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Capturing cancer on the move – ICR photography competition showcases stunning images of tumour cells in action

Every year our researchers submit outstanding pictures to our Science and Medical Imaging Competition – telling a story about our pioneering work and its benefits for patients. Check out the fantastic images selected by our judges, and this year voted for by the public.

Each year, The Institute of Cancer Research runs a Science and Medical Imaging Competition – designed to cater for the moments in the lab or the clinic where science meets art.

The entries we receive for the competition have all been created in the course of our pioneering cancer research – but they are also exceedingly beautiful, and wonderfully effective at conveying broad messages about our work.

‘Divide and conquer’

The winner of this year’s competition – ‘Divide and conquer’ by ICR postdoc Dr Maxine Lam – is a great example. It shows a replicating cancer cell in vivid detail as it invades through blood vessels – and communicates something about the lethal process of cancer metastasis that words alone often struggle to convey.

Metastasis is one of the most challenging aspects of cancer, because it often makes the difference between life and death. Once cancer has spread to other parts of the body we have few effective treatments, and the disease is often fatal.

Scientists are therefore keenly interested in understanding how cancer cells spread so they can find ways of stopping it from happen.

And that has led to the development of ever more sophisticated and powerful imaging technologies so researchers can watch the process in action over time.

“I’m really excited and honoured to have won”

Dr Lam’s winning image was taken using a technology called confocal microscopy, and shows a cancer cell in pink invading through a layer of blood vessel cells, in yellow and cyan. The cancer cell has created a gap in the layer of blood vessel cells as it invades.

The picture illustrates a key step in metastasis called extravasation – where cancer cells move out of a blood vessel into tissue to spread to secondary tumour sites. Despite the importance of this step, very few models exist in the lab to directly visualise and understand it.

Dr Lam’s lab in the ICR’s Division of Cancer Biology uses a unique set-up to provide previously unseen detail into this process.

In the image white DNA inside the cancer cell has condensed into bright rods. This means that the cancer cell is in the process of dividing itself, even as it is invading – a remarkable yet terrifying sight. Dr Lam’s lab is using images like this to identify factors that could prevent cancer cells from being able to move and spread.

Dr Lam said: “I’m really excited and honoured to have won the ICR Science and Medical Imaging competition. This image captures two important moments in the life of a cancer cell, when it divides to make new copies of itself and when it leaves the circulation and invades new tissues, which is one of the most dangerous aspects of cancer.

“Seeing this process in action helps us to better understand how cancer spreads, and I hope this will help with developing new treatments.”

The public’s favourite

Dr Lam’s image was awarded the main prize in the competition by a panel of judges from the ICR and our partner hospital The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust.

We also this year carried out our first ever public vote, asking our supporters on social media to choose their favourite from the judge’s shortlist.

There was lots of agreement between the judges and the public, but the vote picked a different winner – a stunning time-lapse image of a breast cancer cell on the move by PhD student Patricia Pascual Vargas.

Patricia Pascual Vargas’ photograph: Time-lapse image of a breast cancer cell on the move

Cancer cells can take on many shapes, squeezing through tissues and finding their way into places they shouldn’t be, using a complex network of adhesion molecules on their surfaces to move around.

Patricia’s image was taken using another type of technology called a total internal reflection fluorescence microscope (TIRF), and shows a very aggressive type of triple-negative breast cancer cell sensing its environment, by making contact through structures called focal adhesions.

This time-lapsed image uses different colours to show the position of focal adhesions over time. The yellow and red colours represent shorter adhesion times, and show that the cell is moving down and to the left.

Patricia and her colleagues are looking at how targeting certain genes affects the formation of adhesions, changing the cell’s shape and how it moves. It could be possible to prevent cancer cells from spreading around the body, making cancer easier to treat.

Patricia said: “I’m thrilled to have won the first ever public vote. My image helps to demonstrate that cancer cells aren’t static – they move and change shape, and this important characteristic helps them to adapt to their environment. By pinpointing how cancer cells do this we could prevent them from changing shape and stop them from spreading, which could save patients’ lives.”

Our fantastic shortlist

With another year of so many astounding entries, it’s important to recognise all of the fantastic images that made it onto our shortlist.

Dr David Mansfield

Cell death caused by radiotherapy – before and after, taken by Dr David Mansfield, Division of Radiotherapy and Imaging.

