Hem/Onc Roundup: Liver Cancer, Acute Myeloid Leukemia, Brain Cancer, and more

Household Income, Geographical Location Affect Liver Cancer Mortality

Patients with liver cancer who live in a rural region and with a lower household income are more likely to present with later stage disease and have a greater mortality risk, according to a study published in Cancer, although the reason for the relationship was unclear. “While our study could not specifically investigate the reasons for the worse liver cancer outcomes, we hypothesize that patients living in more rural regions and among lower income households likely experience healthcare disparities leading to sub-optimal access to high quality liver disease care, including timely receipt of liver cancer surveillance and access to liver disease specialists,” said study lead Robert J. Wong, MD, MS, of the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System and Stanford University School of Medicine.

Household Income, Geographical Location Affect Liver Cancer Mortality

Cancer Patients Near End of Life Still Suffer Significant Symptom Burden

Patients with common cancers near end of life still require treatment for their symptoms in order to improve their quality of life, according to a study published in Supportive Cancer Care. When asked to complete a symptom questionnaire, cancer patients were more likely to report moderate to severe physical symptom subscores and total symptom scores than moderate to severe psychological subscores, the researchers discovered. A correlation was observed between being closer to death and moderate to severe physical symptom subscores and total symptom scores, but the relationship was not observed for psychological symptom scores, suggesting that the physical symptom burden was more significant.

Cancer Patients Near End of Life Still Suffer Significant Symptom Burden

Promising First Results from Precision Medicine Trial for Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Participants in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) precision medicine clinical trial for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) had superior outcomes compared to patients who received standard chemotherapy treatment. Using genomic sequencing, researchers analyzed patients’ cancer cells to identify their AML subtype and administer an appropriate targeted therapy. The median overall survival for patients receiving targeted therapy was 12.8 months, compared to 3.9 months for those receiving standard chemotherapy.

Promising First Results from Precision Medicine Trial for Acute Myeloid Leukemia

New 3D Imaging Technique Doubles Brain Tumor Visibility

A new three-dimensional imaging technique developed by researchers at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine significantly improves the visibility of brain tumors in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, potentially enabling earlier diagnosis of tumors. T1 relaxation-enhanced steady-state (T1RESS) is a novel MRI pulse sequence that allows for intravascular signals to be toggled on and off in contrast-enhanced scans. “In the case of brain tumors, T1RESS doubles the contrast between tumors and normal brain, so the tumors are more easily detected. It’s like looking at the stars on a dark night instead of on a sunny day,” said lead author Robert Edelman, MD.

New 3D Imaging Technique Doubles Brain Tumor Visibility