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Women Who Survive Breast or Thyroid Cancer Are More Likely to Develop the Other Type Later152542/5/2016 2:35:56 PM Releases/AllItems.aspx836False2016-02-05T05:05:00Z<div class="ExternalClassF6C699419A0E4ED5B1B855B28ECA0C7C"><p>PHILADELPHIA — Women who survived breast or thyroid cancer faced an elevated risk of developing the other cancer as a secondary malignancy, 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="Raymon H. Grogan, MD" src="/PublishingImages/Grogan_Raymon_150x200.jpg" style="margin&#58;10px;vertical-align&#58;auto;float&#58;right;" /></p><p>The incidence of differentiated thyroid cancer, which includes papillary and follicular cancers, has increased nearly threefold in the United States over the past three decades, and breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed malignancy in women. Advances in detection and treatment have resulted in many women surviving their initial illness, said the study’s lead author, <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">Raymon H. Grogan, MD</a>, assistant professor of surgery and director of the Endocrine Surgery Research Program at the <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">University of Chicago Medicine and Biological Sciences</a>. </p><p>“We now have large numbers of women who have survived one of the cancers. We saw evidence in the clinic that women who survived one seemed vulnerable to later developing the other,” Grogan said.</p><p>Grogan and fellow researchers set out to analyze studies of both kinds of cancer over several decades through a review of PubMed and Scopus databases. The researchers queried the databases to find studies in which women who had survived either breast or thyroid cancer developed the other type later. They then calculated odds ratios based on the numbers of observed and expected secondary malignancies.</p><p>The results showed that women who had survived breast cancer were 1.55 times more likely to develop thyroid cancer than a woman who hasn’t had breast cancer, and women who had survived thyroid cancer were 1.18 times more likely to develop breast cancer than a woman who hasn’t had thyroid cancer. </p><p>Grogan’s study also included a literature review that evaluated several theories about the connection between breast cancer and thyroid cancer. Key findings&#58;</p><ul><li><strong>Surveillance bias</strong>. Grogan explained that a woman who has survived breast cancer will have very close clinical followup with her physicians in the years after her illness, which could increase the likelihood of detecting thyroid cancer even if it was in an early stage. Similarly, the study suggested, women with a history of thyroid cancer are more likely to be compliant with screening tests such as mammograms, thus increasing rates of breast cancer detection. <br><br></li><li><strong>Shared hormonal factors</strong>. Both breast and thyroid cancer cancers have hormonal risk factors, so researchers considered whether the co-occurrence of the cancers could also result from hormonal factors. There is evidence in the literature that exposure to estrogens and to thyroid-stimulating hormones may play a role in the development of breast or thyroid cancer as a secondary malignancy, Grogan said, adding that further research would be necessary to confirm the link. <br><br></li><li><strong>Treatment effect</strong>. Most early-stage breast cancers are treated with surgery, followed by radiation therapy. Previous studies have suggested that exposure to radiation affects the risk of certain cancers, including lung, esophageal, and blood cancers, and sarcomas. Grogan said that radiation exposure is also a well-known risk factor for the development of thyroid cancer, but that radiation exposure of the thyroid during chest radiation can be largely ameliorated with proper shielding of the thyroid. Grogan said previous research did find that radioactive iodine (RAI), used in the treatment of thyroid cancer, plays a very small role in the development of other cancers later on, including breast cancer, but the exact risk of developing breast cancer after RAI therapy is still not clear.<br><br></li><li><strong>Genetics</strong>. Another theory is that a germline mutation could be responsible for the connection between breast and thyroid cancers. One known genetic link is Cowden syndrome, which has been proven to increase the risk of a patient developing both cancers; however, it alone cannot explain the elevated risks found in the current study. Grogan said that further research is necessary to identify other potential genetic factors. </li></ul><p>&#160;</p><p>Grogan said that by being aware of the risk a woman faces of developing breast or thyroid cancer after surviving the other form of the disease, clinicians should be diligent about recommending screening measures. </p><p>“The connection between breast cancer and thyroid cancer is another risk factor that a doctor and a patient should be aware of,” he said. </p><p>According to Grogan, a limitation of the study is that the time between initial illness and secondary malignancy could not be determined due to heterogeneity in the studies. Without this information it is hard to determine how much of the risk of developing the second cancer is associated with surveillance bias. However, the significant increase in risk is bidirectional, so the researchers believe that surveillance bias alone cannot explain the link entirely.</p><p>This study was funded by the Ralph and Marion Falk Medical Research Trust and the American Cancer Society. The study’s authors declare no conflict of interest. </p></div>
