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April 1, 2011, 7:54 AM CT

Stress, anxiety of aggressive breast cancer

Stress, anxiety of aggressive breast cancer
Dr. Georita M. Frierson
When an aggressive form of breast cancer strikes a young woman, what kind of stress, anxiety and other psychological and social challenges does she face?

That question hasn't been answered in the published psychological cancer literature, but a new pilot study just launched is gathering data to change that, as per psychology expert Georita M. Frierson at SMU.

The two-year study will survey up to 60 women recently diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer that typically strikes younger women under 40, mostly African-American or Hispanic, or those who test positive for a mutation of the human gene that suppresses tumors, BRCA1.

Known as Triple Negative Breast Cancer, this unconventional subtype categorized as "nonhormonal" strikes 10 to 20 percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer.

The study is probing patients' stress, anxiety and concerns about the psychological and social hurdles they face, said Frierson, principal investigator. SMU is collaborating on the Triple Negative study with the University of Texas Southwestern Simmons Cancer Center, a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center.

"We don't know anything about this population psychologically," said Frierson, an expert in behavioral health psychology and an assistant professor in the SMU Department of Psychology. "But based on this study, for any of their concerns we could tailor a psychological intervention to help other women like the women in my pilot. These women will be our pioneers in the psychological area to help their sisters that may have Triple Negative in the future".........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


April 1, 2011, 7:19 AM CT

Soy increases radiation's ability to kill lung cancer cells

Soy increases radiation's ability to kill lung cancer cells
A component in soybeans increases radiation's ability to kill lung cancer cells, as per a research studyreported in the recent issue of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology, the official monthly journal of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer.

"To improve radiotherapy for lung cancer cells, we are studying the potential of natural non-toxic components of soybeans, called soy isoflavones, to augment the effect of radiation against the tumor cells and at the same time protect normal lung against radiation injury," said Dr. Gilda Hillman, an associate professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Wayne State University's School of Medicine and the Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit.

"These natural soy isoflavones can sensitize cancer cells to the effects of radiotherapy, by inhibiting survival mechanisms which cancer cells activate to protect themselves," Hillman said. "At the same time, soy isoflavones can also act as antioxidants in normal tissues, which protect them against unintended damage from the radiotherapy. In a recent study, reported in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology, we demonstrated that soy isoflavones increase killing of cancer cells by radiation via blocking DNA repair mechanisms, which are turned on by the cancer cells to survive the damage caused by radiation".........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


March 30, 2011, 10:45 PM CT

Frequent CT scanning for testicular cancer surveillance

Frequent CT scanning for testicular cancer surveillance
UC Davis cancer scientists have observed that older men with early-stage testicular cancer who opt for surveillance with regular Computerized axial tomography scans over lymph node removal are at greater risk for secondary cancers. The findings, published online last week in the journal Cancer, indicate that physicians should consider the risk of new cancers with surveillance when discussing therapy options with their patients.

Along with a multi-disciplinary team of UC Davis researchers, Karim Chamie, a UC Davis urology resident at the time of the study, examined the cases of 7,301 men diagnosed between 1988 and 2006 with nonseminomatous germ cell tumor, the most common type of testicular cancer. Chamie and colleagues wanted to know if, after initial surgery, frequent computed tomography (CT) imaging of men to check for new signs of the disease increased the rate of secondary tumor growth.

"This is the first study that I am aware of that shows that diagnostic Computerized axial tomography scans cause cancer with statistical significance," said John Boone, professor in the Department of Radiology at UC Davis, co-author of study and internationally known CT expert. "The organizations that recommend these protocols need to reevaluate this aggressive use of CT and maybe opt for MRI or ultrasound."........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


March 30, 2011, 7:15 AM CT

Attack breast cancer cells from the inside out

Attack breast cancer cells from the inside out
Throwing stones at castle walls is one way to attack an enemy, but sneaking inside makes the target much more vulnerable.

Scientists at Cedars-Sinai's Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute have employed a similar strategy using a mouse model to target important mechanisms inside the most challenging breast cancer cells. Earlier studies at Cedars-Sinai found a similar approach effective in attacking cancerous brain tumor targets.

Unlike other drugs that target cancer cells from outside and often injure normal cells as a side effect, this treatment consists of multiple drugs chemically bonded to a "transport vehicle." The drugs bypass healthy cells, accumulate inside tumor cells and attack molecular targets that enable cancer cells to grow and spread. Studies using a mouse model show this highly targeted approach, using combinations of drugs, to be more effective than standard therapy methods.

