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NIH scientists map genetic changes that drive tumors in a common pediatric soft-tissue cancer
National Institutes of Health
Scientists have mapped the genetic changes that drive tumors in rhabdomyosarcoma, a pediatric soft-tissue cancer, and found that the disease is characterized by two distinct genotypes. The genetic alterations identified in this malignancy could be useful in developing targeted diagnostic tools and treatments for children with the disease. The study, by researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NIH), part of the National Institutes of Health, and their colleagues, appeared in the Jan. 23 issue of the journal Cancer Discovery.
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Celebrate World Cancer Day
International Union for Cancer Control
World Cancer Day, sponsored by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), will be held on Feb. 4. To help spread the word, the UICC has created a campaign, Debunking Myths about Cancer, that can be used to spread the word. The UICC encourages you to to use, adapt, and share the materials to support your activities on that day. Make sure you include your activity on the UICC map of events that is often visited by various media, organizations, and individuals worldwide.
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Advanced radiation therapy for head and neck cancers may be better than traditional radiation
Virtual Medical Centre
Patients with head and neck cancer who are treated with an advanced form of radiation therapy may experience fewer side effects and be less likely to die from their disease than patients who receive standard radiation therapy. That is the finding of an analysis published early online in Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society. The study establishes so-called intensity-modulated radiation therapy as both a safe and beneficial treatment for patients with head and neck cancer.
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Artificial bone marrow could be used to treat leukemia
Live Science
For decades, doctors have been treating leukemia patients by transplanting stem cells from people with healthy bone marrow. But even though transplants can be a fairly effective treatment, there aren't enough tissue donors to treat every leukemia patient. Now, researchers are taking the first steps toward making bone marrow in a lab: They are growing stem cells in a setting that mimics the natural environment of bone marrow.
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Complications from cancer surgical care incur extremely high costs
Oncology Nurse Advisor
Although complications from surgical care for cancer patients may seem infrequent, the costs associated with such outcomes are extremely high, according to researchers. “It is widely known that outcomes after cancer surgery vary widely, depending on interactions between patient, tumor, neoadjuvant therapy, and provider factors,” said Marah Short, a senior research analyst for Rice University's Baker Institute's Health Policy Forum in Houston, Texas. “An area of cancer care that has received little attention is the influence of complications on medical outcomes and costs of care. In our study, we found consistently higher costs associated with cancer surgery complications."
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Accreditation 101: Learning the Basics of CoC Accreditation and Standards
Commission on Cancer
Are you a new staff member just learning the ropes of CoC accreditation?
Is your cancer program considering CoC accreditation and you want to learn about the CoC standards?
Do you need a basic refresher on the CoC accreditation process and standards?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then plan to attend Accreditation 101: Learning the Basics of CoC Accreditation and Standards in Austin, Texas, on Feb. 28. This is the only program developed and taught by CoC surveyors and staff who review the CoC Standards, provide practical information on how to achieve compliance, and discuss the important role you and your cancer team play throughout the continuum of cancer care. Get the information you need from the people involved in standard development and the survey process. For additional information, go to http://www.facs.org/cancer/schedules/accred101.html.

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Study provides clearer picture of cancer risk
Medical Xpress
A University of Vermont researcher has helped to develop a more accurate way of studying genetic changes to identify people at high risk for colon and other cancers. The findings are published in Nature Genetics. Marc Greenblatt, MD, an associate professor of medicine and oncologist at the University of Vermont and Fletcher Allen Health Care and a faculty member at the Vermont Cancer Center's Familial Cancer Program, co-led a collaborative global effort to interpret genetic data related to hereditary colon cancer. The team's findings will both allow doctors to access publicly available data to more effectively interpret risks and give patients a more accurate picture of familial risk for colon and other cancers.
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Long-living breast stem cells give clues to cancer cells of origin
Medical News Today
Researchers in Australia have found that breast stem cells and their "daughters" have a longer life than previously believed. This newly discovered longer lifespan suggests that these cells could carry damage or genetic defects earlier in life that eventually lead to cancer decades later. The researchers, from Melbourne's Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, have published their results in the journal Nature, and they say their discovery could help with the development of treatments and diagnostics for breast cancer.
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National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) Call for Data
CoC Source
The official NCDB Call for Data announcement was sent to all programs in a special CoC Source on Oct. 15. The final date for initial submissions is Jan. 31 (midnight Central time), and corrections are due April 1 (midnight Central time). Click "read more" to view the data items required and layout specifications.
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Risk-reduction surgery for ovarian cancer improves surgery
Oncology Nurse Advisor
Preventive surgery improves survival for women who are at greater risk of developing ovarian cancer, and it may be helpful for women at risk of developing breast cancer due to genetics. Women with a mutation in either of the two high-risk genes, known as BRCA1 and BRCA2, have an increased risk of dying from breast and/or ovarian cancer. Many such women, including high-profile celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, choose to undergo surgery to remove their healthy breasts, ovaries, or both before the disease affects them. However, few studies have looked at the possible benefits of these procedures across large groups of women.
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New prostate cancer drugs may not be targeting root cause of disease, scientists warn
Medical Xpress
New drugs being developed for the treatment of prostate cancer may not be targeting the root cause of the disease, according to research published Jan. 24 in Cell Death & Differentiation. Scientists at the University of York have discovered that a process called 'methylation,' previously thought to drive the development of cancer, occurs in cells that are already cancerous. The findings mean therapies aimed at reversing this process might not be effective against cancer stem cells, allowing the cancer to return.
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The CoC Brief

Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Samantha Emerson, Content Editor, 469.420.2669
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Disclaimer: The CoC Brief is a digest of the most important news selected for the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer from thousands of sources by the editors of MultiBriefs, an independent organization that also manages and sells advertising. The Commission on Cancer does not endorse any of the advertised products and services. Opinions expressed in the articles are those of the author and not of the American College of Surgeons and the Commission on Cancer.


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