David Mansfield’s photograph: Cells within a tumour visualised before (left) and after (right) radiotherapy

This image shows cells within a tumour visualised before (left) and after (right) radiotherapy. Coloured immune cells move in to clear up the tumour cells in white, left behind after treatment. This helps the body gain vital anti-tumour immunity and long-term protection from recurrent disease.

Multiple members of the Clinical Studies Division

Detecting immune cell populations in a liver biopsy by Dr Mateus Crespo Dr Bora Gurel, Ana Ferreira, Rita Pereira, and Professor Johann de Bono, Division of Clinical Studies.

Photograph by multiple members of the Clinical Studies Division: Detecting immune cell populations in a liver biopsy

This multi-coloured image was taken using multiplex immunohistochemistry to light up a liver biopsy from a patient with metastatic cholangiocarcinoma, an aggressive cancer of the bile duct. Liver cells in yellow are being infiltrated by immune system T-cells in red and green.

Parames Thavasu

The exploding nuclei – using combination drug treatments to overcome DNA damage repair mechanisms in cancer cells, by Parames Thavasu, Division of Cancer Therapeutics.

Parames Thavasu’s photograph: cells of an aggressive form of breast cancer called triple-negative breast cancer

This image shows cells of an aggressive form of breast cancer called triple-negative breast cancer, which is difficult to treat and has poor outcomes. After treating with a drug combination that causes damage to DNA at different stages of cell division, ‘explosive’ damage to cancer cells has occurred.

Dr Rebecca Marlow

Proliferating cells in a tumour organoid of triple-negative breast cancer, by Dr Rebecca Marlow, Division of Breast Cancer Research.

Dr Rebecca Marlow’s photograph: Proliferating cells in a tumour organoid of triple-negative breast cancer

This image shows tumour organoids of triple-negative breast cancer, a hard-to-treat form of the disease, grown from tissue samples donated by patients.

The nuclei of cells are marked in blue, while the cytoskeleton that helps cells maintain their shape is green. Proliferating cells are pink, where cells in the organoid are growing and dividing.

Cutting-edge research

These eye-catching images illustrate just some of the cutting-edge research being carried out at the ICR, taken using sophisticated equipment purchased thanks to generous donations from our supporters.

From images like these our researchers are gaining unprecedented insights into the mechanisms that drive cancer, and new ways to target the disease to help treat patients.

Dr Chris Bakal, who leads the teams in which Maxine and Patricia work, and is a previous winner of the competition himself, said:

“It is a cancer’s ability to spread round the body which often makes it fatal. It is incredibly valuable to be able to image this process over time to give us the insights into cancer biology that we need to discover new treatments.

“Our winners have used cutting-edge imaging technology to create measurable, single-cell imaging in 3D environments, to provide a vivid picture of exactly how cancer cells metastasise.”

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What are the Breast Reconstruction Options After a Mastectomy?

Deciding and planning to go for breast reconstruction options after a mastectomy is a huge emotional journey. With the advent of newer plastic surgery techniques, the results are quite natural and satisfactory. Ideally, a woman should be given a choice among the various reconstruction options.

The process begins by consulting plastic surgeons who specialise in reconstructive techniques. Understanding your option will help you make an informed decision that suits your needs. As many as 30% of women undergo breast reconstruction surgery after a mastectomy.

When it comes to breast reconstructive surgery, there are some options available mimicking the size, shape, and texture of your original breast tissue. Some of them might involve implants while others use grafts from your own body for reconstruction.

Here is a guide about what options are available which will best suit your needs.

Implant Reconstruction

This involves placement of saline or saline implants under the muscles in your chest where the breast tissue has been removed. If there is insufficient muscle left after surgery to carry out reconstruction, the surgeon makes use of an inflatable implant that is gradually filled with saline or silicon over time which allows for the skin of the growth to follow.

Suitability: Small breasts and petite frame

Duration: surgery takes around two hours with a recovery time of two weeks

Pros: Can be used for a double mastectomy as this is best known for symmetrical results

Cons: Not suitable if you intend to undergo radiotherapy afterward as hardening may result.

DIEP or TRAM Flap Reconstruction

DIEP Flap

A DIEP flap involves no muscle and consist of fat, skin and blood vessels cut from lower part of your body and implanted in place of your breast tissue.

TRAM Flap

This is a flap of rectus abdominis, a muscle from your lower abdomen (6 pack muscle) which could be free or pedicled.