Stand Up To Cancer Canada Announces New Cancer Stem Cell Dream Team To Attack Brain Cancer in Children and Adults152302/4/2016 2:21:54 PM Releases/AllItems.aspx835False2016-02-04T15:15:00ZPan-Canadian Team of Researchers Will Receive CA$11.7 Million in Funding from Stand Up To Cancer Canada, Genome Canada, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Cancer Stem Cell Consortium, and Ontario Institute for Cancer Research<div class="ExternalClass8B9B52A27FA3419E8477C680703A8CA2"><p>TORONTO – A team of top Canadian scientists, including leading pioneers of stem cell research, was named today to lead a new attack on brain cancers in children and adults, using genomic and molecular profiling technologies to focus on the cancer stem cells that drive the growth of tumors.</p><p>“Brain tumors are not as common as many other forms of cancer, but they are devastating, especially when they strike the very young,” said Phillip A. Sharp, PhD, Nobel laureate and institute professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and co-chair of the Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) Canada Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC). “The Dream Team will bring new insights to brain cancer research, which has been an underfunded area.”</p><p>The leader of the SU2C Canada Cancer Stem Cell Dream Team&#58; Targeting Brain Tumor Stem Cell Epigenetic and Molecular Networks, is Peter B. Dirks, MD, PhD, neurosurgeon and senior scientist at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto, who was the first to identify cancer stem cells in brain tumors in 2003. The co-leader is Samuel Weiss, PhD, director of the Hotchkiss Brain Institute and professor in the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary, who was awarded the Canada Gairdner International Award in 2008 in part for his discovery of adult neural stem cells in the brains of adult mammals. </p><p>“Stem cells and cancer stem cells were discovered in Canada,” said Alan Bernstein, OC, PhD, president and chief executive officer of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) and co-chair of the SU2C Canada SAC. “By bringing together a top-flight team of scientists and clinicians from across Canada and applying what we have learned about brain cancer and cancer stem cells, our hope is that novel treatments will be developed.&#160;Treatments that will extend the lives of patients, and give new hope to children and their parents, as well as adults who struggle with these devastating diseases.” </p><p>Funding of CA$11.7 million&#160;over four years is being provided by SU2C Canada, Genome Canada, the Canadian Institutes of&#160;Health Research (CIHR), the Cancer Stem Cell Consortium (CSCC), and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR), which will provide up to CA$1.2 million for clinical trials in the province of Ontario.&#160;The American Association for Cancer Research International – Canada is SU2C Canada’s scientific partner. </p><p>“Brain tumors in children and adults contain a small number of cells called stem cells that resist treatment and continually regenerate, driving tumor growth and recurrence after initial responses to treatment,” Dirks said. “Our team will conduct multiple analyses of brain cancer stem cells, profiling their biological makeup to identify drugs that are likely to block the uncontrolled growth of the tumors, and carry out clinical trials across Canada to find the safest and most effective drugs to treat these cancers.”</p><p>Federal ministers welcomed the new Dream Team. </p><p>“My heartfelt congratulations to the Dream Team researchers who are collaborating to pave the way to better and faster cancer treatments for Canadians and people around the world,” said the Honorable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science. “In supporting the Dream Team, the Government of Canada is investing in promising discoveries that could improve the outcome of patients who live with brain cancer.”</p><p>“Canada is a leader in stem cell research, and the Dream Team is carrying on this proud tradition,” said the Honorable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health. “I am optimistic that this team of top Canadian scientists has what it takes to find new ways of fighting brain tumors and improve the lives of children and adults living with brain cancer.”<br>&#160;<br>“Ontario is proud to support leading researchers, including top stem cell scientists, through the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research. Finding new and innovative ways to treat brain cancer in children and adults brings hope to patients and their families,” said the Honorable Reza Moridi, Ontario Minister of Research and Innovation.</p><p>The team will focus on glioblastomas in adults and children and on posterior fossa ependymomas of infants, both of which have a dismal outlook for patients and for which treatment options are limited. Less than 10 percent of adults are living five years after a glioblastoma diagnosis. In children, cancers of the brain and central nervous system are the No. 1 pediatric cancer killer, even though leukemia is the more common pediatric cancer. </p><p>“It’s like a Peter Pan syndrome, in which the immature cell, the stem cell, never grows up,” said Michael D. Taylor, MD, PhD, a neurosurgeon and senior scientist at SickKids who specializes in cancer genomics, epigenetics, and chromatin biology, and serves as a principal investigator on the team. “Our objective is to take those cancer stem cells and convince them to quit multiplying and leave the rest of the brain alone.” </p><p>“This Dream Team approach not only brings together the best researchers from across Canada, but integrates pediatric and adult brain cancer research. Pediatric cancer research is often essential to inform adult cancer research,” added Taylor, who also serves as a principal investigator on the U.S.-based SU2C-St. Baldrick’s Foundation Dream Team on childhood cancers. </p><p>Researchers have found that these cancers contain brain tumor stem cells (BTSCs). While similar to nerve stem cells that mature during normal brain development, abnormal programming in BTSCs allows them to drive tumor relapse (or the ability of the tumors to grow back again) and drug resistance. The Dream Team’s goal is to understand the abnormalities in BTSCs so that they can identify vulnerabilities that can be used to develop new drugs that are effective against brain cancers.