Research Summaries

Some Patients with Rectal Cancer May Safely Avoid Surgery

A recent review of information from 145 patients with rectal cancer suggests that those who had no signs of cancer after receiving a combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy could safely avoid or postpone surgery. This approach, called active surveillance or watch-and-wait, means that patients have frequent follow-up testing to look for signs that the cancer has worsened or re-grown before needing surgery. This can help many patients avoid the risks of surgery for rectal cancer, which can include bowel problems and decreased sexual function.

Improved Chemotherapy and Targeted Therapy Options for Patients with Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

In two recent studies, researchers found that a newer approach to chemotherapy and a new targeted therapy helps patients with metastatic colorectal cancer live longer. One study compared two different chemotherapy regimens (combinations of drugs) plus the targeted therapy drug bevacizumab (Avastin) as initial treatment for metastatic colorectal cancer. In the other study, researchers looked at adding the targeted therapy ramucirumab (Cyramza) to standard chemotherapy for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer that had worsened after initial treatment.

Smoking Associated with Increased Risk of Developing a Second Smoking-Related Cancer

According to an analysis published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, patients and survivors who smoked prior to their cancer diagnosis had an up to five times higher risk of developing a second primary cancer than patients who never smoked. The federally funded analysis of data on 15,000 patients in five large prospective studies shows that survivors of bladder, kidney, stage I lung and head and neck cancers who smoke 20 or more cigarettes a day prior to their cancer diagnosis are at an increased risk of developing second smoking-related cancers.

Nearly a Third of Patients with Cancer Experience Anxiety or Other Mental Health Challenges

One in three patients with cancer experiences anxiety or other mental health challenges, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. This is the largest and most comprehensive study to date assessing the mental and emotional health of patients with cancer using a standardized, diagnostic face-to-face interview.

2014 Breast Cancer Symposium Highlights on the Impact of Breast Cancer Screening Reminders, with Julia White, MD

The following is a transcript of a podcast led by Dr. Julia White, who discusses one study highlighted at the 2014 Breast Cancer Symposium that presents research on the impact of sending reminders to women overdue for breast cancer screening with mammography. Dr. White is Vice Chair of Clinical Research and Director of Breast Radiation Oncology in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Ohio State University. Dr.

2014 Breast Cancer Symposium Highlights on the Impact of Angelina Jolie’s Story on Genetic Testing, with Harold Burstein, MD, PhD

The following is a transcript of a podcast led by Dr. Harold Burstein, who discusses one study highlighted at the 2014 Breast Cancer Symposium that presents research on the impact that Angelina Jolie’s choice of having surgery to prevent breast cancer had on genetic testing for genes linked to breast cancer risk. Dr.

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