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Found 18 results

  1. Any thoughts/Experience?? High doses of vitamin C to improve cancer treatment passes human safety trial https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170330142341.htm
  2. Hello Everyone, My father in law is 74. Although he was very skinny but he was very healthy up on till October 2018. Four months ago he had a pneumonia and the doctors found out that he has non-small lung cancer / non malignant. There were no metasteses at that time and other organs, bones brain etc were clean. There were spots on right lower and middle lobes and also few spots on left lung. While he was recovering from the pneumonia he had a second pneumonia attack which made him too weak to even stand on his feet. Since he wasn't in the country it took him couple of months to improve a little bit so he could travel back to Canada. However last month he traveled back and he was not only little confused (forgetting words) but also very week. When we took him to emerge, doctors found out that the cancer has been spread and he has few brain mets. MRI has been done today and they found out that there is a bigger met right at the end of the spinal cord behind the head. They are going to do Surgery to remove the bigger met and then they will start with full brain Radiotherapy. As far as my fathers condition is concerned, he was confused but soon after taking the steroids his confusion was gone. He eats well, sleep well , could walk by the help of walker and use toilet. Only yesterday all of a sudden his Pulse and Blood pressure jumped up and had severe seizure like shaking but the ICU team was able to control it. Today hes going for head surgery to get that big met out. We are really confused as to what is going to happen. Anyone who went through same conditions please share your story ? We are not sure what to expect ? Would radiotherapy work ? Is it still curable? Will they be able to remove the cancer cels from the lungs without surgery ?
  3. Hi guys, My dad was diagnosed with NSCLC(Squamous cell) on October.In my state where we live (Kosovo), is really difficult to find a PET scan machine.So in this way, we didn't want to lose time.Doctors said that our best option is to do an MRI to check if there the cancer has spread to other parts.Thank God, the result showed that the cancer is only in left lung and the size of tumor is 33mm.The tumor is near big blood vessels and is difficult to do a pneumonectomy.In this case the doctor suggested my father to start a neoadjuvant chemotherapy with 3 cycle (Carboplatin + Paclitaxel) and after that we have to do a PET scan outside Kosovo to check if the tumor to check how many lymph nodes are affected and how much the tumor shrinked.Now he is in second week of third cycle of chemotherapy. During the chemotherapy, he gained 10 pounds.I know this might sound weired, but yes, he gained 10 ! During chemotherapy, he didn't feel any of chemotherapy effects, expect hair loss.Even his half lung is blocked, he never had problems with breath.He told me that he can breath better now.We have run a lot of times on mountain and the didn't have any problem. His blood test are just amazing ! He even has better test blood than me ! His heart result are also perfect.He Now I have a questions for you. What is the impact of this chemotherapy combination on mediastinal lymph nodes ? After all these good signs, is his body trying to "tell" us, that the chemotherapy is helping him ? Best regards from me !
  4. Our friends at Savor Health have shared the following tips to help you have a healthy end of summer: Enjoy Fresh Summer Foods Labor Day is almost here, which means summer is ending soon. Make use of the many fresh foods that are in season right now, such as: Tomatoes Rhubarb Zucchini Eggplant Peaches Strawberries Blueberries Cherries Dietary Fiber "In a Nutshell" While the term carbohydrate often carries a negative connotation with respect to health and nutrition, there are actually many healthy sources of carbohydrates that are rich in essential nutrients, phytochemicals, and dietary fiber, all of which are an important part of a healthy diet. Holly's Health Hints: Eat With Color Have you decided you want to eat healthier, but not sure where to start? You can’t go wrong if you remember to eat with color! Make it simple on yourself and choose a plate full of a variety of color. Green, red, orange, and yellow – the colors in a plant based diet represent important vitamins and minerals your body needs. A colorful plate ensures you will be eating a wide range of fruits and vegetables with necessary vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants for optimum health and energy. And the brighter the better as plant foods rich in color contain more fighting power. August: Concord Grapes A recent study published in the Journal of Nutrition found evidence of grape seed extract and other grape products having a chemo preventive effect, meaning they help to slow the initiation of cancer formation. Concord Grapes Sorbet Recipe For a refreshing (and low calorie, non-fat) ending to a meal, try this recipe for Concord Grape Sorbet. So many of us turn to ice cream on a hot summery or early fall day, but sorbet can also be a true delight when you have really flavorful in-season fruit. Tips for Men's Health It’s always a good time to think more critically about health and healthy habits. Men aren’t always proactive about their health. Since studies show that 1 in 3 males will be affected by cancer in their lifetimes, it’s time for them to take charge. Need answers? Call 1-888-721-1041 to speak to a registered dietitian for personalized support. August is Awareness Month For the Following: Sun Safety Colorectal Cancer Savor Health is dedicated to helping cancer patients and their loved ones by offering expert dietary counseling as well as cancer diet meal delivery.
