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April 1, 2007, 9:10 PM CT

Gender linked to skin cancer

Gender linked to skin cancer
Inherent gender differences instead of more sun exposure may be one reason why men are three times more likely than women to develop certain kinds of skin cancer, say scientists at Ohio State University Medical Center.

Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common form of skin cancer, accounting for nearly 200,000 new cases in the United States each year. While occurring more often than melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma is not nearly as worrisome. Still, it can be lethal in some patients, particularly those with suppressed immune systems, including transplant recipients or people who are HIV-positive.

A number of studies have shown that the risk of squamous cell carcinoma increases with greater exposure to the sun. For years, researchers assumed that lifestyle had a lot to do with the disparity in the occurence rate of SCC believing that men spend more time outside and are less likely to use sun protection than women.

While that may be true, researchers at Ohio State have shown that there may be another, even more critical factor involved gender-linked differences in the amount of naturally occurring antioxidants in the skin.

The study appears in the April 1 issue of Cancer Research.

Dr. Tatiana Oberyszyn, an assistant professor of pathology and of molecular virology, immunology and medical genetics at Ohio State University Medical Center, has been studying non-melanoma skin cancers for years. She had a hunch there might be gender-related variables that accounted for the difference between male and female rates of developing these malignancies, and designed an experiment to find out what they might be.........

Posted by: George      Read more         Source


March 29, 2007, 4:59 AM CT

Breast Cancer Patients For Reconstruction

Breast Cancer Patients For Reconstruction
Forty-four percent of surgeons do not refer the majority of their patients with breast cancer to a plastic surgeon previous to the initial surgery when the woman is choosing her therapy course, as per a new study by scientists at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The finding may help explain the consistently low number of women who pursue breast reconstruction after mastectomy.

The scientists surveyed 365 surgeons, asking them how often they referred patients considering a mastectomy to a plastic surgeon before performing the mastectomy. The surgeons were identified from a population-based database of women in the Detroit and Los Angeles metropolitan areas who had been treated for breast cancer.

The study found 44 percent of the surgeons referred fewer than a quarter of their patients to a plastic surgeon previous to the mastectomy. Only 24 percent of surgeons referred three-quarters or more of their patients for reconstruction.

The study appears March 26 in the online edition of the journal Cancer.

"Women may be more inclined to choose mastectomy with a good understanding of the reconstructive options. We need to help patients through this difficult decision-making process up front, through patient decision aids that include information about reconstruction and multidisciplinary approaches to care, where all surgical options are fully explained," says lead study author Amy Alderman, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of plastic surgery at the U-M Medical School.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


March 29, 2007, 4:41 AM CT

RF ablation effective for inoperable lung cancer

RF ablation effective for inoperable lung cancer
A minimally invasive procedure known as radiofrequency (RF) ablation is effective for treating lung cancer in patients who are not candidates for surgery, as per a Rhode Island Hospital study reported in the recent issue of the journal Radiology.

Damian Dupuy, MD, director of ablation at Rhode Island Hospital and professor of diagnostic imaging at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, conducted a study of 153 patients who were treated for early-stage, inoperable lung cancer with RF ablation. The procedure involves using a specialized needle inserted through the skin to transmit high-frequency electrical currents into a tumor. The overall results of the study show RF ablation to be safe and linked it with promising long-term survival and local tumor progression outcomes when in comparison to the older therapy method of external beam radiation (EBT).

EBT, which has been used for decades, requires a number of therapys over a six-week period. This can often lead to a variety of side effects. RF ablation, however, is performed in a single day on an outpatient basis, is minimally invasive and has few side effects.

Dupuy says, "Our study has shown that this minimally invasive procedure can successfully treat lung cancer patients who could not undergo surgery in one fairly simple therapy. The study also shows that radiofrequency ablation is equal to or more effective in terms of both survival and tumor control." With RF ablation, the Rhode Island Hospital scientists noted a two-year survival rate at 57 percent in comparison to 51 percent using EBT.........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


March 29, 2007, 4:38 AM CT

Biopsy for prostate cancer in obese men

Biopsy for prostate cancer in obese men
Obese and overweight men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer by biopsy are more likely than healthy weight men to actually have a more aggressive case of the disease than the biopsy results would indicate, as per a research studyled by a Duke University Medical Center researcher.