Pros: the result is a breast soft in consistency and feels natural. The operation often lasts a lifetime.

Cons: This type of reconstruction is not possible for candidates already bearing scars on their abdomen from previous surgeries. These can droop over time.

LD Flap Reconstruction

LD stands for latissimus dorsi and is a muscle just below your shoulder blade. For reconstruction, it is brought round under the armpit and put over an implant to make a new breast.

Pros: This surgery is comparatively simpler than a DIEP or TRAM flap and requires lesser recovery time. Higher success rate come from the original blood supply that the flap carries with itself to its grated space.

Cons: people who have thicker or paler skin on their back may not have a colour match on the ventral surfaces of their body, i.e., where the breasts are.

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Letter Thank You From Marsden

We are very grateful to Breast Cancer Research Aid for your support of The Royal Marsden’s C-TRAK trial,
an innovative research project that has the potential to change the lives of women diagnosed with triple
negative breast cancer in the UK and world-wide.
The Royal Marsden was founded thanks to contemporary philanthropists and your generosity is
continuing this important tradition. Thank you for helping us to drive forward advances in breast cancer
research and provide patients with the best quality of life.

 

Read the full letter here.

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Potential new treatment for advanced cancers

A potential treatment for therapy-resistant breast cancer patients has been uncovered by researchers at Cardiff University.

The European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute, based with Cardiff University, has repurposed a current cancer therapy, TRAIL, to find a new treatment for advanced cancers that are resistant to anti-hormone therapy.

Up to 75% of women diagnosed with breast cancer will have a cancer driven by oestrogen signalling and almost all of these women will receive anti-hormone therapy, like Tamoxifen or Aromatase inhibitors, to treat their cancer. Unfortunately, up to 40% of patients receiving these hormone therapies will develop a resistance to them, leading to relapse with aggressive cancer.

Dr Luke Piggott, European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute at Cardiff University, said: “Part of our research focus is to develop new therapies, with low levels of side effects, for breast cancers that are resistant to anti-hormone treatments.

“TRAIL has already been tested in multiple types of cancer, but hasn’t yet proved beneficial to patients. But we believe we have demonstrated that patients who develop resistance to treatment will benefit from TRAIL therapy, as we have identified specific changes in the cancer cells from these patients, which mean that their tumours become sensitive to TRAIL treatment.

“Additionally, we have shown in this patient group that TRAIL treatment targets a specific type of cell in a tumour called a cancer stem cell. Cancer stem cells differ to the other cancer cells, as they are the cells responsible for initiating tumour growth and spread, and have also been shown to be resistant to therapy.”

Dr Richard Clarkson’s team of researchers at the European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute tested TRAIL on tumour samples collected from cancer patients who had developed resistance to anti-hormone therapy.

Their findings showed that TRAIL selectively killed cancer stem cells from these patients but that tumours that had not developed resistance to tamoxifen were unaffected by TRAIL.

Dr Richard Clarkson said: “Cancer stem cells are the cells responsible for relapse and for the spread of cancer, so by targeting these cells, along with the bulk of the tumour, we could transform the way we treat cancer, especially for those that are resistant to anti-hormone treatments.”

82 percent of the anti-hormone resistant tumour samples showed a significant response to TRAIL, whereas only 8 percent of tumour samples that had not previously seen anti-hormone therapy responded.

The experimental models showed tumour shrinkage after being treated with TRAIL and there was also a reduction in the number and size of tumours that have spread to other organs, a process known as metastasis.

Dr Clarkson added: “Although we have more research to do before this new drug gets into clinic, TRAIL represents a very promising therapy for a population of patients where there is currently very few options.”

Link to original article

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The Royal Marsden Hospital

We are very grateful to Breast Cancer Research Aid for your support of The Royal Marsden’s C-TRAK trial, an innovative research project that has the potential to change the lives of women diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in the UK and world-wide.

The Royal Marsden was founded thanks to contemporary philanthropists and your generosity is continuing this important tradition. Thank you for helping us to drive forward advances in breast cancer research and provide patients with the best quality of life.

C-TRAK: Developing a novel way to detect and treat breast cancer
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, with around 55,000 women diagnosed every year. Of those women, 15 per cent will be diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer (TNBC).

Standard treatment for this type of cancer includes surgery and chemotherapy. However, TNBC is difficult to treat because it does not respond to common therapies, such as tamoxifen or Herceptin.

