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December 28, 2008, 11:02 PM CT

Cancer drug bortezomib find new uses

Cancer drug bortezomib find new uses
Scientists have discovered a new treatment for transplant patients, targeting the antibody-producing plasma cells that can cause organ rejection.

Results of the study are reported in the Dec. 27, 2008, edition of the journal Transplantation

Steve Woodle, MD, and his colleagues observed that a cancer drug bortezomib used to treat multiple myeloma, or cancer of the plasma cells, is effective in treating rejection episodes caused by antibodies that target transplanted kidneys and reversing rejection episodes that did not respond to standard therapies.

B-lymphocytes, or B cells, play a large role in the humoral immune response by making immune proteins that attack transplanted organs.

"We found a body of literature demonstrating that bortezomib works well in suppressing transplant rejection in the laboratory," says Woodle, main author of the study and chief of transplant surgery at UC. "Moreover, it worked well in models of autoimmune diseases".

T-lymphocytes, or T cells, are white blood cells that were usually thought to cause the rejection of transplanted organs.

Woodle and his team began searching for agents that targeted plasma cells in 2005.

"It has become clear that plasma cells and the antibodies they produce play a bigger role in rejection than previously thought, and the development of therapies targeting these cells has lagged," he says. "We realized that current therapies don't target the plasma cells which may produce the antibody, in general".........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


December 23, 2008, 10:34 PM CT

Preventing breast cancer with broccoli

Preventing breast cancer with broccoli
Women should go for the broccoli when the relish tray comes around during holiday celebrations this season.

While it has been known for some time that eating cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage, can help prevent breast cancer, the mechanism by which the active substances in these vegetables inhibit cell proliferation was unknown until now.

Researchers in the UC Santa Barbara laboratories of Leslie Wilson, professor of biochemistry and pharmacology, and Mary Ann Jordan, adjunct professor in the Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, have shown how the healing power of these vegetables works at the cellular level. Their research is published in this month's journal Carcinogenesis

"Breast cancer, the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women, can be protected against by eating cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage and near relatives of cabbage such as broccoli and cauliflower," said first author Olga Azarenko, who is a graduate student at UCSB. "These vegetables contain compounds called isothiocyanates which we believe to be responsible for the cancer-preventive and anti-carcinogenic activities in these vegetables. Broccoli and broccoli sprouts have the highest amount of the isothiocyanates.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


December 22, 2008, 5:27 AM CT

Predicting metastasis from colon cancer

Predicting metastasis from colon cancer
Cancer Scientists at the Max Delbrck Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch and the Charit Universitts Medizin Berlin (Gera number of) have identified a gene which enables them to predict for the first time with high probability if colon cancer is going to metastasize. Assistant Professor Dr. Ulrike Stein, Professor Peter M. Schlag, and Professor Walter Birchmeier were able to demonstrate that the gene MACC1 (Metastasis-Associated in Colon Cancer 1) not only promotes tumor growth but also the development of metastasis.When MACC1 gene activity is low, the life expectancy of colon cancer patients is longer compared to patients with high MACC1 levels. (Nature Medicine, doi: 10.1038/nm.1889)*.

As per the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, more than 108,000 people developed colon cancer in the US in 2008. Despite surgery, chemo- and radiotherapy, only 50 percent of patients can be cured because 20 percent of the patients have already developed metastasis by the time their colon cancer is diagnosed. In addition, one-third of patients whose therapy of the original colon cancer was successful will, nevertheless, go on to develop metastasis.

The MDC and Charit scientists are convinced that the identification of the MACC1 gene will aid medical doctors in identifying those patients as early as possible who are at high risk of developing life-threatening metastasis in the liver and the lungs. As a result, more intensive therapy and follow-up care could be offered to high risk patients.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


December 22, 2008, 5:24 AM CT

A new model for studying cancer

A new model for studying cancer
New research sheds light on a common link between tumor formation and Costello Syndrome, an inherited developmental disorder in which patients have cardiac defects, mild mental retardation, and face-shape abnormalities. The study reported in the journal Disease Models & Mechanisms (DMM), dmm.biologists.org uses a zebrafish model to help explain a puzzling correlation between Costello syndrome and cancer.

