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Strong provider recommendation can make significant difference in HPV vaccination rates

At any point, 1 out of 4 people has at least one strain of Human papillomavirus (HPV), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Institutes of Health (NIH), making HPV the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI).

The HPV vaccine is proven to prevent HPV infection, and in turn, prevent cancer.

Despite these glaring figures, vaccination rates remain low. According to the CDC, 6 in 10 girls are vaccinated for HPV, and only 4 in 10 boys.

Physician recommendations could make all the difference.

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Biomarker may predict recurrence in endometrial cancer patients

Endometrial cancer is the most common gynecologic cancer in the U.S.

New research from the lab of Martina Bazzaro, Ph.D., of the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota and Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Women’s Health, suggests the deubiquitinating enzyme (DUB) USP14 as a promising biomarker for identifying risk of recurrence in endometrial cancer patients.

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Calling communities to engage in National Cancer Moonshot Initiative

Defeating cancer – a lofty goal, but no more bold than the idea of putting a man on the moon. When President Obama set forth the charge and launched the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative, the scientific community was rallied toward accelerating progress in therapies, diagnosis tools, and prevention tactics.

The NCI is now inviting the public to join the venture, launching a web portal for anyone to come and contribute ideas, concepts, or pathways of study. Many researchers are excited about this partnership with the public and the opportunity for mutual learning and collaboration.

We spoke with Christopher Pennell, Ph.D., associate director for Education and Community Engagement at the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, about this new step in the Moonshot Initiative.

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The Cancer Moonshot: Dr. Christopher Pennell on cancer research and treatment

When President Obama delivered his final State of the Union address last month, he challenged Americans to channel the innovation and spirit that lead to putting a man on the moon to achieve the next great “moonshot”: finding a cure to cancer. In honor of the cancer moonshot, Health Talk will be drawing upon the vast knowledge of the researchers in the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota in an ongoing series dedicated to cancer research. To kick things off, we sat down with Christopher Pennell, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, to gain insight into the work he does at the Masonic Cancer Center and where cancer research is headed.

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In The News: New research shows cancer diagnoses are associated with higher voter turnout in 2008

Many factors can affect voter turnout: older people generally vote more, as do people with higher income and more years of education. Researchers have recently begun to study how people’s health affects their involvement in politics. Previous research shows healthy people are more likely to vote, even after taking account of other factors known to be associated with turnout.

However, new research published in the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law and featured in a Washington Post article written by Sarah Gollust, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the School of Public Health and Wendy Rahn, a professor in Political Science, shows voter turnout is related to not just by how healthy you are, but whether you suffer from specific chronic illnesses. The biggest surprise from their research was that cancer was associated with higher voter turnout in the 2008 presidential election.


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In the news: Study shows processed meats may increase cancer risk

It might be time to rethink the typical American backyard barbecue with hot dogs and bacon cheeseburgers. Recent research from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) found more evidence that red meats and processed meats should be eaten in moderation. The study revealed consumption of hot dogs, ham and other processed meats is linked to colorectal cancer. The University of Minnesota collaborated on the study.

The IARC classifies processed meat as a carcinogen and the associated risk of developing colorectal cancer is small, but increases with consumption. Experts determined 50 grams or 1.75 ounces of meat per day (about two strips of bacon or six thin slices of ham) can increase the risk of colorectal cancer by 18 percent.

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