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Katie Couric show on HPV vaccine sparks backlash
CBS News
Katie Couric's talk show "Katie" has drawn ire from doctors and journalists for a recent segment on the HPV vaccine that presented what it called "both sides" of the "HPV controversy." The segment included personal stories from two moms who claim their daughters suffered serious harm from the vaccine (one of them died). In addition, the show featured two physicians: one who researched the vaccine and thinks its long-term protection benefits are oversold, and one who recommends it to her patients, in line with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
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Knowledge lacking about HPV vaccine effectiveness
ScienceDaily
Knowledge about the efficacy of the human papillomavirus vaccine in preventing cervical cancer was lacking in the majority of survey respondents for whom the information would be relevant, according to results presented at the Sixth AACR Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved, held Dec. 6-9.
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GENETICS


Increase in genetic screening: The Angelina Jolie effect
The Boston Globe
Call it the Angelina Jolie Effect: there's been a rapid rise in the number of women seeking to be screened for breast cancer gene mutations after the actress announced last May that she was a BRCA carrier and had a prophylactic mastectomy to prevent breast cancer. "We've definitely had more women coming in to discuss their family history and whether genetic testing is appropriate after they heard about Angelina Jolie," said Dr. Huma Rana, a geneticist at the Center for Cancer Genetics and Prevention at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
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Ovarian cancer discovery deepens knowledge of survival outcomes
Medical Xpress
Researchers in the Women's Cancer Program at Cedars-Sinai's Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute have identified a series of 10 genes that may signify a trifecta of benefits for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer and ultimately reflect improved survival outcomes. The research, led by Dong-Joo (Ellen) Cheon, PhD, found that the 10-gene biomarker panel may identify the aggressiveness of a patient's disease, help predict survival outcomes and result in novel therapeutic strategies tailored to patients with the most adverse survival outcomes.
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TREATMENT


Surviving ovarian cancer: Scientists attack drug resistant cancer cells
ScienceDaily
Scientists at Rutgers University have developed a targeted drug delivery system that they believe could make ovarian cancer more treatable and increase survival rates for the most deadly gynecological cancer in the United States. Tamara Minko, professor in the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, and Lorna Rodriguez, professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, say because there is not a good screening method for ovarian cancer, most women with the disease are not diagnosed until after it has metastasized to other organs and surgery and chemotherapy are not as effective.
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Clinical waste may prove valuable for monitoring treatment response in ovarian cancer
Medical Xpress
A microchip-based device developed by Massachusetts General Hospital investigators may greatly simplify the monitoring of patients' response to treatment for ovarian cancer — the most lethal form of gynecologic cancer — and certain other malignancies. The team from the MGH Cancer Center and the Center for Systems Biology reports using their device to isolate and identify tumor cells from ascites, an accumulation of fluid in the abdomen that often occurs in abdominal cancers. The PNAS Early Edition paper also describes development of a panel of four protein markers to accurately identify ovarian cancer cells in ascites.
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New test may help predict ovarian cancer survival
CBS News
A sensitive new DNA test can predict how long ovarian cancer patients will survive, and guide personalized treatment decisions, according to new research. The technology, called QuanTILfy, counts the number of cells called tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes in a cancer patient's tumor biopsy. Cancer patients with more of these cells in their tumor tend to have better outcomes, previous studies in ovarian, colorectal and other cancers have shown. This test is the first that can precisely count the number of immune cells present in a tumor sample.
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Intuitive Robots may stall in surgery, company warns
Bloomberg
Intuitive Surgical Inc., the maker of a $1.5 million robot surgery system, told doctors that friction in the arms of some devices may cause the units to stall, the second warning issued about the company's products in a month. The company sent an "urgent medical device recall" Nov. 11 alerting customers of the issue, which affects 1,386 of the systems worldwide, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in a Dec. 3 notice on its website. The stalling may result in a sudden "catch-up" if the surgeon pushes through the resistance, the agency said.
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SURVIVORSHIP


The next front in cancer care
The Wall Street Journal
For cancer patients, getting through the rigors of treatment is the first hurdle. Then, life as a cancer survivor poses its own daunting physical and emotional challenges. A growing number of hospitals and community cancer centers, which treat the majority of the nation's cancer patients, are launching survivorship-care programs. These include treatment follow-up plans, physical rehabilitation and emotional assistance, such as counseling and support groups. They resemble programs currently offered by big urban cancer centers like MD Anderson in Houston and Memorial Sloan-Kettering in New York.
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RESEARCH


Group: Cancer progress threatened by budget cuts in Congress
NBCNEWS.com
Nine new cancer drugs approved in just one year. A speedy new process for approving drugs that gets breakthrough treatments to cancer patients faster. New research that shows a cheap household product — vinegar — can save tens of thousands of lives. It's never looked better for progress against cancer, a new report from the American Society for Clinical Oncology finds. "However, this vital research is facing its greatest threat in a generation," the group says in its annual report on cancer. The threat? Budget cuts in Congress.
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