Close
FINDING CURES TOGETHER<sup>SM</sup>

News Releases

 

 

Hookah Smoke Exposure Doubles Dangerous Benzene Uptake52661711/21/2014 2:59:20 PMhttp://www.aacr.org/Newsroom/Lists/News Releases/AllItems.aspx628False2014-11-21T05:05:00Z<div class="ExternalClass8551C8FF09384336B11E704AA5572112"><p>PHILADELPHIA — Hookah smokers and nonsmokers exposed to hookah smoke at social events in hookah lounges had significant increases in uptake of benzene, a substance associated with an increased risk for leukemia, according to a <a href="http&#58;//cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/early/2014/11/11/1055-9965.EPI-14-0576.abstract" target="_blank">study</a> published in <em>Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers &amp; Prevention</em>, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.</p><p>“Hookah tobacco smoking involves the use of burning charcoal that is needed to heat the hookah tobacco to generate the smoke that the smoker inhales,” said Nada Kassem, DrPH, MS, RN, MCHES, associate director at the Center for Behavioral Epidemiology and Community Health at <a href="http&#58;//www.sdsu.edu/" target="_blank">San Diego State University</a>. “In addition to inhaling toxicants and carcinogens found in the hookah tobacco smoke, hookah smokers and nonsmokers who socialize with hookah smokers also inhale large quantities of charcoal combustion-generated toxic and carcinogenic emissions.”</p><p>Urine levels of S-phenylmercapturic acid (SPMA), a metabolite of benzene, were more than fourfold higher in hookah smokers and twofold higher in nonsmokers after attending a hookah-only smoking social event at a hookah lounge. Levels of SPMA were also significantly increased in hookah smokers after attending a hookah-smoking event in a private home.</p><p>“Because there is no safe level of exposure to benzene, our results call for interventions to reduce or prevent hookah tobacco use, regulatory actions to limit hookah-related exposure to toxicants including benzene, and include hookah smoking in clean indoor air legislation,” Kassem added.</p><p>Kassem and colleagues analyzed the levels of SPMA in the urine of 105 hookah smokers and 103 nonsmokers. They obtained urine samples the morning of and the morning after participants attended a hookah-only smoking event at a hookah lounge or a private home. </p><p>Uptake of SPMA in hookah smokers increased 4.2-fold after smoking hookah tobacco at a social event at a hookah lounge and increased 1.9-fold after smoking hookah tobacco in a private home. Additionally, nonsmokers’ uptake of SPMA increased 2.6-fold after attending a social event in a hookah lounge. However, nonsmokers had similar levels of SPMA before and after attending hookah events in a private home. According to Kassem, pre- and postevent levels were similar because nonsmokers’ uptake of benzene before the private hookah event was as high as the levels found in nonsmokers after attending the hookah event in hookah lounges, possibly indicating chronic exposure to benzene.</p><p>“In contrast to what is believed, hookah tobacco smoking is not a safe alternative to smoking other forms of tobacco,” Kassem said. <br>The study was supported by the American Cancer Society and Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute. Kassem declares no conflicts of interest. </p></div>
Genes and Sun Behaviors During Childhood May Play Large Role in Future Melanoma Risk51810811/19/2014 2:23:14 PM67http://www.aacr.org/Newsroom/Lists/News Releases/AllItems.aspx627False2014-11-19T05:05:00Z<div class="ExternalClass3F10664665C54AD4B390762C47FE1B9A"><p>PHILADELPHIA — A longitudinal study established a link between different ultraviolet (UV) exposure measures in children, such as the number of waterside vacations or sunburns, and biomarkers of melanoma risk, such as the number of freckles or moles that develop during childhood, according to <a href="http&#58;//cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/early/2014/11/12/1055-9965.EPI-14-0633.abstract" target="_blank">data</a> published in <em>Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers &amp; Prevention</em>, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.<img alt="Neil Box, PhD" src="/PublishingImages/Box_Neil_150x200.jpg" style="margin&#58;10px;vertical-align&#58;auto;float&#58;right;" /></p><p>“Early-life UV exposure that confers risk for melanoma also plays a role in development of moles or melanocytic nevi, which can be both a biomarker for melanoma risk and occasionally an immediate precursor,” said <a href="http&#58;//www.ucdenver.edu/academics/colleges/medicalschool/centers/StemCell/Faculty/Pages/Box%2c%20Neil.aspx" target="_blank">Neil Box, PhD</a>, investigator at the <a href="http&#58;//www.ucdenver.edu/academics/colleges/medicalschool/centers/cancercenter/Pages/CancerCenter.aspx" target="_blank">University of Colorado Cancer Center</a> and assistant professor in the <a href="http&#58;//www.ucdenver.edu/academics/colleges/medicalschool/departments/Dermatology/Pages/Dermatology.aspx" target="_blank">Department of Dermatology</a> at the CU School of Medicine in Denver.</p><p>The study showed that children with certain combinations of the blue eye-color gene variant and genetic variants that cause red hair are particularly susceptible to the formation of freckles and moles as they take waterside vacations early in life.