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March 22, 2009, 9:54 PM CT

Acetaldehyde in alcohol

Acetaldehyde in alcohol
A newly released study published recently in the journal Addiction shows that drinking alcohol is the greatest risk factor for acetaldehyde-related cancer. Heavy drinkers appears to be at increased risk due to exposure from multiple sources.

Acetaldehyde is ubiquitous in daily life. Widely present in the environment, it is inhaled from the air and tobacco smoke, ingested from alcohol and foods, and produced in the human body during the metabolism of alcoholic beverages. Research indicates that this organic chemical plays a significant role in the development of certain types of cancers (particularly of the upper digestive tract), and it is currently classified as possibly carcinogenic by the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization. New research from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto and the Chemical and Veterinary Investigation Laboratory Karlsruhe (CVUA) in Gera number of recently provided the necessary methodology for calculating the risk for the ingestion of alcoholic beverages.

The research team observed that risk from ingesting acetaldehyde via alcoholic beverages alone may exceed usual safety limits for heavy drinkers. Their risk evaluation study observed that the average exposure to acetaldehyde from alcoholic beverages resulted in a life-time cancer risk of 7.6/10,000, with higher risk scenarios (e.g. contaminations in unrecorded alcohol) in the range of 1 in 1,000. As such, the life-time cancer risks for acetaldehyde from ingestion of alcoholic beverages greatly exceed the usual limits for cancer risks from the environment.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


March 19, 2009, 5:22 AM CT

Biopsy of recurrent breast cancer may alter treatment

Biopsy of recurrent breast cancer may alter treatment
For women with recurrent breast cancer, the therapy the doctor chooses is commonly based on the properties of their original breast cancer. A group from Toronto has recently completed the world's first study that compared original breast cancer tumors with a biopsy of suspected tumors that recurred elsewhere in the body.

Scientists observed that the biopsy resulted in 20% of the women having a significant change in their therapy. In some cases, this was a change in drug therapy and in others, the biopsy showed the woman did not actually have an advanced cancer, but a non-malignant condition.

"The results show that cancers may change over time and not respond to therapy that was appropriate for the original cancer," says principal investigator Dr. Mark Clemons, a medical oncologist specializing in breast cancer in the Princess Margaret Hospital Cancer Program, University Health Network (UHN).

"These early findings are leading us in a new direction as we understand more about why some women don't respond to therapy. This knowledge will help us in our quest to always deliver the right therapy, to the right patient, at the right time".

The findings are published online today in the Annals of Oncology, Oxford University Press (Doi:10.1093/annonc/mdp028).........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


March 19, 2009, 5:15 AM CT

Genetic markers for aggressive head and neck cancer

Genetic markers for aggressive head and neck cancer
Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have identified genetic markers that signal poor outcomes for patients with head and neck cancer. These findings could one day lead to a genetic test that could help select or predict successful therapy options for patients with this type of cancer. The results were reported in the American Journal of Pathology

Head and neck cancer refers to tumors in the mouth, throat or larynx (voice box). Each year, about 40,000 men and women in the U.S. develop head and neck cancer, making it the sixth most common cancer in the U.S. Surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation are the main therapy options but cause serious side effects: surgery may involve removing large areas of the tongue, throat, or neck and can affect appearance, and any type of treatment can cause swallowing or speech problems that can significantly affect quality of life. Despite curative therapy attempts, on average only about half of patients survive beyond five years after therapy. This is greatly affected by the size and location of the tumor.

The Einstein study focuses on microRNAs, a recently identified class of short RNA molecules that play key roles in regulating gene expression. Abnormal microRNA levels have been linked to all types of cancer yet examined.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


March 18, 2009, 5:19 AM CT

Lung cancer: Molecular scissors in action

Lung cancer: Molecular scissors in action
In the past few years, many anti-cancer drugs have been developed which are directed selectively against specific key molecules of tumor cells. Among these is an antibody called cetuximab, which attaches to a protein molecule that is found in large amounts on the surface of a number of types of cancer cells. When this surface molecule, called epidermal growth factor receptor, or EGF-R for short, is blocked by cetuximab, the cancer cell receives less signals stimulating cell division.

