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November 18, 2007, 9:18 PM CT

Treating Vomiting Caused By Chemotherapy

Treating Vomiting Caused By Chemotherapy
The subcutaneous administration of granisetron, an antiemetic pharmaceutical drug (suitable for control of vomiting), achieves similar blood concentrations to those administered intravenously. This was the conclusion of clinical tests undertaken by specialists at the University Hospital of Navarra, the results of which have been recently reported in the prestigious North American medical journal, The Oncologist.

Granisetron is a pharmaceutical drug the efficacy of which against vomiting (antiemetic), when administered orally or intravenously, has already been shown, but never studied when given subcutaneously. The research shows that the antiemetic granisetron, administered subcutaneously, behaves in a similar manner as when injected intravenously. The advantage of the subcutaneous method is the ease of therapy for non-hospitalised patients. For these patients using the intravenous method it is problematic, requiring, as it does, specialised care; while administering orally may involve the patient vomiting.

Home use and emergencies

This is why subcutaneous administration opens new perspectives, providing a comfortable and easy way of home-based therapy, either with self-medicine by the patients themselves or administered by their carers, in either case reducing the dependence on trained medical personnel.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


November 18, 2007, 8:36 PM CT

Protein plaques implicated in Alzheimer's

Protein plaques implicated in Alzheimer's
Alzheimer' tangles
For unknown reasons a protein called amyloid beta aggregates into toxic plaques in the brain, killing neurons. These plaques are one of the hallmarks of Alzheimers disease. Now two new animal studies show for the first time that the deadly transformation of amyloid beta into plaques can be prevented through an interaction between amyloid beta and another protein called cystatin C.

Eventhough much work needs to be done, these new findings may open the door to new therapys for Alzheimers disease that mimic the effects of cystatin C, says Efrat Levy, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Pharmacology at New York University School of Medicine, and the lead author of the study. We are really excited by these findings because recent studies show that cystatin C is protective against a variety of insults that cause cell death in the brain. Our potential therapeutic approach focuses on keeping amyloid beta in a water soluble form, preventing its accumulation in the brain, and thus slowing, halting, or reversing disease progression, says Dr. Levy, who is also Director of the Laboratory of Molecular Pathology of Cerebral Amyloidosis at the Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research in Orangeburg, New York.

With support from the Alzheimers Association, Dr. Levys laboratory has already begun studies to develop a drug that will mimic the ability of cystatin C to bind to a non-pathological form of amyloid beta and thereby prevent its accumulation into plaques in the brain.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


November 18, 2007, 8:34 PM CT

Immune system can drive cancers into dormant state

Immune system can drive cancers into dormant state
A multinational team of scientists has demonstrated for the first time that the immune system can stop the growth of a malignant tumor without actually killing it.

Researchers have been working for years to use the immune system to eradicate cancers, a technique known as immunotherapy. The new findings prove an alternate to this approach exists: When the cancer can't be killed with immune attacks, it may be possible to find ways to use the immune system to contain it. The results also may help explain why some tumors seem to suddenly stop growing and go into a lasting period of dormancy.

The study appears today in the advance online publication of Nature.

"Thanks to the animal model we have developed, researchers can now reproduce this condition of tumor dormancy in the laboratory and look directly at cancer cells being held in check by the immune system," says co-author Robert Schreiber, Ph.D., Alumni Professor of Pathology and Immunology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. "That will allow us to see if we can model this state therapeutically".

The study's authors call the cancer-immune system stalemate equilibrium. During equilibrium, the immune system both decreases the cancer's drive to replicate and kills some of the malignant cells, but not quickly enough to eliminate or shrink the tumor.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


November 15, 2007, 10:19 PM CT

More Women Are Choosing Double Mastectomy

More Women Are Choosing Double Mastectomy
Scientists are reporting a 150 percent increase between 1998 and 2003 in American women opting to have both breasts removed when cancer has been found in only one breast-a procedure called contralateral prophylactic mastectomy (CPM). This is the first study to examine these trends on a national level. The authors caution that this aggressive strategy may be unnecessary since most patients will never develop cancer in the second breast, and since the risk of cancer spreading to other parts of the body is often higher than the risk that cancer will be found in the second breast. The study will be published online October 22 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO).

