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July 12, 2007, 5:51 AM CT

Tumor Blood Flow Can Improve Chemotherapy

Tumor Blood Flow Can Improve Chemotherapy
A therapy for neuroblastoma that lands a one-two punch works best when the second punch is timed to take maximum advantage of the first one, as per results of studies at St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital. Neuroblastoma is a pediatric solid tumor that arises from cells in the peripheral nervous system.

The finding holds promise for improving neuroblastoma therapy by using the drug bevacizumab to block VEGF, a protein that stimulates blood vessel growth in tumors and then following with the chemotherapy drug topotecan, which depends on blood vessels to penetrate the tumor and kill the cancer cells. A report on this work appears in the current issue of Clinical Cancer Research.

Results of the current study are particularly important because drugs such as bevacizumab are being reviewed in clinical trials for children with neuroblastoma. However, there are no standard guidelines for how much of the drug to give or when to give it. Such guidelines would be particularly helpful for developing combination treatment with both bevacizumab and chemotherapy drugs, not only for neuroblastoma, but also for other tumors.

The results of our study are a significant step toward establishing such guidelines, said Andrew Davidoff, M.D., director of surgical research at St. Jude, and the reports senior author.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


July 11, 2007, 5:16 AM CT

No strong link between tomatoes and reduced cancer risk

No strong link between tomatoes and reduced cancer risk
A U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) review has found only limited evidence for an association between eating tomatoes and a decreased risk of certain cancers, as per an article published online July 10 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute

Several studies have reported an association between the consumption of tomatoes or lycopene, an antioxidant that gives tomatoes their red hue, and a decreased risk of some cancers, especially prostate cancer. In order for foods and dietary supplements to be labeled with such health claims, the FDA must review and approve these claims based on the available scientific evidence.

In a review article, Claudine Kavanaugh, Ph.D., of the FDA in College Park, Md., and his colleagues describe the agencys November 2005 evaluation of the scientific evidence linking tomatoes or tomato-based foods, lycopene, and reduced cancer risk.

Their review found no evidence that tomatoes reduced the risk of lung, colorectal, breast, cervical, or endometrial cancer. However, there was very limited evidence for associations between tomato consumption and reduced risk of prostate, ovarian, gastric, and pancreas cancers. Based on this assessment, the FDA decided to allow qualified health claims for a very limited association between tomatoes and these four cancers. Their analysis found no credible evidence that lycopene, either in food or in a dietary supplement, was linked to reduced risk of any of the cancers reviewed.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


July 10, 2007, 4:50 AM CT

Western-style 'meat-sweet' Diet Increases Risk Of Breast Cancer

Western-style 'meat-sweet' Diet Increases Risk Of Breast Cancer
A new study finds that the more western the diet -- marked by red meat, starches and sweets -- the greater the risk for breast cancer among postmenopausal Chinese women. As per scientists who conducted the analysis at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, Harvard University, Shanghai Cancer Institute, and Vanderbilt University, the findings mark the first time a specific association between a western diet and breast cancer has been identified in Asian women.

The study, reported in the recent issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, is the latest set of findings derived from the Shanghai Breast Cancer Study, conducted in the 1990s by Wei Zheng, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H, and his colleagues at Vanderbilt University. The Fox Chase scientists identified dietary habits among women in the study based on their reported eating habits, classifying them as either meat-sweet or vegetable-soy eaters.

The Shanghai data gave us a unique look at a population of Chinese women who were beginning to adopt more western-style eating habits, said, Marilyn Tseng, Ph.D. associate member in the population science division at Fox Chase. We found an association between a western-style diet and breast cancer was pronounced in postmenopausal women, particularly heavier women with estrogen receptor-positive tumors.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


July 10, 2007, 4:48 AM CT

Risks, Benefits Of Folic Acid Fortification

Risks, Benefits Of Folic Acid Fortification
Folic acid fortification may prevent neural tube defects, but it may increase the rate of colon cancer.
Since the institution of nationwide folic acid fortification of enriched grains in the mid 1990s, the number of infants born in the United States and Canada with neural tube defects has declined by 20 percent to 50 percent. Concurrent with the institution of fortification, however, the rate at which new cases of colorectal cancer were diagnosed in men and women increased, report scientists at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition.

