Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Journal: Ecancermedicalscience


This study is aimed at determining the efficacy of Mentha spicata (M. spicata) and Mentha × piperita (M. × piperita) in preventing chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV).

Concepts: Volatile, Herbs, Hyperemesis gravidarum, Essential oils, Chemotherapy, Mentha aquatica, Mentha, Mentha spicata


Implementation of therapeutic cancer prevention strategies has enormous potential for reducing cancer incidence and related mortality. Trials of drugs including tamoxifen and aspirin have led the way in demonstrating proof-of-principle that prevention of breast and colorectal cancer is feasible. Many other compounds ranging from drugs in widespread use for various indications, including metformin, bisphosphonates, and vitamin D, to dietary agents such as the phytochemicals resveratrol and curcumin, show preventive activity against several cancers in preclinical models. Notwithstanding the wealth of opportunities, major challenges have hindered the development process and only a handful of therapies are currently approved for cancer risk reduction. One of the major obstacles to successful clinical translation of promising preventive agents is a lack of pharmacodynamic biomarkers to provide an early read out of biological activity in humans and for optimising doses to take into large scale randomised clinical trials. A further confounding factor is a lack of consideration of clinical pharmacokinetics in the design of preclinical experiments, meaning results are frequently reported from studies that use irrelevant or unachievable concentrations. This article focuses on recent findings from investigations with dietary-derived agents to illustrate how a thorough understanding of the mechanisms of action, using models that mimic the clinical scenario, together with the development of compound-specific accompanying pharmacodynamic biomarkers could accelerate the developmental pipeline for preventive agents and maximise the chances of success in future clinical trials. Moreover, the concept of a bell-shaped dose-response curve for therapeutic cancer prevention is discussed, along with the need to rethink the traditional ‘more is better’ approach for dose selection.

Concepts: The Canon of Medicine, Dose-response relationship, Breast cancer, Epidemiology, Colorectal cancer, Cancer, Pharmacology, Pharmacodynamics


Clarithromycin (CAM) is a well-known macrolide antibiotic available as a generic drug. CAM is traditionally used for many types of bacterial infections, treatment of Lyme disease and eradication of gastric infection with Helicobacter pylori. Extensive preclinical and clinical data demonstrate a potential role for CAM to treat various tumours in combination with conventional treatment. The mechanisms of action underlying the anti-tumour activity of CAM are multiple and include prolonged reduction of pro-inflammatory cytokines, autophagy inhibition, and anti-angiogenesis. Here, we present an overview of the current preclinical (in vitro and in vivo) and clinical evidence supporting the role of CAM in cancer. Overall these findings justify further research with CAM in many tumour types, with multiple myeloma, lymphoma, chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML), and lung cancer having the highest level of evidence. Finally, a series of proposals are being made to further investigate the use of CAM in clinical trials which offer the greatest prospect of clinical benefit to patients.

Concepts: Chemotherapy, Malaise, Epidemiology, Infectious disease, Clarithromycin, Helicobacter pylori, Bacteria, Cancer


In this study, we investigated the effects of the natural antioxidant curcumin on the HPV16-positive oral carcinoma cell line 93VU147T and demonstrated that curcumin is not only a potent inhibitor for the activity of host nuclear transcription factors AP-1 and NF-kB but it also selectively suppresses transcription of the HPV16/E6 oncogene during the carcinogenic process in oral cancer cells. This study suggests a therapeutic potential of curcumin for high-risk human papilloma virus (HPV)-infected oral cancers.

Concepts: Protein, Leukemia, Lung cancer, Gene expression, Transcription factor, DNA, Human papillomavirus, Cancer


Breast cancer is the most common cancer among females worldwide in general and in the Middle East and the North African region (MENA region) in particular. Management of breast cancer in the MENA region faces a lot of challenges, which include younger age at presentation, aggressive behaviour, lack of national breast screening programmes and lack of reliable data registries as well as socioeconomic factors. These factors make applying the international guidelines for breast cancer management very challenging. The aim of this project is to explore the need for a regional breast cancer guideline as well as to screen the clinical practice of breast cancer management in the MENA region.

