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October 2, 2006, 9:17 PM CT

Dissolving Jaw Syndrome With Cancer Drug

Dissolving Jaw Syndrome With Cancer Drug
Drugs belonging to the group of bisphosphonates like aredia are good in strengthening the bone in cancer patients including breast cancer. There is a downside to this group of drugs. These drugs can erode the jaw bone and literally dissolve the jaw bone.

This condition, called osteonecrosis of the jaw, is marked by exposed bone in the jaw and can lead to infection, inflammation and pain.

While scientists do not fully understand the condition or what causes it, osteonecrosis of the jaw, or ONJ, appears to occur in individuals who have been treated with drugs called bisphosphonates, which are used to improve bone strength. When treating bone affected by cancer, the bisphosphonates are given intravenously and have been shown to decrease the risk of skeletal complications such as fracture.

"Osteonecrosis of the jaw is not a common condition. It appears to occur in 1 percent to 10 percent of patients with advanced cancer who are on intravenous bisphosphonate treatment a number significant enough that most medical oncologists will see patients with this condition. It is important that scientists learn why it occurs and how best to prevent or treat it," says Catherine Van Poznak, M.D., assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


October 1, 2006, 8:02 PM CT

Scientists Stop Colon Cancer Growth In Mice

Scientists Stop Colon Cancer Growth In Mice
Scientists from Texas were able to stop the growth of colon cancer in mice by blocking just one enzyme. They say that this is a big step against conquering cancer. Even though this was an experiment on mice, these scientists hope that their findings might soon find its way to human cancers including colon cancer.

In cell culture experiments, researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) and the University of Texas at Arlington determined that stopping the activity of a single enzyme called aldose reductase could shut down the toxic network of biochemical signals that promotes inflammation and colon cancer cell growth.

In a dramatic demonstration of the potential of this discovery, they followed up this work with animal studies showing that blocking the production of aldose reductase halted the growth of human colon cancer cells implanted in laboratory mice.

"By inhibiting aldose reductase we were able to completely stop the further growth of colorectal cancer tumor cells," said UTMB professor Satish K. Srivastava, senior author of a paper about the discovery would be published Oct. 1 in the journal Cancer Research.

As per the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, colon cancer is the country's second leading cancer killer. In 2002, the most recent year for which statistics are available, 70,651 men and 68,883 women were diagnosed with colon cancer in the United States; 28,471 men and 28,132 women died from the disease.........

Posted by: Sue      Permalink         Source


October 1, 2006, 7:38 PM CT

Predicting drug sensitivity in lung cancer

Predicting drug sensitivity in lung cancer
What if we can clearly predict which of those patients with non-small cell lung cancer would respond to a cisplatin-based chemotherapy. This would benefit a number of patients with non-small cell lung cancer, since oncologists could use another drug combination to treat these patients. This is what scientists from MD Anderson Cancer Center is trying to achieve.

Non-small cell lung cancer cells with a defective version of a potential tumor suppressor gene are highly resistant to attack by a platinum-based drug usually used to treat the disease, scientists at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center and The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas report in the cover article of the latest issue of Cancer Research.

The gene may provide a potential biomarker for selecting among chemotherapy choices for non-small-cell lung cancer as well as a therapeutic target for restoring the drug cisplatin's punch in treating resistant forms of the disease, says senior author Lin Ji, Ph.D., associate professor in M. D. Anderson's Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery.

Scientists at the two institutions, working under a joint National Cancer Institute Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) in Lung Cancer grant, have identified three tumor-suppressor genes on chromosome 3. The latest paper refines the impact of one of those genes, NPRL2, on the most common form of lung cancer.........

Posted by: Scott      Permalink         Source


October 1, 2006, 7:27 PM CT

Antibiotic Inhibits Cancer Gene

Antibiotic Inhibits Cancer Gene
Have you ever heard of antibiotic called siomycin A? Probably not, but this antibiotic would probably find a place in the fight against cancer. At least that's what the scientists say.

This little-known antibiotic, siomycin A shows early promise as an anti-cancer agent, inhibiting a gene found at higher-than-normal levels in most human tumors, as per scientists at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine.

Their findings are reported in the lastest issue of Cancer Research.

"We chose to target a gene thought to beover-expressed in cancer cells to screen for promising anti-cancer agents," said Andrei Gartel, assistant professor of medicine and of microbiology and immunology at UIC and principal investigator on the study.

