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June 16, 2010, 7:21 AM CT

Linking diabetes and cancer

Linking diabetes and cancer
A new consensus statement of experts assembled by the American Diabetes Association and the American Cancer Society reviews emerging evidence that suggests cancer incidence is linked to diabetes as well as certain diabetes risk factors and therapys. The new report reviews the state of science concerning the association between diabetes and cancer incidence/prognosis; risk factors common to both diseases; possible biologic links between diabetes and cancer risk; and whether diabetes therapys influence the risk of cancer or cancer prognosis. In addition, the report outlines key unanswered questions for future research.

Diabetes and cancer are common diseases that have a tremendous impact on health worldwide. Epidemiologic evidence suggests that people with diabetes are at a significantly higher risk of a number of forms of cancer. Type 2 diabetes and cancer share a number of risk factors, but potential biologic links between the two diseases are not completely understood. Moreover, evidence from findings based on observation suggests that some medications used to treat hyperglycemia are linked to either an increased or reduced risk of cancer. Against this backdrop, the American Diabetes Association and the American Cancer Society convened a consensus development conference in December 2009. After a series of scientific presentations by experts in the field, the writing group independently developed a consensus report to address important questions: Is there a meaningful association between diabetes and cancer incidence or prognosis? What risk factors are common to both cancer and diabetes? What are possible biologic links between diabetes and cancer risk? And do diabetes therapys influence cancer risk or cancer prognosis?.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


June 14, 2010, 10:27 PM CT

Turning a painkiller into a cancer killer

Turning a painkiller into a cancer killer
Sulindac
Without knowing exactly why, researchers have long found that people who regularly take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin have lower incidences of certain types of cancer. Now, in a study appearing in Cancer Cell on June 15, researchers at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham) and their colleagues have figured out how one NSAID, called Sulindac, inhibits tumor growth. The study reveals that Sulindac shuts down cancer cell growth and initiates cell death by binding to nuclear receptor RXRα, a protein that receives a signal and carries it into the nucleus to turn genes on or off.

"Nuclear receptors are excellent targets for drug development," explained Xiao-kun Zhang, Ph.D., professor at Sanford-Burnham and senior author of the study. "Thirteen percent of existing drugs target nuclear receptors, even though the mechanism of action is not always clear".

RXRα normally suppresses tumors, but a number of types of cancer cells produce a truncated form of this nuclear receptor that does just the opposite. This study showed that shortened RXRα enhances tumor growth by stimulating other proteins that help cancer cells survive. Luckily, the scientists also observed that Sulindac can be used to combat this deviant RXRα by switching off its pro-survival function and turning on apoptosis, a process that tells cells to self-destruct.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


June 14, 2010, 10:11 PM CT

Predicting success with cancer drugs

Predicting success with cancer drugs
Scientists at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), the Van Andel Research Institute (VARI) and the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare have discovered a biomarker that could help in the therapy of patients with an aggressive type of lung cancer.

Using a particular biomarker, scientists might better predict which patients with small cell lung cancer are resistant to existing drug therapies, and which ones could benefit from new therapies tailored to their specific needs, as per a scientific paper published recently in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology.

"There is a need for predictive biomarkers that can aid researchers in designing future clinical trials, to help identify therapys that might be effective for these patients who most likely will be resistance to existing drug therapies, " said Dr. Glen J. Weiss, the paper's senior author and Director of Thoracic Oncology at TGen Clinical Research Services at Scottsdale Healthcare. TCRS is a partnership between TGen and Scottsdale Healthcare that helps bring new therapies quickly to patients at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center in Scottsdale.

Nearly 220,000 Americans are diagnosed each year with lung cancer, which is by far the leading cause of cancer death in the U.S., annually killing nearly 160,000 patients.........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


June 13, 2010, 10:35 PM CT

Cancer risks of blood pressure medications

Cancer risks of blood pressure medications
University Hospitals Case Medical Center heart specialists have uncovered new research showing an increased risk of cancer with a group of blood pressure medications known as angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARBs).

This class of drugs is used by millions of patients not only for hypertension but also for heart failure, cardiovascular risk reduction and diabetic kidney disease.

