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April 12, 2006, 5:51 PM CT

Looking For Participant For An Online Survey Of Cancer Blogs

Looking For Participant For An Online Survey Of Cancer Blogs
Survey

Deborah S. Chung, Ph.D. who is Assistant Professor at University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Telecommunications has contacted me about an online survey for cancer patients. This is a study about cancer blog use by cancer patients.

The purpose of this study is to describe characteristics of cancer blog users and their motivations for visiting cancer blogs. In addition, this study hopes to assess behavioral changes after using cancer blogs and to draw associations between everyday use of media and use of cancer blogs.

This study will help cancer information seekers and healthcare providers alike understand how blogs as a new communication tool may potentially help cancer patients seek information and/or communication.

The information collected form this survey will be accessible only to the researchers. No personally identifiable information will be collected, and information will be presented in aggregate form. The survey will be collected on a server with SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) capabilities, which is one of the best providers of Internet security available, but there is always a risk that a third party may intercept the survey answers.

There are no foreseeable risks associated to this study. However, if you feel uncomfortable answering the survey questions, you may choose to skip a question or withdraw from the study at any time.........

Posted by: Sherin      Permalink         Source


April 11, 2006, 11:35 PM CT

Advances In Chemotherapy Improve Outcomes In Breast Cancers

Advances In Chemotherapy Improve Outcomes In Breast Cancers
Recent advances in chemotherapy have significantly reduced the risk of disease recurrence and death in breast cancer patients whose tumors are not hormone sensitive, as per a research studyby scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and 10 other institutions. The findings will be published in the April 12 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The scientists found that breast cancer patients whose disease had spread to the lymph nodes and was estrogen-receptor-negative (ER-negative) and who were received adjuvant therapys with modern chemotherapy had a much greater improvement in their five-year disease-free survival rate (22.8 percent) than those patients with hormone sensitive tumors (ER-positive) who were treated with the same chemotherapy and tamoxifen (7 percent). The improvement in overall survival rate with the newer chemotherapy regimens was 16.7 percent for ER-negative patients and 4 percent for ER-positive patients.

"Our observations add to a growing body of evidence that breast cancer is not one homogeneous disease, but rather a disease with a number of subtypes and requires a variety of new therapy approaches," said Eric Winer, MD, the paper's senior author and director of Dana-Farber's Breast Oncology Center.

Winer and colleagues conducted a retrospective analysis of three large national breast cancer studies that collectively spanned 20 years and involved more than 6,600 patients to assess the cumulative benefits associated with contemporary chemotherapy regimens. These patients had been enrolled in three consecutive studies for patients with node-positive breast cancer conducted by the Cancer and Leukemia Group B, a National Cancer Institute funded cooperative group. They compared the disease-free and survival rates across the three studies for breast cancer patients with ER-negative tumors who were treated with chemotherapy. They did the same for patients with ER-positive tumors who were treated with chemotherapy and tamoxifen. The scientists then compared the rates between ER-negative and ER-positive breast cancer patients.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


April 11, 2006, 11:17 PM CT

More Than Half Of Esophageal Cancer Patients Now Survive

More Than Half Of Esophageal Cancer Patients Now Survive
In part because the nature of the disease has changed, nearly 50 percent of patients with esophageal cancer that undergo an advanced surgical procedure now survive for five years, not 20 percent as once thought, as per an article reported in the April edition of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons. Scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center contend that earlier diagnoses, more widespread screening and individualized care have made surgery by far the best way to combat esophageal cancer as it is most often diagnosed today.

Whether surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or some combination of them should be the standard of care has been debated for years. Until recently, surgery has been considered the gold standard, but its role has been questioned by some medical oncologists based on their assumption that surgery comes with a high risk of complications and small chance of survival. In a number of cases today, oncologists will try chemotherapy and radiation first, completely avoiding surgery. Authors of the current study argue that the information used to make those decisions is dated, and that the surgery is the most effective approach in a number of patients.

"Those who argue against surgery for esophageal cancer cite surgical mortality rates of up to 15 percent and low five-year postoperative survival rates of 20 percent to justify their approach," said Jeffrey H. Peters, M.D., Chair of the Department of Surgery at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) and Surgeon-in-chief of Strong Memorial Hospital. "What's worrying is that therapy decisions are being made based on decades-old experiences with a type of esophageal cancer that most patients no longer have, and on fears about problems with surgery that are no longer a concern. Our study found that the five-year survival of patients after surgical resection for esophageal adenocarcinoma is better than that reported for any other form of treatment," said Peters, co-author of the journal article.........

