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Researchers develop personalized ovarian cancer vaccines
Drug Discovery & Development
Researchers at the University of Connecticut have found a new way to identify protein mutations in cancer cells. The novel method, published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, is being used to develop personalized vaccines to treat patients with ovarian cancer. “This research will serve as the basis for the first ever genomics-driven personalized medicine clinical trial in immunotherapy of ovarian cancer,” says Dr. Pramod Srivastava, one of the principal investigators on the study. Dr. Angela Kueck, a gynecological oncologist at UConn Health, will run the initial clinical study, once it is approved by the FDA. The research team will sequence DNA from the tumors of 15 to 20 women with ovarian cancer, and use that information to make a personalized vaccine for each woman.
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Research grant applications due Nov. 21
The Foundation for Gynecologic Oncology is seeking applications for four research grant awards during the 2015 calendar year. Application deadline is Friday, Nov. 21, 2014.
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How tampons could help detect ovarian cancer
HealthDay News via Health Magazine
Researchers have found it’s possible to detect ovarian cancer gene mutations in vaginal fluid samples — a finding they hope is a step toward an effective screening test for the disease. In a pilot study, published in Obstetrics & Gynecology, researchers were able to detect tumor DNA in tampons from several women with advanced ovarian cancer. It’s a “proof of principle” that genetic evidence of the cancer can be uncovered in vaginal samples, they noted.
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  ChemoFx Improves Ovarian Cancer Outcomes
ChemoFx® provides invaluable information to physicians choosing from 20+ equivalent treatment recommendations without prior knowledge of how individual patients may respond. ChemoFx determines platinum resistance in primary ovarian cancer and demonstrates longer overall survival by 14 months in recurrent ovarian cancer, making it instrumental in improving patient outcomes.


Attacking angiogenesis anew: Novel agents and strategies keep focus on complex cancer hallmark
A decade after bevacizumab debuted as the first anticancer therapy to target angiogenesis, new strategies to attack this hallmark of cancer continue to be a major research focus, resulting in the development of novel agents and fresh treatment settings for existing drugs. Earlier this year, the FDA approved ramucirumab for the treatment of patients with advanced gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma that progresses after prior therapies. Additional expansion in this field has come from new indications for previously approved agents, including bevacizumab, and several novel agents hold particular promise as treatments for gynecologic malignancies and non–small cell lung cancer.
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Chronotherapy, timing cancer drug treatment for certain hours, may be the next wave in oncology
Medical Daily
Chronotherapy is the science of modifying the timing of drugs to achieve the greatest benefit with the lowest risk of side effects. Importantly, a new study, published in Nature, finds the way our bodies function during the day could interfere with certain cancer medicines. The researchers discovered, for instance, that daytime hormone production interfered with epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFR), which are the proteins targeted by a class of anti-cancer drugs, such as the breast cancer treatment lapatinib.
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Role of mesenchymal cells in the natural history of ovarian cancer: a review
Journal of Translational Medicine
Mesenchymal stem cells participate to an elaborate crosstalk through direct and paracrine interaction with ovarian cancer cells, according to a research review published Oct. 11. They play a role at different stages of the disease: survival and peritoneal infiltration at early stage, proliferation in distant sites, chemoresistance and recurrence at later stage.
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Robotic surgery brings higher costs, more complications, study shows
The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required)
Researchers from Columbia University have found that robotic surgery costs significantly more and has a higher rate of complications than regular minimally invasive surgery for removing ovaries and ovarian cysts. “There’s a widespread belief that newer is better but our findings question that. People need to stop and critically analyze whether using this expensive technology will really add any benefit for patients,” said Jason D. Wright, chief of gynecologic oncology at Columbia and lead author of the new study, published in the journal Obstetrics & Oncology.
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Pfizer breast cancer treatment granted FDA priority review
The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required)
Pfizer Inc. said that its experimental breast cancer treatment, palbociclib, has been granted priority review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, potentially speeding the approval process by up to four months. The drug is used to treat postmenopausal women with advanced breast cancer in combination with the FDA-approved breast cancer treatment letrozole. The FDA gives priority review status to drugs that provide a treatment where no adequate therapy exists.
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The gap between discovery and delivery
In the past year or so, there have been several notable, “big-picture” reports about the state of cancer research, care and survival in the United States. The American Cancer Society, Institute of Medicine and ASCO all have produced status reports on progress in cancer. Each document highlighted advances in survival — achieved through enhanced prevention, early detection and treatment — and emphasized future challenges, such as an aging population with an anticipated increase in cancer incidence, a lack of trained oncology specialists, an increased “burden” of cancer survivors with specific health care needs, and an almost limitless potential for increasing costs of care.
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Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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