SCCA Clinical Trial Openings

Clinical TrialsListed below are clinical trials that have opened at SCCA in the last several weeks. These trials are looking at new treatments for patients with acute myelogenous leukemia, non-small cell lung cancer, B-cell malignancies such as lymphoma and multiple myeloma, and patients with advanced solid tumors. For more information about these trials, click on the links below. Check out our website to learn about the more than 200 ongoing clinical trials at SCCA. And follow us on Twitter at @SCCA_Trials  for information about recently opened trials.

ABT-199 + Low-Dose Cytarabine Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (9237)
A Phase 1/2 Study of ABT-199 in Combination with Low-Dose Cytarabine in Treatment-Naïve Subjects with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia Who Are >= 65 Years of Age and Who Are Not Eligible for Standard Anthracycline-Based Induction Therapy

MPDL3280A + INCB024360 for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
A Phase 1 Study of MPDL3280A in Combination With INCB024360 in Subjects With Previously Treated Stage IIIB or IV Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Safety Study of SEA-CD40 in Cancer Patients
A Phase 1, Open-Label, Dose-Escalation Study of SEA-CD40 in Adult Patients With Advanced Malignancies

ACP-196 in Combination With ACP-319 for B-Cell Malignancies (20142444)
A Phase 1/2 Proof-of-Concept Study of the Combination of ACP-196 and ACP-319 in Subjects with B-Cell Malignancies

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    Grassroots for SCCA

    Here’s a quick round up of upcoming events and promotions that local businesses and groups are undertaking on behalf of SCCA. For information about how you can get involved with SCCA—by volunteering, sponsoring a community event, or making a donation—check out our How to Help page. And be sure to support our sponsors below!

    Drink Pink for Mother’s Day
    DrinkPink-SmithBrothersSmith Brothers is producing Strawberry Milk for home delivery from now until the end of May. With each purchase of strawberry milk, Smith Brothers will donate $1 to breast cancer research at SCCA. Click here to learn more about home delivery. According to Sean Flaherty at Smith Brothers:

    Since we are a local family owned company, we believe in being a good neighbor and supporting the community that supports us.  As a local organization that has the goal of  every day to turn cancer patients into cancer survivors, we knew SCCA was an organization we’d be proud to support as part of our “Drink Pink” promotion.

    Stop by the Eastlake Bar & Grill on April 22
    If you’re in the neighborhood tomorrow, be sure to stop by for dinner at the Eastlake Bar & Grill starting at 5 p.m., as they will be donating 20 percent of all proceeds to SCCA. Click here for more information about tomorrow’s promotion. Writes Jo Ann Poulias Schmidt, Director of Operations at Neighborhood Grills:

    SCCA is literally in our backyard. We are a Seattle-based company that wants to support the efforts of our community and educate our guests on more causes like this. One of our six values is that we are family friendly. Families are so important to us and the fact that SCCA supports all areas of the family with the involvement of Seattle Children’s, Fred Hutch and UW is pretty great!

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      An Update on Risk Factors and Treatment Options for Head and Neck Cancer

      This week is National Oral, Head, and Neck Cancer Awareness Week, and SCCA’s Dr. Jeffrey Houlton recently talked with Patient Power to give an update on risk factors and treatment options for head and neck cancers. Dr. Houlton is a surgical oncologist who specializes in treating patients with salivary gland, parathyroid, thyroid, and head and neck cancers, which include mouth, tonsil, throat, and larynx cancer.

      Dr. Houlton notes that doctors have seen a decrease in the incidence of smoking-related head and neck cancers, but have seen an increase in tumors associated with the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is most commonly associated with cervical cancer. While the new HPV vaccine is promising for the future, Dr. Houlton notes that vaccination will not affect cancer rates for several decades.

      Head and neck cancer includes a diverse set of cancers, and Dr. Houlton works alongside medical and radiation oncologists to understand patients’ priorities and goals, and to treat patients with the least toxic option possible to  preserve their quality of life. Advances in treating head and neck cancers include minimally invasive surgery using the Da Vinci robot system and reconstructive surgery. According to Dr. Houlton, head and neck surgeons at SCCA and UW Medicine have a unique interest in reconstructive surgery, which allows them to treat patients’ cancer while working to preserve as much function as possible. As an example, surgical oncologists have developed techniques to spare the facial nerve when treating salivary gland cancer by partnering with radiation oncologists.

