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FORCE's eXamining the Relevance of Articles for You (XRAY) program looks behind the headlines of cancer news to help you understand what the research means for you. XRAY is a reliable source of hereditary cancer research-related news and information.
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1 through 10 of 66

Relevance: High

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Strength of Science: Medium-High

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Research Timeline: Post Approval

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Study : Genetic testing for inherited mutations may be helpful for all people with advanced or metastatic cancer

Most relevant for: people with metastatic or recurrent cancer

In a study of nearly 12,000 cancer patients with a variety of cancers, eight percent of participants with metastatic cancer had an inherited mutation in a cancer gene that qualified them for a targeted treatment approved by the FDA or for participation in a clinical trial. The majority of people with metastatic cancer were unaware that they had an inherited mutation, and had not receive gene-directed treatment to which their tumor may have responded. The study authors suggest that genetic testing for inherited mutations may be warranted for all patients with advanced or metastatic cancer. (posted 9/30/21)

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Genetic testing for inherited mutations may be helpful for all people with advanced or metastatic cancer

Relevance: Medium-Low

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Research Timeline: Human Research

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Update : New blood tests called liquid biopsies for cancer screening, monitoring and treatment

Most relevant for: People considering a liquid biopsy to screen for cancer

Could a simple blood test change cancer detection, treatment and monitoring? Several companies are offering a type of blood test known as a liquid biopsy to detect multiple cancers at their earliest stages, monitor response to treatment and help choose the best treatment. Although progress has been made using liquid biopsies to treat cancer, these tests have not yet been shown to detect cancer early enough to save lives. (posted 9/29/21)

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New blood tests called liquid biopsies for cancer screening, monitoring and treatment

Relevance: High

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Strength of Science: High

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Research Timeline: Post Approval

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Study : Cancer risks of people with inherited PALB2 mutations

Most relevant for: people with inherited PALB2 mutations

In the largest study of people with inherited PALB2 mutations to date, the gene was linked to increased lifetime risk of breast cancer in women and men, ovarian and pancreatic cancer but not prostate or colorectal cancer. (posted 7/1/21)

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Cancer risks of people with inherited PALB2 mutations

Relevance: High

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Strength of Science: High

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Research Timeline: Post Approval

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Study : Birth control pills may offer long-term protection against endometrial and ovarian cancer

Most relevant for: People concerned about endometrial, ovarian or breast cancer risk

A large study showed that birth control pills may protect against endometrial and ovarian cancers, even years after use was discontinued. (posted 6/1/21)

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Birth control pills may offer long-term protection against endometrial and ovarian cancer

Relevance: Medium

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Research Timeline: Human Research

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Update : FDA allows testing of a vaccine designed to prevent breast cancer

Most relevant for: Patients with non-metastatic triple-negative breast cancer at high risk of recurrence.

Scientists have been working for many years to develop a vaccine that will prevent breast cancer. The FDA recently announced that the first clinical trial to test a preventive breast cancer vaccine can begin. This vaccine is the result of over a decade of research in animals and human cells. While researchers will first test the vaccine in women who have breast cancer, they hope to use this vaccine in the future to prevent breast cancer.  (posted 5/25/21)

THIS INFORMATION HAS BEEN UPDATED on 10/12/2021: The clinical trial discussed in this XRAY review has begun recruiting participants.  Researchers hope to enroll 24 patients with non-metastatic triple-negative breast cancer. The trial is being conducted at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. More information on this trial can be found here.

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FDA allows testing of a vaccine designed to prevent breast cancer

Relevance: High

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Research Timeline: Post Approval

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Guideline : Expert guidelines on COVID-19 vaccines and timing of breast screening tests

Most relevant for: People considering screening mammography after getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

COVID-19 vaccines work by helping the immune system destroy the virus. Lymph nodes are an important part of the immune system. COVID-19 vaccines may cause temporary swelling in some lymph nodes, which may look suspicious on a mammogram.  The Society for Breast Imaging and other professional organizations have released recommendations for the timing of mammograms after COVID-19 vaccines.  (3/30/21)

Este artículo está disponible en español.

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Expert guidelines on COVID-19 vaccines and timing of breast screening tests

Relevance: Medium-High

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Strength of Science: Medium-High

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Research Timeline: Post Approval

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Study : Patient outcomes and experiences of going flat

Most relevant for: Women considering mastectomy without breast reconstruction.

Some patients with early-stage breast cancer or those considering risk-reducing surgery may choose mastectomy without reconstruction. This is often referred to as “going flat.” The results of this study suggest that surgeons play a significant role in supporting a patient’s decision to go flat. (3/23/2021)

Este artículo está disponible en español.

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Patient outcomes and experiences of going flat

Relevance: Medium-High

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Strength of Science: Medium-High

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Research Timeline: Post Approval

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Study : Body Mass Index (BMI) may affect how well aspirin use protects against colorectal and ovarian cancer

Most relevant for: People concerned about their risk of colorectal or ovarian cancer.

This study looked at the impact of daily aspirin use on the risk for many types of cancers and whether this effect can be modified by risk factors such as obesity, smoking, physical inactivity or a family history of cancer. Daily aspirin use: 

  • lowered the risk for colorectal cancer, but this effect was lost as Body Mass Index (BMI) increased.
  • lowered the risk of ovarian cancer risk among obese women.
  • offered little or no protection against breast, endometrial or advanced prostate cancer.

(3/19/21)

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Body Mass Index (BMI) may affect how well aspirin use protects against colorectal and ovarian cancer

Relevance: Medium-High

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Strength of Science: Medium-High

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Research Timeline: Human Research

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Study : Breastfeeding may lower risk of ovarian cancer in women with BRCA mutations

Most relevant for: Women considering breastfeeding who have inherited BRCA mutations.

Data from a large-scale study suggests that breastfeeding may protect against ovarian cancer in women with inherited mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2. (1/28/21)

Este artículo está disponible en español.

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Breastfeeding may lower risk of ovarian cancer in women with BRCA mutations

Relevance: Medium-High

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Strength of Science: Medium-High

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Research Timeline: Post Approval

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Study : Knowing about an inherited BRCA mutation improves outcomes for women with breast cancer

Most relevant for: Young women with, or at high risk for an inherited BRCA mutation

Inherited mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are linked to a high lifetime risk of breast and other cancers. This study shows that women who know that they have a BRCA mutation before they are diagnosed with breast cancer have improved outcomes including diagnosis at earlier stages and improved overall survival. (10/26/20)

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Knowing about an inherited BRCA mutation improves outcomes for women with breast cancer