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February 5, 2009, 6:22 AM CT

Hormone Replacement therapy indicted again

Hormone Replacement therapy indicted again
Postmenopausal women who take combined estrogen plus progestin menopausal hormone treatment for at least five years double their annual risk of breast cancer, as per new analyses from a major study that clearly establishes a link between hormone use and breast cancer, Stanford scientists say. The multi-center study also observed that women on hormones can quickly reduce their risks of cancer simply by stopping the treatment.

The study is a follow-up to the landmark Women's Health Initiative report of 2002, which observed that postmenopausal women taking estrogen plus progestin were at far greater risk of developing breast cancer and other serious conditions than women on placebo.

After publication of the WHI data, use of hormone treatment plummeted in the United States - from 60 million prescriptions in 2001 to 20 million in 2005. Breast cancer rates also declined significantly within the year, suggesting a strong link between hormone use and cancer risk. But some researchers still questioned the connection, saying the dip in breast cancer rates could not have occurred so rapidly and may have been correlation to patterns of mammogram use.

The latest study, however, should put those questions to rest, said Marcia Stefanick, PhD, professor of medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine and a co-author of the study.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


February 5, 2009, 6:05 AM CT

Do not count on statins to prevent breast cancer

Do not count on statins to prevent breast cancer
Laboratory work in animals showed limited activity when statins were given to prevent breast cancer, as per a report in the recent issue of Cancer Prevention Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Statins, sold under brand names like Lipitor and Zocor, are primarily given to lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease, and prominent heart specialists almost universally agree that their use has changed the landscape.

The use of these drugs in cancer prevention has been more controversial. Results of epidemiology studies, which rely on looking backward rather than forward and thus are subject to confounding factors, have yielded mixed results when examining breast cancer.

Researchers under the auspices of the NCI, including Ronald Lubet, Ph.D., an NCI program director, and Clinton Grubbs, Ph.D., director of the Chemoprevention Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham conducted laboratory work in animals to determine if statins actually prevent both ER-positive and ER-negative breast cancer.

In the current study, researchers tested atorvastatin and lovastatin. "We saw no real efficacy from either statin," said Lubet. "Previous studies have shown some but limited efficacy in breast cancer models when these drugs were given through a method that would be the equivalent of intravenously in humans. However, that is not the way people take statins".........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


February 4, 2009, 6:08 AM CT

Radiofrequency Treatment for Liver Tumors

A new review of four randomized controlled trials that directly compared two different therapys for small inoperable liver tumors has observed that radiofrequency ablation (RFA) significantly improves patient survival in comparison to the standard treatment of percutaneous ethanol injection (PEI). These findings are in the recent issue of Hepatology, a journal published by John Wiley & Sons on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD). The article is also available online at Wiley Interscience (www.interscience.wiley.com).

AASLD guidelines recommend PEI as a safe and highly effective therapy for small hepatocellular carcinomas and say it is the standard against which new therapies should be compared. RFA is one of a handful of alternative nonsurgical therapys for small liver tumors. It has a higher rate of adverse events and is not always usable depending on the location of the tumor, however, some studies have suggested it offers a greater survival benefit in comparison to PEI.

To determine the benefit of RFA in comparison to PEI, scientists led by Yun Ku Cho of Seoul conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials that compared the two therapies. Using databases and manual searches, they identified all relevant, peer-evaluated studies published from 1978 through July 2008. Ultimately, only four studies, which included a total of 652 patients, contained enough information for a meta-analysis of three-year overall survival.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


February 4, 2009, 5:56 AM CT

Green tea blocks benefits of cancer drug

Green tea blocks benefits of cancer drug
Contrary to popular assumptions about the health benefits of green tea, scientists at the University of Southern California (USC) have observed that the widely used supplement renders a cancer drug used to treat multiple myeloma and mantle cell lymphoma completely ineffective in treating cancer.

The study, which observed that a component of green tea extract (GTE) called EGCG destroys any anticancer activity of the drug Velcade in tumor-bearing mice, will be published in a future print edition of the journal, Blood It is now available online at the journal's pre-publication First Edition website.

