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February 6, 2007, 9:34 PM CT

New Guidelines For Assessing Lymphoma Treatment

New Guidelines For Assessing Lymphoma Treatment
An international team of cancer specialists and imaging experts, including Bruce Cheson, professor of medicine, head of hematology, and director of hematology research at Georgetown's Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, has developed standardized guidelines for assessing how lymphomas respond to therapy. The guidelines will provide clinicians worldwide with consistent criteria to compare and interpret clinical trials of lymphoma therapys and should facilitate the development of new therapies. The recommendations appear in the Jan. 22 online issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

"These revised guidelines will improve our ability to evaluate new therapys, to compare various therapys, and to provide a way for regulatory agencies, such as the FDA, to better evaluate new drugs," said Cheson. "The overall goal is to improve therapies for patients with lymphoma, which will lead to better outcomes".

The IHP recommendations aim to standardize the parameters used in clinical trials for lymphoma and incorporate the new technologies. In addition, the revised guidelines cover all lymphomas.

Cheson co-chaired the International Harmonization Project (IHP), a group of experts in the management of lymphomas who worked together to develop new guidelines for.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


January 30, 2007, 9:33 PM CT

Treatment For Cervical Dysplasia

Treatment For Cervical Dysplasia
Temple University Hospital's Center For Women's Health is participating in a national study to determine the safety and effectiveness of an investigational therapy for cervical dysplasia. As per the American Cancer Society, approximately 500,000 women are diagnosed with high-grade cervical dysplasia each year, with roughly 10,000 cases progressing to cervical cancer.

For numerous women afflicted with the common sexually transmitted disease known as human papillomavirus (HPV), the immune system can not prevent certain high-risk strains of the virus from causing cervical dysplasia, a common precursor to cervical cancer. "The expected widespread availability of two preventive vaccines may lower the occurence rate of HPV infection and reduce the risk of cervical cancer," said Enrigue Hernandez, The Abraham Roth Professor and Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Temple University Hospital and School of Medicine. "However, for those women already infected with HPV, and those who will become infected, there are emerging non-surgical options in development."

HPV vaccines are expected to be a significant advance in women's healthcare, but they will not protect all women from cervical cancer. "Prophylactic vaccines will probably not help the more than 350,000 women in the U.S. already infected with HPV who have moderate to severe cervical dysplasia, a premalignant condition," explained Hernandez.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


January 29, 2007, 9:34 PM CT

Why Breast cancer incidence is decreasing?

Why Breast cancer incidence is decreasing?
Breast cancer incidence in the United States has dropped sharply and this decline might be due to the fact that millions of older women have stopped using hormone replacement treatment, as per research presented here at the 29th Annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

The scientists reported that there was an overall 7% relative decline in breast cancer incidence between 2002 and 2003 and that the steepest decline (12%) occurred in women aged between 50 and 69 diagnosed with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. ER-positive breast cancer depends on hormones for tumor growth, as per the report.

From their data, the scientists concluded that as a number of as 14,000 fewer women were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003 than in 2002, a year in which the American Cancer Society estimated 203,500 new cases of breast cancer were diagnosed.

"It is the largest single drop in breast cancer incidence within a single year I am aware of," said Peter Ravdin, MD, PhD, a research professor in the department of biostatistics at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in a press release.

"Something went right in 2003, and it seems that it was the decrease in the use of hormone treatment, but from the data we used we can only indirectly infer that is the case," he said. "But if it is true, the tumor growth effect of stopping use of HRT is very dramatic during a short period of time, making the difference between whether a tumor is detected on a mammogram or not in 2003," Ravdin said.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


January 24, 2007, 5:49 PM CT

If Mom Smoked During Pregnancy

If Mom Smoked During Pregnancy
Quitting smoking may be more difficult for individuals whose mothers smoked during pregnancy, as per animal research conducted by Duke University Medical Center researchers.

Prenatal exposure to nicotine is known to alter areas of the brain critical to learning, memory and reward. Researchers at the Duke Center for Nicotine and Smoking Cessation Research have discovered that these alterations may program the brain for relapse to nicotine addiction. Rodents exposed to nicotine before birth self administer more of the drug after periods of abstinence than those that had not been exposed.

The study suggests that pregnant women should quit smoking to avoid exposing their unborn children to nicotine, and that they should do so without the use of nicotine products such as patches or gums that also present a risk to the baby, the scientists said.