</p><p>“Our research demonstrates that longitudinal studies are a powerful way to find and characterize gene-environment interactions,” Box said. “These findings are an important step toward identifying high-risk groups for melanoma based on genotype and sun exposure history.</p><p>“Our data could potentially help produce refined guidelines or recommendations for UV exposure behaviors in genetically high-risk children,” Box added.</p><p>Box and colleagues used DNA samples and information about sun-behavioral patterns from 477 non-Hispanic or Hispanic white children to evaluate the effect of different levels of sun exposure on mole and freckle formation in relation to genetic factors known to be associated with melanoma. </p><p>Following the children’s behavior from 2004 to 2008, the researchers discovered that the number of moles and freckle density increased among the children in each successive year. Additionally, total number of sunburns, waterside vacations, and chronic sun exposure increased each year. All of the measures of sun exposure contributed to increased freckle counts, and cumulative chronic UV exposure was a major driver of freckle development. </p><p>“We also found that children who are homozygous for the major blue eye-color gene variant are particularly susceptible to formation of moles as they take more waterside vacations in early life,” Box said. “Those kids with certain combinations of the blue eye-color variant and genetic variants that cause red hair color were also more likely to have larger moles as they sustained more sunburns.” </p><p>The study also demonstrated for the first time that children who have particular red hair color gene variants display significantly more freckles as they experience more waterside vacations.</p><p>According to Box, the results of this study start to identify specific behaviors that can be changed in children who are at high risk for melanoma in later life. </p><p>The study was conducted by the Colorado Kids Sun Care Program research team and was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health. Box declares no conflicts of interest. </p></div>
Stand Up To Cancer and the Dutch Cancer Society Form an International Dream Team to Improve Early Detection of Colorectal Cancer51482211/18/2014 7:34:02 PM66http://www.aacr.org/Newsroom/Lists/News Releases/AllItems.aspx626False2014-11-18T19:00:00Z<div class="ExternalClass75A744FACB234DA7A80FFB9A6F2B3E12"><p>PHILADELPHIA — Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) and the Dutch Cancer Society, KWF Kankerbestrijding (KWF), along with the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), SU2C’s Scientific Partner, announced today the formation of an international Dream Team of top research scientists with the goal of improving early detection of colorectal cancer, currently the world’s fourth-leading cause of cancer death.&#160; </p><p>“Too many cases of colon cancer escape detection until the disease is in its advanced stages,” said Arnold J. Levine, PhD, professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, and the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey in New Brunswick, and co-chair of the selection committee. “Better tests are needed to help detect colon cancer in its early stages when it can be more successfully treated.”</p><p>The project, titled SU2C-KWF Molecular Early Detection of Colorectal Cancer (MEDOCC), will be funded by a Sta Op Tegen Kanker (“Stand Up To Cancer” in Dutch) Dream Team Translational Cancer Research Grant for 6 million euros (approximately $7.6 million) over four years. </p><p>“This collaborative research works very well with the Dutch national colorectal population-screening program, which will provide the Dream Team with 10,000 patients,” said Hans Clevers, MD, PhD, a professor at the Hubrecht Institute in Utrecht, the Netherlands, president of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a co-chair of the selection committee. “Funding from the SU2C-KWF partnership can promote the development of new technologies in diagnostic and prognostic testing that will make real differences in patients’ lives.”</p><p>Gerrit A. Meijer, MD, PhD, professor of pathology at VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, will serve as leader of the SU2C-KWF Dream Team, with Victor E. Velculescu, MD, PhD, professor of oncology and pathology at Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center in Baltimore, serving as co-leader. Meijer will continue as team leader after he moves to the Netherlands Cancer Institute in early 2015. </p><p>“We believe that we can reduce death from colorectal cancer by providing a more accurate screening test as well as a disease recurrence test that will be cost-effective and simple for the patient,” said Meijer. “Much of the basic work has already been done, so we hope to move rapidly toward perfecting the tests and demonstrating their safety and effectiveness.”