Costello Syndrome is one of several developmental disorders caused by mutations in a gene known as H-RAS. Additionally, mutations in H-RAS and the Ras family of genes are common in most human cancers. Thus, researchers are trying to determine how genetic mutations that activate H-RAS can cause a congenital illness as well as cancer. In this new study, Cristina Santoriello and his colleagues investigate this mystery by expressing activated H-RAS in zebrafish, which are often used to study the developmental process. They observed that the effect of mutant H-RAS in part depends on the timing and level of gene expression. Higher levels of H-RAS caused overabundant cell-growth, reminiscent of tumors. Furthermore, zebrafish expressing mutant H-RAS through development displayed hallmarks of the human Costello Syndrome, such as reduced body size, heart defects, and physical deformities.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


December 22, 2008, 5:22 AM CT

Genes that may cause lung cancer

Genes that may cause lung cancer
Individuals with particular variants of certain genes involved in metabolizing the most potent carcinogen found in cigarette smoke have an increased risk of developing lung cancer. That is the conclusion of a new study reported in the February 1, 2009 issue of CANCER, a peer-evaluated journal of the American Cancer Society. The study's results may help shed light on how lung cancer develops and could have important implications for preventing smoking-related cancers.

Tobacco-specific nitrosamine 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK) is a component of cigarette smoke that has been shown to cause lung cancer in rodents. Certain enzymes act to protect the body from this type of chemical by turning it into nontoxic forms or by transporting it from cells. For example, ATP-binding cassette transporters encoded by genes known as ABCB1 and ABCC1 are involved in eliminating carcinogens from the lungs, protecting them against inhaled toxins.

Scientists suspect that individuals with alterations in these genes might have an increased susceptibility to develop lung cancer. Recently, a team of researchers led by Dr. Daru Lu and Dr. Haijian Wang of the Fudan University in Shanghai identified common variants at the beginning and end of the ABC1 and ABCC1 genes. They then analyzed these variants in 500 lung cancer patients and 517 cancer-free controls in a Chinese population.........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


December 19, 2008, 5:26 AM CT

Dangerous skin cancer

Dangerous skin cancer
The German Cancer Society has worked out new guidelines for the diagnosis and therapy of cancerous melanomaa disease with unfavorable prognosis. Cancerous melanoma is responsible for 90% of deaths from skin cancer. The incidence has increased 5-fold within the last 30 years and UV radiation is believed to be an important cause. Caucasian populations are most affected.

Claus Garbe of Tbingen University and his coauthors present the treatment of melanoma in the current edition of Deutsches rzteblatt International (Dtsch Arztebl Int 2008; 105[49]: 845-51). Physicians should confirm the diagnosis by histopathology after complete surgical removal of the tumor. The German Cancer Society recommends specific therapys or therapeutic combinations, depending on the thickness of the tumor and its stage. For example, if the tumor has more than a specific thickness, it is recommended that the primary tumor should be surgically removed, together with the sentinel lymph nodes and in combination with immunotherapy. If surgical removal is not possible, radiotherapy is indicated. If there are distant metastases, physicians should perform monochemotherapy.........

Posted by: George      Read more         Source


December 19, 2008, 5:24 AM CT

Obesity and Lymphedema Risk in Breast Cancer

Obesity and Lymphedema Risk in Breast Cancer
Throughout the world, 10 million breast cancer survivors have a lifetime risk for developing lymphedema, a chronic condition that involves swelling of the limbs and impacts physical and psychosocial health. Second only to the recurrence of cancer, it is the most dreaded effect of breast cancer therapy. In a new study, University of Missouri scientists observed that the risk of developing lymphedema is 40 percent to 60 percent higher in women with body mass index (BMI) classified as overweight or obese in comparison to normal weight women. The scientists recommend increased health education for breast cancer survivors.

"Breast cancer survivors with high BMIs will benefit from education focused on maintaining optimal BMI and lymphedema risk reduction practices," said Jane Armer, professor in the Sinclair School of Nursing and director of nursing research at the Ellis Fischel Cancer Center. "Overweight women have the greatest risk of developing lymphedema and should be monitored closely for changes in symptoms and limb volume, particularly those who have cancer therapy to the dominant side or experience post-operation swelling".