  5. For many cancer patients genomic testing provides a unique opportunity to identify the most promising drug therapy options based on genetic indicators identified through the test results. Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF) is pleased to offer theGenomic Testing Support CareLine which is designed to provide assistance to patients who have completed a genomic test on clinical samples collected during their cancer or other genomics-guided diagnosis, or who are encountering barriers accessing and finalizing that process. Patients who are having trouble accessing treatment that has been identified by the testing are also able to receive assistance to reduce some of the financial or insurance barriers that may exist. The CareLine is staffed by expert case managers who offer high touch, personalized assistance to patients, caregivers and providers who are utilizing genomic tests to aid in treatment decisions, helping with both the denial of drugs with indicators based on test results and the denial of any genomic test regardless of cancer type. This represents a comprehensive approach to patient support and allows PAF to actively engage in the delivery of appeals assistance from the initial genomic testing phase through the actual delivery of prescribed care. Those in need of assistance can reach the Genomic Testing Support CareLine toll free at (866) 460-1928 or through the web based portal at genomicsupport.pafcareline.org. From diagnosis to survivorship, this free service is here for patients and their families as they navigate treatment and healthcare based on genomic testing. Genomic Testing Support CareLine Details: Two ways to initiate a request for support: phone and online secure portal No financial requirements to qualify for assistance and all services are free of charge for patients and their families Assistance for patients who have already undergone genomic testing/profiling and now wish to proceed with accessing an off label drug Assistance with insurance challenges relative to accessing the prescribed genomic test Assistance with clinical trials research and access Assistance with prior authorization or predetermination requests “Each cancer journey is unique and PAF is grateful to have an opportunity to offer this exciting new program that adds a unique layer of personalized support to complement the care that patients are receiving from their doctors and treatment teams each day,” says Beth Moore, Executive Vice President of the Patient Advocate Foundation. PAF case managers are on call to answer questions and provide direct assistance to cancer patients facing challenges accessing genomic testing and/or prescribed care based on test results. The Genomic Testing Support CareLine can be accessed toll free at (866) 460-1928 or by visiting genomicsupport.pafcareline.org. Expanded Assistance Now Available for Cancer Patients Seeking Access to Genomic Testing and Drug Therapies through Patient Advocate Foundation’s Genomic Testing Support CareLine.docx
  6. What are your thoughts on food in relation to cancer and health in general? Do you think altering your diet effects your cancer or the prevention of future cancer or recurrence? The Link Between Food Ingredients and Cancer As research continues to explore the factors that may contribute to cancer, many are looking to the foods you eat to have a better understanding of how some ingredients may be at the root of it. The following are the top ingredients in your diet linked to cancer. Reducing your consumption of these can lessen your risks of cancer and improve your body’s overall health and well-being. 1. Processed Sugar
 Processed sugars such as high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and others contribute to high levels of insulin secretion by the body. This can have lasting impacts on your body’s ability to regulate blood sugar while potentially contributing to the growth of cancer cells. PET scans, in fact, are used in hospitals and cancer centres to detect hidden cancer by identifying which cells or tissues are consuming more sugar. Healthy alternatives include coconut sugar or high-quality organic honey. 2. Soft Drinks Soft drinks typically contain HFCS, artificial chemicals, and colourings. Also, sodas have no nutritional value in your diet and can displace healthier foods that you might otherwise consume. 

Diet sodas contain aspartame, which has long been suspected through scientific studies for its potential links to cancer specifically colon and brain cancers. Some studies observed rats who had higher rates of lymphomas when fed aspartame. 
 Although there is still some debate on these findings, you’re better off avoiding soft drinks if you want to keep your body healthy. 

