Cancer Research Blog

Bringing You the Latest in the Search For a Cure

Month: August 2016

Mutations Linked to Immunotherapy Resistance

For many patients with melanoma whose tumors shrink after treatment with a class of immunotherapy drugs called checkpoint inhibitors, their tumors eventually grow back despite continued treatment. A new study has identified genetic mechanisms that may be responsible for this acquired treatment resistance in at least some of these patients.

The researchers found mutations in tumors from three patients with advanced melanoma that allowed the tumors to become resistant to the immune checkpoint inhibitor pembrolizumab (Keytruda®). Specifically, the mutations enabled the tumors to avoid recognition and attack by immune cells.

Adolescents Who Wouldn’t Have Smoked May Be Drawn to E-Cigarettes

Some adolescents who otherwise would never have smoked are using e-cigarettes, according to a study published July 11 in the journal Pediatrics. The findings suggest that adolescents are not just using e-cigarettes as a substitute for conventional cigarettes but that e-cigarettes are attracting new users to tobacco products.

E-cigarettes are electronic devices that create an aerosol by heating a liquid solution that often contains nicotine and flavorings, as well as other chemicals. They allow users to simulate smoking conventional cigarettes by inhaling the aerosol, which mimics combustible cigarette smoking. The Food and Drug Administration recently finalized a rule extending its regulation of tobacco products to include e-cigarettes. The rule went into effect this week.

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