"Our finding that GTE or EGCG blocked the therapeutic action of Velcade was completely unexpected," says main author Axel H. Schnthal, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. "Our hypothesis was that GTE or EGCG would enhance the anti-tumor effects of Velcade, and that a combination of GTE with Velcade (or EGCG with Velcade) would turn out to be a superior cancer therapy as in comparison to therapy with Velcade alone."

Herbal remedies, including green tea, have become a popular remedy for cancer patients dealing with side effects of chemotherapy. However, these supplements are unregulated and, for most, their beneficial and/or detrimental effects have not been qualified through research.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


February 3, 2009, 6:23 AM CT

Inflammation colon cancer link

Inflammation colon cancer link
(New York, February 2, 2009) -- While chronic inflammation is widely thought to bea predisposing factor for colon cancer, the exact mechanisms linking these conditions have remained elusive. Researchers at the Melbourne Branch of the international Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (LICR) and the Technical University Munich have jointly discovered a new piece of this puzzle by demonstrating how the Stat3 protein links inflammation to tumor development, a discovery that may well lead to the identification of new therapeutic targets for colon cancer.

Aberrant activation of the intracellular signaling protein, Stat3, has been linked to inflammation and several cancers, including those of the gastrointestinal tract. The results published on-line today in the journal Cancer Cell provide the first direct evidence confirming the role for Stat3 in inflammation-associated tumorigenesis. Using an inflammation-associated cancer model in genetically manipulated mice, the team identified a relationship between epithelial cell Stat3 activity and colonic tumor incidence, as well as tumor growth. They also determined that stimulation of Stat3 by the cytokines IL-6 and IL-11, chemicals produced by inflammatory and other tumor-associated cells, promotes both cell survival and growth of tumor cells.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


February 3, 2009, 6:14 AM CT

PET scan in inflammatory breast cancer

PET scan in inflammatory breast cancer
In the largest study to date to evaluate fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography combined with computed tomography (FDG-PET/CT) in the initial staging of inflammatory breast cancer (IBC), scientists were able to identify the precise location and extent of metastasis (spread of disease), offering the potential for a better prognosis for patients with this rare, but aggressive form of breast cancer.

"PET/CT is useful in staging IBC because it provides information on both the primary disease site as well as disease involvement throughout the rest of the body," said Homer A. Macapinlac, MD, chair and professor of nuclear medicine at the University of Texas, M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas. "In addition to detecting the presence of cancer, PET/CT is able to demonstrate the biology of cancer-revealing how aggressive the disease is-which can help physicians develop appropriate treatment approaches."

For the study, reported in the recent issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine, scientists reported findings in 41 women between the ages of 25 and 71 with unilateral primary IBC who had originally presented with swelling, some pain and skin changes, such as rash and skin discoloration. A palpable mass was not evident on physical examination in 26 patients (63 percent), which is not unusual in this form of breast cancer, and 90 percent had no symptoms of distant metastasis (disease spread beyond the breast).........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


February 2, 2009, 6:21 AM CT

Promise for improved breast cancer treatment

Promise for improved breast cancer treatment
As per a research findings published by Nature Biotechnology online on February 1, 2009, Mount Sinai Hospital scientists have unveiled a new technology tool that analyzes breast cancer tumours to determine a patient's best therapy options. The tool can predict with more than 80 per cent accuracy a patient's chance of recovering from breast cancer.

"Breast cancer is the most common cancer in Canadian women," said Dr. Jeff Wrana, Senior Investigator and the Mary Janigan Research Chair in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital, and an International Scholar of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. "Our hope with this technology is to eventually provide individualized analysis to patients with breast cancer and their oncologists so that they are better informed and empowered to select a therapy best suited to them."