</p><p>The team will focus on validation of highly sensitive molecular tests that detect cancer-specific molecules, called biomarkers, in stool samples, indicating the presence of cancer or precancerous lesions in the colon or rectum. The team will also develop a blood test that will fill a gap in treatment of early-stage colorectal cancer by helping to identify patients who can benefit from chemotherapy after surgery. </p><p>“Our work will translate scientific breakthroughs on new ‘liquid biopsy’ technologies for noninvasive detection of cancer to improve outcomes for colorectal cancer patients,” Velculescu said. “The international collaboration will take advantage of the best science on both sides of the Atlantic.”</p><p>The MEDOCC project is the third collaboration between SU2C and KWF. Teams previously announced focused on the prospective use of DNA-guided personalized cancer treatment and use of tumor organoids—tiny living cell clusters—to study drug sensitivity. The Sta Op Tegen Kanker&#160;grants are supported by funds raised in connection with the Dutch versions of SU2C’s televised fundraising events, broadcast in the Netherlands in cooperation with KWF .</p><h3>Background&#58; The SU2C-KWF Molecular Early Detection of Colorectal Cancer Dream Team Translational Cancer Research Project</h3><p>Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer (after lung and breast), and the fourth leading cause of death from cancer (after lung, liver, and stomach), in the world, and is second only to lung cancer as a cause of cancer death in developed countries, according to the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer. In the United States, for example, it is the second leading cancer killer of men and women combined. </p><p>Patients can be effectively treated when the tumor is detected and removed early; however, the disease often develops without symptoms until it has reached an advanced stage. Screening is the most effective strategy for decreasing the rate at which colorectal cancer occurs and number of deaths it causes, with incidence and mortality rates declining in countries where screening has been introduced. </p><p>Stool or fecal-based tests are widely used in Western Europe and Asia and increasingly in the United States, with testing for blood (the fecal immunochemical test or FIT) as the standard approach. Although FIT&#160;has the potential to reduce colorectal cancer mortality by around 30 percent, improvements are needed urgently as approximately one-third of cancers, and more than two-thirds of precancerous lesions, are missed by this test. The sensitivity and accuracy of testing can be greatly improved using molecular stool tests, which detect cancer-specific biomarkers, such as DNA or proteins from cancer cells that are shed from the colon wall. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved the first stool-based colorectal screening test that detects blood and cancer-associated DNA changes and was better in clinical trial than FIT for detection of colorectal cancer.</p><p>The SU2C-KWF Dream Team’s goal is to move highly sensitive molecular testing for colorectal cancer to the next level so it can become available to patients in everyday life. Their first aim is to improve molecular stool-based tests by using the best combination of cancer-associated DNA and/or protein biomarkers, so that these tests can go from the individual level to population screening. This new test will be compared directly against the current test in 10,000 individuals participating in the Dutch national population-screening program for colorectal cancer. Their second aim will be to develop a molecular blood test for circulating cancer-associated DNA in order to improve identification of early-stage colorectal cancer patients with a poor prognosis. Patients in the early stage generally do not receive chemotherapy after surgery because 80 percent survive the disease. The SU2C-KWF Dream Team hopes to develop a molecular blood test that identifies the other 20 percent of early-stage colorectal cancer patients whose survival may be improved by chemotherapy after surgery.</p><p>The project is expected to start early in 2015, with development of the new test in the first two years and the screening trial in the third year. </p><p>Grant guidelines stipulated that the leader of the project must be from a research institute located in the Netherlands, while co-leaders can be from research institutes in any country. Each project must include at least two research institutes located in the Netherlands and at least one research institute outside the Netherlands. At least 50 percent of the grant funds must be allocated to research conducted in the Netherlands.</p><p>In addition to the team leaders, a multidisciplinary group of experts who make up the Dream Team as principals are&#58; Manon van Engeland, PhD, program leader in oncology at Maastricht University Medical Center; Ernst J. Kuipers, MD, PhD, professor of gastroenterology at Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam; Evelien Dekker, MD, PhD, professor of gastrointestinal oncology at the Academic Medical Center of the University of Amsterdam; and Miriam Koopman, MD, PhD, medical oncologist at the University Medical Center Utrecht. </p><p>Laypersons serving as patient advocates on the Dream Team are Marcia K. Horn, president and chief executive officer of the International Cancer Advocacy Network (ICAN), and Jolien C.M. Pon, a colorectal cancer survivor and board member of the Foundation for Patients With Cancer in the Alimentary Canal (Stichting voor Patiënten met Kanker aan het Spijsverteringskanaal, SPKS) and president of the SPKS colorectal cancer patient group (SPKS Darmkanker Nederland).</p></div>
