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February 3, 2009, 6:23 AM CT

Inflammation colon cancer link

Inflammation colon cancer link
(New York, February 2, 2009) -- While chronic inflammation is widely thought to bea predisposing factor for colon cancer, the exact mechanisms linking these conditions have remained elusive. Researchers at the Melbourne Branch of the international Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (LICR) and the Technical University Munich have jointly discovered a new piece of this puzzle by demonstrating how the Stat3 protein links inflammation to tumor development, a discovery that may well lead to the identification of new therapeutic targets for colon cancer.

Aberrant activation of the intracellular signaling protein, Stat3, has been linked to inflammation and several cancers, including those of the gastrointestinal tract. The results published on-line today in the journal Cancer Cell provide the first direct evidence confirming the role for Stat3 in inflammation-associated tumorigenesis. Using an inflammation-associated cancer model in genetically manipulated mice, the team identified a relationship between epithelial cell Stat3 activity and colonic tumor incidence, as well as tumor growth. They also determined that stimulation of Stat3 by the cytokines IL-6 and IL-11, chemicals produced by inflammatory and other tumor-associated cells, promotes both cell survival and growth of tumor cells.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


January 30, 2009, 6:18 AM CT

Fluorouracil-based Therapy May Cure Colon Cancer

Fluorouracil-based Therapy May Cure Colon Cancer
Adjuvant fluorouracil-based chemotherapy can lead to significant disease-free survival in colon cancer patients and may do even better in some, scientists report in an advance on-line issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

As lead investigator Dr. Daniel Sargent told Reuters Health, "The primary clinical implications of this research are that adjuvant fluorouracil-based therapy actually cures colon cancer patients -- as opposed to simply delaying a recurrence -- and that most relapses occur in the first 2 years after surgery".

Dr. Sargent of the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, and his colleagues analyzed data from 18 trials involving more than 20,800 patients with stage II or III colon cancer. The scientists observed a significant benefit of adjuvant chemotherapy over 8 years of follow-up.

Significant disease-free survival benefit was seen in the first 2 years. However, after this point there were no significant differences from untreated controls.

Nevertheless, the recurrence rates were less than 1.5% per year after 5 years, and 0.5% per year after 8 years. "The risk of recurrence in patients treated with adjuvant chemotherapy never exceeds that of control patients, signifying that adjuvant chemotherapy cures some patients," the researchers explain.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more


January 8, 2009, 10:11 PM CT

Hormone therapy and colorectal cancer

Hormone therapy and colorectal cancer
The combination of estrogen plus progestin, which women stopped taking in droves following the news that it may increase their risk of breast cancer, may decrease their risk of colorectal cancer, as per a report reported in the recent issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

"In comparison to women who had never taken these hormones, the use of estrogen plus progestin was linked to a reduced risk of colorectal cancer," said Jill R. Johnson, M.P.H., a doctoral student at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.

The largest risk reduction, approximately 45 percent, was seen among women who had completed use of estrogen plus progestin five or more years previously.

Johnson and her colleagues extracted data from 56,733 postmenopausal women who participated in the Breast Cancer Detection Demonstration Project follow-up study. Hormone treatment use and other risk factors were ascertained through telephone interviews and mailed questionnaires between 1979 and 1998. During an average 15 years of follow-up, Johnson and his colleagues identified 960 new cases of colorectal cancer in this population.

Any use of estrogen treatment was linked to a 17 percent reduced risk in colorectal cancer. Among those who used estrogen, the largest reductions were seen among those who were current users (25 percent reduced risk) and users of ten or more years duration (26 percent reduced risk).........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


December 22, 2008, 5:27 AM CT

Predicting metastasis from colon cancer

Predicting metastasis from colon cancer
Cancer Scientists at the Max Delbrck Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch and the Charit Universitts Medizin Berlin (Gera number of) have identified a gene which enables them to predict for the first time with high probability if colon cancer is going to metastasize. Assistant Professor Dr. Ulrike Stein, Professor Peter M. Schlag, and Professor Walter Birchmeier were able to demonstrate that the gene MACC1 (Metastasis-Associated in Colon Cancer 1) not only promotes tumor growth but also the development of metastasis.When MACC1 gene activity is low, the life expectancy of colon cancer patients is longer compared to patients with high MACC1 levels. (Nature Medicine, doi: 10.1038/nm.1889)*.

