New research was presented at AACR 2015, the American Association for Cancer Research’s annual meeting, from April 18 to 22 in Philadelphia. The features below highlight some of the studies that emerged from the conference.

Forecasting Breast Cancer Cases

The Particulars: Predicting the number of breast cancer cases in the United States through 2030 could help with developing a proactive roadmap for optimizing prevention and treatment strategies.

Data Breakdown: For a study, National Cancer Institute researchers used Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program data, Census Bureau population projections, and mathematical models to forecast the number of breast cancer cases in the country from 2011 to 2030. Depending on the model used, the team forecasted that the number of new invasive and in situ breast cancer cases would increase from 25% to 55% by 2030. The proportion of new cases in women aged 50 to 69 was projected to decrease by 2030. However, the proportion of cases in women aged 70 to 84 was projected to increase, as was the proportion of early estrogen receptor (ER)-positive in situ cancers.

Take Home Pearls: The number of breast cancer cases among American women is projected to increase by up to 55% by 2030. This increase will likely be driven by increases in ER-positive cases and cases in women older than 70.

Antidepressants for Lung Cancer?

The Particulars: Early evidence suggests that antidepressants may target important pathways in cancer cells. It has been suspected that these drugs could possibly be repurposed for cancer treatment, but large studies are needed to confirm this possibility.

Data Breakdown: Antidepressant use was assessed among more than 1,000 lung cancer patients participating in a study. In this patient population, antidepressant use was associated with a significant extension of lung cancer-specific survival when compared with no antidepressant use, particularly among those who took norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitors or tricyclic antidepressants. However, serotonin reuptake inhibitors were linked with worse survival.

Take Home Pearl: Lung cancer patients taking some types of antidepressants appear to experience significantly prolonged survival.

Obesity & Mortality After Radical Prostatectomy

The Particulars: Few studies have assessed the association between obesity and long-term progression following radical prostatectomy.

Data Breakdown: Study investigators examined data from men undergoing radical prostatectomy to determine the effect of obesity on long-term prostate cancer-specific outcomes. Patients who were overweight had a hazard ratio of 2.85 for prostate cancer-specific mortality, whereas those who were obese had a corresponding hazard ratio of 3.38. Obesity was also associated with a higher risk of recurrence and castration-resistant prostate cancer when compared with normal weight individuals with the disease.

Take Home Pearl: Obese men undergoing radical prostatectomy appear to be at increased risk for worse long-term prostate cancer outcomes, including prostate cancer-specific mortality, when compared with normal weight counterparts.