      In addition to reconstructive surgical techniques, advances in treating head and neck cancer include new forms of radiation therapy, such as neutron therapy and proton therapy, as well as new types of chemotherapy and targeted immunotherapy. “I absolutely think that this is an exciting time to practice medicine,” Dr. Houlton says. “We’re fighting head and neck cancers on multiple fronts and we’ve never before been so invested in a team approach as we are now.”

      Watch the full interview with Dr. Houlton below.

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        Wellness: It’s a Family Affair

        MammovanThis Saturday, April 18, stop by Rainier Beach Community Center between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to participate in a health and wellness event for the whole family. SCCA is partnering with Fred Hutch, Cierra Sisters, Seattle Parks & Recreation, and others to host the event, which will include free health screenings, information booths, a kids’ activity table, and refreshments.

        Our Mobile Mammography Van will be there offering no-cost mammograms. Call 206-288-7800 today for eligibility information and to schedule your appointment for Saturday.

        Additional health screenings available at Saturday’s event will include dental screening, blood pressure checks, hepatitis C testing, diabetes screening, and HIV screening. Organizations will also be on hand to assist with ACA registration, ORCALift enrollment, and National Marrow Donor Program enrollment.

        The Rainier Beach Community Center is located at 8825 Rainier Ave. S., between S. Cloverdale and S. Henderson Street. We hope to see you on Saturday!

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          An SCCA Perspective on Rita Wilson’s Diagnosis

          vkgadi-wisonEditor’s Note: Earlier today, Rita Wilson disclosed to People Magazine in an exclusive statement that she has been recently diagnosed with breast cancer and has undergone bilateral mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. Below, SCCA’s Dr. VK Gadi provides a detailed discussion of Ms. Wilson’s underlying condition– LCIS (lobular carcinoma in situ) –and what treatment options should be considered for women with this condition. Dr. Gadi is a medical oncologist who specializes in caring for women with breast cancer. Learn more about Dr. Gadi’s clinical and research expertise here.

          What is LCIS and how is it related to invasive lobular carcinoma?

          Ms. Wilson has a cancer that has arisen from cells that line the breast lobules, the structures that ‘produce’ milk following a pregnancy. Most commonly, her lobule cells have accumulated mutations over many years that have resulted in an inappropriate program to divide more rapidly than normal. The initial result of this growth is to ‘clog’ the lobules — a finding described as lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS). This is a common finding and considered generally a ‘non-obligate precursor’ for (i.e., could become but usually does not become) invasive cancer.

          Over time additional mutations arise, allowing the cells to break through the lobule lining and invade the surrounding normal breast tissue, hence the term invasive or infiltrating lobular carcinoma. The importance of this is three-fold. Invasive cancers cause architectural distortion of the normal tissues. What is actually seen on scans such as mammography or ultrasound is this change in the normal tissues. Second, invasive cancers cause swelling (edema) as they destroy normal tissue, thus resulting in an actual ‘mass’ that sometimes can be felt by a patient. Third, by virtue of no longer being constrained to the inside of the lobule, invasive cancers can now travel to local places such as the lymph nodes under the arm but potentially to any part of the body including but not limited to the bone, lung, liver, or brain.

          It is noteworthy that lobular carcinomas are missing (mutated) for one gene in particular called e-cadherin. When this gene is functionally missing, cancer cells can grow unattached to each other and march along ‘single-file’ in the breast tissue. Because of this slightly different growth pattern than other breast cancers, lobular cancer can grow to very large sizes and often metastasize to the lymph nodes before being clinically detected by mammography or other techniques. Under the microscope, LCIS that has become invasive lobular cancer can be hard to discern. Obtaining a second opinion on pathology can help clarify difficult cases such as Ms. Wilson’s.

          One additional point about Ms. Wilson’s cancer is that she describes a recent change to increased ‘pleomorphism.’ This term simply means that under the microscope, the LCIS had recently taken on some concerning changes and was starting to look like other more disorganized cancers. The risk of being associated with invasive cancer goes up when pleomorphism sets in. Most lobular invasive cancers retain very favorable biologic characteristics such as being positive for hormone receptors, having a low tumor grade under the microscope, and a low dividing rate if measured. Read More »

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