</p><p>To achieve this goal, the Dream Team will take a three-pronged approach to understanding and targeting brain cancer stem cells that resist treatment and fuel tumor regrowth. Their first approach is to perform detailed analysis of BTSCs taken from 70 different glioblastomas or ependymomas and grown in the laboratory. They will use cutting-edge technology to understand the full biological profile of these cells – from changes in the cells’ genetic codes to epigenetic programs that control when genes are turned on or off and alterations in the way the cells metabolize nutrients.</p><p>The Dream Team’s second approach will be to screen a collection of chemicals on the same BTSCs for potential new drugs and drug combinations that are effective against these cells. Finally, while they are learning about the biology of BTSCs and screening for new compounds, the Dream Team will test five new potential drugs that they have already identified as very promising by tests performed in laboratory mice to find out which drugs or drug combinations might kill glioblastomas or ependymomas. The Dream Team hopes to bring new drugs for brain cancer into clinical trials in the third and fourth years of their research funding.</p><p>“Our understanding of brain cancer stem cells and their role in causing tumors to grow is advancing very rapidly, with significant contributions coming from Canadian scientists that are part of this exciting new Dream Team,” Weiss said. “Our proactive, data-sharing approach, coupled with strategic partnerships with multiple, major pharmaceutical companies, will help accelerate the search for effective treatments.”</p><p>In addition to Dirks, Weiss, and Taylor, the team’s principal investigators are&#58; </p><ul><li>Cheryl H. Arrowsmith, PhD, senior scientist at the University Health Network (UHN) in Toronto (structural and chemical biology); </li><li>Gary D. Bader, PhD, associate professor at the University of Toronto (computational biology and cancer bioinformatics); </li><li>Amy A. Caudy, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Medical Genetics and Microbiology at the University of Toronto (metabolomics and 2-hydroxyglutarate biology);</li><li>Nada Jabado, MD, PhD, senior scientist/professor, Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, McGill University&#160;(pediatric brain tumor genomics and epigenomics);</li><li>Mathieu Lupien, PhD, scientist at UHN (cancer genomics, epigenetics, and chromatin biology); </li><li>Marco A. Marra, PhD, director of the Genome Sciences Centre, BC Cancer Agency, in Vancouver (human and cancer genomics);&#160; </li><li>Trevor Pugh, PhD, scientist at UHN (clinical and cancer genomics);</li><li>Michael Salter, MD, PhD, director of The Hospital for Sick Children Research Institute (neurobiology and synaptic plasticity); and </li><li>Michael D. Tyers, PhD, professor at the University of Montreal (proteomics and systems biology).</li></ul><p>&#160;</p><p>Serving as advocate on the team is Wendy M. Durigon, of Guelph, Ontario, founder of Jessica’s Footprint Foundation, named in honor of her daughter Jessica, who died of brain cancer in 2003 when she was just a year old.</p><p>“Genome Canada is proud to participate in this new Dream Team that is tackling a very tough problem in cancer genomics,” said Marc LePage, president and chief executive officer of Genome Canada. “Canadian scientists lead the world in this complex field, and we are certain their expertise will lead to progress against brain cancer.” </p><p>“Targeting cancer stem cells is a key piece of the puzzle to improving outcomes for brain tumor patients,” said Dr. Stephen Robbins, scientific director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute for Cancer Research. “The Dream Team’s research will help us understand how the cancer progresses and how to stop it.”</p><p>“The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research is proud to support the clinical trial component of this exciting project, ensuring there is a clear path to the clinic for the team’s research discoveries and that patients will benefit from this work as soon as possible,” said Thomas J. Hudson, MD, president and scientific director of OICR. “These clinical trials will be conducted here in Ontario, which has a long and successful history in cancer research and in cancer clinical trials.”</p><p>The SU2C Canada Cancer Stem Cell Dream Team is the second Dream Team to be announced by SU2C Canada. The first was the SU2C Canada – Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation Breast Cancer Dream Team. SU2C Canada is a project of EIF Canada, a Canadian registered charity. </p><p>As the scientific partner to SU2C Canada, the AACR International – Canada, the Canadian arm of the world’s largest scientific organization devoted to cancer research, is responsible for administering the research agreement and providing oversight to ensure that progress is being made. </p></div>
AACR Brings Together Greatest Minds in Cancer Research to Lessen the Global Burden of Cancer152272/3/2016 7:33:57 PM Releases/AllItems.aspx834False2016-02-04T05:05:00ZA statement from AACR CEO Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), to recognize World Cancer Day<div class="ExternalClass59D47C84B22F45D6BD57770755B8B0DD"><p>​​PHILADELPHIA – “On this World Cancer Day, we are proud to join people across the globe in raising public understanding of cancer and the importance of cancer research to conquering cancer and improving public health.