News in brief: Exercise may stimulate release of cancer-suppressing myokines; Icon to open three new specialist cancer centres; RACP trainees receive legal warning on feedback reports

Thursday, 7 Oct 2021

Exercise may stimulate release of cancer-suppressing myokines

Cancer patients may benefit from exercise because it causes skeletal muscle to secrete proteins called myokines that can suppress tumour growth, according to preliminary research from Edit Cowan University (ECU) in WA.

In a study involving ten obese men with prostate cancer undergoing ADT researchers showed that a 12 week program of exercise was associated with enhanced myokine expression in blood, samples of which had a tumour-suppressive effects in prostate cancer cells in vitro.

Study investigator Jin-Soo Kim said the mechanism by which myokines suppress tumour cells was not clear but it might involve signalling T-cells to attack and kill the cancer cells.

Myokines might improves responsiveness to ADT by improving lean muscle mass and alteration of cell-free/soluble content he suggested.

ECU is carrying out further studies, including a trial where patients with advanced-stage prostate cancer are put through a six-month exercise program.

The findings are published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.

Icon to open three new specialist cancer centres

Private oncology clinic group Icon is to open three new specialist cancer centres in South Australia in a $50 million move that will include a new chemotherapy compounding facility.

The Brisbane-based group says the Adelaide move will pave the way for further expansion into WA, adding to the 30 treatment centres it already operates in Queensland, NSW and Victoria. According to Icon, the three new cancer centres at Mt Barker, North Adelaide and Noarlunga will have 30 chairs for chemotherapy services, and three radiation linear accelerators.

Icon will also install a second linear accelerator in SA and become the first in the state to introduce the latest in radiation therapy technology. The new compounding facility will have the capacity to deliver 275,000 annual chemotherapy and sterile infusions and provide 30 people with jobs from July 2022.

RACP trainees receive legal warning on feedback reports

The RACP has warned trainees not to identify any peers or patients when submitting reports on ‘significant events’ that impacted on their medical professionalism as part of the personal reflection required  for training purposes.

The Commonwealth government has ruled that legal Qualified Privilege no longer applies to Professional Qualities Reflection (PQR) activities in Australia, which means that information and documents used in the reflections may be obtained and used in medicolegal actions.

The RACP says documents created before 1 October 2021 will continue to be protected from disclosure, but it “strongly advises de-identifying the names of patients, peers, persons or organisation(s) as well as any information entered in Professional Quality Reflection” after this date.

“If a trainee personally receives a Subpoena or a court order to reveal any Quality Assurance Activity Records, the College encourages them to seek legal advice regarding whether those records must be produced,” it advises.



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