Advanced lung cancer patients live longer when given immunotherapy drug

For some patients who are newly diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer, the combination of a treatment that helps the immune system to fight cancer—an immunotherapy—and chemotherapy may help them to live longer than chemotherapy alone, according to the results of a large clinical trial carried out in the US.

Read more about the treatment and the survival rates.

The drug involved, Pembrolizumab (Keytruda), is already used to treat certain types of cancer.  A clinical trial in the UK in 2015/16 studied its effectiveness in patients with Hodgkin lymphoma.

Clinical trials herald hope for a vaccine against lung cancer

A vaccine against lung cancer, developed in Cuba, is being trialled in the USA after impressive claims of its effectiveness in treating late-stage lung cancer.

Rather than targetting the cancer cells themselves, CIMAvax works by cutting off the supply of the growth factor which causes the cancer cells to grow.

Cancer Research UK is already conducting clinical trials of CIMAvax in the UK in conjunction with chemotherapy – read more.

Read more about the US clinical trial at the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo, New York State.

Read the story and see the video on the BBC World Service website.

Uncovered: 80 ways to attack prostate cancer

Researchers at The Institute of Cancer Research in the UK have published research which could transform their understanding of prostate cancer and its future treatment.

In a new study, scientists used Big Data analytical techniques to identify 80 new molecular weaknesses in prostate cancer that could be targeted by existing drugs, some of them already licensed for use in the UK or being used in clinical trials. It is thought that this offers promise for further study into new approaches to treatment.

The new discoveries greatly improve researchers’ understanding of prostate cancer and how they might treat it, bringing hope for men and their families who are affected by the disease.

Read more on the Institute of Cancer Research website.

‘One-stop shops’ to speed up cancer diagnosis

NHS England, in conjunction with Macmillan and Cancer Research UK, is introducing a trial of multi-disciplinary centres aimed at speeding up cancer diagnosis. Patients with unclear symptoms often have to go through a lengthy process of referrals and tests before their cancer is diagnosed while precious time is lost in treating the cancer early.

The centres aim to diagnose the disease or give the ‘all-clear’ within 28 days.

The first 10 of the new centres are located in London and the southeast, Oxford, Greater Manchester and Yorkshire. Others are expected to follow if the initial trial is successful.

Read more:

 

CRUK says 4 out of 10 cancers are preventable by lifestyle changes

Cancer Research UK has issued the results of a study into preventable causes of cancer.

In the UK, 1 in 2 people will develop cancer at some point in their lives. Every year, around 360,000 people are diagnosed with the disease. But experts estimate that around 4 in 10 cancer cases could be prevented, largely through lifestyle changes.

Read more  on this story:

Help improve the lives of people living with and beyond cancer

Please help the National Cancer Research Institute improve the lives of people living with and beyond cancer.

More and more people are living with the consequences of cancer and its treatment – what is termed ‘Living With and Beyond Cancer’. But there’s not enough relevant research.

The NCRI are working on a project to change this. They’ve opened a second survey for patients, the people who look after or have looked after them, and the professionals who work with them, to identify the most important questions that research should address.

Why not tell them which research questions are most important by completing their survey before 12th April 2018? Please note: you do not need to have taken part in the previous survey. For more information about the project visit: www.ncri.org.uk/jla

Complete the survey

NHS launches ‘one-stop’ service to slash diagnosis times for prostate cancer

The NHS plans to cut prostate cancer diagnosis times from six weeks to a matter of days, NHS England has said.

Currently a test for men with prostate cancer requires an MRI scan and a biopsy where a dozen samples are taken, requiring multiple hospital visits.

But a new “one-stop” service will be trialled in three west London hospitals which hopes to complete all the necessary tests in one day.

Read more on the BBC website and on the BT website .

Advance in personalised, targeted treatment of tumours

Advanced research carried out by The Institute of Cancer Research in conjunction with the Royal Marsden Hospital heralds new hope for patients undergoing treatment.

Biopsies from Marsden patients were grown in the lab and various treatments were studied with regard to effectiveness and side effects. This enabled the Marsden to implement a course of treatment aimed at exactly the same cancer in the patient’s body avoiding the hit-and-miss, try-it-and-see approach often associated with treatment of advanced cancers. Between 88% and 100% of the time, the treatment tested on the lab tumour was effective on the donor patient tumours.

The research centered on bowel and intestinal cancers but researchers are confident that the same approach could be effective for other cancers, incuding the biggest killer, lung cancer.

Read more on The Institute of Cancer Research website, the BBC website and in the Science journal.