<img alt="World Cancer Day 2016" src="/PublishingImages/World-Cancer-Day-2016.jpg" style="margin&#58;10px;vertical-align&#58;auto;float&#58;right;" /></p><p>“The past several decades have seen significant successes in the United States and other countries in preventing and treating a number of types of cancer, but the global burden of cancer remains immense. In 2015, 8.9 million people are estimated to have died from cancer worldwide, almost half of them prematurely from cancers that could have been prevented, and estimates show that this number is likely to rise over the next two decades to 14.6 million per year. Low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) in Africa, Asia, and South America are disproportionally affected, accounting for 70 percent of the world’s cancer deaths. We must commit to working together internationally if we are to reduce the death and morbidity due to this insidious disease worldwide.</p><p>“The AACR is a leader in the global effort to lessen the scourge of cancer by connecting the greatest minds in cancer research through new international collaborations and longstanding partnerships with other cancer organizations. The AACR’s nearly 10,000 international members span 104 countries and territories, and our offices in Shanghai and Toronto are increasingly in a position to bring educational opportunities to more cancer researchers than ever before. It is only by fostering global sharing of ideas and data that we can bring innovative interventions and proven treatments to people around the world.”</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>
AACR Congratulates Past President Dr. Tom Curran on Appointment as Executive Director of Children's Research Institute at Children's Mercy Kansas City152202/3/2016 6:51:55 PM Releases/AllItems.aspx833False2016-02-03T18:30:00Z<div class="ExternalClassEDB04BDFCE304C468C56276E2417F568"><p>​PHILADELPHIA — The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) congratulates Tom Curran, PhD, on his appointment as chief scientific officer and executive director of the Children’s Research Institute at <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">Children’s Mercy Kansas City</a> in Missouri. Curran served as president of the AACR from 2001 to 2002 and is a fellow of the AACR Academy, having been elected in the inaugural class in 2013.<img alt="Tom Curran, PhD" src="/PublishingImages/Curran_Tom_150x200.jpg" style="margin&#58;10px;vertical-align&#58;auto;float&#58;right;" />&#160;</p><p>“On behalf of the American Association for Cancer Research, I wish to extend our heartfelt congratulations to Past President Tom Curran on his appointment as chief scientific officer and executive director of the Children’s Research Institute at Children’s Mercy Kansas City,” said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), chief executive officer of the AACR. “Dr. Curran is a highly esteemed investigator and leader in the field of pediatric cancer research, and his scientific expertise and dedication to the translation of basic scientific knowledge to the clinic will be invaluable to the mission and future goals of Children’s Mercy Kansas City.”</p><p>Until recently, Curran was deputy scientific director and director of basic scientific research in the Center for Childhood Cancer Research at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). He was also a professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Curran’s new role at the Children’s Research Institute, which was established in 2015, became effective Feb. 1.</p><p>Curran is known for his discovery of the Fos oncogene and its binding partner, p39, which he later showed was the product of the Jun oncogene. His laboratory demonstrated that Fos and Jun function as inducible transcription factors, as leucine zipper dimers that bind AP-1 recognition sequences, to regulate gene expression in response to extracellular stimuli associated with proliferation, differentiation, cell death, and neuronal activation. This work elucidated the signal transduction pathways that go awry in cancer cells and has initiated the use of Fos as a marker for activity-dependent changes in the nervous system.</p><p>His laboratory also uncovered redox regulation of mammalian transcription factors by Ref-1, which also functions as a DNA repair protein. In addition, he identified the gene Reelin and elaborated a signaling pathway, involving Lipoprotein Receptors, Disabled-1, and Crk family proteins that control neuronal positioning in the developing brain.</p><p>Curran recently developed a high-incidence model of pediatric medulloblastoma that he used to demonstrate that orally bioavailable, small-molecule inhibitors of Hedgehog signaling rapidly eliminate even large tumors in mice. This work led to the clinical development of inhibitors of smoothened for the treatment of basal cell carcinoma and medulloblastoma.</p><p>Prior to his tenure at CHOP, which began in 2006, Curran served as chairman of the Department of Developmental Neurobiology at St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, which he founded in 1995, following his role as associate director at the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology in Nutley, New Jersey. He served on the National Cancer Institute Board of Scientific Advisors from 2000 to 2005.</p><p>As a world-renowned scientist, Curran has been recognized with numerous honors and awards, including the Tenovus-Scotland Medal from Glasgow University, the Rita Levi-Montalcini Award in Neurosciences, the Passano Foundation Young Scientist Award, the AACR Outstanding Achievement in Cancer Research Award, the Golgi Award from the Italian Academy of Neuroscience and the Camillo Golgi Foundation, and the Peter M. Steck Memorial Award. In addition to being an elected fellow of the AACR Academy, he is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine in the United States, and a fellow of the Royal Society in London, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Microbiology.</p><p>Curran, who is originally from Scotland, received his doctorate from the Imperial Cancer Research Fund Laboratories and University College in London. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California.</p></div>
