Friday Frontline: March 22, 2019


From fertility research developments for childhood cancer to today’s top performers and entertainers, here’s what’s making headlines in the cancer space this week.

The American Cancer Society (ACS) reported that drinking tea at more than 140 degrees almost doubles your chance of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). The World Health Organization warned that hot beverages may increase the risk of cancer in 2016, but a recent population-based study in the International Journal of Cancer of over 50,000 individuals in Iran pinpointed the exact temperature of 140 degrees, expanding on previous studies and answering the question of, “How hot is too hot?” However, in the US, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and other hot beverages are usually drunk at temperatures lower than 140 degrees, according to the ACS.

A California federal jury has ruled that one man's cancer, was caused in large part by Monsanto's Roundup weed killer. Edwin Hardeman's case was the first federal trial over Roundup. He alleged that exposure to the weed killer led to his non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The decision in favor of Hardeman is a landmark case that could potentially impact hundreds of other similar lawsuits, according to The Guardian. Monsanto faces more than 9,000 Roundup-related lawsuits in the U.S.

Photo credit: Oregon Health and Science University via AP

New research was presented this week regarding the first monkey born from the University of Pittsburgh’s experimental technology to help young boys undergoing cancer treatment preserve their future fertility. One-third of childhood cancer survivors will be left infertile from cancer treatment; however, prepubescent individuals do not have the same fertility options as adults, such as freezing eggs, embryos or sperm prior to chemotherapy, as their reproductive systems are not mature enough. A team from the institution reported an advance on Thursday that led to the birth of a healthy female monkey named “Grady” last April at the Oregon National Primate Research Center. The team froze testicular tissue from a monkey that hadn't yet reached puberty, which they later used to produce sperm and, through a monkey version of IVF, led to Grady’s birth. The researchers noted that the technique worked well enough so that human testing should begin in the next few years.

Photo credit: Colleen Hayes/HBO.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus told Entertainment Weekly that she had planned to “shoot around chemo” during the final season of the HBO series “Veep”. The comedienne opened up about the series and her treatment in Entertainment Weekly’s cover story about the final season of “Veep”. There was question over whether or not the final season would film as planned after her breast cancer diagnosis, when Louis-Dreyfus at first suggested they simply film during the span of her cancer treatment. “It never occurred to me not to do the show,” Louis-Dreyfus told the entertainment magazine. “For a couple of days — not knowing this road I was about to walk down, not fully understanding, and possibly in a sort of state of denial too — I was thinking, ‘Well, we’ll shoot around chemo. We’ll figure it out.’ I had that idea, which is, of course, absurd. But I didn’t think of it as such until reality came crashing in.” The final season of “Veep” premieres on HBO on March 31, 2019.

Photo credit: Rachel Murray/Getty Images

Joey King, from “The Conjuring”, reprimanded a fellow airline passenger after he confessed he feared he would "catch cancer" from the young actress simply because she had a shaved head. King, 19, had shaved off her hair for a role, but was actually quite healthy, noting that her shaved head changed the way others interacted with her. It was when she observed a text over the shoulder of an airline passenger that she stepped in to say something. "…This one guy sat next to me on the airplane and he... took a picture of me... as if I had no idea, and I could see over his shoulder, (he) was texting somebody else he knew on the airplane, like, 'This girl next to me has f-ing cancer. She's coughing, I don't wanna catch it!’” She added, "I was like, 'Oh man... You know you can't catch cancer? I don't have it, but you can't catch it like that!' It's so ridiculous!"

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