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A new drug for patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) marked by a specific type of genetic mutation has shown surprising promise in a Phase II clinical trial. In more than a third of participants, the leukemia was completely cleared from the bone marrow, and as a result, many of these patients were able to undergo potentially curative bone marrow transplants, according to investigators at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and nine other academic medical centers around the world. Many of the participants who did well with the new drug, quizartinib or AC220, had failed to respond to prior therapies.
A new survey shows that about one in four physicians uses social media daily or multiple times a day to scan or explore medical information, and 14 percent use social media each day to contribute new information, according to an oncologist at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.
In a genome sequencing study of 74 neuroblastoma tumors in children, scientists at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) found that patients with changes in two genes, ARID1A and ARID1B, survive only a quarter as long as patients without the changes. The discovery could eventually lead to early identification of patients with aggressive neuroblastomas who may need additional treatments.
Scientists at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center have combined the ability to detect cancer DNA in the blood with genome sequencing technology in a test that could be used to screen for cancers, monitor cancer patients for recurrence and find residual cancer left after surgery.
Storing music and photos on distant computers via “cloud” technology is nothing new. But Johns Hopkins researchers are now using this tactic to collect detailed information from thousands of cancer cell samples. The goal is to help doctors make better predictions about how a patient’s illness will progress and what type of treatment will be most effective.
Using advanced microscopes equipped with tissue-penetrating laser light, cancer imaging experts at Johns Hopkins have developed a promising new way to accurately analyze the distinctive patterns of ultra-thin collagen fibers in breast tumor tissue samples and to help tell if the cancer has spread.
In an editorial appearing in the October 25 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine, medical oncologists at Johns Hopkins and Brigham and Women's hospitals provide a four-point plan for integrating palliative care discussions throughout the treatment of patients with terminal illnesses. They write that better planning and communication may improve symptoms, stress, and survival time, as well as lower health care costs at the end of life.
Web-based program will be a resource for men who opt for proactive surveillance
A new study from Johns Hopkins researchers suggests that the lethal spread of breast cancer is as dependent on a tumor’s protein-rich environment as on genetic changes inside tumor cells.
After screening more than 2,300 drugs for their ability to halt the growth of breast cancer cells, Johns Hopkins researchers have discovered that the anti-HIV drug nelfinavir slows the progress of HER2-positive tumor cells, even if they are resistant to other breast cancer drugs.
In a preliminary clinical trial, investigators at Johns Hopkins have shown that even partially-matched bone marrow transplants can eliminate sickle cell disease in some patients, ridding them of painful and debilitating symptoms, and the need for a lifetime of pain medications and blood transfusions. The researchers say the use of such marrow could potentially help make bone marrow transplants accessible to a majority of sickle cell patients who need them.
Scientists have completed a comprehensive map of genetic mutations linked to an aggressive and lethal type of lung cancer. Among the errors found in small cell lung cancers, the team of scientists, including those at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, found an alteration in a gene called SOX2 associated with early embryonic development.
Their findings may eventually be used to predict which cancers are likely to return
Johns Hopkins scientists have developed a reliable method to turn the clock back on blood cells, restoring them to a primitive stem cell state from which they can then develop into any other type of cell in the body.
Two Johns Hopkins scientists are among the first recipients of grants geared to answer “Provocative Questions” in cancer research, a new project funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Cynthia Sears, M.D., and Peter Searson, Ph.D., will receive more than $500,000 combined in the first of five years of funding.
Experimenting with human prostate cancer cells and mice, cancer imaging experts at Johns Hopkins say they have developed a method for finding and killing malignant cells while sparing healthy ones.
On Sunday October 14th, Paul Reed Smith Guitars will again host the acclaimed "One Night One Show One Cause" concert featuring JOURNEY at the Modell Center for the Performing Arts at the Lyric Opera House in downtown Baltimore, Maryland. The concert benefits the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.
People with serious mental illness —schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and disabling depression — are 2.6 times more likely to develop cancer than the general population, new Johns Hopkins research suggests.
Scientists at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, working with Danish researchers, have developed a novel anticancer drug designed to travel -- undetected by normal cells -- through the bloodstream until activated by specific cancer proteins. The drug, made from a weedlike plant, has been shown to destroy cancers and their direct blood supplies, acting like a “molecular grenade,” and sparing healthy blood vessels and tissues.
Targeted cancer cell therapies using man-made proteins dramatically shrink many tumors in the first few months of treatment, but new research from Johns Hopkins scientists finds why the cells all too often become resistant, the treatment stops working, and the disease returns.