Time Between Positive Fecal Blood Test and Colonoscopy Varies Widely151972/3/2016 4:21:40 PM Releases/AllItems.aspx832False2016-02-03T05:05:00ZSome patients may need targeted follow-up efforts<div class="ExternalClass86E6DD33109A4C6C9967BC272DD77C89"><p>PHILADELPHIA — Patients who received positive fecal blood test results as part of the screening process for colorectal cancer experienced wide variations in the time between a positive result and a follow-up colonoscopy across four U.S. health care systems, 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="Jessica Chubak, PhD" src="/PublishingImages/Chubak_Jessica_150x200.jpg" style="margin&#58;10px;vertical-align&#58;auto;float&#58;right;" /></p><p>“Fecal blood testing is one of the recommended strategies for colorectal cancer screening, but it works only when positive tests are followed up with a colonoscopy,” said the study’s lead author, <a href="https&#58;//" target="_blank">Jessica Chubak, PhD</a>, an associate investigator with <a href="https&#58;//" target="_blank">Group Health Research Institute</a> in Seattle. </p><p>Chubak and colleagues studied data from four U.S. health care systems, which were selected to provide a geographically and ethnically diverse study population. The study evaluated 62,384 patients, all of whom were between 50 and 89 years old and had received a positive result from a fecal blood test between Jan. 1, 2011, and Dec. 31, 2012. </p><p>The researchers found significant variation across health care systems in the median number of days between the positive fecal blood test and the colonoscopy&#58; 41, 47, 84, and 174 days. The probability of a patient having a colonoscopy performed within a year ranged from 58.1 percent to 83.8 percent. </p><p>Chubak and fellow researchers also discovered that the oldest patients, those between 70 and 89 years old, were at the highest risk of not receiving a follow-up colonoscopy. Follow-up rates were also lower for patients who had never before been tested for colorectal cancer, and for those with comorbid conditions. </p><p>Chubak’s study did not examine all factors influencing follow-up time, but she said previous research in other settings indicates that lack of referrals and patient nonadherence are believed to be among them.</p><p>The four health care systems evaluated in this study were&#58; Group Health, Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Kaiser Permanente Southern California, and Parkland Health and Hospital System, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Chubak noted that the systems that had the shortest follow-up times used organizational strategies such as setting ambitious targets for follow-up, reporting results to leadership, and contacting patients who had not scheduled follow-up colonoscopies. The system with the longest follow-up time was a public health system whose patients may have faced personal or socioeconomic barriers to successfully continuing the screening process. </p><p>“We noticed in all four health systems that most patients who received a follow-up colonoscopy did so within six months of their positive fecal blood test,” Chubak said. “It is important for providers or health care systems to know that if a patient hasn’t received a colonoscopy within six months of a positive fecal blood test, they are unlikely to in the future—at least not without some further intervention.</p><p>“Understanding the variability in follow-up colonoscopy after a positive fecal blood test may help health care providers and systems identify patients in need of targeted interventions to complete follow-up,” Chubak continued. </p><p>Chubak said the primary limitation of the study is that it did not determine whether delays in getting colonoscopies affected colorectal cancer mortality. She said future research will examine whether patients’ outcomes were affected by varying follow-up times. </p><p>“Ultimately, that information will be critical for making the colorectal cancer screening process as effective as possible,” Chubak said. </p><p>This study was funded by the National Cancer Institute. Chubak declares no conflicts of interest.&#160; </p></div>
AACR Supports Obama Administration's Commitment to More Federal Funding to Fight Cancer151832/1/2016 10:22:33 PM Releases/AllItems.aspx831False2016-02-01T22:15:00ZGroup Stands Ready to Work With Vice President Biden's "Cancer Moonshot Task Force"<div class="ExternalClass93B9342B371E4EB1A6623288AC8750C0"><p>“The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) very much appreciates the Obama Administration’s continued commitment to providing significant federal funding increases in the fight against cancer, and we look forward to next week’s release of the president’s budget for additional and more specific information. The AACR, and its 35,000 laboratory researchers, physician-scientists, other health care professionals, and patient advocates who constitute our membership, stand ready to work with Vice President Biden’s ‘Cancer Moonshot Task Force’ to provide valuable insights and creative thinking about how to further reduce cancer incidence and mortality.” – &#160;Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), chief executive officer, AACR</p></div>
Poor or Minority Adolescent and Young Adult Patients Are Less Likely to Beat Hodgkin Lymphoma151351/29/2016 2:34:13 PM Releases/AllItems.aspx830False2016-01-29T05:05:00Z<div class="ExternalClassD64B5178084C4E2D814C1E294A7B2BF4"><p>PHILADELPHIA — Patients who are diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma between the ages of 15 and 39 are less likely to survive the disease if they are black, Hispanic, or live in a neighborhood with low socioeconomic status, 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="Theresa H.M. Keegan, PhD, MS" src="/PublishingImages/Keegan_Theresa_150x200.jpg" style="margin&#58;10px;vertical-align&#58;auto;float&#58;right;" /></p><p>“Hodgkin lymphoma is thought of as a curable cancer,” said lead author <a href="https&#58;//" target="_blank">Theresa H.M. Keegan, PhD, MS</a>, associate professor in the Division of Hematology and Oncology at the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center in Sacramento, California. “However, the impressive survival gains have not been shared uniformly across the adolescent/young adult [AYA] population.”