The finding suggests that misleading biopsy results may be causing a number of obese and overweight men to receive inadequate or inappropriate therapy that is not aggressive enough to combat the true nature of their disease, said study leader Stephen Freedland, M.D., an assistant professor in the Division of Urology and the Duke Prostate Center.

"We already know that it's more difficult to diagnose prostate cancer in obese men because they have lower levels of prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, a common blood marker for prostate cancer, and because their larger-sized prostates make it more likely for a biopsy to miss the cancer," he said. "These findings further suggest that we could be missing even more high-grade disease among obese men".

Gaining a better understanding of links between biopsies and prostate cancer also may help physicians improve patient therapy, said Freedland, who also holds an appointment in surgery at the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

"If we can determine through additional biopsies that an obese or overweight man has more aggressive prostate cancer, we can discuss whether the cancer should be treated with more than one approach, such as combining hormonal treatment with radiation, to reduce the risk of the cancer spreading and improve the chances of cure," Freedland said. "We must also keep in mind that even if a well-done biopsy shows low-grade cancer in an obese patient, there is still a reasonable likelihood that the patient may have high-grade disease."........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


March 29, 2007, 4:35 AM CT

Rice Bran to Reduce Intestinal Cancer

Rice Bran to Reduce Intestinal Cancer Image courtesy of www.lingonberriesmarket.com
study by biomedical researchers at the University of Leicester has revealed for the first time that rice bran could reduce the risk of intestinal cancer.

The research in the University's Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine has not been tested on humans, but research in the laboratory has produced promising results.

The research has been reported in the British Journal of Cancer.

The results of a controlled laboratory study in a preclinical model of gastrointestinal adenoma demonstrated that consumption of a high daily dose of stabilized rice bran caused an average 51% reduction in the number of premalignant adenomas in the intestinal tract.

Professor Andreas Gescher of the University of Leicester in the UK, the principal investigator, said:.

"We compared the cancer-preventive efficacy of rice bran with respect to prostate, breast and intestinal cancers. Whilst there was no effect of rice bran on the development of prostate or breast cancer, rice bran significantly retarded the development of intestinal adenomas. The effect was dependent on the fibre content of the bran. The dose we used translates into approximately 200g rice bran per day in humans. We believe a promising area of future research would be to study the potential colorectal cancer-preventing properties of stabilized rice bran.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


March 28, 2007, 10:21 PM CT

MRI Detects Most Missed Opposite Breast Cancers

MRI Detects Most Missed Opposite Breast Cancers
Up to 10 percent of women newly diagnosed with cancer in one breast develop cancer in the opposite breast. Results of a major clinical trial show that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans are highly effective tools for quickly identifying these opposite breast cancers, detecting diseased tissue that other screening methods missed.

In the new trial, conducted by the American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN) and funded by the National Cancer Institute, scientists wanted to determine whether MRI could improve doctors' ability to identify these opposite breast cancers right at the initial diagnosis - boosting the chances for swift and successful therapy.

The results, reported in the New England Journal (NEJM), show that for women already diagnosed with cancer in one breast, MRI scans detected more than 90 percent of cancers in the opposite, or contralateral, breast.

"The study establishes MRI as a key component of the diagnostic workup for women with breast cancer," said Constantine Gatsonis, lead statistician for the trial and director of the Center for Statistical Sciences at Brown University. "If my wife were diagnosed with breast cancer, I'd be sure that she got an MRI of the opposite breast".

Gatsonis, a Brown professor of biostatistics, oversaw design of the MRI trial and led analysis of its results. He offered a caveat: The study showed that MRI is an effective addition to - but not a replacement for - clinical breast exams and mammography.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


March 25, 2007, 7:20 PM CT

Targeting tumors the natural way

Targeting tumors the natural way
By mimicking Nature's way of distinguishing one type of cell from another, University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers now report they can more effectively seek out and kill cancer cells while sparing healthy ones.

The new tumor targeting strategy, presented today (March 25) at the annual national meeting of the American Chemical Society, cleverly harnesses one of the body's natural antibodies and immune responses. "The killing agent we chose is already in us," says UW-Madison chemistry professor Laura Kiessling, who led the work with postdoctoral researcher Coby Carlson. "It's just not commonly directed toward tumor cells."

