Emma Shtivelman, PhD Cancer Commons Chief Scientist

  •   Emma Shtivelman, PhD

    Excerpt:

    “A quarter of newly diagnosed cancer patients 65 or older are survivors who had a prior cancer — often preventing them from participating in clinical trials, researchers from UT Southwestern’s Simmons Cancer Center have found.

    “The UT Southwestern scientists found that 11 percent of individuals ages 20-64 had a history of a prior cancer, and 25 percent of individuals 65 or older had a history of a prior cancer.

    “As the number of cancer survivors grows, more individuals are being excluded from cancer clinical trials that could benefit them when diagnosed with a second cancer.”

    Go to full article published by ScienceDaily on Nov 22, 2017.

    If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to get support from Cancer Commons.

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    New Trends in Pre-Surgery Treatments for Breast Cancer

    Emma Shtivelman, PhD

    Non-metastatic breast cancers are most often treated with surgery, but if the tumors are fairly large, or involve nearby lymph nodes, neoadjuvant (pre-operative) treatments with chemotherapy (NAC) are done first. NAC often reduces the tumor size and kills cancer cells in lymph nodes, if present, prior to surgery, improving the outcome. The best possible result of neoadjuvant treatment is pCR (pathologic compete response), when… Read more »

  •   Emma Shtivelman, PhD

    Excerpt:

    “Yesterday’s historic FDA approval of the first engineered T-cell treatment for cancer, Novartis’ Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel), was accompanied by inevitable questions about how the product would be priced. In the end, Novartis set the price at $475,000, which was lower than many analysts had predicted, considering the treatment is designed to cure some forms of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)—and in clinical trials it did just that for most patients.”

    Go to full article published by Forbes on Aug 31, 2017.

    If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to get support from Cancer Commons.

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    EGFR-mutant NSCLC: Choice of First-Line Treatment May Get More Complicated

    Emma Shtivelman, PhD

    Medical guidelines for treatment of newly diagnosed non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) mandate upfront testing of tumor tissue for mutations in the EGFR gene (as well as ALK and ROS gene translocation). EGFR mutations are found in 10 to 15% of white patients, but in patients of East Asian origin such mutations are in encountered in approximately 48%. However, with new data and drugs… Read more »

  •   Emma Shtivelman, PhD

    Excerpt:

    “With the arrival of two revolutionary treatment strategies, immunotherapy and personalized medicine, cancer researchers have found new hope — and a problem that is perhaps unprecedented in medical research.

    “There are too many experimental cancer drugs in too many clinical trials, and not enough patients to test them on.

    “The logjam is caused partly by companies hoping to rush profitable new cancer drugs to market, and partly by the nature of these therapies, which can be spectacularly effective but only in select patients.”

    Go to full article published by The New York Times on Aug 12, 2017.

    If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to get support from Cancer Commons.

  •   Emma Shtivelman, PhD

    Excerpt:

    “Patients who choose to receive alternative therapy as treatment for curable cancers instead of conventional cancer treatment have a higher risk of death, according to researchers from the Cancer Outcomes, Public Policy and Effectiveness Research (COPPER) Center at Yale School of Medicine and Yale Cancer Center. The findings were reported online by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

    “There is increasing interest by  and families in pursuing alternative medicine as opposed to conventional  treatment. This trend has created a difficult situation for patients and providers. Although it is widely believed that conventional cancer treatment will provide the greatest chance at cure, there is limited research evaluating the effectiveness of alternative medicine for cancer.”

    Go to full article published by Medical Xpress on Aug 10, 2017.

    If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to get support from Cancer Commons.

  •   Emma Shtivelman, PhD

    Excerpt:

    “When approved therapies don’t work, or stop working, for people with serious or life-threatening illnesses, it puts them in a difficult position. Some turn to clinical trials that are testing experimental treatments. But many can’t do that because they are too sick, don’t meet the requirements of the trial, or can’t afford to travel to the site of a trial. That doesn’t mean they are out of options.”

    Go to full article published by STAT on Aug 2, 2017.

    If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to get support from Cancer Commons.

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    Reengineering Immune System Cells to Treat Glioblastoma

    Emma Shtivelman, PhD

    Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a serious diagnosis. The search for better treatments is ongoing, but with little to show since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of the chemotherapy drug temozolomide with concurrent radiation 12 years ago, based on data showing modest improvement in patients’ survival. By now, a new cancer treatment approach known as CAR T-cell therapy is famous… Read more »

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    Melanoma News at ASCO 2017: Combination Treatments

    Emma Shtivelman, PhD

    There are many hopes that combining immune checkpoint inhibitor drugs, or combining them with drugs of other types (immunotherapy, targeted therapy, or chemotherapy) is the future of treatment for many kinds of cancer. Literally hundreds of clinical trials are actively exploring these combinations, and melanoma is the cancer for which trials of this type abound. Last month, the annual meeting of the American Society… Read more »

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    ASCO 2017: Breast Cancer Treatment News

    Emma Shtivelman, PhD

    Last month, the annual American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting took place in Chicago. Thousands of oncologists, patients, and journalists gathered to learn about the most recent developments in cancer research and treatment. Here are some breast cancer highlights from the meeting: Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is considered more responsive to treatment with immune checkpoint drugs than any other type of breast cancer.… Read more »