Research Center on Aging (USDA HNRCA) at Tufts University. Joel Mason, MD, director of the USDA HNRCAs Vitamins and Carcinogenesis Laboratory, and his colleagues analyze the temporal association between folic acid fortification and the rise in colorectal cancer rates, and present their resulting hypothesis in an article in the recent issue of Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention.

Nationwide fortification of enriched grains is generally considered one of the greatest advances in public health policy, says Mason, who is also an associate professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts. But since the time that the food supply in North America was fortified with folic acid, we have been experiencing four to six additional cases of colorectal cancer for every 100,000 individuals each year in comparison to the trends that existed before fortification.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


July 8, 2007, 10:18 PM CT

Cancer-fighting virus shows promise

Cancer-fighting virus shows promise
A virus that has been specifically designed by researchers to be safe to normal tissue but deadly to cancer is showing early promise in a preliminary study, scientists said today at the ESMO Conference Lugano (ECLU), Switzerland.

The virus, called NV1020, is a type of herpes simplex virus modified so that it selectively replicates in virus cells, killing them in the process.

It doesnt replicate in normal, healthy cells, so our hope is that it will help fight cancers without causing side-effects in the rest of the body, said Dr. Axel Mescheder, VP Clinical Research & Development, from the Munich-based biotech company MediGene. The study is conducted in seven leading US-cancer centers, with Dr. Tony Reid from the University of California in San Diego, CA as Principal Investigator. Dr. Mescheder presented preliminary safety and efficacy results and a case report from this ongoing clinical trial in patients with colorectal cancer metastatic to the liver at the meeting.

Dr. Mescheders poster presentation described the case of a patient whose cancer had spread to 10 different places around the liver and four in the lungs. He was given the virus therapy in four weekly infusions direct into blood stream, followed by two cycles of approved chemotherapy.

Six months after therapy, scans showed the liver masses had nearly disappeared. The reduction in the tumor masses was really impressive in this patient, Dr. Mescheder said. The hepatic masses almost disappeared.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


July 8, 2007, 10:11 PM CT

obesity drug and new cancer treatments

obesity drug and new cancer treatments
Based on their surprising discovery that an obesity drug can kill cancer cells, researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine have made a new finding about the drugs effects and are working to design more potent cancer therapys.

Published online today in Nature Structural and Molecular Biology, the study is the first to report how the drug orlistat (Xenical or Alli) binds and interacts with a protein found in tumor cells. The drug blocks the proteins function and causes cell death.

The project started five years ago when Steven Kridel, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Cancer Biology, analyzed prostate cancer cells to see which enzymes were expressed at high levels. His hope was that therapys to inhibit those enzymes could also stop tumor growth.

We observed that a protein known as fatty acid synthase is expressed at high levels in prostate tumor cells, and is fairly absent in normal cells, said Kridel.

Other research has shown that the protein is found in a number of tumor cells including breast, colon, ovarian, liver, lung and brain.

High levels of fatty acid synthase correlate with a poor prognosis so it is a great therapy target, said Kridel. This makes an exciting therapy target because theoretically you dont have to worry about harming nearby healthy tissue.........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


July 8, 2007, 10:06 PM CT

Genetic Risk Factor For Colorectal And Prostate Cancer

Genetic Risk Factor For Colorectal And Prostate Cancer
A study led by scientists at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) has observed that one of seven genetic risk factors previously identified as increasing the probability of developing prostate cancer also increases the probability of developing colorectal cancer. As in the prior prostate cancer study, which was also conducted by USC scientists and reported in the April 2007 edition of Nature Genetics, the colorectal cancer risk factor is located in a region of the human genome devoid of known genes on chromosome 8. The studys complete findings would be reported in the July 8 online edition of Nature Genetics.

This is an important finding because, for the first time, a common genetic risk factor for multiple cancers has been identified, says lead author Christopher Haiman, assistant professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. Adding, There appears to be something fundamental occurring in this region that influences not only colorectal and prostate cancer, but perhaps cancers in general. (Another recently published study, in which USC scientists also were involved, identified variants in this same chromosomal region as playing a predictive role relative to the risk of developing breast cancer.).

