What if there was something you could do to prevent someone you love from hearing the words “you have cancer”? If you have never been diagnosed with cancer (not including basal or squamous cell skin cancer), THERE IS! Consider volunteering for the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention Study-3.
If you have access to the U-M campus, including University Hospital, you can make an appointment for one of three enrollment sessions:
October 30, 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., University Hospital Cafeteria
October 31, 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., North Campus Research Complex on Plymouth Road Continue reading →
Ovarian cancer is an aggressive disease that has a profound impact on the women who battle it and the families who support them
Approximately 1 in 70 women, or 1.4%, will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in their lifetime. In most cases in the United States, a woman’s ovarian cancer is not diagnosed until it is in the later stages of the disease. At that point, few women are able to live longer than five years. In contrast, women whose ovarian cancer is diagnosed at earlier stages have up to a 90% chance of long term survival. As a result, ovarian cancer research continues to focus on ways to detect ovarian cancer when it is still in the earliest stages to give women the best chance to survive.
Ovarian cancer and early detection
There are many challenges to detecting ovarian cancer early. Each year in the United States approximately 1 in 2,500 women Continue reading →
Dr. Merajver (right) and genetic counselor Kara Milliron meet with a patient.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday ruled unanimously that isolated human genes cannot be patented. The gene patents case involved Myriad Genetics, the company that holds patents on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which are linked to high risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
We talked to Sofia D. Merajver, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Breast and Ovarian Risk Evaluation Program at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, who has been doing research on hereditary breast and ovarian cancer for 20 years.
Are certain drugs more effective against some types of prostate cancers than others? Researchers know that not all therapies work for all patients – the next question is to figure out how to match the right treatments with the right patients.
A new clinical trial is testing whether an experimental drug can maximize the effect of current treatment and whether matching that drug to a genetic anomaly can lead to better, more personalized treatment for prostate cancer. The trial, led by investigators at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, is being conducted at 11 sites throughout the country. Continue reading →
As a Cancer AnswerLine nurse, I’m often asked by a caller, “Can I have treatment for my cancer with stem cells? I have read that U-M is involved with stem cell research.” This simple question has a very complex answer.
All of the blood cells in your body start out as young (immature) cells called hematopoietic, (or blood-forming), stem cells.
Stem cells mostly live in the bone marrow (the spongy center of certain bones), where they divide to make new blood cells. Once blood cells are mature they leave the bone marrow and enter the bloodstream. A small number of stem cells also get into the bloodstream. These are called peripheral blood stem cells. Continue reading →
Many types of tumors can start in the thyroid gland, which is in the front of the neck, below the Adam’s apple. Most of them are benign (non-cancerous) but others are malignant (cancerous), which means they can spread into nearby tissues and to other parts of the body. The two most common types of cancer are papillary carcinoma and follicular carcinoma. There are other types of thyroid cancer, which are rare.
Thyroid cancer is commonly diagnosed at a younger age than most other adult cancers. Nearly two out of three cases are found in people younger than 55 years of age. About 2% of thyroid cancers occur in children and teens.
Ronald J. Koenig, M.D.
Most thyroid cancers can be cured by surgery and radioactive iodine. However, thyroid cancers not cured by those therapies present a problem. As a rule, thyroid cancers do not respond well to chemo. But unlike standard chemo drugs, targeted drugs attack certain targets on cancer cells. The targets they attack can be present on normal cells as well, but the goal is to find targets that help cancer cells grow and thrive.
Ronald Koenig, M.D., Ph.D., professor of internal medicine at U-M, heads a research team focused on developing targeted drug therapies for thyroid cancer. He talked with mCancer Partner about a new clinical trial that is opening enrollment for certain patients with thyroid cancer.
mCancer Partner: Can you tell me about your newest clinical trial?
Dr. Koenig: In this new trial, to be funded by the National Cancer Institute, we are investigating whether a drug, Actos (pioglitazone), is useful in treating a certain kind of thyroid cancer. Actos is approved by the FDA to treat diabetes, but has not been approved yet to treat any cancers.
mCancer Partner: Who can enroll in this clinical trial?
Dr. Koenig: We will enroll adults with a history of follicular thyroid carcinoma or follicular variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma. These people must have metastatic disease or disease that has recurred locally in the neck, and that cannot be cured by further surgery or radioiodine. We will treat them for at least 24 weeks with daily pioglitazone and measure for response using CT scans and blood tests.
mCancer Partner: Where can someone learn more about this clinical trial?
Dr. Koenig: Details, along with contact information for enrolling, are available through UMClinicalStudies. This is a helpful website allowing people to easily search and find clinical and health research studies happening at the U-M. Our study’s ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier is NCT01655719.
Learn more about the Cancer Center’s thyroid cancer program or call the U-M Cancer AnswerLine at 800-865-1125 to speak with a nurse.