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November 14, 2007, 9:45 PM CT

Predicting the future in ovarian cancer

Predicting the future in ovarian cancer
Kisspeptin and its receptor GPR54 predict a favourable clinical outcome in women with ovarian carcinoma, and are specific for the clear cell carcinoma subtype, research published this week in the online open access journal, BMC Medicine, reveals.

The kisspeptins, a family of peptide hormones, and the receptor GPR54 have previously been linked to anti-metastatic activity in certain human tumours. In this study, scientists have shown that kisspeptin and GPR54 are independent prognostic biomarkers specific for ovarian clear cell carcinoma - the first such markers to be identified.

A research team based at the BC Cancer Agency and Vancouver General Hospital, Vancouver, Canada created a tissue microarray - paraffin blocks which allow numerous tissue samples to be analysed simultaneously - from 518 cases of early-stage ovarian carcinoma. They analysed the samples using antibodies against kisspeptin and the G-protein-coupled receptor GPR54. Cases that showed strong staining for either kisspeptin or GPR54 were scored as positive, the rest negative.

The study revealed that patients who were positive for both kisspeptin and GPR54 had a favourable prognosis as in comparison to those patients who were negative for both kisspeptin and GPR54 cases - both in terms of disease-specific survival and overall survival. Scientists also observed that these molecular markers were significantly linked to the clear cell ovarian carcinomas subtype.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


October 31, 2007, 8:10 PM CT

Avastin Improves Ovarian Cancer Treatment

Avastin Improves Ovarian Cancer Treatment
A new study appearing in International Journal of Gynecological Cancer states that Bevacizumab, a biologic anti-cancer agent that prevents tumor growth by interfering with the formation of new blood vessels, may have the potential to improve the efficacy of standard combination chemotherapy in ovary cancer.

Ovary cancer is the fifth most common cancer in women, accounting for nearly 14,000 deaths annually in the United States. Despite the use of chemotherapy therapy, nearly 70 percent of all ovary cancer patients will eventually succumb to their disease. Consequently, studies have continued to investigate the activity of novel medications in combination with standard treatment to improve overall and disease-free survival in ovary cancer patients.

Bevacizumab has been studied clinically and was recently approved as a therapy for metastatic colon cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. Currently, Bevacizumab is also being studied as a therapy to improve patient survival rates for breast and kidney cancers. Since Bevacizumab has a unique mechanism of action and a favorable safety profile, the medicine is not linked to unreasonable levels of toxicity. However, prior studies have reported that gastro-intestinal perforations and high blood pressure may be a consequence of therapy involving Bevacizumab. "The results from our research suggest that the combination of Bevacizumab and standard treatment for the therapy of ovary cancer may be promising, especially with regard to safety and efficacy," says Dr. Bram Goldstein, co-author of the study.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


October 9, 2007, 8:55 PM CT

Low-Fat Dietary To Lower Risk of Ovarian Cancer

Low-Fat Dietary To Lower Risk of Ovarian Cancer
A diet low in fat could reduce the risk of ovary cancer in healthy postmenopausal women, as per new results from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) Dietary Modification Trial. Scientists observed that after four years, women who decreased the amount of dietary fat they consumed were 40 percent less likely to develop ovary cancer than women who followed normal dietary patterns. As expected, no effect was found during the first four years because preventive benefits on cancer often take a number of years to develop. Ovary cancer affects about 1 in 60 U.S. women in their lifetimes and has the highest mortality of all cancers of the female reproductive system.

"Low-Fat Dietary Pattern and Invasive Cancer Incidence: Further Results from the Women's Health Initiative Dietary Modification Trial," is published online October 9 by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The WHI Dietary Modification Trial was conducted in 40 clinical centers throughout the United States and is funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health.

The WHI Dietary Modification clinical trial followed 48,835 healthy, postmenopausal women for an average of 8.1 years to test whether a low-fat diet would reduce the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Nearly 20,000 women in the intervention group were counseled to decrease fat intake to 20 percent of calories and to replace calories from fat with calories from vegetables, fruits, and grains. The control group (nearly 30,000 women) received diet-related education materials only.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


September 27, 2007, 10:04 PM CT

Drug Boosts Survival in Recurrent Ovarian Cancer

Drug Boosts Survival in Recurrent Ovarian Cancer
New clinical data showed an experimental drug called pertuzumab prolonged the survival time for women with recurrent ovary cancer, a University of Alabama at Birmingham doctor said recently.

