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August 31, 2009, 9:24 PM CT

Breast cancer intervention reduces depression

Breast cancer intervention reduces depression
A psychological intervention for newly diagnosed patients with breast cancer with symptoms of depression not only relieves patients' depression but also lowers indicators of inflammation in the blood.

Those are the findings of a newly released study by scientists at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC-James) and the Ohio State University Department of Psychology involving patients with stage II or III breast cancer.

Patients who received a psychological treatment that reduced stress and enhanced their ability to cope experienced significant relief of depressive symptoms. Moreover, that improvement was followed by a reduction in markers of inflammation.

"Previously, we knew that inflammation was linked to depression-like symptoms among cancer patients, and that both are problematic, but we did not know whether treating depression would affect inflammation," says co-author Barbara L. Andersen, professor of psychology and an OSUCCC-James researcher.

"Inflammation is considered to be a cancer promoting factor, and both depression and inflammation predict increased risk of cancer death".

Patients in the control group received only health and psychological evaluations of their condition over the 12-month study period and showed no improvement in depression or inflammation indicators.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


August 24, 2009, 10:42 PM CT

New prognostic marker for breast cancer

New prognostic marker for breast cancer
Elevated levels of GLI1 (glioma-associated oncogene homolog 1) protein in human breast cancer are linked to unfavorable prognosis and progressive stages of disease. Scientists writing in the open access journal BMC Cancer found increased expression of GLI1 in samples taken from more advanced and less survivable tumors.

Edgar Dahl led a team of scientists from RWTH Aachen's University Hospital who sought to evaluate whether GLI1 could represent a new prognostic marker in breast cancer therapy. He said, "GLI1, a mediator of the so-called 'hedgehog' signaling pathway, has previously been implicated in the development of different human tumor entities. We've found a positive, significant association between overexpression of GLI1 and unfavorable overall survival outcome in human breast cancer. This association has not been reported anywhere else so far, but similar tendencies were recently shown in human esophageal cancer".

The scientists studied samples of 229 invasive breast carcinomas taken from patients at the hospital, along with samples of normal human breast tissue for comparison. As well as poor survival, overexpression of the GLI1 protein was linked to tumor stage and lymph node status of the breast tumors analyzed. Dahl said, "Taken together, these results support a role of GLI1 as a new prognostic biomarker in breast cancer. Future studies will determine whether GLI1 can be successfully included into multimarker panels for early cancer detection or molecular sub-typing of breast cancer. This could support personalized breast cancer medicine".........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


August 19, 2009, 6:41 AM CT

MRI-detected breast lesions

MRI-detected breast lesions
Reston, Va. Breast MRI allows physicians to evaluate suspicious lesions using a variety of variables. Scientists have found though that computer-aided kinetic information can help significantly in distinguishing non-malignant from cancerous suspicious breast lesions on MRI, as per a research studyreported in the recent issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR). .

In the study, performed at the University of Washington Medical Center, scientists analyzed and compared the computer-aided assessment variables of 125 suspicious breast lesions. Three different kinetic curves (washout, plateau and persistent), were compared along with lesion morphology (size and shape). "We wanted to clarify which, of the a number of variables that reflect kinetics, were most predictive of malignancy, said Constance Lehman, MD, main author of the study. "We found overlap in kinetic patterns across non-malignant and cancerous lesions, but we did determine that the "most suspicious" curve type, washout, was useful in separating non-malignant from cancerous lesions," said Dr. Lehman.

"Of lesions with the most suspicious curve type (any washout), 45.7 percent were cancerous compared with 20.0 percent with plateau and 13.3 percent with entirely persistent enhancement," she said.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


August 13, 2009, 6:52 AM CT

MRI may cause more harm than good in newly diagnosed early breast cancer

MRI may cause more harm than good in newly diagnosed early breast cancer
A new review says using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) before surgery to assess the extent of early breast cancer has not been shown to improve surgical planning, reduce follow-up surgery, or reduce the risk of local recurrences. The review, appearing early online in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, says evidence shows that MRI increases the chances of more extensive surgery over conservative approaches, with no evidence that it improves surgical care or prognosis.