Posted by: Sue      Permalink         Source


April 11, 2006, 7:07 AM CT

Social Isolation Has Its Toll In Breast Cancer

Social Isolation Has Its Toll In Breast Cancer
A new research has found that women who have few close friends or family members at the time of a breast cancer diagnosis are more likely to die from breast cancer compared to those who have better social support structure.

Study author Dr. Candyce H. Kroenke, of the University of California, Berkeley and San Francisco says that social support is very important in breast cancer. Social isolation can lead to a limitation of access to health care, and can lead to inadequate care and may affect the breast cancer outcome.

Research findings from Kroenke and his colleagues appear in the latest issue of Journal of clinical oncology. The scientists painstakingly analyzed the data from nearly 3,000 women in the Nurses' Health Study to come to this conclusion. These women completed periodic questionnaires, including items correlation to their social networks, such as marital status and number and frequency of contacts with close friends and relatives, and their social-emotional support, or their having a confidant.

The scientists found that socially isolated women, including those with few relatives or friends and who did not belong to any church or community groups, were 66 percent more likely to die from all causes and twice as likely to die from breast cancer than those who were the most socially integrated.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink


April 10, 2006, 8:10 PM CT

Hormone Use Linked To Increased Breast Cancer Risk

Hormone Use Linked To Increased Breast Cancer Risk
Hormone treatment appears to be associated with increased risk of breast cancer among black women, with a stronger link for leaner women, as per a research studyin the April 10 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Prior research has suggested that the long-term use of female hormone treatment is associated with an increased risk of developing breast cancer, as per background information in the article. However, most of the women in the largest studies have been white, and few studies have looked at the risks specifically in black women.

Lynn Rosenberg, Sc.D., of Slone Epidemiology Center, Boston University, and his colleagues examined the association in 23,191 women age 40 years or older who were part of the Black Women's Health Study, conducted by researchers at Boston University and Howard University, Washington, D.C. The participants filled out an initial questionnaire about medical history, menopausal status and hormone use when they enrolled in the study in 1995. Follow-up questionnaires that also included questions about the development of breast cancer were completed every two years through the year 2003. The women's body mass index (BMI) was calculated by dividing their weight in kilograms by the square of their height in meters.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


April 10, 2006, 7:53 PM CT

New Genetic Subtypes Of Myeloma

New Genetic Subtypes Of Myeloma
Researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and collaborators have identified four distinct genetic subtypes of multiple myeloma, a deadly blood cancer, that have different prognoses and might be treated most effectively with drugs specifically targeted to those subtypes.

A new computational tool based on an algorithm designed to recognize human faces plucked the four distinguishing gene patterns out of a landscape of a number of DNA alterations in the myeloma genome, the scientists report in the recent issue of Cancer Cell.

These results "define new disease subgroups of multiple myeloma that can be correlated with different clinical outcomes," wrote the authors, led by Ronald DePinho, MD, director of Dana-Farber's Center for Applied Cancer Science.

Not only do the findings pave the way for therapys tailored to a patient's specific form of the disease, they also narrow down areas of the chromosomes in myeloma cells likely to contain undiscovered genetic flaws that drive myeloma, and which might turn out to be vulnerable to targeted designer drugs.

Kenneth Anderson, MD, medical director of the Jerome Lipper Multiple Myeloma Center at Dana-Farber and an author of the paper, said the findings "allow us to predict how patients will respond to current therapys based on a genetic analysis of their disease." In addition, the findings "identify a number of new genes implicated in the cause and progression of myeloma, and the product of those genes can be targeted with novel therapies."........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


April 10, 2006, 7:33 PM CT

Detecting Oral Cancer

Detecting Oral Cancer
Scientists supported by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, part of the National Institutes of Health, report today their initial success using a customized optical device that allows dentists to visualize in a completely new way whether a patient might have a developing oral cancer.

Called a Visually Enhanced Lesion Scope (VELScope), this simple, hand-held device emits a cone of blue light into the mouth that excites various molecules within our cells, causing them to absorb the light energy and re-emit it as visible fluorescence. Remove the light, and the fluorescence of the tissue is no longer visible.

Because changes in the natural fluorescence of healthy tissue generally reflect light-scattering biochemical or structural changes indicative of developing tumor cells, the VELScope allows dentists to shine a light onto a suspicious sore in the mouth, look through an attached eyepiece, and watch directly for changes in color. Normal oral tissue emits a pale green fluorescence, while potentially early tumor, or dysplastic, cells appear dark green to black.

