Category Archives: Statistics & Epidemiology

CANTOS trial of canakinumab demonstrates that inflammation is a lung cancer promoter

Cells need to accumulate multiple mutations in order to induce the 10 hallmarks of cancer: Continue reading

Losing 10 pounds or more confers lower risk of endometrial cancer

The link between endometrial cancer and obesity is the strongest of all cancers studied; obesity is also strongly linked to breast and colon cancer. In the Iowa Women’s Health Study,  patients who intentionally lost at least 20 pounds demonstrated a risk of endometrial cancer equivalent to non-obese patients. A supplemental analysis suggested that intentional loss of 10 pounds also reduced risk. Continue reading

ROCA Ovarian Cancer Test for Early Detection

Each year, about 20,000 women in the United States get ovarian cancer. Among women in the United States, ovarian cancer is the eighth most common cancer and the fifth leading cause of cancer death, after lung and bronchus, breast, colorectal, and pancreatic cancers. In 2012 (the most recent year numbers are available)— 20,785 women in the United States were diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and 14,404 women in the United States died from ovarian cancer. Continue reading

Obesity soon to replace tobacco as the number one preventable / treatable cause of cancer

“Obesity is on its way to replacing tobacco as the number one preventable / modifiable cause of cancer,” says Clifford Hudis, MD, the 2013-2014 President of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Indeed, obese post-menopausal women have up to twice the risk of developing breast cancer as do their normal weight counterparts. Continue reading

Cancer diagnostics in clinical use

Diagnostics that not only diagnose cancer, but also help select the appropriate therapy and monitor response are a mainstay in modern oncology, and their use is growing.  Precision medicine, identifying genetic markers of disease and designing treatments to exploit these, is the essence of  targeted cancer therapy.   Continue reading

Epigenetic signature in blood for breast cancer risk

As reported in Genomic Medicine on June 27, an epigenetic signature in patients with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations was found by examining DNA methylation (DNAme) patterns on whole blood samples.  Importantly, this signature predicted for a high risk of developing breast cancer even in those patients who did NOT have BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations. Continue reading

HPV DNA Test and Experimental DNA Vaccine

The National Cancer Institute states that “virtually all” cervical cancers are caused by HPV infection.  The association is so strong that the FDA recently approved a DNA test for HPV that many believe could supplant PAP smear.  This is great news for patients who do not have cervical cancer, yet.  But what if you do?… Continue reading

Genomic and Exomic Diagnostic Testing – ready for the doctor’s office?

This is an article from the National Institutes of Health that discusses the opportunities and challenges for making genomic (sequencing all 3 billion base pairs) or exomic (sequencing the 1-2% of the genome that contains the 20,000 genes that encode proteins) a routine test in the doctor’s office.  The study was conducted by the National Human Genomic Research Institute – see report. Continue reading