Furthermore, TNBC is more likely to recur than other breast cancers. Sadly, by the time TNBC returns and has grown large enough to be seen on a CT or MRI scan, the disease is often untreatable.

To meet this challenge, The Royal Marsden is leading C-TRAK: a two-part clinical trial that will assess if a blood test can detect TNBC as soon as it recurs and investigate a new therapy option to successfully treat the disease before it becomes life-threatening.

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PROFESSOR MATT SMALLEY REPORT ON TRIPLE NEGATIVE BREAST CANCER

Our laboratory is studying a form of breast cancer called ‘Triple Negative Breast Cancer’ or TNBC. About 15 out of every 100 breast cancers (15%) are triple negative making it one of the less common forms but it is one of the most aggressive. It tends to spread rapidly (metastasise) in the body and it does not respond to hormone treatment with tamoxifen or the targeted cancer drug trastuzumab (Herceptin).  We have found a gene that seems to be specific to TNBC and when we block its activity in the laboratory it results in TNBC cells growing and moving less. We have also found that this gene comes in two forms, a so-called long and short form. We have found that both forms are important for the growth of TNBC cells but it is the long form which causes the cells to move more, which is what makes them more likely to spread in the body and cause metastasis.

We want to work out the difference between the long and short forms, as we think this will help us identify new approaches for treatment. Thanks to support from Breast Cancer Research Aid, we have now begun to do this. We have isolated the long and short forms from breast cancer cells in such a way that other contents of the cell which were stuck to them were extracted at the same time. The next step was to compare the extracts to find out what was stuck to the long form, but not to the short form (which will hopefully tell us what is controlling cell movement), and what can be found stuck to both forms (which will hopefully tell us what is controlling the growth of the cells). To do this, we worked with colleagues at Bristol University who are expert in a technique called ‘mass spectrometry’. You’ll have seen this if you watch CSI – except on CSI it takes about 2 minutes whereas in reality it took over two weeks! Supported by BCRA, we were able to carry out a mass spectrometry analysis of our extracts.

Although it is still very early days, we think we have successfully identified a strong candidate for the target with which the long form of our gene is interacting to promote cell movement and so make them likely to spread in the body. We still need to prove this with follow-up experiments, but if it turns out to be true, blocking this interaction has the potential to be a new therapeutic approach in TNBC. This study has opened up a whole new area of research for us and it would not have been possible without the support from BCRA. We are extremely grateful

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4 Foods That Can Help Reduce Your Risk of Breast Cancer

As if you needed another reason to chow down on roasted edamame.

breast cancer treatment, healthy food

First, the not-so-good news: No food is proven to prevent or cure any type of cancer, including breast cancer. Now the good news: There are many foods that can boost your overall health and in turn reduce your risk of developing breast cancer.

Being overweight is one of the main risk factors for breast cancer, so eating well and losing weight are excellent first steps toward lowering your breast cancer risk, says Alexandra Rothwell, RD, CDN, a specialist in oncology nutrition.

Inflammation is also linked with both breast cancer and being overweight, which is why Rothwell suggests eating foods that can help keep your blood sugar levels and inflammation in check. The following foods are pros at doing just that.

Olive Oil

breast cancer prevention, breast cancer risk

On top of all the other health benefits already linked to olive oil, the healthy fat may also be useful in reducing breast cancer risk. A September 2015 study found that adding 4 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil to a diet rich in fruits and veggies could lower breast cancer risk by 68%.

And that’s not all: Olive oil may come with an additional benefit relating to breast density, which is another risk factor for breast cancer. A 2014 study of more than 3,500 women found that consuming an extra 1.5 tablespoons of olive oil each day was associated with lower breast density.

Fish

Breast cancer food, breast cancer healthy food

Salmon, sardines, and mackerel are all fish that Rothwell suggests adding to your diet because they are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. “We know that omega-3s help decrease inflammation in the body,” she says. You can also eat walnuts and seeds if you want a non-animal source.

And just like olive oil, eating more omega-3s may also be linked to a reduction in breast density, according to a 2014 study in Cancer Causes & Control.

Fruits and Vegetables

fruits for breast cancer treatment

All hail the power of the plant! Time and time again, studies have found that plant-based diets are associated with a lower risk of breast cancer. And there are a few possible reasons: The more antioxidants in a diet, the lower the breast cancer risk may be, according to a 2015 study. Also, the fiber found in fruits and vegetables may fuel their ability to diminish risk, as reported in a 2011 European Journal of Nutrition paper.