The FoxM1 gene is responsible for turning on genes needed for cell proliferation and turning off genes that block proliferation. Uncontrolled proliferation is characteristic of cancer cells.

The scientists developed a new screening system, based on a naturally fluorescent protein called luciferase, to identify small molecules that inhibit proteins that turn genes on and off. Using this system, they identified an antibiotic, siomycin A, that specifically targets FoxM1 without affecting other cell functions.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


September 28, 2006, 10:07 PM CT

Cancer Drug For Rheumatoid Arthritis

Cancer Drug For Rheumatoid Arthritis
The potent cancer drug Gleevec, used to combat leukemia and some gastrointestinal cancers, may be useful in treating rheumatoid arthritis, as per a team of scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Their findings would be reported in the recent issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Eventhough the study shows that Gleevec worked well in mice, the scientists cautioned against doctors using Gleevec for treating rheumatoid arthritis until clinical trials are completed demonstrating its effectiveness and safety for people with the disease.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a painful, chronic autoimmune disorder, characterized by inflammation of the lining of the joints. It affects more than 2 million Americans; up to half of those with the disease are disabled after 15 years due to disfigured joints. Standard treatment for rheumatoid arthritis now includes agents that suppress the immune system, but a number of patients do not benefit from such therapys. They do not get adequate reduction in the symptoms and signs of disease; they may also continue to have damage to their joints or develop side effects that make continued use of such therapies impossible. Thus, new approaches are needed.

Bill Robinson, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine and the study's senior author, led a team that set out to find drugs that might provide additional benefit to rheumatoid arthritis patients. They screened a range of drugs in mice that have a condition similar to human rheumatoid arthritis.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


September 28, 2006, 9:56 PM CT

Radiofreqency Ablation For Ovarian Cancer

Radiofreqency Ablation For Ovarian Cancer
Percutaneous radiofrequency ablation, a procedure that uses a high frequency electric current to kill tumor cells, is effective in achieving local control in selected patients with metastasis from ovary cancer, as per a preliminary study conducted by the department of radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA.

The study consisted of six patients with advanced ovary cancer who underwent radiofrequency ablation to destroy disease that had spread to the liver. "Some studies have shown that patients with advanced ovary cancer can survive longer if they have repeated surgery to remove recurrent or new disease," said Debra Gervais, MD, lead author of the study. "We wanted to see if we could use radiofrequency ablation instead of repeated open surgical resection for some of these patients," she said.

The study observed that, "after a single session, radiofreqency ablation resulted in complete necrosis" in five of the six patients, said Dr. Gervais. "We followed the patients for between eight months and 3.3 years, and four of the five patients had no evidence that the cancer in the area that had been destroyed by radiofrequency ablation had returned," she said.

"Treatment of ovary cancer requires multi-modality approaches including surgery and chemotherapy, but our study indicates that a small number of patients may benefit from radiofrequency ablation instead of repeated surgery," she said.........

Posted by: Emily      Permalink         Source


September 28, 2006, 9:48 PM CT

Pecan Way To Health

Pecan Way To Health
A new research study from Loma Linda University (LLU) shows that adding just a handful of pecans to your diet each day may inhibit unwanted oxidation of blood lipids, thus helping reduce the risk of heart disease. Scientists suggest that this positive effect was in part due to the pecan's significant content of vitamin E.

"Plant foods, including pecans, are rich sources of phytochemicals that can have a unique effect on the body," says LLU researcher Ella Haddad, DrPH, associate professor, department of nutrition, School of Public Health.

Pecans contain different forms of vitamin E known as tocopherols which protects fats from oxidation. Pecans are particularly rich in one form of vitamin E gamma tocopherol.

"We observed that eating pecans increased levels of gamma tocopherol concentrations in the blood and subsequently reduced a marker of lipid oxidation," adds Dr. Haddad.

Oxidation of fats in the blood a process akin to rusting is detrimental to health. When the "bad" cholesterol becomes oxidized, it is more likely to build up and result in arteriosclerosis.

