www.CriteriumInc.com

FEBRUARY 2017    A Monthly Review of Articles of Interest for the Clinical Community

 IASLC 2017 Logo

MEET US @ IASLC 2017
Feb 22-25 in Santa Monica CA

CALL Ronny Schnel 310-619-6691
 

<This Month's Clinical Focus:>

<LUNG-THORACIC Cancers>

 

This Is How Lung Cancer Starts, And Preventing It Could Eliminate The Disease

Scientists recently isolated and identified the cells that appear to trigger squamous cell carcinoma, the second most common form of lung cancer.

Lung cancer is the number one cause for cancer death among both men and women, but our treatment efforts have fallen short because we don't really understand how the condition starts. A new study may have found this crucial puzzle piece. Although more research is needed, the team believe that knowing the origin of a cancer may help them prevent it.

The discovery was led by Clare Weeden from the University of Melbourne, and results are now published online in Public Library of Science: Biology.  Weeden found the stem cells that repair our lungs when they become damaged due to environmental pollution and cigarette smoke, reported Pursuit, a publication run by The University of Melbourne. The cells, lung basal stem cells, trigger these repairs, but also are liable to create the mutations that eventually lead to cancer. Identifying these cells as the origin of lung cancer could lead to drugs that target these cells and prevent cancer from developing in the first place.


smoking-189570_1920 by qlcute PIXABAY FREE CC0 LICFor the research, Weeden spent years analyzing samples of lung cells from recent lung cancer patients. However, it wasn’t until she analyzed the cells of a non-smoker cancer patient — a group that makes up only about 4 percent of all lung cancer patients—that she finally found what she was looking for. Weeden realized a correlation between smoking status and basal stem cell quality, noting that lung samples from patients that had never smoked had low basal cell growth. On the other hand, the more heavily a patient had smoked, the higher the growth rate.

“Our lungs are constantly being exposed to what we inhale. When we breathe in something like cigarette smoke that causes lung damage, these basal cells receive a signal to grow and repair the damage,” explained Weeden to Pursuit, adding that, on the flip side, these basal cells were also very prone to mutations. The more they have to repair, the more likely they were to make a cancerous mutation.

Understanding the trigger to a problem is essential for fixing it, and preventing it from occurring again in the future — cancer is no different. Researchers now believe this discovery could stand as a model for drug developments aimed at helping to prevent cancer in ex-smokers. The biggest beneficiaries would be people who quit 20 or 30 years ago, as the drug would be counterproductive for those who continue their habit.

“If a person was treated with a drug that turned off basal cells and continued to smoke, I would imagine that other lung problems may develop due to the inability of the stem cell to repair the lung airways from cigarette smoke-induced damage,” warned Weeden. [Read more: Predicting Patient Prognosis]

The discovery is still quite new and it could be awhile before any such drug becomes available. However, in the meantime, we've seen other breakthroughs in the treatment of lung cancer patients, particularly in the field of immunology, or using the body’s own immune system to fight disease. In October, a drug called pembrolizumab was found to be more effective than chemotherapy in preventing cancer deaths by 40 percent. Unlike chemotherapy that uses non-organic drugs to destroy cancer cells, and unfortunately many healthy cells along the way, this drug enlisted the help of the body’s immune system to attack lung tumors.


By Dana Dovey; reuse with permission from Medical Daily via RePubHub
Source: Weeden CE, Chen Y, Ma SB, et al. Lung Basal Stem Cells Rapidly Repair DNA Damage Using the Error-Prone Nonhomologous End-Joining Pathway.  Plos Biology . 2017
 


Disease Prevention shutterstock_293767085 PAID LICDespite Prevention Guidelines, Few Smokers Seek CT Scans To Check For Lung Cancer

Lung cancer screening rates have barely budged in recent years even though many people don’t have to pay anything for them.

In 2010, just 3.3 percent of eligible smokers surveyed said they had received a low-dose computed tomography scan in the past year to check for lung cancer. In 2015, the percentage had inched up to 3.9 percent, or 262,700 people out of 6.8 million who were eligible.

The analysis of data from the National Health Interview Survey, a large, ongoing in-person federal survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics, was performed by researchers at the American Cancer Society and published online in JAMA Oncology.  Despite steady declines in smoking, lung cancer is the number one killer among cancers, accounting for more than 150,000 deaths annually. Smoking is linked to up to 90 percent of lung cancers, according to the CDC.


In 2013, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an independent panel of medical experts, recommended annual low-dose CT scans for current or former smokers between the ages of 55 and 80 who smoked for “30 pack years” — the equivalent of a pack a day for 30 years — and currently smoke or quit within the past 15 years. Under the health law, health plans have to cover preventive services that are recommended by the task force without charging consumers for them. Medicare also covers the test for eligible beneficiaries, but coverage for Medicaid enrollees varies by state.

