Hematology/Oncology Highlights: Diet Affects Cancer Diagnosis and Mortality, CRISPR Uncovers Gene Fusions, and more

Here are the top stories covered by DocWire News this week in the Hematology & Oncology section. This week the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first anticoagulant for pediatric venous thromboembolism (VTE), CRISPR uncovers gene fusions that are critical for cancer growth, and diet seems to play a role in cancer diagnosis and mortality.

The FDA approved Fragmin® (dalteparin) injection to reduce the recurrence of symptomatic VTE in pediatric patients aged one month and older. It is the first FDA-approved therapy to treat VTE in pediatric patients.

Research to be presented at the upcoming 2019 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting found that a balanced, low-fat diet significantly lowers the risk of breast cancer mortality in postmenopausal women. During 8.5 years of a dietary intervention, there were 8% fewer breast cancers compared with a group who ate a usual diet.

The use of CRISPR-Cas9 (CRISPR) exhibits gene fusions that are integral in the growth of cancer cells, according to researchers who published their findings in Nature Communications. Researchers developed a multi-algorithm fusion calling pipeline, and integrated large-scale screening data (including CRISPR) to systemically discern functional gene fusions across tissue history and used this pipeline to test 3,354 fusion events. 

Research published in JNCI Cancer Spectrum found that an estimated 80,110 new cancer cases among U.S. adults 20 years and older in 2015 were attributable to eating a poor diet. Colorectal cancer was the most linked to diet, accounting for 38.3% of diet-related cases. The dietary factors that contributed to the highest cancer burden were low consumption of whole grains, low consumption of dairy products, and high intake of processed meats.