Oncology News Round-Up: New FDA Approval in Ovarian Cancers, and More

Each week on DocWire News, editors bring you the latest in oncology news and cancer research. In case you missed it, here are this week’s top headlines:

Keep reading for the breakdown on these top stories.

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Investigating Indoor Tanning Use and Awareness of Skin Cancer Risk

Indoor tanning has been found to increase the risk of skin cancer. A study from researchers at the University of Manchester investigated the reason adults choose to use indoor tanning devices despite the health consequences.

The investigators aimed to document the reasons indoor tanning users in the UK cited for their use of these devices and the acceptability of alternatives.

Participants reported that tanning was related to their self esteem levels. “Individuals perceive that indoor tanning makes them appear more attractive, which increases their self-esteem and mood; prolonged use can result in a tanned look becoming adopted as part of their identity which encourages maintenance of the behavior,” the authors wrote.

The authors commented that the “denial of health risks associated with indoor tanning alleviates the internal conflict of knowingly engaging in a risky behavior and valuing aesthetics and psychological benefits above long-term health.”

Regarding the use of alternatives, the researchers also noted three themes: “alternatives do not meet psychological needs,” “alternatives do not meet physical needs,” and “perceived side effects.”

Investigating Indoor Tanning Use and Awareness of Skin Cancer Risk

FDA Approves Imaging Drug That Can Help Surgeons Spot Ovarian Cancers

Early detection of ovarian cancer helps boost a woman’s survival, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved a new imaging drug that can help spot tumors during surgery. The drug, Cytalux (pafolacianine), is meant to improve a surgeon’s ability to detect ovarian cancer while operating on a patient.

Conventional treatment for ovarian cancer includes surgery to remove as many tumors as possible, as well as chemotherapy or other targeted therapy to identify and attack specific cancer cells. Currently, surgeons rely on preoperative imaging, visual inspection of tumors under normal light or examination by touch to identify ovarian cancer tumors.

The FDA’s approval of Cytalux is based on a study of 134 women, aged 33 to 81. They received a dose of Cytalux and were evaluated under both normal and fluorescent light during surgery. Of those women, about 27% had at least one cancerous lesion detected that was not found by standard visual or touch inspection.

The most common side effects of Cytalux included nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, flushing, indigestion, chest discomfort, itching and hypersensitivity. Also, Cytalux may cause harm to the fetus when given to a pregnant woman, the FDA warned.

FDA Approves Imaging Drug That Can Help Surgeons Spot Ovarian Cancers

Effects of Fasting-Mimicking Diet Studied in Cancer Patients

Cyclic fasting or fasting-mimicking diet (FMD) may modulate systemic metabolism and boost antitumor immunity in cancer patients, according to a study published in Cancer Discovery.

The researchers found that the FMD was well tolerated and feasible. The FMD resulted in a consistent decrease in blood glucose and growth factor concentration, consistent with metabolic changes seen in preclinical experiments. The FMD reshaped anticancer immunity by inducing contraction of peripheral blood immunosuppressive myeloid and regulatory T-cell compartments; in addition, T-helper 1/cytotoxic responses were enhanced, and there was enrichment of interferon-gamma and other immune signatures associated with better clinical outcomes in cancer patients.

“Since calorie restriction is a safe, inexpensive, and potentially effective approach that could be easily combined with standard antineoplastic therapies, we think these findings might have relevant implications for cancer therapy,” study author Claudio Vernieri, MD, PhD, said in a statement.

Effects of Fasting-Mimicking Diet Studied in Cancer Patients

New Symptoms ID’d That May Indicate Pancreatic Cancer

New symptoms associated with pancreatic cancer include feeling thirsty and having dark urine, according to a study presented at the National Cancer Research Institute Festival.

The researchers identified 23 symptoms that were significantly associated with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) and nine symptoms with neuroendocrine neoplasms (PNEN), although there were some overlapping symptom profiles. For both tumors, jaundice and gastrointestinal bleeding were the two alarming symptoms. Two new symptoms identified for PDAC included thirst and dark urine. With PNEN, unintentional weight loss may be seen for more than two years before diagnosis.

New Symptoms ID’d That May Indicate Pancreatic Cancer

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