3. Hydrogenated Oils
Hydrogenated oils are produced through the extraction and treatment of vegetable oils. The processing of oils requires chemicals to alter their taste and smell. 

Also, you need to consider the high levels of omega-6 fatty acids that are contained in these oils, which have been shown to affect cell membranes throughout your body which can interfere with how your body tissues function. 

Because these fats have a higher melting point, they’re typically used for frying foods and have an extended shelf life. This makes them useful for commercial food products. Hydrogenated oils have been linked to chronic inflammation as well as prostate, breast, and colorectal cancers. 4. White Flour
 Like sodas and many other processed foods, white flour lacks nutritional value. Like sugar, it causes sharp increases in insulin levels due to its high sugar content. 

White flour is a refined carbohydrate, which can fuel the growth of cancer cells and cause more damage to your long-term health via other effects such as obesity and diabetes. 
5. Food Packaging 
Food packaging is an overlooked component when looking at the ingredients in foods. But many chemicals and carcinogens can make their way from your food’s packages and into your body’s system. 

Bags used to package microwave popcorn often contain perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). This has been linked to increased risks of cancer of the pancreas, kidneys, liver, and bladder. 

Chemicals used in the canning process may also present a risk to your health. Bisphenol-A (BPA) may increase the risk of prostate and breast cancer along with affecting fertility and metabolism. BPA can leach into foods from the lining of cans, putting you at risk for these and other health issues. 

Knowing these top ingredients in your diet that are linked to cancer gives you the awareness you need to improve your health. By increasing the resilience of your body, you can better tolerate the treatments related to cancer and improve their effectiveness in restoring lasting wellness and vitality.
  7. If I may, I would like to weigh on this topic with my own question. Please bear with me as there is some necessary backstory, although I will try to keep it short. I'm a five-year Stage IV colon cancer survivor so I have regular PET and CT scans and I've been NED for four years now. On 9/7/2016 I had a PET scan. There were no abnormalities noted in the report, but because of some equivocal results in my abdomen, we decided to redo the scan "in a few months." We did another scan on Feb. 23, 2017 and resolved the equivocal results in my abdomen and once more there was nothing reported in my lung. Because I complained of some chronic pain in my abdomen, the onc. decided to do another scan which was done last Thursday June 29. Again, there was no report of problems in my abdomen. And, now we come to why I'm here. The radiologist referring to my lungs reported, "Stable irregular 1.0 cm nodule in the posterior right upper lobe is minimally metabolic with SUV max 1.6 with no additional nodules, infiltrates, effusions or metabolic lung findings." I haven't spoken with my oncologist yet, because the results are posted online in a "medical chart software program" that patients can access. I'm wondering what your reaction to this finding of a "Stable irregular 1.0 cm nodule in the posterior right upper lobe is minimally metabolic with SUV max 1.6 with no additional nodules, infiltrates, effusions or metabolic lung findings" might be. I'm also wondering whether you all know if a radiologist can determine if a new finding, remember no nodules have ever been previously reported in my lung, is stable with just one data point. If, in fact, there was no nodule in my previous PET of Feb. 23 that means the nodule grew from 0 to 1 cm in four months which seems fast to me. Also, it's metabolically active but only minimally. I've read they really can't biopsy something so small safely and we might have to wait a while to see if it grows. Again, I would appreciate your thoughts in general and specifically whether we need to move fast to biopsy this nodule remembering it was found on PET with minimal FDG Avidity of SUV max of 1.6. Also, I would appreciate any information on lung cancer survivorship that is more up-to-date than the published stats.
  8. Hello everyone. My uncle was recently diagnosed with lung cancer, stage 3. Surgery is not an option, nor is radiation treatment. His only option is chemotherapy. He attempted to obtain a visa to the US in order to get treatment at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas but was denied the visa. He is now considering cancer centers in Germany. I have attempted to research the rankings of cancer centers in Germany, but have come to no conclusive result. I was wondering if anyone knows of a reputable cancer center (perhaps one that is particularly known for lung cancer) in Germany, based on past experiences or perhaps by word of mouth. Thank you all for your time.