This research targeted HER2-positive breast cancer � a type that, due to a genetic mutation, makes excessive amounts of a protein that promotes the growth of cancer cells. HER2-positive breast cancers tend to be more aggressive and less responsive to therapy than other breast cancers.

One usually used antitumor drug, trastuzumab (Herceptin�), is sometimes beneficial, but with advantages and disadvantages. It is an antibody to the HER2 antigen, which means it naturally seeks out this protein in cancers. But its effectiveness as a therapy commonly is limited because in 66 to 88 percent of patients, the tumors become resistant within the first year of therapy. Herceptin also can injure normal organs it contacts.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


March 28, 2011, 7:23 AM CT

Gene processes in myeloid leukaemia

Gene processes in myeloid leukaemia
Scientists have described how the most common gene mutation found in acute myeloid leukaemia starts the process of cancer development and how it can cooperate with a well-defined group of other mutations to cause full-blown leukaemia.

The scientists suggest that three critical steps are mandatory to transform normal blood cells into leukaemic ones, each subverting a different cellular process. By charting the route towards cancer, the study identifies processes that might serve as targets for new therapys to halt the cancer's development in its tracks and even reverse it.

Acute myeloid leukaemia is a rare but devastating disease, which can take hold in a matter of just days or weeks. Every year, 2,000 adults in the UK are diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia: only about three in ten adults survive for five years.

In recent years scientists have identified many genes involved in the development of acute myeloid leukaemia. The most common is NPM1, a gene with a number of known functions. The new research shows that mutation in NPM1 is a key event in the development of a large proportion of cases of acute myeloid leukaemia and that it exerts its effect by helping cells to self-renew, a process that can be thought of as the first step towards leukaemia. The team also identify two subsequent events that are mandatory to cooperate with NPM1 to drive cells to become malignant.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


March 28, 2011, 7:06 AM CT

Some women worry too much about breast

Some women worry too much about breast
Most women face only a small risk of breast cancer coming back after they complete their therapy. Yet a newly released study from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center finds that nearly half of Latinas who speak little English expressed a great deal of worry about recurrence.

"Some worry about cancer recurrence is understandable. But for some women, these worries can be so strong that they impact their therapy decisions, symptom reporting and screening behaviors, and overall quality of life," says study author Nancy K. Janz, Ph.D., professor of health behavior and health education at the U-M School of Public Health.

The scientists found substantial variation based on racial or ethnic background, with Latinas who speak primarily Spanish expressing the most worry and African-Americans expressing the least worry. For Latinas, the scientists considered acculturation, a measure of how much a person is integrated into American society. For Latinas, a significant factor is whether they speak primarily English or Spanish.

While 46 percent of Latinas who spoke primarily Spanish reported they worry "very much" about recurrence, that number drops to 25 percent for Latinas who speak primarily English, 14 percent for white women and 13 percent for African-Americans.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


March 26, 2011, 10:21 PM CT

A new colon cancer marker

A new colon cancer marker
Vasilis Vasiliou, PhD
A research team at the University of Colorado Cancer Center has identified an enzyme that could be used to diagnose colon cancer earlier. It is possible that this enzyme also could be a key to stopping the cancer.

Colon cancer is the third most common cancer in Americans, with a one in 20 chance of developing it, as per the American Cancer Society. This enzyme biomarker could help physicians identify more colon cancers and do so at earlier stages when the cancer is more successfully treated.

The research was led by Vasilis Vasiliou, PhD, professor of molecular toxicology at the University of Colorado School of Pharmacy, and reported in the Jan. 7 online issue of Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. Vasiliou's laboratory specializes in understanding the role of enzymes called aldehyde dehydrogenases in drug metabolism, metabolic diseases, cancer and normal and cancer stem cells.

Vasiliou's team studied colon cancers from 40 patients and found a form of this enzyme known as ALDH1B1 present in every colon cancer cell in 39 out of the 40 cases. The enzyme, which is normally found only in stem cells, was detected at extraordinarily high levels.

"Other potential colon cancer biomarkers have been identified in the past, but none thus far are present in such a high percent of the cancer cells and virtually none are overexpressed like this one," says David Orlicky, PhD, associate professor of pathology at the CU medical school and a member of the research team.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


March 22, 2011, 10:28 PM CT

Discovery in liver cancer cells

Discovery in liver cancer cells
Scientists at Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center and VCU Institute of Molecular Medicine (VIMM) have discovered a novel mechanism in gene regulation that contributes to the development of a form of liver cancer called hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Currently, there is virtually no effective therapy for HCC, and this breakthrough identifies a promising new target for therapeutic intervention.

