalizable to other populations. There is a need for a prospective study to confirm these results,” Islam cautioned. “We are planning to develop a lung cancer-specific comorbidity index using prospective data for the best estimate of the impact of individual comorbid conditions on survival.”</p><p>This study was funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, the Veterans Health Administration, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, the UNMC College of Public Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Public Health Infrastructure. Islam declares no conflicts of interest.<br></p></div>
Western Diet After Prostate Cancer Diagnosis Associated With Increased Risk of Death 103306/1/2015 1:48:52 PM Releases/AllItems.aspx732False2015-06-01T04:05:00ZDiet rich in vegetables and fruits linked to lowered risk<div class="ExternalClass64936507158A49B69BEAA1D45BE821FF"><p>PHILADELPHIA — After a diagnosis of prostate cancer, men who ate foods rich in processed meats, red meats, and high-fat dairy products had an increased risk for prostate cancer-related death and death from all causes, and men whose diet was rich in vegetables and fruits had a lowered risk for death from all causes, 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="Jorge E. Chavarro, MD, ScD" src="/PublishingImages/Chavarro_Jorge_150x200.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px 10px;vertical-align&#58;auto;float&#58;right;" /> </p><p>“We found that men diagnosed with nonmetastatic prostate cancer whose diet was more ‘Westernized,’ i.e., contained processed meats, refined grains, potatoes, and high-fat dairy, were more likely to die of prostate cancer,” said senior author <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">Jorge E. Chavarro, MD, ScD</a>, assistant professor of nutrition and epidemiology at <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health</a> and of medicine at <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">Brigham and Women’s Hospital</a>, a teaching hospital of <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">Harvard Medical School</a> in Boston.</p><p>There are nearly 3 million men living with prostate cancer in the United States; however, there is very little information for patients and clinicians about how to manage patients’ lifestyles, such as diet, after a prostate cancer diagnosis to improve survivorship, which the authors sought to explore in this study, Chavarro explained.</p><p>Compared with men who were in the lowest quartile of the Western diet pattern, those in the highest quartile of the Western diet pattern had a 2.53 times (153 percent) increased risk for prostate cancer-specific death, and a 67 percent increased risk for death from all causes. Men whose diet was predominantly vegetables, fruits, fish, legumes, and whole grains, called the “prudent” diet pattern, had a 36 percent lowered risk for death from all causes; they also had a lowered risk for prostate cancer-specific death, but this association was not statistically significant.</p><p>“Because cardiovascular disease is one of the top causes of death among prostate cancer survivors, our findings regarding all-cause mortality are what we anticipated and closely align with the current knowledge of the role of diet on cardiovascular disease. Our findings with Western diet and prostate cancer-specific mortality, however, were surprising, in part because there are very little data regarding how diet after diagnosis may impact disease prognosis,” Chavarro said.</p><p>Chavarro, lead author of this study; <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">Meng Yang, PhD, MPH</a>, a research fellow in nutrition at Harvard Chan School; and colleagues used data from participants of the <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">Physician’s Health Study</a> I and II, who had completed a comprehensive questionnaire about their clinical status and diet. The researchers followed the patients for an average of 14 years after their prostate cancer diagnosis, and assessed the impact of dietary patterns on mortality after accounting for factors including body mass index, smoking status, prostate-specific antigen levels, tumor characteristics at diagnosis, and initial treatment.</p><p>“Our results suggest that the same dietary recommendations that are made to the general population primarily for the prevention of cardiovascular disease may also decrease the risk of dying from prostate cancer among men initially diagnosed with nonmetastatic disease,” Chavarro said.</p><p>“Most men in the cohort are Caucasian and all are physicians; therefore, our results need to be replicated in independent populations with more diverse socioeconomic and racial/ethnic backgrounds,” Yang cautioned.</p><p>This study was funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, the National Institutes of Health, the Prostate Cancer Foundation, the Boston Nutrition and Obesity Research Center, the Harvard TREC Center, and the Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center SPORE in Prostate Cancer. Chavarro and Yang declare no conflicts of interest.</p></div>
​Leukemias With ALK Mutations Identified, May Respond to ALK Inhibitors103316/1/2015 1:53:37 PM Releases/AllItems.aspx733False2015-06-01T04:05:00Z<div class="ExternalClass12D916997AEE45AA874E17202EA68406"><p>PHILADELPHIA — Mutations in the ALK gene were identified in the tumors of two leukemia patients, and laboratory studies indicated that leukemias harboring these mutations may respond to ALK inhibitors such as crizotinib and ceritinib, 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.<img alt="Jeffrey Tyner, PhD" src="/PublishingImages/Tyner_Jeffrey_150x200.jpg" style="margin&#58;10px;vertical-align&#58;auto;float&#58;right;" /></p><p>“Genetic lesions involving ALK have been seen recurrently in a number of different types of solid tumors, but to my knowledge, ALK mutations have not previously been implicated as a major contributor to leukemia,” said <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">Jeffrey Tyner, PhD</a>, an assistant professor in the Department of Cell, Developmental, and Cancer Biology at the Knight Cancer Institute at <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">Oregon Health &amp; Science University</a>. “The discovery of new mutant versions of ALK that may contribute to the development of leukemia and can be therapeutically targeted suggests new treatment options for patients with leukemia with ALK mutations.”