These latest research findings on pecan's healthfulness were reported in the latest issue of Nutrition Research, just released this week. They are from the second phase of a research project designed to evaluate the health benefits of pecans, as per Dr. Haddad. She analyzed blood samples from study participants (a total of 23 men and women between the ages of 25 and 55) who ate two diets: one that contained pecans and one that did not. Participants were randomly placed on either the American Heart Association's Step I diet or a pecan-enriched version of the Step I diet. (The pecan-enriched diet was similar to the Step I diet but replaced 20 percent of calories with pecans). After four weeks on one diet, they then switched to the other diet.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


September 28, 2006, 9:36 PM CT

Anti-angiogenesis To Fight Cancer

Anti-angiogenesis To Fight Cancer Image courtesy of Biovita
A researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health has discovered a new part of the complicated mechanism that governs the formation of blood vessels, or angiogenesis.

The finding may help halt tumor growth in cancer patients, says Emery Bresnick, the senior author on the study, a professor of pharmacology and member of the UW-Madison Paul P. Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The research, reported in the Journal of Cell Biology on Sept. 25, is the first to connect a particular nervous-system chemical to the regulation of blood vessels.

Normally, blood vessels form when wounds heal and during menstruation, pregnancy and fetal development. But impaired blood-vessel development and function are also a major cause of blindness, and tumors rely on new blood vessels as they develop.

Like most critical body processes, angiogenesis is tightly controlled by multiple balancing mechanisms. When Bresnick and his colleagues, including postdoctoral fellow Soumen Paul, began the new study, they were not looking into angiogenesis. Instead, they were studying a protein that regulates the maturation of blood cells, and noticed that it turns on a gene that makes a compound called neurokinin-B, or NK-B.

Aware that NK-B affects cells in the nervous system, Bresnick wondered, "Why would a protein involved in blood-cell formation turn on the gene for a compound that is supposedly involved in regulating the nervous system?".........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


September 27, 2006, 6:47 PM CT

IMRT Cures Prostate Cancer

Results from the largest study of men with prostate cancer treated with high-dose, intensity modulated radiation treatment (IMRT) show that the majority of patients remain alive with no evidence of disease after an average follow-up period of eight years. The 561 patients with prostate cancer treated with IMRT at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center were classified into prognostic risk groups. After an average of eight years, 89 percent of the men in the favorable risk group were disease-free and none of the men in any group developed secondary cancers as a result of the radiation treatment. This report, reported in the October 2006 issue of The Journal of Urology, is the first description of long-term outcomes for patients with prostate cancer using IMRT.

"Our results suggest that IMRT should be the therapy of choice for delivering high-dose, external beam radiotherapy for patients with localized prostate cancer," said Dr. Michael J. Zelefsky, Chief of the Brachytherapy Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering. "We were able to show long-term safety and long-term efficacy in a very diverse group of patients with prostate cancer that we followed a number of for as long as ten years. Despite the fact that some patients had an aggressive form of their disease with high Gleason scores and PSA (prostate specific antigen) levels, the overwhelming majority of patients had good tumor control with neither recurrence of their original cancer nor development of second cancers, which one might have expected from the high doses of radiation," he added.........

Posted by: Mark      Permalink         Source


September 26, 2006, 7:38 PM CT

Investigational Anti-cancer Drug AT9283

Investigational Anti-cancer Drug AT9283
Astex Therapeutics today announced that it had begun dosing first patients in a Phase I/IIa clinical trial of its investigational anti-cancer drug AT9283. Astex discovered AT9283, a potent inhibitor of Aurora kinases, using its innovative fragment-based drug discovery technology, Pyramid-.

This is Astex's second product to enter clinical development. The company's lead product, AT7519, is already in a Phase I trial at sites in the US and the UK. This initial clinical trial of AT9283 is designed to assess safety and tolerability and may provide preliminary evidence of efficacy in patients with haematological malignancies. It is being conducted at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, one of the world's leading oncology centres. Astex plans to initiate additional clinical studies of AT9283 in North America and Europe within the next six months.

In addition to its inhibition of Aurora kinases, AT9283 is highly active against the Gleevec® resistant T315I abl mutation and could benefit patients who have failed therapy with agents such as Gleevec® and Sprycel-. AT9283 is also a potent inhibitor of JAK-2 and the present trial will assess its activity in patients with myeloproliferative disorders linked to activating mutations of this protein.

"We are delighted to have initiated this trial in collaboration with Dr Hagop Kantarjian, a leading expert in the field of leukaemia", said Leon Bushara, Chief Executive Officer of Astex. "Astex has moved two products into clinical development within twelve months, underscoring the unique productivity of our R&D effort. Our objective is to advance at least one new product into clinical trials every year".........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         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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