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When Cancer Spreads to Bone, A Single Dose of Radiation Therapy May Control Pain


New findings from a clinical trial suggest that a single dose of radiation therapy may control painful bone metastases as effectively as multiple lower doses of radiation therapy.



Pediatric MATCH Study Finds More Targetable Genetic Changes than Expected


An early report from the NCI–COG Pediatric MATCH trial shows that 24% of young patients with advanced cancer who had their tumors tested for genetic changes were eligible to receive one of the targeted therapies being tested.



Tagraxofusp Proves Effective for BPDCN, A Rare Blood Cancer


New findings from a clinical trial of the drug tagraxofusp confirm its efficacy against the rare blood cancer blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm (BPDCN).



Prostate Cancer Prevention and Finasteride: A Conversation with NCI’s Dr. Howard Parnes


The Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial showed that finasteride can reduce the risk of prostate cancer, but might increase the risk of aggressive disease. NCI’s Howard Parnes talks about subsequent findings and what they mean for men aged 55 and older.



New Drugs, New Side Effects: Complications of Cancer Immunotherapy


The expanding use of cancer immunotherapy has revealed a variety of side effects associated with this treatment approach. Researchers are now trying to better understand how and why these side effects occur and develop strategies for better managing them.



Some Children with Liver Cancer May Need Less Chemotherapy, Study Suggests


Some children with liver cancer may need less chemotherapy than is typically used, new research suggests. The study included children and infants with hepatoblastoma whose tumors had been surgically removed when the disease was diagnosed.



A Vaccine to Treat Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Advancing in Clinical Trials


In some people with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), treating a single tumor with an in situ vaccine can help to shrink, or eliminate, tumors in other parts of the body, findings from a small clinical trial suggest.



Telephone-Based Rehab Program Helps People with Advanced Cancer Maintain Independence


A physical rehabilitation program delivered by telephone improved function and reduced pain for people with advanced cancer, a clinical trial shows. The program also reduced the time patients spent in hospitals and long-term care facilities.



Immunotherapy Drug with Two Targets Shows Promise against HPV-Related Cancers


The investigational immunotherapy drug bintrafusp alfa (also called M7824), a bifunctional fusion protein, shrank the tumors of some patients with advanced HPV-related cancers, according to results from a phase 1 clinical trial.



Study Advances Fertility Preservation Approach for Male Cancer Survivors


In a study in young monkeys, researchers showed that a technique using stored testicular tissue led to successful conception. Researchers are hopeful the approach could eventually be a fertility preservation option for young boys being treated for cancer.



Could a Vaccine Prevent Colorectal Cancer in People with Lynch Syndrome?


Findings from an NCI-funded study suggest a new vaccine approach may have the potential to prevent colorectal cancer in people with Lynch syndrome, an inherited condition that increases an individual's risk for developing certain types of cancer.



Ensuring a Smooth Leadership Transition at NCI


Doug Lowy, M.D., a long-time researcher and deputy director at NCI, addresses the cancer community as the institute's acting director, a position he previously held for more than 2 years.



Fewer Women with Ovarian, Breast Cancer Undergo Genetic Testing than Expected


Many women diagnosed with ovarian and breast cancer are not undergoing tests for inherited genetic mutations that can provide important information to help guide decisions about treatment and longer-term cancer screening, a new study has found.



Researchers Discover Potential Way to Hit Elusive Target in Pancreatic Cancer


Three research groups have found a potential way to kill cancer cells in pancreatic tumors by simultaneously blocking the activity of proteins that interact with KRAS proteins and disrupting an energy-creating process called autophagy.



New on NCI's Websites for March 2019


NCI periodically provides updates on new websites and other online content of interest to the cancer community. See selected content that has been added as of March 2019.



Atezolizumab Approved for Some Patients with Triple-Negative Breast Cancer


FDA has approved atezolizumab (Tecentriq) in combination with chemotherapy for the treatment of some women with advanced triple-negative breast cancer. This is the first FDA-approved regimen for breast cancer to include immunotherapy.



Trial Examines Value of Lymph Node Surgery in Advanced Ovarian Cancer


Surgery to remove all the lymph nodes in the area around an advanced ovarian tumor did not improve survival in a recent randomized clinical trial. The study also found systematic lymphadenectomy was associated with more frequent serious complications.



Nature’s Bounty: Revitalizing the Discovery of New Cancer Drugs from Natural Products


NCI has launched an ambitious initiative, called the NCI Program for Natural Products Discovery (NPNPD) and funded by the Cancer Moonshot℠, to make it easier for researchers to mine nature for leads on new cancer drugs.



Targeted Therapy–Immunotherapy Combinations Effective for Advanced Kidney Cancer


In two clinical trials, combination treatments that included an immune checkpoint inhibitor and axitinib (Inlyta) led to better outcomes for patients with advanced kidney cancer than treatment with sunitinib (Sutent), the standard initial therapy.



Darolutamide Delays the Spread of Some Prostate Cancers


The investigational drug darolutamide can help delay the spread of prostate cancer in some men with the disease, a recent clinical trial shows. In addition, the drug caused fewer side effects than similar prostate cancer drugs.



Bone Marrow Transplant Drug May Improve Immunotherapy for Metastatic Breast Cancer


The build-up of connective tissue around some types of cancer can act as a barrier to immunotherapy. A new study uses a bone marrow transplant drug, plerixafor, to break down this barrier and improve the efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitors in animal models of breast cancer.



UK Clinical Trial Compares E-cigarettes, Nicotine-Replacement Products for Smoking Cessation


Researchers in the United Kingdom have found that e-cigarettes combined with counseling may be more helpful to smokers trying to quit tobacco than counseling and nicotine-replacement products, such as patches, gums, and lozenges.



Making Cancer Clinical Trials Available to More Patients


NCI is expanding eligibility criteria for its cancer clinical trials in the hope that more patients will join, leading to more rapid advances. The goal is to maximize the number of patients who are eligible to enroll while maintaining their safety.



Multipronged Approach Eliminates Racial Disparities in Early-Stage Lung Cancer Treatment


Use of a multipronged approach within hospitals, including community centers, not only eliminated treatment disparities among black and white patients with early-stage lung cancer, it also improved treatment rates for all patients, results from a new study show.



NCI’s Rare Cancer Clinics: Engaging Patients and Fostering Collaboration


NCI has created special clinics that bring together clinicians, patients, and advocates to promote more rapid progress against rare cancers. The effort includes both rare pediatric cancers and central nervous system tumors in adults.



Treatment for Children with Leukemia Also Effective for Adolescents, Young Adults


A clinical trial found that an intensive treatment regimen developed specifically for children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia is also effective for older adolescents and young adults with the disease.



Partnering with Small Business to Advance Innovation in Cancer Research and Care


NCI Director Dr. Norman Sharpless describes how NCI’s Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Programs act as “engines of innovation” and shares recommendations from a federal working group for strengthening the programs.



Dormant Tumor Cells Can Be Sensitized to Chemotherapy


A new study in mice shows that disrupting the relationship between breast cancer cells that spread to bone and normal cells surrounding them makes the cancer cells sensitive to treatment.



A CAR T-Cell Therapy for Multiple Childhood Cancers?


An experimental CAR T-cell therapy may have potential as a treatment for several types of childhood cancer, results from a new study in mice suggest. The CAR T cells eradicated tumors in mouse models of several different childhood cancers, including two forms of sarcoma and medulloblastoma.



HTAN: Mapping Tumors across Space and Time Using Cutting-Edge Technologies


The Human Tumor Atlas Network, an NCI-led collaborative research project, is creating detailed maps of cancers that will be used to learn how cancer develops, spreads, and responds to treatment.



After Lung Cancer Screening, Follow-Up Procedures May Be Riskier than Thought


In everyday medical care, there may be more complications from invasive diagnostic procedures performed after lung cancer screening than has been reported in large studies.



Curbing Production of Immune Checkpoint Protein Slows Liver Cancer in Mice


Researchers have found an unconventional way to unleash the immune system against liver cancer in mice. The researchers used an investigational drug to curb the production of a checkpoint inhibitor protein that shields tumors from the immune system.



Pembrolizumab Now Second Immunotherapy Approved to Treat Merkel Cell Carcinoma


FDA has approved pembrolizumab (Keytruda) to treat people with Merkel cell carcinoma, a rare and deadly form of skin cancer. The approval covers use of the drug to treat locally advanced or metastatic forms of the disease.



Glioblastoma Study Highlights Sex Differences in Brain Cancer


Men and women with glioblastoma appear to respond differently to standard treatment. A new study identifies biological factors that might contribute to this sex difference.



African American Men More Likely to Die from Low-Grade Prostate Cancer


For African American men, the risk of dying from low-grade prostate cancer is double that of men of other races, a new study has found. But, despite the increase, the risk is still small.



Managing Cancer Pain: Are Better Approaches on the Horizon?


Pain is a common and much-feared symptom among people with cancer and long-term survivors. As more people survive cancer for longer periods, there is a renewed interest in developing new, nonaddictive approaches for managing their chronic pain.



Immunotherapy Effective in Alveolar Soft Part Sarcoma


People with advanced alveolar soft part sarcoma (ASPS), a rare cancer, appear to benefit from a type of immunotherapy called an immune checkpoint inhibitor, according to results from a small clinical trial.



Atezolizumab Approved for Initial Treatment of Metastatic Lung Cancer


On December 6, 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved atezolizumab (Tecentriq) in combination with a standard three-drug regimen as an initial treatment for advanced lung cancer that does not have EGFR or ALK mutations.



For Early-Stage Lung Cancer, Study Identifies Potential New Biomarker, Treatment Target


A new study has identified a potential biomarker of early-stage non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The biomarker, the study’s leaders said, could help diagnose precancerous lung growths and early-stage lung cancers noninvasively and distinguish them from noncancerous growths.



New on NCI Websites for December 2018


NCI periodically provides updates on new websites and other online content of interest to the cancer community. See selected content that has been added as of December 2018.



FDA Approvals Bring New Options for Older Patients with AML


FDA has approved venetoclax (Venclexta) and glasdegib (Daurismo) for use in people with acute myeloid leukemia aged 75 and older and those with health conditions that prevent them from receiving the intensive chemotherapy regimen that is the standard initial treatment.



The HPV Vaccine: Increasing the Use of an Important Cancer Prevention Tool


Dr. Barbara Rimer, chair of the President’s Cancer Panel, summarizes the panel’s recent report on the HPV vaccine, which includes priorities and strategies to ensure that more people receive this critical cancer vaccine.



Whole- and Partial-Breast Radiation Effective at Preventing Breast Cancer from Returning


In women with early-stage breast cancer, two clinical trials have shown that both whole- and partial-breast radiation therapy are effective at preventing the cancer from returning after breast-conserving surgery.



Plans for NCI’s Fiscal Year 2019 Budget


NCI Director Dr. Ned Sharpless describes important decisions NCI leaders have recently made with respect to the institute’s fiscal year 2019 budget, including those related to the Cancer Moonshot and early-stage investigators.



Drug Combination May Target the Unique Metabolism of Leukemia Stem Cells


Two new studies show how the drugs venetoclax (Venclexta) and azacitidine (Vidaza) team up to block the unique metabolism of leukemia stem cells and may explain why the drug combination is effective against acute myeloid leukemia.



Vitamin D Supplements Don’t Reduce Cancer Incidence, Trial Shows


In the largest-ever randomized trial testing vitamin D for cancer prevention, the supplement did not lower the risk of developing cancer. The Vitamin D and Omega-3 Trial (VITAL) includes a nationally representative sample of nearly 26,000 participants.



Targeted Treatment for Rare Digestive Tract Cancers May Extend Survival


In an early-phase trial, dabrafenib plus trametinib shrank tumors in patients with biliary tract cancer and adenocarcinoma of the small intestine whose tumors had a specific mutation in the BRAF gene.



Can Topical Drugs Help Prevent Breast Cancer?


Researchers are testing a topical-gel form of the drug tamoxifen to see if it can help prevent breast cancer as effectively as the oral form of the drug but with fewer side effects.



Genomic Test Helps Identify Thyroid Nodules That Don’t Require Surgery


The test measures genomic changes in thyroid biopsy samples and generates a score based on how strongly each change is associated with thyroid cancer. A study showed the test accurately identified samples that, after surgery, were found to be benign.



Tailored Radiation to Treat Brain Metastases Reduces Impact on Cognitive Function


Results from a clinical trial suggest that, in patients with brain metastases, an advanced radiotherapy technique limits harm to patients’ cognitive function without affecting the treatment’s effect on tumors.



Olaparib after Initial Treatment Delays Ovarian Cancer Progression


In a recent trial, the PARP inhibitor olaparib substantially delayed ovarian cancer from coming back after the first line of chemotherapy. Could the findings change the standard of care for newly diagnosed ovarian cancer with a BRCA mutation?



The Cancer Moonshot: Moving from Planning to Research


Dr. Dinah Singer, co-chair of the Cancer Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel, provides an update to the cancer community on the science being supported under the Moonshot initiative.



NCI-MATCH Update: More Labs, New Arms, and Initial Findings


NCI’s Dr. Lyndsay Harris provides an update on the NCI-MATCH trial, including the opening of new trial treatment arms and the addition of new laboratories to perform testing on tumor samples of prospective trial participants.



Gene Tied to Alzheimer’s May Be Associated with Cancer-Related Cognitive Problems


Findings from a clinical study and a mouse study may shed light on genetic risk factors for developing cancer-related cognitive problems in older breast cancer survivors. The results suggest a gene associated with Alzheimer’s disease may play a role.



Eight Factors May Link Disparities in Cancer Death Rates and Income


Eight factors may explain more than 80% of the relationship between poverty and disparities in cancer death rates at the county level, according to a new study. The largest mediator was a surprise to the researchers.



Blood Test Shows Promise for Detecting Genetic Changes in Brain Tumors


A liquid biopsy blood test can detect DNA from brain tumors called diffuse midline gliomas, researchers have found. This minimally invasive test could be used to identify and follow molecular changes in children with these highly lethal brain tumors.



Reflections on My First Year as NCI Director


October 2018 marked Dr. Norman Sharpless’s one-year anniversary as NCI director. He reflects on noteworthy events from the past 12 months and his excitement about leading NCI at such a critical juncture in the history of cancer research.



New on NCI Websites for October 2018


NCI periodically provides updates on new websites and other online content of interest to the cancer community. See selected content that has been added as of October 2018.



Studying “Total Diet” and Its Impact on Health, Including Cancer Risk


Researchers are shifting how they assess diet and cancer risk, looking beyond the impact of individual foods or nutrients on health, and taking a more holistic approach, considering dietary patterns across the lifespan.



Study Improves the Quality of Biopsy Specimens for Cancer Research


An NCI-led team of researchers has developed and tested recommendations for improving the quality of biopsy specimens collected from patients participating in cancer clinical trials.



