Archives Of Health News Blog From Medicineworld.Org
June 13, 2010, 10:35 PM CT
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.........
The combination of decitabine and carboplatin appears to improve the outcome of women who have late-stage ovary cancer. In an upcoming issue of the journal Cancer (online today), Indiana University scientists report four of 10 patients who participated in a phase I clinical trial had no disease progression after six months of therapy. One patient experienced complete resolution of tumor tissue for a period of time.
Advanced ovary cancer is often diagnosed too late for therapy to be effective. Patients are often told they have virtually no chance of recovery and only months to live.
Women participating in the study were between 51 and 71, and had previously exhausted all approved therapys for ovary cancer. They enrolled in an Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center clinical trial designed to increase their sensitivity to the usually prescribed ovary cancer drug, platinum-based carboplatin.
Women with ovary cancer commonly survive less than one year after they become resistant to carboplatin and their cancer recurs, said co-principal investigator Daniela Matei, M.D., an associate professor of medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine. Matei led the clinical portion of the trial.
"Carboplatin is the most efficient drug treatment for ovary cancer," Matei said. "Unfortunately, patients with recurrent disease become resistant to the drug after one or two rounds."........
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.........
A newly released study at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) confirms the relationship between depression and abdominal obesity, which has been associated with an increased risk for cancer and cardiovascular disease.
"We observed that in a sample of young adults during a 15-year period, those who started out reporting high levels of depression gained weight at a faster rate than others in the study, but starting out overweight did not lead to changes in depression," said UAB Assistant Professor of Sociology Belinda Needham, Ph.D. The study appears in the recent issue of the American Journal of Public Health.
June 9, 2010, 6:51 AM CT
Healthy diet could slow Alzheimer's disease
Patients in the early to moderate stages of Alzheimer's Disease could have their cognitive impairment slowed or even reversed by switching to a healthier diet, as per scientists at Temple University.
In a prior study [http://www.temple.edu/newsroom/2009_2010/12/stories/alzheimers.htm], scientists led by Domenico Pratic, an associate professor of pharmacology in Temple's School of Medicine, demonstrated that a diet rich in methionine could increase the risk of developing Alzheimer's Disease. Methionine is an amino acid typically found in red meats, fish, beans, eggs, garlic, lentils, onions, yogurt and seeds.
"The question we asked now as a follow-up is if, for whatever reason, you had made bad choices in your diet, is there a chance you can slow down or even reverse the disease or is it too late that there is nothing you could do," said Pratic.
As in the prior study, the scientists fed one group of mice a diet high in methionine and another group a regular, healthy diet. After three months, they split the group receiving the methionine-rich diet into two, with one group continuing the amino-heavy diet while the second switched to the healthy diet for an additional two months.
"At the end of the study, when we looked at these mice, what we found very surprisingly was that switching to a more healthy diet reversed the cognitive impairment that had built up over the first three months of eating the methionine-rich diet," said Pratic. "This improvement was linked to less amyloid plaques another sign of the disease in their brains.........
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.........
African Americans with incomes below the poverty line have a significantly higher risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD) than higher-income African-Americans or whites of any socioeconomic status, research led by researchers at Johns Hopkins and the National Institute on Aging shows. Conducted in a racially and socioeconomically diverse sample of participants from the city of Baltimore, Md., the study could help scientists eventually develop strategies to prevent CKD in vulnerable populations.
Findings from the study are reported online and appear in the June 2010 print edition of the American Journal of Kidney Diseases.
Scientists have long known that advanced CKD is more prevalent among African-Americans than among whites in the United States. Similarly, people of low socioeconomic status also have higher rates of the disease than people of higher socioeconomic status. However, it was unknown whether rates of CKD differ between the races among people of low socioeconomic status.
To investigate, Deidra Crews, M.D., an instructor in the Division of Nephrology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and her colleagues used data from Healthy Aging in Neighborhoods of Diversity across the Lifespan (HANDLS), a research study that's ongoing conducted by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health. The HANDLS study was started to investigate the influences and interaction of race and socioeconomic status on the development of health disparities in minorities and people of lower socioeconomic status.........