Clinical studies of non-small cell lung cancer, which is the most frequent type of lung cancer, have shown so far that only part of the patients treated with cetuximab benefit from the therapy. Therefore, doctors are urgently searching for biomarkers which reliably predict responsiveness to the antibody treatment.

Professor Heike Allgayer heads the Department of Experimental Surgery of the Mannheim Medical Faculty of the University of Heidelberg and the Clinical Cooperation Unit "Molecular Oncology of Solid Tumors" at DKFZ. The scientist suspects that the therapeutic antibody can disarm, in particular, individual cancer cells that have detached from the primary tumor, invade other tissues and grow into secondary tumors there. Therefore, Allgayer and her team focused on lung cancer cells' ability to metastasize. Indeed, the researchers were the first to show in lung cancer cell lines that cetuximab inhibits growth and invasion of cancer cells and reduces the frequency of metastasis.........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


March 16, 2009, 8:08 PM CT

Obese woman and breast cancer risk

Obese woman and breast cancer risk
greater risk of breast cancer by not undergoing regular screening. As per new research by Dr. Nisa Maruthur and her team from The John Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, USA, seriously obese women are significantly less likely to say they have undergone a recent mammography than normal weight women, particularly if they are white. Maruthur's findings are published online this week in Springer's Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women in the US. Mammography screening has been proven to reduce the number of deaths from breast cancer; current guidelines recommend that women over the age of 40 undergo a mammography every couple of years. Obesity is also an important risk factor for both the development of, and death from, postmenopausal breast cancer.

Maruthur and his colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of 17 studies comprising over 276,000 participants, to look at whether overweight and obese women are less likely to have had a recent mammography than normal weight women. They also looked at the differences in mammography take-up between white and black obese women in three of the studies. They observed that severely obese women were 20 percent less likely to have had a recent mammography than normal weight women. However, this was not the case among black women.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


March 12, 2009, 9:51 PM CT

A new way to assess melanoma

A new way to assess melanoma
Every tumor, starting from a size of a few millimeters, depends on a supply of nutrients and oxygen. Therefore, using special growth factors, it induces vascular wall cells of neighboring blood vessels to sprout new capillaries in order to get connected to the blood circulation.

This process called angiogenesis involves many different growth factors and their respective receptors on the vascular wall cells. The departments of Prof. Dr. Hellmut Augustin and Prof. Dirk Schadendorf of DKFZ and Mannheim Medical Faculty of the University of Heidelberg have investigated the role of a growth factor called angiopoietin-2 (Ang2) in cancerous melanoma. The docking station of Ang2 is the receptor Tie2 on the surface of endothelial cells, which form the inner lining of blood vessels. Together with other signaling molecules, Ang2 induces sprouting of endothelial cells and the formation of new capillaries.

When measuring the Ang2 concentrations in blood samples of melanoma patients, the researchers discovered that larger tumors and more advanced disease stages correlate with high levels of Ang2. If one tracks the Ang2 levels of individual patients over time, a rise parallel to disease progression can be observed. In contrast, patients who have lived with the disease for a long time, i.e., whose disease is not or only slightly progressive, have lower Ang2 levels. The researchers found out that Ang2 concentration in blood serum is a more precise indicator of the progression and stage of the disease than previously used biomarkers.........

Posted by: George      Read more         Source


March 10, 2009, 11:02 PM CT

Folic acid may increase prostate cancer risk

Folic acid may increase prostate cancer risk
A study led by scientists at the University of Southern California (USC) observed that men who took a daily folic acid supplement of 1 mg daily had more than twice the risk of prostate cancer compared with men who took a placebo.

The finding came from a secondary analysis of the Aspirin/Folate Polyp Prevention Study (AFPP), a placebo-controlled randomized trial to determine the impact of aspirin and folic acid on colon polyps in men and women who were at high risk for the disease. The results appear in the March 10 online issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute

Folic acid (folate) is a B vitamin found in a number of vegetables, beans, fruits and whole grains. While evidence of its ability to reduce neural tube defects in infants while taken by the mother before or during pregnancy has been well documented, its effects on other conditions are unclear.