University Hospitals Harrington-McLaughlin Heart & Vascular Institute's Drs. Ilke Sipahi, Daniel I. Simon and James C. Fang recently completed a meta-analysis of over 60,000 patients randomly assigned to take either an ARB or a control medication. Their findings are published online today at The Lancet Oncology

The scientists observed that patients randomized to ARBs has "significantly increased risk of new cancer" in comparison to control patients.

"We have found the risk of new cancers was increased with these medications by 8-11 percent," said Dr. Ilke Sipahi, associate director of heart failure and transplantation and assistant professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. "Most importantly, risk of lung cancer was increased by 25 percent".

However, the research did not establish any link between ARBs and other types of cancer such breast cancer.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


June 9, 2010, 11:18 PM CT

Polyphenols in red wine and green

Polyphenols in red wine and green
In what could lead to a major advance in the therapy of prostate cancer, researchers now know exactly why polyphenols in red wine and green tea inhibit cancer growth. This new discovery, published online in The FASEB Journal (http://www.fasebj.org), explains how antioxidants in red wine and green tea produce a combined effect to disrupt an important cell signaling pathway necessary for prostate cancer growth. This finding is important because it may lead to the development of drugs that could stop or slow cancer progression, or improve current therapys.

"Not only does SphK1/S1P signaling pathway play a role in prostate cancer, but it also plays a role in other cancers, such as colon cancer, breast cancer, and gastric cancers," said Gerald Weissmann, MD, editor-in-chief of The FASEB Journal "Even if future studies show that drinking red wine and green tea isn't as effective in humans as we hope, knowing that the compounds in those drinks disrupts this pathway is an important step toward developing drugs that hit the same target".

Researchers conducted in vitro experiments which showed that the inhibition of the sphingosine kinase-1/sphingosine 1-phosphate (SphK1/S1P) pathway was essential for green tea and wine polyphenols to kill prostate cancer cells. Next, mice genetically altered to develop a human prostate cancer tumor were either treated or not treated with green tea and wine polyphenols. The treated mice showed reduced tumor growth as a result of the inhibited SphK1/S1P pathway. To mimic the preventive effects of polyphenols, another experiment used three groups of mice given drinking water, drinking water with a green tea compound known as EGCg, or drinking water with a different green tea compound, polyphenon E. Human prostate cancer cells were implanted in the mice and results showed a dramatic decrease in tumor size in the mice drinking the EGCg or polyphenon E mixtures.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


June 9, 2010, 6:47 AM CT

An enzyme important for cancer's ability to spread

An enzyme important for cancer's ability to spread
In collaboration with the National Cancer Centre, Singapore, Van Andel Research Institute (VARI) scientists have identified an enzyme that could help diagnose and treat cholangiocarcinoma, a form of liver cancer that strikes up to 3,000 new patients each year in the United States.

Cholangiocarcinoma is the second most common type of cancer that affects the hepatobiliary system, which includes the liver, gall bladder, and bile ducts. The disease is most usually diagnosed in patients in their 60's and 70's, and prognosis is generally poor with a 5-year survival rate of less than 5%. The only current curative therapy of the disease is surgery to remove all tumor tissue, but most patients' cancer is too advanced upon diagnosis to operate.

Southeast Asia is especially affected by cholangiocarcinoma, but occurence rate of the disease is rising in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia.

"An advance in the diagnosis and therapy of this disease could have a profound impact," said Professor Khee Chee Soo, Director of the National Cancer Centre, Singapore. "Cholangiocarcinoma is particularly prevalent in Southeast Asia where, because of chronic infections by liver flukes and other factors, it kills thousands each year".

Cholangiocarcinoma and hepatocellularcarcinoma (HCC) are the two main forms of cancerous liver cancer and require different therapys. Scientists observed that the enzyme p38delta mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK13) is found in higher levels in cholangiocarcinomas than in HCC or normal tissue, and that it plays a role in the ability of tumor cells to move and invade normal tissue.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


June 7, 2010, 6:50 AM CT

Vandetanib shows clinical benefit for lung cancer

Vandetanib shows clinical benefit for lung cancer
Roy Herbst, M.D., Ph.D., is a professor and chief of the section of MD Anderson's Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology.
When combined with standard chemotherapy, an international Phase III trial has shown that the oral targeted treatment vandetanib improves progression-free survival for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer, as per research from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

The findings, reported in the Lancet Oncology, mark the first clinical benefit of a small molecule targeted agent and standard chemotherapy in combination for lung cancer. The study was first presented at the 2009 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

"This study shows that an oral tyrosine kinase inhibitor can be combined with chemotherapy safely and effectively to provide systematic benefit to patients with this life-threatening disease," said Roy Herbst, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chief of the section of MD Anderson's Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology and the study's corresponding author. "Still, we need to build on this research and turn our focus toward better identifying molecular markers involved, with the ultimate goal of personalizing our patient's care."

