Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Forward Look

News Briefs

Protein That Plays Role in Bone Metastases Identified
Hormone-sensitive breast cancer that metastasizes frequently spreads to the bone. A new gene expression profiling study found that proteins produced by the retinoic acid-induced 2 (RAI2) gene keep hormone-sensitive breast cancer cells from spreading to the bone marrow. Future studies are likely to explore whether tumors with low levels of RAI2 are more likely to metastasize and should be treated more aggressively.
Learn more in the May 2015 Cancer Discovery.

Researchers Develop Online Tool for Melanoma Risk Assessment
Using data from previous skin cancer studies, researchers identified seven factors that can be used to assess a white person’s lifetime risk of developing melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer. The factors can be assessed through easily answered questions about hair color, skin type, family history of skin cancer, freckling, total number of moles, total number of large moles and history of sunburn. The researchers will now test the online questionnaire in various groups of people from different areas of the world.

Learn more in the May 2015 Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

New Biomarker for Prostate Cancer Could Improve Screening
Previous studies have suggested that adding prostate cancer antigen 3 (PCA3) to the current prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening test could increase the test’s accuracy in detecting prostate cancer. A study that used a computer-generated model to combine results from the two tests found that adding a PCA3 measurement could be helpful. However, there were some methods of combining the tests that would miss some prostate cancers. The researchers say their findings could help guide the development of a prostate cancer screening test that incorporates PCA3.
Learn more in the April 2015 Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Evidence Lacking for E-Cigs for Smoking Cessation, Prevention Experts Say
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force draft recommendation on the best way for doctors to help patients quit smoking tobacco concludes that insufficient evidence exists to support the use of e-cigarettes for smoking cessation. The draft recommendation advises clinicians to counsel patients interested in quitting smoking to choose a behavioral approach, a pharmacotherapy approach approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or a combination of the two.
Learn more online at

New Targeted Therapy Approved for Patients with Multiple Myeloma
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration in February approved Farydak (panobinostat), the first histone deacetylase inhibitor for multiple myeloma. Farydak works by blocking epigenetic changes in gene expression. It is approved for use in combination with Velcade (bortezomib) and dexamethasone in patients who have already tried at least two other standard treatments. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2015 there will be about 26,850 diagnoses of multiple myeloma and about 11,240 deaths.

Learn more online at

HPV Vaccination of Boys Could Be a Cost-Effective Way to Prevent Mouth and Throat Cancers
A Canadian research group reported an analysis that showed vaccinating 12-year-old boys against the human papillomavirus (HPV) would reduce costs associated with oropharyngeal cancer, a cancer of the throat and mouth. By 2020, oropharyngeal cancer is projected to become the most common HPV-related cancer in the U.S., surpassing cervical cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, mouth and throat cancers are more than twice as common in men as in women.

Learn more in the June 1, 2015, Cancer.

Genetic Differences May Link Aspirin to Reduced Risk of Colorectal Cancer
Researchers compared genetic data and use of aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs between more than 8,000 people with colon cancer and a similar number without the disease. They found that use of these medications was linked to reduced colorectal cancer risk in people with two genetic variants. These findings could lead to the development of a test doctors could use to identify which patients should consider taking aspirin to reduce their risk of colorectal cancer.

Learn more in the March 17, 2015, Journal of the American Medical Association.

Measuring Circulating Tumor DNA May Help Patients With Some Lymphomas
Researchers reported that a blood test that can measure circulating tumor DNA was able to detect recurrence in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma earlier than a CT scan. The study tested blood banked from 126 patients with B-cell lymphoma who were enrolled in one of three lymphoma clinical trials between May 1993 and June 2013. The patients had CT scans at the same time their blood was drawn. The findings suggest that testing circulating tumor DNA may reduce the need for patients to have multiple CT scans.

Learn more in the May 2015 The Lancet Oncology.

Urine Test Could Help Identify Kidney Cancer
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis reported that a urine test they developed that measures the proteins aquaporin-1 and perilipin-2 was able to identify patients with undiagnosed kidney cancer. The urine test might one day be used to help doctors determine which patients who have a small kidney lesion discovered on an abdominal scan should have a biopsy. Future studies are needed to evaluate the test’s accuracy and cost-effectiveness.

Learn more in the May 2015 JAMA Oncology.

Breastfeeding Associated With Decreased Risk of Breast Cancer Recurrence
A study that looked at prior breastfeeding in 1,636 women who had been diagnosed with breast cancer found that women who had breastfed their children had a 30 percent decreased risk of recurrence. The association was especially strong in women whose tumors were estrogen- and progesterone-receptor positive and HER2-negative. The researchers say this suggests that breastfeeding may lead to biological changes associated with slower-growing types of tumors that have a better prognosis.

Learn more in the July 2015 Journal of the National Cancer Institute.


Receive monthly updates, including information about web exclusives, events, resources, articles and highlights from new issues—direct to your email inbox. Be among the first to hear the latest news from Cancer Today! Click here to sign up!