Immunotherapy Drug Cemiplimab Approved for Advanced Squamous Cell Skin Cancer


The Food and Drug Administration approved the immunotherapy drug cemiplimab (Libtayo) for an advanced form of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), a common type of skin cancer. It is the first agent to be approved specifically for advanced SCC.



Trial Results Highlight Changing Lung Cancer Treatment Landscape


Results from two large clinical trials should cement the value of the drugs brigatinib (Alunbrig) and durvalumab (Imfinzi) in treating non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The trial results, several experts said, confirm that the drugs can improve the outcomes of patients with advanced NSCLC.



For HPV-Positive Women, Test Can Guide Cervical Cancer Screening Follow-Up


A new test can help to improve the clinical management of women who screen positive for HPV infection during routine cervical cancer screening, an NCI-led study has shown.



Using Artificial Intelligence to Classify Lung Cancer Types, Predict Mutations


Cancer researchers have trained a computer program to scan images of tissue samples to differentiate normal lung tissue from the two most common forms of lung cancer. The program also learned to detect cancer-related genetic mutations in the samples.



Vaping Pods Produce High Nicotine Levels in Young Users


Adolescents who use pod-style e-cigarettes had higher levels of nicotine in their bodies than is typically found in adolescents who smoke conventional cigarettes, a new study has found. The study's findings are concerning for several reasons.



For Small Cell Lung Cancer, Immunotherapy Drug Finally Brings Improved Survival


In a large clinical trial, the immunotherapy drug atezolizumab (Tecentriq), combined with a standard chemotherapy regimen, modestly increased survival in patients with advanced small cell lung cancer (SCLC). The trial is the first in more than 20 years to show a survival improvement in this cancer.



The R50 Research Specialist Award: Ensuring a Stable Cancer Research Workforce


With the increasing reliance on advanced technologies and the rise of big data in cancer research, NCI launched the R50 Research Specialist Award to help sustain a stable workforce of experienced scientists who can take fullest advantage of these tools and resources.



Stimulating the Immune System Shrinks Some Slow-Growing Lymphomas


In a small trial involving patients with slow-growing B-cell lymphoma, injecting the compound SD-101 directly into tumors (in situ vaccination) and giving low-dose radiation shrank the injected tumors and, frequently, tumors elsewhere in the body.



Hope and Challenge: The NCI Annual Plan and Budget Proposal for Fiscal Year 2020


NCI has released its Fiscal Year 2020 Annual Plan and Budget Proposal. The plan represents NCI’s best professional judgement on the optimum funding needed to make the most rapid progress against cancer.



Heart Problems: Investigating the Cardiac Side Effects of Cancer Treatments


Certain cancer treatments can damage the heart and the cardiovascular system, a problem known as cardiotoxicity. Cardiologists and oncologists met recently to discuss strategies and future research directions for addressing these side effects.



Nivolumab and Ipilimumab Effective against Melanoma That Has Spread to the Brain


Results from a clinical trial show that the combination of nivolumab (Opdivo) and ipilimumab (Yervoy) halted the growth of or shrank metastatic brain tumors in more than half of participants with melanoma that had spread to the brain.



NCI and FDA Address Common Concerns: A Win–Win for Making Progress against Cancer


NCI Director Dr. Norman Sharpless discusses efforts between NCI and FDA to advance progress against cancer, including initiatives to improve labeling of patient tumor and tissue samples and to address challenges presented by new tobacco products.



Moxetumomab Approved by FDA for Hairy Cell Leukemia


The FDA has approved moxetumomab pasudotox (Lumoxiti), a bacterial toxin–based drug, for the treatment of some patients with hairy cell leukemia (HCL). Moxetumomab is approved to treat patients with HCL who have already undergone at least two lines of standard treatments.



Appendix Cancers Are Genetically Distinct from Other Gastrointestinal Cancers, Study Shows


The largest-ever study of DNA changes in appendix cancer shows that it is distinct from colorectal and other gastrointestinal cancers and suggests that specific mutations in appendix tumors may help predict whether they may be aggressive.



Integrating Geriatric Assessment into Cancer Care: A Conversation with Dr. Supriya Mohile


Dr. Supriya Mohile discusses the unique issues experienced by older adults with cancer and efforts to incorporate geriatric assessment into patient care, including the publication of recent ASCO clinical guidelines on geriatric cancer care.



Exosomes May Help Tumors Evade Immune System


A new study has identified what may be an important and previously unknown route by which tumors evade the immune system: They secrete small membrane-encased sacs, called exosomes, studded with a protein that dials down the immune response.



Two Drugs Work Together to Block ‘Master Regulator’ of Breast, Other Cancers


Arsenic trioxide and retinoic acid work together to target the master regulator protein Pin1, a new study shows. In cancer cell lines and mice, the drug combination slowed the growth of triple-negative breast cancer tumors.



Study Provides Closer Look at Postmenopausal Bleeding and Endometrial Cancer


A new study has found that 90% of postmenopausal women diagnosed with endometrial cancer reported vaginal bleeding before their diagnosis. Approximately 9% of postmenopausal women who saw a doctor for bleeding, the study showed, later received an endometrial cancer diagnosis.



Enhancements to NCI’s SEER Program Creating New Research Opportunities


NCI’s SEER program is expanding in size and operating a series of innovative pilot studies. As Dr. Lynne Penberthy explains, these studies are setting the stage for the routine collection of more clinical and genomic data that will help researchers better understand cancer and its impact.



Ribociclib Approval Expanded for Some Women with Advanced Breast Cancer


FDA has expanded the approved uses of ribociclib (Kisqali) for women with advanced breast cancer, including new uses in pre- and postmenopausal women. It’s the first approval under a new FDA program to speed the review of cancer drugs.



Liquid Biopsy May Predict Risk of Breast Cancer Returning Years Later


Using a liquid biopsy to test for tumor cells circulating in blood, researchers found that, in women with breast cancer, the presence of these cells could identify women at risk of their cancer returning years later.



Targeted Drug Approved for Acute Myeloid Leukemia with IDH1 Gene Mutations


The FDA has approved ivosidenib (Tibsovo) for the treatment of adults with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) that has a specific mutation in a gene called IDH1. Ivosidenib becomes the first FDA-approved IDH1-targeted treatment.



Tailored Psychotherapy Eases Depression in People with Advanced Cancer


Just three to six sessions of a tailored psychotherapy approach called CALM helped to lessen symptoms of depression in people recently diagnosed with advanced cancer, results from a clinical trial show. The approach also may help prevent depression, researchers found.



High-Fat Diet or Diabetes Drug May Enhance Response to Targeted Cancer Drug


A study in mice may have identified a way to help overcome resistance to targeted cancer drugs known as PI3K inhibitors. The approach appears to work by reducing insulin levels in patients receiving these drugs.



Combination of Immunotherapy Drugs Approved for Metastatic Colorectal Cancer


The FDA has approved the combination of the immune checkpoint inhibitors ipilimumab (Yervoy) and nivolumab (Opdivo) for the treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer whose tumor cells have defects that affect their ability to repair DNA.



New Immunotherapy Option Approved for Cervical Cancer, Rare Lymphoma


FDA has approved pembrolizumab (Keytruda) for some women with advanced cervical cancer and some patients with primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma (PMBCL), a rare type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.



Aggressive Prostate Cancer Subtype More Common Than Expected


Researchers have found that men with advanced prostate cancer may be more likely than previously thought to develop a more aggressive form of the disease. The subtype, called t-SCNC, was linked with shorter survival than other subtypes.



Developing Biomarkers for Immunotherapy: A Conversation with Drs. Magdalena Thurin and Helen Chen


NCI is supporting a new research network to develop biomarkers for cancer immunotherapy. In this interview, NCI’s Dr. Helen Chen and Magdalena Thurin explain the networks’ structure and its goals.



FDA Alters Approved Use of Two Checkpoint Inhibitors for Bladder Cancer


FDA has changed the approved uses of the immunotherapy drugs pembrolizumab (Keytruda) and atezolizumab (Tecentriq) to treat the most common form of bladder cancer. The change is based on whether patients’ tumors have a specific biomarker.



Mouse Study Links Immune Cells to Diarrhea Caused by Chemotherapy


A study in mice sheds light onto how some chemotherapies cause diarrhea. The findings could be the basis for developing new treatments for patients with cancer who develop gastrointestinal side effects from chemotherapy.



The Opioid Epidemic and Cancer Pain Management: A Conversation with Dr. Judith Paice


Dr. Judith Paice, of the Cancer Pain Program at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, discusses the impacts of the opioid epidemic on cancer patients and how providers can address concerns about opioid misuse when managing cancer pain.



Sodium Thiosulfate Prevents Cisplatin-Induced Hearing Loss in Some Children


The drug sodium thiosulfate can protect the hearing of children with cancer undergoing treatment with the chemotherapy drug cisplatin, results from a new clinical trial show. The trial involved children with a form of liver cancer called hepatoblastoma.



Cancer Prevention Message Is Key for HPV Vaccination Discussions with Parents


Health care providers should emphasize cancer prevention when discussing HPV vaccination with the parents of preteens who are due to receive the vaccine, results from a new study show.



Can Age Affect Response to Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors?


A new study has linked age with how well patients with melanoma responded to treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors. Experiments in mice suggested that the response pattern may be due to an age-related shift in the kinds of immune cells in tumors.



Dr. Alan S. Rabson, Long-Time NCI Deputy Director and Cancer Research Stalwart, Dies


Many in the cancer research and NIH community are mourning the loss of long-time NCI senior leader Alan Rabson, M.D., who passed away on July 4, at the age of 92. His career spanned 6 decades, including research on tumor virology and cancer pathology and senior NCI leadership roles.



NExT: Advancing Promising Cancer Therapies from the Lab to Clinical Trials


The NCI Experimental Therapeutics (NExT) program works with researchers and top scientific experts to advance promising or novel cancer therapies from the earliest stages of research to human clinical trials.



Altering Chemotherapy Improves Outcomes in Early-Stage Pancreatic Cancer


Results from two clinical trials are expected to improve the outlook for some people with early-stage pancreatic cancer. Altering the chemotherapy drugs used and the timing of treatment substantially improved survival.



New on NCI Websites for June 2018


NCI periodically provides updates on new websites and other online content of interest to the cancer community. See selected content that has been added as of June 2018.



Approval Expanded for Venetoclax in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia


FDA expanded the approval of venetoclax (Venclexta) for people with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) to include those whose cancer has progressed after previous treatment, regardless of whether their cancer cells have the deletion 17p gene alteration.



Do Frequent Follow-Up Tests Benefit Colorectal Cancer Survivors?


Two studies examined the impact of more frequent follow-up testing for cancer recurrence in colorectal cancer survivors. Learn whether the studies showed that frequent testing improved survival.



Biosimilars for Cancer Emerge as Patents on Widely Used Biological Drugs Expire


As the patents on some widely used drugs to treat cancer expire in the coming years, biosimilar drugs are being developed for the treatment of patients with cancer. Are biosimilars effective and will they expand treatment options for patients?



Trial Produces Practice-Changing Findings for Some Children, Young Adults with Leukemia


This NCI-funded Children’s Oncology Group trial tested the addition of nelarabine (Arranon) to standard treatment for children and young adults with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL).



OncoArray Links Dozens of DNA Variants to Risk for Common Cancers


Researchers with the NCI-supported GAME-ON initiative and OncoArray Network are publishing studies identifying dozens of new genetic variants associated with the risk for developing some of the most common cancers.



Maximizing the Prospects for Progress Against Cancer


NCI Director Dr. Norman Sharpless highlights some of the important research findings from the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting and discusses the rapid pace of progress in cancer research.



Selumetinib Continues to Show Promise in Children with NF1


In a phase 2 clinical trial, the investigational drug selumetinib shrank tumors in some children with the genetic syndrome neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1). The tumors, called neurofibromas, can cause pain, difficulty breathing or walking, and disfigurement.



Toxin-Based Drug Moxetumomab Pasudotox May Be New Option for Rare Leukemia


People diagnosed with hairy cell leukemia (HCL) may have an effective new treatment option, a type of drug called an immunotoxin. Read more about how this treatment, moxetumomab pasudotox, fared in a phase 3 clinical trial in patients with advanced HCL.



Easing Concerns about Giving Research Study Participants Their Genetic Test Results


Do cancer study participants want to receive their genetic test results? A recent study involving women with a history of breast cancer tested an approach for returning genetic research results and evaluated the impact those results had on the women.



New Treatment Approach Could Help Prevent Recurrences of Some Bladder Cancers


Flushing the bladder with the chemotherapy drug gemcitabine after tumors have been removed surgically may reduce the risk of low-grade bladder cancer returning, according to the results of a large clinical trial.



Experimental Cancer Drug Metarrestin Targets Metastatic Tumors


Researchers have struggled to develop therapies to treat tumors that have spread to other parts of the body. In a new study, researchers tested whether the experimental drug metarrestin can selectively shrink metastases in mouse models of aggressive pancreatic cancer.



Dabrafenib–Trametinib Combination Approved for Melanoma, Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer


FDA recently approved the targeted-drug combination to treat patients with advanced melanoma and a subset of patients with a rare and aggressive form of thyroid cancer whose tumors have a specific mutation in the BRAF gene.



Can Immunotherapy Succeed in Glioblastoma?


Despite continued efforts to develop new therapies for glioblastoma, none have been able to improve how long patients live appreciably. Despite some setbacks, researchers are hopeful that immunotherapy might be able to succeed where other therapies have not.



Some Children with Wilms Tumor Can Receive Less Therapy, Study Suggests


Results from an NCI-sponsored clinical trial may point to an important change in how some children with advanced Wilms tumor, a form of kidney cancer, are treated.



FDA Approves Second CAR T-Cell Therapy for Lymphoma


FDA has approved tisagenlecleucel (Kymriah) for certain kinds of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Read about the trial that led to the approval and what the approval means for people with lymphoma.



FDA Approves Nivolumab and Ipilimumab Combination for Advanced Kidney Cancer


FDA has approved the combination of two immunotherapy drugs, nivolumab (Opdivo) and ipilimumab (Yervoy), as an initial treatment for some patients with advanced kidney cancer. Learn how this approval will affect patient care.



Rucaparib Approved as Maintenance Treatment for Some Recurrent Ovarian Cancers


FDA has expanded its approval of rucaparib (Rubraca) as a maintenance therapy for women with recurrent ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer whose tumors shrank after subsequent treatment with a platinum-based chemotherapy.



Study Shows Experimental Screening Test Can Detect Endometrial and Ovarian Cancers


Scientists have struggled to come up with a simple test to detect endometrial and ovarian cancers early, when they are most likely to respond to treatment. Can a liquid biopsy test called PapSEEK change that?