Randomized controlled trials have shown women with early stage breast cancer who are treated with breast-conservation treatment (local excision and radiotherapy) have the same survival rates as those who undergo mastectomy. Recently, MRI has been introduced in preoperative staging of the affected breast in women with newly diagnosed breast cancer because it detects additional areas of cancer that do not show up on conventional imaging. In the current review, Nehmat Houssami, MBBS, Ph.D., of the University of.

Sydney, Australia, and Daniel F. Hayes, M.D., of University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, Ann Arbor, Mich., evaluated available data on preoperative MRI's detection capability and its impact on therapy. The use of preoperative MRI scans in women with early stage breast cancer has been based on assumptions that MRI's detection capability in this setting will improve surgical therapy by improving surgical planning, potentially leading to a reduction in re-excision surgery, and by guiding surgeons to remove additional disease detected by MRI and potentially reducing recurrence in the treated breast. The authors say emerging data show that this approach to local staging of the breast leads to more women being treated with mastectomy without evidence of improvement in surgical outcomes or long-term prognosis.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


August 4, 2009, 8:25 AM CT

How you eat may be just as important as how much you eat

How you eat may be just as important as how much you eat
How you eat appears to be just as important as how much you eat, if mice studies are any clue.

Cancer scientists have long studied the role of diet on breast cancer risk, but results to date have been mixed. New findings published in Cancer Prevention Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, suggest the method by which calories are restricted appears to be more important for cancer protection than the actual overall degree of calorie restriction.

"Understanding how calorie restriction provides protection against the development of mammary tumors should help us identify pathways that could be targeted for chemoprevention studies," said Margot P. Cleary, Ph.D., professor at the Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota. "Further identification of serum factors that are involved in tumor development would possibly provide a way to identify at risk individuals and target interventions to these people".

Prior studies have shown that intermittent calorie restriction provided greater protection from mammary tumor development than did the same overall degree of restriction, which was implemented in a chronic fashion. The scientists compared changes of a growth factor (IGF-1) in relationship to these two calorie restriction methods chronic and intermittent and tumor development beginning in 10-week old female mice at risk to develop mammary tumors. Their hope was to explain why intermittent restriction is more effective.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


July 20, 2009, 11:40 PM CT

Gene that leads to breast cancer's aggressive behavior

Gene that leads to breast cancer's aggressive behavior
Aggressive forms of cancer are often driven by the abnormal over-expression of cancer-promoting genes, also known as oncogenes.

Studies at the Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS), a research institute under the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) of Singapore, have identified a gene, known as RCP (or RAB11FIP1), that is frequently amplified and over-expressed in breast cancer and functionally contributes to aggressive breast cancer behaviour.

The research findings appear in the July 20th online issue of Journal of Clinical Investigation (JCI).

The GIS team, led by Lance Miller, Ph.D., and Bing Lim, Ph.D., initially discovered that RCP expression was positively correlated with cancer recurrence in a population of patients with breast cancer. This suggested that RCP appears to be mandatory by some tumours for growth and metastatic spread to other organs.

When the scientists over-expressed RCP in non-malignant breast cells, they observed that RCP promotes migration, or cellular movement, which is a precursor to the ability of tumours to invade neighbouring tissues.

However, breast cancer cells in which RCP is over-expressed take on a more aggressive behaviour, including faster proliferation, enhanced migration/invasion and anchorage-independent growth.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


July 14, 2009, 7:44 AM CT

Reminder program dramatically increases mammography rates

Reminder program dramatically increases mammography rates
A reminder program aimed at screening for breast cancer when it is most treatable boosted mammography rates by more than 17 percentage points, as per a newly released study by Kaiser Permanente's Center for Health Research in the recent issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine The program used electronic health records to identify women who would soon be due for a mammogram and reached out to them via postcards, automated voice messages and personal phone calls.

The study of 35,000 Kaiser Permanente members is the largest to test a reminder program involving this three-pronged approach. By the second year of the program in 2008, mammography rates jumped from 63 to more than 80 percent among women aged 50-69.

