Women's Cancer News
Jan. 2, 2014

PARP inhibitors reemerge as treatment for serous ovarian cancer
The genomic instability inherent in serous ovarian cancer poses treatment challenges, but it also represents a target which can be exploited through the use of PARP inhibitors, according to Michael Birrer, M.D., Ph.D., professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and director of Gynecologic Medical Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.More

Scientists identify genetic flaw that drives some ovarian cancers
Health Canal
Researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have identified an overactive gene that drives about one-third of high-grade serous ovarian tumors — the most common and malignant type of ovarian cancer. The gene, GAB2, isn't mutated or abnormal, but triggers cancerous cell growth because the gene has been amplified — excessive copies of it are present in the cancer cells, the scientists report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.More

Systematic, genomic study of cervical cancer points to potential therapeutics, sheds light on HPV role
Medical Xpress
Researchers from the Boston area, Mexico, and Norway have completed a comprehensive genomic analysis of cervical cancer in two patient populations. The study identified recurrent genetic mutations not previously found in cervical cancer, including at least one for which targeted treatments have been approved for other forms of cancer. The findings also shed light on the role human papillomavirus plays in the development of cervical cancer.More

Task force backs BRCA testing in high-risk women
MedPage Today
Women with a family history of breast or ovarian cancer should undergo testing for mutations in the BRCA cancer susceptibility genes, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has recommended. The recommendation applies only to women who have a positive family history of the cancers. The USPSTF recommended against routine genetic counseling or testing for women who do not have a family medical history associated with BRCA mutations.More

When will genomics cure cancer?
Since the beginning of this century, the most rapidly advancing field in the life sciences, and perhaps in human inquiry of any sort, has been genomics. In 2001, rival teams from the Human Genome Project and the private company Celera each announced a draft sequence of the human genome — a map, essentially, of the 3 billion letters of DNA that make up a human being’s genetic code. Eric S. Lander was one of the leaders of the public project. Now a professor at MIT and Harvard Medical School as well as the director of the Broad Institute in Cambridge, he discusses what researchers have learned since then, and how they may soon convert many forms of cancer from fatal afflictions to manageable chronic diseases.More

Radiation for uterine cancer ups bladder cancer risk
Renal and Urology News
Use of radiation therapy for uterine cancer appears to increase a woman's risk for later development of and death from bladder cancer. In a retrospective cohort study, Janet E. Baack Kukreja, M.D., of the Department of Urology at Strong Memorial Hospital, University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, N.Y., and colleagues obtained records from the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program pertaining to 56,681 women diagnosed with uterine cancer as their first primary malignancy from 1980 to 2005. Follow-up for incident bladder cancer ended on December 31, 2008.More

Researchers and drug companies are ganging up for a new push against cancer
The Economist
"There is no treatment." This is the conclusion of an Egyptian papyrus, written around 3000BC, that is the oldest known description of the scourge that is now called "cancer." And so, more or less, it remained until the 20th century, for merely excising a tumour by surgery rarely eliminates it. Only when doctors worked out how to back up the surgeon's knife with drugs and radiation did cancer begin to succumb to treatment — albeit, to start with, in a pretty crude fashion.More