Secondhand Smoke in Vehicles Exposes Nonsmokers to Toxic Compounds50219511/14/2014 2:23:06 PM105http://www.aacr.org/Newsroom/Lists/News Releases/AllItems.aspx625False2014-11-14T05:05:00Z<div class="ExternalClassF2395CB8D07E4358A3A91AA4B1D684BF"><p>PHILADELPHIA — Secondhand smoke in the confined space of a motor vehicle resulted in exposure to several tobacco smoke toxins, and may ultimately increase risk for cancer and for respiratory and cardiovascular diseases in nonsmokers, according to a <a href="http&#58;//cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/early/2014/11/07/1055-9965.EPI-14-0548.abstract" target="_blank">study</a> published in <em>Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers &amp; Prevention</em>, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.<img alt="Neal Benowitz, MD" src="/PublishingImages/Benowitz_Neal_150x200.jpg" style="margin&#58;10px;vertical-align&#58;auto;float&#58;right;" /></p><p>“Secondhand smoke in vehicles resulted in substantial exposure to tobacco smoke toxins and increased risk for cancer,” said <a href="https&#58;//tobacco.ucsf.edu/users/nbenowitz" target="_blank">Neal Benowitz, MD</a>, chief of the Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at the <a href="http&#58;//www.ucsf.edu/" target="_blank">University of California, San Francisco</a>. “Some states have laws banning smoking in cars with children and this study supports the idea that there should be a total ban on smoking while a child is in the car.”</p><p>Exposure to these toxins, or volatile organic compounds (VOCs), during even a brief period of time resulted in an intake level that far exceeded Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-listed acceptable levels.</p><p>Benowitz and colleagues exposed 14 nonsmokers individually in the backseat of a car to one hour of secondhand smoke from a smoker in the driver’s seat of the vehicle. The smoker smoked three cigarettes at 20-minute intervals. The car was stationary and the windows were kept open by 10 cm. The researchers measured the levels of nine VOCs before secondhand smoke exposure and zero to eight hours after exposure. </p><p>“We found significant increases in the levels of several VOCs, the most important ones being 1,3-butadiene, benzene, and acrylonitrile,” Benowitz said. “1,3-butadiene and benzene are known human carcinogens and acrylonitrile is a probable human carcinogen.”</p><p>After one hour of exposure, nonsmokers had a 2.1-fold increase in 1,3-butadiene, a 1.6-fold increase in benzene, and a 1.7-fold increase in acrylonitrile. </p><p>The researchers then used these measurements to estimate increased exposure for a nonsmoker exposed to secondhand smoke one hour a day, five days a week for 51 years. At this level of exposure, the researchers estimated that there would be an excess of 16 to 28 cancers per million adults. </p><p>“The acceptable risk from the EPA is one excess cancer per million people,” Benowitz said. “Just looking at these three VOCs, and not including exposure to other VOCs, we can say that even moderate secondhand smoke exposure far exceeds an acceptable cancer risk.”</p><p>This study was supported by the Flight Attendants Medical Research Institute, a U.S. Public Health Service grant, and the National Institutes of Health. </p><p>Benowitz served on smoking cessation advisory boards for Pfizer, has been an occasional consultant to McNeil and GlaxoSmithKline PLC, and has served as a paid expert witness in litigation against tobacco companies.</p></div>
Oral Cancer-causing HPV May Spread Through Oral and Genital Routes 49205711/12/2014 2:20:25 PM111http://www.aacr.org/Newsroom/Lists/News Releases/AllItems.aspx624False2014-11-12T05:05:00Z<div class="ExternalClass8DF9B29581A142C1B7FBC19FC0C5B35F"><p>PHILADELPHIA — Oral human papillomavirus (HPV) infections were higher among men who had female partners with an oral and/or genital HPV infection, suggesting that the transmission of HPV occurs via oral-oral and oral-genital routes, according to a <a href="http&#58;//cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/early/2014/11/05/1055-9965.EPI-14-0386.abstract" target="_blank">study</a> published in <em>Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers &amp; Prevention</em>, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.<img alt="Eduardo L. Franco, DrPH" src="/PublishingImages/Franco_Eduardo_150x200.jpg" style="margin&#58;10px;vertical-align&#58;auto;float&#58;right;" /></p><p>“HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the world and is a risk factor for several cancers, including cervical, vaginal, vulvar, oropharyngeal [throat/tonsil], anal, and penile cancers,” said <a href="http&#58;//www.mcgill.ca/cancerepi/division/research/efranco" target="_blank">Eduardo L. Franco, DrPH</a>, professor and director of the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and chairman of the Department of Oncology at <a href="http&#58;//www.mcgill.ca/medicine/" target="_blank">McGill University Faculty of Medicine</a> in Montreal, Canada.