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June 14, 2006, 0:07 AM CT

Pancreatic Cancer Surgery Can Help Those Over 80

Pancreatic Cancer Surgery Can Help Those Over 80
Age doesn't necessarily have to be the deciding factor for cancer surgery, Jefferson Medical College surgeons have found.

Pancreas cancer surgeon Charles J. Yeo, M.D., Samuel D. Gross Professor and chair of surgery at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia and Jefferson's Kimmel Cancer Center, and colleagues studied records of pancreatic surgery during the last 35 years at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and found that contrary to what a number of both in and out of medicine may believe, major pancreas cancer surgery can successfully be performed on patients in their 80s, 90s and even older.

In the study, reported recently in the Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery, Dr. Yeo and co-workers examined records of nearly 2,700 cases of the standard Whipple operation for pancreatic disease, including cancer. Of these, about 1,000 operations were performed in the last four years. The Whipple procedure entails the surgical removal of the head of the pancreas, the duodenum (part of the small intestine), part of the common bile duct, the gallbladder and sometimes a portion of the stomach.

Of this group, 207 patients were 80 years old or older. Those who were 80 to 89 years of age had a mortality rate of 4.1 percent (8 of 197), and a complication rate of 52.8 percent. Those younger than 80 years old had a mortality rate of 1.7 percent, with a complication rate of 41.6 percent. Of 10 patients 90 or older, the scientists reported no deaths after surgery, though half had complications. Of those 80 to 89 years old, 59.1 percent lived for at least one year, while 60 percent of patients 90 years and older lived that long after surgery.........

Posted by: Sue      Permalink         Source

June 13, 2006, 6:42 AM CT

Kylie Minogue Returns To Stage

Kylie Minogue Returns To Stage
Good news for pop music lovers! Kylie Minogue is back on the stage. Kylie Minogue sang to a delighted crowd in London last weekend in her first live performance since she was diagnosed with breast cancer last year. With a sporting short, beautifully cropped hair and her popular wide smile, the 38-year-old joined her younger sister, Dannii, who waccording toforming at the Astoria on Saturday night.

This was a surprise appearance for Kylie and she sang the chorus of Dannii's song "Jump To The Beat".

Daily Mirror showed pictures of the two sisters hugging each other on the stage, with Minogue looking as radiant and sparkling as ever despite her fight against breast cancer.

Kylie Minogue was diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2005 while she was preparing for the Australian leg of her Showgirl Tour.

With the diagnosis of breast cancer Minogue postponed her Australian and Asian tours and had undergone breast cancer surgery in Melbourne and had received further therapy in Europe.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink

June 12, 2006, 8:55 PM CT

New Test Identifies Patients Who Benefit From Targeted Cancer Drugs

New Test Identifies Patients Who Benefit From Targeted Cancer Drugs
The Weisenthal Cancer Group today announced that clinical data published at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) show that a new laboratory test it has developed accurately identified patients who would benefit from therapy with the molecularly-targeted anti-cancer therapies gefitinib (Iressa, AstraZeneca) and erlotinib (Tarceva®, Genentech). The new test, called the EGFRx- assay, predicted accurately for the survival of patients treated with the targeted drugs. The finding is important because the EGFRx- test, which can also be applied to a number of emerging targeted cancer drugs, could help to help to solve the growing problem of knowing which patients should receive costly, new therapys that can have harmful side-effects and which work for some but not all cancer patients who receive them.

Larry Weisenthal, M.D., Ph.D., a medical oncologist and developer of the EGFRx assay explains that the new test relies upon what he calls "Whole Cell Profiling" in which living tumor cells are removed from an individual cancer patient and exposed in the laboratory to the new drugs. A variety of metabolic and apoptotic measurements are then used to determine if a specific drug was successful at killing the patient's cancer cells. The whole cell profiling method differs from other tests in that it assesses the activity of a drug upon combined effect of all cellular processes, using several metabolic and morphologic endpoints. Other tests, such as those which identify DNA or RNA sequences or expression of individual proteins often examine only one component of a much larger, interactive process.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source

June 12, 2006, 6:53 AM CT

A Sea Of Pink Ribbons

A Sea Of Pink Ribbons Image credit: Ankur Dholakia/The Detroit News
Woodward Avenue turned into a sea of pink ribbons when tens of thousand walked and ran through the streets in Detroit. This was in support of the fund-raiser for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and to raises public awareness of breast cancer.