As per the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, more than 108,000 people developed colon cancer in the US in 2008. Despite surgery, chemo- and radiotherapy, only 50 percent of patients can be cured because 20 percent of the patients have already developed metastasis by the time their colon cancer is diagnosed. In addition, one-third of patients whose therapy of the original colon cancer was successful will, nevertheless, go on to develop metastasis.

The MDC and Charit scientists are convinced that the identification of the MACC1 gene will aid medical doctors in identifying those patients as early as possible who are at high risk of developing life-threatening metastasis in the liver and the lungs. As a result, more intensive therapy and follow-up care could be offered to high risk patients.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


December 16, 2008, 9:44 PM CT

A qualified endoscopist for your colonoscopy

A qualified endoscopist for your colonoscopy
A study released recently in the Annals of Internal Medicine observed that colonoscopy is linked to lower death rates from colorectal cancer, however, the procedure missed lesions more often on the right side of the colon versus the left side. The study highlights the importance of seeking a qualified gastrointestinal endoscopist to perform a thorough colonoscopy and that patients must take the bowel prep as directed by their doctor allowing for a clear view of the colon to detect lesions. The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE), representing the specialists in colorectal cancer screening, recommends that patients seek out an expertly-trained gastrointestinal endoscopist to perform a colonoscopy and to ask questions about their qualifications before the procedure.

"Colonoscopy is the gold standard for colorectal cancer screening for its ability to detect and remove polyps before they turn into cancer. Colonoscopy's effectiveness is evidenced in the recent decline in the incidence and death rates from colorectal cancer announced last month by leading cancer organizations," said John L. Petrini, MD, FASGE, president of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. "While colonoscopy is not a perfect test, this study should not deter anyone from undergoing a colonoscopy for colorectal cancer screening. Approximately 70 percent of the colonoscopies performed in this study were not done by gastroenterologists. Studies have shown that missed lesion rates are higher for internists and family practice physicians doing colonoscopy. We urge patients to log on to www.asge.org to find a qualified, expertly-trained gastrointestinal endoscopist to perform their colonoscopy and to ask questions about their qualifications".........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


December 16, 2008, 9:29 PM CT

Smoking and colorectal cancer

Smoking  and colorectal cancer
An analysis of prior studies indicates that smoking is significantly linked to an increased risk for colorectal cancer and death, as per an article in the December 17 issue of JAMA

Eventhough tobacco was responsible for approximately 5.4 million deaths in 2005, there are still an estimated 1.3 billion smokers in the world. While many cancers are attributable to smoking, the link between cigarette smoking and colorectal cancer (CRC) has been inconsistent among studies. "Because smoking can potentially be controlled by individual and population-related measures, detecting a link between CRC and smoking could help reduce the burden of the world's third most common tumor, which currently causes more than 500,000 annual deaths worldwide. In the United States alone, an estimate of approximately 50,000 deaths from CRC would have occurred in 2008," the authors write.

Edoardo Botteri, M.Sc., of the European Institute of Oncology, Milan, Italy, and his colleagues conducted a meta-analysis to review and summarize published data examining the link between smoking and CRC incidence and death.

The scientists identified 106 findings based on observation, and the meta-analysis was based on a total of nearly 40,000 new cases of CRC. For the analysis on incidence, smoking was linked to an 18 percent increased risk of CRC. The scientists also found a statistically significant dose-relationship with an increasing number of pack-years (number of packs of cigarettes smoked/day, multiplied by years of consumption) and cigarettes per day. However, the association was statistically significant only after 30 years of smoking.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


December 15, 2008, 5:17 AM CT

Racial gap growing in colorectal cancer

Racial gap growing in colorectal cancer
A new report from the American Cancer Society says despite unprecedented progress in reducing incidence and death rates from colorectal cancer, the gap between blacks and whites continues to grow. The latest data show death rates are about 45 percent higher in African American men and women than in whites. The data come from Colorectal Cancer Facts & Figures 2008-2010, the second edition of a report first issued in 2005.

Colorectal cancer is the third most usually diagnosed cancer and the third leading cause of cancer death in both men and women in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2008, about 148,810 people will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer and about 49,960 people will die of the disease. The great majority of these cancers and deaths could be prevented by applying existing knowledge about cancer prevention and by increasing access to and use of established screening tests.