For the current colorectal cancer study, the USC team genotyped six of the seven variants previously identified as increasing the risk of prostate cancer development. The samples analyzed totaled 1,807 invasive colorectal cancer cases and 5,511 controls. These samples were drawn from five populations (African Americans, Japanese Americans, Native Hawaiians, Latinos, and European Americans) included in the Multiethnic Cohort Study, an epidemiological study of more than 215,000 people from Los Angeles and Hawaii created in 1993 by Brian Henderson, dean, Keck School of Medicine of USC, and Laurence Kolonel of the University of Hawaii.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


July 5, 2007, 9:34 PM CT

Simple Bladder Cancer Test

Simple Bladder Cancer Test
University of Florida scientists have identified a set of proteins that appear to signal the presence of bladder cancer, a discovery they hope will lead to a simple, fast and noninvasive test that can detect the disease early.

Working with colleagues at the University of Michigan, the researchers used advances in technology to isolate nearly 200 proteins from the urine of patients with and without bladder cancer. Several appear promising as potential biomarkers, including one that studies conducted elsewhere have already associated with liver and ovary cancer. The findings, available online, are scheduled would be reported in the July 6 print edition of the American Chemical Societys Journal of Proteome Research.

Developing a simple dipstick test that would better single out patients whose symptoms are associated with cancer would enable those who simply have an infection to avoid a battery of screenings that typically include cystoscopy, a painful procedure that uses a small camera threaded through the urethra to image the bladders interior. Such a test also could be used to detect cancer sooner, possibly before its signs even surface.

With any cancer, the earlier you find it the better because its not as aggressive in its early stages, and of course its much easier to remove any cancer anywhere in the body if you catch it while its relatively small, said Steve Goodison, an associate professor of surgery at the UF College of Medicine-Jacksonville.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


July 3, 2007, 9:49 PM CT

protecting cancer patients against infertility

protecting cancer patients against infertility
Lyon, France: A promising new treatment for protecting the fertility of women with cancer and auto-immune diseases such as lupus was revealed at the 23rd annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology today (Tuesday 3 July 2007). Dr. Kate Stern, Research Director of the Royal Womens Hospital, Melbourne, Australia, told the conference that her pilot study had shown gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) antagonists were likely to be able to protect the ovary in women receiving potentially toxic doses of chemotherapy. We are now hoping to carry out a randomised controlled trial to assess the long term protective effect of this therapy, she said .

GnRH analogues are usually used in the management of womens disorders that are dependent on oestrogen production, and in IVF therapies. Dr. Stern and her team studied women between the ages of 18 and 35 years who were due to receive high doses of cyclophosphamide, a chemotherapy drug. They knew that GnHR analogues were already used for the temporary suppression of ovulation in infertility therapy, so reasoned that it would be possible to use it to shut down the ovaries temporarily during the time that chemotherapy was administered, and hence protect them from the effect of the drugs.

The women were given the GnRH antagonist cetrorelix by 3 subcutaneous injections, each of them four days apart, concurrently with their chemotherapy. The researchers found that there was evidence that ovarian function was suppressed, but that this returned to normal after chemotherapy stopped. Follicle stimulating hormone levels were up in 73% of the patients, but these also subsequently returned to normal. 94% of the patients resumed spontaneous ovulation and menses within 12 months.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


July 3, 2007, 5:01 AM CT

Fat kills cancer

Fat kills cancer
Scientists in Slovakia have been able to derive mesenchymal stem cells from human adipose, or fat, tissue and engineer them into suicide genes that seek out and destroy tumors like tiny homing missiles. This gene treatment approach is a novel way to attack small tumor metastases that evade current detection techniques and therapys, the scientists conclude in the July 1 issue of Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

These fat-derived stem cells could be exploited for personalized cell-based therapeutics, said the studys lead investigator, Cestmir Altaner, Ph.D., D.Sc., an associate professor in the Cancer Research Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences in Bratislava. Nearly everyone has some fat tissue they can spare, and this tissue could be a source of cells for cancer therapy that can be adapted into specific vehicles for drug transport.

Mesenchymal stem cells help repair damaged tissue and organs by renewing injured cells. They are also found in the mass of normal cells that mix with cancer cells to make up a solid tumor. Scientists believe mesenchymal stem cells see a tumor as a damaged organ and migrate to it, and so might be utilized as a vehicle for therapy that can find both primary tumors and small metastases. These stem cells also have some plasticity, which means they can be converted by the micro environment of a given tissue into specialized cells, Altaner says.........

Posted by: Janet      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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