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June 26, 2006, 10:30 PM CT

Mushrooms Are Antioxidants

Mushrooms Are Antioxidants Image courtesy of
Don't believe that vegetables are the only good source for dietary antioxidants. A number of sof the mushrooms particularly portabella and crimini mushrooms rank with carrots, green beans, red peppers and broccoli as good sources of dietary antioxidants, according to researches from Penn State.

Dr. N. Joy Dubost, measured the activity of two antioxidants, polyphenols and ergothioneine, present in mushrooms, using the ORAC assay and HPLC instrumentation, as part of her dissertation research. She has demonstrated that portabella mushrooms had an ORAC value of 9.7 micromoles of trolox equivalents per gram and criminis had an ORAC value of 9.5. Data available from other scientists shows carrots and green beans have an ORAC value of 5; red pepper 10; and broccoli 12.

The ORAC assay, the most well known test of antioxidant capacity, focuses on the peroxyl radical, the most predominate in the human body. Free radicals, such as the peroxyl radical, are thought to play a role in the aging process and in a number of diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer's and atherosclerosis. Epidemiological studies have shown that those who eat the most fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants have lower incidence of these diseases.

Dubost detailed her results in a paper, Quantification of Polyphenols and Ergothioneine in Cultivated Mushrooms and Related to Total Antioxidant Capacity Using the ORAC and HORAC Assays, presented Monday, June 26, at the Institute of Food Technologists meeting in Orlando, Fl. Her co-author is her dissertation adviser, Dr. Robert Beelman, professor of food science.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source

June 26, 2006, 7:00 AM CT

Chemotherapy During Pregnancy

Chemotherapy During Pregnancy
Breast cancer diagnosis can happen to a woman while she is awaiting the birth of a baby. About 3,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States while they are pregnant. If a woman develops breast cancer during her pregnancy, she has often to choose between taking chemotherapy drugs, which could be harmful for the fetus, and not taking any chemotherapy drugs during pregnancy, which would increase the risk of breast cancer progression.

A new study suggests that in most of the cases women can have chemotherapy during pregnancy without causing damage to the fetus. These findings come from a recent research conducted by Dr. Richard Theriault and his colleagues from M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston.

"Treating women who have breast cancer diagnosed while pregnant can result in happy mothers and the expected outcome of a healthy baby".

In this study the scientists followed 57 pregnant women with breast cancer. Among these women deliveries occurred between 37 weeks and 42 weeks of gestation, and mean birth weight of the babies was 6.4 pounds. Fifty-seven percent of the women had a vaginal delivery and thirty-nine percent had a Caesarian delivery.

"The attitude we hear most often is, 'we can't treat the cancer because of the pregnancy,' " Theriault said. Doctors then offered patients one of two options: "Delay the therapy, or terminate the pregnancy, so we can treat it. But terminating the pregnancy doesn't improve the mother's outcome. It does, however, obviate the concern about fetal outcomes".........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink

June 24, 2006, 11:48 PM CT

Role of Environment in Women's Smoking

Role of Environment in Women's  Smoking
Scientists have long known that reasons for smoking include social pressure and other environmental factors, as well as genetic factors based on results of prior twin studies. Now a more comprehensive study of twins by scientists at the University of Southern California (USC) has provided a better understanding of these complex influences. They found that women are far more likely than men to start smoking because of environmental factors, whereas genetic factors appear to play a larger role in influencing men to start smoking.

However, the study, which appears in the current issue of the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, found no differences between the sexes in factors correlation to continued smoking, which appeared to be strongly influenced by genetics. The study, entitled "Gender Differences In Determinants of Smoking Initiation and Persistence in California Twins," looked at factors that influenced twins to start smoking and to continue smoking.

With regard to starting smoking, there was a significant difference between men and women, said Ann Hamilton, assistant professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and lead author on the study. "Heritability, which reflects factors correlation to genetic effects, was stronger in men; however, among men who communicated with each other at least weekly, the heritable effect was reduced. This may indicate that the heritable effect in men could be overestimated or able to be affected by environmental factors."........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source

June 24, 2006, 11:25 PM CT

Better Lymph Node Staging For Colorectal Cancer

Better Lymph Node Staging For Colorectal Cancer
Techniques that identify the key lymph nodes and the lymph channels that drain areas of the colon or rectum where cancer is located can identify more patients with lymph nodes that contain cancer. Patients with nodes positive for cancer - stage III diagnosis -benefit from chemotherapy.