  9. Trialbee is recruiting for a clinical study to evaluate an investigative treatment for Lung Neuroendocrine Tumors (Lung NETs). You may have heard of this condition being called Lung Carcinoid Tumors, Bronchial NETs, or Pulmonary NETs. A total of 216 patients will be a part of this global study, which has been approved by the FDA and relevant ethics committees. We are looking for both males and females, aged 18 years or older, who are diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumor of the lung (Lung NET). To find out if the study may be suitable for you, please visit this website. This post has been approved by LUNGevity Foundation.
  10. Cancer Survivor Beauty and Support Day (CSBSD) is a nationwide event that takes place every year on the first Tuesday in June. It is a day of volunteering when those in the beauty and related industries in all fifty states offer complimentary services to all men, women and children cancer survivors, regardless of their type of cancer or when they were diagnosed. All cancer survivors are invited to participate and, for many, CSBSD is the only time during the year that they receive a little personal kindness, warm support and tender pampering. Learn more about this unique event and find participating locations: http://www.cancersurvivorbeautyandsupportday.org/
  11. What Not to Say to a Cancer Patient By: Jane E. Brody What do you think is the most commonly asked question of a person who has, or has had, cancer? If you guessed, “How are you?” you got it right. But as caring as those words may seem, they are often not helpful and may even be harmful. At a celebratory family gathering a year after my own cancer treatment, a distant relative asked me just that. I answered, “I’m fine.” She then pressed, “How are you really?” “Really” I was fine, I told her. But what if I hadn’t been? Would I have wanted to launch into a description of bad medical news at what was supposed to be a fun event? Would I have wanted even to be reminded of a bout with cancer? Although my relative undoubtedly meant well, the way her concern was expressed struck me as intrusive. A diagnosis of cancer can tie the tongues of friends and family members or prompt them to utter inappropriate, albeit well-meaning, comments. Some who don’t know what to say simply avoid the cancer patient altogether, an act that can be more painful than if they said or did the wrong thing. A new book, “Loving, Supporting, and Caring for the Cancer Patient,” by a man who has been treated for a potentially life-threatening cancer and who has counseled dozens of others dealing with this disease, got me thinking about the best ways to talk with someone facing cancer — its diagnosis, treatment and aftermath. The book’s author, Stan Goldberg, happens to be a communications specialist, a professor emeritus of communicative disorders at San Francisco State University. Dr. Goldberg learned at age 57 that he had an aggressive form of prostate cancer. He said in an interview that cancer patients too often encounter people who assume the role of cheerleader, saying things like “Don’t worry about it,” “You’ll be fine,” “We’ll battle this together,” “They’ll find a cure.” However, he observed, “Words of optimism may work in the short run, but in the long run they can induce guilt if the cancer is more virulent and defeats a person’s best effort. “I was dealing with the possibility that my life would end shortly, or if it didn’t, it would be changed dramatically. False optimism devalued what was going on in my body. People were insensitive not from a lack of compassion but from not knowing what is really helpful.” What he and those he’s counseled have found to be most helpful were not words but actions, not “Let me know what I can do to help,” which places the burden on the patient, but “I’ll be bringing dinner for your family this week. What day is best for you?” As a self-described “independent cuss” reluctant to ask anyone for help, Dr. Goldberg said his son taught him this important lesson. “He came to my house during my recovery from surgery and said ‘Stop lifting those boxes, Dad. I’ll do it for you.’” Another author of very helpful books on living with cancer is Dr. Wendy Schlessel Harpham, who has had a recurring cancer for more than two decades. She suggests that people offer specific ways they can help. For example, they may say they can shop for groceries, care for children, take the dog for a run, or accompany the patient to the doctor, and then be sure to follow through with the offer. Many people now use online sites like caringbridge.org to keep people up to date on their health and needs or organizing platforms such as mealtrain.com or lotsahelpinghands.com to ask for specific help. Dr. Harpham said she came to dread the query “How are you?” because “no matter how it was intended, being asked ‘How are you?’ rattled my heightened sense of vulnerability. I found myself consoling those who asked and then fighting the contagion of grief and fear. Even when the news was good, I didn’t have the energy to include all the people who wanted updates.” Dr. Goldberg suggests that