"Eventhough breast cancer is now often diagnosed at earlier stages, we're seeing more women having contralateral prophylactic mastectomy, even though there are very little data showing that this irreversible procedure improves overall survival," explained lead author Todd M. Tuttle, MD, chief of surgical oncology and associate professor of surgery at the University of Minnesota. "We need to determine why this is occurring and use this information to help counsel women about the potential for less invasive options".

The scientists used the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database (which provides detailed information about cancer diagnosis and therapy for 16 areas in the United States) to review the therapy of patients with unilateral (one-sided) breast cancer diagnosed between 1998 and 2003. Among 152,755 women diagnosed with stage I, II or III breast cancer during this period, 59,460 underwent a single mastectomy; 4,969 other women who were candidates for a single mastectomy chose to have CPM as well. The CPM rate among those who were candidates for a single mastectomy rose from 4.2 percent in 1998 to 11 percent in 2003. Younger women, non-Hispanic whites and women with lobular breast cancers were more likely to have CPM.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


November 14, 2007, 9:54 PM CT

Nicotine addiction slashed in test

Nicotine addiction slashed in test
Researchers are reporting the first successful strategy to reduce smokers nicotine dependence while allowing them to continue smoking. The study provides strong support for proposals now being considered in Congress to authorize FDA regulation of cigarette smoking, as per the research team.

The key to the clinical trials success was providing smokers with cigarettes of gradually decreasing nicotine content over many weeks. If such cigarettes were federally mandated, smokers would find it easier to quit, and more young smokers could avoid addiction, as per the scientists. Tobacco company products marketed as low-nicotine alternatives, in fact, do not change the level of nicotine taken in by smokers, they added.

The research was carried out by researchers at UCSF and San Francisco General Hospital Medical Center and is published in the November 14 issue of the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Legislation giving the FDA authority to regulate tobacco products is currently being considered in Congress. Such regulatory authority would empower the agency to develop and enforce standards to make cigarettes less harmful -- including the reduction of the nicotine yields so that cigarettes would be less addictive, said Neal Benowitz, MD, leader of the study team and an expert on the pharmacology and health effects of nicotine and other smoking products.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


November 14, 2007, 9:45 PM CT

Predicting the future in ovarian cancer

Predicting the future in ovarian cancer
Kisspeptin and its receptor GPR54 predict a favourable clinical outcome in women with ovarian carcinoma, and are specific for the clear cell carcinoma subtype, research published this week in the online open access journal, BMC Medicine, reveals.

The kisspeptins, a family of peptide hormones, and the receptor GPR54 have previously been linked to anti-metastatic activity in certain human tumours. In this study, scientists have shown that kisspeptin and GPR54 are independent prognostic biomarkers specific for ovarian clear cell carcinoma - the first such markers to be identified.

A research team based at the BC Cancer Agency and Vancouver General Hospital, Vancouver, Canada created a tissue microarray - paraffin blocks which allow numerous tissue samples to be analysed simultaneously - from 518 cases of early-stage ovarian carcinoma. They analysed the samples using antibodies against kisspeptin and the G-protein-coupled receptor GPR54. Cases that showed strong staining for either kisspeptin or GPR54 were scored as positive, the rest negative.

The study revealed that patients who were positive for both kisspeptin and GPR54 had a favourable prognosis as in comparison to those patients who were negative for both kisspeptin and GPR54 cases - both in terms of disease-specific survival and overall survival. Scientists also observed that these molecular markers were significantly linked to the clear cell ovarian carcinomas subtype.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


November 14, 2007, 9:24 PM CT

A dose of God may help medicine

A dose of God may help medicine
Waltham, MAFor some families, the cancer diagnosis of a child strengthens existing religious ties or prompts new ones. Now, a new study by scientists at Brandeis University and the University at Buffalo - SUNY in Pediatric Hematology and Oncology reports that while most pediatric oncologists say they are spiritual, and a number of are open to connecting with the families of very sick children through religion or spirituality, they typically lack the formal healthcare training that could help them build such bridges.

Increasingly, religion and spirituality are being recognized as important in the care of critically ill patients and we know that a number of parents draw on such resources to cope with their childs illness, said coauthor Wendy Cadge, a Brandeis sociologist. This study suggests that we should consider training to help physicians relate spiritually to families confronting life-threatening illness such as cancer.