Rothwell recommends eating cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower), allin vegetables (onions, leeks, and garlic), and Asian mushrooms (Shiitake, Chinese black, and oyster) in particular.

As for fruit, she says, Stick to low-sugar varieties, like berries, and limit high-sugar fruit, such as bananas, pineapples, and mangoes, so that you can keep your blood sugar levels normal.

Soy

breast cancer survivors

You’re probably thinking: But I thought soy was connected with increased breast cancer risk! Before you call us crazy, let’s clear the air: Yes, soy has estrogen-like compounds, and estrogen has been linked to some cancers. But no, soy foods do not cause breast cancer. Soy supplements may be less safe, but why would you consume your soy that way when you can chow down on roasted edamame?

In fact, multiple studies have associated soy with a reduced risk of breast cancer. However, there is an exception: If you are a carrier of the BRCA2 mutation gene, soy may increase your risk, according to 2013 research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which found that soy products lowered risk in breast cancer carriers except those carrying the BRCA2 mutation.

Rothwell agrees that, in general, you can enjoy soy as part of a healthy diet without the fear that it will cause breast cancer. Just make sure that you are eating whole, organic soy products like the beans, tofu, and tempeh, because you don’t know what processing can do, she says.

Also Read: 5 METHODS TO CUT BREAST CANCER RISK

Article Source: goodhousekeeping GH

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7 Key Cancer Trends For 2018

Issues that will affect the lives of cancer patients in 2018

1. Less chemotherapy

A recent report finds that among patients with the most common form of early-stage breast cancer, chemotherapy prescriptions slid, overall, from around 34.5% to 21.3%, in a recent 2-year interval (2013-2015). That’s a huge drop, from over a third of women with stage 1 or 2 disease getting chemo, to just over a fifth taking chemo. This trend is impressive and credible in context of growing discussion and awareness of overtreatment and (although authors of this particular study found no link) wider use and acceptance, among oncologists, of recurrence predictors like OncotypeDx and MammaPrint.

The shift for breast cancer is clear. Whether this pattern will emerge and extend to other and less-tracked malignancies, I’m not sure. Probably it will happen variably, by tumor type, and more in the future.

2. More prescription of novel anti-cancer agents

Doctors increasingly prescribe targeted drugs for tumors with specific molecular aberrations. Examples (among many) include a growing array of hormone-blocking agents for breast and prostate cancers, inhibitors of changed or amplified proteins such as EGFR or ALK in lung cancer, and PARP drugs that have been approved so far in ovarian cancer and are likely to be approved soon for some forms of breast cancer. Many of these targeted agents are pills.

Meanwhile, immune-oncology drugs mainly antibodies that interfere with the PD-1 and PDL-1 receptor and ligand families are used against a variety of tumors. Other monoclonal antibodies, like Rituxan or Herceptin, have become well-established in standard care, as newer ones, like Darzalex (anti-CD38, for myeloma) and antibody conjugates like Kadcyla or inotuzumab (recently approved, Besponsa), enter the anti-cancer armamentarium.* Consider, also, the recent paper on replacing bleomycin, a lung-damaging old chemotherapy staple for treating Hodgkin’s lymphoma (the “B” in ABVD), with the anti-CD30 antibody conjugate brentuximab vedotin (Adcetris). That report reflects a trend, of increasing antibody use and less chemotherapy that is revolutionizing treatment of lung cancer, melanoma, and other types of malignancy.

3. Concern over cancer drug costs

This problem is not going away. Rather, the issue of cancer’s financial toxicity, to individuals and to society, will grow as more drugs become available and might be prescribed. Some argue that anti-cancer medications should not necessarily be covered by private insurers, or by public insurers (Medicare or Medicaid), unless the cancer treatments demonstrate a certain level of benefit to patients. But how oncologists or patients or economists or insurance managers define “benefit” or “value” is a contentious issue, as is how that benefit needs be demonstrated.

This is a societal issue. The discussion reflects values and notions of personal responsibility for cancer care, and whether all people with malignant illness are deserving of equal opportunity to try the anti-cancer treatments they and their doctors think are most appropriate.