Testing the device in 44 people, the results of which are published online in the Journal of Biomedical Optics, the researchers found they could distinguish correctly in all but one instance between normal and abnormal tissue. Their diagnoses were confirmed to be correct by biopsy and standard pathology.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


April 10, 2006, 7:29 PM CT

Appetite-inducing Hormone Receptor In Breast Cancer

Appetite-inducing Hormone Receptor In Breast Cancer Hassane Amlal, PhD, and Sulaiman Sheriff, PhD, believe there may be a link between neuropeptide Y's receptor, Y1, and breast cancer development.
A hormone receptor with regulatory roles as diverse as food intake, fear response, and cardiovascular function may also be involved in breast cancer, as per UC researchers.

The UC research team, led by Hassane Amlal, PhD, and Sulaiman Sheriff, PhD, report their laboratory findings on the hormone, neuropeptide Y, and its receptor in the April edition of the journal Cancer Research.

Earlier studies have shown that neuropeptide Y's receptor, known as Y1, is overproduced in human ovarian, prostate and breast cancers. This study, however, is the first to demonstrate that the Y1 receptor is actually working in breast cancer cells and can be "turned on" by excessive estrogen-a known cause of about 60 to 70 percent of breast cancers, they say.

"The high incidence and activity of the Y1 receptor in human breast tumor cells suggests that it may play an important role in breast cancer," explains Dr. Sheriff, a UC research assistant professor in the department of surgery.

Pilot data suggests that about 40 percent of all breast cancer patients have increased levels of the Y1 receptor, he says.

"We knew this receptor was overproduced in breast cancer tissue," adds Dr. Amlal, a research assistant professor in the department of internal medicine, "but now the real question is what does it do in breast cancer cells, and how can we use it as a target to fight cancer".........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


April 10, 2006, 7:08 PM CT

Nano-technology To Kill Cancer Cells

Nano-technology To Kill Cancer Cells
Research studies, based at the University of Pennsylvania, demonstrate that biodegradable nano-particles containing two potent cancer-fighting drugs are effective in killing human breast tumors. The unique properties of the hollow shell nano-particles, known as polymersomes, allow them to deliver two distinct drugs, paclitaxel, the leading cancer drug known by brand names such as Taxol, and doxorubicin directly to tumors implanted in mice. Their findings, presented online in the journal Molecular Pharamaceutics, illustrate the broad clinical potential of polymersomes.

"The system provides many advantages over other Trojan horse-style drug delivery system, and should prove a useful tool in fighting many diseases," said Dennis Discher, a professor in Penn's School of Engineering and Applied Science and a member of Penn newly established Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics. "Here we show that drug-delivering polymersomes will break down in the acidic environment of the cancer cells, allowing us to target these drugs within tumor cells." .

One key feature of molecular mechanism involves putting pores in the cancer cell membranes and has been simulated with supercomputers by Michael F. Klein and Goundla Srinivas of Penn's Department of Chemistry. While cell membranes and liposomes (vesicles often used for drug-delivery) are created from a double layer of fatty molecules called phospholipids, a polymersome is comprised of two layers of synthetic polymers. The individual polymers are degradable and considerably larger than individual phospholipids but have a number of of the same chemical features. This results in a structure that looks like a very small cell or virus.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


April 9, 2006, 8:09 PM CT

Timing Of Radiation Treatments For Colon Cancer

Timing Of Radiation Treatments For Colon Cancer
Researchers have unexpectedly discovered that mice with the gene defect that causes colon cancer in humans can differ from normal mice in how they respond to radiation therapys. The large intestine carrying the gene defect in mice that received staggered doses of radiation was three to four times more resistant to the radiation than in control mice.

The researchers, led by Bruce Boman, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Division of Genetic and Preventive Medicine at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and at Jefferson's Kimmel Cancer Center and Dennis Leeper, Ph.D., professor of radiation oncology at Jefferson Medical College, say these results may have implications for treating patients with colon cancer, which is a tumor that frequently has mutations in a gene called APC.

They reported their findings this week at the 2006 annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Washington, D.C. (Stem Cell Number and Radiation Resistance During Repair in Colonic Crypts of APC Mice: Abstract no. LB-311).

Researchers have known that patients' colon tumors with APC mutations have an increased amount of survivin, a protein that halts the process of programmed cell death. This increase also appears to be associated with a rise in the number of stem cells that sit at the bottom of colonic crypts, tube-like structures that make up the lining of the intestine. Drs. Leeper and Boman wanted to see if there was a difference in stem cell number between normal mice and mice that carry a mutation in APC. To do this, they exposed both normal and mutant mice to radiation, testing their ability to repair the resulting DNA damage. They speculated that increased survivin in the mutant mice might enable more stem cells to survive and affect the response to radiation. The scientists asked if mice with an APC mutation, making them prone to develop colon cancer, are different from normal mice in radiation sensitivity and their ability to repair the damage. Normal cells can repair DNA damage from radiation, Dr. Leeper explains.........

Posted by: Sue      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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