A team from the University of Zurich discovered that antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), could slow pancreatic and colon cancer growth in mice. Furthermore, in some cases, when antidepressants are combined with immunotherapy, the tumor could entirely disappear. Because the drugs the researchers used in their study are already FDA-approved, they could rapidly be available for cancer patients if human clinical trials confirmed the findings from the animal studies. The study was published in Science Translational Medicine.
Another animal study led by a team from the University of British Columbia showed that a drug used in cancer care could reinstate memory in mice with Alzheimer’s disease. The drug named Axitinib is FDA-approved to treat cancer. However, clinical trials are needed to see if the drug will show the same promising results in humans. The study was published in The Lancet.
In a new study, researchers from the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology demonstrated the health benefits of red seaweed. Two sugars contained in red seaweed manifested prebiotic activity in-vitro. Additionally, the authors found that one of those sugar, 3,6-anhydro-l-galactose, had properties able to fight colon cancer in-vitro. Those preliminary findings may help explain why Japan has the lowest incidence of colon cancer. The study was published in Marine Drugs.
A recent study by oncologists from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute identified how red meat consumption affects DNA.. From observational studies, it has been known that a correlation existed between consuming red meat and colon cancer, but the biological mechanisms were not understood. The authors discovered that some compounds found in red meat caused alkylation, a type of DNA damage. This study is a crucial step in understanding why high consumption of red meat increases the risk of colon cancer. The study was published in Cancer Discovery.
As previously discussed in the literature, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, two-spirit, pansexual, intersex, asexual, plus (LGBTQ2SPIA+) population faces multiple healthcare barriers.
In a new study from the University of Alberta (Canada), undergraduate researchers surveyed 214 radiation therapists involved in cancer care to assess their knowledge, attitudes, and practice behaviors related to this patient population. The study revealed knowledge gaps, with over 70% of the therapists not familiar with all terms associated with LGBTQ2SPIA+. While 74.5% reported experience caring for the LGBTQ2SPIA+ community, only 33% included appropriate gender pronouns when caring for LGBTQ2SPIA+ cancer patients. 87% of the surveyed providers expressed interest in receiving more education on the LGBTQ2SPIA+ community needs. While not generalizable to all Canadian radiation therapists, the results identified gaps that should be addressed to provide inclusive care. The study was published in the Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences.
One of this study’s findings is that over 70% of respondents were unsure if specific resources were available for the LGBTQ2SPIA+ population at their cancer center. Here are two resources available to the MSKCC LGBTQ2SPIA+ healthcare providers and patients:
-The National LGBT Cancer Network resources to providers: LGBTQ cultural competency trainings.
– MSKCC resources for LGBTQ2SPIA+ cancer patients: https://www.mskcc.org/about/lgbt-healthcare-msk