The technology, called 'DyNeMo' analyzes networks of proteins in cancer cells. Analysis of more than 350 patients observed that those who survive breast cancer have a different organization of the network of proteins within the tumour cells, compared with patients who succumbed to the illness. DyNeMo can be used to predict the outcome in a newly diagnosed breast cancer patient and then assist clinicians and patients in making informed decisions on therapy. The study was led by the Mount Sinai Hospital team and co-authored by scientists at the University of Toronto and London, England's The Institute for Cancer Research.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


January 29, 2009, 6:14 AM CT

Finding endometrial cancer early

Finding endometrial cancer early
Cancer is a genetic disease. It occurs when changes take place in the genes that regulate cell division, cell growth, cell death, cell signalling and blood vessel formation either due to mutations caused by external factors such as smoking or radiation or due to inherited changes. This interaction between defective genes and environmental factors means that cancer is an extremely complex disease. Cancer of the uterus, or endometrial carcinoma, is no exception.

Cancer of the uterus is the commonest gynaecological malignancy in the West and accounts for between five and six per cent of all cancers in Swedish women. However, the symptoms are often vague, and we know little about the genetic factors that lead to the appearance and development of this form of cancer. It is therefore vital that these genes are identified, as this could enable doctors to make the diagnosis much more quickly and easily, allowing the development of more effective cancer therapy.

In her study, Sandra Karlsson, a researcher at the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, has used inbred rats to locate the defective genes that cause uterine cancer. Like monozygotic (identical) twins, these inbred rats are genetically almost identical, which makes it much easier to study the influence of the environment in which they live.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


January 28, 2009, 6:20 AM CT

Sequential and alternating chemotherapy and radiatio

Sequential and alternating chemotherapy and radiatio
Larynx cancer patients treated with alternating cycles of chemotherapy and radiation have similar outcomes to patients treated with chemotherapy followed by radiation, as per data from a randomized controlled trial in the January 27 online issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Prior trials in patients with locally advanced larynx cancer showed that chemotherapy followed by radiation was as effective as total removal of the larynx, known as laryngectomy, in terms of overall and disease-free survival and that this sequential treatment provided better quality of life. Subsequent trials indicated that concurrent administration of chemotherapy and radiation resulted in a statistically significant improvement in larynx preservation but was linked to more serious acute toxicity and possibly long term side effects.

To try to improve patient survival without increasing side effects, Jean Lefebvre, M.D., of the Centre Oscar Lambret in Lille, France, and his colleagues in the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer enrolled 450 patients with larynx or hypopharynx cancer in a randomized controlled trial. Patients received either chemotherapy followed by radiation or alternating cycles of radiation and chemotherapy.

With a median follow-up of 6.5 years, there was no significant difference in clinical outcomes between the two therapy groups. Larynx preservation, overall survival, and progression-free survival were similar for patients treated with sequential and alternating chemotherapy and radiation.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


January 28, 2009, 6:18 AM CT

HPV18 DNA levels are not prognostic for cervical lesions

HPV18 DNA levels are not prognostic for cervical lesions
Perhaps surprisingly, the number of copies of the carcinogenic human papillomavirus type 18 (HPV18) relative to cellular DNA is not linked to the likelihood of progression to advanced premalignant lesions of the cervix, as per a research studyin the January 27 online issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Two types of HPV are most frequently linked to cervical cancer, HPV16 and HPV18. Prior studies showed that the number of HPV16 copies per cell correlated with an increasing risk of progression to cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2 or 3 (CIN2-3). The prognostic significance of HPV18 DNA level is not known.

In the current study, Long Fu Xi, M.D, Ph.D., of the University of Washington in Seattle, and his colleagues compared the number of copies of HPV18 DNA relative to cellular DNA at baseline with a woman's risk of progressing to CIN2-3. The 303 study participants were drawn from the Atypical Squamous Cells of Undetermined Significance and Low-Grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesion Triage Study.

During the 2-year study period, 92 women were diagnosed with CIN2-3. Among women with a cytologic diagnosis of low- or high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions at enrollment, HPV18 DNA level was lower in women with CIN2-3 than those without CIN2-3.........

Posted by: Emily      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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