</p><p>Genome-sequencing technologies have dramatically increased the amount of genetic information that can be collected from a patient’s tumor; however, a lot of this genetic information is not yet clinically actionable due to our lack of knowledge regarding the relevance of many of the mutant genes, explained Tyner. Understanding which mutant genes are important in the disease process, so that they can be paired with targeted therapies, is an important step, he said.</p><p>Tyner and colleagues performed deep sequencing of 1,862 kinase and kinase-associated genes in 185 tumor samples, which included samples from 96 patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), 51 with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), and 38 with myeloproliferative neoplasms. Of these, two samples, one from a pediatric patient with B-cell ALL and one from an adult patient with AML, had one ALK mutation each.</p><p>To assess whether the two mutations identified had the potential to make a cell cancerous, the researchers introduced the mutations into laboratory-grown leukemia cells that normally depend on an external growth factor for growth and survival, and found that the mutations allowed these cells to grow even in the absence of an external growth factor, indicating that these mutations were capable of driving abnormal cell growth.</p><p>Further laboratory studies indicated that leukemia cells harboring either of the two mutations could be inhibited by several ALK inhibitors, including crizotinib and ceritinib, two therapeutics approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of ALK-positive metastatic non-small cell lung cancer.</p><p>“These findings suggest that broader use of ALK inhibitors should be considered and that these drugs could be applied on the basis of genetic features of a patient’s tumor cells,” said the study’s first author, Julia Maxson, PhD, who is presently a postdoctoral fellow in the Clinical Research Division at <a href="https&#58;//" target="_blank">Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center</a> in Seattle.</p><p>This study was funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the National Cancer Institute, the Leukemia &amp; Lymphoma Society, a Medical Research Foundations Early Clinical Investigator Award, the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, the V Foundation for Cancer Research, and the Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research. Tyner and Maxson declare no conflicts of interest.</p></div>
Spouses' Mood May Impact the Well-being of Cancer Survivors103326/1/2015 1:58:22 PM Releases/AllItems.aspx734False2015-06-01T04:05:00ZIncorporating spousal care into survivorship programs may improve outcomes<div class="ExternalClassE32FAAA2CE844EE89C6569160E368C99"><p>PHILADELPHIA — Cancer survivors whose spouses reported depressed mood were more likely to be depressed after about a year, 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="Kristin Litzelman, PhD" src="/PublishingImages/Litzelman_Kristin_150x200.jpg" style="margin&#58;10px;vertical-align&#58;auto;float&#58;right;" /></p><p>However, cancer survivors whose spouses reported better mental and physical health-related quality of life (HRQoL) were less likely to be depressed after about a year.</p><p>“There are an estimated 14.5 million cancer survivors in the United States. Family members, especially spouses, often provide multiple types of support for cancer survivors, including attending medical appointments, helping with care, and sharing financial responsibilities. Understanding how cancer survivors and their families influence one another can provide directions in improving the health care they all receive and their outcomes in terms of health and well-being,” said <a href="http&#58;//;bioType=flw" target="_blank">Kristin Litzelman, PhD</a>, a cancer prevention fellow in the <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">Behavioral Research Program</a> at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Bethesda, Maryland.</p><p>Previous studies have shown that depressed mood in cancer survivors is associated with poor health outcomes, including worse treatment adherence and premature mortality, Litzelman explained.</p><p>Litzelman and colleagues used data from 910 cancer patients and their spouses from the <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">Medical Expenditures Panel Survey</a>. The researchers used statistical models to look at how each spouse’s quality of life or depressed mood at one time point was associated with his or her partner’s risk of depressed mood around 11 months later. They also looked at a comparison group of 910 couples without any kind of cancer-related health problem, in order to determine whether the relationships they saw among couples with cancer were different from what one would expect to see in the general population without cancer.</p><p>The researchers found that when the spouses reported feeling depressed, cancer survivors were 4 times more likely to report depressed mood 11 months later, even after taking into account the survivors’ previously reported mood, demographic characteristics, and other factors. This association was especially strong in couples when the wife had cancer. Survivors whose spouses reported better HRQoL had a 30 percent decrease in depressed mood 11 months later.</p><p>The researchers also found that cancer survivors’ mood did not have an appreciable impact on their spouses’ risk of depressed mood at a later date. Further, they did not see these associations in couples that did not have any cancer-related health problems.</p><p>“We were surprised that the effects of the spouses on the survivors were so much larger in this study than the effect of the survivors on their spouses. We expected to see a more reciprocal relationship. This finding certainly needs to be backed up by other studies, but it highlights the importance of family well-being in cancer survivor outcomes,” Litzelman said.</p><p>“Our research highlights that spouses need to take care of themselves not just for their own sake, but also for the sake of the cancer survivor,” Litzelman noted. “Our findings also suggest that when caring for cancer survivors, clinicians may want to assess the well-being of spousal caregivers. Future research could test whether including caregivers in the survivorship care plan might help to improve outcomes for both caregivers and for cancer survivors.”</p><p>This study was funded by the Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program of the NCI. The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not represent the official position of the NCI. Litzelman declares no conflicts of interest.</p></div>