Oncology News Round-Up: Low-Dose Chemo May Trigger Muscle Loss; 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.

RELATED: Last Week’s Round-Up: Early-Onset CRC Rising in White Adults

Chemotherapy May Trigger Muscle Loss Even at Lower Doses

Chemotherapy agents may be triggering muscle loss in people with cancer starting at lower doses than previously reported, according to an in vitro experiment from researchers at Penn State University.

Previous research has found that treatment with chemotherapeutic agents impacts mitochondria within muscle cells, triggering the loss of muscle tissue due to oxidative stress, according to the study authors. In this study, Gustavo Nader, PhD, and colleagues, studied how three chemotherapy drugs dosed at levels too low to trigger oxidative stress impacted cultured muscle cells. Even at doses that did not trigger oxidative stress, all chemotherapeutic agents assessed triggered diminished protein synthesis and ribosomal capacity and impaired rRNA gene transcription, which are associated with muscle cell rebuilding.

Chemotherapy May Trigger Muscle Loss Even at Lower Doses

Black and Hispanic Patients Still Underrepresented in Cancer Clinical Trials

Black and Hispanic patients remain underrepresented in cancer trials, despite increased participation from 2015 to 2019, according to a study published in Cancer.

The cohort included 242,720 participants: 81.3, 8.7, 4.8, and 2.8% were non-Hispanic White, Black, Hispanic, and Asian/Pacific Islander, respectively. The researchers found that between 2015 and 2019, Black and Hispanic patients were underrepresented for trials for colorectal, lung, and prostate cancer. In 2015 to 2019, the odds of participation increased among Black patients in trials for breast, lung, and prostate cancer. Among Hispanic patients, the odds of participation in a trial increased for breast, colorectal, lung, and prostate cancer.

Blacks, Hispanics Still Underrepresented in Cancer Clinical Trials

Impact of Iron Overload on MDS

Researchers sought to elucidate iron overload influences on myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) progression. To conduct this study, researchers collated clinical data from 143 MDS patients to assess the impact of IOL on patient survival and progression to acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

The results showed that median survival time, three-year survival rate, and leukemia-free survival (LFS) time were notably shorter in patients with IOL than those without IOL (all P<0.05). Moreover, the study found that IOL was more likely to be found in subgroups of patients with higher-risk MDS, which also promoted 2-year AML transformation. Furthermore, the researchers noted that serum ferritin was significantly correlated with the overall survival of MDS patients (P<0.05).

Impact of Iron Overload on MDS

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