NCRI2016: Monday highlights from the NCRI bloggers
Elucidating lung stem cells and cancer at single cell resolution
Stanford University School of Medicine, USA
Mark Krasnow, a lung developmental biologist from Stanford University, USA, started day 2 of 2016 NCRI Cancer Conference with a whistle-stop tour of alveolar cell development and maintenance. Two types of alveolar cells - AT1 & AT2 - develop. He described how AT1 cells can activate AT2 cells via a process involving the K-Ras oncogene to become stem cells.
According to Mark, it could be the uncontrolled activation of AT2 cells that causes lung adenocarcinoma and understanding alveolar cell maintenance and its links to lung adenocarcinoma could also help our understanding of other lung cancers.
Clinical Trials Showcase part 1
Today saw the first of two Clinical Trials Showcase sessions, chaired by Professor Matt Seymour, NCRI Clinical Research Director. Today's session included presentation of the conclusions of four clinical trials; TACE 2 presented by Tim Meyer, Quality of life results of BIG 02-04 MRC EORTC SUPREMO trial presented by Galina Velikova, ESPAC-4 presented by John Neoptolemos and the first results of ART DECO presented by Chris Nutting.
ART DECO is the UK's largest Head and Neck intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) trial to date, and first results demonstrated high tumour control rates in both arms; Chris Nutting is optimistic about the high response rate in this complex and technical trial.
BASO~ACS plenary session: BJS lecture,
Challenges in the management of breast cancer in low and middle
Breast Surgery International, Malaysia
Cheng-Har Yip from Breast Surgery International in Malaysia captivated the audience with the challenges facing breast cancer management in low and middle income countries. Breast cancer incidence is on the rise in low and middle income countries and m
ortality rates in Southeast Asia are higher than in the West.
Dr Yip explored the barriers to diagnosis and treatment which included; lack of screening programmes, a culture of avoidance and denial, preference for alternative therapy in some cases, delays in decision making and financial barriers. D
isparities exist between people who receive treatment through different healthcare systems and by bringing mortality rates in line with more developed countries could save 100,000 women a year dying from breast cancer.
Cancer prevention at the population level: How can we translate research evidence into policies that help prevent cancer?
Four in ten cases of cancer are preventable, and Ann McNeill, Tim Stockwell and Susan Jebb
gave us comprehensive insight into studies that demonstrate the affects of tobacco, alcohol and obesity on cancer risk.
Great strides have been made in tobacco control in recent years with advertising restrictions and standardised packaging, but Professor McNeill thinks more should be done to support persistent smokers to encourage less harmful forms of smoking such as e-cigarettes.
WHO recognizes alcohol as a Class 1 carcinogen and research shows that it has a dose dependent affect on increasing cancer risk for a number of cancers including stomach, pancreatic, melanoma and gall-bladder cancers. At least 12,000 cancers per year could be prevented with better control of alcohol consumption.
Obesity is the second biggest cause of preventable cancer after smoking and Susan Jebb emphasised that prevention should be part of a holistic approach to addressing cancer prevalence and that to tackle increases, control measures need to be put in place again akin to tobacco controls.
One intervention that shows promise is for GPs to invite clinically obese people to sign up to commercial weight loss programmes on the NHS. Over 70% of people asked, signed up to the idea, and about half completed the programme successfully. An annual 1% reduction in obesity levels could prevent 64,000 cancer cases over 20 years.