</p><p>Keegan and colleagues studied data from 9,353 patients in the California Cancer Registry who were between 15 and 39 years old when they were diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma between 1988 and 2011. They examined the impact of race/ethnicity, neighborhood socioeconomic status (SES), and health insurance.</p><p>The researchers found that AYAs diagnosed with early-stage Hodgkin lymphoma were twice as likely to die if they resided in a lower SES neighborhood. They were also twice as likely to die if they had public health insurance or were uninsured, regardless of whether they were diagnosed at an early stage or a late stage. </p><p>Disparities existed between race/ethnicities as well, Keegan noted. Black AYA patients were 68 percent more likely to die of the disease than non-Hispanic white patients, whether they were diagnosed at an early stage or a late stage. Hispanic AYA patients diagnosed at a late stage were 58 percent more likely than non-Hispanic white patients to die of Hodgkin lymphoma; there was not a significant disparity for Hispanic patients diagnosed at an early stage. </p><p>Keegan said patients from lower SES neighborhoods faced obstacles at several stages of their illness. First, AYAs who were uninsured, had public health insurance, or resided in lower SES neighborhoods were more likely to be diagnosed with advanced-stage Hodgkin lymphoma.</p><p>Also, much of the success in improving survival from Hodgkin lymphoma has been due to “combined-modality” treatment, which involves chemotherapy and radiation. The researchers found that black and Hispanic patients were more likely to receive chemotherapy only, although it was not clear why their treatment differed.<br>&#160;<br>Finally, Keegan said, some patients who may have initially been declared cancer-free may not have continued medical care, leaving them susceptible to secondary cancers or other complications and late effects. “Identifying and reducing barriers to recommended treatment and surveillance in these AYAs at much higher risk of mortality is essential to ameliorating these survival disparities,” Keegan said. </p><p>Keegan noted that the study subjects were mostly diagnosed before implementation of the Affordable Care Act, which went into effect in 2010. She noted that before the Affordable Care Act the AYA population was especially vulnerable to losing insurance, as many aged out of their parents’ plans, were changing jobs or looking for jobs, felt that they were too healthy to need insurance, or could not afford to purchase insurance on their own. She expects that a similar study conducted now would show higher rates of insurance coverage. “Future research will determine whether that translates into improved survival outcomes,” she said. </p><p>Keegan noted some limitations of the study. Researchers were able to identify the first course of treatment, but did not have specific details of treatment that followed the initial period. Also, health insurance status at the time of diagnosis was not available for patients who were diagnosed before 2001, and the researchers did not have information on changes in patients’ insurance status that may have occurred after their initial treatment.</p><p>This study was funded by the Stanford Cancer Institute, the Cancer Prevention Institute of California, and the National Cancer Institute. Keegan declares no conflicts of interest.&#160; </p></div>
Appalachia Continues to Have Higher Cancer Incidence Rates Than the Rest of the United States but Gap is Narrowing150951/26/2016 7:15:36 PM Releases/AllItems.aspx829False2016-01-27T05:05:00ZHigher incidence rates reflect higher tobacco use and lower socioeconomic status, among other factors<div class="ExternalClass6612078E521F4DB0939E9A460B5CCCAD"><p>PHILADELPHIA — Men and women in Appalachia continue to have higher cancer incidence rates compared with those in the rest of the United States regardless of race or location. The disparity is attributed in part to high tobacco use, potential differences in socioeconomic status, and patient health care utilization, according to a study published in <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank"><em>Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers &amp; Prevention</em></a>, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. <img alt="Reda Wilson, MPH" src="/PublishingImages/Wilson_Reda_150x200.jpg" style="margin&#58;10px;vertical-align&#58;auto;float&#58;right;" /></p><p>“The Appalachian region, which extends from parts of New York to Mississippi, spans 420 counties in 13 U.S. states and about 25 million people reside in this area,” said the lead author, Reda Wilson, MPH, an epidemiologist at the <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">Centers for Disease Control and Prevention</a> (CDC) in Atlanta. “This region is primarily made up of rural areas with persistent poverty levels that are at least 20 percent, which is higher than the national average.”</p><p>In 2007, the CDC’s National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR) published a comprehensive evaluation of cancer incidence rates in Appalachia between 2001 and 2003. Data showed higher incidence rates in Appalachia than in the rest of the United States, Wilson explained. However, this publication had some shortcomings, including data that were not available for analysis. “The current analyses reported here were performed to update the earlier evaluation by expanding the diagnosis years from 2004 to 2011, and including data on 100 percent of the Appalachian and non-Appalachian populations,” Wilson said.