Concepts: Mammography, Egypt, MENA, Cancer, Breast cancer, Jordan, North Africa, Middle East


Although patients with incurable disease and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status (ECOG-PS ≥ 2) are underrepresented in clinical trials, they are frequently offered palliative chemotherapy (pCT) in daily clinical practice in order to improve symptoms and quality of life. In this case-control retrospective analysis, our goal was to identify factors associated with poorer survival and lack of benefit of pCT in this population.


Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer globally, and studies provide contradictory results about the possible effects of vitamin supplementation to reduce cancer risk. Our aim was to conduct a review to better investigate whether vitamin supplements given orally modify breast cancer risk.

Concepts: Pleural effusion, Metastasis, Cancer, Breast cancer, Dietary supplement


The presence of a deleterious mutation, most commonly a BRCA mutation, has a tremendous impact on the management of breast cancer. We review the surgical management of BRCA mutation carriers, and two other potentially high-risk mutations, TP53 and PALB2.


The International Cancer Microbiome Consortium (ICMC) is a recently launched collaborative between academics and academic-clinicians that aims to promote microbiome research within the field of oncology, establish expert consensus and deliver education for academics and clinicians. The inaugural two-day meeting was held at the Royal Society of Medicine (RSM), London, UK, 5-6 September 2017. Microbiome and cancer experts from around the world first delivered a series of talks during an educational day and then sat for a day of roundtable discussion to debate key topics in microbiome-cancer research. Talks delivered during the educational day covered a broad range of microbiome-related topics. The potential role of the microbiome in the pathogenesis of colorectal cancer was discussed and debated in detail with experts highlighting the latest data in animal models and humans and addressing the question of causation versus association. The impact of the microbiota on other cancers-such as lung and urogenital tract-was also discussed. The microbiome represents a novel target for therapeutic manipulation in cancer and a number of talks explored how this might be realised through diet, faecal microbiota transplant and chemotherapeutics. On the second day, experts debated pre-agreed topics with the aim of producing a consensus statement with a focus on the current state of our knowledge and key gaps for further development. The panel debated the notion of a ‘healthy’ microbiome and, in turn, the concept of dysbiosis in cancer. The mechanisms of microbiota-induced carcinogenesis were discussed in detail and our current conceptual models were assessed. Experts also considered co-factors in microbiome-induced carcinogenesis to conclude that the tripartite ‘interactome’ between genetically vulnerable host, environment and the microbiome is central to our current understanding. To conclude, the roundtable discussed how the microbiome may be exploited for therapeutic benefit in cancer and the safety implications of performing such research in oncology patients.

Concepts: Royal Society, The Current, Medicine, Chemotherapy, Colorectal cancer, Debate, Cancer, Oncology


There is growing evidence that risk factors for cancer occurrence and for cancer death are not necessarily the same. Knowledge of cancer aggressiveness risk factors (CARF) may help in identifying subjects at high risk of developing a potentially deadly cancer (and not just any cancer). The availability of CARFs may have positive consequences for health policies, medical practice, and the search for biomarkers. For instance, cancer chemoprevention and cancer screening of subjects with CARFs would probably be more ethical and cost-effective than recommending chemoprevention and screening to entire segments of the population. Also, the harmful consequences of chemoprevention and of screening would be reduced while effectiveness would be optimised. We present examples of CARF already in use (e.g. mutations of the breast cancer (BRCA) gene), of promising avenues for the discovery of biomarkers thanks to the investigation of CARFs (e.g. breast radiological density and systemic inflammation), and of biomarkers commonly used that are not real CARFs (e.g. certain mammography images, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) concentration, nevus number).

Concepts: Pleural effusion, Prostate cancer, BRCA2, Immune system, Mammography, Breast cancer, Cancer