Patients who don't have positive nodes - stage II - have less benefit from chemotherapy and deciding whether the risk outweighs the benefit is difficult for both doctors and patients.

Because it is important to make sure that the staging is accurate, better techniques to locate lymph nodes and test them for cancer may find patients who are need to have their cancer upstaged from stage II to stage III and be treated with chemotherapy after their surgery.

Using a technique called lymphatic mapping along with identification of sentinel nodes, surgeons at the John Wayne Cancer Center in California found that 1 in 4 stage II patients had cancer that had spread to very small lymph nodes and were actually stage III.

Surgeons were able to locate sentinel nodes in almost all patients. Pathologists located the rest. Dye was used to stain the sentinel nodes and their lymphatic channels during surgery so that small nodes could be found and tested during the pathological examinations after surgery critical to accurate staging.........

Posted by: Sue      Permalink         Source

June 23, 2006, 5:08 AM CT

Cadmium Exposure Increases Breast Cancer Risk

Cadmium Exposure Increases Breast Cancer Risk
]Level of cadmium present in women's body might have a role future development of breast cancer in women according to findings from new research. This research finding suggest that women who have high levels of cadmium in their urine may be twice at risk of developing breast cancer compared to women who have low levels of cadmium in their urine. It is not clear at this point if the cadmium is the direct cause of increase in beast cancer risk. It is possible that cadmium might be an innocent marker of another risk factor or a combination of risk factors.

Cadmium is a heavy metal and has been listed as one of the carcinogens (cancer causing materials). Animal studies have shown that higher cadmium levels in the body might lead to development of cancer, but till now no human study has shown a clear link between elevated cadmium levels and cancer. This suggests that further studies are needed to determine if these elevated levels are really what is causing the increased risk of breast cancer.

These new findings come form a group of scientists lead by Dr. Jane A. McElroy at the Environmental Protection Agency and University of Wisconsin Comprehensive Cancer Center in Madison.

These scientists made measurements of urinary levels of cadmium in 246 breast cancer patients and compared these levels to 254 age-matched controls. These subjects were kept in contact by telephone to see if any of these women had breast cancer risk factors.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink

June 22, 2006, 7:03 AM CT

Understanding Breast-cancer Migration

Understanding Breast-cancer Migration
Understanding mechanisms behind the spread of cancer to distant organs (metastasis) is a very important topic in cancer research. In a never stopping attempt to defeat breast cancer researchers have moved a step closer to understanding how breast cancer spreads to other parts of the body, thanks to research published this week. Recently scientists from the University of Manchester have discovered a protein potentially involved in the spread or "metastatic progression" of tumors.

These scientists say that their findings could lead to new approaches to treating breast cancer as blocking the protein's actions has the potential to stop malignant cells migrating. "What we have identified is a new role for a protein called LPP," explained Professor Andrew Sharrocks, who headed the research team.

"Until now, this protein was only thought to function at the cell periphery but we have shown that it works in conjunction with another protein - PEA3 - in the cell nucleus."

"PEA3 has already been implicated in the spread of breast cancer but we have found that the LPP molecule is essential for the correct function of PEA3."

"If we can target the LPP protein and stop it from working in malignant cells, we have a possible new route to treatment."

This research report that was reported in the scientific journal Molecular and Cellular Biology, may have significant implications for other cancer systems.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source

June 21, 2006, 11:51 PM CT

How Tumor Cells Form

How Tumor Cells Form Chromosomes (blue) are shown being pulled apart by microtubules (red). The two yellow spots are the organizing centers required for assembling microtubules. MIT researchers recently pinpointed two proteins that are key to normal cell division.
Image courtesy / Viji Draviam
MIT cancer scientists have discovered a process that may explain how some tumor cells form, a discovery that could one day lead to new therapies that prevent defective cells from growing and spreading.

The work was reported June 8 in the advance online issue of The EMBO Journal, a publication of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO).

Tumor cells that grow aggressively often have an irregular number of chromosomes, the structures in cells that carry genetic information. The normal number of chromosomes in a human cell is 46, or 23 pairs. Aggressive tumor cells often have fewer or more than 23 pairs of chromosomes, a condition called aneuploidy.

To date it has not been clear how tumor cells become aneuploid.

"Checkpoint proteins" within cells work to prevent cells from dividing with an abnormal number of chromosomes, but researchers have been puzzled by evidence that aneuploidy can result even when these proteins appear to be normal.