"Smoking during pregnancy can harm the baby in ways that extend far beyond preterm delivery or low birth weight," said lead study investigator Edward Levin, Ph.D., a professor of biological psychiatry. "It causes changes in the brain development of the baby that can last a lifetime."

Results of the study appear this week in the online issue of the journal Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior. The work was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and Philip Morris USA.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


January 17, 2007, 8:18 PM CT

New Strategy For The Treatment Of CML

New Strategy For The Treatment Of CML
Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center scientists have identified an approach to enhance the activity of a new anti-cancer agent that has already shown impressive efficacy in the therapy of chronic myelogenous leukemia.

Chronic myelogenous leukemia, or CML, is a cancer of the bone marrow caused by a specific genetic abnormality and is one of the more common forms of leukemia. Imatinib mesylate (Gleevec) is a highly effective anti-cancer agent that has revolutionized the course of treatment for patients with CML. It works by inhibiting the activity of a mutant protein, known as Bcr/ABl, which is responsible for this disease. However, despite initial success, patients eventually become resistant to imatinib mesylate.

As per Steven Grant, M.D., Massey's associate director for translational research and co-leader of the cancer center's cancer cell biology program, and senior author of the study, resistance to imatinib mesylate has prompted the development of newer generation inhibitors, such as a compound known as dasatinib, which are not only considerably more potent than imatinib mesylate, but also are active against cells expressing a number of of the mutations that make them resistant to the latter agent. Dasatinib also inhibits another important survival protein known as Src. However, Grant said that not all patients respond to dasatinib, and the risk remains that patients will develop resistance to this agent as well.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


January 16, 2007, 9:30 PM CT

Marker For Head And Neck Cancer

Marker For Head And Neck Cancer
Scientists have found a marker on head and neck tumor cells that indicates which cells are capable of fueling the cancer's growth. The finding is the first evidence of cancer stem cells in head and neck tumors.

Cancer stem cells are the small number of cancer cells that replicate to drive tumor growth. Scientists believe current cancer therapys sometimes fail because they are not attacking the cancer stem cells. By identifying the stem cells, scientists can then develop drugs to target and kill these cells.

"Our therapy results for head and neck cancer are not as good as we'd like them to be. A lot of people still die of head and neck cancer. This finding will impact our understanding of head and neck cancer, and we hope it will lead to therapys that will be more effective," says study author Mark Prince, M.D., assistant professor of otolaryngology at the University of Michigan Medical School and section chief of otolaryngology at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System.

Results of the study appear in the Jan. 16 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Scientists at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center and Stanford University School of Medicine took tumor samples from patients undergoing surgery for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, including cancers of the tongue, larynx, throat and sinus. Cells from the samples were separated based on whether they expressed a marker on their surface called CD44. The sorted cells were then implanted into immune-deficient mice to grow tumors.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


January 16, 2007, 5:16 AM CT

Tomato-broccoli Combo For Prostate Cancer

Tomato-broccoli Combo For Prostate Cancer
A new University of Illinois study shows that tomatoes and broccoli--two vegetables known for their cancer-fighting qualities--are better at shrinking prostate tumors when both are part of the daily diet than when they're eaten alone.

"When tomatoes and broccoli are eaten together, we see an additive effect. We think it's because different bioactive compounds in each food work on different anti-cancer pathways," said University of Illinois food science and human nutrition professor John Erdman.

As per a research findings reported in the January 15 issue of Cancer Research, Erdman and doctoral candidate Kirstie Canene-Adams fed a diet containing 10 percent tomato powder and 10 percent broccoli powder to laboratory rats that had been implanted with prostate cancer cells. The powders were made from whole foods so the effects of eating the entire vegetable could be compared with consuming individual parts of them as a nutritional supplement.

Other rats in the study received either tomato or broccoli powder alone; or a supplemental dose of lycopene, the red pigment in tomatoes believed to be the effective cancer-preventive agent in tomatoes; or finasteride, a drug prescribed for men with enlarged prostates. Another group of rats was castrated.