Moving Beyond BMI: Low Muscle Mass May Affect Cancer Survival


Researchers compared the risk of death for women with breast cancer who had low skeletal muscle mass, or sarcopenia, at the time of their cancer diagnosis and women who had adequate muscle mass.



Immunotherapy Drugs Expand Treatment Options for Advanced Lung Cancer


Results from a large clinical trial show combining an immune checkpoint inhibitor with chemotherapy helped some patients with advanced lung cancer live longer than chemotherapy alone. How will this change the lung cancer treatment landscape?



Cancer Control in American Indian and Alaska Native Populations: A Conversation with Dr. Shobha Srinivasan


American Indian and Alaska Native populations are disproportionately affected by certain cancers. In this interview, Dr. Shobha Srinivasan discusses some of these disparities and programs funded by NCI that are helping to address them.



Take with Food: Study Tests Lowering Dose of Prostate Cancer Drug


In a small clinical trial, researchers compared the efficacy of a much lower dose of the cancer drug abiraterone (Zytiga) taken with a low-fat breakfast with a full dose taken on an empty stomach, as directed on the drug’s label.



NCI Expands Repository of Cancer Research Models: A Conversation with Drs. Doroshow and Evrard


NCI is expanding its Patient-Derived Models Repository (PDMR), which provides cancer research models made directly from human tumor tissue. In this Q&A, Drs. Yvonne Evrard and James Doroshow explain how the new models can help cancer researchers make more rapid progress.



Brentuximab Approved for Initial Treatment of Advanced Hodgkin Lymphoma


The FDA has expanded the approved uses of brentuximab (Adcetris) in people with Hodgkin lymphoma. Under the new approval, brentuximab can be used in combination with three other chemotherapy drugs as an initial treatment in patients with advanced disease.



Advancing Patient Care Through Focused Innovation


NCI Director Dr. Norman Sharpless describes the focus areas of opportunity he has identified that, with enhanced attention from NCI, he believes can accelerate progress in cancer research and care.



Interactive App Improves Colorectal Cancer Screening Rates


Colorectal cancer screening reduces deaths from the disease, yet about one-third of Americans aren’t up to date with screening. Learn what happened when people waiting for routine checkups used an app that allowed them to order their own screening test.



Cancer Immunotherapy Drug Simultaneously Targets Two Proteins that Block Immune Response


Two independent groups of researchers have fused a TGF-beta receptor to a monoclonal antibody that targets a checkpoint protein. The result is a single hybrid molecule called a Y-trap that blocks two pathways used by tumors to evade the immune system.



NCI Launches New Resource for Specimens and Data from Cancer Clinical Trials


NCI has launched Navigator, a new resource for researchers interested in using specimens and clinical data collected from large cancer clinical trials.



Forging Military Partnerships to Empower the Cancer Research Enterprise


Partnerships and collaborations are an important component of NCI’s success. NCI Director Dr. Norman Sharpless describes three efforts made possible by a memorandum of agreement with three US military institutions: the APOLLO network, NAVIGATE, and BD-STEP.



Higher Risk of Heart Failure Seen in Some Cancers


Some people who have been treated for breast cancer or lymphoma have a higher risk of developing congestive heart failure than people who haven’t had cancer, results from a new study show.



Many Men with Penile Cancer Do Not Get Recommended Treatments, Study Finds


An analysis of records from a national cancer treatment database has found that many men with penile cancer that has not spread beyond nearby lymph nodes did not undergo lymph node biopsy or receive chemotherapy, as recommended by widely used professional guidelines.



Abemaciclib Approval Expands Initial Treatment Options for Advanced Breast Cancer


FDA has approved the CDK4/6 inhibitor abemaciclib (Verzenio) as a first-line treatment in some women with advanced or metastatic breast cancer. Under the approval, the drug must be used in combination with an aromatase inhibitor.



The Imperative of Addressing Cancer Drug Costs and Value


The President’s Cancer Panel has released its latest report, Promoting Value, Affordability, and Innovation in Cancer Drug Treatment. The report recommends six actions to maximize the value and affordability of cancer drug treatment.



Drug Combination Reduces Number of Colorectal Polyps in Patients with Hereditary Cancer Syndrome


People with FAP, an inherited condition that greatly increases their risk of gastrointestinal cancer, who took the drugs erlotinib (Tarceva) and sulindac (Aflodac) saw a substantial decrease in the number of precancerous lesions in the colon and rectum.



Drug May Help Prevent Resistance to Toxin-Based Leukemia Therapy


A new study has identified a possible strategy for improving the efficacy of a toxin-based cancer treatment, moxetumomab pasudotox, in some patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).



Targeted Therapy Larotrectinib Shows Promise in Early Trials, Regardless of Cancer Type


Initial results from a series of three small clinical trials of a targeted cancer therapy called larotrectinib suggest that it may be effective in patients—children and adults—with a wide variety of cancer types.



FDA Approves Apalutamide for Some Men with Prostate Cancer


In the trial that led to the approval, apalutamide (Erleada) delayed cancer metastasis for men with prostate cancer that is resistant to androgen deprivation therapy.



Testing an Interactive Approach to Promote Exercise in Young Cancer Survivors


An interactive website designed to promote physical activity among children and adolescents who have completed treatment for cancer may indeed help encourage them to get regular exercise, according to preliminary results from a pilot study.



New on NCI Websites, March 2018


NCI periodically provides updates on new websites and other online content of interest to the cancer community.



Lung Cancer Screening Most Beneficial for Those at Highest Risk, Analysis Suggests


An analysis of data from a demonstration project led by the Veterans Health Administration may help to better define who is most likely to benefit from lung cancer screening.



Cabozantinib Approval Expands Initial Treatment Options for Advanced Kidney Cancer


The Food and Drug Administration has approved cabozantinib (Cabometyx®) as an initial treatment for patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma, the most common type of kidney cancer.



Molecular Switch Links High-Fat Diet to Prostate Cancer Metastasis


A new study in mice has revealed a molecular link between a high-fat diet and the growth and spread of prostate cancer. The findings, the study leaders believe, raise the possibility that changes in diet could potentially improve treatment outcomes in some men.



Can Oxygen “Microbubbles” Make Radiation Therapy More Effective?


A new study in mice raises the possibility that using microscopic, oxygen-carrying bubbles may improve the effectiveness of radiation therapy in the treatment of breast cancer.



Retooling NCI MERIT Awards to Support Budding Cancer Researchers


NCI Director Dr. Norman Sharpless discusses how NCI is retooling a grant mechanism, called the MERIT R37 Award, to help early-stage investigators by extending the length of time they can receive funding under their first independent NIH grant.



Abiraterone Approved for Earlier Use in Men with Metastatic Prostate Cancer


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has expanded the approval of abiraterone (Zytiga®) for men with prostate cancer. The agency approved abiraterone, in combination with the steroid prednisone, for men with metastatic prostate cancer that is responsive to hormone-blocking treatments (also known as castration-sensitive) and is at high risk of progressing.



For Rare Melanoma, Checkpoint Inhibitors May Hold Substantial Promise


A new study suggests that patients with a rare form of melanoma, called desmoplastic melanoma, may be particularly likely to benefit from treatments known as immune checkpoint inhibitors. An NCI-sponsored clinical trial is already testing one such drug in patients with this cancer.



New Cancer Treatment Approach Targets Circadian Clock


Two compounds that target components of the circadian clock killed several types of cancer cells in the lab and slowed the growth of brain tumors in mice without harming healthy cells, a new study showed.



Oncolytic Virus Therapy: Using Tumor-Targeting Viruses to Treat Cancer


A small but growing number of patients with cancer are being treated with oncolytic viruses, which infect and kill tumor cells. But research now suggests that these treatments also work against cancer by spurring an immune response.



FDA Approves New Treatment for Certain Neuroendocrine Tumors


People with cancerous neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) that affect the digestive tract now have a new treatment option. On January 29, FDA approved the targeted treatment lutetium Lu 177 dotatate (Lutathera®) for adult patients with advanced NETs that affect the pancreas or gastrointestinal tract.



Gut Bacteria Influence Effectiveness of a Type of Immunotherapy


Using mouse models of cancer, researchers found that altering the gut microbiome could affect whether tumors responded to checkpoint inhibition.



TARGET Study Finds Major Differences between Childhood and Adult AML


An NCI-funded study has found significant differences in the genetics of acute myeloid leukemia in younger and older patients. The findings could help guide the development of treatments tailored specifically for childhood AML.



Olaparib Approved for Treating Some Breast Cancers with BRCA Gene Mutations


The drug olaparib (Lynparza®) is the first treatment approved by the Food and Drug Administration for patients with metastatic breast cancer who have inherited mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes.



Study Identifies Potential Cause of Hearing Loss from Cisplatin


A new study has found the commonly used chemotherapy drug cisplatin is retained in the inner ear of mice and humans for long periods. The finding may explain why many patients treated with the drug develop hearing loss and could point toward potential ways to prevent it.



The Challenging Landscape of Cancer and Aging: Charting a Way Forward


NCI Director Dr. Norman Sharpless discusses research on aging and cancer, including understanding the biology of aging and its relationship to cancer, the treatment of older patients, and ensuring older patients participate in cancer clinical trials.



Study Finds Biological Differences in Lung Tumors of African Americans and Whites


Patterns of gene expression may be different in the tumors of some African Americans than in those of whites, a new study has found, and these biological differences may contribute to racial disparities in lung cancer.



Nilotinib Can Be Discontinued in Some Patients with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia


On December 22, FDA approved an update to the label of nilotinib (Tasignia) that states that some patients with CML who are taking nilotinib and whose cancer has been in remission for an extended period can safely stop taking it.



Incidence of Cancers of the Lower Stomach Increasing among Younger Americans


A type of cancer that occurs in the lower stomach has been increasing among some Americans under the age of 50, even though in the general population the incidence of all stomach cancers has been declining for decades, according to a new study.



Acupuncture May Reduce Treatment-Related Joint Pain for Breast Cancer Patients


Joint pain caused by aromatase inhibitors in postmenopausal women with breast cancer can cause some women to stop taking the drugs. Reducing their symptoms may translate into better adherence to therapy.



Drug Combination Improves Outlook for Some Patients with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia


Interim results from an ongoing clinical trial show that patients with relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia treated with rituximab plus venetoclax have longer progression-free survival compared with patients treated with chemotherapy.



Unique Trial Aims to Decrease Early Deaths in Patients with Rare Leukemia


In a unique clinical trial, a group of oncologists with experience treating acute promyelocytic leukemia are making themselves available around the clock to help clinicians at hospitals across the country treat their APL patients.



Fusobacterium May Help Colorectal Cancer Grow and Spread


Fusobacterium, found in the stomach and intestines, may help fuel the growth of colorectal cancer and metastases. In a mouse model of colorectal cancer, using antibiotics to kill these bacteria slowed tumor growth.



New on NCI’s Websites for December 2017


NCI periodically provides updates on new websites and other online content of interest to the cancer community.



Genomic Profiling Tests Cleared by FDA Can Help Guide Cancer Treatment, Clinical Trial Enrollment


The FDA has recently approved two tests to identify genetic alterations in tumors. One of the tests can be used to identify patients who may be candidates to receive specific targeted therapies.



Brentuximab Vedotin Approved for Two Rare Lymphomas


FDA has approved brentuximab vedotin (Adcetris®) for the treatment of adults who have been treated previously for either primary cutaneous anaplastic large cell lymphoma or CD30-expressing mycosis fungoides, two rare lymphomas that start as rashes on the skin.



NCI: Taking Risks to Advance Science


Norman Sharpless, M.D., offers his thoughts on his experience thus far as NCI director and areas, like big data, where NCI can play an important role in advancing science.



Prior Cancers Common in Patients Newly Diagnosed with Cancer


A new study shows that many patients diagnosed with a new cancer have had one or more cancers in the past, which has potential implications for long-term surveillance and clinical trial enrollment.



Acalabrutinib Receives FDA Approval for Mantle Cell Lymphoma


The FDA has granted accelerated approval to acalabrutinib (Calquence®) for the treatment of adults with mantle cell lymphoma whose cancer has progressed after receiving at least one prior therapy.



With Advances in Cancer Immunotherapy, Scientists Discuss Need to Develop New Mouse Models


A recent NCI symposium focused on developing new and better mouse models for testing treatments that harness the immune system against cancer.



FDA Approves Alectinib For Initial Treatment of ALK-Positive Lung Cancer


FDA has approved alectinib (Alecensa) as a first-line treatment option for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer that is ALK positive. Alectinib is the third ALK inhibitor to be approved in this setting.



Fat Cells May Hinder Effectiveness of Chemotherapy


Researchers have shown that fat cells can absorb two commonly used chemotherapy drugs and break them down chemically into a less toxic form, potentially reducing the drugs’ effectiveness.



Expanding Cancer Clinical Trial Access for Patients with HIV


People with HIV are often excluded from clinical trials to protect their safety. Preliminary results from an NCI-sponsored study of an immunotherapy drug show that people with HIV can safely participate in clinical trials.



Dasatinib Approved by FDA for Some Children with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia


On November 9, the FDA approved dasatinib (Sprycel®) for the treatment of children with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) whose cancer cells express the Philadelphia chromosome and whose disease is in a relatively early stage, known as the chronic phase.



An Important Moment in Tobacco Control


November 26, 2017, marked a unique moment in US public health history, with the major US tobacco companies issuing the first in a series of court-ordered "corrective statements" about their products.



Expanding Smoking Cessation Services at NCI-Designated Cancer Centers: An Interview with Dr. Glen Morgan


NCI’s Dr. Glen Morgan discusses NCI’s Cancer Center Cessation Initiative, including how and why this smoking cessation initiative was developed and its long-term goals.



Endometrial Cancer Incidence Rising in the US and Worldwide


Diagnoses of endometrial cancer have increased worldwide in recent years, with rates rising in more than half of the 43 countries studied during the decade ending around 2010, a team of international researchers has shown.



Experimental Ovarian Cancer Vaccine Shows Promise in Mice


The experimental vaccine targets a protein found at elevated levels in about 90% of the most common type of ovarian cancer. If validated in human studies, researchers believe the vaccine may be particularly useful for women who carry BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations.



Many Ovarian Cancers May Start in Fallopian Tubes, Study Finds


A new study provides more evidence that the most common form of ovarian cancer may originate in the fallopian tubes, and that there is a window of nearly 7 years between development of fallopian tube lesions and the start of ovarian cancer.



Alternate Driver of Treatment-Resistant Prostate Cancer Identified


Researchers have identified an emerging subtype of metastatic prostate cancer that is resistant to therapies that block hormones that fuel the disease.



Study Identifies Potential Drug Combination for Ewing Sarcoma


From experiments in cells and mice, researchers have identified a two-drug combination that kills more Ewing sarcoma cells than either drug on its own. The study findings could help inform future clinical trials.



