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September 22, 2008, 10:31 PM CT

1-week radiation effective breast cancer treatment

1-week radiation effective breast cancer treatment
Boston Accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) using a type of radiation seed implants called balloon brachytherapy, a newer type of radiation therapy that offers more convenience to early-stage patients with breast cancer by shortening radiation treatment from the standard six to seven weeks of therapy to only one week, is as effective in keeping breast cancer from coming back as the standard external beam radiation therapy, as per a research studypresented September 22, 2008, at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology's 50th Annual Meeting in Boston.

"Not only does it make radiation therapy much more convenient, it may actually increase the rate of breast conservation, since some women choose mastectomy because they live too far from a radiation center and cannot afford the time and expense of six to seven weeks of living or traveling to the center," Peter Beitsch, M.D., lead author of the study and a surgical oncologist at Medical City Dallas Hospital in Dallas, said. "Also, there are a number of women who for a host of reasons don't receive the necessary postoperative radiation and the shortened course should hopefully allow more women to receive the treatment that they need."

A number of women with breast cancer are able to undergo breast conserving treatment to keep their breast after therapy. Typically, this means they first have surgery to remove the cancer (a lumpectomy) followed by a course of radiation treatment to kill any cancer cells that may remain. The standard radiation treatment therapy takes a few minutes, every day, Monday through Friday, for six to seven weeks.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


September 22, 2008, 10:29 PM CT

Acupuncture reduces side effects of breast cancer treatment

Acupuncture reduces side effects of breast cancer treatment
Boston Acupuncture is as effective and longer-lasting in managing the common debilitating side effects of hot flashes, night sweats, and excessive sweating (vasomotor symptoms) linked to breast cancer therapy and has no therapy side effects in comparison to conventional drug treatment, as per a first-of-its-kind study presented September 24, 2008, at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology's 50th Annual Meeting in Boston.

Findings also show there were additional benefits to acupuncture therapy for patients with breast cancer, such as an increased sense of well being, more energy, and in some cases, a higher sex drive, that were not experienced in those patients who underwent drug therapy for their hot flashes.

"Our study shows that physicians and patients have an additional treatment for something that affects the majority of breast cancer survivors and actually has benefits, as opposed to more side effects. The effect is more durable than a drug usually used to treat these vasomotor symptoms and, ultimately, is more cost-effective for insurance companies," Eleanor Walker, M.D., lead author of the study and a radiation oncologist at the Henry Ford Hospital Department of Radiation Oncology in Detroit, said.

The reduction in hot flashes lasted longer for those patients with breast cancer after completing their acupuncture therapy, in comparison to patients after stopping their drug treatment plan.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


September 22, 2008, 10:28 PM CT

Radiation plus hormone therapy in prostate cancer

Radiation plus hormone therapy in prostate cancer
Boston For men with locally advanced prostate cancer the addition of radiation therapy to anti-androgen hormone treatment reduces the risk of dying of prostate cancer by 50 percent in comparison to those who have anti-androgen hormone therapy alone, as per a randomized study presented September 22, 2008, at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology's 50th Annual Meeting in Boston.

"This randomized trial is the first to show that men with locally advanced prostate cancer will survive substantially longer when radiation is added to their therapy plan," Anders Widmark, M.D., lead author of the study and a professor in radiation oncology at Umea University in Umea, Sweden, said. "I would encourage men with locally advanced prostate cancer to talk to their doctor to see if they would be a good candidate for radiation treatment in addition to hormone therapy".