</p><p>“Understanding how HPV is transmitted is important because it will help us identify who is most at risk for HPV infection and how we can help them protect themselves and their partners,” added Franco. “Our work provides additional evidence that HPV is sexually transmitted to the oral tract through oral-oral and oral-genital contact.”</p><p>A research team led by Franco looked at HPV infections in 222 men and their female partners and found that among men in the study, the prevalence of oral HPV was 7.2 percent. These numbers were higher for men who were smokers (12.2 percent), those who were in nonmonogamous relationships (17.9 percent), and those who had a partner with oral HPV infection (28.6 percent) and/or genital HPV infection (11.5 percent).</p><p>Of the 222 men included in the analysis, 130 had a partner with a genital HPV infection.</p><p>The prevalence of HPV16, one of the most common cancer-causing HPV types, was 2.3 percent among all men who participated in the study and 6.1 percent among the 33 men who had partners with a genital HPV16 infection.</p><p>For every unit increase in the frequency of oral sex on the female partner (never/rarely, sometimes, or most times/always), men had a more than twofold increase in the prevalence of the specific HPV type present in the genitals of the female partner.</p><p>Participants were from the HPV Infection and Transmission Among Couples Through Heterosexual Activity study conducted at McGill University and led by Franco. Female students ages 18 to 24 and their male partners were recruited to the study between 2005 and 2011. Participants completed a questionnaire about their sexual history and provided oral and vaginal or penile/scrotal samples. The researchers analyzed the samples for the presence of 36 mucosal HPV types.</p><p>There were no HPV infections among the 52 men who never smoked cigarettes, were in a monogamous relationship, and had a partner without oral or genital HPV.</p><p>This study was funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, the U.S. National Institutes of Health, and Merck. Franco declares no conflicts of interest but discloses that he occasionally serves as an adviser for companies involved with HPV diagnostics and HPV vaccination.</p></div>
Even With Equal Health Care Access, Cancer Survival Rates Are Worse in American Indians and Alaskan Natives48808811/11/2014 5:30:05 PM94http://www.aacr.org/Newsroom/Lists/News Releases/AllItems.aspx621False2014-11-11T17:30:00Z<div class="ExternalClassB2844CDE02774520857C576D71AC8C39"><p>​SAN ANTONIO — Five- and 10-year cancer survival rates were lower among American Indians and Alaskan Natives (AIANs) compared with non-Hispanic whites even when they had approximately equal access to health care, according to data presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) conference on <a href="/Meetings/Pages/MeetingDetail.aspx?EventItemID=23">The Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved</a>, held Nov. 9–12.<img alt="Marc Emerson, MPH " src="/PublishingImages/Emerson_Marc_150x200.jpg" style="margin&#58;10px;vertical-align&#58;auto;float&#58;right;" /></p><p>“Our preliminary analysis suggests that with presumed equal access to health care, five- and 10-year cancer survival among mostly urban-dwelling AIANs was lower than among non-Hispanic whites,” said Marc Emerson, MPH, a cancer research training award fellow in the <a href="http&#58;//cancercontrol.cancer.gov/" target="_blank">Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences</a> at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland. “Our study focused on AIANs who live largely in urban areas, a population often hidden to researchers.</p><p>“The AIAN population experiences some of the greatest disparities in health and health outcomes, yet this remains an understudied area of research,” added Emerson. “Future research should focus on factors other than health care access that may be driving disparity in the cancer outcomes observed.”</p><p>Emerson and colleagues found that the top four cancer diagnoses among AIANs and non-Hispanic whites were the same&#58; prostate, breast, lung, and colorectal cancer. The fifth most common cancer type among AIANs was non-Hodgkin lymphoma, while it was melanoma for non-Hispanic whites.</p><p>The researchers also found that the five-year survival rates for AIANs and non-Hispanic whites were 52 percent and 58 percent, respectively, and the 10-year survival rates were 37 percent and 44 percent, respectively. </p><p>The most common comorbidities were the same for both races—chronic pulmonary disease, diabetes, and congestive heart disease—but the rates of these comorbidities were higher among AIANs compared with non-Hispanic whites. “In future analyses, we will examine the extent to which prevalence of comorbidities and other factors may account for the survival differences observed,” Emerson said.</p><p>The researchers collected data from Kaiser Permanente Northern California electronic health records for 1,022 AIANs and 139,725 non-Hispanic whites diagnosed with primary invasive cancer between 1997 and 2012. They used sociodemographic and health data of the study participants, including age at diagnosis, race, cancer site, type of treatment, comorbidities, and treatment follow-up time, for their study.</p><p>This study was funded by the National Cancer Institute. Emerson declares no conflicts of interest.</p><p><a href="https&#58;//twitter.com/search?f=realtime&amp;q=%23AACRDisp14" target="_blank"><img alt="Twitter" src="/publishingimages/Twitter-bird-blue-on-white_50x50.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /></a>&#160;<a href="https&#58;//twitter.com/search?f=realtime&amp;q=%23AACRDisp14" target="_blank">#AACRDisp14</a></p></div>