Thousands of men and women gathered under the sunny skies and joined various programs including walking, jogging and running long distances. The walk and run stated at Woodward and ended at Comerica Park. The morning presented a mixture of sweetness and bitterness as the participants enjoyed the triumphs and remembered their loved ones who lost their lives to breast cancer.

Jan Tevelman, a 55-year-old Sterling Heights resident, has participated for nine years, since her sister was diagnosed with breast cancer.

This year, Tevelman was a volunteer coordinator for various teams in the event. Her sister died six years ago and as a number of as 176 friends and relatives have since run the race in her honor.

"It was a wonderful, wonderful day," Tevelman said. "It means so much to my family to be here. Lots of my sister's friends and co-workers come and join us. It is a wonderful tribute".

In 1982 the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation was founded by Nancy Brinker as a way to honor her sister, who died of the disease at age 36.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source

June 11, 2006, 11:28 AM CT

Approaches To Cervical Cancer Prevention

Approaches To Cervical Cancer Prevention
JHPIEGO demonstrates that a "single visit approach" using Visual Inspection with Acetic acid (VIA) is safe, acceptable, feasible and cost-effective.

Cervical cancer is the leading cause of death among women in developing countries. From December 4-7, 2005, Ministries of Health, U.S. government agencies, leading clinical experts and reproductive health professionals from the United States, Asia, Africa and Latin America will convene in Bangkok, Thailand to address cervical cancer prevention in low-resource settings.

With funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Glaxo Smith Kline and Digene, JHPIEGO, an international health affiliate of The Johns Hopkins University, is sponsoring this meeting "Preventing Cervical Cancer: From Research to Practice", in collaboration with the Chulalongkorn University Faculty of Medicine.

The Royal Thai Ministry of Public Health and JHPIEGO's President and CEO Leslie D. Mancuso, PhD, RN, FAAN, welcome an international panel of speakers, including Paul D. Blumenthal, Professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Dr. Khunying Kobchitt Limpaphayom, JHPIEGO's Cervical Cancer Project Director, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University and representatives from the World Health Organization. More than 100 participants from more than 15 countries will learn about innovative cervical cancer screening techniques and how to implement a high-quality, sustainable program. "JHPIEGO is honored to host this global meeting to share the proven, life-saving strategies, innovative service delivery and training approaches, as well as community mobilization and education techniques. Hopefully we'll also inspire attending countries to adopt these screening methods. On a scientific-level, we're talking about reducing the incidence of invasive cervical cancer in a cost-effective way. But on a human-level, we're talking about saving mothers, grandmothers, wives, sisters and friends," comments Dr. Mancuso.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source

June 10, 2006, 6:38 PM CT

FDA aaproves Cervical Cancer Vaccine

FDA aaproves Cervical Cancer Vaccine
A vaccine that protects against the virus known to cause most cervical cancers was given the blessing of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel Thursday.

The vaccine, Gardasil, is expected to get full FDA approval on June 8, and the national Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will then decide whether to include the vaccine in routine vaccination schedules. Gardasil, which is manufactured by Merck & Co., would then become the first vaccine to be approved for the prevention of cervical cancer.

Experts noted the development of this type of vaccine is unquestionably a good thing.

"This will be a very important advance for public health for women," said Dr. Jay Brooks, chairman of hematology/oncology at the Ochsner Clinic Foundation, in Baton Rouge, La.

"It's a very positive thing. There's no negative that I can think of," echoed Dr. Nicholas Klein, director of obstetrics and gynecology at Nyack Hospital, in Nyack, N.Y. "It's a great step forward in possibly preventing cervical cancer".

There are, however, some important remaining questions.

"This can have a tremendous effect on women's health," said Dr. Daniel H. Smith, chief of the gynecologic oncology division at Hackensack University Medical Center's Cancer Center, in New Jersey. "Having said that, to me, the real issue is who should be treated, and when".........

Posted by: Emily      Permalink         Source

June 10, 2006, 6:13 PM CT

Improving Radiation Therapy

Improving Radiation Therapy Avraham Dilmanian
Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory and his colleagues at Stony Brook University, the IRCCS NEUROMED Medical Center in Italy, and Georgetown University say improvements they have made to an experimental form of radiation treatment that has been under investigation for a number of years could make the technique more effective and eventually allow its use in hospitals. Results on the improved method, which was tested in rats, will be published online this week by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The technique, microbeam radiation treatment (MRT), previously used a high-intensity synchrotron x-ray source such as a superconducting wiggler at Brookhaven's National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS) to produce parallel arrays of very thin (25 to 90 micrometers) planar x-ray beams (picture the parallel panels of window blinds in the open position) instead of the unsegmented (solid), broad beams used in conventional radiation therapy. Prior studies conducted at Brookhaven and at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble, France, demonstrated MRT's ability to control cancerous tumors in animals with high radiation doses while subjecting adjacent normal tissue to little collateral damage.