After 22 weeks, the tumors were weighed. The tomato/broccoli combo outperformed all other diets in shrinking prostate tumors. Biopsies of tumors were reviewed at The Ohio State University, confirming that tumor cells in the tomato/broccoli-fed rats were not proliferating as rapidly. The only therapy that approached the tomato/broccoli diet's level of effectiveness was castration, said Erdman.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


January 16, 2007, 4:51 AM CT

One-time Melanoma Screening Of Older Adults Is Cost-effective

One-time Melanoma Screening Of Older Adults Is Cost-effective
One-time melanoma screening of adults age 50 or older appears to be as cost-effective as other nationally recommended cancer screening programs, as per an article in the recent issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Melanoma is the only cancer for which incidence and death rates continue to increase in the United States, while screening continues to be underused, as per background information in the article. Treating melanoma costs more than $740 million each year in the United States. Older patients and those who have immediate relatives with melanoma are at higher risk. Knowledge regarding risk factors and the availability of therapy has spurred greater interest in screening; however, the lack of a large randomized trial proving screening efficacy has been cited as an obstacle preventing its widespread implementation.

Elena Losina, Ph.D., Boston University School of Public Health, and his colleagues constructed a mathematical model to simulate the melanoma events that occur in a population, including disease occurrence, progression, detection with and without a screening program, therapy and death. The authors projected the additional costs of screening and the additional survival attributable to earlier detection. They then assessed the cost in dollars for every extra year of life gained (the cost-effectiveness) from melanoma screening by a dermatologist.........

Posted by: George      Read more         Source


January 15, 2007, 9:42 PM CT

Smoking Increases Risk Of Tuberculosis

Smoking Increases Risk Of Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease that causes an estimated 2 million deaths each year. The majority of those deaths occur in developing countries, home to more than 900 million of the world's 1.1 billion smokers. In addition, about half of the world's people cook and heat their homes with coal and biomass fuels such as wood, animal dung and charcoal, which generate indoor air pollution. In a new study, scientists from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) undertook a systematic review and meta-analysis of epidemiologic data to quantitatively assess the association between smoking, passive smoking and indoor air pollution and TB. They found consistent evidence that smoking is linked to an increased risk of TB; they also observed that passive smoking (secondhand smoke) and the burning of biomass fuels was linked to an increased TB risk.

The study appears online on January 16, 2007, in the open-access journal PLoS Medicine.

"The evidence suggests that, when in comparison to non-smokers, smokers have about double the risk of tuberculosis. The implication for global health is critical," said Megan Murray, associate professor of epidemiology at HSPH. "Since tobacco smoking has increased in developing countries where TB is prevalent, a considerable portion of the global burden of TB may be attributed to tobacco. Importantly, this also implies that smoking cessation might provide benefits for global TB control in addition to those for chronic diseases."........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


January 15, 2007, 9:21 PM CT

Programmed Cell Death

Programmed Cell Death Neutrophil granulocytes have trapped Shigella bacteria in NETs.
Image: Dr. Volker Brinkmann, Max Planck Institute for Infection Biolog
They are the largest group of white blood cells: neutrophil granulocytes kill microorganisms. Neutrophils catch microbes with extracellular structures nicknamed Neutrophil Extracellular Traps (NETs) that are composed of nucleic acid and aggressive enzymes. A group of researchers lead by Arturo Zychlinsky at the Max-Planck-Institute for Infectious Biology in Berlin, Gera number of discovered, how the neutrophils form this snaring network (Journal of Cell Biology, online, January 8, 2007). Once triggered, the cells undergo a novel program leading to their death. While they perish, the cells release the content of their nuclei. The nucleic acid, mingled with bactericidal enzymes, forms a lethal network outside the cell. Invading bacteria and pathogenic fungi get caught and killed in the NETs.

Every minute, several million neutrophils leave the bone marrow and are ready to defend the body of invading germs. They are the immune system's first line of defence against harmful bacteria and migrate into the tissue at the site of infection to combat pathogens. For more than hundred years it was known that neutrophil granulocytes kill bacteria very efficiently by devouring them. After eating the germs neutrophils kill tehm with antimicrobial proteins.

The group of researchers lead by Arturo Zychlinsky at the Max-Planck-Institute for Infectious Biology discovered a second killing mechanism: neutrophil granulocytes can form web-like structures outside the cells composed of nucleic acid and enzymes which catch bacteria and kill them. The researchers were able to generate impressive micrographs of these nets. But it remained a mystery how the granulocytes could mobilise the contents of their nuclei and catapult it out of the cells.........

Posted by: Mark      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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