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August 20, 2009, 7:04 AM CT

New targets for treatment of invasive breast cancer

New targets for treatment of invasive breast cancer
Research led by Suresh Alahari, PhD, Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, has demonstrated for the first time that a tiny piece of RNA appears to play a major role in the development of invasive breast cancer and identified a gene that appears to inhibit invasive breast cancer. The research is reported in the August 21, 2009 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry

The LSUHSC scientists are the first to demonstrate that miR-27b, a novel microRNA, not only inactivates the ST14 gene which they found suppresses the growth of breast tumor cells, but also that miR-27b stimulates the breast cancer to invade other cells.

MicroRNAs are a new class of small, single-stranded RNA molecules which play an important regulatory role in cell biology. They bind to target genes and decrease their function. MicroRNAs may act as oncogenes (a gene that contributes to cancer development) or tumor suppressors.

In this study working with a line of human breast cancer cells, Dr. Alahari's team observed that aggressively invasive breast tumor cells contain a large quantity f miR-27b molecules, while normal cells do not. Further analysis revealed that miR-27b increases during cancer progression, in direct proportion to the decrease in function of the ST14 gene. They observed that miR-27b promotes cell growth and cell invasion, suggesting that miR-27b acts as a breast cancer oncogene. They also observed that ST14 inhibits both cell growth and cell invasion, suggesting that ST14 is a breast cancer tumor suppressor gene and that it may also serve as a marker for the early detection of breast cancer.........

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, 6:53 AM CT

Cancer mortality rates experience steady decline

Cancer mortality rates experience steady decline
The number of cancer deaths has declined steadily in the last three decades. Eventhough younger people have experienced the steepest declines, all age groups have shown some improvement, as per a recent report in Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

"Our efforts against cancer, including prevention, early detection and better therapy, have resulted in profound gains, but these gains are often unappreciated by the public due to the way the data are commonly reported," said Eric Kort, M.D., who completed the study while employed as a research scientist at the Van Andel Research Institute in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Scientists examined cancer mortality rates stratified by age and observed that for individuals born since 1925, every age group has experienced a decline in cancer mortality. The youngest age groups have experienced the steepest decline at 25.9 percent per decade, but even the oldest groups have experienced a 6.8 percent per decade decline.

The public often hears about incidence rates, which continue to rise across a number of cancer types, or mortality proportions, with the World Health Organization's assertion that death from cancer will surpass death from heart disease by 2010. Both these calculations are accurate, Kort said, but they ask the wrong question. In particular, the often-quoted WHO statistic can be misleading.........

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 11, 2009, 11:07 PM CT

Diarrhea in metastatic melanoma patients

Diarrhea in metastatic melanoma patients
Patients with stage III or IV melanoma taking ipilimumab and the oral steroid budesonide to reduce side effects did not have less diarrhea, a known side effect of ipilimumab, as per results of a phase II trial published in Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

These findings would "discourage the prophylactic use of budesonide to reduce the gastrointestinal side effects of ipilimumab," said researcher Jeffrey Weber, M.D., Ph.D. Weber is a senior member at the Moffitt Cancer Center and director of the Donald A. Adam Comprehensive Melanoma Research Center, Tampa, Fla.

Weber and his colleagues gave 10 mg/kg of ipilimumab to 115 patients every three weeks, for four doses. This was combined with daily budesonide for one group and placebo control for another.

After four months of therapy, they observed that budesonide did not affect the rate of diarrhea it occurred in 32.7 percent of patients treated with the drug and 35 percent of those who received placebo, as per the study. Median overall survival was 17.7 months among those treated with budesonide compared with 19.3 months among those who received placebo.

Additionally, the scientists saw anti-tumor responses in 10 to 15 percent of patients, without an apparent difference between patients treated with budesonide and those who received placebo.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


August 6, 2009, 11:35 PM CT

Tumor mutations can predict chemo success

Tumor mutations can predict chemo success
New work by MIT cancer biologists shows that the interplay between two key genes that are often defective in tumors determines how cancer cells respond to chemotherapy.

The findings should have an immediate impact on cancer therapy, say Michael Hemann and Michael Yaffe, the two MIT biology professors who led the study. The work could help doctors predict what types of chemotherapy will be effective in a particular tumor, which would help tailor therapys to each patient.

"This isn't something that's going to take five years to do," says Yaffe, who, along with Hemann is a member of the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT. "You could begin doing this tomorrow".

The work could also guide the development of new chemotherapy drugs targeted to tumors with specific genetic mutations.