The data was presented Sept. 24 during a scientific session of the 14th European Cancer Conference held in Barcelona, Spain. The session's main speaker was Sharmila Makhija, M.D., an associate professor in UAB's Division of Gynecologic Oncology.

Makhija said Phase II clinical trial data showed that pertuzumab added weeks to the lives of Stage 3 ovary cancer patients whose disease had returned after therapy with existing chemotherapy regimens.

In the study, pertuzumab was administered in combination with a standard chemotherapy agent sometime after the initial therapys had been given, and after the re-emergence of cancer. Makhija said the new combination added weeks to the standard survival period for recurrent patients, and the drug combo was well-tolerated by the body and caused minimal side effects.

"We wanted to know if pertuzumab would improve the effects of the chemotherapy with cancer recurrence, and if it would improve their lives. It did," Makhija said. "Now we want to see if it impacts overall survival".

Once ovary cancer becomes resistant to multiple types of chemotherapy, fewer therapy options exist and the focus becomes lengthening patients' survival periods.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


September 25, 2007, 10:02 PM CT

Mutation of the COX2 gene and ovarian cancer

Mutation of the COX2 gene and ovarian cancer
Scientists in Portugal have discovered that a specific mutation of the COX2 gene seems to play a role in the onset of ovary cancer, increasing womens susceptibility to developing the disease.

The discovery raises the possibility that, if the findings are confirmed by further studies, it might be possible to use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin and ibuprofen, which are used already for other conditions, to prevent ovary cancer developing in women with the COX2 mutation.

Dr Ana Carina Pereira told the European Cancer Conference (ECCO 14) in Barcelona, today (Tuesday) that the COX2 gene is responsible for the production of the enzyme COX-2, which plays a crucial role in prostaglandins production; prostaglandins cause inflammation, pain and fever, as well as mediating a wide range of other physiological processes. Eventhough the causes of ovary cancer are not fully understood yet, inflammation is known to play an important role in the onset of both ovarian and invasive cervical cancer, she said. COX-2 has an important role in the inflammatory process, as well as in key steps in tumour development.

Dr Pereira, who is a junior scientist in the molecular oncology group at the Portuguese Institute of Oncology, Oporto, Portugal, said that one mutation, the -765G>C COX2 polymorphism, had been linked to the development of many diseases such as cancers of the stomach, oesophagus and prostate, and asthma, heart attacks and stroke. So she and her colleagues decided to investigate the role it played in ovarian and invasive cervical cancer.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


August 21, 2007, 6:33 PM CT

Cranberries may improve chemotherapy for ovarian cancer

Cranberries may improve chemotherapy for ovarian cancer
Drinking cranberry juice may help improve the effectiveness of platinum drugs that are used in chemotherapy to fight ovarian cancer, researchers report.

Credit: Courtesy of The Cranberry Institute.
Compounds in cranberries may help improve the effectiveness of platinum drugs that are used in chemotherapy to fight ovary cancer, scientists have found in a laboratory study that will be reported today at the 234th national meeting of the American Chemical Society. The researchers demonstrated in cell culture studies that human ovary cancer cells resistant to platinum drugs became up to 6 times more sensitized to the drugs after exposure to the cranberry compounds compared to cells that were not exposed to the compounds, which were obtained from juice extracts.

Eventhough preliminary, the findings have the potential to save lives and reduce the harmful side effects linked to using high doses of platinum drugs for the therapy of ovary cancer, the scientists say, adding that human studies are still needed. The new study adds to a growing number of potential health benefits associated with cranberries.

For the first time, we have shown in our in vitro studies that cranberry extracts can sensitize resistant human ovary cancer cell lines, say study co-presenters Ajay P. Singh, Ph.D., and Nicholi Vorsa, Ph.D., natural products chemists at Rutgers University. This has opened up exciting possibilities for therapeutic intervention linked to platinum treatment, add Singh and Vorsa, who collaborated with colleagues Laurent Brard, M.D., Ph.D, Rakesh K. Singh, and K.S.Satyan, Ph.D., of Brown University.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


June 13, 2007, 1:05 PM CT

Warning Signs Of Ovarian Cancer

Warning Signs Of Ovarian Cancer
Cancer experts have identified a set of health problems that may be symptoms of ovary cancer, and they are urging women who have the symptoms for more than a few weeks to see their doctors.

The new advice is the first official recognition that the disease, long believed to give no warning until it was far advanced, does cause symptoms at earlier stages in a number of women.