</p><p>“Appalachia continues to have higher cancer incidence rates than the rest of the country. But a promising finding is that we’re seeing the gap narrow in the incidence rates between Appalachia and non-Appalachia since the 2007 analysis with the exception of cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx, larynx, lung and bronchus, and thyroid,” Wilson added. </p><p>“This study helps identify types of cancer in the Appalachian region that could be reduced through more evidence-based screening and detection,” she said. “Our study also emphasizes the importance of lifestyle changes needed to prevent and reduce cancer burden.” </p><p>To compare age-adjusted cancer incidence rates, Wilson and colleagues used data from the NPCR and data from the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program that were used to generate the <a href="https&#58;//" target="_blank">U.S. Cancer Statistics web-based report</a>. Together, NPCR and SEER cover 100 percent of the U.S. population.</p><p>The researchers analyzed the data on the Appalachian population by dividing them into residents from three regions (counties in north, central, and south Appalachia) and by gender, race (black and white), and by <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">Appalachian Regional Commission-designated economic status</a> (distressed, at-risk, transitional, competitive, and attainment), and compared them with data on the non-Appalachian population. They found that the cancer incidence rates were elevated among Appalachians regardless of how they were categorized.</p><p>A limitation to the study is that it did not differentiate urban versus rural areas within each county, and the data on screening and risk factors were based on self-reported responses. Further, cancer incidence rates were calculated for all ages combined and were not evaluated by age groups. Future analyses will be targeted toward capturing these finer details, Wilson noted.</p><p>This study was funded by CDC. Wilson declares no conflicts of interest. </p></div>
AACR Provides Thought Leadership to Vice President Biden During Special Session on Fighting Cancer at Davos149901/20/2016 4:32:22 PM Releases/AllItems.aspx828False2016-01-20T01:25:00Z<div class="ExternalClass018FD8523F924E1CAB09FAA2E8832ACF"><p>PHILADELPHIA — Vice President Biden invited leaders from the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) to provide their thoughts and guidance at today's special session, &quot;<a target="_blank" href="http&#58;//">Cancer Moonshot&#58; A Call to Action</a>,&quot; at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.</p><p>The special roundtable session convened by Vice President Biden and moderated by Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), brought together international leaders in cancer research, cancer treatment, and data science to discuss potential opportunities to advance the pace of progress in the fight against cancer.</p><p>The distinguished panel of experts included the current president of the AACR and two AACR past presidents&#58;</p><ul><li><p><strong>José Baselga, MD, PhD,</strong> current AACR president and physician-in-chief and chief medical officer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.</p></li><li><p><strong>Charles L. Sawyers, MD,</strong> a past president of the AACR, chair of the <a target="_blank" href="/RESEARCH/RESEARCH/PAGES/AACR-PROJECT-GENIE-GOVERNANCE.ASPX#.Vp5o77d0y1s">AACR Project GENIE Steering Committee</a>, chair of the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.</p></li><li><p><strong>Elizabeth Blackburn, PhD,</strong> a past president of the AACR, and president of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California.</p></li></ul><p>&quot;The AACR looks forward to working with Vice President Biden and his staff to develop a comprehensive plan to help achieve the vice president's vision of making significant advances against cancer in the near future,&quot; said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), chief executive officer of the AACR.</p><p>Topics discussed during the special roundtable session included cutting-edge areas of research and technology, such as CRISPR/Cas technology; technological innovation and data science advancements; the need for the international collaboration; and challenges that must be overcome, such as a need for enhanced data harmonization, if we are to dramatically accelerate the pace of progress against cancer.</p><p>Vice President Biden highlighted the importance of data-sharing initiatives and cited <a target="_blank" href="http&#58;//">AACR Project GENIE</a> during his opening remarks at the session.</p><p>AACR Project GENIE is an international data-sharing project that is using an approach to data harmonization that allows each participating organization to continue to operate how it best sees fit while simultaneously contributing its data to the project. By aggregating clinical-grade sequencing data from its members, the project will improve patient treatment decisions and catalyze clinical and translational research, not only at the participating institutions, but also throughout the entire biomedical research community by ultimately making the data open to everyone following varying times of exclusive access.</p><p>Other experts at the special session in Davos were Sylvia Mathews Burwell, secretary of the Department Health and Human Services; David B. Agus, MD, professor of medicine and engineering at the University of Southern California Center for Applied Molecular Medicine; Delos (Toby) Cosgrove, MD, chairman and chief executive officer of the Cleveland Clinic; Jennifer A. Doudna, PhD, the Li Ka Shing chancellor's chair in biomedical and health sciences and professor of biochemistry, biophysics, and structural biology at the University of California, Berkeley; Paula T. Hammond, PhD, head of the department of chemical engineering and David H. Koch chair professor in engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Bill McDermott, chief executive officer of SAP SE.</p></div>