when visiting a cancer patient, people talk less and listen more. ”Often the greatest support comes from silently witnessing what a person with cancer is experiencing,” he wrote. “Sometimes only a calm presence and compassionate listening are necessary. Silence becomes the breathing space in which people living with cancer can begin difficult conversations.” In an article in Prevention magazine, Melissa Fiorenza offered this helpful suggestion for what to say to someone you deeply care for: “Feel free to cry with me, to talk, or not to talk. I’ll take my lead from you.” When talking, Dr. Goldberg suggested, “engage more in conversations and less in question-and-answer interactions.” But if questions are asked, they should be open-ended ones like “Do you want to tell me about your cancer and what you’re going through? Maybe I can find ways to be helpful.” Among the many suggested “don’ts” are these: • Don’t make light of a patient’s physical changes by saying things like “At least you finally lost those extra pounds.” • Don’t talk about other patients with similar cancers, even if they fared well — no two cancers are alike. It’s fine, though, to ask if the patient would like to talk with someone else who’s been through it. • Don’t say the patient is lucky to have one kind of cancer rather than another, which downplays what the person is going through. There’s nothing lucky about having cancer even if it’s a “good” cancer. • Don’t say “I know how you feel” because you can’t possibly know. Better to ask, “Do you want to talk about how you feel, how having cancer is affecting you?” • Don’t offer information about unproven treatments or referrals to doctors with questionable credentials. • Don’t suggest that the person’s lifestyle is to blame for the disease, even if it may have been a contributing cause. Blame is not helpful. Many factors influence cancer risk; even for lifelong smokers, getting cancer is often just bad luck. • Don’t preach to the patient about staying positive, which can induce feelings of guilt in the patient if things don’t go well. Better to say, “I’m here for you no matter what happens,” and mean it. • Don’t ask about prognosis. If the patient volunteers that information, it’s O.K. to talk further about its implications. Otherwise, it’s better to stifle your curiosity. • Don’t burden the patient with your own feelings of distress, although it’s fine to say, “I’m so sorry this happened to you.” If you feel overwhelmed by the prospect of interacting with a person with cancer, it’s better to say, “I don’t know what to say” than to say nothing at all or to avoid the person entirely, who may then feel abandoned and think you don’t care. This story was published on nytimes.com on 11/28/16. Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/28/well/live/what-not-to-say-to-a-cancer-patient.html?smid=fb-share&_r=0
  12. Are you a cancer patient or caregiver struggling with anxiety or depression? Are you worried that your fear, uncertainty or changes to your appearance or mobility will leave you depressed? Join the Cancer Support Community webinar, Frankly Speaking About Cancer: Coping with Anxiety and Depression on Wednesday, November 30 from 2:00pm-3:30pm ET. You will learn about ways to cope with the anxiety and depression that often accompany cancer. A psychologist and a social worker will both present information to help. The webinar features the following panelists: •Diane Robinson, PhD, UF Health Cancer Center – Orlando Health •Stacey Balkanski, LCSW, Program Director at Gilda’s Club South Florida •Shari Goldberg, Lung Cancer Survivor The webinar will be run through WebEx with a slide presentation. After the panelists’ presentations, participants will have the opportunity to ask questions through a chat feature during the Q&A session. Click here for more information or to register!
  13. Good morning. Let me first state that it is not my intent to start a political debate on the advantages and disadvantages of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As a 25 year veteran of the health insurance industry and a current cancer patient, I think I have a better-than-average understanding of the issues at hand. For those of us not on Medicare, please consider the following: a repeal of the ACA repeals the requirements for insurers to accept an applicant without pre-existing conditions and it repeals the requirement to eliminate annual and lifetime maximums. The costs of care are steep; since February of this year, my care costs are $265k. The average person can't just write a check for that level of care. I spoke with several cancer patients yesterday on Twitter and we share the same concerns. If you have concerns about how a potential repeal would impact you, I urge you to contact your elected representatives. ACA is not perfect, but reverting to a system that caused 50% of the bankruptcies in this country is not a solution. If I've violated any forum policies, I apologize. I believe, though, that this is an issue near and dear to many of us. For those in the DFW area, looking forward to seeing all of you at Saturday's Breathe Deep event.
