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Archives Of Cancer-blog From Medicineworld.Org


November 13, 2006, 8:00 AM CT

Vaccine Shows Promise Against Breast Cancer

Vaccine Shows Promise Against Breast Cancer
A diagnosis of breast cancer has taken on a new meaning in the past 10 years, as research has produced a host of new therapies and detection techniques, significantly improving long-term survival for women who have been fighting the disease. To build on these successes, scientists are now harnessing what they have learned about treating breast cancer and applying it to possible methods of prevention to reduce the total occurence rate of the disease. One study presented today at the American Association for Cancer Research's Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research meeting in Boston looks at a specific target in the fight against breast cancer and evaluates a potential vaccine that is yielding promising results for women who are at high-risk for the disease.

Targeted immunoediting of critical pathways responsible for breast cancer development: therapy of early breast cancer using HER-2/neu pulsed dendritic cells.

Multiple genetic targets have been discovered that may help fight breast cancer, including BRCA, estrogen receptors, and HER-2/neu, all of which have been known to predict the severity of disease, recurrence and overall survival. Developing novel therapies that target these specific genetic variances may be extremely beneficial in preventing breast cancer for a number of women.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


November 13, 2006, 7:55 AM CT

Peer And Family Support For Cancer Survivors

Peer And Family Support For Cancer Survivors
Adolescent and young adult cancer patients rank support from family, friends and other cancer survivors as high priority healthcare needs, as per a new University of Southern California study. Reported in the recent issue of CANCER, a peer-evaluated journal of the American Cancer Society, the study reveals this traditionally underserved population of 15-29 year-old cancer survivors feels that socially connecting with other cancer-afflicted peers of the same age may in some cases be more beneficial than receiving support from family and friends, contrary to what their physicians believe.

Led by Brad Zebrack, Ph.D., M.S.W. of the University of Southern California School of Social Work in Los Angeles, scientists conducted a comprehensive survey with oncologists, psychology experts, nurses, social workers and young adult cancer survivors to better characterize the needs of this patient population and rank them in terms of importance.

As per Dr. Zebrack, "health professionals and survivors value highly the support of family and friends. However, meeting other young people who share a common experience becomes an opportunity for young adult cancer patients and survivors to address common concerns, such as coping with uncertainty about one's health and future, feelings of being alone and isolated, body changes, sexuality and intimacy, dating and relationships, and employment issues".........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


November 13, 2006, 7:45 AM CT

Psychological Needs Of Breast Cancer Patients

Psychological Needs Of Breast Cancer Patients
Almost half of newly diagnosed patients with breast cancer are found to have clinically significant emotional distress or symptoms of psychiatric disorders before therapy is begun, as per a new study reported in the recent issue of CANCER, a peer-evaluated journal of the American Cancer Society. The study reveals that while virtually all of the women admitted to,experiencing some level of emotional distress, 47 percent met clinically significant screening criteria for emotional distress or a psychiatric disorder, including major depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Studies have shown that significant emotional distress, including mood disorders and related functional impairments, afflict up to one-third of breast cancer survivors for up to 20 years after therapy. However, little was previously known about the baseline psychological status of newly diagnosed patients with breast cancer.

To help characterize pre-treatment psychological status, Mark T. Hegel, Ph.D. of the Department of Psychiatry and the Norris Cotton Cancer Center of Dartmouth Medical School and his colleagues conducted psychiatric and functional screening of 236 women newly diagnosed with breast cancer.

Their findings indicate that almost one in two women met clinically significant criteria for emotional distress or a psychiatric disorder. The most common problem was moderate to severe emotional distress (41 percent). The most usually reported source of distress was correlation to the cancer diagnosis (100 percent), followed by uncertainty about therapy (96 percent) and concern about physical problems (81 percent). Twenty-one percent of women met criteria for psychiatric disorders, including major depression (11 percent) and PTSD (10 percent). These women also demonstrated significant declines in daily functioning that were due to the emotional disorders. Treatment for their cancer had still not begun.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


November 10, 2006, 5:09 AM CT

Artificial Protein Shows Promise For Cancer

Artificial Protein Shows Promise For Cancer Balamurali K. Ambati
Potentially blinding blood vessel growth in the cornea resulting from eye injury or even surgery can be reduced by more than 50 percent with a new manmade protein, scientists say.

"We believe eventually we'll be able to use this protein to help patients in a number of situations where blood vessel formation is detrimental, including cancer, diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration," says Dr. Balamurali K. Ambati, corneal specialist at the Medical College of Georgia and Augusta Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Dr. Ambati is corresponding author of the study reported in the recent issue of Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science.