4. Focus on diagnostics, quality and payment for genetic cancer tests

This is a crucial matter for patients with malignancy who wish to try novel cancer drugs and need to know if their tumors harbor molecular features that match those new drugs. CMS is currently weighing if Medicare and Medicaid should pay for next-generation sequencing (NGS) of advanced cancer cases. So far, the FDA has approved only one such pan-genetic cancer test, FoundationOne CDx, which costs around $5800.

In general, the debate concerns the quality of diagnostic tests, and costs. You may have heard that liquid biopsies of a patient’s cancer yield disparate findings, depending on the company. Doctors and patients need reliable and reproducible results. And so accreditation of labs that perform molecular testing becomes increasingly necessary as these tests becomes more relevant to everyday prescription of oncology drugs and clinical decisions.

As things stand, payment for molecular testing of cancer has limited uptake of some very useful tests. I will write more on this topic separately.

5. Tumor-agnostic prescription of cancer medications

This modern way of prescribing cancer drugs-based on molecular changes in malignant cells, and not necessarily in which body part the tumor occurs, like “breast” or “colon” makes sense. In general, I see this as the future of oncology.

Last May, for the first time, the FDA approved use of an immune oncology drug, Keytruda, for all patients with cancer in which the malignant cells have certain features, what’s called microsatellite instability. The next month, doctors at the annual big U.S. cancer meeting reported on an experimental drug, larotrectinib, which in initial studies helped most patients with a wide range of cancer types, including previously hard-to-treat cases, in which the cancer cells harbor TRK gene fusions. That medication is under review by the FDA; more will follow.

Not all oncologists see merit, or feasibility, of this sort of approach to treating cancer. Based on preliminary studies, it appears that responsiveness to some drugs may depend on the cancer’s location. At last spring’s AACR meeting, for instance, Dr. David Hyman and colleagues reported on the SUMMIT basket trials of patients with HER2 and HER3 mutations. Evidently, neratinib demonstrated some (and limited) activity in patients with HER2 abnormalities with advanced breast, salivary, bile duct and a few other tumors, but not with colon cancer. This was a limited trial, involving a relatively small number of patients with varied HER2 and HER3 mutations. Yet it points to the need for caution, and for collecting data including post-marketing data regarding tumor locations, and details of pertinent mutations—when anti-cancer drugs are prescribed based on their molecular features.

6. Patient-reported outcomes

How cancer patients feel matters. This has always been so, but doctors (and policy-makers) didn’t pay so much attention to their subjective descriptions of pain, nausea, tiredness and other symptoms. As more anti-cancer drugs become available, patient-reported outcomes (PROs) will enable doctors to identify subtle differences among what some deem “me-too” drugs and, also, weigh on risks and benefits of treatments that may, or more not, do more good than harm.

Some insist that extending overall survival is the main purpose of anti-cancer treatment. But as patients and doctors increasingly weigh treatments that might improve quality-of-life, without necessarily extending survival, these PROs become more relevant. How exactly these outcomes will be measured, especially as more data will be collected post-marketing of drugs, off of clinical trials in a non-blinded fashion, by patients who know what they’re on and may be vulnerable to something like placebo effect, or an anti-placebo effect and the willingness of doctors and policy-makers to trust their patients’ reports, is a Pandora’s box from which I look forward to reading, hearing, and learning more.

7. Artificial intelligence (AI)

Few doctors, even oncologists who subspecialize, can keep up with developments in the field. Whether its IBM’s Watson, about which I remain optimistic, or another brand of artificial intelligence delivering suggestions, data-driven algorithms will be needed to guide physicians’ recommendations. The emerging field of computational biology, which can take big data and apply it to individual patients’ cases, with recommendations based on real-time knowledge of cancer science and approved treatments, is the way forward.

Oncology needs be AI-driven, at least at the level of suggesting treatments to consider, because there is too much molecular information for most doctors or patients to grasp and with some 15 million new cancer cases expected around the globe in 2018 too much potential, otherwise missed, to improve outcomes for those affected.

What’s missing? I haven’t mentioned CAR-T cells, which in some ways dominated this year’s cancer news. While it’s clear these biological therapies, involving gene-edited white blood cells taken from each patient and re-infused, can effect remissions and cures as most cancer drugs have not, I remain skeptical about the possibility of manufacturing these agents safely and efficiently on a large scale so that tens or thousands of patients might be helped, by contrast to simpler cancer drugs.

