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June 3, 2018 – Increase in lifestyle-related cancers over past decade spotlights need for prevention

A recently published study found that cases of lifestyle-related cancers increased universally, while cases of cancers from infectious causes—including stomach cancers – decreased between 2006 and 2016. The 2016 rankings for the best and worst countries for stomach cancer according to number of new cases showed South Korea as the worst country with 44.5 new cases per 100,000 people and Namibia as the best country with 2.7 new cases per 100,000 people. Globally, there are 17.3 new cases for every 100,000 people. In terms of deaths, Mongolia is the worst country with 44.0 deaths per 100,000 people and Maldives is the best country with 3.2 deaths per 100,000 people. Globally, 12.6 people die in every 100,000 people.
Risk Factors
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May 29, 2018 – Gastric Cancer Screening in High-Risk Groups Cost-Effective

A new modeling study suggests that gastric-cancer screening could be cost-effective in high-risk racial and ethnic groups in the U.S. When diagnosed at an early stage, patients with gastric adenocarcinoma (GA) have a five-year survival rate of 95% to 99%. But, if detected later, the survival rate drops to less than 30%.
Thus, it is recommended for people to get screened early on. However, since the prevalence of noncardia intestinal-type gastric adenocarcinoma (NCGA) in the US is low, it is not recommended for everyone.
Results of the study showed that screening with upper endoscopy (EGD) and additional surveillance only if the test detected intestinal metaplasia (IM) or more severe pathology was cost effective for Asians Hispanics, and non-Hispanic blacks. For non-Hispanic whites, it was not cost effective.
Symptoms, Screening, & Early Detection
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May 23, 2018 – How gut microbes are joining the fight against cancer

Research has shown that certain gut bacteria appear to boost people’s response to cancer treatment. Some microbes can be adversary and activate inflammatory responses that disrupt the body’s protection mechanisms or make cells resistant to drugs, promoting cancer survival. Other gut bacteria, however, can help defend against tumors. Studies have shown that some cancer treatments depend on the gut microbiome activating our immune system. Thus, researchers are trying to manipulate the composition of beneficial microbes in the intestines of cancer patients that don’t respond to immunotherapies to see if it can help treatment. University of Pittsburgh immunologists are partnering with the pharmaceutical company Merck to conduct clinical trials in which fecal bacteria will be collected from patients who respond to treatment and transferred into the intestines of non-responding patients. Scientists from the MD Anderson Cancer Center are also partnering with the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy and Seres Therapeutics to conduct clinical trials for fecal microbiome transplant. It’s still unclear exactly how microbes might interact with immunotherapy drugs. With regards to side effects, fecal microbiome transplants have proved safe and effective in many people without cancer but unexpected effects can always occur.
Clinical Trials Information
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May 14, 2018- Medical Marijuana: Efficacy, Toxicity, and Legality

Medical marijuana can exist in a variety of formulations such as dried flowers, resins, extracts and oils. It’s legalization and use for medical purposes is still a developing issue and the perspectives of many health care providers is also following the same path. Medical marijuana can be used to ease chronic pain, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV), sleeping disorders and certain anticancer agents. Overall, the evolution of medical marijuana is a conflict-ridden issue, but its efficacy has demonstrated as a possible method of treatment for a variety of conditions.
Cancer Treatment Side Effect Management
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April 2018 – Straight to the Heart

Certain cancers and their treatments can lead to heart problems. Generally this occurs
in three ways: 1) cancer can metastasize to the heart or its lining 2) certain rare tumors
can release chemicals into the bloodstream that damage the heart’s valves and
muscles 3) certain white blood cell tumors secrete proteins that become sticky deposits
known as amyloids, which damage the heart. It’s important to note that many cancer
risk factors overlap with those for cardiovascular disease and cancer patients generally
experience more heart problems than the average person. For patients without risk
factors, heart problems may still be a threat as some treatments are known for
cardiotoxicity. Cancer treatments can cause structural problems, vascular conditions
that affect blood vessels, myocardial dysfunction and heart failure, and electrical
conduction issues. Some side effects can occur years after cancer treatment is ended.
Thankfully, there’s a growing number of cardio-oncology teams with medical staff
trained to deal specifically with these issues.
Article Source: Malmo, Katherine. (2018). Straight to the Heart. Cure, pp. 20-23
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January 19, 2018 HIPEC Increased Survival in Gastric Cancer with Peritoneal Metastasis

