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Sunday 16 June 2019
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Topic: Oncology

June 12, 2019
Cardiovascular health and physical activity levels of prostate cancer patients improve following successful interventions by community pharmacies, new research in the British Medical Journal reports
In the first study of its kind, researchers from the University of Surrey, funded by the Movember Foundation in partnership with Prostate Cancer UK, developed and tested the feasibility of community pharmacies delivering programmes to improve levels of physical activity and diet of men with prostate cancer and those who have successfully completed treatment for the disease.
 
June 11, 2019
Decision based on data from Phase III head-to-head study stopped early due to an overall survival efficacy benefit versus sunitinib, a current standard of care

Bristol-Myers Squibb has announced that the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) has decided to fund the combination of Opdivo® (nivolumab) plus Yervoy® (ipilimumab) for use within NHS Scotland as a first-line treatment option for an advanced form of the most common type of kidney cancer, renal cell carcinoma (RCC), specifically in previously-untreated patients who are considered of intermediate- and poor-prognostic risk.

 

June 10, 2019
It is likely that official statistics are underestimated as there are many causes of the cancer, meaning the link to work is often not made, says GMB London
GMB Congress have passed a motion to launch an awareness campaign on the link between people working in certain industries and bladder cancer. 
 
The union has also pledged to work more closely with the HSE and ‘Fight Bladder Cancer’ charity.
 
June 10, 2019
An upsurge in demand for proton beam therapy was predicted as the centenary of the discovery of the proton was celebrated at a major scientific conference
Proton beam therapy, an innovative form of radiotherapy that delivers cancer treatment in a more targeted manner, has recently arrived in the UK through the Rutherford Cancer Centres and an NHS facility.
 
As the number of patients treated with this precision therapy grows, there is a debate about the benefits that this innovative treatment can bring.
 
June 6, 2019
The results support a robust set of existing data demonstrating the sustained efficacy, safety, and tolerability of continuous ibrutinib treatment in patients with CLL
Janssen has announced long-term follow-up results from two pivotal Phase III studies of Imbruvica® (ibrutinib) in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL), a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and the most common form of leukaemia in adults.1 
 
June 6, 2019
Pancreatic Cancer Action is launching its first multi-targeted awareness initiative awareness amongst the general public, pharmacy teams and GPs to ensure as many people are aware of pancreatic cancer as possible
According to statistics from a recent survey, awareness of pancreatic cancer is low among the whole of the UK with only 8% of the population knowing a lot about the disease.
 
Every year there are around 9263 deaths from pancreatic cancer in the UK which could be prevented if awareness of the signs and symptoms was higher. The 5-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer is just 7% as it can only be cured if it is diagnosed in time for surgery. After surgery, survival rates increase to 30%.
 
May 29, 2019
Chaperones keep the tumour suppressor protein p53 in check

The anti-tumour protein p53 can decide on the life or death of a cell: If it detects damage in the cell's genome, the protein pushes the cell to suicide.
 

Research conducted at Technical University of Munich (TUM) shows that this inborn cancer prevention only works when special proteins, known as chaperones, allow it to take place.
 

May 29, 2019
Scientists have discovered a potential biological reason why women are more likely to develop adrenal disorders, including cancer; the answer could lie in the increased turnover of hormone-producing cells found in the adrenal glands of females

Scientists have discovered a potential biological reason why women are more likely to develop adrenal disorders, including cancer. According to the researchers, the answer could lie in the increased turnover of hormone-producing cells found in the adrenal glands of females.
 

May 29, 2019
Researchers have devised a cell co-culture platform that reproduces a patient's tumour structure in 3D and which can be used to test several drugs or their combinations at different stages of the tumour's development

Why doesn't the same treatment work in the same way for every patient? How can a drug's performance be optimised without causing side effects due to an excessive dosage?
 

May 20, 2019
A team recently cataloged the neurological symptoms of patients who had received CAR T-cell therapy to better understand its neurotoxic side effects
The recent advent of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy has revolutionised the clinical treatment of cancer. Under the umbrella of immunotherapy, CAR T-cell treatment trains and strengthens a patient's own immune system to attack tumors. Early successes in clinical trials have led to approval of the treatment for recurrent blood cancers, including leukaemia and lymphoma.
 
May 17, 2019
Analysing fragments of DNA that are shed by tumours into the bloodstream could indicate early on whether patients are at risk of their cancer spreading, according to new research
Researchers at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust in the UK say ctDNA, a form of liquid biopsy, may be an accurate technique to monitor treatment response in patients with locally advanced rectal cancer, allowing treatment to be adapted or changed earlier to try to prevent the development of metastatic disease.
 
May 17, 2019
A new study describes a method of reprogramming regulatory T cells that usually suppress immune responses into inflammatory cells that not only permit but also intensify an antitumour immune response
A new study from the Center for Immunology and Inflammatory Diseases (CIID) at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) describes a method of reprogramming the regulatory T cells that usually suppress immune responses into inflammatory cells that not only permit but also intensify an antitumour immune response.1 
 
May 2, 2019
Pancreatic Cancer UK has announced that they are investing £750,000 into developing the first simple test for pancreatic cancer by 2024
Currently, pancreatic cancer is diagnosed by a CT or MRI scan and there is currently no ‘non-invasive’ detection test so a development of one would be welcomed.
 