Eventhough incidence and mortality rates continue to decrease in both blacks and whites, rates remain higher and declines have been slower among blacks. Differences in incidence and mortality between blacks and whites have actually grown in the three years since the prior edition of the report was published. For example, in the prior report, the incidence rate in white men was 63.1 (per 100,000) in comparison to 72.9 in black men, an absolute difference of 9.8; in the current report, the difference between the incidence rate in white men (58.9 per 100,000) and black men (71.2 per 100,000) increased to 12.3.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


November 27, 2008, 5:21 AM CT

Encouraged by drop in colorectal cancer deaths

Encouraged by drop in colorectal cancer deaths
Colonoscopy
The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) heralds the recent news of a decline in U.S. cancer deaths and incidence rates, with colorectal cancer among the top three cancers with significant declines. ASGE, representing the specialists in colorectal cancer screening, is excited by the report showing that colorectal cancer deaths among men and women dropped 4.3 percent per year between 2002 and 2005. The incidence rate for colorectal cancer (the rate at which new cancers are diagnosed) dropped 2.8 percent per year among men and dropped 2.2 percent per year among women between 1998 and 2005.

The study, issued annually since 1998 by the American Cancer Society, the National Cancer Institute, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries, showed for the first time a simultaneous decline in both cancer death rates and incidence rates in men and women. Incidence rates for all cancers combined (15 most usually diagnosed) decreased 0.8 percent per year from 1999 through 2005 for both sexes combined; rates decreased 1.8 percent per year from 2001 through 2005 for men and 0.6 percent per year from 1998 through 2005 for women. The decline in both incidence and death rates for all cancers combined is due in large part to declines in the three most common cancers among men (lung, colon/rectum, and prostate) and the two most common cancers among women (breast and colon/rectum), combined with a leveling off of lung cancer death rates among women.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


November 24, 2008, 9:46 PM CT

Genomic signature of colon cancer may individualize treatment

Genomic signature of colon cancer may individualize treatment
Scientists in the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy have developed a model for predicting risk of recurrence in early stage patients with colon cancer, and have used the model to also predict sensitivity to chemotherapy and targeted treatment regimens.

"These findings have important implications for individualizing treatment," said Katherine Garman, M.D., a gastroenterology fellow at Duke and lead investigator on the study. "By examining gene expression in early-stage colon cancer tumors, we have found certain patterns that seem to put some patients at higher risk for recurrence. By identifying these patients up front, we may be able to treat them in a targeted and proactive manner to prevent this recurrence and help them live longer and healthier lives".

The findings are due to appear in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, between November 24 and November 26, 2008. The study was funded by the Emilene Brown Cancer Research Fund and the National Institutes of Health.

The scientists studied gene expression data from 52 samples of early stage colon cancer tumors, looking for patterns. Then they correlated the gene expression patterns with patient progress reports to track the recurrence of cancer. The predictive power of the correlations was subsequently tested in two independent data sets from 55 and 73 tumors, respectively.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


November 21, 2008, 5:46 AM CT

Screening for colorectal cancer detects unrecognized disease

Screening for colorectal cancer detects unrecognized disease
Screening for colorectal cancer detects four out of ten cancers and should be carefully designed to be more effective, as per a research studypublished recently on bmj.com.

About one in 20 people in the UK develop bowel cancer during their lifetime. It is the third most common cancer in the UK and the second leading cause of cancer deaths in Europe and the US.

Prior screening trials have show that faecal occult blood testing can reduce the risk of dying by about 16%. More than 50 countries have introduced screening programmes, but their effectiveness in a public health setting is not clear.

Dr Nea Malila and his colleagues from the Finnish Cancer Registry examined whether Finland's national colorectal cancer screening programme could detect unrecognised disease. They studied 106 000 people aged 60󈞬 to test how sensitive screening was in identifying unrecognised disease at three levelsthe faecal occult blood test (test to detect small traces of blood in faeces that may indicate disease at an early stage), screening episode, and the national screening programme.

A national screening programme for colorectal cancer began in Finland in 2004 as a public health policy in 22 volunteer municipalities and grew to 161 municipalities by 2006.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source



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Colorectal cancer
Colorectal cancer is a malignant tumor that arises from the inner wall of the large intestine or rectum. Colorectal cancer is the third commonest cancer diagnosed in the United States. Each year over 100,000 people are diagnosed with colorectal cancer in the United States. Most, of these cancers develop from growths in the colon called polyps. Removal of these polyps can prevent colon cancer.

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