The study surveyed 74 pediatric hematologists and oncologists at 13 elite hospitals from the U.S. News & World Report ranking of honor roll hospitals. The findings include:
  • 93.3 percent of the physicians surveyed were raised in a religious tradition; 31 percent Protestant; 25.7 percent Catholic; 25.7 Jewish, and 10.8 percent other.........

    Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


November 14, 2007, 9:19 PM CT

Grape powder blocks genes linked to colon cancer

Grape powder blocks genes linked to colon cancer
Low doses of freeze-dried grape powder inhibit genes associated with the development of sporadic colorectal cancer, University of California, Irvine cancer scientists found.

The study suggests that a diet rich in grapes may help prevent the third most common form of cancer, one that kills more than a half a million people worldwide each year. Around 7 percent of all Americans develop colon cancer during their lifetimes.

Led by Dr. Randall Holcombe, director of clinical research at the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at UC Irvine, the study followed up on prior in vitro studies showing that resveratrol, a nutritional supplement derived from grape extract, blocks a cellular signaling pathway known as the Wnt pathway. The Wnt pathway has been associated with more than 85 percent of sporadic colon cancers, which is the most common form of colon cancer.

The UC Irvine scientists conducted their study with patients with colon cancer. One group was given 20 milligrams daily of resveratrol as a pill; another drank 120 grams daily of grape powder mixed in water; and a third drank 80 grams daily of grape powder.

While the supplements did not have an impact on existing tumors, biopsied colon tissue showed that Wnt signaling in the patients taking 80 grams of grape powder was significantly reduced. Similar changes were not seen in patients taking the higher dose of grape powder or the resveratrol pills.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


November 14, 2007, 8:44 PM CT

Endometrial cancer and vitamin D status

Endometrial cancer and vitamin D status
Using newly available data on worldwide cancer incidence, scientists at the Moores Cancer Center at University of California, San Diego (UCSD) have shown a clear association between deficiency in exposure to sunlight, specifically ultraviolet B (UVB), and endometrial cancer.

UVB exposure triggers photosynthesis of vitamin D3 in the body. This form of vitamin D is also available through diet and supplements. Prior studies from this research team have shown associations between higher levels of vitamin D3 and lower risk of cancers of the breast, colon, kidney and ovary.

Approximately 200,000 cases and 50,000 deaths from endometrial cancer occur annually worldwide, including 41,000 new cases and 7,400 deaths in the United States.

The study will be published November 16, 2007, in the journal Preventive Medicine.

This is the first study, to our knowledge, to show that higher serum levels of vitamin D are linked to reduced risk of endometrial cancer, said Cedric F. Garland, Dr. P.H., professor of Family and Preventive Medicine in the UCSD School of Medicine, and member of the Moores UCSD Cancer Center. Prior epidemiological studies have focused on estrogen levels either natural or through hormone replacement treatment which play the major role in development of the disease, and on fat intake, which plays a smaller role. Since most women cannot control their natural levels of estrogen, and very low levels of fat intake are not acceptable to most American women, this article provides evidence that vitamin D adequacy should be considered as part of a comprehensive program for prevention of this cancer.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


November 13, 2007, 10:03 PM CT

A low-carb diet may stunt prostate tumor growth

A low-carb diet may stunt prostate tumor growth
A diet low in carbohydrates may help stunt the growth of prostate tumors, as per a new study led by Duke Prostate Center researchers. The study, in mice, suggests that a reduction in insulin production possibly caused by fewer carbohydrates may stall tumor growth.

This study showed that cutting carbohydrates may slow tumor growth, at least in mice, said Stephen Freedland, M.D., a urologist at Duke University Medical Center and lead researcher on the study. If this is ultimately confirmed in human clinical trials, it has huge implications for prostate cancer treatment through something that all of us can control, our diets.

Freedland conducted most of the research for this study while doing a fellowship in urology at Johns Hopkins Brady Urological Institute under the tutelage of William Isaacs, Ph.D., a molecular geneticist there.

The scientists published their results on November 13, 2007 in the online edition of the journal Prostate. The study was funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Surgery and the Division of Urology at Duke University Medical Center, the Prostate Cancer Foundation, and the Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program.

The scientists hypothesized that since serum insulin and a related substance known as insulin-like growth factor (IGF) had been linked with the growth of prostate tumors in earlier research in mice, a reduction in the bodys levels of these substances might slow tumor growth, Freedland said.........

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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