Blood test could help identify breast cancer recurrences sooner

April 15, 2014 | by
Breast tumor
For breast cancer survivors, a common worry is a recurrence of their cancer. Currently, these patients are screened with regular mammograms, but there’s no way to tell who is more likely to have a recurrence and who is fully cleared of her cancer. A new blood test could detect a cancer recurrence in breast cancer survivors significantly sooner than traditional screening alone. A new blood test – reported in Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research – could potentially provide doctors and patients with the information they need to determine whose cancer…

New study identifies microRNA’s role in breast cancer metastasis

April 14, 2014 | by
City of Hope researchers found that a microRNA called miR-105 helps cancer metastasize by breaking down the building blocks of blood vessels' barriers, allowing the cancer cells to enter the bloodstream.
City of Hope researchers found that a microRNA called miR-105 helps cancer metastasize by breaking down the building blocks of blood vessels’ barriers, allowing the cancer cells to enter the bloodstream. Artwork by Bob Fong Metastasis — the spreading of cancer cells from a primary tumor site to other parts of the body — generally leads to poorer outcomes for patients, so oncologists and researchers are constantly seeking new ways to detect and thwart this malicious process. Now City of Hope researchers may have identified a substance that contributes to it: microRNAs, particularly one called…

Cancers by ethnic group: Numbers tell just part of the story

April 13, 2014 | by
Cancer risk varies by ethnicity, as does the risk of cancer-related death. But the size of those differences can be surprising, highlighting the health disparities that exist among various ethnic groups in the United States. Both cancer incidence and death rates for men are highest among African-Americans, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Among women, incidence rates are highest among whites, but death rates are highest among African-Americans. “The causes of cancer health disparities are complex, with root causes stemming from genetic susceptibility, stress and immune function, and family history, as well as health care…

Musician George Winston has new goal: Say ‘thank you’ in German

April 11, 2014 | by
Musician George Winston
George Winston, known worldwide for his impressionistic, genre-defying music, considers music to be his first language, and admits he often stumbles over words – especially when he attempts languages other than English. George Winston, shown here with Los Angeles Dodger Tim Leary at the 2013 Celebration of Life bone marrow transplant reunion, will meet his donor at this year’s event on May 9. There’s one German phrase he’s determined to perfect, however: danke schön. Winston thinks he’ll have it mastered by his first face-to-face meeting with the 20-year-old German woman who donated the bone marrow…

College student with lymphoma advises: Don’t let cancer define you

April 9, 2014 | by
Anna Kendrick with cancer patient at City of Hope
Young adults and adolescents with cancer face unique challenges both during their treatment and afterward. Not only are therapies for children and older adults not always appropriate for them, they also must come to terms with the disease and treatment’s impact on their relationships, finances, school or career, and fertility. All of these challenges point to the need for more research to improve care and follow-up for this age group. Here, one of those patients –  20-year-old Monica Curiel – shares her experience with lymphoma and also her advice for others in her position. ** By Monica Curiel Lymphoma…

Mammograms: Screening should be based on individual risk, study says

April 8, 2014 | by
Review of eight studies on mammograms concludes breast cancer screening should be based on a woman's individual risk.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer, other than skin cancer, among women in the United States. It’s also the second-leading cause of cancer death, behind lung cancer. In the past several years, various task force recommendations and studies have questioned the benefits of broad screening guidelines for mammograms, disagreeing over how often to screen, when women should start screening and when they should stop. Review of eight studies on mammograms concludes breast cancer screening should be based on a woman’s individual risk. The waters become especially muddy when experts discuss the potential harm caused by “overdiagnosing”…

AACR 2014: Father’s age at birth may affect daughter’s cancer risk

April 7, 2014 | by
father's age and cancer risk of daughters
Paternal age and the health effects it has on potential offspring have been the focus of many studies, but few have examined the effect parental age has on the risk of adult-onset hormone-related cancers (breast cancer, ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer). A father’s age at the birth of his daughter may affect her later cancer risk, City of Hope researchers have found. A team of City of Hope researchers, lead by Yani Lu, Ph.D., explored this relationship and found that a parent’s age at birth, particularly a father’s age, may affect the adult-onset cancer risk…

AACR 2014: Hormone therapy linked to lower non-Hodgkin lymphoma risk

April 7, 2014 | by
pills in blister pack
Hormone therapy, which is prescribed to women for relief of menopausal symptoms such hot flashes, night sweats and vaginal dryness, has recently seen a decline in popularity (and use) due to its link to an increased risk of breast and endometrial cancer. But City of Hope researchers have found that menopausal hormone therapy may actually lower the risk of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. City of Hope researchers found that menopausal hormone therapy use appears linked to a lower risk of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Sophia Wang, Ph.D., associate professor at City of Hope’s Division of Cancer Etiology and…

Coping with myeloproliferative neoplasms isn’t easy; this event may help

April 6, 2014 | by
coping with myeloproliferative neoplasms
Myeloproliferative neoplasms can’t be narrowed down to a single cancer, but they can be described by a defining characteristic: too many blood cells. The diseases bring with them a host of frustrating, potentially life-altering symptoms, and management of the diseases and their symptoms is crucial. Myeloproliferative neoplasms can cause an array of life-altering symptoms. An upcoming event at City of Hope could help patients hope. An upcoming City of Hope event – offered by a group founded by, and for, cancer patients – could help. But first, more about myeloproliferative neoplasms, or MPNs. The diseases, which…

AACR 2014: Where ‘meaningful advances’ against cancer begin

April 5, 2014 | by
Enlisting the immune system to fight cancer
More than 18,000 researchers, clinicians, advocates and other professionals will convene at the 105th American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting taking place in San Diego from April 5 to 9. With more than 6,000 findings being presented over this five-day period, the amount of information can seem overwhelming. Conferences such as the AACR annual meeting can lead to — even expedite — tomorrow’s cancer treatments by facilitating dialogue, exchange of information and collaboration among researchers. But all those posters, presentations and seminars serve a purpose, which is best summed up by the theme…