HPV Vaccine Uptake is Highest Among Girls in High Poverty and Majority Hispanic Communities149241/14/2016 7:09:22 PM Releases/AllItems.aspx827False2016-01-14T05:05:00Z<div class="ExternalClass104CFAF19BB14F1E8A6EAB20BBC5D81F"><p>PHILADELPHIA — Adolescent girls living in high-poverty communities and majority Hispanic communities were more likely to have received at least one dose of a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine than those living in low-poverty communities and in communities of other racial and ethnic compositions, 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.</p><p>HPV causes most cases of cervical cancer and a large proportion of vaginal, vulvar, anal, penile, and oropharyngeal cancers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">recommend</a> girls and boys ages 11 and 12 receive three doses of an HPV vaccine.<img alt="Kevin A. Henry, PhD" src="/PublishingImages/Henry_Kevin_150x200.jpg" style="margin&#58;10px;vertical-align&#58;auto;float&#58;right;" /></p><p>“HPV vaccines could dramatically reduce the incidence of HPV-associated cancers, but uptake of these vaccines is far lower than for other routine childhood and teen immunizations,” said <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">Kevin A. Henry, PhD</a>, an assistant professor in the <a href="http&#58;//" target="_blank">Department of Geography and Urban Studies</a> at Temple University in Philadelphia and member of Fox Chase Cancer Center’s <a href="https&#58;//" target="_blank">Cancer Prevention and Control program</a>. “The main goal of our study was to understand if geographic factors—that is, characteristics about a person’s community —affect vaccination uptake, because this knowledge could inform current efforts to increase vaccination and prevent cancer.</p><p>“Our findings that the rates of HPV vaccine initiation are highest among adolescent girls living in high-poverty communities and majority Hispanic communities, which generally have higher than average poverty rates, are contrary to conventional beliefs that socioeconomic disadvantage is a barrier to health care,” continued Henry. “It is possible that the availability of safety-net immunization services, such as the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) or Medicaid health insurance for these populations, and their access to HPV vaccines through the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program, may be contributing to the higher HPV vaccine uptake.”</p><p>Henry and colleagues analyzed data from the 2011 and 2012 National Immunization Survey-Teen, an annual survey conducted by the CDC to monitor vaccination uptake in the United States. They restricted the analysis to the 20,565 girls ages 13 to 17 for whom there were provider-verified vaccination records. In each year, 53 percent of the girls had received at least one dose of HPV vaccine and were said to have initiated vaccination.</p><p>According to Henry, the most important geographic factor affecting HPV vaccine initiation was the racial and ethnic composition of the community. The highest HPV vaccine initiation rate was among girls living in communities where the majority of the population was Hispanic (69 percent), and the lowest rates were among girls living in majority non-Hispanic white communities (50 percent) and non-Hispanic black communities (54 percent).</p><p>The researchers also found that the HPV vaccination rates among Hispanic girls differed depending on the racial composition of the community in which the girls lived. About 49 percent of Hispanic girls living in majority non-Hispanic white communities initiated vaccination, whereas approximately 68 percent of Hispanic girls living in majority Hispanic or mixed race communities initiated vaccination.</p><p>The poverty level of the community was also an important factor in HPV vaccination, regardless of the racial composition of the community. The odds of HPV vaccine initiation among girls living in communities where 20 percent or more of the population was living below the poverty level were 1.18 times greater than for those living in the least impoverished communities.</p><p>“The higher HPV vaccination rates among girls living in poor communities and majority Hispanic communities, which also tend to have high poverty rates, are encouraging because these communities often have higher cervical cancer rates, but continued cervical cancer screening of vaccinated and unvaccinated women is needed because the vaccine does not cover all cancer-causing HPV types and sexually active women could have been infected prior to vaccination.” said Henry. “The higher HPV vaccination rates in these groups also provide some evidence supporting successful health care practice and community-based interventions.</p><p>“What is not encouraging is that girls living in predominantly high-poverty non-Hispanic black communities have HPV vaccination rates that are lower than rates for Hispanics,” added Henry. “Additional research is needed to better understand why these differences exist.”</p><p>The senior author of the study, <a href="https&#58;//" target="_blank">Deanna Kepka, PhD, MPH</a>, a Huntsman Cancer Institute investigator and assistant professor in the College of Nursing at the University of Utah, added that, “We are interested in looking at cultural values that may make certain demographic groups in the United States, such as Latinos, more supportive of adolescent vaccination than other demographic groups. We have a cancer prevention vaccine that is severely underutilized in the United States. We need to explore how to improve targeted public health messaging to promote this vaccine among sociodemographic groups who are least likely to receive it.”</p><p>According to Henry, the major limitations of the study are that the survey response rates can bias the data and that the geographic measures are based on U.S. census ZIP code tabulation areas (ZCTA), which have been shown to be more variable than other geographic measures such as census tracts.</p><p>The study was supported in part by the Huntsman Cancer Institute Foundation, Primary Children’s Hospital Foundation, the Beaumont Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health. Henry and Kepka have no conflicts of interest to declare.</p></div>