In the journal Hepatology, Devanand Sarkar, M.B.B.S., Ph.D., Harrison Endowed Scholar in Cancer Research at VCU Massey Cancer Center, a Blick scholar and assistant professor in the Department of Human and Molecular Genetics and a member of the VIMM at VCU School of Medicine, describes for the first time how RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) contributes to the development of liver cancer.

RISC is an important factor in post-transcriptional gene regulation, which occurs between transcription (where DNA is converted to RNA) and translation (where RNA is converted to protein). These processes regulate functions such as cellular growth, division and death. Sarkar and his team identified the proteins AEG-1 and SND1 as factors that increase RISC activity and lead to the development of liver cancer.

For years, Sarkar has been studying the role of AEG-1 in cancer with his collaborator on this research, Paul B. Fisher, M.Ph., Ph.D., Thelma Newmeyer Corman Endowed Chair in Cancer Research at VCU Massey, professor and chair of the Department of Human and Molecular Genetics and director of the VIMM.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


March 15, 2011, 10:22 PM CT

Malaria drug for pancreatic cancer?

Malaria drug for pancreatic cancer?
Researchers report they have shrunk or slowed the growth of notoriously resistant pancreatic tumors in mice, using a drug routinely prescribed for malaria and rheumatoid arthritis.

The pre-clinical results, which will appear in the recent issue of the journal Genes & Development and is currently published on its web site, have already prompted the opening of a small clinical trial in patients with advanced pancreas cancer, one of the deadliest and hardest-to-treat forms of cancer, said the investigators, led by Alec Kimmelman, MD, PhD, a radiation oncologist at Dana-Farber.

"We are seeing robust and impressive responses in pancreas cancer mouse models," said Kimmelman, whose laboratory specializes in studies of pancreas cancer, the fourth-leading cause of cancer death in the United States. The oral drug, hydroxychloroquine, is inexpensive, widely available, and causes relatively mild side effects, he said. A second, planned clinical trial will combine the drug with radiation.

"While these findings are indeed exciting and a cause for optimism, one needs to be mindful that so far the effects, while impressive, have only been shown in mice," said Ronald DePinho, MD, director of the Belfer Institute for Applied Cancer Science at Dana-Farber. "I eagerly await to see how the human studies will progress".........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


March 15, 2011, 7:43 AM CT

Teens and young adults with cancer

Teens and young adults with cancer
JAYAO, launching in Spring 2011, will be the central forum for clinical, research, and professional specialties focusing on the rapidly emerging field of AYA oncology.

Credit: © 2010, Mary Ann Liebert Inc., publishers

Adolescents and young adults are neither children nor adults and those affected by cancer require targeted care that crosses the boundaries between pediatric and adult oncology, as per several pioneers in this still-developing field of adolescent and young adult oncology. An illuminating roundtable discussion by these experts would be reported in the premier issue of Journal of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology, a multidisciplinary peer-evaluated publication of Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. (www.liebertpub.com). The Roundtable has been published ahead of the print issue and is available at www.liebertpub.com/JAYAO. The full issue will launch in April 2011.

"AYA cancer presents the medical community with several unique problems. First, it requires true collaboration between pediatric and medical oncologists as the age range crosses both disciplines. Next, our AYA cancer patients not only have cancer but are also often dealing with ongoing developmental and psychosocial issues at the same time; as such, we must be aware of how a cancer diagnosis interferes with their normal development. The Roundtable discussion helps put AYA cancer in perspective for those who have still not considered the 15-39 year old cancer patient as a distinct and relevant patient group," as per Editor-in-Chief Leonard S. Sender, MD, of the University of California, Irvine and CHOC Children's Hospital.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source



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Cancer
Cancer is a very common disease, approximately one out of every two American men and one out of every three American women will have some type of cancer at some point during the course of their life. Cancer is more common in the elderly and 77 percent of cancers occur in people above age 55 or older. Cancer is also common in children. Cancer incidence is said to have two peaks once during early childhood and then during late years in life. No age period is completely exempted from development of cancers. Some cancers occur predominantly in the elderly, other types occur in children, Cancer occurs in all ethnic races, however the cancer rates and rates of specific cancer types may vary from group to group. Late stages of cancer may be incurable in most cases, but with the advancement of medicine, more and more cancers are becoming curable.

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