Family History of Breast or Ovarian Cancer is Linked to Triple-negative Breast Cancer in Women of Mexican Descent48809111/11/2014 5:30:11 PM95http://www.aacr.org/Newsroom/Lists/News Releases/AllItems.aspx622False2014-11-11T17:30:00Z<div class="ExternalClassACC917967CF94D0DB3B23E6457796ED4"><p>SAN ANTONIO — Breast cancer patients of Mexican descent who had a family history of breast or ovarian cancer were almost twice as likely to have triple-negative breast cancer than other subtypes of breast cancer, according to data presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) conference on <a href="/Meetings/Pages/MeetingDetail.aspx?EventItemID=23">The Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved</a>, held Nov. 9–12. <img alt="Maria Elena Martinez, PhD" src="/PublishingImages/Martinez_Maria_Elena_150x200.jpg" style="margin&#58;10px;vertical-align&#58;auto;float&#58;right;" /></p><p>“Triple-negative breast cancer is one of the worst breast cancer subtypes in terms of outcomes,” said <a href="http&#58;//moores.ucsd.edu/Research/Summaries/display_sum_page.asp?name=e8martinez" target="_blank">Maria Elena Martinez, PhD</a>, the Sam M. Walton endowed chair for cancer research and a professor in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at the <a href="http&#58;//cancer.ucsd.edu/Pages/default.aspx" target="_blank">University of California San Diego Moores Cancer Center</a> in La Jolla. “So, our finding that family history is related to breast cancer subtype for Hispanic women of Mexican descent has tremendous implications for breast cancer treatment, screening, and prevention among this population. It not only affects decisions around treatment plans for patients, but extends to screening and prevention plans for family members.</p><p>“Before our study, we knew very little about the factors that affect Hispanic/Latina women’s risk for breast cancer,” Martinez continued. “The <a href="http&#58;//www.ellastudy.medicine.arizona.edu/" target="_blank">Ella Binational Breast Cancer Study</a> was initiated to try and address this issue for Hispanic women of Mexican descent.”</p><p>Martinez and colleagues found that among 1,150 women of Mexican descent with breast cancer who were enrolled in the Ella Binational Breast Cancer Study, 14.9 percent reported that they had a first-degree relative—parent, sibling, or child—who had received a breast or ovarian cancer diagnosis.</p><p>Information about breast tumor-subtype was available for 914 participants. The researchers found that women who reported having a first-degree relative with breast or ovarian cancer were almost twice as likely to have received a diagnosis of triple-negative breast cancer compared with another breast cancer subtype. </p><p>According to Martinez, other researchers have found that the prevalence of deleterious BRCA mutations among Hispanic/Latina women is higher than it is among women of European descent, by as much as 25 percent. She and her colleagues are, therefore, currently investigating whether BRCA mutations might explain the association they see between family history and triple-negative breast cancer.</p><p>This study was supported by funds from the National Institutes of Health, the Avon Foundation, and Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Martinez declares no conflicts of interest.</p><p><a href="https&#58;//twitter.com/search?f=realtime&amp;q=%23AACRDisp14" target="_blank"><img alt="Twitter" src="/PublishingImages/Twitter-bird-blue-on-white_50x50.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /></a><a href="https&#58;//twitter.com/search?f=realtime&amp;q=%23AACRDisp14" target="_blank">#AACRDisp14</a></p></div>
HPV Vaccine Uptake Among Girls is Lowest in States With Highest Rates of Cervical Cancer48809211/11/2014 5:30:19 PM112http://www.aacr.org/Newsroom/Lists/News Releases/AllItems.aspx623False2014-11-11T17:30:00Z<div class="ExternalClassFE63040AFFE04CAC932311815782CE51"><p>SAN ANTONIO — The proportion of adolescent girls receiving human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines was much lower in states with higher rates of cervical cancer incidence and mortality, according to data presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) conference on <a href="/Meetings/Pages/MeetingDetail.aspx?EventItemID=23">The Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved</a>, held Nov. 9–12.<img alt="Jennifer L. Moss, MSPH" src="/PublishingImages/Moss_Jennifer_150x200.jpg" style="margin&#58;10px;vertical-align&#58;auto;float&#58;right;" /></p><p>HPV vaccines can prevent individuals from developing several types of cancer, including cervical, anal, vaginal, and vulvar cancers.