Two clinical trials led by Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center researchers in collaboration with other medical centers, testing experimental drugs aimed at restoring the immune system’s ability to spot and attack cancer, have shown promising early results in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer, melanoma, and kidney cancer. More than 500 patients were treated in the studies of two drugs that target the same immune-suppressive pathway, and the investigators say there is enough evidence to support wider testing in larger groups of patients.
Recent recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) advising elimination of routine prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening for prostate cancer in healthy men are likely to encounter serious pushback from primary care physicians, according to results of a survey by Johns Hopkins investigators.
Johns Hopkins and Yale scientists have found that melanoma cells use a cloaking protein to hide from immune cells poised to attack the cancer. Nearly 40 percent of their sampling of melanoma tissues contained the B7-H1 protein, also called PD-L1, and scientists say it could be used as a target for new therapies.
A team of scientists led by Johns Hopkins researchers have found that more than four in 10 people considered at high risk for hereditary pancreatic cancer have small pancreatic lesions long before they have any symptoms of the deadly disease.
Timothy M. Pawlik, M.D., M.P.H., head of the Johns Hopkins Liver Tumor Center, has been appointed the new director of surgical oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Pawlik succeeds Richard Schulick, M.D., who is leaving Hopkins to head the surgery department at the University of Colorado.
In addition, the Hopkins Department of Surgery has created two new sections within the department: the hepatobiliary and pancreatic surgery section, and the gastrointestinal oncology, breast, melanoma, sarcoma and endocrine section. Hepatobiliary and pancreatic surgeon Christopher L. Wolfgang, M.D., Ph.D., will lead the hepatobiliary unit while Nita Ahuja, M.D., a surgical oncologist with expertise in sarcomas and colorectal cancers, will lead the gastrointestinal oncology, breast, melanoma, sarcoma and endocrine section.
These news tips are based on abstracts and presentations by Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center scientists scheduled to present their work at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2012, March 31 – April 4, in Chicago, Il.
With sharp declines in the cost of whole genome sequencing, the day of accurately deciphering disease risk based on an individual’s genome may seem at hand. But a study involving data of thousands of identical twins by Johns Hopkins investigators finds that genomic fortune-telling fails to provide informative guidance to most people about their risk for most common diseases, and warns against complacency born of negative genome test results.
Experimenting with cells in culture, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center have breathed possible new life into two drugs once considered too toxic for human cancer treatment. The drugs, azacitidine (AZA) and decitabine (DAC), are epigenetic-targeted drugs and work to correct cancer-causing alterations that modify DNA.
Patrick C. Walsh, M.D., a renowned Johns Hopkins urologist who pioneered work in the understanding and treatment of prostate cancer, was honored with the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ prestigious Francis Amory Prize on March 14. Given by the Academy since 1940, the prize recognizes major advances in reproductive biology and medical care.
Johns Hopkins scientists have published laboratory data refuting studies that suggest blood vessels that form within brain cancers are largely made up of cancer cells. The theory of cancer-based blood vessels calls into question the use and value of anticancer drugs that target these blood vessels, including bevacizumab (Avastin).
Using precise information about an individual’s genetic makeup is becoming increasingly routine for developing tailored treatments for breast, lung, colon and other cancers. But techniques used to identify meaningful gene mutations depend on analyzing sequences of both normal and mutant DNA in tumor samples, a process that can yield ambiguous results. Now, a team of Johns Hopkins researchers says it has developed an easy-to-use online computer software application that can clear up any confusion faster and cheaper than other methods currently used to do the job.
After a 20-year quest to find a genetic driver for prostate cancer that strikes men at younger ages and runs in families, researchers have identified a rare, inherited mutation linked to a significantly higher risk of the disease.
Cancer cells have been long known to have a “sweet tooth,” using vast amounts of glucose for energy and for building blocks for cell replication.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have shown that DNA changes in a gene that drives the growth of a form of lung cancer can make the cancer’s cells resistant to cancer drugs. The findings show that some classes of drugs won’t work, and certain types of so-called kinase inhibitors like erlotinib—may be the most effective at treating non-small cell lung cancers with those DNA changes.
Five Johns Hopkins students have been selected as finalists in a competition to find new ways to cure metastatic cancer. The five, whose ideas were chosen from among 44 presentations, will compete on January 13, 2012, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., for the top prize of $20,000 and a chance to pursue their research proposals.