The body can produce new blood vessels to promote healing after trauma, such as a corneal transplant, a significant corneal scratch from a contact lens or retinal oxygen deprivation caused by diabetes or aging. This natural response, called angiogenesis, becomes detrimental when new growth obstructs vision or when a tumor pirates the process to survive.

In an animal model, scientists used the protein they developed to reverse obstructive growth as long as one month after injury, says Dr. Ambati. That's a very long time after injury in a mouse's lifetime, indicating even well-established blood vessels are susceptible to intraceptor-mediated regression, he says.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


November 10, 2006, 4:37 AM CT

Antioxidant Therapies And Radiation Treatment

Antioxidant Therapies And Radiation Treatment
Cancer patients can get the vital nutritional benefits from taking antioxidants without the risk of interfering with radiation therapy, as per research findings being presented this weekend at the Society of Integrative Oncology's Third International Conference in Boston. The Society for Integrative Oncology is a non-profit organization of oncologists and other health professionals studying and integrating effective complementary therapies in cancer care.

The study, Effect of Concomitant Naturopathic Therapies on Clinical Tumor Response to External Beam Radiation Therapy for Prostate Cancer, was conducted by scientists at Cancer Treatment Centers of America and evaluated PSA levels of patients with prostate cancer after receiving radiation treatment. Scientists found no difference between patients taking antioxidants and those who did not. Antioxidants used in the study included green tea extract, melatonin, high-potency multivitamins, vitamin C and vitamin E.

Cancer Treatment Centers of America chose this study to address clinical concerns about the use of dietary supplements in conjunction with conventional cancer therapies. The study addressed the concern that antioxidants might interfere with cancer cell oxidation levels that contribute to tumor killing by chemotherapy and radiation treatment.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


November 10, 2006, 4:05 AM CT

Firefighters Face Increased Risk Of Cancers

Firefighters Face Increased Risk Of Cancers
University of Cincinnati (UC) environmental health scientists have determined that firefighters are significantly more likely to develop four different types of cancer than workers in other fields.

Their findings suggest that the protective equipment firefighters have used in the past didn't do a good job in protecting them against cancer-causing agents they encounter in their profession, the scientists say.

The scientists found, for example, that firefighters are twice as likely to develop testicular cancer and have significantly higher rates of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and prostate cancer than non-firefighters. The scientists also confirmed prior findings that firefighters are at greater risk for multiple myeloma.

Grace LeMasters, PhD, Ash Genaidy, PhD, and James Lockey, MD, report these findings in the November edition of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. The UC-led study is the largest comprehensive study to date investigating cancer risk linked to working as a firefighter.

"We believe there's a direct connection between the chemical exposures firefighters experience on the job and their increased risk for cancer," says LeMasters, professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at UC.

Firefighters are exposed to a number of compounds designated as carcinogens by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)--including benzene, diesel engine exhaust, chloroform, soot, styrene and formaldehyde, LeMasters explains. These substances can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin and occur both at the scene of a fire and in the firehouse, where idling diesel fire trucks produce diesel exhaust.........

Posted by: Mark      Permalink         Source


November 8, 2006, 9:26 PM CT

Blocking Gene Improves Radiation Effectiveness

Blocking Gene Improves Radiation Effectiveness
Inhibiting a particular cancer-causing gene can enhance the cell-killing effects of radiation, a team of radiation oncologists and cancer biologists at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia have found.

Adam Dicker, M.D., Ph.D., professor of radiation oncology at Jefferson Medical College and his co-workers used an increasingly common animal model, the zebrafish, and antisense technology to show that the drug flavopiridol works by blocking the activity of the gene, cyclin D1, which is made in excessive amounts in about half of all breast cancers. Using similar techniques in the future, the researchers say, may enable scientists to better gauge the effects of drugs.

As per Dr. Dicker, flavopiridol was found to inhibit cyclins, a family of genes vital to cell functioning. When it was initially tested in clinical trials, it was found to be toxic in humans. But in the laboratory, it added to the cell-killing effects of ionizing radiation, which is used to treat cancer. No one was sure why.

To find out, Dr. Dicker and his group turned to zebrafish. If they understood how the drug was causing toxicity, they or someone else could potentially design molecular copycat drugs that worked just as well, but were less toxic.

