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Researcher urges wider genetic screening for breast cancer
NPR
A prominent scientist has started a big new debate about breast cancer. Geneticist Mary-Claire King of the University of Washington, who identified the first breast cancer gene, is recommending that all women get tested for genetic mutations that can cause breast cancer. "My colleagues and I are taking a really bold step," King said. "We're recommending that all adult women in America, regardless of their personal history and regardless of their family history, be offered genetic testing for the breast cancer genes."
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GENETICS


PNAS study: Screen all Ashkenazi-Jewish women for BRCA mutations
The Jerusalem Post
Instead of Ashkenazi women being tested for the two defective BRCA genes only if a close blood relative contracted breast or ovarian cancer, an Israeli research team that also included Mary-Claire King, PhD, of University of Washington recommends that all women of Ashkenazi origin be screened for the genetic mutations from age 30. This important finding, which could lead later to screening recommendations in non-Jewish populations, was published in the prestigious PNAS journal and aroused interest around the world.
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Myriad publishes myRisk hereditary cancer study in cancer
benzinga
Myriad Genetics, Inc., announced that the Myriad myRisk™ Hereditary Cancer test significantly improved the detection of cancer-causing mutations by 46 percent in patients with breast cancer in a new study published in the journal Cancer. In this study, researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center used the myRisk test to determine the frequency of hereditary cancer mutations in 2,158 individuals with a history of breast cancer, including 1,781 referred for commercial BRCA1/2 testing, and 377 patients with a personal and family history who previously tested negative for BRCA mutations.
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TREATMENT


FDA OKs Merck drug, 1st in new cancer drug class
The Washington Post
Merck & Co. won the first U.S. approval for a new kind of cancer drug with big advantages over chemotherapy and other older cancer treatments. The Food and Drug Administration said it has granted accelerated approval to Merck’s Keytruda, for treating melanoma that’s spread or can’t be surgically removed, in patients previously treated with another cancer drug.
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OVARIAN CANCER


Combination ovarian cancer therapy granted fast track status
MPR
VentiRx announced that the FDA has granted Fast Track designation to motolimod (VTX-2337) when administered in combination with pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD) for the treatment of women with ovarian cancer whose disease has progressed on or recurred after platinum-based chemotherapy. Motolimod is a toll-like receptor 8 (TLR8) agonist that directly activates human myeloid dendritic cells (mDCs), monocytes, and natural killer (NK) cells.
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WNT7A/β-catenin signaling induces FGF1 and influences sensitivity to niclosamide in ovarian cancer
Oncogene
Authors of a study published Sept. 1 in Oncogene had previously characterized the link between WNT7A and the progression of ovarian cancer. Other groups have identified FGF1 as a relevant risk factor in ovarian cancer. The latest study shows a linkage between these two signaling pathways that may be exploited to improve treatment and prognosis of patients with ovarian cancer.
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BREAST CANCER


Double mastectomies don't yield expected results, study finds
NPR
More women are choosing to have bilateral mastectomies when they are diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer, even though there's little evidence that removing both breasts improves their survival compared with more conservative treatments. The biggest study yet on the question has found no survival benefit with bilateral mastectomy compared with breast-conserving surgery with radiation. The study, published in JAMA, the journal of the American Medical Association, looked at the records of all women in California who were diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer from 1998 to 2011 — 189,734 women, all told.
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ASCO updates guidelines for HER2-negative breast cancer
Cancer Network
The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has updated its clinical practice guideline on both targeted therapies and chemotherapy treatment for women with HER2-negative breast cancer, which makes up approximately 80 percent of all breast cancers diagnosed in the United States. According to the guideline, hormonal therapy, rather than chemotherapy, is the preferred first-line therapy for patients with estrogen receptor–positive metastatic breast cancer, except in cases of immediate life-threatening disease or when a patient is suspected to be resistant to hormonal
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