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September 10, 2009, 7:07 AM CT

LED light and green tea cream to smooth facial wrinkles

LED light and green tea cream to smooth facial wrinkles
A combination of LED light exposure and green tea extract significantly reduces skin wrinkles (right image) when compared to treatment with LED light alone, scientists are reporting.

Credit: Crystal Growth & Design
Researchers in Gera number of are reporting a major improvement in their potential new therapy for facial wrinkles that could emerge as an alternative to Botox and cosmetic surgery. The non-invasive technique combines high-intensity light from light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and a lotion made of green tea extract. It works ten times faster than a similar anti-wrinkle therapy that uses LEDs alone, the scientists say. Their study is scheduled for the Oct. 7 issue of ACS' Crystal Growth & Design, a bi-monthly journal.

Andrei P. Sommer and Dan Zhu point out that scientists have used light-therapy, or phototherapy, for more than 40 years to help heal wounds. Recently the researchers showed that use of high-intensity LEDs, similar to those used in automotive tail lights and computers, could help reduce skin wrinkles when applied daily for several months. But exposure to intense LED light is also involved in generating high levels of reactive oxygen species as byproducts that can potentially damage cells. To combat that effect, the scientists combined the LED with a potent antioxidant in green tea extract called epigallocatechin gallate.

They applied a daily combination of LED light and green tea extract to the facial wrinkles of a human volunteer one month. The combination therapy resulted in smoother skin, including "less pronounced wrinkle levels, shorter wrinkle valleys, and juvenile complexion," the researchers say. The therapy showed promising results in only one-tenth of the time it took for LED treatment alone to reduce wrinkles. The study could form the basis of "an effective facial rejuvenation program," and lead to a new understanding of the effect reactive oxygen species on cellular aging, they note.........

Posted by: George      Read more         Source


August 28, 2009, 6:56 AM CT

Genes and psoriasis

Genes and  psoriasis
A specific genetic region that has been increasingly identified as the strongest genetic link to psoriasis has an even more significant role in the chronic skin disease than has been suspected, University of Utah medical scientists show in a newly released study.

In the Aug. 13 issue of PLoS Genetics, scientists in the U School of Medicine's Department of Dermatology confirm that the presence of HLA-Cw*0602, a gene variation or allele on chromosome 6 found to be linked to psoriasis by numerous investigators, is the "major genetic determinant" of psoriasis, but that other nearby genetic variations also play an independent role in contributing to the disease.

"The HLA-Cw*0602 gene variation stands alone as a high risk for psoriasis," said Gerald G. Krueger, M.D., professor of dermatology, Benning Presidential Endowed Chair holder, and a co-author on the study. "A major question has been: are there other genetic variations in this region that associate with psoriasis?".

The study reported in PLoS Genetics identifies two other genetic variations on chromosome 6 that also have significant association with psoriasis. People who have all three genetic variations are nearly nine times more at risk for psoriasis.

Psoriasis is a chronic disease that causes red scaly patches on the skin and affects up to 7.5 million people in the United States. About 25 percent of subjects with the disease also develop a painful inflammation of the joints called psoriatic arthritis.........

Posted by: George      Read more         Source


August 11, 2009, 11:07 PM CT

Diarrhea in metastatic melanoma patients

Diarrhea in metastatic melanoma patients
Patients with stage III or IV melanoma taking ipilimumab and the oral steroid budesonide to reduce side effects did not have less diarrhea, a known side effect of ipilimumab, as per results of a phase II trial published in Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

These findings would "discourage the prophylactic use of budesonide to reduce the gastrointestinal side effects of ipilimumab," said researcher Jeffrey Weber, M.D., Ph.D. Weber is a senior member at the Moffitt Cancer Center and director of the Donald A. Adam Comprehensive Melanoma Research Center, Tampa, Fla.

Weber and his colleagues gave 10 mg/kg of ipilimumab to 115 patients every three weeks, for four doses. This was combined with daily budesonide for one group and placebo control for another.

After four months of therapy, they observed that budesonide did not affect the rate of diarrhea it occurred in 32.7 percent of patients treated with the drug and 35 percent of those who received placebo, as per the study. Median overall survival was 17.7 months among those treated with budesonide compared with 19.3 months among those who received placebo.

Additionally, the scientists saw anti-tumor responses in 10 to 15 percent of patients, without an apparent difference between patients treated with budesonide and those who received placebo.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


July 28, 2009, 11:35 PM CT

Cancer vaccines for metastatic melanoma

Cancer vaccines for metastatic melanoma
Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian today announced promising data from a clinical study showing patient-specific cancer vaccines derived from patients' own cancer cells and immune cells were well tolerated and resulted in impressive long-term survival rates in patients with metastatic melanoma whose disease had been minimized by other therapies.