The goal of this study was to test the effect of HIPEC (Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy) on survival and postoperative outcomes after complete cytroreductive surgery compared with resection alone. At 3 years, HIPEC significantly improved overall survival with almost 26% of patients alive at 3 years compared with 13% of patients in the surgery alone group. The median overall survival was 18.8 months for patients treated with HIPEC compared to 12.1 months for surgery alone. Survival results at 5 years were consistent. About 20% of patients were still alive at 5 years, and 15% of patients were considered cured by HIPEC. In conclusion, cytoreductive surgery plus HIPEC improved overall survival compared with resection alone for patients with gastric cancer with peritoneal carcinomatosis.
Clinical Trials
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Janurary 19, 2018 – Single Blood Test Screens for Eight Cancer Types

John Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center researchers developed a single blood test that can detect for eight common cancer types through assessment of the circulating proteins and mutations in cell-free DNA. The test, called CancerSEEK, is a unique noninvasive, multianalyte test that simultaneously evaluates levels of eight cancer proteins and the presence of cancer gene mutations from circulating DNA in the blood. The test was evaluated on 1,005 patients with nonmetastatic, stages I to III cancers of the ovary, liver, stomach, pancreas, esophagus, colorectum, lung or breast. For the five cancers that have no screening tests—ovarian, liver, stomach, pancreatic and esophageal cancers— the median overall sensitivity, or the ability to find cancer sensitivity ranged from 69 percent to 98 percent. The test had greater than 99 percent specificity for cancer.
Symptoms, Screening & Early Detection
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November 23, 2017 – Long-Term Antacid Use Linked to Increased Stomach Cancer Risk

Scientists have found a higher incidence of gastric cancer in patients treated for H. pylori, a bacterium found in the stomach, if they took proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) over extended periods of time. The prolonged use of these antacids may worsen gastric atrophy and promote bacterial overgrowth. The results of the study conducted at the University of Hong Kong showed that the long-term use of PPIs doubled the risk of gastric cancer – even after eradication of H. pylori, whereas the use of a H2-receptor antagonist – a less potent acid suppressant drug – did not have any stomach cancer risk. Since this research is an observational study, no firm conclusions can be drawn considering PPIs are generally considered safe. It is important to use PPIs at their minimum effective dose, frequency and duration in order to prevent any complications.
Risk Factors
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September 22, 2017 – FDA Approves Merck’s KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) for Previously Treated Patients with Recurrent Locally Advanced or Metastatic Gastric or Gastroesophageal Junction Cancer Whose Tumors Express PD-L1

Today, Merck announced that the FDA has approved the anti-PD-1 therapy, Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for the treatment of patients with recurrent locally advanced or metastatic gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma whose tumors express PD-L1. This makes Keytruda the first PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor approved in the United States for previously treated gastric or GEJ cancer.
Treatment Options
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August 17, 2017 – Stomach Stem Cells Pushing into Cancerous Overdrive by H. pylori

Scientists have suspected for some time that stomach cancer is mainly caused by a bacteria called Helicobacter pylori. Bacteria does not transfer DNA into infected cells, so it is still not well understood as to how H. pylori triggers cancer. While certain viruses are known to cause cancer, such as human papilloma virus (HPV), by transferring oncogenes into the host cell DNA – the same cannot be said for how bacteria triggers cancer. Researchers Michael Sigal, Thomas Meyer, and their teams believe that bacteria’s role in triggering cancer is through stem cells in the glands that line the inside of the stomach. The stems cells identified were two different types, one cell was pushed into overdrive by exposure to bacteria, while the other is quieted.
Risk Factors
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