However, whilst having a bio-marker for the disease is fantastic and something we should be investing in, this will not solve the problem of late diagnosis (which is the major cause for the extremely low survival rate in pancreatic cancer).  
 
April 30, 2019
These analyses report on secondary endpoints from the Stop&Go study, with the main endpoint for second-line being progression-free survival
Continuous chemotherapy shows greater benefit in patients with advanced breast cancer by both improving survival and maintaining quality of life compared to intermittent scheduling, according to analyses of the Stop&Go study presented at the ESMO Breast Cancer Congress 2019.1,2  
 
April 25, 2019
This major breakthrough and world-first could hail a new era in the design and production of new antibiotics and anticancer agents
After 20 years of dedicated research, scientists have cracked the chemical code of an incredibly complex 'anti-tumour antibiotic' known to be highly effective against cancer cells as well as drug-resistant bacteria, and have reproduced it synthetically in the lab for the first time.
 
April 23, 2019
Scientists from the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute at The University of Manchester showed that a small volume of blood can contain up-to-date genetic information about a patient's cancer to inform treatment choices

Scientists could help match cancer patients with no other treatment options to clinical trials with experimental medicines, by analysing the genetic faults in a sample of their blood, according to research published in Nature Medicine.
 

April 16, 2019
Standardisation of doses of intravenous chemotherapy agents was initially proposed to improve pharmacy capacity and reduce medication errors and wastage; however, further optimisation of the administration of anticancer drugs can potentially contribute to a more efficient oncology unit

Key points
 
• Dose standardisation can reduce the risk of calculation errors, decrease preparation time, and reduce waste.
 
• Pharmacists play a critical role in the preparation of chemotherapy and the verification of prescriptions.
 
• An analysis of prescriptions by BOPA identified 2.3% errors that could result in patient harm.
 

April 12, 2019
This opinion piece considers the different technologies used for the preparation of cytotoxic injections and infusions: pharmaceutical isolators, Class II cytotoxic cabinets and closed system transfer devices (CSTDs)
Cytotoxic chemotherapy is synonymous with a narrow therapeutic index, severe adverse effects for patients and occupational exposure risks for pharmacy and nursing staff.
 
April 12, 2019
Improving results for patients by realising the transformational potential of Real World Data
HONEUR (Haematology Outcomes Network in Europe) is a Janssen-led initiative and part of the company’s overall commitment to creating better outcomes for patients – in this case, by harnessing the full potential of Real World Data and the insights it can provide. 
 
April 10, 2019
In oncology, in particular, where there are often no alternatives to these medicines, shortages pose a threat to patient safety as they reduce adherence to therapy and limit the ability of physicians to provide effective treatment regimens

Shortages of essential cancer medicines have a direct impact on patient care across Europe.
 

To ensure that this issue remains a top priority on the EU policy agenda, ESMO collaborated with the European Parliament to organise a cross-partisan event entitled “Shortages of Inexpensive, Essential Medicines: Calling for Tangible Political Commitments in the EU”.1
 

April 10, 2019
First PARP inhibitor approved in the EU for patients with this difficult-to-treat disease and third EU approval for Lynparza

The European Commission has approved Lynparza (olaparib) as a monotherapy for the treatment of adult patients with germline BRCA1/2-mutations (gBRCAm), and who have human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative locally-advanced or metastatic breast cancer.
 

April 5, 2019
Immediate first-line access to this combination could be a treatment option for up to 1700 advanced kidney cancer patients in England
Bristol-Myers Squibb has announced that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued a Final Appraisal Determination recommending the combination of Opdivo® (nivolumab) plus Yervoy® (ipilimumab) to treat NHS patients in England with renal cell carcinoma (RCC). 
 
March 28, 2019
New immunotherapy drug targets for cancer will be progressed through a multimillion-pound drug discovery alliance between Cancer Research UK, LifeArc and Ono Pharmaceutical Co Ltd
A multi-year partnership brings together Cancer Research UK’s network of world-leading scientists and drug discovery expertise, LifeArc’s renowned therapeutic antibody engineering and development expertise, and Ono’s considerable track record in developing cancer immunotherapies.
 
March 20, 2019
Precision-Panc seeks to uncover the molecular profile of individual patients with pancreatic cancer, to learn more about the disease and to pave the way for patients entering clinical trials in a way that matches their tumour biology to the type of treatment

A groundbreaking pancreatic cancer trial, which aims to match patients with more targeted and effective treatment for their tumours, has successfully recruited its 100th patient.
 

Run by Precision-Panc, a research programme and clinical trials project led by the University of Glasgow with major funding from Cancer Research UK, the trial brings a precision medicine approach to pancreatic cancer treatment for the first time in the UK.
 

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