Learning From the Immune System of Long-term Pancreatic Cancer Survivors

November is pancreatic cancer awareness month.

A look at the statistics from the SEER database is a stark reminder that pancreatic cancer is a deadly disease with a five-year survival rate of a mere 8.2 percent. Unfortunately, the last 30 years has not seen any significant improvement in survival for patients with this disease. Pancreatic cancer is projected to become the second leading cause of deaths due to cancer in the United States by 2030.

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Advances in Tobacco Control

Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of death from lung cancer in the United States. That’s why November, Lung Cancer Awareness Month, is a good time to highlight new advances in tobacco control, such as the legislation that came into effect Nov. 1, 2017, in New Jersey that raises the minimum age of legal access to tobacco products to 21.

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NextGen Grant Recipient Harnesses the Power of Genomics to Understand Pediatric Brain Cancer

Paul Northcott, PhD, inaugural recipient of the AACR NextGen Grant for Transformative Cancer Research, has dedicated his research career to understanding a type of brain cancer called medulloblastoma, with the ultimate goal of improving treatment and prognosis for patients.

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Recent Advances in Measuring Response to Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors

In recent years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved immune checkpoint inhibitors, a class of immunotherapy, to treat 10 different types of cancer, in addition to solid tumors located anywhere in the body that have certain DNA damage and repair-related biomarkers. However, only a small percentage of patients respond to these treatments, and they can have significant side effects. Researchers are looking for biomarkers that can identify patients who are likely to respond to immune checkpoint inhibitors.

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Cultivating a More Diverse Scientific Work Force

The U.S. Latino population surged 243 percent from 1980 to 2010. But in the same time span, the Latino physician work force dropped from 135 to 105 physicians per 100,000, according to a study by the Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture at the University of California, Los Angeles.

This decline is alarming. It means that the growing Latino population does not get culturally competent care needed to improve patient health outcomes.

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AACR Cancer Progress Report 2017: Harnessing Research Discoveries to Save Lives

Today, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) released its seventh annual Cancer Progress Report. The report highlights how federally funded research that provides a deep understanding of the biology of cancer is spurring advances across the clinical cancer care continuum that are improving survival and quality of life for people around the world.

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The Fuzzy Factor: Striving to Protect Patient Privacy in Big Data Sets

A major objective of former Vice President Joe Biden’s National Cancer Moonshot Initiative is breaking down silos and sharing cancer patients’ data across centers. This path is critical to bringing new dimensions to understanding the molecular biology of cancer, leading to the rapid identification of new therapeutic targets and accelerated development of molecularly informed cancer therapeutics.

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Broadening Clinical Trial Participation

Patient enrollment in clinical trials has long been on the minds of oncologists and researchers. In 1990, fewer than 3 percent of patients were enrolled in clinical trials—which spurred then president-elect of the American Cancer Society, Walter Lawrence Jr., MD, to write an editorial calling for more concerted efforts. More than 25 years later, clinical trial participation hovers around 5 percent.

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