But the technique has limitations. For one thing, only certain synchrotrons can generate its very thin beams at adequate intensity, and such facilities are available at only a few research centers around the world.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source

June 10, 2006, 6:06 PM CT

Diagnostic Breakthrough In Burkitt Lymphoma

Diagnostic Breakthrough In Burkitt Lymphoma IMAGE CREDIT: Gregory Schuler, NCBI, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA.
An international research study involving the University of Nebraska Medical Center, the National Cancer Institute and 10 other institutions has successfully identified the gene expression signature for Burkitt lymphoma. The discovery, which is published in the June 8 edition of The New England of Medicine, will allow physicians to better diagnose and treat Burkitt lymphoma and better distinguish it from another more common form of cancerous lymphoma.

Burkitt lymphoma is a rare aggressive B cell lymphoma that accounts for 30 to 50 percent of lymphomas in children but only 1 to 2 percent of lymphomas in adults. Burkitt lymphoma is rapidly fatal if untreated, but it is curable with intensive treatment.

Burkitt lymphoma features a high degree of proliferation of the cancerous cells and deregulation of the c-myc gene, which is characteristic of Burkitt lymphoma. The distinction between Burkitt lymphoma and diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL), the most common form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in adults, is critical, because the management of these two diseases differs. About 300 new cases of Burkitt lymphoma, typically in children, are diagnosed in the U.S. each year.

Whereas a relatively low-dose chemotherapy regimen is typically used to treat DLBCL, this regimen is inadequate for Burkitt lymphoma, which requires intensive chemotherapy. In addition, because of the high risk of central nervous system involvement with Burkitt lymphoma, it is essential that intrathecal or systemic chemotherapy that crosses the blood-brain barrier be administered. This type of chemotherapy is unnecessary in most cases of DLBCL.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source

June 7, 2006, 6:58 AM CT

Treatment Options For Patients With Brain Metastases

Treatment Options For Patients With Brain Metastases Image courtesy of University of Western Ontario
Adding whole-brain radiation treatment to highly-focused radiation treatment does not improve survival for patients with cancer and brain metastases, but it may reduce the likelihood of the recurrence of brain metastases, as per a research studyin the June 7 issue of JAMA.

Brain metastases (lesions in the brain due to spread of cancers occurring elsewhere) occur in 20 percent to 40 percent of all patients with cancer and are generally associated with a poor prognosis, as per background information in the article. It has been believed that in brain metastases, the entire brain is "seeded" with micrometastatic disease, even when only a single intracranial lesion is detected. Consequently, whole-brain radiation treatment (WBRT), which has possible adverse effects, has been the dominant therapy. Recently, the assumption that the entire brain is seeded with micrometastases has been questioned. For patients who truly have limited intracranial disease, the potential exists that WBRT could be replaced by more focused therapeutic options such as resection (partial surgical removal) or stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), which delivers high-dose, focal radiation, with less long-term adverse effects than WBRT. These therapies have been used with increasing frequency. It has been unclear whether adding WBRT to SRS improves survival or neurologic function compared with SRS alone.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink

June 7, 2006, 6:49 AM CT

Yoga Helps With Breast Cancer Treatment

Yoga Helps With Breast Cancer Treatment
Women who are undergoing therapy for breast cancer may get benefit from yoga according to a recent report from M.D. Anderson cancer center. The study participants performed regular yoga consisting of meditation, relaxation, imagery, controlled breathing, stretching and physical movements. Women who participated in yoga scored much better in physical well being compared to women who did not participate in yoga.

This was a small pilot study, which focused on 61 women who had surgery for breast cancer and were getting radiation therapy. About half of these women took part in twice a week yoga classes. Other half served as control group.

Investigators assessed the two groups of participants using questionnaires. The questionnaire was aimed at evaluation of their general health and measured factors such as ability to lift groceries walk a mile and perform other physical activities. They also were asked about feelings of fatigue, their sense of well being and other aspects of their quality of life.

The study showed that women who participated in yoga consistently had higher scores in almost every area. Improvement was most marked in areas of a physical function. Woman who participated in yoga had better general health, were less fatigued and had fewer problems with daytime sleepiness. But there were no differences between the groups in measurements of depression or anxiety.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink

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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. Archives of cancer-blog

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