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December 16, 2008, 8:34 PM CT

Low-income men and advanced prostate cancer

Low-income men and advanced prostate cancer
Low-income men are more likely to present with advanced prostate cancers, most likely because they don't receive screening services shown to reduce the diagnosis of later-stage cancers, a UCLA study found.

The study focused on a group of disadvantaged men enrolled in the state's IMPACT (Improving Access, Counseling and Treatment for Californians with Prostate Cancer) program, which provides high-quality care to poor, underinsured and uninsured men. Scientists observed that of the 570 men studied, 19 percent had metastatic cancer at diagnosis, in comparison to 4 percent of men from the general population who were followed in other studies.

The study also observed that the diagnosis rates for lower-risk, less advanced cancers in the IMPACT patients did not increase over time, while the diagnosis rates of lower-risk, less advanced cancers did go up for men in more affluent populations.

Prior studies have shown that widespread adoption of PSA screening for prostate cancer has resulted in more men being diagnosed with organ-confined, low-risk disease. This trend has not been mirrored among the disadvantaged IMPACT patients, who don't have access to or don't take advantage of screening.

Reported in the February 2009 issue of The Journal of Urology, the study sheds light on the challenges and opportunities that public assistance programs face in reducing cancer-related socioeconomic disparities.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


December 15, 2008, 9:26 PM CT

Breast cancer genome shows evolution

Breast cancer genome shows evolution
A newly published genome sequence of a breast cancer cell line reveals a heavily rearranged genetic blueprint involving breaks and fusions of genes and a broken DNA repair machinery, said scientists at Baylor College of Medicine in a report that appears online in the journal Genome Research

"It's like a computer program that has become buggy and transcends into something dangerous," said Dr. Aleksandar Milosavljevic, associate professor in the BCM Human Genome Sequencing Center. "It makes the cell escape normal controls on cell proliferation. Experimentally, some of the rearrangements in the genome that we found produce fusion genes that confer uncontrolled cell growth and prevent tumor cells from dying, allowing them to grow outside their normal tissue environment. These are all essential attributes of cancer".

"From our standpoint, we are pretty convinced that these genomic translocations may turn out to be prognostic markers and also potential therapeutic targets," said Dr. Adrian Lee, associate professor in the Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center at BCM and a collaborator on the project. Both scientists are researchers in the National Cancer Institute-designated Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center at BCM.

"This is the first study to comprehensively map these genomic translocations to base pair resolution," Lee said. "I think it's pretty clear that the technology Milosavljevic is working with is probably going to change our understanding of breast cancer especially the genetics of breast cancer".........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


December 15, 2008, 5:21 AM CT

Exciting discovery could 'stop cancer from killing people'

Exciting discovery could 'stop cancer from killing people'
Metastasis is the ability of cancer cells to spread from a primary site, to form tumours at distant sites. It is a complex process in which cell motility and invasion play a fundamental role. Essential to our understanding of how metastasis develops is identification of the molecules, and characterisation of the mechanisms that regulate cell motility. Hitherto, these mechanisms have been poorly understood. Now, a team of scientists lead by Professor Marco Falasca at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry has shown not only that the enzyme phospholipase Cγ1 (PLCγ1) plays a crucial role in metastasis formation, but that down regulation of PLCγ1 expression is able to revert metastasis progression.

The team investigated the role of PLCγ1 in cell invasion and metastasis using different approaches to modulate its expression in highly invasive cancer cell lines. Their results showed that PLCγ1 is mandatory for breast cancer cell invasion and activation of the protein Rac1. They revealed a functional link between PLCγ1 and Rac1 that provides insight into processes regulating cell invasion.

Professor Falasca explained: "Consistent with these data we detected an increase in PLC1 expression in metastases in comparison to primary tumours in patients with breast cancer. Therefore PLCγ1 is critical for metastasis formation, and development and inhibition of this enzyme has a therapeutic potential in the therapy of metastasis dissemination".........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


December 15, 2008, 5:17 AM CT

Racial gap growing in colorectal cancer

Racial gap growing in colorectal cancer
A new report from the American Cancer Society says despite unprecedented progress in reducing incidence and death rates from colorectal cancer, the gap between blacks and whites continues to grow. The latest data show death rates are about 45 percent higher in African American men and women than in whites. The data come from Colorectal Cancer Facts & Figures 2008-2010, the second edition of a report first issued in 2005.

