Patients Taking PARP Inhibitor Survive Ovarian Cancer Longer with Fewer Complications

dna strand

Ovarian cancer is one of the deadliest forms of women’s cancer, with a five-year survival rate of 47.4 percent. The standard of care for first-line treatment is platinum- and taxane-based chemotherapy, which results in high initial response rates.

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Acute Kidney Injury Associated With Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors

acute kidney injury

Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital have identified several links between the use of immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICPIs) and acute kidney injury (AKI). The risk factors, clinicopathologic features, treatment and long-term outcomes in patients with ICPI-associated AKI, as well as the risk of recurrent AKI with ICPI rechallenge, are detailed in a multicenter study recently published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. These newly identified links will help guide oncologists in treating patients with ICPIs.

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Metabolic Imbalances Linked to Cancer Therapy Resistance

series of test tubes

Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs), or blockers, have revolutionized the way some cancer patients are treated. However, effects of these treatments can vary from patient to patient. In some cases, cancer cells and/or the tumor microenvironment can adapt to resist the therapy, leading to poorer outcomes and shorter survival.

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Managing the Cardiovascular Complications of Cancer Therapies

Doctors looking at computer screen

Advances in cancer therapies have allowed clinicians to better manage cancer and extend the lives of patients, but many therapies can produce serious cardiovascular side effects, from arrhythmias and hypertension, to cardiomyopathy and even heart failure.

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Reevaluating Treatment Guidelines for Surgically Resected, N1-Positive Stage II NSCLC

doctor looking at imaging in computer

Stage II non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) represents less than 10 percent of the approximately 234,000 cases of lung cancer diagnosed each year in the United States. Due to its relatively low incidence, not many papers have been published on stage II NSCLC. Furthermore, few clinicians have extensive experience treating it.

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Researchers Identify Promising New Drug Target for Metastatic Prostate Cancer

Model depicting the mechanism by which selective targeting of PARP-2 attenuates FOXA1/AR signaling and inhibits prostate cancer growth
Model depicting the mechanism by which selective targeting of PARP-2 attenuates FOXA1/AR signaling and inhibits prostate cancer growth.

Although surgery and radiation provide good disease control for localized prostate cancer, developing long-lasting approaches for treating metastatic disease has been challenging because resistance to androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) frequently develops.

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Cancer Moonshot Grant Supports Study of Head and Neck Cancer Immunotherapy Resistance

Image: Multiplex Immunofluorescence of Head and Neck Cancer samples, in collaboration with Scott J. Rodig, MD, PhD.

A collaborative research team at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center (DF/BWCC) has received a grant to study immunotherapy resistance in head and neck cancer. The team is one of a handful to receive a multi-year cancer immunotherapy research grant this year from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as part of the Cancer Moonshot program.

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Blood Test That Screens for Many Cancer Types Yields Promising Results

Visualization of cells in the blood vesselsImage: Some tumors can shed free-floating DNA into the blood. Emerging technologies have the potential to detect these abnormal DNA signals, laying the groundwork for a blood test which could be used for cancer detection.

As next-generation genomic sequencing has become faster and more affordable, a significant aim in cancer research has been the development of so-called liquid biopsies. Those blood tests, some of which are now being evaluated in clinical trials, are used in people who already are known to have cancer. They aim to uncover specific driver mutations that can match tumors with a particular targeted therapy while also enabling patients to avoid more-invasive types of biopsies.

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Exploring Cognitive Impairment in Hematologic Cancer Patients

Many older patients with hematologic cancers have another condition to worry about—one they don’t always feel comfortable discussing with their health care team. As people are living longer, memory problems have become increasingly prevalent. However, little is known about the impact of cognitive impairment, and specific domains of cognitive impairment, on older cancer patients and their survival.

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Drug-Inducible Gene Therapy Yields Encouraging Preliminary Results in High-Grade Glioma Trial

From E. A. Chiocca, et al, Regulatable interleukin-12 gene therapy in patients with recurrent high-grade glioma: Results of a phase 1 trial. Sci. Transl. Med. 11, eaaw5680 (2019). Reprinted with permission from AAAS.
Image from E. A. Chiocca, et al, Regulatable interleukin-12 gene therapy in patients with recurrent high-grade glioma: Results of a phase 1 trial. Sci. Transl. Med. 11, eaaw5680 (2019). Reprinted with permission from AAAS.

In a recent clinical trial in patients with recurrent high-grade gliomas, investigators from the Center for Neuro-Oncology at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center set out to test the safety and effectiveness of controlling the powerful immunotherapy human interleukin-12 (hIL-12) by using an oral activator to control when the gene gets turned on. While hIL-12 can stimulate many branches of the immune system, previous clinical trials that leveraged it were halted because of toxicity.
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