"We know mammograms are effective, but too a number of women put them off, even when they have health insurance," said main author Adrianne Feldstein, MD, MS, an investigator at Kaiser Permanente's Center for Health Research in Portland, Ore., and a practicing physician. "This study is the first to show that these reminder programs can be effective in such a large group of women. If we could improve the country's mammography rate by the same amount, we could detect as a number of as 25,000 additional cases of breast cancer each year".........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


July 2, 2009, 10:01 PM CT

How tamoxifen stimulates uterine cell growth and cancer

How tamoxifen stimulates uterine cell growth and cancer
UCSF scientists have identified a new "feed-forward" pathway linking estrogen receptors in the membrane of the uterus to a process that increases local estrogen levels and promotes cell growth.

The research is significant in helping determine why tamoxifen and other synthetic estrogens are associated with increased rates of endometriosis and uterine cancer, and identifies a pathway that could be targeted in drug therapies for those diseases, scientists say.

Findings are reported in the July 1, 2009 issue of "Cancer Research," the journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. The paper also can be found online at http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/current.shtml.

The research observed that when activated by estrogens, endometrial cells obtained from patients suffering from endometriosis or human uterine cancer cells initiate a previously unknown cascade of signals that leads to cellular replication and further estrogen production, the paper says.

The ensuing cycle leads to abnormal growth of the cells lining the uterus, or endometrium, which occurs in endometriosis and uterine cancer, as per senior author Holly A. Ingraham, PhD, a professor in the UCSF School of Medicine's Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


June 25, 2009, 5:54 PM CT

MRI for imaging breast cancer?

MRI for imaging breast cancer?
Reviewing the records of 577 patients with breast cancer, Fox Chase Cancer Center scientists observed that women with newly diagnosed breast cancer who receive a breast MRI are more likely to receive a mastectomy after their diagnosis and may face delays in starting therapy. The study demonstrates that, despite the lack of evidence of their benefit, routine use of MRI scans in women newly diagnosed with breast cancer increased significantly between 2004 and 2005, and again in 2006.

The study is online now and will be appearing in the August edition of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons

"We have yet to see any evidence that MRI improves outcomes when used routinely to evaluate breast cancer, and yet more and more women are getting these scans with almost no discernable pattern," said Richard J. Bleicher, M.D., F.A.C.S., a specialist in breast cancer surgery at Fox Chase. "For most women, a breast MRI previous to therapy is unnecessary. MRI can be of benefit because it's more sensitive, but with the high number of false positives and costs linked to the test, more research is needed to determine whether MRI can improve outcomes in women who have already been diagnosed with breast cancer".

Bleicher and colleagues evaluated the records of 577 patients with breast cancer seen in a multidisciplinary breast clinic where they were reviewed by a radiologist, pathologist, and a surgical, radiation, and medical oncologist. Of these patients, 130 had MRIs previous to therapy.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


June 16, 2009, 5:03 AM CT

RNA snippet suppresses spread of aggressive breast cancer

RNA snippet suppresses spread of aggressive breast cancer
Image courtesy of University of Illinois
A low cellular level of a tiny fragment of RNA appears to increase the spread of breast cancer in mouse models of the disease, as per scientists at Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research.

Measuring levels of this so-called microRNA, which is also linked to metastatic breast cancer in humans, may more accurately predict the likelihood of metastasis (which accounts for 90% of cancer-related deaths) and ultimately help determine patient prognoses.

In the study, whose results are published in the June 12 issue of Cell, Scott Valastyan, a graduate student in Whitehead Member Robert Weinberg's laboratory, screened patient breast cancer samples for microRNAs with potential roles in metastasis. MicroRNAs are single strands of RNA about 21-23 nucleotides long. Within a cell, a single microRNA can fine-tune the expression of dozens of genes simultaneously. This capability could be especially important in metastasis, a multi-step process that could be influenced by a single microRNA at several points.

The screened samples were classified as either metastatic cancer or non-metastatic cancer. After analysis, the microRNA miR-31 stood out because of its inverse correlation with metastasis. In samples where a patient's original tumor had not metastasized, the cancer cells retained high levels of the microRNA. But where the tumor had metastasized, the cancer cells came to possess lower levels of miR-31.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source



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Breast cancer
Every year, more than 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States. Breast cancer ranks second as the leading cause of cancer deaths in American women. Until recently breast cancer topped the list of leading causes of cancer deaths in women, but lately lung cancer has claimed the top position. If skin cancer is excluded, breast cancer is the commonest cancer among American women.

Medicineworld.org: Archives of breast-cancer-blog

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