Based on the analysis, lymphedema is a risk for approximately two-thirds of breast cancer survivors in the 30 months after surgery. Breast cancer survivors who develop post-op swelling have a significantly higher risk (40 percent) of developing lymphedema. As per Armer, patients with high BMIs who experience post-op swelling or were affected by cancer on their dominant side have the highest risk of developing lymphedema. MU scientists observed that comparing BMI and limb volume measurements can help clinicians better detect lymphedema.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


December 19, 2008, 5:13 AM CT

Cough medicine ingredient could treat prostate cancer

Cough medicine ingredient could treat prostate cancer
A study published recently in the recent issue of the European medical journal Anticancer Research demonstrates that an ingredient used in a common cough suppressant may be useful in treating advanced prostate cancer. Scientists observed that noscapine, which has been used in cough medicine for nearly 50 years, reduced tumor growth in mice by 60% and limited the spread of tumors by 65% without causing harmful side effects.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimates that 186,320 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2008 and 28,660 will die from it. One man in 6 will get prostate cancer during his lifetime. Eventhough slow-growing in most men, the cancer is considered advanced when it spreads beyond the prostate. There is no known cure.

The laboratory study was a joint effort by Dr. Israel Barken of the Prostate Cancer Research and Educational Foundation, Moshe Rogosnitzky of MedInsight Research Institute, and Dr. Jack Geller of The University of California San Diego. Noscapine has previously been studied as a therapy for breast, ovarian, colon, lung and brain cancer and for various lymphomas, chronic lymphocytic leukemia and melanoma. This study, however, is the first to demonstrate its effectiveness in treating prostate cancer.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


December 16, 2008, 9:44 PM CT

A qualified endoscopist for your colonoscopy

A qualified endoscopist for your colonoscopy
A study released recently in the Annals of Internal Medicine observed that colonoscopy is linked to lower death rates from colorectal cancer, however, the procedure missed lesions more often on the right side of the colon versus the left side. The study highlights the importance of seeking a qualified gastrointestinal endoscopist to perform a thorough colonoscopy and that patients must take the bowel prep as directed by their doctor allowing for a clear view of the colon to detect lesions. The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE), representing the specialists in colorectal cancer screening, recommends that patients seek out an expertly-trained gastrointestinal endoscopist to perform a colonoscopy and to ask questions about their qualifications before the procedure.

"Colonoscopy is the gold standard for colorectal cancer screening for its ability to detect and remove polyps before they turn into cancer. Colonoscopy's effectiveness is evidenced in the recent decline in the incidence and death rates from colorectal cancer announced last month by leading cancer organizations," said John L. Petrini, MD, FASGE, president of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. "While colonoscopy is not a perfect test, this study should not deter anyone from undergoing a colonoscopy for colorectal cancer screening. Approximately 70 percent of the colonoscopies performed in this study were not done by gastroenterologists. Studies have shown that missed lesion rates are higher for internists and family practice physicians doing colonoscopy. We urge patients to log on to www.asge.org to find a qualified, expertly-trained gastrointestinal endoscopist to perform their colonoscopy and to ask questions about their qualifications".........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


December 16, 2008, 9:29 PM CT

Smoking and colorectal cancer

Smoking  and colorectal cancer
An analysis of prior studies indicates that smoking is significantly linked to an increased risk for colorectal cancer and death, as per an article in the December 17 issue of JAMA

Eventhough tobacco was responsible for approximately 5.4 million deaths in 2005, there are still an estimated 1.3 billion smokers in the world. While many cancers are attributable to smoking, the link between cigarette smoking and colorectal cancer (CRC) has been inconsistent among studies. "Because smoking can potentially be controlled by individual and population-related measures, detecting a link between CRC and smoking could help reduce the burden of the world's third most common tumor, which currently causes more than 500,000 annual deaths worldwide. In the United States alone, an estimate of approximately 50,000 deaths from CRC would have occurred in 2008," the authors write.

Edoardo Botteri, M.Sc., of the European Institute of Oncology, Milan, Italy, and his colleagues conducted a meta-analysis to review and summarize published data examining the link between smoking and CRC incidence and death.

The scientists identified 106 findings based on observation, and the meta-analysis was based on a total of nearly 40,000 new cases of CRC. For the analysis on incidence, smoking was linked to an 18 percent increased risk of CRC. The scientists also found a statistically significant dose-relationship with an increasing number of pack-years (number of packs of cigarettes smoked/day, multiplied by years of consumption) and cigarettes per day. However, the association was statistically significant only after 30 years of smoking.........

Posted by: Sue      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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