Johns Hopkins experts have found that men enrolled in an active surveillance program for prostate cancer that eventually needed surgery to remove their prostates fared just as well as men who opted to remove the gland immediately, except if a follow-up biopsy during surveillance showed high-grade cancer.
Active surveillance, or "watchful waiting," is an option open to men whose tumors are considered small, low-grade and at low risk of being lethal. Given the potential complications of prostate surgery and likelihood that certain low-risk tumors do not require treatment, some men opt to enroll in active surveillance programs to monitor PSA levels and receive annual biopsies to detect cellular changes that signal a higher grade, more aggressive cancer for which treatment is recommended. Yet, according to the Johns Hopkins experts, there is concern that delaying surgery in this group until biopsy results worsen may result in cancers that are more lethal and difficult to cure.
Bruce Trock, Ph.D., associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Brady Urological Institute, and his colleagues compared the pathology results of men in an active surveillance group at Johns Hopkins who later had surgery with those who also had low-risk tumors and opted for immediate surgery.........
A protein that helps build the brain in infants and children may aid efforts to restore damage from multiple sclerosis (MS) and other neurodegenerative diseases, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found.
In a mouse model of MS, scientists observed that the protein, CXCR4, is essential for repairing myelin, a protective sheath that covers nerve cell branches. MS and other disorders damage myelin, and this damage is associated with loss of the branches inside the myelin.
"In MS patients, myelin repair occurs inconsistently for reasons that aren't clear," says senior author Robyn Klein, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine and of neurobiology. "Understanding the nature of that problem is a priority because when myelin isn't repaired, the chances that an MS flare-up will inflict lasting harm seem to increase."
The findings appear online in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Mouse models typically mimic MS symptoms by causing chronic immune cell infiltration in the brain, but, as per Klein, the ongoing immune damage caused by the cells makes it difficult for scientists to focus on what the brain does to repair myelin.
For the study, Klein and first author and postdoctoral fellow Jigisha Patel, PhD, used a non-inflammatory model that involves giving mice food containing cuprizone, a compound that causes the death of cells that form myelin in the central nervous system. After six weeks, these cells, known as oligodendrocytes, are dead, and the corpus callosum, a structure that connects the left and right hemispheres of the brain, has lost its myelin. If cuprizone is then removed from the mouse diet, new cells migrate to the area that restore the myelin by becoming mature oligodendrocytes.........
Scientists from the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CfE) and the University of British Columbia today released a comprehensive study revealing that the 2008 IAS-USA treatment guidelines for commencing HIV therapy would create significant benefits for individuals infected with HIV and society as a whole.
The peer-evaluated mathematical modeling study, reported in the research journal PLoS ONE, shows that full implementation of HIV therapy guidelines updated in 2008 by the International AIDS Society (IAS) would lead to more people entering therapy in British Columbia (B.C.). In addition, the study shows an increase in lives saved, billions of dollars in costs averted, and a significant decrease in HIV infections.
"The study results are critically important because they reinforce the significant individual and societal benefits of starting earlier HIV therapy and provide further momentum for therapy as prevention, which in the absence of a vaccine or cure remains the best way to contain and halt the spread of HIV," said Dr. Julio Montaner, Director, BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS; President, IAS; and the Chair in AIDS Research and Head of Division of AIDS in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia.
When the study was conducted, 4,379 people were on highly active antiretroviral treatment (HAART) in B.C. under 2006 guidelines, and an additional 6,781 individuals qualified for therapy based on the 2008 guidelines. Approximately 12,300 people were infected with HIV in B.C. at the end of 2005, with 25 per cent to 30 per cent of HIV-infected individuals unaware of their HIV status. The BC-CfE estimated the impact of HAART expansion in B.C. based on 2008 guidelines for different expansion scenarios, and focused on the 50 per cent and 75 per cent coverage of those medically eligible to receive HAART therapy. All scenarios were in comparison to the therapy coverage in B.C. under the 2006 IAS guidelines.........
Did you know? Studies in monkeys and women suggest that unlike traditional estrogen therapy, a diet high in the natural plant estrogens found in soy does not increase the risk of uterine cancer in postmenopausal women, according to Mark Cline, D.V.M., Ph.D., an associate professor of comparative medicine at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.