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.
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.
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.
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.
Image: 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.
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.
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.
The androgen-receptor inhibitor enzalutamide already has established benefit in castration-resistant prostate cancer. Now the randomized phase III trial ENZAMET is exploring the impact of adding enzalutamide to testosterone suppression for metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer (mHSPC). Interim analysis showed significantly prolonged overall survival with less cancer progression.
A study presented at the 2019 ASCO Annual Meeting showed that radiation therapy prior to surgery does not reduce the rate of local recurrence among most patients with retroperitoneal sarcoma (RPS). Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center (DF/BWCC) was the only U.S. center to participate in the European trial of 256 patients.
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute physician-researcher Ian E. Krop, MD, PhD, has uncovered a promising way to identify patients who will respond well to certain adjuvant therapies for treating HER2+ breast cancer. He presented the findings of his biomarker analysis at the 2019 ASCO Annual Meeting.