The study entitled "Phase II Trial of Dendritic Cells Loaded with Antigens from Self-Renewing, Proliferating Autologous Tumor Cells as Patient-Specific Anti-Tumor Vaccines in Patients with Metastatic Melanoma," was reported in the June 2009 issue of Cancer Biotherapy and Radiopharmaceuticals and was sponsored by Hoag Hospital Foundation.

"There is continued interest in developing new therapies for melanoma patients with recurrent or distant metastatic disease at the time of diagnosis because there are no systemic therapies that can be relied upon to cure them," said Robert O. Dillman, M.D., F.A.C.P., executive medical and scientific director at the Hoag Cancer Center and lead investigator for the study. "Patients with metastatic melanoma are at high risk for additional metastases and death."

During the study, 54 patients with regionally recurrent or distant metastatic melanoma were injected with a vaccine that included each patient's own immune cells (dendritic cells) and 500 micrograms of granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF), an immune stimulator, three times a week and then monthly for five months for a total of up to eight injections. The patient's dendritic cells were obtained from their peripheral blood and mixed with a cell culture of the patient's own melanoma cells that had been self-renewing and proliferating in the laboratory. The patient-specific vaccine is designed to stimulate the patient's immune system to react against tumor stem cells or early progenitor cells that can create new depots of cancer throughout the body.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


June 3, 2009, 5:06 AM CT

Skin Lesion Leads To More Cancer Types

Skin Lesion Leads To More Cancer Types
Actinic keratoses
The study provided up to six years of follow-up to quantify the risk of progression of actinic keratoses to cancer.
Actinic keratoses are sun-damaged rough patches or lesions on the skin - often pink and scaly - that doctors have long believed can turn into a form of skin cancer known as squamous cell carcinoma.

Now scientists at Brown University, the Veterans Administration Medical Centers in Providence and Oklahoma City, and others have determined that actinic keratoses appear responsible for a larger spectrum of skin cancers than previously thought. Their research is highlighted in the current edition of Cancer.

"We found some interesting things," said Dr. Martin Weinstock, the paper's main author. Weinstock, chief of dermatology at the VA Medical Center in Providence, is professor of dermatology and community health at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Research and Development funded the study.

Vincent Criscione, a fourth-year Alpert Medical School student, served as the paper's first author. Beyond Brown and the VA, scientists from Rhode Island Hospital and Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit also contributed.

To conduct the study, Weinstock and the other scientists looked at 169 patients from the VA Medical Center in Oklahoma City who had a high risk for skin cancers. They, in turn, were among 1,131 patients from multiple cites who took part in a chemotherapy prevention trial conducted previously. Most had at least one actinic keratosis on their body. Combined, they had about 7,784 of the lesions on their faces and ears. There were up to six years of follow-up to quantify the risk of progression of actinic keratoses to cancer.........

Posted by: George      Read more         Source


June 1, 2009, 5:16 AM CT

Predicting response to melanoma treatment

Predicting response to melanoma treatment
Genes that help predict a melanoma patient's response to therapy. The new findings are being presented at the 45th annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), May 29 to June 2, in Orlando, Fla.

"Approximately 70,000 people will be diagnosed with metastatic melanoma this year," said principal investigator Hussein Tawbi, M.D., M.Sc., assistant professor of medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and with UPCI's Melanoma Program. "This form of cancer is aggressive and often resistant to chemotherapy. In fact, only 7 to 10 percent of patients are likely to respond to the current standard of care. We wanted to see if there was a way to predict which patients would respond to therapy and which ones would not".

Dr. Tawbi and colleagues examined the tumor tissues of 21 patients with metastatic melanoma, some of whom responded to chemotherapy and some who did not. Once the cases were divided, the scientists used a mathematical tool called Neural Network Analysis to survey over 25,000 genes and the regulators that turn the genes on and off to see if they could identify ones that could distinguish responders from nonresponders.

"Cancer cells contain massive amounts of information that, if analyzed appropriately, may inform us how to kill them," said Dr. Tawbi. "They contain thousands of genes, and every gene has a switch that turns it on or off. Neural Network Analysis, which utilizes pattern recognition algorithms, helped us identify a signature of eight genes and their switches that predict a patient's likelihood of responding to therapy for metastatic melanoma".........

Posted by: George      Read more         Source


April 29, 2009, 5:09 AM CT

Treating Skin Cancer without the Knife

Treating Skin Cancer without the Knife
In a case study of a type of melanoma skin cancer typically found on chronically sun-exposed skin, Saint Louis University scientists observed that imiquimod, a topical cream, produced good results for patients when used together with surgery to treat the cancer, potentially helping doctors cut less.

The study, published in Dermatologic Surgery, looked at two cases of the most common type of melanoma of the head and neck, lentigo maligna (LM), a type of "melanoma-in- situ", the earliest stage of melanoma. This early form, known as LM, precedes the more invasive form, lentigo maligna melanoma (LMM), and the progression of LM to LMM typically occurs after 10 to 15 years. Though surgical removal of LM is most often used to treat the non-invasive form of the cancer, it can have high local recurrence rates.