</p><p>“Cervical cancer incidence and mortality rates vary widely by state,” said Jennifer L. Moss, MSPH, a doctoral student in the<a href="http&#58;//sph.unc.edu/hb/health-behavior-home/" target="_blank"> Department of Health Behavior</a> at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health in Chapel Hill. “Our data show that adolescent girls remain vulnerable to disease in areas where women already have a higher risk of developing and dying from cervical cancer. If more adolescents, both girls and boys, in these states received an HPV vaccine, their risk of HPV-related cancers would drop dramatically.</p><p>“Teens don’t visit their health care providers as often as younger children, so increasing the frequency and efficiency of preventive visits is really important for HPV vaccination and cancer prevention,” continued Moss. “We know that a health care provider’s recommendation is the single biggest influence on whether an adolescent receives an HPV vaccine. So, we hope that the findings of our study impress upon clinicians, especially those practicing in states with higher cancer rates, that cancer prevention means recommending HPV vaccination to adolescent patients at every visit.”</p><p>Moss and colleagues collected data on HPV vaccination rates in different states from the National Immunization Survey–Teen and on cancer rates in different states from the United States Cancer Statistics database.</p><p>They found that as cervical cancer incidence rates increased, HPV vaccine initiation rates among girls decreased. “For example, in a state like Massachusetts, about 6 per 100,000 women develop cervical cancer each year and 69 percent of teen girls have initiated HPV vaccination,” said Moss. “However, in states with higher rates of cervical cancer incidence, such as Arkansas, where the rate is 10 per 100,000 women, vaccination is much lower—41 percent of teen girls.”</p><p>HPV vaccine initiation was also lower among girls living in states with higher cervical cancer mortality rates, higher proportions of non-Hispanic black residents, and lower proportions of high-income residents. Completion of the three-dose course of HPV vaccine was higher in states with greater levels of adolescent contact with the healthcare system.</p><p>According to the researchers, the current patterns of HPV vaccination may not be adequate to reverse the current geographic disparities in HPV-related cancer incidence and mortality. They suggest that strengthening adolescent preventive health care use may be particularly important to increase completion of the HPV vaccine course.</p><p>Moss’ co-authors on the study are Paul L. Reiter, PhD, assistant professor at The Ohio State University in Columbus, and Noel T. Brewer, PhD, associate professor at the University of North Carolina.</p><p>This study was supported by funds from the National Institutes of Health. Moss declares no conflicts of interest.</p><p><a href="https&#58;//twitter.com/search?f=realtime&amp;q=%23AACRDisp14" target="_blank"><img alt="Twitter" src="/PublishingImages/Twitter-bird-blue-on-white_50x50.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /></a><a href="https&#58;//twitter.com/search?f=realtime&amp;q=%23AACRDisp14" target="_blank">#AACRDisp14</a></p></div>
Culturally Sensitive, Computer-based Videos Increase Clinical Trial Awareness Among Latina Breast Cancer Patients48546411/10/2014 10:59:02 PM104http://www.aacr.org/Newsroom/Lists/News Releases/AllItems.aspx620False2014-11-10T22:45:00Z<div class="ExternalClass632B9F1A49A340539747316A8D32569C"><p>SAN ANTONIO — Latina breast cancer patients provided with information about clinical trials in multiple ways, including a culturally sensitive, computer-based video on breast cancer clinical trials, had much greater awareness of clinical trials compared with patients who received usual-care information, according to data presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) conference on <a href="/Meetings/Pages/MeetingDetail.aspx?EventItemID=23">The Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved</a>, held Nov. 9–12. <img alt="Patricia Chalela, DrPH" src="/PublishingImages/Chalela_Patricia_150x200.jpg" style="margin&#58;10px;float&#58;right;vertical-align&#58;auto;" /></p><p>After receiving the additional information, the proportion of Latina breast cancer patients taking steps toward participating in a clinical trial increased from 38 percent to 75 percent.</p><p>“Latinos represent 17 percent of the U.S. population but only 5.6 percent of participants in National Cancer Institute treatment clinical trials,” said Patricia Chalela, DrPH, assistant professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the <a href="https&#58;//ihpr.uthscsa.edu/faculty" target="_blank">Institute for Health Promotion Research</a> (IHPR) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. “Underrepresentation of minorities in clinical trials results in disparities of cancer outcomes and limits generalizability of the findings because researchers cannot study how minority patients respond to new treatments.</p><p>“Our results showed that intervention participants had significantly higher awareness of clinical trials than control participants,” continued Chalela, who is part of the study team led by Amelie G. Ramirez, DrPH, director of the IHPR. “We hope that computer-based videos specifically tailored for Latinos will provide an effective strategy to increase Latina breast cancer patients’ knowledge, understanding, and participation in clinical trials, although this needs confirming in larger studies.”