In a series of cell-based experiments, the researchers' system recognized and killed only those cells displaying high levels of receptors known as integrins. These molecules, which tend to bedeck the surfaces of cancer cells and tumor vasculature in large numbers, have become important targets in cancer research.

In contrast, an established tumor-homing agent associated with the cell toxin doxorubicin destroyed cells even when they expressed very little integrin, indicating this strategy has the potential to kill malignant and healthy cells indiscriminately.

"This study suggests that the cell recognition mode we used can direct an endogenous immune response to destroy cancer cells selectively," says Kiessling. "We think this could lead to a new class of therapeutic agents not only for cancer but also for other diseases involving harmful cells".........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


March 22, 2007, 10:13 PM CT

Leukemic cells find safe haven

Leukemic cells find safe haven
The cancer drug asparaginase fails to help cure some children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) because molecules released by certain cells in the bone marrow counteract the effect of that drug, as per researchers at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

The scientists showed that mesenchymal cells in the bone marrow create a protective niche for leukemic cells by releasing large amounts of asparagine, an amino acid that nearby leukemic cells must have to survive but do not make efficiently. This extra supply of asparagine helps leukemic cells survive therapy with asparaginase, a drug that normally would deplete their supply of this vital nutrient, the scientists reported. Mesenchymal cells give rise to a variety of different tissues, such as osteoblasts (bone-building cells) and chondrocytes (cartilage-building cells), and form the nurturing environment where normal blood cells and leukemic cells grow.

"Leukemic cells that resist asparaginase and survive in this protective niche of the bone marrow might be the reason that leukemia recurs in some children who have been treated with this drug," said Dario Campana, M.D., Ph.D., a member of the St. Jude Oncology and Pathology departments.

Campana is senior author of the report that appears in the online pre-publication issue of "The Journal of Clinical Investigation."........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


March 19, 2007, 5:14 AM CT

Inflammation And Metastasis Of Prostate Cancer

Inflammation And Metastasis Of Prostate Cancer
A number of would assume that "mounting an immune response" or "having your body fight the cancer" is a good thing. Now, research at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine strongly suggests that inflammation linked to the progression of tumors actually plays a key role in the metastasis of prostate cancer.

The research, appearing online March 19 in advance of publication in the journal Nature, identifies a mechanism which triggers metastasis, which is the spread of cancer in late stages of prostate cancer development. The findings by Michael Karin, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology in UCSD's Laboratory of Gene Regulation and Signal Transduction, and his colleagues may help solve the puzzle of why it takes so long for cancer to metastasize, as well as what causes it to do so. Furthermore, this new work may lead to development of anti-metastatic therapies.

A major hypothesis in cancer research has been that whether the cancer metastisizes or not is determined by genetic changes within the cancer cell itself. But this hypothesis didn't explain why metastases appear a number of years after the initial tumor.

"Our findings suggest that promoting inflammation of the malignant tissue, for instance, by performing prostate biopsies, may, ironically, hasten progression of metastasis," said Karin. "We have shown that proteins produced by inflammatory cells are the 'smoking gun' behind prostate cancer metastasis. The next step is to completely indict one of them".........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


March 19, 2007, 5:10 AM CT

Smart Therapies For Breast, Ovarian Cancer

Smart  Therapies For Breast, Ovarian Cancer
New non-toxic and targeted therapies for metastatic breast and ovary cancers may now be possible, thanks to a discovery by a team of scientists at the University of British Columbia.

In a collaboration between UBC stem cell and cancer scientists, it was observed that a protein called podocalyxin which the scientists had previously shown to be a predictor of metastatic breast cancer changes the shape and adhesive quality of tumour cells, affecting their ability to grow and metastasize. Metastatic cancer is invasive cancer that spreads from the original site to other sites in the body.

The discovery demonstrated that the protein not only predicted the spread of breast cancer cells, it likely helped to cause it. The findings were recently published online by the Public Library of Science.

"We believe weve found a new important culprit in metastatic breast cancer, which opens up an entirely new avenue of cancer research," says Calvin Roskelley, an associate professor of cellular and physiological science who specializes in breast cancer and is co-senior principal investigator. "The culprit is hiding in plain sight on the surface of tumour cells, so we are now developing "smart" molecules to block its function. The ultimate goal is to generate new targeted, non-toxic therapys very different from the standard slash and burn chemotherapy".........

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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