Gynecologic Cancer Awareness

Cancer "awareness" includes advocating for appropriate levels of funding so real progress can be made against this set of diseases.Since 1999, the month of September has been designated as Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month (GCAM). The goals of GCAM each year have included educating women about the signs and symptoms of gynecologic cancers as well as factors that increase risk for these types of cancer.

This September has particular significance for me and my family. It was at about this time 40 years ago that my mother was diagnosed with uterine cancer. She was only 50 years old at the time.

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Preventing Breast Cancer With A Vaccine

Researchers are developing a vaccine to prevent breast cancer in healthy women.What if it were possible to give a safe and effective vaccine to healthy women to prevent breast cancer, or at least greatly reduce the risk of breast cancer? This is a question that some researchers are actively studying, with hopes of starting clinical trials for such a preventive vaccine within a couple of years.

The National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC) recently published a fifth annual report on its Artemis Project: For a Preventive Breast Cancer Vaccine. The Artemis Project has reached a turning point, according to the report. With decisions about possible targets for the vaccine having been made, the research team can now begin preclinical work to develop a vaccine that could potentially be tested in early phase clinical trials starting in 2017.

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Cancer Genome Studies: How Will They Help Patients?

DNA strand against a colored backgroundA new set of findings from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) project was published recently, in the October 16, 2013 issue of the journal Nature.

Previous reports from this large ongoing project have shown that tumor cells for individual cancer types, such a breast cancer, colon cancer, etc. sometimes contain many more types of genetic mutations than was previously  known.

By contrast, this new report looks at cancer genome sequencing in a different way–comparing mutations across types of cancer. 

Overall, TCGA has been generating interesting, though somewhat controversial, findings. Continue reading