A sampling of recent cancer news from MD Anderson:
Oral medication for myelofibrosis
An oral medication produces significant and lasting relief for patients with myelofibrosis, a debilitating and lethal bone marrow disorder, for which there have been no approved treatments. Principal investigator on the study was Srdan Verstovsek, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Leukemia.
Reported in the Sept. 16 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Addressing breast cancer in Mexican women
Specific prevention and education strategies are needed to address breast cancer in Mexican-origin women in the United States. In a survey of this population, half were diagnosed before age 50, earlier than the national average for non-Hispanic white women, which puts them outside the recent guidelines for recommended screenings, including mammograms beginning at age 50. Study lead author was Patricia Miranda, Ph.D., post-doctoral fellow in the Center for Research on Minority Health in the Department of Health Disparities Research.
Reported in August in the advance online edition of the journal Cancer.
Detecting abnormal lung cancer cells
A new technique detects genetically abnormal cells in the blood of non-small cell lung cancer patients that match abnormalities found in tumor cells and that increase in number with the severity of the disease, according to findings made by Ruth Katz, M.D., professor in MD Anderson’s Department of Pathology, and her colleagues.
Reported in the July edition of Clinical Cancer Research.
Enzyme's role in ovarian cancer treatment
In a collaborative study between MD Anderson and the Life Sciences Institute of Zhejiang University in China, scientists have discovered an enzyme crucial to a type of DNA repair that also causes resistance to a class of cancer drugs most commonly used against ovarian cancer. Co-corresponding author is Junjie Chen, Ph.D., professor and chair of MD Anderson’s Department of Experimental Radiation Oncology.
Reported in July in the Science Express advance online publication of Science.
HPV's impact on oropharyngeal cancer
Oropharyngeal cancer patients whose tumors in the upper part of the throat test positively for the human papillomavirus have better overall survival than patients with HPV-negative disease. Lead author is K. Kian Ang, M.D., Ph.D., professor in MD Anderson’s Department of Radiation Oncology.
Reported in June in the New England Journal of Medicine, with follow-up data presented at the 2010 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.