  14. Triage Cancer and The Samfund have created an online resource called Finances 101: A Toolkit for Young Adults with Cancer. The toolkit guides young adults to the information they need to make important financial decisions in the wake of a cancer diagnosis. This collaboration between Triage Cancer and The Samfund aims to mitigate the financial toxicity we see in our community. Whether at the time of diagnosis, in the midst of treatment, or at any point in recovery, we hope to help young adult survivors find information that is most relevant to them. As you may know, open enrollment for the ACA State Health Insurance Marketplaces began yesterday. We know that healthcare is crucial for young adult survivors and so wanted the first module of the Toolkit to focus on health insurance. Premiums are on the rise and we want our young adults to be able to make the best possible decision when choosing an insurance plan. To access the toolkit, visit www.CancerFinances.org
  15. In addition to the resources listed at the bottom of this article, we recommend the LUNGevity Clinical Trial Finder. Cancer immunotherapy is moving fast. Here’s what you need to know. By Laurie McGinley | September 28 The idea of using the body's immune system to fight cancer has been around for a century, but only in the past half a dozen years have dramatic breakthroughs begun rocking the medical world. "That's when the tsunami came," says Drew Pardoll, director of the Bloomberg-Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunology at Johns Hopkins University, and those advances are spawning hundreds of clinical trials nationwide, plus generating intense interest from patients, physicians and investors. Many cancer researchers compare the progress to medical milestones such as the discovery of penicillin or the development of chemotherapy. Over the next decade, the growth in the field will be "exponential," predicts Philip Greenberg, head of the immunology program at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. "Making something better is enormously different than making something work that doesn't work." At the same time, researchers remember the past anti-cancer efforts that fizzled after initially showing promise. That explains the consensus sentiment at this week's international immunotherapy conference in New York: Turning science into cures will take years of perseverance against daunting hurdles. Here's a primer about new treatments and how they work: What is cancer immunotherapy? Immunotherapy is a significantly different approach from conventional treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation. The latter attack the malignancy itself, while immunotherapy aims to empower the immune system to kill it. Because of the immune system's unique power, says the nonprofit Cancer Research Institute, this therapy could prove a formidable weapon against many kinds of cancer and offer long-term protection with reduced side effects. Which immunotherapies are sparking excitement? Two types of immunotherapy are drawing most of the interest: checkpoint inhibitors, which remove "brakes" from the immune system, allowing it to see and go after cancer; and CAR T-cell therapy, which involves a more customized attack. "Checkpoint" inhibitors are designed to block the ability of certain proteins to blunt or weaken the response of the immune system so it can't recognize and go after abnormal cells. In normal times, such checkpoint proteins keep the immune system from being too aggressive and damaging the body. But cancer sometimes hijacks them and uses them to suppress the immune system's response to disease. [Immunotherapy shows promise in increasing numbers of cancers] The Food and Drug Administration has cleared four checkpoint inhibitors for adults: Yervoy, also known as ipilimumab; Keytruda, or pembrolizumab; Opdivo, or nivolumab, and Tecentriq, or atezolizumab. The drugs are approved for malignancies including melanoma and Hodgkin lymphoma, as well as lung, kidney and bladder cancer. The treatments also are being tested in a wide range of other cancers. Former president Jimmy Carter was treated with Keytruda, surgery and radiation for advanced melanoma last year. He announced in December that all signs of his cancer had disappeared. In CAR T-cell therapy, T cells — a key part of the immune system — are removed from a patient, genetically modified in the lab to target a specific cancer and infused back into the person. This treatment, available only in clinical trials, is being tested mainly for leukemia and lymphoma. The Food and Drug Administration is likely to approve the first CAR T-cell treatment next year or in 2018. Of these two immunotherapy approaches, most research and investor interest is focused on checkpoint inhibitors. That's because they are off-the-shelf treatments that are much easier to administer than customized T-cell therapy, said Crystal Mackall, a former National Cancer Institute researcher who's now leading immunotherapy trials for Stanford University School of Medicine. What are some of the main challenges in immunotherapy? Among the biggest challenges are increasing the response rate among patients and turning initial responses into long-lasting remissions. CAR T-cell therapy often produces a high remission rate in blood-disorder trials, but a significant percentage of patients relapse. Checkpoint inhibitors induce responses — signaling a tumor has been shrunk or stabilized — in an average of just about 20 percent of patients, said oncologist Elizabeth Jaffee, the