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Online e-cigarette searches number in the millions, but few focus on vaping health risk or quitting smoking
A study published recently in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that Google searches about electronic cigarettes were more commonly related to shopping for e-cigarettes, while quitting smoking represented less than 1 percent of e-cigarette searches in each of 2013 and in 2014. The study’s senior author was Rebecca S. Williams, MHS, PhD, a UNC Lineberger member.
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Study finds need for improved end-of-life care for parents with terminal cancer
Based on a survey of widowed fathers who had lost a spouse to cancer, UNC Lineberger researchers reported in the journal BMJ Palliative Care that additional research and improved end-of-life care are needed to specifically help dying parents as well as their families.
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Preclinical study finds no benefit for diabetes drug in pancreatic cancer
UNC Lineberger researchers found in a study published in PLOS ONE that the diabetes drug metformin failed to show any benefit against pancreatic cancer, despite excitement about the drug for potential anti-cancer benefits. They believe the study shows the importance of testing new therapies in preclinical animal models that incorporate actual tumor tissue to better predict patient response.
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UNC experts talk ‘Cancer Moonshot’ with Vice President Biden
As part of the “Cancer Moonshot” federal initiative to spur breakthroughs in cancer research, Biden hosted a roundtable discussion on Wednesday at the Duke University School of Medicine that featured cancer experts and leaders from UNC. Among the experts chosen for the panel were Stephanie Wheeler, PhD, UNC Lineberger member and assistant professor of health policy and management at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and Niklaus Steiner, UNC-Chapel Hill professor and co-founder of the Chapel Hill-based Be Loud! Sophie Foundation, which supports adolescents and young adults with cancer.
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UNC experts discover colorectal cancer biomarker, potential personalized treatment
In the journal Cell Reports, UNC Lineberger researchers reported they found markedly low levels of the protein NLRX1 in multiple laboratory models of colorectal cancer, and in samples of human tissue. Studies have shown that the protein is known to be involved in regulating immune system signals in order to prevent hyperactive inflammatory responses by the immune system, but UNC Lineberger researchers believe their finding also points to a role for the protein in preventing colorectal cancer growth. Based on their findings, they believe they’ve identified a potential treatment for colorectal cancer with low NLRX1.
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New compound is effective against drug-resistant leukemia, preclinical study finds
Researchers at UNC Lineberger and at other institutions developed a new potential treatment for acute myeloid leukemia. In the journal JCI Insight, they report that the compound MRX-2843 more than doubled the median days of survival in laboratory models with a drug-resistant form of the disease.
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Physicians issue advice, raise questions about evaluating blood in the urine as a cancer sign
A new report from the American College of Physicians’ High Value Care Task Force issues advice for physicians on how to detect and evaluate blood found in the urine, which is known as hematuria. The report, which was first-authored by UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center member Dr. Matthew Nielsen, also raises questions about the potential harms associated with diagnostic tests that are commonly employed to evaluate this condition.
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Study finds gaps in patient knowledge of breast reconstruction surgery and complications
Researchers at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center found that breast cancer patients surveyed about their knowledge of breast reconstruction were only moderately informed about the procedure, and their knowledge of complications was low. The study, published in the journal Annals of Surgery, surveyed 126 breast cancer patients planning to undergo mastectomy at the N.C. Cancer Hospital.
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Zika, emerging viruses focus of UNC virology seminar
Zika, the virus currently causing worldwide concern due to its alarming connection to a neurological birth disorder, was discussed as part of a presentation on emerging infectious diseases for the UNC Lineberger-led seminar series titled "Virology in Progress." Helen Lazear, PhD, a UNC Lineberger member and an assistant professor in the UNC School of Medicine Department of Microbiology and Immunology, spoke about Zika and noted that experts know relatively little about the virus.
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Low-risk prostate cancer best managed with active surveillance
UNC Lineberger researcher Dr. Ronald C. Chen was first-author of a report published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology that details guidelines for the active surveillance of men with low-risk prostate cancer. The guidelines, originally authored by Cancer Care Ontario, were reviewed and endorsed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
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