Colorectal cancer is the third most usually diagnosed cancer and the third leading cause of cancer death in both men and women in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2008, about 148,810 people will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer and about 49,960 people will die of the disease. The great majority of these cancers and deaths could be prevented by applying existing knowledge about cancer prevention and by increasing access to and use of established screening tests.

Eventhough incidence and mortality rates continue to decrease in both blacks and whites, rates remain higher and declines have been slower among blacks. Differences in incidence and mortality between blacks and whites have actually grown in the three years since the prior edition of the report was published. For example, in the prior report, the incidence rate in white men was 63.1 (per 100,000) in comparison to 72.9 in black men, an absolute difference of 9.8; in the current report, the difference between the incidence rate in white men (58.9 per 100,000) and black men (71.2 per 100,000) increased to 12.3.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


December 11, 2008, 10:24 PM CT

Capture and kill cancer cells in the bloodstream

Capture and kill cancer cells in the bloodstream
A schematic of the two-receptor cancer neutralization concept. Cancer cells present in blood stick and roll on the selectins on the surface of the device. While rolling they bind to TRAIL and accumulate the self-destruct signal. Once they detach from the surface and leave the device, they will die 1-2 days later.

Kuldeep Rana

In a new tactic in the fight against cancer, Cornell researcher Michael King has developed what he calls a lethal "lint brush" for the blood -- a tiny, implantable device that captures and kills cancer cells in the bloodstream before they spread through the body.

The strategy, which takes advantage of the body's natural mechanism for fighting infection, could lead to new therapys for a variety of cancers, said King, who is an associate professor of biomedical engineering.

In research conducted at the University of Rochester and would be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Biotechnology and Bioengineering, King showed that two naturally occurring proteins can work together to attract and kill as a number of as 30 percent of tumor cells in the bloodstream -- without harming healthy cells.

King's approach uses a tiny tubelike device coated with the proteins that could hypothetically be implanted in a peripheral blood vessel to filter out and destroy free-flowing cancer cells in the bloodstream.

To capture the tumor cells in the blood, King used selectin molecules -- proteins that move to the surface of blood vessels in response to infection or injury. Selectin molecules normally recruit white blood cells (leukocytes) which "roll" along their surfaces and create an inflammatory response -- but they also attract cancer cells, which can mimic the adhesion and rolling process.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


December 11, 2008, 10:21 PM CT

Meta-analyses finds in favor of aromatase inhibitors

Meta-analyses finds in favor of aromatase inhibitors
Two separate meta-analyses of clinical trials from around the world that tested tamoxifen against aromatase inhibitor drugs in postmenopausal women with early breast cancer have each reached the same conclusion: aromatase inhibitors are more effective in preventing breast cancer from coming back. Patients using aromatase inhibitors had more than a 3 percent lower cancer recurrence 6-8 years after diagnosis, in comparison to women using tamoxifen alone.

One of these studies also found a significant survival benefit (1.6 percent) for users of aromatase inhibitors, but scientists say not enough time has passed since therapy to judge with confidence whether one drug is superior to another in saving lives. The joint analyses are being presented at the Cancer Therapy & Research Center-American Association for Cancer Research (CTRC-AACR) 31st annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. "Tamoxifen is a good drug, but it looks like aromatase inhibitors may be somewhat better," says James Ingle, M.D., a professor of oncology at Mayo Clinic, who is presenting the results on behalf of the Aromatase Inhibitors Overview Group (AIOG).

"The importance of these findings can be seen from the fact that 80,000 to 90,000 women in the United States alone are using endocrine treatment this year," he says. "While a three percent difference in cancer recurrence may not seem like much, it can mean that several thousand women could be spared from a breast cancer recurrence".........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


December 11, 2008, 5:14 AM CT

Surge in older cancer survivors expected as baby boomers age

Surge in older cancer survivors expected as baby boomers age
The United States could be faced with a national health care crisis in the coming decades as the country's baby boomer population ages and a growing number of elderly adults find themselves diagnosed with and living longer with cancer.

That is the position of a team of scientists from across the country who believe current prevention measures, screening, therapys, and supportive care for older patients at risk of or dealing with cancer are lacking in the US.