Hemann, Yaffe, and their colleagues report their results in the Aug. 15 issue of the journal Genes and Development Koch Institute postdoctoral associates Hai Jiang and H. Christian Reinhardt are main authors of the study, which the scientists say is one of the first examples of how genetic profiling of tumors can translate to improvements in patient therapy.

"There's a huge amount of genetic information available, but it hasn't made its way into clinical practice yet," says Hemann.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


August 6, 2009, 11:35 PM CT

Starving the colon cancer cells

Starving the colon cancer cells
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center have discovered how two cancer-promoting genes enhance a tumor's capacity to grow and survive under conditions where normal cells die. The knowledge, they say, may offer new therapys that starve cancer cells of a key nutrient - sugar. However, the researchers caution that research does not suggest that altering dietary sugar will make any difference in the growth and development of cancer.

"Cancer cells adapt to living within the inner layers of a tumor, a place where circulating nutrients are relatively scarce," says Nickolas Papadopoulos, Ph.D., associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. "We wanted to know what makes these cancer cells survive under such conditions".

Working with colorectal cancer cell lines that carry two of the most common cancer genes - KRAS and BRAF - they went on a hunt for genes that were controlled by KRAS and BRAF and allowed cancer cells to be more fit for survival. Nearly half of all patients with colon cancer carry KRAS mutations in their tumors and another five percent of these patients have alterations in BRAF. The findings are published online in the August 6 issue of Science Express.

Their hunt quickly narrowed to one gene, GLUT1, which was consistently turned on at high levels in cells laden with KRAS and BRAF mutations. Proteins made by GLUT1 are located on the cell surface and transport glucose into cells' interiors. With increased expression of the GLUT1 gene, cells make more GLUT1 transporters and ingest more glucose.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


August 5, 2009, 9:59 PM CT

Significant Benefits of F-FDG PET in Evaluating Colorectal Liver Metastases

Significant Benefits of F-FDG PET in Evaluating Colorectal Liver Metastases
The Access to Medical Imaging Coalition (AMIC) announced recently that a study published in this month's Journal of Nuclear Medicine demonstrated the tremendous benefits of advanced imaging in the assessment of colorectal liver metastases. Dr. Theo Ruers lead a team of scientists in evaluating the benefits of F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) when combined with computed tomography (CT), and its ability to diagnose and stage hepatic growths far more effectively than standard CT alone. The study was presented at the Society of Nuclear Medicine annual meeting in 2008 and received the Siemens Award for Excellence in Practice-Based Research.

"Liver metastases are among the most dangerous threats to patients who have been treated for colorectal cancer, and it is absolutely imperative that at-risk patients have access to the highest quality diagnostic procedures in order to detect and properly stage these malignant growths if they develop," said Tim Trysla, executive director, AMIC. "Effective staging of these growths can lead to improved clinical outcomes, and in a number of cases can prevent unnecessary or ineffective surgeries. AMIC applauds the work of Dr. Ruers and his team, whose research proves the addition of F-FDG PET to standard diagnostic protocols to be extremely useful in accurately identifying the population of individuals most likely to benefit from hepatic surgery and, in turn, drastically reducing the number of wasteful procedures".........

Posted by: Sue      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


August 2, 2009, 11:04 PM CT

Lung cancer patients respond to erlotinib following cetuximab therapy

Lung cancer patients respond to erlotinib following cetuximab therapy
Non-small cell patients with lung cancer who have progressed on a cetuximab-containing regimen may respond to erlotinib, Fox Chase Cancer Center scientists reported today at the annual meeting of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer.

Both cetuximab (Erbitux) and erlotinib (Tarceva) inhibit the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and the assumption has been that once a patient progresses on one EGFR inhibitor they will not respond to another EGFR inhibitor. The new data suggests that may not be the case.

"Just because a patient received and progressed on one EGFR inhibitor doesn't necessarily mean they will not derive clinical benefit from another one," says Hossein Borghaei, D.O., medical oncologist at Fox Chase. "And for patients who don't have a lot of therapy options, we think this is a good thing. It gives them one more drug to try when their disease is progressing".

To find out if patients whose disease is no longer controlled by cetuximab can respond to erlotinib, Borghaei and his colleagues examined the therapy and clinical outcomes for a subgroup of patients who had participated in a Fox Chase clinical trial that tested a combination of carboplatin, paclitaxel and cetuximab as first-line therapy for advanced non-small cell lung cancer. Out of 53 patients who had participated in that trial, the researchers identified 15 individuals who had received erlotinib during subsequent treatment.........

Posted by: Scott      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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