Despite studies that claim people with cancer are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease—raising the possibility that what triggers cancer also prevents the neurodegenerative disorder—a new investigation finds a more somber explanation. Many cancer patients don’t live long enough to get Alzheimer’s. The research, led by investigators at Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah, was published in The Journals of Gerontology: Series B.
Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) is a leader in the study of cancer genetics and its researchers have discovered more inherited cancer genes than any other cancer center in the world. Genes responsible for breast and ovarian cancer, colon cancer, head and neck cancer, and melanoma were identified here.
From its beginning, HCI has followed a “lab bench to patient bedside” research model. HCI is the only cancer center in the region that conducts basic, translational, and clinical research simultaneously, taking what’s learned in the laboratory through drug development and into the clinic.
Huntsman Cancer Institute’s CEO and director, Mary Beckerle, PhD, has been asked to join Vice President Joe Biden’s Moonshot Program Initiative as an invited member of a new Blue Ribbon Panel, tasked with advising the National Cancer Advisory Board (NCAB) on the scientific opportunities available to accelerate progress against cancer and evaluate potential new investments in cancer research.
There are limits to precision medicine – the genome-mapping wave permeating health care these days. And no one is more aware of the gap between technology and science than cancer doctors. A panel gathered at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) March 23 warned about the boundaries, even the dangers, of relying too much on “big data” to treat patients with uniquely variable diseases.
Inheriting a mutation in the APC gene leads to a nearly 100% lifetime risk of colorectal cancer. While colon cancer can be kept at bay by removing the large intestine, these patients also have up to a 15% risk of getting cancer in the small intestine, which is the leading cause of cancer death in this patient group. A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), has identified the first prevention treatment for these patients, a two-drug combination that significantly reduces the number and size of precancerous polyps in the small intestine.