FDA Approves First Immunotherapeutic for Breast Cancer

Last Friday, March 8, 2019, marked another milestone in immuno-oncology: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the first approval of an immunotherapeutic for use in the treatment of breast cancer.

The immunotherapeutic in question is atezolizumab (Tecentriq). It was approved for use in combination with a cytotoxic chemotherapeutic called nab-paclitaxel (Abraxane) for treating adults who have unresectable locally advanced or metastatic triple-negative breast cancer that expresses the protein PD-L1.

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Lending Their Voices to the Call for Cancer Research Funding

US Capitol Building

Each year, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) holds Early-career Hill Day, bringing a group of AACR Associate members to Washington, D.C., to advocate for strong funding for cancer research and biomedical science. Along with representatives of the AACR’s Science Policy and Government Affairs office, they meet with lawmakers or members of their staffs, urging them to vote for continued robust funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Cancer Institute.

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Translating Science Into Survival: An AACR Early-career Scientist Returns to the Hill

One late summer morning, I recall seeing a petite woman carrying two suitcases near the entrance to a hospital. She was alone and seemed indifferent to the commotion enveloping her.

This instance was mere moments long, yet it is ingrained in my memory. Because nearly six years ago, when I entered our cancer hospital on my first day as a doctoral student in cancer biology, this was exactly what I saw. I saw a woman, carrying her most precious belongings as she checked into the hospital for cancer treatment.

As I offered to help with her luggage, she kindly obliged and asked to share with me her story. Why? She wanted “at least one person to remember” her. And she got her wish, before succumbing to her disease two weeks later.

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Hyperglycemia and Aggressive Prostate Cancer Risk

Rates of diabetes in the United States are increasing. According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 23 million Americans received a diagnosis of diabetes in 2015, in contrast to 1.6 million Americans in 1958. Our risk for diabetes increases as we age; over 25 percent of those ages 65 or older had diabetes in 2015, according to the CDC.

Diabetes is a risk factor for several types of cancer, including liver, pancreatic, and endometrial cancers. While this association is complex, some possible biological links include insulin resistance and hyperglycemia.

Previous work to understand the relationship between hyperglycemia and prostate cancer risk and mortality have yielded mixed results. A recent study published in Cancer Prevention Research evaluated whether hyperglycemia, as measured through multiple biomarkers, is associated with prostate cancer incidence and mortality.

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AACR Journals Editors’ Picks for February

As a regular post on this blog, we feature the 10 articles chosen by our editors from all journal issues published each month by the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR). For February, these articles span from a review of recent preclinical studies focused on brain metastases to a first-in-human immunotherapy trial. As always, articles highlighted here are freely available for a limited time.

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Behind the Scenes at the Annual Meeting: Five Questions With the AACR’s Senior Director of Meetings

In just over a month, the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta will host the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2019. This signature event showcases the latest and most promising developments in cancer research, drawing scientists, clinicians, advocates, and policymakers from around the world.

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How Can We Use Technology to Advance Population Science Research?

There has been a rapid expansion of technology in recent years, from artificial intelligence to intensive genetic sequencing to wearable trackers of fitness and health. How all of this technology can be effectively incorporated into population sciences research is an area of active inquiry.

To facilitate discussion and showcase research in this area, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is hosting a conference, Modernizing Population Sciences in the Digital Age, in San Diego from Feb. 19-22. This four-day meeting will include discussions about the best use of mobile technology, how to best leverage large datasets, and how to incorporate modern technologies into existing and upcoming studies.

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Supporting the Vital Role of Women in Science

February 11 marks the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, a United Nations initiative to encourage full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls. Women have been responsible for countless scientific breakthroughs, yet they are underrepresented in the highest ranks of the scientific community. In many countries, women and girls do not have adequate access to scientific education, making it difficult to even contemplate careers in science.

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