About Vanessa Wasta

Posts by Vanessa Wasta:

Why do recommendations for colon cancer and prostate cancer screening tend to start around age 50?


“If you look at the overall incidence of cancer in the U.S., 80% of all cancers are diagnosed in people older than 60, and 30% of cancers are diagnosed in people older than 80, so in general, more cancers appear in people as they get older,” explains William G. Nelson, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Sidney(...)

Stefanie Joho describes how she participated in a landmark clinical trial of immunotherapy


When doctors told Stefanie Joho that they had no options left, her sister scoured the internet to find "something" that could offer hope. She found a clinical trial at Johns Hopkins that looked promising, and little did Stefanie know that it would transform her life and become FDA approved. Listen to Stefanie tell her story:

Historic cancer drug approval has roots at Johns Hopkins and its Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute laboratories and clinics

Historic cancer drug approval has roots at Johns Hopkins and its Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute laboratories and clinics

Breaking news today as, for the first time, a drug has been FDA-approved for cancer based on disease genetics rather than type. Developed from 30 years of basic research at Johns Hopkins and its Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute, pembroluzimab now can be used for colon, pancreatic, stomach, ovarian and other cancers if genetic testing reveals defects in(...)

Lung cancer immunotherapy options expand

Lung cancer immunotherapy options expand

Patients and doctors received news this week of the FDA’s approval of the immunotherapy drug pembrolizumab in combination with platinum doublet chemotherapy as first-line therapy for all patients with non-small cell lung cancer, irrespective of patients’ tumor PD-L1 status. The new approval follows the FDA’s decision last November to approve pembrolizumab as a first-line therapy for some(...)

The State of the Bladder Cancer Battle

The State of the Bladder Cancer Battle

On a weekend before a business trip, Ken Brothers noticed some blood in his urine. He wondered if it was related his recent loss of 40 pounds on a medically-supervised diet and emailed his doctor about it. Blood in the urine is a common symptom of bladder cancer, but its presence is not always associated(...)

Is there any test for prostate cancer that doesn’t depend on a blood test for PSA?


“There are an increasing collection of tests that sample other aspects of prostate cancer in urine, blood or tissue, including acquired gene defects in the disease and acquired changes that cancers display that normal cells don’t,” says William G. Nelson, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins. “I would(...)

What are the signs of spiritual distress for cancer patients?


No matter how you respond to your diagnosis, it’s not unusual for cancer patients to feel the impact of spiritual pain and distress, says Rhonda Cooper, an oncology chaplain at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center in Baltimore.  Signs of spiritual distress for cancer patients may include: Guilt or regrets about things you have done(...)

How can I figure out if prostate cancer screening will help me personally?


“The best approach is to have a significant conversation with your physician about the risks and benefits of screening. It's shared decision making,” says William G. Nelson, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins. “People have different attitudes about what they’d like to do with their health. If someone(...)

What can a cancer chaplain do for me as a cancer patient?


“Don’t be shy. It is not a sign of weakness to want a person of faith by your side at a time like this,” says Rhonda Cooper, an oncology chaplain at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center in Baltimore.  If you are struggling to understand why you have cancer, are feeling a range of emotions(...)

Top Maryland scientists discuss research on tracking and treating cancer


At the annual Research Matters conference yesterday, top scientists from the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center discussed research using advanced imaging methods to develop better ways pinpoint and track cancer cells — down to the microscopic level — and precisely target each cell with anti-cancer drugs. Experts also delivered presentations(...)