Prevention is unfortunately absent from my list. Cancer prevention remains a personal priority: the best way to avoid cancer deaths, toxicity and costs of treatment, is to prevent the disease from happening. However, apart from discouraging smoking and its cessation, which is old news and in some parts of the world not trending, and giving vaccines to prevent HPV and hepatitis B infection, which is generally happening more, and continually reminding affluent humans to eat and drink less, there is too little progress on this front.

With a diminished EPA under the current U.S. administration, and few doctors willing to invest careers in the slow-paced field of environmental oncology, to designate carcinogens by proving cause-and-effect, it’ll be a long time before we see meaningful advances in understanding the toxic causes many cancers, and how to avoid those (carcinogens). There’s too little incentive. Maybe, in next year’s list, for 2019, that will change.

Also Read: Breast cancer study uncovers new genetic variants for increased risk

News Source: Forbes

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5 Methods to Cut Breast Cancer Risk

About one in every eight women will have breast cancer at some point in her life, but there are ways to lower chances.

More than 3.1 million women in the U.S. are living with breast cancer right now. Here are five ways to lower your risk.

First, watch your weight. One study found women who gained 21 to 30 pounds after age 18 were 40 percent more likely to develop breast cancer than those who didn’t gain more than five.

Another tip, spend less time sitting. In a study, women who sat for six hours a day or longer when not working had a ten percent higher risk of breast cancer compared to those who sat less than three hours.

Next, limit alcohol. Women who have two to three drinks a day have about a 20 percent higher risk of breast cancer compared to those who don’t drink. The American Cancer Society recommends no more than one alcoholic drink a day for women.

Lastly, if you do develop breast cancer, early detection is crucial for a good outcome.

The mammogram is basically the gold standard and that’s the one that’s been studied the most and has shown to actually decrease deaths from breast cancer, said Dr. Cynthia Litwer, of Cedars-Sinai Imaging.

The five-year survival rate for breast cancer that’s found early is 99 percent. See your doctor right away if you feel a lump and make sure you have all recommended screening tests.

Some experts also recommend avoiding hormone replacement therapy. This treatment can up your risk of breast cancer. But if you stop taking it, your risk returns to normal within five years.

Also read: TOP 10 HALE AND HEARTY TIPS FOR BREAST CANCER PREVENTION

News Source: abc7chicago

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Top 10 Hale and hearty Tips for Breast Cancer Prevention

It is every woman’s duty to take care of their health. Here are some tips to protect your breasts from cancer.

Exercise Regularly: “Keep moving every day”. Exercise is your best friend when it comes to any health-related problem. The more you sweat, the more calories you burn and this helps you stay healthy.

Go for regular checkups: Visit your doctor every now and then, especially if you have any doubts. This is not a condition where you can think and postpone your doctor visit to the next month or even later. The earlier you get diagnosed, the earlier you will save yourself!

Know your family history: It is important to know your family history, because most cancers are hereditary. If anyone in your family suffers or has suffered from cancer, then you are prone to a high risk.

Encourage breast feeding: If you are a new mom, do not stop breast feeding for any reason. Breast feeding makes you and your baby stay healthy and energized. Besides giving good nutrition to the baby, it also helps to keep your breasts in good physical shape.

Choose the right food: Food plays a vital role for any problems we might have. Avoid charred meat, unfermented soy products, genetically engineered foods and sugar. Try to consume a good amount of iodine, foods rich in Vitamin A and D and naturally fermented food.

Reduce Stress: Stress is a waste of time – just try to relax! Engage yourselves in stuff that makes you feel busy. Stress is your health’s biggest enemy and the very best friend of all diseases.

Quit smoking: As everyone knows, drinking and smoking support and help cancer survive in our body. Quit smoking and alcohol today and protect yourself from this disease.

Focus on your weight: Studies show that women who have gained too much weight since the age of 18 are more likely to develop breast cancer. When you reach high obese levels then you are at a high risk. It is always considered safe to check on your weight scale and BMI rate.

Get a mammogram done: This is the best way to detect breast cancer. Some may say it has potential risks, but in the end, it gives an accurate result like no other method out there. It is recommended to do this type of screening every year.

Enough Sleep: Getting a good night sleep helps you stay healthy. Continuous 8 hours of sleep make the human mind and body feel fresh and relaxed. Some people don’t give it much credit but they should. Consult your doctor today and discuss this to get the right solution and stay on a safer side.

Also Read: Cancer doctors cite risks of drinking alcohol

Article Source: Ezine

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