deputy director of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Hopkins. Researchers need to understand why only some cases and some cancers respond. Why, for example, the treatment benefits melanoma but not pancreatic cancer. They think the key to improving effectiveness will be coming up with combination treatments, as happened with AIDS. Jaffee points out that the tide was turned against that disease only after researchers figured out how to use a "cocktail" of medications to keep people with HIV from developing AIDS. Nationwide, combination trials are testing the simultaneous use of two or more checkpoint inhibitors, a checkpoint inhibitor with a CAR T-cell therapy or an immunotherapy plus radiation and chemotherapy. But combining these can increase safety risks. Jill O'Donnell-Tormey, chief executive of the Cancer Research Institute, said researchers also are trying to understand tumors' "micro-environments," which contain cells and other factors that appear to sometimes suppress the immune system's response to cancer. The institute, along with the American Association for Cancer Research and two European groups, sponsored the three-day conference in New York. What are immunotherapy's downsides? By revving up the immune system, immunotherapy can cause sometimes serious damage to healthy tissue and organs. Researchers are working on ways to limit or even reverse the potential toxicity, but much work needs to be done. CAR T-cell therapy poses two types of safety risks. Almost all patients get sick with flu-like symptoms, including high fever and pain, a week or so after the treatment; some end up in intensive care. The treatment also can cause brain swelling that can be fatal. [How cancer thwarts immunotherapy] Yet standard treatments have major side effects as well. Chemotherapy and radiation, when used for children with leukemia, can cause long-term problems such as secondary cancers, infertility and heart damage. In many ways, researchers say, immunotherapy is less toxic over the long term and might eventually be a good first-line alternative to chemo and radiation. Immunotherapy can carry higher price tags. For example, Merck's checkpoint inhibitor, Keytruda, costs about $150,000 a year. Once CAR T-cell therapies are approved by the Food and Drug Administration, they may cost hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, according to some analysts. If the treatments are used as directed by the agency, chances are good that insurance will pay for at least some of that. Does immunotherapy work for children? Immunotherapy in kids is a mixed picture. Checkpoint inhibitors are only now being tested extensively in children, so it will take time to see how well they work. But very early-stage studies suggest that they may not be as effective as in adults. One theory holds that these drugs work better in cancers with many mutations — and pediatric cancers tend to have many fewer mutations. CAR T-cell treatment, on the other hand, is being widely tested in children and has shown impressive effectiveness against acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common childhood leukemia. How do I find immunotherapy treatments? Talk first to your doctor, who should be able to help you find appropriate medication or clinical trials for unapproved treatment. Trials sponsored by the National Cancer Institute can be found at trials.cancer.gov. Studies also are listed on the website ClinicalTrials.gov --though that doesn't signify government endorsement or approval. Another resource is the Cancer Research Institute's Clinical Trial Finder. This story was published on washingtonpost.com on 9/28/16. Link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2016/09/28/cancer-immunotherapy-is-moving-fast-heres-what-you-need-to-know-now/
  16. TUESDAY, Sept. 20, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A leading cancer group says more Americans are benefiting from immunotherapy -- a relatively new treatment approach that helps the immune system target and destroy cancer cells. "The promise of immunotherapy for cancer therapy has never been greater, and the opportunity to make significant progress in this critical area is real," said Dr. Nancy Davidson, president of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). The AACR issued the news on immunotherapy as part of its 2016 Cancer Progress Report. As the group explained, more types of cancer are being successfully treated with immunotherapy. This treatment involves adding new cancer-fighting cells to the body or adding new elements, such as antibodies and proteins, to help the immune system fight cancer. In August 2015, one class of immunotherapy drugs -- called checkpoint inhibitors -- was approved for just melanoma and lung cancer, the AACR noted. About a year later, these drugs were subsequently approved for four more types of cancer, including bladder cancer, head and neck cancer, Hodgkin lymphoma and kidney cancer. In fact, immunotherapy drugs account for four of the 13 new anticancer treatments approved over the past year, the AACR report showed. New uses have also been found for 11 previously approved anti-cancer drugs. But that's not the only cancer advance to occur over the past 12 months, the AACR said. A new cancer screening test, two new imaging agents to help diagnose cancer and a new medical device were all approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the AACR noted. All of these treatments are helping cancer patients survive longer and improving their quality of life, the AACR