"We know that adequate folate levels are important in the prevention of several cancer types, cardiovascular and neurological diseases," says main author Jane Figueiredo, Ph.D., assistant professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. "However, little has been known about its role in prostate cancer. Our objective was to investigate the relationship between folic acid supplements and dietary folate and risk of prostate cancer".........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


March 6, 2009, 9:37 PM CT

New breakthrough therapy for brain cancer

New breakthrough therapy for brain cancer
The combination of two drugs produces a critical improvement in the therapy of certain brain tumours. This has been demonstrated by scientists at Bonn University working in co-operation with German and Swiss colleagues in a current study. They treated 39 patients who had been diagnosed with a so-called gliablastoma. The patients survived on average 23 months; with the standard treatment the mean would have been 14.6 months. Glioblastomas are the most aggressive and the commonest brain tumours. Left untreated, they prove fatal within just a few weeks. The study has been reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (doi: 10.1200/JCO.2008.19.2195).

Even today, glioblastomas are untreatable something which even the new combination treatment cannot change. Nevertheless, Professor Dr. Ulrich Herrlinger of Bonn Universitys Schwerpunkt Klinische Neuroonkologie speaks of an outstanding success: "This uncommonly manifest extension of the survival time has surprised even us. Our results offer the opportunity to improve our grip on this aggressive form of cancer. Now, further investigations involving a larger number of patients are needed to optimise this treatment. Planning for this is already in hand in Bonn".

Up to now, doctors have treated glioblastomas using radiotherapy with concomitant chemotherapy. The "gold standard" for this for the last few years has been the active agent temozolomide. This is still celebrated as the most important breakthrough in the therapy of glioblastomas. The scientists combined this preparation with the drug lomustine. At the same time, the patients were given radiotherapy. The 39 patients thus treated survived the tumour for an average of 23.1 months. With the standard treatment, this time is over one third shorter. Seven patients even survived for over four years.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


March 5, 2009, 6:07 AM CT

The blind mole rat and the fight against cancer

The blind mole rat and the fight against cancer
Middle East Blind Mole Rat
If someone ever calls you a "dirty rat," consider it a compliment. A new discovery published online in the FASEB Journal (http://www.fasebj.org) shows that cellular mechanisms used by the blind mole rat to survive the very low oxygen environment of its subterranean niche are the same as those that tumors use to thrive deep in our tissues. The net effect of this discovery is two hundred percent: first the blind mole rat can serve a "living tumor" in cancer research; andperhaps more importantthat unique gene in the blind mole rat becomes a prime target for new anti-cancer drugs that can "suffocate" tumors.

"President Obama said in his February 24 address to the U.S. Congress that he wants to put an end to cancer, and the boost to basic science in the stimulus package is a great start," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of the FASEB Journal "But if he wants to end the longest ongoing war in U.S. historya War on Cancer we've been fighting since before Nixon declared it in 1971then building on this discovery is a good place to start".

To reach their finding, American and Israeli researchers from the Universities of Illinois and Haifa conducted experiments in multiple groups of "dirty" mole rats and "regular" rats. For each type of animal, a control group was exposed to normal levels of oxygen while the experimental groups were exposed to oxygen levels ranging from 3 percent to 10 percent. In the regular rats exposed to low levels of oxygen, the gene that becomes active to protect their bodies from low oxygen (BNIP3) was shown to be active in heart and skeletal muscles. In the mole rats, however, it was discovered that their version of the BNIP3 gene was much more effective at helping them tolerate low levels of oxygen than the version of the gene in "regular" rats.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


February 25, 2009, 6:27 AM CT

Smoking and socioeconomic inequities in lung cancer

Smoking and socioeconomic inequities in lung cancer
Europeans with the least education have a higher occurence rate of lung cancer compared with those with the highest education. However, smoking history accounts for approximately half of this risk, as per a research studyin the February 24 online issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Prior studies showed that individuals with a lower socioeconomic status have a higher risk for developing lung cancer. Some studies have also suggested that some of the excess risk of lung cancer is due to smoking.

To further investigate the contribution of smoking to the discrepancy in lung cancer incidence, Gwenn Menvielle, Ph.D., and his colleagues examined the association of smoking, diet, education, and lung cancer in 391,251 individuals in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study. Menvielle, who conducted the research in The Netherlands at the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, and the department of public health of the Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, is now at the Institut National de la Sant et de la Recherche Mdicale in Villejuif, France.

The scientists used participants' highest level of education achieved as an indicator of socioeconomic status and had smoking and diet information from questionnaires completed at study entry.........

Posted by: Scott      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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