Locally advanced prostate cancer is cancer that has grown close to the border or outside the prostate gland and into neighboring tissue, but has not spread into the lymph nodes or to other organs. In this study, anti-androgen hormone treatment is used to treat prostate cancer by blocking the stimulating effect of testosterone on the prostate cancer cells, to shrink the prostate cancer and slow down the growth of prostate cancer. External beam radiation treatment (also called radiotherapy) involves a series of daily therapys to acurately deliver radiation to the prostate.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


September 22, 2008, 10:20 PM CT

Physicians may miss opportunities to respond with empathy

Physicians may miss opportunities to respond with empathy
In a small study of 20 audiorecorded interactions, physicians seldom responded empathetically to concerns raised by lung cancer patients, as per a report in the September 22 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

"Empathy is an important element of effective communication between patients and physicians and is linked to improved patient satisfaction and compliance with recommended therapy," the authors write as background information in the article. "Patients who are more satisfied with the communication in their medical encounters have improved understanding of their condition, with less anxiety and improved mental functioning." However, responding to patients' emotional needs can be challenging for physicians; they may begin medical school with empathy for their patients but gradually learn detachment, perhaps in order to cope with time constraints or sadness.

Diane S. Morse, M.D., of the University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, N.Y, and his colleagues conducted an analysis of 20 recorded and transcribed consultations between patients with lung cancer (average age 65, all male) and nine physicians (three oncologists and six thoracic surgeons). Each visit contained an average of 326 statements, and those made by patients were coded into three themes: statements about the impact of lung cancer, statements about diagnosis or therapy and statements about health system issues affecting care.........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


September 18, 2008, 10:40 PM CT

Gastric cancer with 3 pathological features

Gastric cancer with 3 pathological features
Primary carcinoma of the stomach is almost always adenocarcinoma or signet ring cell carcinoma and there are few reports of choriocarcinoma or neuroendocrine cell carcinoma. We report a patient with adenocarcinoma of the stomach combined with choriocarcinoma and neuroendocrine cell carcinoma. This is the first reported case of gastric cancer with these three pathological features.

A case article would be published on 28 May 2008 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology addresses this report. The research team led by Prof. Yasumitsu Hirano from Kanazawa University Graduate school of Medical Science described a patient with adenocarcinoma of the stomach combined with choriocarcinoma and neuroendocrine cell carcinoma.

They reported that a 85-year-old man presented to the hospital because of appetite loss. Gastric fiberscopy revealed a large tumor occupying the cardial region and anterior wall of the gastric body. The patient underwent total gastrectomy with lymphnode dissection and partial resection of the liver. In the gastric tumor, choriocarcinoma, small cell carcinoma and tubular adenocarcinoma were existed. The choriocarcinomatous foci contained cells positive for beta-subunit of human chorionic gonadotropin (B-hCG) and human placental lactogen mainly in syncytiotrophoblastic cells. The small cell carcinomatous foci contained cells positive for synaptophysin, neuron-specific enolase (NSE), and chromogranin A.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


September 16, 2008, 10:14 PM CT

Pazopanib shrinks lung cancers before surgery

Pazopanib shrinks lung cancers before surgery
Pazopanib, a new oral angiogenesis inhibitor, has demonstrated interesting activity in difficult to treat non-small-cell lung cancer, US scientists report.

In a phase II trial, 30 out of 35 patients treated with preoperative pazopanib for a minimum of two weeks saw their tumor size shrink by up to 85%.

"This is a positive result that will be explored further," said Prof. Nasser Altorki from Weil Medical College of Cornell University in New York.

"To my knowledge, no other results on the effect of angiogenesis inhibitors in early stage operable lung cancer have been published.

The results presented here with pazopanib indicate a highly active drug in this setting and further development in lung cancer is underway to fully understand the value of this drug in this disease".........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


September 16, 2008, 10:07 PM CT

New drug substantially extends survival in pancreatic cancer

New drug substantially extends survival in pancreatic cancer
A new form of chemotherapy that destroys new blood vessels that grow around tumors has produced excellent results in a phase II trial of patients with inoperable pancreas cancer, scientists report at the 33rd Congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) in Stockholm.

European researchers led by Prof. Matthias Lhr from the Karolinska Institute reviewed the efficacy and safety of three different doses of cationic lipid complexed paclitaxel (EndoTAG-1) administered twice weekly, in combination with weekly infusions of gemcitabine, in comparison to gemcitabine alone, in 200 patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma.

"EndoTAG consists of charged particles that bind preferentially to the fast-growing endothelial cells in new blood vessels being formed by tumors," Prof. Lhr explained. "The drug, paclitaxel, is then released and thus directly reaches an important target in tumors, i.e. the vessels. Paclitaxel itself is not very efficient in pancreratic cancer".