What MIT scientists have discovered is a reason these checkpoint proteins may be unable to sense the defective cells, which tend to have very subtle errors in them. (These subtle errors are thought to bethe cause of aneuploidy and the rapid growth of tumors.).

Before cells divide, individual chromosomes in each pair of chromosomes must attach to a set of tiny structures called microtubules. If they attach correctly, the checkpoint proteins give them the go-ahead to divide. If they don't, the checkpoint proteins are supposed to stop them from dividing.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source

June 21, 2006, 10:18 PM CT

Dasatinib Offers New Options For Leukemia Patients

Dasatinib Offers New Options For Leukemia Patients
Dasatinib, an experimental drug under development by Bristol-Myers Squibb, reverses the signs and symptoms of patients whose chronic myeloid leukemia has failed to respond to Gleevec, which is considered the standard of therapy for the disorder.

As per a research findings reported in the June 15, 2006, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles, and his colleagues at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and Bristol-Myers Squibb in Princeton, NJ, report data from phase I human clinical trials of the compound, dasatinib (BMS-354825). Phase I clinical trials evaluate drug safety and toxicity at different dose levels in a small number of volunteers.

The studies published in NEJM indicate that dasatinib can be used to overcome Gleevec resistance in patients who have chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Patients enrolled in the study had experienced a worsening of the disease or intolerance when treated with Gleevec.

Study leader, HHMI investigator Charles L. Sawyers, and his colleagues at UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, report that dasatinib successfully circumvented Gleevec (imatinib) resistance in 68 of 84 patients treated with the drug during phase I clinical trials at UCLA and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Resistance to Gleevec develops when patients acquire mutations in an enzyme that is targeted by Gleevec.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source

June 21, 2006, 10:11 PM CT

Herbal Therapies For Cancer

Herbal Therapies For Cancer
Whether herbal supplements can help cancer patients avoid common problems such as fatigue and sleeplessness is under study at the Medical College of Georgia.

Ginseng, a perennial found in North America and eastern Asia touted as a safe way to improve the body's stress resistance, is being tested for its potential in battling common fatigue.

Valerian, a flowering perennial from Eurasia widely used as a sedative, is being studied for its potential in helping cancer patients sleep.

"These are some of our quality of life trials to help cancer patients with side effects of their disease and therapy," says Dr. Daron G. Ferris, director of the MCG Gynecologic Cancer Prevention Center and a principal investigator. "Almost every cancer patient has fatigue, for some reason. Both cancer and its therapy can have an effect on blood count and patients may become anemic. Others battle depression, which can also make them feel tired".

Thirty to 50 percent of cancer patients also have trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep, a common side effect of chemotherapy, says Darlene Gibson, research nurse.

While anecdotal evidence abounds about the effectiveness of these herbal therapies, scientific studies in animals or humans, especially those with cancer, are sparse, Dr. Ferris says. "A number of cancer patients look for 'natural,' non-traditional therapys. We are delighted to offer alternatives that a number of patients desire in a way that ensures the quality of the supplement and does not interfere with the patient's cancer therapy".........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source

June 21, 2006, 9:26 PM CT

ASCO Releases Updated Antiemetics Guideline

ASCO Releases Updated Antiemetics Guideline
ASCO's most recent Clinical Practice Guideline, "Antiemetics in Oncology: Update 2006," is now available online. The revised guideline incorporates the Update Committee's recommendations based on review and analysis of antiemetic-specific data published from 1997 through February 2006. The literature included results from randomized controlled trials, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses of published phase II and phase III randomized controlled trials. The Committee also considered the guidelines and consensus statements from the International Antiemetic Consensus Conference, hosted by the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC) in March 2004, at which representatives from nine international oncology organizations-including ASCO-established a guideline generation process.

The Update Committee concluded that clinicians who administer antiemetics should consider patients' emetic risk categories and other characteristics. Among the key topics addressed in the updated guideline are:
  1. Emesis Caused by Intravenously Administered Antineoplastic Agents
  2. Radiation-Induced Emesis

ASCO first published a guideline for the use of antiemetics in 1999. The Society's Health Services Committee and Board of Directors reviewed and approved the final draft of the 2006 guideline February 28, 2006. The Society considers adherence to these guidelines voluntary and expects that the administration of these therapies be applied appropriately in the clinical practice, but not within the context of clinical trials.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source

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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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