What happens when lymph overflows

Clinical Brief – October 10th

The Brief

Limb lymphoedema is when lymph flows into the tissue after the nodes are surgically removed. It’s a fairly common procedure for the treatment of advanced-stage cancer including melanoma.

As a surgical complication, lymphoedema isn’t exactly a good thing to have. A recent study went further and detailed its negative psychological and physical impacts on patients with melanoma.

Researchers hope these results would help raise awareness of this complication and to improve its prevention and treatment. Continue reading “What happens when lymph overflows”

Notes on ESMO17: Health economics

Clinical Brief – September 25th

ESMO, or the European Society of Medical Oncology Congress, is an annual gathering of cancer experts and patient advocates. Here are some studies from this year’s ESMO that may be of use.


A study led by researchers from Turkey found that over 90% of their patients taking a targeted cancer treatment was also on another prescription med. More than half of these patients had a drug-drug interaction involving their cancer treatment.

Drug-drug interactions happen when Continue reading “Notes on ESMO17: Health economics”

Notes on ESMO17: Melanoma

Clinical Brief – September 22nd

ESMO, or the European Society of Medical Oncology Congress, is an annual gathering of cancer experts and patient advocates. Here are some studies from this year’s ESMO that may be of use.


Active surveillance after surgery for uveal melanoma can help detect resectable liver metastases.

Researchers from the St Vincent’s University Hospital, Ireland, tested Continue reading “Notes on ESMO17: Melanoma”

The week in brief

August 21st – 25th

A study from Germany found that for patients with binge eating disorder, face-to-face therapy is better than internet-based self-help intervention from a medical perspective, but in terms of improving the patients’ quality of life and stabilizing their BMI, either option should work.


A small study by the Michael J Fox Foundation confirmed that a drug used to treat type 2 diabetes may help patients with Parkinson’s control motor symptoms. The trial is too small to change how Parkinson’s treated today, but the drug they tested is due to go off patent this year, lowering the cost barrier to larger trials.


A group at UC San Francisco developed PREPARE, a website to help people with advance care planning. Their latest study with veterans showed that using the website together with a simple legal form helped more patients document their end-of-life plans.


Immunotherapies are important advances in the treatment of cancers like melanoma. As we are seeing them used more in clinics, we are starting to get a sense of their safety profile and the types of new side effects that can happen.

A Sloan Kettering study profiled the safety and tolerability of a pair of immunotherapies used to treat melanoma. They found that 3 in 5 patients didn’t make it to their fourth dose because of side effects or cancer progression, but noted that patients may still benefit with less than four doses.

 


Kaposi sarcoma is a type of skin cancer often linked to AIDS. Patients with Kaposi sarcoma are at greater risk of other cancers.

A new study found that the rate of Kaposi sarcoma has come down since the advent of HIV meds. The types of secondary cancers have also changed over time, notably with fewer non-Hodgkin lymphomas and more acute lymphocytic leukemias.


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Cancer immunotherapies: Getting profiled

Clinical Brief – August 24th

The Brief

The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center ran a study to profile the toxicity and tolerability of a pair of immunotherapies used to treat melanoma.

They found that 3 in 5 patients didn’t make it to their fourth dose because of side effects or cancer progression, but noted that patients may still benefit with less than four doses. Continue reading “Cancer immunotherapies: Getting profiled”