After following patients for a year, the scientists observed that therapy with such combination led to a substantially extended median survival time in comparison to standard treatment. Patients given gemcitabine alone survived on average 7.2 months, in comparison to up to 13.6 months for patients who received repeated doses of the combination (EndoTAG plus gemcitabine).........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


September 15, 2008, 9:46 PM CT

Ovarian cancer drug: promising new treatment

Ovarian cancer drug: promising new treatment
Irvine, Calif. Women with recurrent ovary cancer can be helped by an experimental treatment using a drug already touted for its ability to fight other cancers, a finding that provides hope for improved therapy of this deadly disease.

Dr. Bradley Monk, a UC Irvine gynecologic oncologist who led the worldwide phase III clinical trial, said trabectedin is the most recent addition to a short list of active drug therapies for recurrent ovary cancer. He presents study results Sept. 15 at the 33rd Congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology in Stockholm.

"These are exciting results because positive trials in recurrent ovary cancer are rare and have almost always led to federally approved therapys," said Monk, an associate professor who studies and treats ovary cancers at the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at UC Irvine. "This therapy undoubtedly will be reviewed carefully by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and, if approved, will give women with ovary cancer another much needed option".

Phase III studies are multicenter trials on large patient groups designed to be the definitive assessment of a drug's effectiveness. Such a study is often the last step before a drug is evaluated by a regulatory agency like the FDA for approval as a safe, effective therapy.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


September 14, 2008, 10:09 PM CT

Cancer-causing gene in many colon cancers

Cancer-causing gene in many colon cancers
Demonstrating that despite the large number of cancer-causing genes already identified, a number of more remain to be found, researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have linked a previously unsuspected gene, CDK8, to colon cancer.

The discovery of CDK8's role in cancer was made possible by new tools for assessing the activity of specific genes, say the authors of the new study. As these tools are further improved, the stream of newly discovered cancer genes is expected to increase, providing new avenues for treatment, the authors suggest. The findings are being published as an advanced online publication by the journal Nature on Sept. 14.

"This study provides confirmation that a number of of the genes involved in cancer have yet to be identified," remarked the study's senior author, William Hahn, MD, PhD, of Dana-Farber and the Broad Institute of Harvard and M.I.T. "When it comes to identifying gene targets for treatment, we've really only scratched the surface".

The study is noteworthy in another respect, as well, the authors indicated. A number of of the abnormal proteins associated with cancer are known as "transcription factors" because they're able to "read" cell DNA and use that information for producing other cell proteins. Eventhough transcription factors are important regulators, this class of proteins has proven to be impossible to target with drugs. Genes that influence such transcription factors, however, make attractive targets for drugs, since they can potentially disrupt the cancer process and disable tumor cells. CDK8 is such a gene.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


September 11, 2008, 9:39 PM CT

Developing Drug to Stop Cancer Recurrence

Developing Drug to Stop Cancer Recurrence
After years of working toward this goal, researchers at the OU Cancer Institute have found a way to isolate cancer stem cells in tumors so they can target the cells and kill them, keeping cancer from returning.

A research team led by Courtney Houchen, M.D., and Shrikant Anant, Ph.D., discovered that a particular protein only appears in stem cells. Until now, scientists knew of proteins that appeared in both regular cancer cells and stem cells, but none that just identified a stem cell.

The group has already begun work to use the protein as a target for a new compound that once developed would kill the stem cells and kill the cancer. By targeting the stem cells, researchers and physicians also would be able to stop the cancer from returning.

Houchen and Anant are focusing on adult cancer stem cells because of the major role they play in the start of cancer, the growth of cancer, the spread of cancer and the return of cancer.

Current therapies generally do not target stem cells in tumors. This allows stem cells to wait until after chemotherapy or radiation therapys to begin dividing. Scientists believe these stem cells are often responsible for the return of cancer after therapy. The identification of the stem cell marker enables scientists to develop new therapeutics that can target these cells.........

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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