Posts Tagged ‘manchester’

New blood test could offer more tailored treatment of ovarian cancer

Researchers from The University of Manchester and The Christie NHS Foundation Trust — both part of Manchester Cancer Research Centre — say the test could be developed and used in hospitals within the next few years.

It would mean medics could see which patients could benefit from blood vessel-targeting drugs — such as bevacizumab — in addition to conventional therapy. Meanwhilehile others who are not going to benefit would be spared the time and side effects associated with having the drug.

The test would also help to reduce the cost to the NHS. Ovarian cancer has seen little increase in survival rates over the last few decades and scientists are seeking new treatment strategies to improve the standard approach of surgery and chemotherapy.

A recent advance has been to target the development of new blood vessels within the tumor — preventing the cancer from receiving the nutrients it needs to grow. Bevacizumab, one of the blood vessel-targeting drugs, has shown significant but modest improvements in patient survival so doctors are seeking ways to predict which patients are most likely to gain an advantage from this type of drug.

The research team looked at blood samples from patients enrolled in an international trial of bevacizumab. These patients received either standard chemotherapy treatment alone or chemotherapy plus the blood vessel-targeting drug.

Professor Gordon Jayson, Professor of Medical Oncology at The University of Manchester and Honorary Consultant at The Christie who jointly led the study, said: “We are keen to identify predictive biomarkers — measures that can indicate how well a patient will respond to treatment — so we can better target these drugs to patients most likely to benefit.”We investigated levels of a range of proteins in patients’ pre-treatment blood samples to see if any were associated with improved survival.”

The findings, published recently in the journal Clinical Cancer Research, show that two particular proteins — Ang1 and Tie2 — could be used in combination to predict patient response. Patients with high levels of Ang1 and low levels of Tie2 were most likely to benefit from bevacizumab.

Both these proteins are involved in controlling the formation of new blood vessels. Conversely, they found that patients with high levels of both proteins did not benefit from the additional drug.

Study co-author Professor Caroline Dive, from the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute based at The University of Manchester, added: “We will now look to further explore the potential of using a blood test to personalise treatment for ovarian cancer patients.

Moving towards a more individualized treatment plan specific for each patient and their particular tumor is key to improving outcomes for patients while sparing those unlikely to benefit from potential side effects of therapy.”

source : http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140905090419.htm

Potential method to better control lung cancer using radiotherapy

Standard treatment for locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer is a combination of radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Traditionally this is planned in a one-size-fits-all manner but the radiation dose may not always be enough to stop tumor growth.

The potential to increase the radiation dose to the cancerous tissue varies between patients and depends on the size and location of the tumor in relation to sensitive organs such as the spinal cord and lungs. Now researchers at The University of Manchester and The Christie NHS Foundation Trust — both part of the Manchester Cancer Research Centre — have looked at ways to personalize and increase the dose to the tumor while minimizing the effect on healthy tissue.

Dr Corinne Faivre-Finn, researcher at The University of Manchester and Honorary Consultant at The Christie, who led the study, said: “Current standard options for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer are associated with poor survival. We wanted to see if more advanced methods of planning and delivering radiotherapy treatment could potentially allow an increase in radiation dose.”

The group used data from 20 lung cancer patients to investigate whether a newer radiotherapy technique — intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) — could potentially be used to increase the radiation dose to lung tumors, without harming healthy organs.

Their treatment planning methods ensured a safe radiation dose was delivered to the surrounding organs at risk. In an article recently published in the journal Clinical Oncology, they show that IMRT allowed an increase in radiation dose for non-small cell lung cancer.

“Our exploratory study suggests that using IMRT can allow radiation dose to be increased: calculations indicate that this could yield a 10% improvement in tumor control. We are starting a new clinical trial, funded by Cancer Research UK, investigating the delivery of this personalised IMRT treatment in patients with non-small cell lung cancer. We hope to demonstrate that the increase dose delivered to the tumor will lead to improved survival ” added Dr Faivre-Finn.

source : http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140828091241.htm

Scientists learn more about rare skin cancer that killed Bob Marley

Cancer Research UK scientists have discovered that acral melanomas — the rare type of skin cancer that caused reggae musician Bob Marley’s death — are genetically distinct from other more common types of skin cancer, according to a study published in the journal Pigment Cell & Melanoma Research.

Acral melanoma most often affects the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, nail-beds and other hairless parts of the skin. Unlike other more common types of melanoma, it’s not caused by UV damage from the sun.

The team, from the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute at The University of Manchester, sequenced the tumours of five patients with acral melanoma and combined this with data from three other patients. They then compared the pattern of genetic faults found in these eight tumours with that of more common types of skin cancer.

This revealed that the type of DNA damage found in acral melanoma is very different from other types of skin cancer. For example in acral melanomas, it was much more common to find large chunks of the DNA that had broken off and reattached elsewhere, as opposed to the smaller DNA changes typically found in more common types of skin cancer.

Study leader Professor Richard Marais, director of the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute, at The University of Manchester, said: “Too much UV radiation from the sun or sunbeds can lead to a build-up of DNA damage that increases skin cancer risk. But acral skin cancer is different because the gene faults that drive it aren’t caused by UV damage. Pinpointing these faults is a major step towards understanding what causes this unique form of cancer, and how it can best be treated.”

Nell Barrie, senior science information manager at Cancer Research UK, said: “We hope that understanding the faults that drive acral melanoma will unlock better ways of treating this rare yet aggressive type of skin cancer. Our scientists are striving to improve survival for all cancer patients, including those with rarer forms of the disease.

“And this is why skin cancer will be a key research focus for the Manchester Cancer Research Centre.”

source : http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140820123209.htm