"Zebrafish enabled us to add a vertebrate system to examine both efficacy and toxicity issues," he notes.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


November 8, 2006, 9:08 PM CT

Muscle Protein Drives Prostate Cancer

Muscle Protein Drives Prostate Cancer
Scientists at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center have for the first time implicated the muscle protein myosin VI in the development of prostate cancer and its spread.

In a series of lab studies with human prostate cancer cells, the Hopkins researchers were surprised to find overproduction of myosin VI in both prostate tumor cells and premalignant lesions. When the researchers genetically altered the cells to "silence" myosin VI, they discovered the cells were less able to invade in a test tube.

"Our results suggest that myosin VI may be critical in starting and maintaining the cancerous properties of the majority of human prostate cancers diagnosed today," says Angelo M. De Marzo, M.D., Ph.D., a study coauthor and associate professor of pathology, urology and oncology.

The Hopkins work, reported in the recent issue of the American Journal of Pathology, has potential value for better ways to diagnose the disease, treat and track the effects of drugs and surgery. "Targeting myosin VI represents a promising new approach that could lead eventually new approaches to treating the disease," says Jun Luo, Ph.D., senior author of the paper and assistant professor of urology.

Myosins are a class of 40 motor proteins that power cell movement and muscle contractions. Normally, as they work, myosins slide in a single direction along the threads of a protein called actin. But myosin VI moves against the grain, and it does not function as a classical "muscle" protein.........

Posted by: Mark      Permalink         Source


November 7, 2006, 4:59 AM CT

Why Do We Stick To Our Bad Habits?

Why Do We Stick To Our Bad Habits?
Why do we ignore public warnings and advertisements about the dangers of smoking, drinking alcohol, overeating, stressing out and otherwise persist in habits and behaviours that we know aren't good for us?

Because, says a University of Alberta researcher, we aren't getting at the underlying reasons of why we persist in bad habits or risky behaviour.

In two recent case studies asking people to rate the danger of various types of risks including lifestyle habits, it was clear that they understood what types of behaviour are the riskiest, but that knowledge wasn't enough to motivate them to change their ways, said Dr. Cindy Jardine, an assistant professor of rural sociology at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada.

"The results showed that in fact, people have a very realistic understanding of the various risks in their lives. We as risk communicators--scientists, academics, government agencies--have to get beyond the thought of 'If they only understood the facts, they'd change.' They do understand the facts, but we need to look at other factors we haven't been looking at before".

Jardine presented her findings recently at the RiskCom 2006 Conference in Sweden.

In the first case study conducted by Jardine, 1,200 people in Alberta were surveyed in both 1994 and 2005. Lifestyle habits like cigarette smoking, stress and sun-tanning were ranked as the top three risks, being considered more dangerous to the Alberta public than technology or pollution hazards such as chemical contamination, ozone depletion and sour gas wells. Cigarette smoking was ranked as "very dangerous" by 53 per cent of those surveyed in 1994 and by 60 per cent of the respondents surveyed in 2005. Stress was ranked as "very dangerous" by 54 per cent of the people in 1994 and by 65 per cent in 2005. In contrast, sour gas wells were ranked as "very dangerous" by only 24 per cent of the people in 1994 and by 28 per cent in 2005.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


November 5, 2006, 9:06 PM CT

3-D Radiation And Feeding-tube Use

3-D Radiation And Feeding-tube Use Image courtesy of myprimeyears.com
Eventhough current surgical techniques and multi-modality therapy regimens allow organ preservation for a growing number of patients with head and neck cancers, remaining dependent on a feeding tube after therapy is a major problem for these patients. An analysis by Fox Chase Cancer Center scientists sought to identify which therapy-related factors are more likely to avoid feeding-tube dependency.

"Three-dimensional therapy planning appears to have a significant impact on improving quality of life by reducing feeding tube dependency," said medical intern Linna Li, M.D., who presented the results today at the 48th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology in Philadelphia.

The retrospective study analyzed therapy records since 1997 for patients receiving definitive radiation treatment--with or without surgery and chemotherapy--for squamous-cell carcinomas of the throat, including oropharynx, hypoharynx and larynx. Definitive radiotherapy is a curative course of radiation therapy designed to eradicate a known cancer.

Eligible patients--a total of 90--had either stage III or IV cancer with no previous surgery or radiation treatment in the head and neck region and remained cancer-free 18 months or more after completing radiation treatment. The majority of patients were men (82 percent) who had oropharyngeal cancer (63 percent) with a T stage (extent of primary tumor, including size, at diagnosis) of either T2 or T3 (71 percent).........

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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