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Phase II cervical dysplasia trial meets primary efficacy endpoint
PharmaBiz
Inovio Pharmaceuticals announced successful results from its randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase II trial of VGX-3100 in women with biopsy-proven cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 2/3 (CIN2/3) associated with human papillomavirus (HPV) types 16 or 18. Treatment with VGX-3100, Inovio's HPV16/18-specific immunotherapy, resulted in histopathological regression of CIN2/3 to CIN1 or no disease, meeting the study's primary endpoint. In addition, the trial demonstrated clearance of HPV in conjunction with regression of cervical lesions. Robust T-cell activity was detected in subjects who received VGX-3100 compared to those who received placebo.
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CERVICAL CANCER


Clearing cells to prevent cervical cancer
News-Medical
A study published online in the International Journal of Cancer earlier this month describes a novel approach to preventing cervical cancer based on findings showing successful reduction in the risk of cervical cancer after removal of a discrete population of cells in the cervix. The findings come from a study that looked at squamocolumnar junction cells, or SCJ cells. These cells reside in the cervical canal and have been implicated as the origins of cervical cancer.
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'Unacceptably low' number of teens receives HPV vaccine
Scientific American
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced July 24 that even though the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine can protect against HPV infections as well as cancers later in life, the number of teenage girls and boys in the United States who have received the vaccine remains "unacceptably low." In 2013, just 57.3 percent of girls between ages 13 and 17 received one or more doses of the HPV vaccine. Only 37.6 received the recommended series of three doses, according to the CDC study.
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RESEARCH


Potential 'universal' blood test for cancer discovered
Science Daily
A simple blood test that can be used to diagnose whether people have cancer or not has been devised by researchers, according to a study published online July 25 in The FASEB Journal. The test will enable doctors to rule out cancer in patients presenting with certain symptoms, saving time and preventing costly and unnecessary invasive procedures such as colonoscopies and biopsies being carried out. Alternatively, it could be a useful aid for investigating patients who are suspected of having a cancer that is currently hard to diagnose.
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BREAST CANCER


New blood test predicts risk of nonhereditary breast cancer
Oncology Nurse Advisor
A simple blood test is currently in development that could help predict the likelihood of a woman developing breast cancer, even in the absence of a high-risk BRCA1 gene mutation, according to new research. Researchers from University College London in the United Kingdom (UCL) identified an epigenetic signature in the blood of women predisposed for breast cancer owing to an inherited genetic mutation of the BRCA1 gene. Epigenetic alterations are thought to be key molecular switches that are involved in the development of cancer. Strikingly, the same signature was discovered in the blood of women without a BRCA1 mutation but who went on to develop breast cancer, making it a potential early marker of women's cancer in the general population.
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Contralateral prophylactic mastectomy benefit questioned
HealthDay News via Healthcare Professionals Network
For women with stage I or II breast cancer without a BRCA mutation, contralateral prophylactic mastectomy (CPM) is associated with an absolute 20-year survival benefit of less than 1 percent, according to a study published online July 16 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
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HEALTH POLICY


Senate committee approves 4.5 percent cut to DoD cancer research
The Cancer Letter
The Department of Defense appropriations measure for the fiscal year 2015, approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee July 17, decreased overall funding for peer-reviewed cancer research programs by 4.5 percent. The committee recommended adjusting DoD’s health research budget to $120 million for breast cancer research, $64 million for prostate cancer research, $10 million for ovarian cancer research, and $50 million for the peer-reviewed cancer research program that would research cancers not addressed in the aforementioned programs, according to the Senate report.
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Supreme Court ruling puts gynecologic cancer prevention at risk
The Clinical Advisor (Free log in required)
The recent Supreme Court decision that enables closely held companies to choose which contraceptives their insurance programs will cover could affect patients who seek to reduce their risk of certain types of cancer. The contraceptives in question in this case — Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. — are two forms of emergency contraceptives (the so-called morning-after pill), and two forms of the intrauterine device (IUD), which are pregnancy prevention tools, but viewed as abortifacients by some outside the medical community.
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