Value Propositions

New Approach to Treating Medulloblastoma Developed at NCI-Designated Cancer Center

October 2013, Vol 4, No 8 - Value Propositions

A team of researchers at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, led by Robert Wechsler-Reya, PhD, Professor at Sanford-Burnham’s National Cancer Institute (NCI)-Designated Cancer Center and Director of the Tumor Initiation and Maintenance Program, discovered that they can block the rapid growth of cancerous brain cells by using small-molecule inhibitors. “By targeting fast-growing TPCs [tumor-propagating cells] with cell-cycle inhibitors, we have developed a new route to assault medulloblastoma. [ Read More ]

New Molecular Markers Can Identify Early Breast Cancer that Will Spread to the Brain

October 2013, Vol 4, No 8 - Value Propositions

Researchers have identified new molecular markers—microribonucleic acids (RNAs)—that, combined with their target genes, are believed to be able to identify which breast cancer will metastasize to the brain. “Survival rates are low once breast cancer metastasized to the brain,” said Seema Sethi, MD, lead investigator of a study presented at the 2013 American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) annual meeting, and a resident at Wayne State University and Detroit Medical Center. This discovery is a new step in the evolving field of personalized medicine.

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Senate Approves $5.1 Billion for the National Cancer Institute in 2014

September 2013, Vol 4, No 7 - Value Propositions

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a bill for fiscal year 2014 that provides $30.9 billion to the National Institutes of Health, of which one sixth—$5.1 billion—is designated for the National Cancer Institute (NCI). This bill constitutes an increase of $23 million in money provided to the NCI compared with 2012. However, the bill has yet to be approved by the House, which is more than likely to reduce these amounts, based on its previous actions related to scientific research. ASCO; July 24, 2013

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First-in-Class Drug, CFI-400945, Funded by Donor Grants Alone, Inhibits Growth of Several Cancers

September 2013, Vol 4, No 7 - Value Propositions

A group of scientists led by Tak Mak, MD, Director of the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, and Dennis Slamon, MD, PhD, Director of Clinical/Translational Research, University of California, Los Angeles, and supported by funding from donor grants only, has filed a New Drug Application with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a drug developed based on the target enzyme PLK4, which plays a crucial role in cancer-cell division. [ Read More ]

First Phase of ASCO’s Data-Sharing Standards Completed, Connecting Oncologists during Patient Care

September 2013, Vol 4, No 7 - Value Propositions

The completion of the Breast Cancer Treatment Plan and Summary Standard and Implementation Guide, the first phase in a set of interoperability standards, was announced at the 2013 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). The new ASCO electronic data-sharing standards are aimed at facilitating information sharing among oncologists, patients, and researchers to enhance patient care. [ Read More ]

North Carolina Cuts Hospital Readmissions by 20%

September 2013, Vol 4, No 7 - Value Propositions

Hospital readmissions for chronic diseases, including cancer, are associated with a significant and often preventable financial burden in the United States. In 2008, North Carolina instituted a statewide transitional care model to prevent repeated hospitalizations in high-risk patients with Medicaid insurance who have multiple chronic conditions. The transitional care model comprises comprehensive medication management, self-management education sessions for patients and families, and outpatient follow-up with a medical home that is informed of the hospitalization. [ Read More ]

Researchers Discover a Set of Proteins that Cause Many Cancer-Related Mutations

July 2013, Vol 4, No 6 - Value Propositions

A new study led by researchers at the National Institutes of Health shows that a set of proteins in the body produces a large number of mutations in human DNA, indicating that these naturally produced mutations are just as powerful as cancer-causing agents in producing tumors. The proteins are part of the apolipoprotein B mRNA-editing enzyme catalytic polypeptide-like (APOBEC) cytidine deaminases. The APOBEC mutations can outnumber all other mutations in some cancers. [ Read More ]