The symptoms to watch out for are bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly and feeling a frequent or urgent need to urinate. A woman who has any of those problems nearly every day for more than two or three weeks is advised to see a gynecologist, particularly if the symptoms are new and quite different from her usual state of health.

Doctors say they hope that the recommendations will make patients and doctors aware of early symptoms, lead to earlier diagnosis and, perhaps, save lives, or at least prolong survival.

But it is too soon to tell whether the new measures will work or whether they will lead to a flood of diagnostic tests or even unnecessary operations.

Cancer experts say it is worth trying a more aggressive approach to finding ovary cancer early. It is among the more deadly types of cancer, because most cases are diagnosed late, after the disease has begun to spread.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


March 29, 2007, 4:51 AM CT

Women without regular medical care

Women without regular medical care
In North America, ovary cancer is the second most common gynecological cancer and is the leading cause of death among women with gynecological cancer. The high mortality is in part due to the difficulty of detecting and diagnosing this condition at an early stage.

In this case-control study, Abenhaim and his colleagues examined whether the frequency of medical visits and pelvic examinations and the type of health care provider visited had an effect on the risk of ovary cancer. They observed that women who did not have an annual medical visit or pelvic examination and who had no regular health care provider were at an increased risk of ovary cancer. This risk was most pronounced among postmenopausal women. Eventhough the study could not determine whether women who sought regular health care and had a regular doctor were at a decreased risk of ovary cancer, the most prudent recommendation is that women, particularly those who are postmenopausal, should be encouraged to maintain regular health care.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


March 19, 2007, 5:10 AM CT

Smart Therapies For Breast, Ovarian Cancer

Smart  Therapies For Breast, Ovarian Cancer
New non-toxic and targeted therapies for metastatic breast and ovary cancers may now be possible, thanks to a discovery by a team of scientists at the University of British Columbia.

In a collaboration between UBC stem cell and cancer scientists, it was observed that a protein called podocalyxin which the scientists had previously shown to be a predictor of metastatic breast cancer changes the shape and adhesive quality of tumour cells, affecting their ability to grow and metastasize. Metastatic cancer is invasive cancer that spreads from the original site to other sites in the body.

The discovery demonstrated that the protein not only predicted the spread of breast cancer cells, it likely helped to cause it. The findings were recently published online by the Public Library of Science.

"We believe weve found a new important culprit in metastatic breast cancer, which opens up an entirely new avenue of cancer research," says Calvin Roskelley, an associate professor of cellular and physiological science who specializes in breast cancer and is co-senior principal investigator. "The culprit is hiding in plain sight on the surface of tumour cells, so we are now developing "smart" molecules to block its function. The ultimate goal is to generate new targeted, non-toxic therapys very different from the standard slash and burn chemotherapy".........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


September 28, 2006, 9:56 PM CT

Radiofreqency Ablation For Ovarian Cancer

Radiofreqency Ablation For Ovarian Cancer
Percutaneous radiofrequency ablation, a procedure that uses a high frequency electric current to kill tumor cells, is effective in achieving local control in selected patients with metastasis from ovary cancer, as per a preliminary study conducted by the department of radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA.

The study consisted of six patients with advanced ovary cancer who underwent radiofrequency ablation to destroy disease that had spread to the liver. "Some studies have shown that patients with advanced ovary cancer can survive longer if they have repeated surgery to remove recurrent or new disease," said Debra Gervais, MD, lead author of the study. "We wanted to see if we could use radiofrequency ablation instead of repeated open surgical resection for some of these patients," she said.

The study observed that, "after a single session, radiofreqency ablation resulted in complete necrosis" in five of the six patients, said Dr. Gervais. "We followed the patients for between eight months and 3.3 years, and four of the five patients had no evidence that the cancer in the area that had been destroyed by radiofrequency ablation had returned," she said.

"Treatment of ovary cancer requires multi-modality approaches including surgery and chemotherapy, but our study indicates that a small number of patients may benefit from radiofrequency ablation instead of repeated surgery," she said.........

Posted by: Emily      Permalink         Source



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Did you know?
newly identified gene expression profile could help predict how patients with advanced ovary cancer will respond to chemotherapy treatment. Described in a study in the November 1, 2005 issue of The Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO), the new findings further establish an important role for microarray gene profiling as a predictor of clinical outcome in ovary cancer, and could eventually provide physicians with insights into the mechanisms of drug resistance.

Medicineworld.org: Archives of ovarian cancer blog

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