</p><p>The study is in its last year of recruitment. To date, Chalela, Ramirez, and colleagues have enrolled 71 Latina breast cancer patients eligible to participate in a breast cancer clinical trial at the Cancer Therapy and Research Center at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio. Participants are randomly assigned to usual-care clinical trial information or additional information, which is provided through viewing of a culturally sensitive, computer-based video about breast cancer clinical trials, reading a tailored booklet on the topic, and receiving assistance from a patient navigator.</p><p>When compared with patients assigned to usual-care clinical trial information, patients assigned to additional information had significantly higher awareness of clinical trials, in particular, the purpose of clinical trials, the requirements for enrollment, the benefits and risks of clinical trials, and the potential of clinical trials as an appropriate treatment for a serious disease.</p><p>“These results are encouraging,” Chalela said. “We would like to assess the intervention at a larger scale and make the intervention available not only to all breast cancer patients, but expand it to all cancer patients in general.”</p><p>This study was supported by funds from Susan G. Komen, the Cancer Therapy and Research Center at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio, and Redes En Acción, a National Cancer Institute–funded Latino cancer research network based at the Institute for Health Promotion Research at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio. Chalela declares no conflicts of interest.​</p><p><a href="https&#58;//twitter.com/search?f=realtime&amp;q=%23AACRDisp14" target="_blank"><img alt="Twitter" src="/PublishingImages/Twitter-bird-blue-on-white_50x50.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /></a><a href="https&#58;//twitter.com/search?f=realtime&amp;q=%23AACRDisp14" target="_blank">#AACRDisp14</a></p></div>
Cigars Expose Smokers to Harmful, Cancer-causing Agents47358211/7/2014 2:27:30 PM141http://www.aacr.org/Newsroom/Lists/News Releases/AllItems.aspx619False2014-11-07T05:05:00Z<div class="ExternalClass1F5D7E3E0BF44F44A979B76EA0E7A323"><p>PHILADELPHIA — The levels of several toxic substances are elevated in cigar smokers, and for at least one potent cancer-causing agent, comparable to the levels found in cigarette smokers, according to a <a href="http&#58;//cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/early/2014/11/01/1055-9965.EPI-14-0849.abstract" target="_blank">study</a> published in <em>Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers &amp; Prevention</em>, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. This research suggests that smoking cigars may be just as harmful as smoking cigarettes. <img alt="Jiping Chen, MD, PhD, MPH" src="/PublishingImages/Chen_Jiping_150x200.jpg" style="margin&#58;10px;vertical-align&#58;auto;float&#58;right;" /></p><p>Results of the study showed that current cigar smokers had substantially higher concentrations of several biomarkers of tobacco exposure than non-tobacco users. In cigar smokers with a prior history of cigarette smoking, the levels of exposure were even greater. These findings are consistent with prior studies showing that former cigarette smokers are more likely to inhale cigar smoke deeply.</p><p>“Cigar smoking exposes users to similar types of harmful and cancer-causing agents as cigarette smoking,” said Jiping Chen, MD, PhD, MPH, epidemiologist in the Office of Science at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)&#160;<a href="http&#58;//www.fda.gov/TobaccoProducts/default.htm" target="_blank">Center for Tobacco Products</a> and lead author of the study. </p><p>Cigar consumption in the United States more than doubled from 2000 to 2011, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. </p><p>Chen and colleagues analyzed the presence of five biomarkers of tobacco exposure in 25,522 participants in the National Health Nutrition and Examination Survey (NHANES, 1999-2012). Two of the biomarkers, cotinine and 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanol (NNAL), are specific to tobacco. Three biomarkers—lead, cadmium, and arsenic—are not tobacco-specific and can be found in environmental sources. </p><p>The researchers found that cigar smokers, regardless of current cigarette smoking status, had higher concentrations of cotinine, NNAL, cadmium, and lead than did non-tobacco users. Cigar smokers with a history of smoking cigarettes had significantly higher concentrations of cotinine and NNAL than cigar smokers who did not previously smoke cigarettes. Finally, the researchers found that concentrations of NNAL in daily cigar smokers are comparable with that of daily cigarette smokers. </p><p>“Cigar smokers have higher levels of exposure to harmful constituents, including cotinine, NNAL, and toxic metals, than non-tobacco users,” Chen said. “Once differences are accounted for in frequency of use, the levels of NNAL, a strong carcinogen, are comparable in cigar and cigarette smokers.”</p><p>This study was funded by the FDA Center for Tobacco Products. Chen declares no conflicts of interest.</p></div>