said. The progress report also revealed that an estimated record 15.5 million cancer survivors are now living in the United States -- an increase of 1 million people between 2014 and 2016. Despite these advances, cancer continues to place a significant burden on patients and their loved ones. The AACR report projects that more than 595,000 people in the United States will die from cancer in 2016. The number of new cancer diagnoses is expected to jump from 1.7 million in 2015 to 2.4 million by 2035. Cancer is also the leading cause of disease-related death among American children. Meanwhile, older people, poorer Americans, certain racial and ethnic groups, and those living in certain areas suffer disproportionately from the disease, the AACR noted. The direct medical costs associated with cancer are expected to surge to $156 billion in 2020 -- up from $125 billion in 2010. The AACR report urges that the pace of progress in cancer research be accelerated with the help of ongoing U.S. government support, including consistent annual funding increases for the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute, the FDA and the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative. "Research has made tremendous advances against cancer," Dr. Margaret Foti, chief executive officer of the AACR, said in an association news release. "However, we need to accelerate the pace of progress because it is unacceptable that one American will die of cancer every minute of every day this year." "And in fact, if the necessary funding is provided, we will accelerate the pace of progress and, in turn, markedly reduce morbidity [illness] and mortality from cancer," said Davidson. This story was published on usnews.com on 9/20/16. Link: http://health.usnews.com/health-care/articles/2016-09-20/more-cancer-patients-gaining-from-immune-based-treatments
  17. June 7th is Cancer Survivor Beauty and Support Day™ (CSBSD™) a nationwide event that takes place every year on the first Tuesday in June. It is a day of volunteering when those in the beauty and related industries in all fifty states offer complimentary services to all men, women and children cancer survivors, regardless of their type of cancer or when they were diagnosed. All cancer survivors are invited to participate and, for many CSBSD™ is the only time during the year that they receive a little personal kindness, warm support and tender pampering. Visit the website and click on the link of participating sites listed by state. http://www.cancersurvivorbeautyandsupportday.org/ If you don't see a location near you contact Barbara Pageat at [email protected]<script data-cfhash='f9e31' type="text/javascript">/* */</script>
  18. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/connecting-people-hope-katie-brown?trk=prof-post I recently read a quote from a cancer survivor about online support. “”When I stumble, there are so many virtual hands to catch me.” This is the same sentiment that has been expressed about LUNGevity’s Lung Cancer Support Community and our groups on Facebook. People impacted by lung cancer can come online and be embraced by others who have walked the same journey and who understand what they may be going thru. There is power in the written word and from receiving support from a group of people. Building a community of support can help you feel less alone in the cancer journey. But there are times when people need more. For example, newly diagnosed patients and their families often feel overwhelmed with the medical process, uncertainties and fears and they need additional support. Some people are not active social media users. Some people need more than virtual hands to catch them. What they need is a strong hand to hold onto. Those are the people who benefit from the personalized support of LUNGevity’s LifeLine Program. This free program, originating from the Lung Cancer Support Community “Support Buddy Program”, is in its 13th year of helping people. Based on individual needs, LifeLine has supported people online, through email and by telephone. A personalized match is made between a survivor mentor and a patient and they begin their supportive relationship based on commonalities whenever possible, like age range, gender and stage and type of lung cancer. LifeLine also matches caregivers and family members to other more seasoned caregivers and family members. Oftentimes caregivers and families bear the brunt of the responsibility of caring for their loved ones physical, emotional and financial needs and neglect caring for themselves. Those caring individuals we call co-survivors need support too. We’ve matched survivors, patients and caregivers from across the country. We’ve matched people at our annual HOPE Summits (a survivorship conference for people impacted by lung cancer) and we are a resources for many hospitals, clinics and social workers across the country and internationally. Here’s what one support seeker said. “It’s amazing. I never knew anyone with a lung cancer diagnosis, now I’m matched with someone like me who has survived these same treatments. She gives me so much hope.” If you or someone you know has been impacted by lung cancer and would like to request a LifeLine Support Mentor or if you would like to volunteer to become a LifeLine Mentor, please visit www.lungevity.org/lifeline If you would like more information on our regional or national HOPE Summits, the LifeLine Program, or would like to request materials please email us [email protected]
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