The treatment is unique in that it's a dual inhibitor and targets the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR). It is the first single agent in lung cancer to target both receptors, said Herbst, the study's international principal investigator.........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


June 6, 2010, 8:49 PM CT

Selenium shows no benefit

Selenium shows no benefit
Selenium, a supplement taken daily by millions in hopes of protection against cancer and a host of other diseases, has proven to be of no benefit in reducing a patient's risk of developing lung cancer - either a recurrence or second primary malignancy, as per results of an international Phase III clinical trial.

Results from the decade-long study, initiated by the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group, were presented today at the American Society of Clinical Oncology 2010 Annual Meeting by Daniel D. Karp, M.D., professor in the Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

"Several epidemiological and animal studies have long-suggested a link between deficiency of selenium and cancer development," said Karp, the study's principal investigator. "Interest and research escalated in the late 1990's after a skin cancer and selenium study, published in 1996, found no benefit against the skin cancer, but did suggest an approximate 30 percent reduction of prostate and lung cancers. Our lung cancer research and another major study for the prevention of prostate cancer evolved from that finding".

These large, follow-up clinical studies investigating the naturally occurring mineral, however, have since proven disappointing. In 2009, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) halted SELECT, an international study of more than 35,000 men investigating if either selenium or Vitamin E, alone or in combination, could reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Both supplements failed to show benefit.........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


June 6, 2010, 8:47 PM CT

Dasatanib: CML drug evokes faster response

Dasatanib: CML drug evokes faster response
Dasatanib, a medicine currently approved as therapy for drug-resistant chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), provided patients with quicker, better responses as a first treatment than the existing front-line drug, as per scientists at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

The findings were presented at the 46th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology today, and reported in the New England Journal (NEJM) Hagop Kantarjian, M.D., professor and chair of MD Anderson's Department of Leukemia, presented the findings and is the corresponding author on the published study.

Currently, imatinib, or Gleevec , is the approved initial treatment for CML, which has increased the five-year survival rate for the disease from 50 percent to 90 percent, said Kantarjian. However, 30-40 percent of imatinib patients do not achieve confirmed cytogenic complete response (CCyR), or the absence of the defective chromosome that causes the disease, within a year. This benchmark is clearly linked to improvements in long-term outcome, said Kantarjian.

"Prior research conducted at MD Anderson observed that more patients taking dasatinib were achieving complete responses more quickly than they do on the current standard of care," said Kantarjian. "In this pivotal Phase III study, we confirmed that dasatinib gets more patients to high-quality remission faster than imatinib, making it a superior front-line treatment. Dasatinib, on average, also has a more favorable side-effect profile".........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


June 4, 2010, 6:40 AM CT

Fighting leukemia with two-pronged therapy

Fighting leukemia with two-pronged therapy
A new treatment mounts a double-barreled attack on leukemia, targeting not just the cancer cells but also the environment in which those cells live and grow, University of Florida scientists report.

Like striking an enemy camp directly as well as cutting off its source of food and other resources, the agent, called Oxi4503, poisons leukemia cells and destroys the blood vessels that supply them with oxygen and nutrients.

Use of the therapy in mouse models of acute myelogenous leukemia, or AML, is described online and in an upcoming print issue of the journal Blood The scientists plan human tests of the drug at Shands at UF later this year.

"We've identified a new tool to dissect out the specifics of the relationship between leukemia cells and the blood vessels that supply them," said Christopher Cogle, M.D., the UF College of Medicine oncologist who is senior author of the paper and a member of the UF Shands Cancer Center. "What we are offering is a brand new therapy by a very different mechanism to people who desperately need something new".

Each year, more than 120,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with a blood cancer, and about 80 percent of them die of the disease because there are no effective therapys, as per the National Cancer Institute. Some AMLs return after initially successful chemotherapy, while others do not respond at all. In addition, chemotherapy is too toxic for some elderly people, so they need an alternative.........

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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