The surprising news first – lung cancer isn’t a smoker’s only disease. Nearly 20 percent of lung cancer cases occur in non-smokers. Smoking remains the most common cause of lung cancer, but (according to the American Cancer Society) radon gas, second hand smoke, pollution and exposure to toxic chemicals can also cause the disease. Genetics are an additional contributor, but lifestyle changes can shift the odds in your favor.
Each day, new research, innovations and stories are published about cancer and those who it impacts. Here’s a quick summary of notable recent health and cancer news. Scientists have identified genetic variants that increase the risk of breast cancer.
A huge team of researchers working together around the world uncovered 65 new variants. On their own, they contribute around 4 percent of the two-fold heightened risk of women with a strong family history of breast cancer developing the disease.
Pinpointing specific genes is difficult, but the OncoArray scientists were able to make predictions about many target genes – a first step towards designing new treatments.
For many women with breast cancer, radiation is an integral part of their treatment plans.
But a landmark study, entitled Risk of Ischemic Heart Disease in Women after Radiotherapy, (Darby, et. al., published in the New England Journal of Medicine, 2013), has identified a troubling side effect of large radiation doses near the heart.
Each day, new research, innovations and stories are published about cancer and those who it impacts. Here's a roundup of recent items in the news. Cancer treatment isn't one size fits all. The Hartford Courant reports on an evolving technology that gives doctors even more information about a patient's cancer cells. It's potentially one more way our doctors can develop personalized treatment plans.
IsoPlexis is developing a system that analyzes patients’ tumors cell by cell to determine how effective or toxic a treatment would be and to help guide doctors’ decisions about mixing different cancer therapies.
Developments about former President Jimmy Carter’s melanoma diagnosis and the subsequent story about his positive response to treatment has made me pause and reflect on the extraordinary progress in a remarkably short period of time, both in the treatment of what used to be considered one of the most deadly cancers and in the very rapid advancement of immunotherapy. In August 2015, President Carter was diagnosed with Stage IV melanoma that had spread to his liver and brain. He had surgery for the tumors in the liver and focused radiation for those in his brain followed by immunotherapy with a drug – pembrolizumab – classified as an anti-PD-1 antibody. A happy update indicated that President Carter was having an excellent response to the immunotherapy: there have been no new tumors.