Liquid Biopsy: Using DNA in Blood to Detect, Track, and Treat Cancer


Research studies show tests that analyze tumor DNA in blood, called liquid biopsies, may help detect cancer early, guide precision cancer treatment, and track treatment response.



Study Tracks the Evolution of Treatment Resistance in Metastatic Breast Cancer


A new study suggests that the cells in treatment-resistant tumors in women with metastatic breast cancer share important characteristics that could potentially make tumors vulnerable to therapies that otherwise might not have been considered.



Levels of Immune Cells within Ovarian Tumors Linked to Survival for Some Patients


A large international study suggests that the presence of certain immune cells within the tumors of some patients with ovarian cancer are associated with improved survival.



New on NCI’s Websites for November 2017


NCI periodically provides updates on new websites and other online content of interest to the cancer community.



Assuming the Role of NCI Director: Working to Accelerate Progress


Norman Sharpless, M.D., discusses his appointment as the director of the National Cancer Institute and his plans for continuing NCI’s long tradition of research excellence and commitment to improving people’s lives.



TMIST Trial Aims to Provide Clarity on Breast Cancer Screening Approaches


A large nationwide clinical trial called TMIST has been launched to compare two techniques used for mammograms: tomosynthesis, often called 3D mammography, and standard 2D digital mammography.



Abemaciclib Approved by FDA for Advanced or Metastatic Breast Cancer


FDA approved abemaciclib (Verzenio™) for the treatment of some people with advanced or metastatic HR-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer whose disease has progressed after treatment with hormone therapy.



With FDA Approval for Advanced Lymphoma, Second CAR T-Cell Therapy Moves to the Clinic


One month after approving the first CAR T-cell therapy for cancer, FDA has approved a second such therapy. The treatment, axicabtagene ciloleucel (Yescarta™), was approved for some patients with advanced non-Hodgkin lymphoma.



Study Uses Open Data to Analyze “Normal” Tissue Near Tumors


The tissue immediately surrounding a tumor may not be normal, even if it appears normal under the microscope, according to an analysis of data from two genomic databases.



Nivolumab Receives Accelerated Approval from FDA for Advanced Liver Cancer


The FDA has granted accelerated approval to the immunotherapy drug nivolumab (Opdivo®) for patients with advanced liver cancer who have previously been treated with the targeted therapy sorafenib (Nexavar®).



Studies Identify Therapies That May Delay Melanoma Recurrence after Surgery


Two recent clinical trials have identified treatments that may delay cancer from returning in some patients with melanoma. Patients in both trials had advanced melanoma that was surgically removed, and each trial tested different forms of post-surgical, or adjuvant, therapy.



Copanlisib Approved for Follicular Lymphoma


FDA has granted accelerated approval to copanlisib (Aliqopa®) for the treatment of patients with follicular lymphoma, a form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.



Pembrolizumab Secures FDA Approval in Stomach Cancer


The FDA has granted accelerated approval to the immunotherapy drug pembrolizumab (Keytruda®) for use in patients with advanced gastric (stomach) cancer that is PD-L1 positive.



Extensive Lymph Node Removal Doesn't Improve Survival in Some Women with Early-Stage Breast Cancer


Long-term results from a large clinical trial confirm that, for some women with early-stage breast cancer who have lumpectomy as their surgical treatment, a less extensive lymph node biopsy approach is sufficient.



Study Identifies Crucial Characteristic of High-Risk HPV


By comparing the genomes of women infected with a high-risk type of human papillomavirus (HPV), researchers have found that a precise DNA sequence of a viral gene is associated with cervical cancer.



Timing and Sequence Critical for Immunotherapy Combination


When given at the same time, two immune checkpoint inhibitors were ineffective against breast cancer growth in mice, a new study found. The combination was more effective and safer if the two inhibitors were given in a specific sequence.



Kids First Pediatric Research Program Moves Forward


Progress continues to be made with the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Program, which is creating opportunities for investigators from different research communities to share resources and collaborate on research into childhood cancers and certain birth defects.



Gemtuzumab Receives New FDA Approval for Acute Myeloid Leukemia


FDA has approved gemtuzumab ozogamicin (Mylotarg™) for adults with newly diagnosed CD33-positive AML and patients 2 years and older with CD33-positive AML who have experienced a relapse or whose disease has not responded to initial treatment.



Low-Tech Outreach Methods Improve Colorectal Cancer Screening


Proactive, low-tech outreach approaches can help increase the number of people who get screened for colorectal cancer with a colonoscopy or home stool test and complete the appropriate follow-up.



FDA Expands Approval of Fulvestrant for Advanced Breast Cancer


FDA has expanded its approval of fulvestrant (Faslodex®) as a standalone treatment for postmenopausal women with advanced HR-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer who have not previously undergone endocrine therapy.



Overcoming the Challenges of Metastatic Cancer: An Interview with Dr. Rosandra Kaplan


NCI’s Dr. Rosandra Kaplan discusses important trends in metastatic cancer research and new ideas for treating and preventing metastatic cancer.



Long-Term Nerve Damage Possible after Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer


Many women who receive taxane-based chemotherapy to treat breast cancer experience long-term nerve damage, or peripheral neuropathy, data from a large clinical trial show.



FDA Approves Inotuzumab for Adults with B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia


FDA has approved inotuzumab (Besponsa®) for some adults with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). The approval covers patients with B-cell ALL whose disease has relapsed or is refractory to standard chemotherapy.



FDA Approves Olaparib as Maintenance Therapy for Recurrent Ovarian Cancer


FDA has granted regular approval to olaparib tablets (Lynparza®) as maintenance treatment for patients with recurrent ovarian cancer who are having partial or complete responses to platinum-based chemotherapy.



Forgoing Conventional Cancer Treatments for Alternative Medicine Increases Risk of Death


In a large study, patients with nonmetastatic breast, lung, or colorectal cancer who chose alternative therapies had substantially worse survival than patients who received conventional cancer treatments.



CAR T-Cell Therapy Approved for Some Children and Young Adults with Leukemia


FDA has approved tisagenlecleucel (Kymriah™), a type of immunotherapy called CAR T-cell therapy, for some children and young adults with advanced acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).



Crizotinib Shows Promise for Childhood Cancers


In a small clinical trial, the drug crizotinib shrank tumors in children with cancers that have alterations in the ALK gene.



New on NCI’s Websites for September 2017


NCI periodically provides updates on new websites and other online content of interest to the cancer community.



Bringing the Investigational Breast Cancer Drug Endoxifen from Bench to Bedside with NCI Support


Researchers recognized the potential of endoxifen as a treatment for breast cancer and, with NCI support, developed the compound into a drug now being tested in clinical trials.



Modified Stem Cells Deliver Chemotherapy to Metastatic Tumors


Researchers have used modified stem cells to deliver a cancer drug selectively to metastatic breast cancer tumors in mice. The stem cells target metastatic tumors by homing in on the stiff environment that typically surrounds them.



Two New Therapies Approved for Acute Myeloid Leukemia


FDA has approved two new treatments for some adult patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML): enasidenib (Idhifa®), which targets the IDH2 protein; and liposomal cytarabine-daunorubicin CPX-351 (Vyxeos®), a two-drug chemotherapy combination encapsulated in liposomes.



Heart Attack, Stroke Risk May Be Elevated Following Cancer Diagnosis


A diagnosis of cancer can come with an increased risk of a heart attack or stroke in the months after beginning treatment, a new study suggests. Within 6 months of a diagnosis, the risk of either event was more than twice that seen in people without cancer.



Neratinib Approved by FDA for HER2-Positive Breast Cancer


FDA has approved neratinib for patients with early-stage HER2-positive breast cancer who have finished at least 1 year of adjuvant therapy with trastuzumab.



NCI Program Supports Small Businesses to Advance Cancer Research Innovation – A Q&A with Michael Weingarten


NCI’s Small Business Innovation Research Program recently issued contract solicitations to spur the development of new cancer-related therapies and technologies, including seven opportunities specific to the Cancer Moonshot.



FDA Approves Nivolumab for Some Metastatic Colorectal Cancers


FDA has granted accelerated approval to the immunotherapy drug nivolumab (Opdivo®) for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer whose tumors have alterations that affect DNA repair.



Study Uncovers Previously Unrecognized Effect of Chemotherapy


A new study conducted primarily in mice suggests that chemotherapy given before surgery for breast cancer can cause changes in cells in and around the tumor that are tied to an increased risk of the cancer spreading to other areas of the body.



Ibrutinib Becomes First FDA-Approved Drug for Chronic Graft-Versus-Host Disease


A drug used to treat several blood cancers, ibrutinib, has been approved by FDA to treat chronic graft-versus-host disease, making it the first approved therapy for this potentially fatal side effect of cancer-related stem cell transplants.



Dual-Biomarker Blood Test Shows Promise for Pancreatic Cancer Early Detection


A new blood test that measures levels of two specific proteins may be able to accurately detect pancreatic cancer at its earliest stages, when it is most likely to respond to treatment, findings from a new study suggest.



“First in Human” Documentary Highlights NCI Immunotherapy Research


The Discovery Channel special, First in Human, will feature some of the groundbreaking work on cancer immunotherapy being done at the NIH Clinical Center, including CAR T-cell therapy and TIL therapy.



In Melanoma, Personalized Treatment Vaccines Show Promise


Results of an early-phase trial showed that a treatment vaccine personalized to a specific patient’s cancer generated a robust immune response against the cancer and may have helped to prevent it from returning.



Glioblastoma—Unraveling the Threads: A Q&A with Drs. Mark Gilbert and Terri Armstrong of the NIH Neuro-Oncology Branch


Progress against the brain cancer glioblastoma has been slow. Drs. Mark Gilbert and Terri Armstrong of NCI’s Neuro-Oncology Branch discuss why and what’s being done to change that.



Survivors of Breast Cancer Differ on Who Should Manage Follow-Up Care


Many survivors of early-stage breast cancer prefer that their oncologist handle aspects of routine medical care usually overseen by primary care practitioners, leading to concerns about gaps in care.



FDA Grants Full Approval to Blinatumomab for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia


FDA changed its accelerated approval of blinatumomab (Blincyto) for some patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia to a full approval and expanded the approved indications for its use.



FDA Clears Wider Use of Cooling Cap to Reduce Hair Loss during Chemotherapy


The FDA has cleared a cooling cap—a device designed to reduce hair loss during chemotherapy called the DigniCap Scalp Cooling System—for use by patients with any type of solid tumor.



Two-Drug Combination Approved for Lung Cancers with BRAF Mutations


FDA approved the combination of dabrafenib (Tafinlar®) and trametinib (Mekinist®) for the treatment of metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that has an alteration in the BRAF gene called the V600E mutation.



NCI’s Technology Transfer Center—Moving Inventions and Ideas from the Lab to Patients: An Interview with Dr. Michael Salgaller


An interview with Dr. Michael Salgaller about how NCI’s Technology Transfer Center helps to move new technologies developed by NCI and NIH scientists from the lab to the bedside.



New Rituximab Formulation Approved for Some Lymphomas, Leukemia


The FDA has approved a new formulation of rituximab, Rituxan Hycela, that reduces treatment administration time for patients with several types of blood cancer.



Large Study Verifies Cancer Risk for Women Carrying BRCA1 or BRCA2 Mutations


Results from the first large prospective study of breast and ovarian cancer risk in women with inherited mutations in the BRCA 1 or BRCA2 genes confirm the high risks estimated from earlier, retrospective studies.



NCI's CURE Program—21 Years of Increasing Diversity in the Biomedical Workforce


NCI’s CURE program recently celebrated its 21st anniversary of providing training and other support to improve the diversity of people involved in cancer research and care.



Improving Cancer Control in Rural Communities: Next Steps


Studies continue to show disparities in cancer outcomes for people who live in rural parts of the United States. NCI’s Dr. Robert Croyle explains how the institute is working with multiple partners to better understand and address these disparities.



Cancer Researchers Report Progress in Studying Exceptional Responders


Researchers who study exceptional responders—patients who have dramatic and long-lasting responses to treatments for cancer that were not effective for most similar patients—met recently to discuss the state of the science in this emerging field.



Extensive Lymph Node Surgery Does Not Increase Survival in Melanoma


A conservative approach to lymph node removal surgery may be best for people with melanoma that has spread from the skin to one or a small number of nearby lymph nodes, new results from a large international clinical trial suggest.



Introducing DAVE: Online Analysis Tools for the Genomic Data Commons


NCI has released an online, open-access cancer research resource for the Genomic Data Commons called the Data Analysis, Visualization, and Exploration Tools, or DAVE.



FDA Expands Approval of Ceritinib for ALK-Positive Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer


The FDA has approved the targeted therapy ceritinib as an initial treatment for patients with lung cancer that has a mutation in the ALK gene.



FDA Approves Pembrolizumab for Tumors with Specific Genetic Features


FDA approved pembrolizumab for patients with solid tumors that have specific genetic features, called mismatch repair deficiency and high microsatellite instability. This is the first approval based on a genetic feature, rather than cancer type.



Abiraterone Improves Survival for Some Men with Hormone-Sensitive Prostate Cancer


In two large clinical trials, adding the hormone-blocking drug abiraterone to androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) allowed men with metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer to live longer than men who were treated with ADT alone.



Trastuzumab Emtansine Improves Survival in Previously Treated Metastatic HER2-Positive Breast Cancer


Two clinical trials show that trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1) improves survival compared with other standard treatments for patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer that has progressed after treatment with other HER2-targeted drugs.



Genomic Study Seeks Clues to Help Explain Breast Cancer Disparities


Using one of the largest collections of tumor samples from African Americans with breast cancer, researchers tried to assess the extent to which the molecular characteristics on these tumors might help to explain breast cancer disparities.



CAR T Cells: Expanding into Multiple Myeloma


Results from two early-phase trials presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting suggest that an immunotherapy using genetically engineered immune cells may be effective in patients with advanced multiple myeloma.



Biomarker Test Could Reduce Unnecessary Biopsies to Detect Prostate Cancer


Findings from a new study show testing for two biomarkers in urine may help some men avoid an unnecessary biopsy to detect a suspected prostate cancer.



Less Chemotherapy May Be Best Choice for Some Patients with Colon Cancer, Study Shows


A shorter course of chemotherapy following surgery may be preferred to longer treatment for some patients with colon cancer, results of an international collaborative study suggest.



FDA Expands Approval of Pembrolizumab for First-Line Treatment of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer


FDA approved the immune checkpoint inhibitor pembrolizumab to be used with chemotherapy as a first-line treatment for non-small cell lung cancer.



HPV Vaccination Linked to Decreased Oral HPV Infections


A study of more than 2,600 young adults found that the prevalence of oral infection with four HPV types, including two cancer-causing types, was 88% lower in those who reported receiving at least one dose of an HPV vaccine than in those not vaccinated.



