Search results for: Hematology and Medical Oncology

Accelerating Research Progress for Brain Cancer

Patients with rare cancers often face limited options for treatment, particularly given the fact that it is challenging to design clinical trials that enroll enough patients with these rare cancers to thoroughly test new therapies. This is very much the case for many brain cancers, which tend to be rare, deadly, and resistant to typical cancer therapies. In an effort to help counter this trend, Baylor Scott & White Research Institute (BSWRI) is actively pursuing research aimed at bringing more trial opportunities, and ultimately, potential future treatment options to patients with cancers of the brain. A notable advantage that BSWRI brings to this effort is its ability to link multiple sites across the Baylor Scott & White system under their clinical trials. In doing so, BSWRI is able to engage a more diverse population, and therefore more potentially eligible patients, across not only in the state of Texas, but neighboring states.

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Pancreatic Cancer: Early Studies in Detection and Treatment

Pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PDAC), the most common type of pancreatic cancer, is the fourth leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States. It is an extremely slow growing tumor. PDAC normally remains undetectable until late in the disease process, due in part to the physical location of the pancreas. It is situated behind the stomach at the back of the retroperitoneal space, overlaying the aorta, vena cava, and spine, deep inside the body. Because of the location of the pancreas, a computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging scan is typically needed to detect a lesion, so it may not be discovered until the patient develop symptoms. PDACs located in the head of the pancreas may obstruct the bile duct, resulting in jaundice. Approximately 80 percent of PDAC cases present with this painless jaundice. When the lesion is located in the body or tail of the pancreas, however, the first symptom is likely to be pain associated with invasion of the spleen or stomach, occurring much later in the course of the disease.

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Clinical Trials Using CAR T-cells Start to Treat Blood Cancers ALL and MCL at Baylor University Medical Center

Beyond vaccines, beyond checkpoint inhibitors, chimeric antigen receptor T-cells (CAR T-cells) are the latest form of cancer therapies aimed at reestablishing the body’s immune response to tumors. Like the Chimera of Greek mythology, a hybrid creature composed of more than one animal, CAR T-cells are molecules engineered in the laboratory using a hybrid of proteins grafted onto a patient’s T-cells. The hybrid assembly allows the CAR T-cells to carry out multiple specific functions. This engineering allows CAR T-cells to recognize specific proteins, or antigens, present on the surface of targeted cancer cells, allowing the CAR T-cells to become activated and destroy the tumor.

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