In two patients who had both LM and LMM, researchers used imiquimod in conjunction with surgery. In both patients, surgery was first done to remove the area of known invasive disease, followed by the topical cream to the outer area of LM. This approach was chosen with patients who did not want extensive surgery due to the large size of the melanoma on their scalp and face. These cases, along with other recent studies, suggest that imiquimod may help to reduce the area needing surgery, manage the LM and hopefully minimize its recurrence.........

Posted by: George      Read more         Source


April 27, 2009, 5:07 AM CT

Simple household bleach to treat kids' eczema

Simple household bleach to treat kids' eczema
It's best known for whitening a load of laundry. But now simple household bleach has a surprising new role: an effective therapy for kids' chronic eczema.

Chronic, severe eczema can mar a childhood. The skin disorder starts with red, itchy, inflamed skin that often becomes crusty and raw from scratching. The eczema disturbs kids' sleep, alters their appearance and affects their concentration in school. The itching is so bad kids may break the skin from scratching and get chronic skin infections that are difficult to treat, particularly from methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

Scientists from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine have discovered powerful relief in the form of diluted beach baths. It's a cheap, simple and safe therapy that drastically improves the rash as well as reduces flare-ups of eczema, which affects 17 percent of school-age children.

The study found giving pediatric patients with moderate or severe eczema (atopic dermatitis) diluted bleach baths decreased signs of infection and improved the severity and extent of the eczema on their bodies. That translates into less scratching, fewer infections and a higher quality of life for these children.

The typical therapy of oral and topical antibiotics increases the risk of bacterial resistance, something doctors try to avoid, particularly in children. Bleach kills the bacteria but doesn't have the same risk of creating bacterial resistance.........

Posted by: George      Read more         Source


April 16, 2009, 5:00 AM CT

New target for melanoma

New target for melanoma
A protein called Mcl-1 plays a critical role in melanoma cell resistance to a form of apoptosis called anoikis, as per research published this week in Molecular Cancer Research

The presence of Mcl-1 causes cell resistance to anoikis. This resistance to anoikis enables the melanoma cells to metastasize and survive at sites distant from the primary tumor, as per Andrew Aplin, Ph.D., an associate professor of Cancer Biology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, and a member of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson. The research was conducted at Albany Medical College in New York by Dr. Aplin and his colleagues.

Mcl-1 is part of the Bcl-2 protein family, and is regulated by B-RAF proteins, which are mutated in approximately 60 percent of all human melanomas. The Bcl-2 family includes several prosurvival proteins that are linked to the resistance of cancer cells to apoptosis, or cell death. Dr. Aplin and his colleagues analyzed three candidate Bcl-2 proteins: Mcl-1, Bcl-2 and Bcl-XL.

"When we depleted Mcl-1 from the tumor cells, they were susceptible to cell death," Dr. Aplin said. "Mcl-1 showed dramatic results in comparison to Bcl-2 and Bcl-XL, which was a surprise. Our findings show that targeting Mcl-1, which is upregulated in a majority of melanoma cells, could be a viable therapy strategy".........

Posted by: George      Read more         Source


March 18, 2009, 5:16 AM CT

The most natural of all skin creams

The most natural of all skin creams
Scientist working on the DUBBLE beamline
Even after nine months soaking in the womb, a newborn's skin is smooth - unlike an adult's in the bath. While occupying a watery, warm environment, the newborn manages to develop a skin fully equipped to protect it in a cold, dry and bacteria-infected world. A protective cream called Vernix caseosa (VC), which covers the fetus and the newborn, aids in the growth of skin both before and after birth. VC provides 'waterproofing' in utero, allowing skin to grow in wet conditions, while after birth it hydrates and cleanses, even healing when applied to ulcers. Prof. Joke Bouwstra, a specialist in the skin barrier and its synthesis at Leiden University, and her colleague Robert RiƟmann set out to study VC in detail and has produced a synthetic version of this natural buttery ointment which shows the same structure and unique properties. As well as helping pre-term babies develop essential protection against temperature changes, dehydration and infection, artificial VC could also benefit sufferers of skin disease.

Like most moisturising creams, VC is mostly water. Its outstanding properties come from the addition of just 10% each of lipid molecules and dead skin cells (corneocytes), so the exact composition of the mixture is important.

For the lipids, X-ray diffraction measurements at the Dutch/Flemish DUBBLE beamline at the ESRF (European Synchrotron Radiation Facility) allowed the Leiden scientists to find the proportions of the various forms in the cream, even distinguishing between complex molecules differing in chain length.........

Posted by: George      Read more         Source



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Did you know?
Scientists at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center have found that the risk of developing melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, is only partially associated with exposure to ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation, the rays in sunlight that increase in summer and cause sunburn.

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