Midostaurin Approved by FDA for Acute Myeloid Leukemia


The FDA has approved midostaurin for patients with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with mutations in the FLT3 gene. The approval also covers several rare conditions.



Study Identifies Genetic Mutations in Tumors From 10,000 Patients with Metastatic Cancer


Researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center have reported the results of an initiative to characterize the genetic mutations in tumors from more than 10,000 patients with advanced cancer treated at the center.



FDA Approves Immunotherapy Drugs for Patients with Bladder Cancer


The FDA has approved four immunotherapy drugs—avelumab, atezolizumab, durvalumab, and pembrolizumab—for the treatment of patients with bladder cancer. All four drugs belong to a class of cancer therapies known as checkpoint inhibitors.



New on NCI’s Websites for May 2017


NCI periodically provides updates on new websites and other online content of interest to the cancer community.



Intensive Pre-Stem Cell Transplant Regimen May be Best for Younger Patients with AML, MDS


Results from a large phase III clinical trial suggest that a highly intensive preparatory regimen should be used for younger patients with acute myeloid leukemia or myelodysplastic syndromes preparing to undergo an allogeneic stem cell transplant.



Regorafenib Becomes First FDA-Approved Drug for Liver Cancer in Nearly a Decade


FDA approved the kinase inhibitor regorafenib for some patients with hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common form of liver cancer.



FDA Grants Brigatinib Accelerated Approval for Metastatic Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer


On April 28, the FDA granted accelerated approval to the targeted therapy brigatinib (Alunbrig™) for patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and alterations in the ALK gene whose cancer has progressed during their initial therapy.



Counseling Improves Survivorship Plan Implementation for Low-Income Breast Cancer Survivors


In a randomized trial, low-income women who role-played talking with their doctor about their survivorship care plan in a counseling session reported receiving more of their recommended care than women who did not get counseling.



NCI ALMANAC: A New Tool for Research on Cancer Drug Combinations


NCI has released a new, easy-to-use resource called the NCI ALMANAC to help researchers identify potentially promising combinations of cancer drugs.



Collection of Patient-Reported Outcomes Feasible in Cancer Clinical Trials


Cancer patients, even those who are undergoing difficult treatments, are willing to devote time to completing thorough assessments of the side effects they encounter in clinical trials, a new study finds.



Nanoparticles Create Effective CAR T Cells in Living Mice


Researchers have developed a method to genetically engineer cancer-fighting immune cells in living animals using nanoparticles that carry DNA. The new study shows that the resulting immune cells, known as CAR T cells, eliminated leukemia in mice.



Patients Who Choose No Intervention for Small Thyroid Cancers Report Lack of Support


Patients who choose not to pursue immediate biopsy or treatment for small, asymptomatic thyroid cancers, or suspected cancers, can experience a lack of support from doctors and loved ones, a new study shows.



PARP Inhibitors May Be Effective in Brain, Other Cancers with IDH Mutations


Studies presented at the 2017 AACR annual meeting suggest that therapies which take advantage of the mutations in the IDH gene may be more effective than drugs that block it.



Making Greater Progress Against Cancer—Not Just a Hope but a Reality


Acting NCI Director Dr. Doug Lowy discusses what he calls encouraging news in the most recent Annual Report to the Nation and how NCI is helping to achieve further progress against cancer.



FDA Approves Pembrolizumab for Hodgkin Lymphoma


The FDA approved pembrolizumab for the treatment of some adult and pediatric patients with classical Hodgkin lymphoma.



Studies Identify Potential Treatment Strategies for Pediatric DIPG Brain Tumors


Two studies have identified proteins that drive growth of diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) tumor cells. Blocking these targets with investigational drugs slowed tumor growth in animal models.



FDA Approves Niraparib as Maintenance Therapy for Recurrent Ovarian Cancer


The FDA approved the PARP inhibitor niraparib for use as a maintenance therapy for some women with advanced ovarian cancer.



FDA Approves Ribociclib, Expands Palbociclib Approval for Metastatic Breast Cancer


The FDA has approved a new targeted therapy, ribociclib, and expanded its earlier approval of another targeted therapy, palbociclib, for some women with metastatic breast cancer.



Advancing the Potential and Promise of Total-Body PET Imaging


A total-body PET scanner under development is an ideal example of how NCI and NIH are supporting the development of new research and cancer care-related technologies.



Avelumab Becomes First Approved Treatment for Patients with Merkel Cell Carcinoma


The FDA has approved the first drug ever for the rare skin cancer, Merkel cell carcinoma, and updated data show an improved tumor response rate and that patients’ tumors continued to respond for at least a year.



Blinatumomab Extends Survival for Patients with Advanced ALL


Patients with previously treated acute lymphoblastic leukemia who received blinatumomab, which encourages the immune system to kill cancer cells, lived longer and experienced fewer side effects than patients given standard chemotherapy.



Targeted Cancer Drug May Also Help Protect Fertility, Study Suggests


Findings from a new study in mice suggest that a class of targeted cancer drugs may have another use in some younger women being treated for cancer: preserving their fertility.



Colorectal Cancer Incidence Rising in Young Adults: An Interview with Drs. Philip Rosenberg and William Anderson


Drs. Philip Rosenberg and William Anderson of NCI discuss a recent study on which they were coauthors that reported an increase in colorectal cancer incidence among adults under age 50 in the United States.



Stem-Cell Based Tool May Help Measure Heart Toxicity of Cancer Drugs


Researchers have used adult stem cells to create a tool for ranking how toxic a group of cancer drugs, called tyrosine kinase inhibitors, are to human heart cells. Such a test could potentially identify toxic side effects earlier in the drug development process.



Researchers Use CRISPR Gene-Editing Tool to Help Turn Immune Cells against Tumors


Using a new tool for editing genomes, known as CRISPR, researchers have genetically engineered immune cells and improved the ability of these cells to kill cancer cells in mice.



FDA Approves New Use for Lenalidomide in Multiple Myeloma


The FDA has approved lenalidomide for use as a maintenance therapy in patients with multiple myeloma who have undergone an autologous stem cell transplant, to help keep the cancer from coming back.



Putting the Cancer Patient Front and Center: An Interview with NCI’s Dr. Paul Jacobsen


NCI’s Dr. Paul Jacobsen discusses NCI’s Healthcare Delivery Research Program and its role in advancing innovative research to improve the delivery of cancer care.



New on NCI Websites for March 2017


NCI periodically provides updates on new websites and other online content of interest to the cancer community.



Study Shows Platelets Can Deliver Immunotherapy, Reduce Tumor Regrowth


In experiments in mice, researchers show platelets linked to an immunotherapy drug can help eliminate residual cancer cells that remain after surgery. The engineered platelets may also prevent leftover cancer cells from spreading.



FDA Approves Nivolumab for Bladder Cancer


The FDA has approved nivolumab for the treatment of unresectable locally advanced or metastatic bladder cancer that worsened after treatment with platinum-based chemotherapy.



Lung Cancer Screening Pilot Reveals Challenges, Growing Pains


A demonstration project by the Veterans Health Administration is highlighting some of the complexities and challenges associated with the expansion of lung cancer screening in the United States.



Conditional Reprogramming: An Interview with Dr. Richard Schlegel on Growing Cancer Cells


Dr. Richard Schlegel describes an innovative cell culture technique he helped to develop. Called conditional reprogramming, the technique can be used to rapidly establish cell cultures of normal and tumor cells from patient samples.



U.S. Cancer Mortality Rates Falling, But Some Regions Left Behind, Study Finds


A study of nationwide mortality data found that, while cancer deaths in the U.S. dropped between 1980 and 2014, disparities persisted, and in 160 counties cancer mortality rose substantially.



Cancer Moonshot Moves Forward, Bringing Funding Opportunities for Researchers


NCI has issued a series of funding opportunity announcements aligned with goals of the recommendations in the Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot℠ Blue Ribbon Panel report released last fall.



Potential New Cancer Therapy Could Target Tumors Two Ways


A team of researchers has developed a potential new therapy that may work in two distinct ways to attack tumors, by directly killing cancer cells and immune cells that can suppress the anti-cancer immune response.



Combination Therapy Improves Survival for Some Men with Recurrent Prostate Cancer


Long-term results from an NCI-sponsored clinical trial suggest that adding androgen deprivation therapy to radiation therapy can improve survival for some men with recurrent prostate cancer.



Three-Drug Combination Extends Survival for Patients with Multiple Myeloma


A phase III clinical trial demonstrates that adding the drug bortezomib to a commonly used two-drug regimen extends survival in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma.



NCTN/NCORP Data Archive: Expanding Access to Clinical Trial Data


NCI is launching the NCTN/NCORP Data Archive, a centralized repository of patient-level data from phase III clinical trials conducted by NCI’s NCTN and NCORP trials programs and the National Cancer Institute of Canada-Clinical Trials Group.



New Therapy Benefits Patients with Neuroendocrine Tumors


Results from a clinical trial suggest that 177Lu-Dotatate may soon be a new treatment option for some patients with advanced neuroendocrine tumors.



Less-Frequent Zoledronic Acid Treatment Effective at Preventing Bone Metastasis Complications


In a clinical trial involving patients with metastatic cancer, administration of zoledronic acid every 12 weeks was as effective at preventing skeletal-related events caused by bone metastases as administration every 4 weeks.



Genome Study Points to New Subtypes of Esophageal Cancer


A new study by The Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network could help classify esophageal cancers according to their genetic and molecular alterations and identify potential new treatment options.



Shifts Seen in Tobacco Product Types Purchased in US


The consumption of cigarettes, small cigars, and chewing tobacco has declined over the past 15 years, according to a new study. These declines were partially offset by a rise in consumption of large cigars, pipe tobacco, and snuff.



The Global Economic Burden of Tobacco: An Interview with Dr. Mark Parascandola


NCI’s Dr. Mark Parascandola answers questions about The Economics of Tobacco and Tobacco Control, the latest in a series of monographs on tobacco use and tobacco control, which was co-written with the World Health Organization.



Ibrutinib Relieves Chronic Graft-Versus-Host Disease Symptoms


The targeted cancer therapy ibrutinib can effectively treat the symptoms of chronic graft-versus-host disease, a common and serious complication of allogeneic stem cell transplants, findings from a small clinical trial show.



FDA Approves Rucaparib for BRCA-Positive Ovarian Cancer


The FDA has approved rucaparib for women with BRCA-positive advanced ovarian cancer based on findings from two small clinical trials showing that it shrank tumors.



For Some Breast Cancer Survivors, Drug May Reduce Treatment-Related Joint Pain


Researchers have found that duloxetine (Cymbalta®), a drug most commonly used to treat depression, may also reduce joint pain caused by aromatase inhibitors in some women being treated for early-stage breast cancer.



New Mouse Model Closely Mimics Most Common Leukemia in Infants


Researchers have created a long-sought-after mouse model for an aggressive form of acute lymphoblastic leukemia that occurs commonly in infants and that the researchers believe can accelerate the development of new therapies for the disease.



New on NCI’s Websites for December 2016


An NCI Cancer Currents blog post that provides an update on new content of interest to the cancer community recently added to NCI’s websites.



New Targeted Therapies Show Promise for Treating Advanced GIST


Two new targeted therapies have shown promise in patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) that have developed resistance to standard therapies.



Brain Cancer’s Cholesterol Addiction May Offer New Treatment Strategy


Brain cancer cells are heavily dependent on a constant supply of cholesterol to survive, a new study suggests. And in mice with brain tumors, treatment with a cholesterol-depleting drug slowed tumor growth and improved survival.



Single Tumor Cells Reveal Clues to Biology of Multiple Myeloma


A study suggests that individual tumor cells circulating in the blood of patients with multiple myeloma may be a new source of information about the genetic changes driving the disease.



FDA Approves New Use for Daratumumab in Multiple Myeloma


The FDA has approved daratumumab, in combination with either of two other standard therapies, in patients with multiple myeloma whose disease has progressed after only a single prior treatment course.



Immune-Cell Traps May Aid Cancer Metastasis


Cancer cells may exploit a normal function of neutrophils, the most common form of white blood cell, to help form metastatic tumors, a new study suggests.



FDA Approves Nivolumab for Head and Neck Cancer


The FDA has approved nivolumab for squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck that has progressed during chemotherapy with a platinum-based drug or that has recurred or metastasized after platinum-based chemotherapy.



Prescription Subsidies Reduce Breast Cancer Treatment Disparities


A new study has found that subsidies for prescription drugs can improve the use of adjuvant therapy in women with early-stage breast cancer and help reduce disparities in the use of these proven treatments among black and Hispanic women.



Device Uses Cancer Cells' Mass to Predict Response to Treatment


Scientists have designed a device that measures the mass of single cancer cells to predict how cells respond to drug treatment. The technology could potentially help clinicians determine whether a drug effectively kills cancer cells.



More Immunotherapy Options Approved for Lung Cancer


The FDA has approved atezolizumab and expanded the approval of pembrolizumab for some patients with non-small cell lung cancer.



NCI’s Office of Cancer Survivorship: Celebrating 20 Years, Planning for Continued Progress


Dr. Julia Rowland, director of NCI’s Office of Cancer Survivorship, on the office’s 20th anniversary and efforts to ensure continued progress in survivorship research and improve survivors’ lives.



Connected Health: An Important Tool for Making Progress against Cancer


A new report from the President’s Cancer Panel outlines how connective technologies can promote cancer prevention, enhance patients’ treatment experience, and accelerate progress in cancer research.



CDC Updates Recommendations on HPV Vaccine


Updated CDC recommendations advise those younger than age 15 need only two doses of the HPV vaccine instead of three.



Symposium Brings Rising Global Cancer Burden into Focus


An NCI Cancer Currents blog post about the NCI Global Cancer Research Symposium, which examined ways of increasing research collaboration, particularly in cancer prevention and screening, to reduce the cancer burden.



Olaratumab Approved to Treat Advanced Soft Tissue Sarcoma


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted accelerated approval to olaratumab (Lartruvo®) for the treatment of some patients with soft tissue sarcoma.



Scientists Identify Potential Marker of Resistance to PARP Inhibitors


Findings from a new study from NCI researchers could help predict whether a tumor will respond to a new class of promising cancer drugs, and identifies a potential way to overcome that resistance.



‘Unexpected’ Vulnerability Creates Treatment Opportunity in Aggressive Type of Lung Cancer


A new study has identified a potentially critical vulnerability in lung cancers that have mutations in the KRAS gene, and showed that a drug already under study may be able to exploit it.



DINO RNA Molecule Triggers Anticancer Response in Damaged Cells


Studies in cells and mice found that, in cells with damaged DNA, a noncoding RNA called DINO stabilizes the p53 protein and guides the cells into cell death, preventing tumor development.



