Three Pieces of Good News in Cancer Research

04-27-2017 8:37 AM

Cancer and good don’t usually go together. So when I ran across these positive news stories, I couldn’t wait to share them with you.

Breast cancer tumors shrunk in 11 days

In a UK-funded clinical trial, researchers found that using two cancer drugs — lapatinib and trastuzumab — together dramatically shrunk breast cancer tumors. Both drugs target HER2 - a protein that fuels the growth of some women's breast cancers. This discovery may lead to fewer women needing chemotherapy, which is very effective but can have significant side effects.

“These results are very promising if they stand up in the long run and could be the starting step of finding a new way to treat HER2 positive breast cancers," said Professor Arnie Purushotham, senior clinical adviser at Cancer Research UK, in a press release. You can read the entire press release here.

An aspirin a day to prevent cancer?

Don’t be surprised if your doctor recommends a low-dose aspirin to prevent some types of cancer soon. Earlier this month, researchers presented their findings at the American Association for Cancer Research’s national convention. Cancer mortality risk was 7 percent lower for women and 15 percent lower for men who regularly used aspirin. The strongest reduction in relative risk was for colorectal cancer—31 percent for women and 30 percent for men who regularly took aspirin. Women who took aspirin had an 11 percent lower risk of dying of breast cancer, and men who took aspirin had a 23 percent risk of dying of prostate cancer. You can read the press release here.

New tool to reduce hair loss during chemo

The FDA just approved the Paxman Scalp Cooling System for use in breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. About half the patients in the trial found the cooling cap to reduce or prevent hair loss. The device becomes the second hair loss prevention system okayed by the FDA. You can read more about the trail here.

Stacy Graves is contributing editor of The Mary Kay Foundation℠ blog. She’s passionate about the need for research and a cancer cure. You can connect with her at at her website and LinkedIn.