AACR Welcomes First Science Policy Fellow

Policy plays a critical role in the fight against cancer, influencing the funding of cancer research and driving the approval of safe and effective anticancer therapies. With the increasing complexity of cancer-related policy issues, the need for active engagement of cancer researchers and physician-scientists in the policymaking process has never been greater.

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Second Targeted Therapeutic Approved for Use Based on Tumor Biomarker, Not Tumor Origin

Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the second of a new wave of molecularly targeted therapeutics that can be used to treat patients with any type of cancer provided their tumor tests positive for a specific biomarker.

The therapeutic in question, entrectinib (Rozlytrek), was approved for treating adults and adolescents age 12 and older whose cancers have an NTRK gene fusion and who have no other effective treatment options.

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FDA Approvals Provide Advances for a Range of Cancer Types

During late spring and early summer, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved four new molecularly targeted therapeutics—alpelisib (Piqray), polatuzumab vedotin-piiq (Polivy), selinexor (Xpovio), and darolutamide (Nubeqa)—for treating certain patients with a wide array of cancer types. Molecularly targeted therapeutics are the cornerstone of precision oncology. So, this flurry of approvals highlights that progress in this important area of cancer care is continuing unabated.

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July Editors’ Picks from AACR Journals

As a monthly staple on this blog, we feature the editors’ picks from the 10 journal issues published by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). This month, selections include two articles detailing laboratory culture methods to model human cancers, as well as results from two clinical trials, among other studies. Per usual, articles summarized here are freely available for a limited time.

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Let’s End HPV-related Cancers: A Congressional Briefing

Every two minutes, a woman somewhere in the world dies of cervical cancer.

That harrowing statistic, shared by Anna R. Giuliano, PhD, founding director of the Center for Immunization and Infection Research in Cancer at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, reflects a great frustration in public health. There is a vaccine that prevents infection with the virus that can cause cervical cancer and several other cancer types, yet worldwide, not enough people are taking advantage of it.

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Highlights from AACR Meeting Focusing on Environmental Carcinogenesis

Decades of research have led to the identification of an increasing number of cancer-causing substances in our environment. These substances, known as environmental carcinogens, can be found anywhere, including in our air, water, food, and workplace.

Despite the progress we have made in identifying and increasing awareness of such carcinogens, experts believe that we have a long way to go before we have fully delineated them and successfully regulated our exposures to reduce cancer incidence. Therefore, establishing methods to better identify all of the carcinogens in our environment, to measure our exposure to them, and to prevent cancer caused by them are areas of active investigation in the field.

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AACR Takes Action Against the “Epidemic” of Youth E-cigarette Use

In the past year, the number of American teenagers using tobacco products has increased by nearly 40 percent, reversing a trend that public health officials worked tirelessly to achieve.
The primary culprit in the resurgence of smoking? E-cigarettes. Taking aim at this growing public health problem, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) held a congressional briefing on Wednesday, June 12, titled “E-cigarettes and Nicotine Addiction: A Potential Health Crisis for Youth and Young Adults.” The roster of speakers included leaders from government, research, and policy sectors.

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Educating the Public on Cancer Prevention

On Saturday, May 4, Philadelphians flooded the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for the Franklin Institute’s ninth annual Philadelphia Science Festival. For the fourth consecutive year, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) was a sponsor of the community event, giving eager kids and their families the opportunity to learn about science with hands-on experiments and activities.

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Why Are Liver Cancer Death Rates Up?

Since the 1990s, the cancer mortality rate in the U.S. has steadily declined. Yet liver cancer death rates in the U.S. have increased. Why?
Liver cancer is caused principally by the combination of a chronic hepatitis B virus infection and dietary exposure to aflatoxin B1, a contaminant that grows on corn and peanuts. Recent efforts to better control liver cancer globally include wide distribution of hepatitis B virus vaccines—more than a billion so far—and deployment of food safety tactics to prevent exposure to aflatoxin B1.

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