Modified Immunotherapy Approach Shows Promise for Leukemia


Researchers have developed an immunotherapy approach that uses immune cells whose natural cancer killing abilities have been enhanced in the lab. In a small clinical trial, the treatment led to remissions in about half of patients with acute myeloid leukemia.



Metabolomics Study Reveals another Energy Source for Cancer Cells


Researchers have found that cancer cells can use the compound lactate to fuel biochemical reactions and to generate other compounds they need for growth and survival.



New on NCI Websites for October 2016


An NCI Cancer Currents blog post that provides updates on new NCI websites and other online content of interest to the cancer community.



Educating Patients about Genetic Test Results: An Interview with Carol Weil about the COMET Study


The recently launched COMET study will examine whether educating patients with cancer about genetic testing will increase their knowledge and reduce their stress levels after receiving genomic testing results.



Avelumab Induces Sustained Tumor Responses in Some Patients with Rare Skin Cancer


In a phase II clinical trial, some patients with metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma whose cancer has progressed despite treatment with chemotherapy had durable tumor responses to the immunotherapy drug avelumab.



Study Confirms Benefits of Early Palliative Care for Advanced Cancer


A randomized clinical trial has found that patients who received palliative care along with standard treatment for advanced cancer reported having a better quality of life and mood than patients who did not receive early palliative care.



TARGET Initiative Fueling Progress against Childhood Leukemia


Research from TARGET, an NCI-funded program supporting genomic analyses of childhood cancers, has led to the launch of several clinical trials of targeted therapies to treat children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.



Studies Highlight Potential of Targeting HIF-2 in Kidney Cancer


Two new studies suggest that a new class of drugs can effectively target a molecular driver of the most common type of kidney cancer.



Many Cancer Caregivers Report Feeling Unprepared for Caregiving Challenges


Many family members who care for loved ones with cancer do not feel adequately prepared for the caregiving tasks they assume and need help to make informed decisions about end-of-life care, according to a new study.



Chromosomal Instability Score May Predict Response to Cancer Treatment


A new study suggests that a chromosomal instability score may help guide treatment choices for patients with cancer.



Forging Collaborations to Spur Global Progress against Cancer


NCI and NIH announce efforts to establish international collaborations that can accelerate progress in reducing the global cancer burden.



Meeting Patients Where They Are: Liberating Clinical Trials Data Under the Cancer Moonshot


NCI’s new application programming interface (API) that allows anyone to build online tools that help people find NCI-supported clinical trials.



The Impact and Future of the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study: An Interview with Greg Armstrong, M.D.


Dr. Greg Armstrong of the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study discusses this long-running study and its future.



Pancreatic Cancer Cells May Obtain Nutrients from Neighboring Cells


Pancreatic cancer cells instruct healthy cells around them to provide nutrients they need to survive and grow, a new study suggests.



Blue Ribbon Panel Report: The Power of the Cancer Community Coming Together


NCI Acting Director Dr. Douglas R. Lowy, M.D., thanks the cancer community for contributing to the Cancer Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel report, which was presented to the National Cancer Advisory Board on September 7.



Approach May Allow for Stem Cell Transplant without Radiation, Chemotherapy


In a recent study, researchers showed that a new approach may provide a safer way to perform stem cell transplants for treating cancer and other diseases.



Engineered Stem Cells Help Identify Potential New Treatment for Medulloblastoma


Stem cells engineered to mimic medulloblastoma development may help researchers identify potential new treatments, according to a new study.



Tumor DNA in Blood May Signal Response to T-Cell Transfer Immunotherapy


A study suggests that doctors could use circulating tumor DNA to quickly identify patients who are responding to T-cell transfer immunotherapy.



New on NCI’s Websites for August 2016


An NCI Cancer Currents blog post that provides updates on new NCI websites and other online content of interest to the cancer community.



FDA Approves Pembrolizumab for Head and Neck Cancer


FDA granted pembrolizumab an accelerated approval for patients with recurrent or metastatic head and neck cancer that has continued to progress despite standard treatment with chemotherapy.



Nanoparticle that Mimics Salmonella Counteracts Chemotherapy Resistance


A nanoparticle that mimics Salmonella may help to counteract chemotherapy resistance, according to a new study.



CA-125 Testing, CT Scans Still Used for Ovarian Cancer Surveillance Despite Lack of Proven Benefit


A new study shows clinicians continue to use CA-125 testing and CT scans to monitor for recurrences although the benefit of these tests has not been proven.



Adolescents Who Wouldn’t Have Smoked May Be Drawn to E-Cigarettes


The findings from a recent study suggest that adolescents are not just using e-cigarettes as a substitute for conventional cigarettes but that e-cigarettes are attracting new users to tobacco products.



Mutations Linked to Immunotherapy Resistance


Researchers identified mutations in relapsed melanoma tumors that block the anticancer effects of the checkpoint inhibitor pembrolizumab.



Nanoparticle Delivers Cancer Drugs to Tumor Blood Vessels


In cancer mouse models, nanoparticles that bind to a protein called P-selectin on tumor blood vessels shrank tumors and extended survival.



Partner-Aided Skin Exams Increase Early Detection of New Melanomas


People previously treated for melanoma can team up with a spouse, family member, or a friend and be trained to find new melanomas, a new study shows.



Inherited Mutations in DNA-Repair Genes Found in Advanced Prostate Cancers


Researchers estimate that nearly 12% of men with advanced prostate cancer have inherited mutations in genes that play a role in repairing damaged DNA.



Olanzapine Helps Prevent Nausea and Vomiting Caused by Chemotherapy


A drug currently used to treat several psychiatric conditions can help prevent nausea and vomiting in patients receiving chemotherapy, a large clinical trial showed.



Anthrax Toxin-Based Cancer Therapy Targets Tumor Blood Vessels


A therapy that uses the anthrax toxin selectively targets blood vessels that feed tumors and support their growth and spread, researchers have found.



New on NCI's Websites for July 2016


An NCI Cancer Currents blog post that provides updates on new NCI websites and other online content of interest to the cancer community.



3-D View of Mutations May Identify Potential Targets for Cancer Drugs


A new 3-D modeling tool may help identify mutations in cancer cells that could be targeted with new or existing drugs, a new study suggests.



Study Forecasts ‘Silver Tsunami’ of Cancer Survivors


According to an NCI study, the number of older cancer survivors will grow substantially over the next quarter century, increasing the demand for cancer and survivorship care.



Mouse Study Illuminates the Spread of Breast Cancer to Bone


Researchers have identified proteins that may regulate the movement of breast cancer cells into and out of bone marrow.



Setting the Stage for the Next Decade of Tobacco Control Research


A new report from an NCI working group lays out recommended priorities to help shape the institute’s future tobacco control research portfolio.



The Cancer Moonshot Summit: Reaching New Heights


A recap of the Cancer Moonshot national summit hosted by Vice President Joe Biden in Washington, D.C., on June 29, 2016, including a summary of the NCI-related activities that have been stimulated by the Cancer Moonshot.



Prognosis Discussions Improve Understanding of Illness for Patients with Terminal Cancer


Many patients with advanced, incurable cancer have a poor understanding of their prognosis or life expectancy, a new study shows. Patients who discussed their prognosis with their doctors were more likely to understand the serious nature of their illness.



The Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel: Moving Toward a Final Report


An update on the activities of the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative’s Blue Ribbon Panel and its work to develop a final report for research ideas to be pursued under this initiative.



Extended Adjuvant Therapy Beneficial for Some Women with Breast Cancer


Results from a recent clinical trial showed that extending adjuvant therapy with an aromatase inhibitor to 10 years after initial treatment can have important benefits for postmenopausal women with early-stage hormone receptor–positive breast cancer.



Early-Stage Cancer Trials Support Promise of Precision Medicine, Immunotherapy


Encouraging findings from several early-stage clinical trials featured at the 2016 American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting support the promise of precision medicine and immunotherapy.



New on NCI’s Websites for June 2016


An NCI Cancer Currents blog post that provides updates on new NCI websites and other online content of interest to the cancer community.



Blood Test for Genetic Changes in Tumors Shows Promise as Alternative to Tumor Biopsy


The largest study of its kind to date has shown that a test that assesses DNA mutations and other changes in genetic material shed from tumors into the blood—a liquid biopsy—produced results highly similar to those of traditional tumor biopsies.



Trials Produce Practice-Changing Results for Brain Cancer


Results from two clinical trials show that treating patients with the chemotherapy drug temozolomide in addition to radiation therapy increased overall and progression-free survival.



FDA Approves New Immunotherapy Drug for Bladder Cancer


The FDA has approved atezolizumab (Tecentriq®) for the treatment of some patients with urothelial carcinoma, the most common type of bladder cancer.



Patient-Derived Antibody Appears to Selectively Target Tumor Cells, Spur Immune Attack


The CFH antibodies killed tumor cells in cell lines of several cancer types and slowed tumor growth in mouse models of brain and lung cancer, without evidence of side effects.



Two New Therapies Approved by FDA for Advanced Kidney Cancer


The FDA has approved two drugs, cabozantinib and lenvatinib, for patients whose advanced kidney cancers have progressed after prior treatment with antiangiogenic therapies.



Enhanced Risk-Based Lung Cancer Screening May Prevent More Deaths than Current Approaches


A blog post on a modeling study from NCI researchers suggesting that individualized, risk-based selection of ever-smokers for lung cancer screening may prevent more lung cancer deaths compared with current screening recommendations.



FDA Approves First Immunotherapy for Lymphoma


A blog post on the FDA approval of the immunotherapy drug nivolumab for the treatment of some patients with Hodgkin lymphoma.



Colorectal Cancer Survival Linked to Primary Tumor Location


A blog post on a study showing that in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer, the location in the colon where the tumor originated appears to strongly influence how long patients live.



Charting a Course toward Precision Cancer Prevention


Cancer researchers are increasingly exploring how cancer risk is influenced by genetic predisposition to cancer and the effects of environmental exposures, and what this means for cancer prevention.



Survival Disparities Identified in Young African Americans with Colorectal Cancer


African Americans younger than age 50 had significantly worse 5-year survival rates at every stage of disease compared with young white and Hispanic patients, a new study shows.



Online Tool Helps Users Distinguish Moles from Melanoma


“Moles to Melanoma: Recognizing the ABCDE Features” presents photos that show changes in individual pigmented lesions over time, and describes the different appearances of moles, dysplastic nevi, and melanomas.



Improving Cancer Control in Rural Communities: An Interview with Dr. Robert Croyle


NCI’s Dr. Robert Croyle discusses some of the issues related to cancer control faced by rural communities and how NCI is approaching this important problem.



Crosstalk between Cancer Cells and Neighboring Cells May Contribute to Tumor Growth


Pancreatic cancer cells and neighboring normal cells engage in a two-way molecular conversation that helps drive malignant behavior in the cancer cells, according to new study results.



New Treatment Target Identified for Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma


NCI researchers have identified new therapeutic targets for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Drugs that hit these targets are under clinical development and the researchers hope to begin testing them in clinical trials of patients with DLBCL.



Improving Public Health through Increased Tobacco Regulation


NCI’s Dr. Robert Croyle discusses the Food and Drug Administration’s release of a rule that extends its regulatory authority over tobacco products to include cigars, e-cigarettes, hookah (waterpipe) tobacco.



Calling on Data Enthusiasts to Help Advance Cancer Research


Health data enthusiasts of all stripes were in Washington, D.C., today for Health Datapalooza. NCI's Dr. Warren Kibbe explains that this annual event explores a topic that is central to NCI’s efforts against cancer: creating knowledge from data.



After Rising for Decades, Thyroid Cancer Incidence Stabilizes


After rising steadily since the 1990s, the incidence of thyroid cancer in the United States may be leveling off, according to an analysis of data from NCI’s SEER program.



Venetoclax Approved for Some Patients with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia


The FDA has approved venetoclax for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia whose tumors have a specific genetic alteration.



New on NCI’s Websites for May 2016


NCI is constantly publishing new information on its websites, so periodically we provide updates on new content of interest to the cancer community.



The Cancer Community's Next Steps for the Moonshot Initiative


The National Cancer Moonshot Initiative’s Blue Ribbon Panel is moving quickly to develop recommendations on how to accelerate progress against cancer.



Targeted Photoimmunotherapy Approach for Cancer Moves Forward


Two new studies from NCI researchers add to growing evidence of the promise of a novel type of cancer immunotherapy that uses infrared light to activate rapid and selective killing of cancer cells.



New Treatment Target Identified for Key Prostate Cancer Driver


Researchers have identified a potential alternative approach to blocking a key molecular driver of an advanced form of prostate cancer, called androgen-independent or castration-resistant prostate cancer.



A Shared Commitment for Accelerating Progress with the Cancer Moonshot


At the AACR annual meeting, Vice President Biden spoke about the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative and the critical role the entire research community will play in accelerating progress against cancer.



Pembrolizumab Shows Promise in Patients with Rare Form of Skin Cancer


In a small clinical trial, more than half of the patients with an aggressive form of skin cancer called Merkel cell carcinoma responded to the immunotherapy drug pembrolizumab.



Vitamin D Deficiency May Promote Spread of Some Breast Cancers


Low vitamin D levels are associated with metastasis in women with breast cancer, suggests a new study.



Toward Precision Therapy for Children with Cancer: An Interview with Dr. Javed Khan


NCI’s Dr. Javed Khan discusses a new NCI clinical program and the promise and challenges of genome-guided therapy for children with cancer.



Nanoparticle Generator Slips Chemotherapy Past Tumor Cells’ Protective Barriers


Researchers have developed a new injectable nanoparticle-generating technology that can deliver a cancer drug to the nucleus of metastatic breast cancer cells.



Sunitinib and Sorafenib Ineffective as Adjuvant Therapies for Kidney Cancer


Results from a recent clinical trial show that post-surgical therapy with two anti-angiogenesis drugs does not improve progression-free survival for patients with kidney cancer and may cause serious side effects.



Drug Combination Shrinks Duodenal Polyps in People with Familial Adenomatous Polyposis


In a small clinical trial of people with an inherited condition that greatly increases gastrointestinal cancer risk, a two-drug combination shrank precancerous lesions in the duodenum.



Blocking Calcium Transfer May Selectively Kill Cancer Cells


A new study shows that blocking the transfer of calcium ions (Ca2+) into mitochondria is toxic to cancer cells and impairs growth of tumors in mice, while sparing normal cells.



New Strategy for Treating Advanced Ovarian Cancer Shows Promise in Mice


The use of a protein fragment to stimulate cells in the tumor microenvironment against cancer shows promise in animal models of metastatic ovarian cancer.



Crizotinib Approval Expanded for Advanced Lung Cancer


The FDA has approved uses of the targeted therapy crizotinib (Xalkori®) for patients with advanced lung cancer whose tumors have alterations in the ROS1 gene.