In a special supplement issue of the international journal Cancer being released this month - Aging in the Context of Cancer Prevention and Control: Perspectives from Behavioral Health Medicine the scientists say there is an urgent need for clear, evidence-based practice guidelines to assist physicians, oncologists and others who provide short- and long-term care management to elderly adults with cancer.

Only with more immediate research will proper prevention efforts, screening, therapy approaches, post-treatment survivorship and end of life care be put in place to serve this rapidly growing population, the experts say.

Consider these facts:
  • More than 60 percent of all cancerous cancer diagnoses in the U.S. occur in people age 65 or older.
  • There are an estimated 6.5 million adults age 65 or older currently living with a history of cancer in the U.S.
  • ........

    Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


December 8, 2008, 10:30 PM CT

Men with wives more likely to be screened for prostate cancer

Men with wives more likely to be screened for prostate cancer
Eventhough the link between early screening and prostate cancer survival is well established, men are less likely to go for early screening unless they have a wife or significant other living with them, as per a research studypublished in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

"In terms of motivating people to get screened, there may be benefit in targeting wives or significant others as well as men," said lead author Lauren P. Wallner, M.P.H., a graduate research associate at the University of Michigan.

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among men in the United States, and early detection is linked to drastically improved five-year survival rates. However, what motivates a man to get screened is not known.

Wallner and his colleagues identified 2,447 Caucasian men ages 40 years to 79 years from Olmstead County, Minnesota. These men completed questionnaires containing queries on family history of prostate cancer, concern about getting prostate cancer and marital status.

If men had a family history of prostate cancer, they were 50 percent more likely to be screened. If men said they were worried about prostate cancer, they were nearly twice as likely to be screened.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


December 8, 2008, 10:27 PM CT

Selenium may prevent high risk-bladder cancer

Selenium may prevent high risk-bladder cancer
A study reported in the recent issue of Cancer Prevention Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, suggests that selenium, a trace mineral found in grains, nuts and meats, may aid in the prevention of high-risk bladder cancer.

Scientists from Dartmouth Medical School compared selenium levels in 767 individuals newly diagnosed with bladder cancer to the levels of 1,108 individuals from the general population. Findings showed an inverse association between selenium and bladder cancer among women, some smokers and those with p53 positive bladder cancer.

In the entire study population, there was no inverse association between selenium and bladder cancer, but women (34 percent), moderate smokers (39 percent) and those with p53 positive cancer (43 percent) had significant reductions in bladder cancer with higher rates of selenium.

"There are different pathways by which bladder cancer evolves and it is thought that one of the major pathways involves alterations in the p53 gene," said corresponding author Margaret Karagas, Ph.D., professor of community and family medicine of the Norris Cotton Cancer Center at Dartmouth. "Bladder cancers stemming from these alternations are linked to more advanced disease."

While other studies have shown a similar association between selenium and bladder cancer among women, this study is one of the first to show an association between selenium and p53 positive bladder cancer.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


December 8, 2008, 10:18 PM CT

Oldest old 'hanging in the balance?'

Oldest old 'hanging in the balance?'
A lack of clear-cut, scientific evidence illustrating the benefits of mammography screening in women over 80 has created a trail of controversy leading to a disturbing conclusion about cancer care in America. "We are ill-prepared from a scientific knowledge perspective to provide cancer health care rationally, ethically, equitably and humanely to the 'booming' older population," say two leading cancer researchers.

In an editorial published online today in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO), Jeanne S. Mandelblatt , MD, MPH, of Georgetown's Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, and co-author Rebecca Silliman, MD, MPH, PhD, of Boston University Medical Center, address the lack of scientific evidence available regarding cancer screening interventions for older Americans an issue at the heart of a controversial breast cancer screening study reported in the JCO earlier this year.

This study used observational data to provide evidence about the effectiveness of mammography screening in older women, in the absence of clinical trials.

In the current editorial, Mandelblatt and Silliman explore the study's biases, all of which make screening seem more beneficial than it may actually be. If, as the editorial authors conclude, reduction in mortality is the appropriate metric to determine the effectiveness of screening then "at this time, we are left with the fact that there is no evidence that screening women 80 and older with mammography results in reductions in mortality".........

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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