NLMSF E-Bulletin THURSDAY EDITION February 2, 2017
* BIOMARKERS- learning more * IMMUNOTHERAPY – knowing more * THE PATIENT COMPASS: www.nlmsf.org – a guide to what questions are important to ask, when, and of whom
BIOMARKERS – Learning more about what they are and their importance:
In the arena of “personalized medicine,” BIOMARKERS have emerged for use in the process of drug development and tracking the progress of disease. For LMS, this is especially challenging because of its profile complexity – genomics, mutations, proteins, etc. that have been challenging for researchers in immunotherapy breakthroughs.
The following link takes you to the discussion and explanation of biomarkers, which is helpful in understanding what biomarkers mean in research/trials/drug development.
Immunotherapy is a treatment designed to boost the body’s natural defenses to fight cancer. It uses substances, or cells made by the body, or treatments made in a laboratory to improve or restore immune system function. While scientists have been exploring various immunotherapy approaches for more than 100 years, the biggest success so far has been with treatments known as immune checkpoint inhibitors. Checkpoint inhibitors are a type of immunotherapy that works by taking the brakes off the immune system so it is better able to destroy the cancer.
FROM ASCO: Article highlights provided by NLMSF -Finding out who can benefit from immunotherapy
Despite all of these promising advances, it is still unclear why certain immunotherapies work better at treating some cancers and not others. Furthermore, even among patients with the same type of cancer, the same immunotherapy may not work for everyone. Right now, immunotherapies work in less than half of the patients who receive treatment, and even in those for whom the treatment does work, the benefits may not be long lasting. More research is focusing on finding out why this happens. Researchers have found that immune checkpoint inhibitors may work better if tumors have a lot of genetic mutations or changes in the genes. The current thought is that tumors with more mutations make more abnormal proteins that the body’s immune system can recognize as foreign. The immune system then destroys the cancer cells. Cancers with a lot of mutations are called hypermutated cancers, and they are often those caused by tobacco or by UV light exposure. There is also evidence that people with cancer who also have a genetic change called mismatch repair (MMR) deficiency have more mutations in the cancers. This is because the MMR deficiency reduces the ability to repair damaged DNA in cells. Immunotherapy may be more effective in treating cancers in people with MMR deficiency, and immune checkpoint inhibitors have been studied in various cancer types. What is an ” immune checkpoint inhibitor” – go to: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immune_checkpoint. NOTE: This is what LMS Researchers are working on . . . and LMS presents great challenges in this area, but progress is unfolding. Standing behind our researchers is important and is a focus of the Foundation for sure, along with Patient/Family/Caregiver LMS Education and Advocacy. VISIT www.nlmsf.org. Post a FACEBOOK message of sharing – information, hope, courage, strength. -visit the website Tribute page as well to light a candle for hope, strength, courage and post a personal story
THE PATIENT / FAMILY / CAREGIVER – COMPASS:
Discover what is available to you on www.nlmsf.org – Much guidance and resource information available at your fingertips. Learn about Q & A with Clinicians….the LMS LIVE CONNECT patient to patient monthly telecon – all new support systems for you. WE ARE HERE FOR YOU! WE ARE WORKING HARD FOR YOU! Call anytime to share a concern, offer ideas on futureE Bulletin topics. YOUR VOICE MATTERS! Thank you all for supporting the mission and purpose of the NLMSF. WE ARE – “MOVING TOGETHER . . .Focusing on the Future … “”REACHING FOR THE CURE – TOGETHER” BECAUSE TOGETHER WE HAVE A STRONGER VOICE in building awareness and advocacy in our respective communities for the sake of moving research faster and farther in order to accelerate LMS treatment advancements. ANNIE ACHEE – NLMSF 303 783-0924[email protected]
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