What’s New on NCI’s Websites?


NCI periodically provides updates on new websites and other online content of interest to the cancer community.



High-Magnification Microscopy Visualizes Tumor Blood Vessels in Real Time


High-powered intravital microscopy reveals that 50 percent of blood vessels in melanoma tumors do not have any blood flow, according to a new study.



Keeping Pace: How New Data Can Affect Ongoing Clinical Trials


Research results sometimes outrace the design of an ongoing clinical trial and the trial has to be recalibrated to include newer treatments, according to NCI’s Dr. Jo Anne Zujewski.



Novel Strategy Isolates Immune Cells in the Blood that Recognize Melanoma


NCI scientists have developed a novel strategy for identifying immune cells circulating in the blood that recognize specific proteins on tumor cells, a finding they believe may have potential implications for immune-based therapies.



HPV Infections Targeted by Vaccine Decrease in U.S.


Infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) types targeted by the quadrivalent HPV vaccine has declined by nearly two-thirds among teenage girls since HPV vaccination was recommended in the United States.



Fueling Basic Discovery: NCI’s Cooperative Human Tissue Network


Quality biospecimens are a foundational resource for cancer research. One of NCI’s longest running biospecimen programs is the Cooperative Human Tissue Network, a resource mainly for basic discovery and early translational research.



BRCA Testing Rates High in Young Women with Breast Cancer


Testing for genetic mutations strongly associated with an increased risk of breast cancer has risen dramatically among women younger than age 40 who are diagnosed with the disease, according to a new study.



Missed Radiation Therapy Sessions Increase Risk of Cancer Recurrence


Patients who miss radiation therapy sessions during cancer treatment have an increased risk of their disease returning, even if they eventually complete their course of radiation treatment, according to a new study.



Study of Cancer’s Origins Reveals Genetic Reprogramming of Single Cells


Researchers have used a new zebrafish model of cancer to characterize the early genetic changes associated with the initiation of tumors.



Gene Fusion May Drive Rare Childhood Brain Tumor


Researchers have identified a genetic rearrangement that may drive the development of a rare benign brain tumor in children through three distinct biological mechanisms simultaneously.



What’s New on NCI’s Websites?


NCI is constantly publishing new information on its websites, so periodically we provide updates on new content of interest to the cancer community.



NCI-DOE Collaboration Paving Way for Large-Scale Computational Cancer Science


NCI and the Department of Energy have entered into a collaboration to develop a plan to use large-scale computing to influence cancer science and, ultimately, clinical treatment.



Prospective Study Links HPV Detection in the Mouth to Head and Neck Cancer


A new study confirms that infection with HPV 16 precedes the development of head and neck cancer.



FDA Approves Eribulin Mesylate for Advanced Liposarcoma


The FDA has approved eribulin mesylate for patients with liposarcoma whose cancers are advanced or cannot be removed by surgery and are no longer responding to anthracycline-based chemotherapy.



President Obama’s Budget Request Affirms Commitment to Progress against Cancer


President Obama’s FY 2017 Budget Request includes $680 million to support Vice President Biden’s cancer research initiative.



Mouse Study Points to Mechanism Linking Obesity and Colorectal Cancer Risk


A missing hormone in obese mice may help explain a longstanding association between obesity and an increased risk of colorectal cancer in humans.



Persistent Peripheral Neuropathy Increases Fall Risk among Cancer Survivors


Many female cancer survivors have problems with mobility and other physical functioning as a result of persistent peripheral neuropathy caused by chemotherapy treatment, according to a new study.



Tackling the Global Cancer Burden: A Conversation with NCI’s Dr. Ted Trimble


In honor of World Cancer Day, the director of NCI’s Center for Global Health discusses key opportunities in global cancer research.



The ‘Crisis’ of Low HPV Vaccination Rates: A Conversation with Dr. Noel Brewer


Following the release of a consensus statement from the NCI-Designated Cancer Centers urging HPV vaccination in the United States, Dr. Noel Brewer discusses the country’s low vaccination rates and how clinicians can help to improve them.



NCI-MATCH: A Status Report and Future Directions


Leaders of the NCI-MATCH trial provide an update to the cancer community on the trial’s status and plans for it moving forward.



Opportunities in Cancer Nanotechnology: A Conversation with NCI’s Dr. Piotr Grodzinski


The director of NCI's Office of Cancer Nanotechnology Research discusses the Cancer Nanotechnology Plan 2015, as well as new developments and clinical opportunities in the field.



Video Intervention Helps Prepare Patients to Participate in Cancer Clinical Trials


Patients who took part in a tailored, video-based educational program had a better understanding of and fewer concerns about participating in clinical trials than patients who received text-based educational.



Novel Treatment Approach Shrinks Ovarian Tumors in Mice


Researchers have developed a new approach for treating tumors that express mutant versions of the p53 protein, which are present in more than half of all cancers, including an aggressive and common subtype of ovarian cancer.



Supporting Vice President Biden's Cancer Initiative


During his 2016 State of the Union address to Congress, President Obama tasked Vice President Biden with leading a new initiative to accelerate cancer research. This message from NCI Acting Director Doug Lowy states that the Institute stands ready to work with partners across the cancer research community on the initiative.



FDA Approves Alectinib for ALK-Positive Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer


The FDA has approved alectinib to treat patients with metastatic ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer who have stopped responding to or who are unable to tolerate crizotinib.



Two Drugs Show Efficacy against Common Form of Leukemia


Reports from early-stage trials of two new oral drugs provide hope for patients with high-risk chronic lymphocytic leukemia.



Driving New Approaches to Cancer Prevention and Early Detection


Researchers are pioneering new approaches to preventing and screening for cancer, and the management of very early-stage disease.



Genome Study Links Misfolded DNA to Brain Tumors


Changes in the packaging of DNA in the cell nucleus may activate growth-promoting genes that cause cancer.



Three New Therapies Approved for Multiple Myeloma


In November 2015, the FDA approved three new therapies for patients with multiple myeloma.



Approval of Osimertinib and Necitumumab Increases Lung Cancer Treatment Options


The FDA has approved two targeted therapies, osimertinib (Tagrisso™) and necitumumab (Portrazza™), for the treatment of some patients with advanced lung cancer.



Cancer Can Lead to Financial Hardship, Study Confirms


A substantial number of working-age cancer survivors report material or psychological financial hardship associated with their cancer.



What's New on NCI’s Websites?


NCI is constantly publishing new information on its websites, so periodically we provide updates on new content of interest to the cancer community.



Checking In on Cancer Checkpoint Inhibitors


NCI’s Dr. James Gulley discusses cancer checkpoint inhibitors, their impact on patient care, and future directions for these therapies.



New Drug for Pediatric Neuroblastoma Shows Promise in Preclinical Studies


An international research team has identified a possible new treatment target for pediatric neuroblastoma and is planning an early-stage clinical trial of a drug that inhibits this target.



FDA Approves Cobimetinib as Part of Drug Combination for Advanced Melanoma


The FDA has approved the targeted drug cobimetinib, in combination with another targeted therapy, to treat patients with advanced melanoma whose tumors have specific genetic mutations.



Two Small RNAs, Often Missing from Cancer Cells, May Suppress Tumors


Two small RNAs that are frequently deleted from cancer cells may help suppress tumors by interacting with RAS proteins, a new study suggests.



Precision Medicine Trials for Cancer: A New Era


NCI is designing smaller, quicker, and smarter clinical trials that incorporate the principal tenets of precision medicine.



Study Sheds Light on Role of Inherited Mutations in Childhood Cancer


In the most comprehensive study of its kind conducted to date, more than 8 percent of children with cancer were found to have inherited genetic mutations associated with a predisposition to the disease.



FDA Approves Trabectedin to Treat Two Types of Soft Tissue Sarcoma


The FDA has approved trabectedin for patients with advanced liposarcoma and leiomyosarcoma whose cancer has progressed after prior treatment.



Patient with Brain Tumor Responds Dramatically to Targeted Therapy


A patient with a papillary craniopharyngioma saw his tumor shrink more than 80 percent after treatment with a targeted drug that inhibits a mutant form of the BRAF protein.



Lung Cancer Precision Medicine Trials: Adapting to Progress


Patients with lung cancer are benefiting from the boom in targeted and immune-based therapies. With a series of precision medicine trials, NCI is keeping pace with the rapidly changing treatment landscape for lung cancer.



FDA Approves Talimogene Laherparepvec to Treat Metastatic Melanoma


The FDA has approved the first oncolytic virus therapy, talimogene laherparepvec (T-VEC). The drug was approved for the treatment of metastatic melanoma that cannot be removed surgically.



FDA Approves Irinotecan Liposome to Treat Pancreatic Cancer


Patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer that has progressed after receiving gemcitabine-based chemotherapy now have a new treatment option: irinotecan liposome in combination with fluorouracil and leucovorin.



How Genomics Is Shaping Precision Medicine in Oncology


In laboratories at NCI and around the world, researchers are using advanced genomic technologies to study the differences between cancer cells and normal cells, leading to new and more effective treatments for patients with cancer.



FDA Approves Pembrolizumab for Patients with Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer


The FDA has approved the drug pembrolizumab to treat patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumors express a protein called PD-L1.



Bringing Precision to Screening for Cancer


A recent NCI-sponsored conference brought together leading screening and cancer control researchers to discuss the state of the science of precision screening for five cancers.



Low Income Is a Barrier to Clinical Trial Enrollment, Study Suggests


A new study has found that patients with annual household incomes below $50,000 were less likely to participate in a cancer clinical trial than those with higher incomes.



Antioxidants Accelerate the Growth and Invasiveness of Tumors in Mice


Metastatic tumor cells are particularly sensitive to oxidative stress, and antioxidant supplementation increases their ability to grow and metastasize.



FDA Approves Nivolumab for Some Melanomas and Lung Cancers


The FDA has approved nivolumab in combination with ipilimumab for advanced melanoma and nivolumab alone for advanced nonsquamous lung cancer.



A Holistic Approach to Cancer Health Disparities


Recognizing that complex factors underlie health disparities, NCI is taking a holistic approach in our efforts to address this serious public health issue.



Patients with Advanced Cancer May Benefit from Discussing Prognosis with Physicians


Patients with advanced cancer may benefit from having discussions about their prognoses with their physicians.



Study Identifies New Opportunities for Targeted Immunotherapy


A team of NCI researchers has reported that several types of gastrointestinal cancer have tumor-specific mutations that can be recognized by the immune system, thereby offering a new therapeutic opportunity for patients with these tumors.



In Triple-Negative Breast Cancer, Targeting an Addiction


A new approach to disrupting genes that promote the development and spread of tumors may hold promise for treating an aggressive and difficult-to-treat type of breast cancer.



Bringing Cancer Research to the Public: NCI’s Networks and Programs


A number of NCI programs and networks are the foundation of the National Cancer Program and play a critical role in promoting progress.



Long-Term Study Finds No Increased Risk of Miscarriage after HPV Vaccination


Women in a clinical trial who became pregnant after vaccination with a bivalent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine did not have an increased risk of miscarriage.



New on NCI’s Websites


NCI periodically provides updates on new websites and other online content of interest to the cancer community.



FDA Approves Combination Drug for Patients with Advanced Colorectal Cancer


The FDA has approved a single drug that combines trifluridine and tipiracil to treat patients with metastatic colorectal cancer whose disease progressed after standard treatment.



TCGA Wins 2015 Sammies People’s Choice Award


The Partnership for Public Service presented the 2015 People’s Choice Award to the government staff and researchers who have worked on The Cancer Genome Atlas.



Progress against Cancer: The Role of Basic Science


Acting NCI Director Doug Lowy, M.D., discusses the critical contribution of basic science in fostering progress against cancer.



NCI’s Steven Rosenberg Wins Service to America Medal


The Partnership for Public Service has awarded Steven A. Rosenberg, M.D., of NCI's Center for Cancer Research, with its highest 2015 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal, or Sammie.



Persistence of Genetic Mutations after Chemotherapy Linked to Poor Outcomes in Some Patients with AML


The persistence of genetic mutations in some patients with acute myeloid leukemia may allow physicians to better classify their risk of recurrence.



"Fine Tuning" Engineered T Cells May Extend Immunotherapy Approach to More Cancer Types


Engineering immune cells to have a decreased affinity for their targets on cancer cells may not weaken their efficacy but may reduce the risk of side effects.



Cancer Trends: Influencing Care and Research Priorities


Many of the trends being seen in cancer are changing how we view cancer and how we address it, from prompting research to identify the underlying causes of cancers increasing in incidence to informing research on treatment and prevention.



CPTAC, the Complementary Sibling of TCGA: An Interview with Dr. Henry Rodriguez about NCI’s Proteomics Program


Dr. Henry Rodriguez explains the goals and future directions of CPTAC, a collaborative consortium of institutions and investigators who study cancer proteomics.



For Some Children with Cancer, Genomic Information May Help Guide Treatment Decisions


Genomic methods, such as DNA sequencing, may help doctors manage the treatment of children and young adults with cancer.



NCI Releases Budget Proposal for Fiscal Year 2017


The NCI Annual Plan and Budget Proposal for Fiscal Year 2017 provides an overview of NCI’s priorities and key initiatives and the institute’s funding request.



FDA Approves Rolapitant to Prevent Nausea and Vomiting from Chemotherapy


The FDA has approved rolapitant to prevent chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.



NCI Initiative to Speed Development of Childhood Cancer Therapies


NCI has awarded grants to five research teams to participate in its Pediatric Preclinical Testing Consortium, which is intended to help to prioritize which agents to pursue in pediatric clinical trials.



Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy in Advanced Ovarian Cancer Improves Survival, But Is Underused


Use of intraperitoneal chemotherapy, along with intravenous chemotherapy, improves survival in some women with advanced ovarian cancer, but its use in clinical practice has been limited, according to a new study.



FDA Approves Sonidegib for Some Patients with Advanced Basal Cell Carcinoma


The FDA has approved sonidegib for the treatment of patients with locally advanced basal cell carcinoma.



Cancer Risk in Childhood Cancer Survivors Continues for Decades


Survivors of childhood cancer have an elevated risk of developing second, distinct cancers into their forties and beyond, according to a new study.



Overdiagnosis of Cancer: Bringing an Important Problem into Focus


Experts are convening for a conference on the dilemmas posed by overdiagnosis in many types of diseases. Overdiagnosis is generally defined as the diagnosis of a disease or condition that is unlikely to ever cause harm.



Risk of Breast Cancer Death is Low After a Diagnosis of Ductal Carcinoma in Situ


Women who are diagnosed with a condition called ductal carcinoma in situ generally have a low risk of dying from breast cancer, a new study has found.



FDA Approves Expanded Indication for Carfilzomib in Patients with Multiple Myeloma


The FDA has approved carfilzomib in combination with other anticancer drugs to treat patients with relapsed multiple myeloma.



