Monday, October 27, 2014

Around the Web

Suddenly, it's almost the end of October. The pink parade is tapering off, and I hope starting to change directions toward a more educated discussion, toward more action, toward life-saving research. I'm back to digging up the research I can find to share it with you here, back to writing my book (seriously, honestly, I'm almost done), back to brainstorming ideas for getting our voices heard.

On that note, don't forget to vote next week. Have you heard how important it is to speak up for yourself?

Here's what's caught my attention around the web in the last couple of weeks. As always, please feel free to send me anything you think should be featured here.

Oh, Komen. When Will You Learn?

Or, why so many of us are opposed to a $100,000 donation to the largest breast cancer organization on the planet.

{photo credit}

Fast-Tracking FDA Approval for One Drug to Treat Metastatic Breast Cancer

"The CDK 4/6 inhibitor has already won breakthrough drug status at the FDA. The PDUFA date for palbociclib will fall on April 13, 2015, as Pfizer seeks an OK to market it for women with advanced or metastatic ER+, HER2- breast cancer."

Lung Cancer Can Lie Dormant for Two DECADES

Just in time for Halloween, this spooky story might change how we look at cancers long-term (and help explain why it is typically so much better to treat cancers early in their lifespan). 

"By the time patients are sick enough to be diagnosed with cancer, their tumors will have developed down multiple evolutionary pathways, making it extremely hard for any one targeted medicine to have an effect.

The findings show the pressing need to detect lung cancer before it has shape-shifted into multiple malignant clones."

Starving Cancer Cells (But Not in the Way You Might Think)

There is plenty of talk out there about diets and cancer (avoid sugar, eat plant-based diets, drink alkaline water, etc.) All of that is well and good and may ultimately help fuel your body to better stave off cancer to begin with.  But here is some research suggesting that cancer cells that metastasize do consume a special diet, fed by a certain protein. Scientists are looking at ways to starve those cells.

"In other words, some cancer cells are programmed to eat at home, while others have a special diet that allows them to travel to other sites. If there was a therapeutic way to stop the migrating cells from packing a lunch ahead of time, it could potentially halt their journey. Suppressing PGC-1α appears to do just that."

Immunotherapy to Treat Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

Results of a clinical trial to be announced at the annual Breast Cancer Symposium in San Antonio in December. Stay tuned...

I DO F*!king Love Science

This one is courtesy of my friend Ginelle. It's about using sound waves to open the blood-brain barrier to allow chemotherapeutic agents an entry point for a brief period in order to treat cancer that has spread to the brain (typically very difficult to do). Cool, cool stuff.

A Shout-Out to My Alma Mater

"The funds provided by the CDC will be used by the Breast Cancer Program to assemble education materials, enhance delivery of care for patients, develop individualized prescriptions for wellness and implement research discoveries for young women with breast cancer to reduce overall breast cancer death rates."

And Stem Cells to Deliver Cancer-Killing Toxins? Yes, Please.

"The study was published in the journal Stem Cells, and could represent a breakthrough in cancer research, allowing the cancerous cells to be killed and the healthy ones to remain intact, as the toxins in stem cells only target the cancerous cells. Scientists have applied for approval from the FDA to start the clinical trials of the method.

Experts praised the study as “the future” of cancer research.

“This is a clever study, which signals the beginning of the next wave of therapies. It shows you can attack solid tumors by putting minipharmacies inside the patient which deliver the toxic payload direct to the tumor,” Chris Mason, a professor of regenerative medicine at University College London, who was not participating in the study, told the BBC."

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