More than half of smokers that met the task force guidelines for screening were uninsured or had Medicaid, the federal/state health program for lower income people, the study found. For these people, the cost of the test, which can run several hundred dollars, could be a deterrent to screening, said Ahmedin Jemal, a vice president at the American Cancer Society and the study’s lead author.

But there are likely other reasons as well, Jemal said, including a “knowledge gap” among poorer, less educated people about the benefits of lung cancer screening. Physicians may also have a knowledge gap, he said. In one study cited in their report, nearly two-thirds of physicians surveyed didn’t know that low-dose CT screening should be done annually in people who are at high risk for lung cancer. In addition, it can be challenging to locate a medical center that has extensive experience with lung cancer screening and follow-up.


Source: By Michelle Andrews, Reprinted with permission of Kaiser Health News


Image credits: Cigarette photo by qlcute CC0 Creative Commons licensing provided by www.pixabay.com  "Prevention Time" image provided by paid license from Shutterstock


WHAT'S NEW AT CRITERIUM:
Current Global Studies
Ph II Recurrent or Metastatic SCC-HNS
Ph II Refractory ALK Rearranged NSCLC
Ph IIa Leukemia/Lymphoma
Ph III Necrotizing Fasciitis
Ph II NSCLC
Ph II Breast CA with Brain Mets


SEE OUR STUDIES

CRITERIUM, Inc. Global CRO
Since 1991 Banner

OUR RESEARCH LIBRARY...
...is your access to continuing current information on successful clinical trials


FOLLOW OUR POSTS

See ALL POSTS at our BLOG

Spinal Cord Stimulation Reduces Opioid Use

Ingredient In Red Bull Helps Treat Psychotic Episodes

Most Women Are Confused About Cancer Screenings

New York City Rats are Disease Sponges

NASA Scientist Helps Develop Med Device
 


WATCH OUR VIDEOS

Airport Network - One Minute with Criterium CRO on Excellence in Clinical Trials
Featured at Travellers Hubs in US Airports


The Clinical Data Liaison: The Key to Better, Faster Clinical Trials
Featuring John M. Hudak


LISTEN to OUR PODCASTS

CNN Interview with John Hudak 
Featured at
Travellers Hubs in US Airports

Criterium Celebrates 20 Years
Featuring John M. Hudak

The Site-Centric CRO: Best Practices for Excellent Site Relationships 
Featuring Ed Jahn, Clinical Ops Specialist & Jaime Hudak, CDL

The Clinical Data Liaison: Better, Faster Trials
Featuring John M. Hudak

Agile Clinical Trials and Real-Time Data
Featuring John M. Hudak


READ OUR PUBLICATIONS

The Evolution of the Data Management Role: The Clinical Data Liaison   Mary Stefanzick

Critical Clinical Research Factors in the Down Economy  Lawrence Reiter, Ph.D

No Longer Lost In Translation
Dr. Gavin Leong in PharmaVOICE Magazine

Maintaining Clinical Operations: It's Just Good Business  PharmaVoice View on Clinical Operations

EDC Implementation 
Greg Bailey in PharmaVOICE, View on E-Solutions

Going Global 
John M. Hudak in Future Pharmaceuticals

Trials Limber Up 
John M. Hudak in Int'l Clinical Trials Magazine


VIEW OUR PRESENTATION

Criterium Capabilities Presentation


DOWNLOAD OUR BROCHURE

Criterium - Connect - Communicate - Control


MORE RESOURCES:

Outsourcing in Clinical Trials WEST

Outsourcing in Clin Trials WEST 2017 LOGO
FEB 22 &23 Burlingame CA
Call Ronny Schnel 310-619-6691
 




ACCELERATE your clinical trials CHANGE the workflow paradigm

Resources are precious, time is the enemy, and results are paramount.

 We have managed successful clinical trials for over 20 years!

- Information Management done right
- User-friendly technologies 
- Improved trial efficiencies
- Talented, committed in-house staff

Proprietary technology solutions 
proven to improve your 
clinical trial results.


- MAXIMUM client outcomes
- Small and AGILE Global CRO
- WIDE RANGE of Indications
- Expanded Oncology Consortia

 

Contact: John Hudak, President at jmhudak@criteriuminc.com

 

GET TO KNOW US!

CONTACTUS for an RFP or COMPETITIVE BID on your next project! 

FULL-SERVICE RESEARCH - TRIAL RESCUE SERVICES - PROJECT & DATA MANAGEMENT - BIOSTATISTICS
SITE SELECTION & MANAGEMENT - PROTOCOL DESIGN & CONSULTING - CLINICAL & MEDICAL MONITORING
CRF DESIGN - IVR / IWR - FAX & ELECTRONIC DATA CAPTURE - MEDICAL WRITING - SAFETY - REGULATORY CONSULTING - MORE!

About Criterium Inc.  Criterium Inc. www.criteriuminc.com is a global, full-service, technology-driven contract research organization that offers a unique mix of high-quality, innovative clinical research solutions for the biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical, medical device, and CRO industries.