With FDA Approval, Gefitinib Returns to U.S. Market for Some Patients with Lung Cancer


The FDA last month approved gefitinib (Iressa) for the treatment of some patients with lung cancer, marking the drug’s return to the U.S. market after an earlier withdrawal.



Gene Therapy Approach for Ovarian Cancer Shows Encouraging Signs in Animal Model


A single injection of a gene therapy viral vector inhibited tumor growth of some mouse tumors derived from patients with recurrent ovarian cancer.



Too Few Patients with Cancer Communicate Preferences for End-of-Life Care


Many patients with cancer and their physicians are not communicating about the patients’ preferences for end-of-life medical care, a new study suggests.



What’s New Online from NCI?


NCI periodically provides updates on new websites and other online content of interest to the cancer community.



NCI-Designated Cancer Centers Expand, Four Awarded Comprehensive Designation


In July 2015, the NCI’s cancer centers program expanded by adding a new institution and awarding the comprehensive designation to four existing NCI-designated cancer centers.



New Research: Using Lung Cancer Screening As An Opportunity to Help Smokers Quit


NCI has released a new funding announcement to stimulate research on optimal smoking cessation approaches delivered in conjunction with lung cancer screening.



U.S. Indoor Tanning Rates Are Dropping, But Still High


Study estimates about 1.6 million fewer women and 400,000 fewer men tan indoors, but it’s still a common practice.



Oncolytic Virus Therapy Shows Benefit in Patients with Melanoma


In a large clinical trial, the oncolytic virus therapy T-VEC improved the durable response rate and median survival in patients with advanced melanoma.



Setting the Course: Genomics Workshop on Childhood Cancers Identifies Research Opportunities


NCI recently convened a workshop to discuss the status of genomic characterization for childhood cancers and to identify opportunities for future research.



Pancreatic Cancer Study Finds Possible Diagnostic Marker in Blood


A protein attached to vesicles circulating in the blood could be a biological marker for detecting early signs of pancreatic cancer.



Test May Identify Poor Prognosis for Some Patients with Lung Cancer


A panel of three genetic markers may help to identify patients with early-stage lung cancer who have a very strong likelihood of their disease returning after surgery.



Next Round of Grant Solicitations for Provocative Questions Announced


The next round of grant solicitations for Provocative Questions has been announced.



Cancer Currents Now Available in Spanish


As part of our effort to more effectively reach patients, health care providers, and researchers with timely, authoritative, and scientifically accurate cancer information, we are now offering selected Cancer Currents blog posts in Spanish.



NCI Launches Competition to Spur Research on Breast Cancer Genomics, Disease Risk


Last month, NCI launched a competition to spur research in an area of great public health interest: the genomic basis of breast cancer and breast cancer risk.



In Mice, New Drug Conjugate Suggests Promise for Hard-to-Treat Pediatric Cancers


Findings from a study in mice suggests that a new type of drug conjugate may have potential as a treatment for two cancers that are often diagnosed in children.



Many Women with Dense Breasts May Not Need Additional Screening


Breast density is just one of several factors that should be taken into account in determining the need for additional cancer screening, study suggests.



Using Gene Expression to Diagnose Lung Cancer More Accurately


A pattern of gene expression in the cells of the upper airways of patients with suspected lung cancer can help to diagnose lung cancer more accurately than bronchoscopy alone.



Enhancing the Clinical Trials Search Function on Cancer.gov


The enhanced clinical trials search function on Cancer.gov will allow users to more easily find accurate and timely information about active and recruiting NCI-supported clinical trials.



Better Care for Children with Cancer Linked to Longer Lifespans


New data from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study suggest that refinements in pediatric cancer treatment over the last few decades have helped to extend the lifespans of many survivors of childhood cancer.



Study Finds Storytelling Helps Overcome Cervical Cancer Screening Disparities


Using a storytelling approach to educate women about cervical cancer screening eliminated disparities in attitudes toward screening and behavior, according to a new study.



Adjuvant Chemotherapy Modestly Improves Survival in Some Men with Prostate Cancer


Giving some men with prostate cancer chemotherapy after standard treatment with radiation and hormone therapy modestly improves how long they live, according to results from a new NCI-funded clinical trial.



The Playing Field for Cancer Checkpoint Inhibitors Is Expanding


The list of cancers that may be susceptible to checkpoint inhibitors is quickly expanding, according to findings from clinical trials presented at the ASCO annual meeting.



Whole Brain Radiation for Some Patients with Brain Metastases Worsens Cognitive Decline


In some patients with cancer that has spread to the brain, whole brain radiation following radiosurgery causes more severe cognitive decline and does not improve survival compared with radiosurgery alone, a new study has found.



Most American Adults Do Not Use Sunscreen Regularly


The majority of Americans are not using sunscreen regularly to protect their skin from damage caused by the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays, according to a new survey.



Screening Rates for Several Cancers Miss Their Targets


Screening rates for breast, colorectal, and cervical cancer are lagging behind target rates set by the Healthy People 2020 program, according to a new study.



Collateral Damage: Missing Tumor Suppressor Gene Creates Opening for Cancer Treatment


Tumor cells that are missing one copy of the tumor suppressor gene TP53 often harbor another genetic alteration that may make them susceptible to a targeted attack, according to a new study.



Welcome to the New Cancer.gov


NCI has launched a new, dynamic, and easier-to-use version of NCI’s main websites, Cancer.gov and its counterpart in Spanish, Cancer.gov/espanol.



Trial Yields Positive Data on Pembrolizumab for Lung Cancer, Potential Response Biomarker


Findings from an early phase clinical trial may point to a biomarker that identifies patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer most likely to respond to the immunotherapy drug pembrolizumab (Keytruda®).



Study Forecasts New Breast Cancer Cases by 2030


A new study from NCI researchers is forecasting important trends in the types and molecular makeup of breast cancer cases through 2030, including a reduction in the proportion of cases that are considered to be difficult to treat.



HPV Vaccine Effective Against Infection at Multiple Sites, Provides Partial Protection in Women with Previous Infections


A new study from NCI researchers finds that the HPV vaccine protects young women from infection with high-risk HPV types at the three primary anatomic sites where persistent HPV infections can cause cancer. The multi-site protection also was observed at lower levels in previously HPV-exposed women.



At NCI, A Continued Commitment to Supporting the Best Science


Yesterday, at the AACR annual meeting, Dr. Doug Lowy spoke directly to the research community about his goals as NCI Acting Director. Dr. Lowy said that he plans to continue many of the programs launched by his predecessor, Dr. Harold Varmus, and to sharpen the institute’s focus in several areas where he believes greater progress can offer significant dividends.



Future Directions for NCI’s Surveillance Research Program


Since the early 1970s, NCI’s SEER program has been an invaluable resource for statistics on cancer in the United States. For the past several years, SEER researchers have been working toward a much broader and comprehensive goal for providing cancer statistics on a nationwide basis.



Immune-Based Treatment Shows Promise against Metastatic Cervical Cancer


In an early phase NCI clinical trial, two patients with metastatic cervical cancer had a complete disappearance of their tumors after receiving treatment with a form of immunotherapy called adoptive cell transfer.



Microscopy Advances Open Up New Avenues of Cancer Discovery


Today’s high-powered microscopes are allowing researchers to study the fine details of individual cells and to peer into cells, opening up new avenues of discovery about the inner workings of cells, including the events that can cause healthy cells to transform into cancer cells.



Advancing Cancer Care Delivery Research in the Next Decade


A more substantial and coordinated effort is needed to advance the science of cancer care delivery to help address the complex problems facing our health care systems. In response, NCI has created a new Healthcare Delivery Research Program (HDRP) to strengthen its support and coordination of research in ways that both improve survival and enhance patient care experiences.



The RAS Problem: Turning Off a Broken Switch


The RAS gene is commonly mutated in cancer and researchers are working to better understand how to develop drugs that can target the RAS protein, which for many years has been considered to be “undruggable.”



Facilitating Research, Fueling Collaboration: Dr. Frank McCormick on the RAS Initiative


Frank McCormick, Ph.D., talks about the history, the challenges, and the future of research on RAS gene mutations, which drive more than 30 percent of all human cancers.



The Cancer Genome Atlas: Generating a "Parts List" for Cancer


Jean-Claude Zenklusen, Ph.D., discusses the accomplishments and future of The Cancer Genome Atlas, inspired by topics covered in the documentary film, Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies.



A Message to the Cancer Research Community


Doug Lowy, M.D., a long-time researcher and leader at NCI, greats the cancer research community as the institute's new acting director.



The Importance of Cancer Prevention Research and its Challenges


Barry Kramer, M.D., M.P.H., talks about NCI's efforts for improving cancer prevention and early detection, two topics discussed in the documentary film, Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies.



Looking to the Future of Childhood Cancer Research


NCI’s Dr. Malcolm Smith discusses future directions of childhood cancer research, including treatment directions and clinical trials.



A Week of Excitement and Hope: Communicating the Story of Cancer


Peter Garrett, acting director of NCI's communications office, discusses the Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer and activities surrounding the broadcast of the documentary film, Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies.



Making Sense of Key Cancer Reports


Several regularly released reports, including the Annual Report to the Nation—which is jointly released by NCI and several other organizations—provide information on important cancer trends in the United States.



FDA Approves First Therapy for High-Risk Neuroblastoma


The FDA has approved dinutuximab as part of first-line therapy for children with high-risk neuroblastoma.



Who Will Respond to PD-1 Inhibition? Study Provides Clues


A new study shows that specific DNA changes in a tumor may help determine which patients are most likely to respond to treatment with PD-1 inhibitors



The Exceptional Responders Initiative: Welcoming More Cases


The initiative is studying tissue, clinical, and genomic data from patients with cancer who have had dramatic and long-lasting responses to standard and experimental treatments that were not seen in similar patients who received the same treatment.



FDA Approves First Immunotherapy Treatment for Lung Cancer


The FDA has approved nivolumab to treat patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer that has progressed during or after treatment with platinum-based chemotherapy.



DNA "Minicircles" Could Improve Cancer Detection, Study Suggests


Injecting customized DNA “rings” into tumor-bearing mice caused the tumor cells to release a biomarker that can be detected with a simple blood test.



FDA Approves Panobinostat for Some Patients with Multiple Myeloma


The FDA granted accelerated approval of panobinostat for the treatment of multiple myeloma that has progressed after at least two prior standard therapies.



Smoking’s Disease Burden: Worse than Previously Thought?


According to a new study, smoking may be responsible for far more deaths each year than previously thought.



Treatment Helps Preserve Fertility for Some Women with Breast Cancer


In a large clinical trial, giving a hormone-suppressing drug helped some younger women with breast cancer get pregnant after completing cancer treatment.



Conference Report: Pursuing Progress Against HIV-Related Cancers


At the recent annual Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, several NCI researchers and NCI-funded investigators presented important new findings on HIV-related cancers.



FDA Approves Lenvatinib for Radioactive Iodine-Refractory Thyroid Cancer


The FDA has approved lenvatinib (Lenvima) to treat some patients with the most common type of thyroid cancer.



Genetic Studies Yield Clues to Treatment-Related Side Effects in Children with Cancer


Researchers have identified genetic variations in children with brain cancer that increased their risk of rapid hearing loss after treatment.



New from NCI: Resources, Tools, and News


NCI is constantly publishing new information on its websites, so periodically we provide updates on new content of interest to the cancer community.



"Flipping the Switch": An Interview with Dr. Mark Gilbert, Chief of NIH’s Neuro-Oncology Branch


NCI's Dr. Mark Gilbert discusses new developments in neuro-oncology and the priorities of the Neuro-Oncology Branch.



Exposure to Secondhand Smoke Plummets, but Disparities Persist


Second-hand smoke exposure has fallen by 50 percent since 1999, a new study finds, but millions are still routinely exposed to secondhand smoke.



FDA Grants Palbociclib Accelerated Approval for Advanced Breast Cancer


Palbociclib (Ibrance) is approved to be used in combination with letrozole (Femara) to treat postmenopausal women with metastatic breast cancer.



Medicare to Cover Annual Lung Cancer Screening for Some Beneficiaries


For the first time, Medicare will cover the costs of lung cancer screening for some beneficiaries, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced on February 5.



Genome Study Yields Clues to Head and Neck Cancers


Researchers have surveyed the genetic changes in nearly 300 head and neck cancers, revealing some previously unknown alterations that may play a role in the disease, including in patients whose cancer is associated with the human papillomavirus (HPV).



Precision Medicine Initiative® and Cancer Research


Under the Precision Medicine Initiative, NCI is working to accelerate the pace of research that will help identify which treatments work best for which patients.



A Good Year: FDA Approved Nine New Cancer Drugs in 2014


In 2014, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved 41 drugs that had not been approved previously for any indication, the most in nearly 20 years. Of these 41 novel drugs, 9 were approved for the treatment of cancer or cancer-related conditions.



Bacterial Biofilms Provide Clues into Colorectal Cancer Risk


A new study suggests that dense bacterial communities called biofilms may promote the development of some colorectal cancers.



Analyzing the Gut Microbiome to Help Detect Colorectal Cancer


New research suggests that identifying specific changes in the gut microbiome could potentially help screen patients for colorectal cancer.



Report Offers Comprehensive Look at Global Smokeless Tobacco Use


The first report of its kind finds that more than 300 million people worldwide use smokeless tobacco products and that they are linked to a number of cancers.



New on Cancer.gov: Resources on Melanoma Therapies


Several new resources that provide more details about the changing treatment landscape for advanced melanoma have recently been added to Cancer.gov.



Which Patients Will Benefit from Immunotherapy for Cancer? Some Hints Emerge


Researchers have identified a “genetic signature” in the tumors of patients with advanced melanoma who responded to a form of immunotherapy called checkpoint blockade. The results could be the basis for a test that identifies likely responders to this treatment as well as for developing new treatments.



Method for Identifying Combination Therapies to Combat Treatment Resistance Shows Promise


Researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center in Boston have reported on a method for studying treatment resistance that may identify combinations of targeted therapies that can help to combat resistance in some patients.



Debate, Research on E-Cigarettes Continue


Since they first began to be sold in North America in the mid-2000s, electronic cigarettes have been the subject of intense debate. NCI's Dr. Michele Bloch recently presented an update on some of the issues surrounding e-cigarettes.



Building on Opportunities in Cancer Research: NCI’s Annual Plan and Budget Proposal for FY 2016


NCI’s Director, Dr. Harold Varmus, introduces the NCI Annual Plan and Budget Proposal for Fiscal Year 2016.



Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccines: An Interview with Douglas R. Lowy, M.D.


NCI’s Dr. Doug Lowy discusses HPV vaccines, including their efficacy, safety, and the development of next-generation vaccines.