Research Summaries

Certain People with HPV-Positive Head and Neck Cancer May Benefit From a Lower Dose of Radiation Therapy

ASCO Annual Meeting
May 30, 2014

Early research suggests that lowering the dose of radiation therapy for some people with oropharyngeal cancer is an effective treatment option and may help reduce long-term side effects. This new approach customizes the radiation dose based on a person’s response to initial chemotherapy, as well as other factors known to affect a person’s chance of recovery, such as whether the tumor has tested positive for the human papillomavirus (HPV), the tumor’s size, and the person’s smoking history.

Caregivers who Receive Palliative Care Support Immediately After an Advanced Cancer Diagnosis Have a Better Quality of Life

ASCO Annual Meeting
May 30, 2014

A new study demonstrates the benefits of a phone-based palliative care support program for caregivers of people with advanced cancer. The results suggest that the earlier palliative care services are introduced to caregivers, the better they will be able to cope with the caregiving experience.

Stopping the Use of Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs Near the End of Life Improves Quality of Life

ASCO Annual Meeting
May 30, 2014

According to new research, people who are expected to live less than a year can safely stop taking cholesterol-lowering drugs, known as statins, without shortening their lives. In fact, discontinuing statins provided a number of important benefits, including reducing symptoms, having to take fewer pills, and improving overall quality of life.

Early Results Suggest New EGFR Targeted Therapy Shrinks Worsening Lung Cancers with Fewer Side Effects

ASCO Annual Meeting
May 14, 2014

In a recent phase I clinical trial, about 50% of patients receiving a new targeted therapy for worsening non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) had the cancer shrink. Targeted therapy is a treatment that targets the cancer’s specific genes, proteins, or the tissue environment that contributes to cancer growth and survival. Specifically, this new targeted therapy, AZD9291, targets changes or mutations to the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR).

In the Future, Patients with a Rare Neoplastic Joint Disease May Have a New Treatment Option

ASCO Annual Meeting
May 14, 2014

Early-stage research suggests that a new targeted drug, PLX3397, could become a treatment option for people with a neoplastic joint disorder called pigmented villonodular synovitis (PVNS). PVNS is a rare joint condition that usually affects the hip or knee, causing tumors to form in these joints that destroy joint tissue and cause severe, life-changing symptoms. PVNS is a type of uncontrollable cell growth, similar to a cancer, but it is not considered a cancer because it usually does not spread to other parts of the body.

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