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May 12, 2006, 6:43 AM CT

Protein May Detect Head And Neck Cancer

Protein May Detect Head And Neck Cancer
The blood of patients with head and neck cancer appears to have unique patterns of protein expression that one day could serve as a screening test for the highly aggressive cancer that is often diagnosed too late, scientists say.

Studies comparing protein expression in 78 patients with head and neck cancer to 68 healthy controls revealed numerous differences in protein expression, Medical College of Georgia scientists say.

"We found scores and scores of proteins that were differentially expressed," says Dr. Christine Gourin, MCG otolaryngologist specializing in head and neck cancer and the study's lead author. "We found there are at least eight proteins whose expression significantly differs between controls and people with cancer".

This protein fingerprint correctly classified study participants as cancer patients with a high degree of sensitivity and specificity - 82 percent and 76 percent, respectively, as per research reported in the current issue of Archives of Otolaryngology.

"If these results hold up over time, they would suggest that this would be a good screening test for at-risk people," Dr. Gourin says. "Right now there is no good, effective screening test for head and neck cancer short of physical examination. Unfortunately it takes the development of symptoms to warrant a visit to the doctor, such as a sore throat; ear, tongue or mouth pain; painful eating or swallowing; or a change in the voice. Sometimes the first sign is a lump in the neck which is already a sign of an advanced tumor that has spread to the lymph nodes".........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


May 10, 2006, 7:16 AM CT

Looking For A Pill To Prevent Breast Cancer

Looking For A Pill To Prevent Breast Cancer
Imagine someone somewhere inventing a pill that would prevent breast cancer. I am sure that all women in the world would line up for that pill. He or she who invents the pill could become an instant multimillionaire.

Sorry to disappoint you, it's not there yet. But in 1998 scientists thought they had the next best thing when a study found that tamoxifen could significantly reduce the risk of breast cancer by about 50 percent in women who have high risk of developing breast cancer.

Tamoxifen had its own problems. Among other thing tamoxifen causes hot flashes, increases the risk of blood clot in the legs and lung. Tamoxifen also increases the risk of developing uterine cancer and may increase the risk of developing stroke. Tamoxifen never became very popular among women for breast cancer prevention, and was not used except in women who have very high risk of developing breast cancer like BRCA carriers.

Breast cancer prevention was again in the center of breast cancer news last month, when the results of a new study showing efficacy of raloxifene in breast cancer were published. The National Cancer Institute held a series of news conferences and announced that the drug raloxifene was as good as tamoxifen in breast cancer prevention with lesser side effects.........

Posted by: Sherin      Permalink


May 9, 2006, 11:51 PM CT

Stem Cell Fusion Occurs In Tumors

Stem Cell Fusion Occurs In Tumors
An Oregon Health & Science University study is adding credence to an increasingly popular theory that fusion is what bonds stem cells with bone marrow cells to regenerate organ tissue.

Researchers in the OHSU School of Medicine found that transplanted cells derived from adult bone marrow can fuse with intestinal stem cells of both normal and diseased tissue comprising the cellular lining of intestinal walls, known as the epithelium. The findings, reported recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, point to the integral role of bone marrow-derived cells in not only regeneration of damaged tissue, but also disease progression.

"It's the first observation that there's fusion at the level of stem cells," said the study's corresponding author, Melissa Wong, Ph.D., assistant professor of dermatology, and cell and developmental biology. "Second, we're seeing cell fusion in tumors and we think that this concept is an underappreciated mechanism for promoting tumor growth. Our findings have implications on how tissues regenerate and how, in the process of this regeneration, cells may become prone to future problems. ".

Eventhough the tumor in her study did not "initiate" tumors or become cancerous, Wong believes the fusion process is one explanation for how tumors acquire genetic instability and have the potential to give rise to cancerous cancer.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


May 8, 2006, 11:37 PM CT

Genetic Insights Into Retinoblastoma

Genetic Insights Into Retinoblastoma
Investigators at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital have discovered the role of several key genes in the development of the retina, and in the process have taken a significant step toward understanding how to prevent or cure the potentially deadly eye cancer retinoblastoma. Retinoblastoma is the third most common cancer in infants after leukemia and neuroblastoma (nerve cancer). Retinoblastoma that has spread outside the eye is among the deadliest childhood cancers, with an average survival rate of less than 10 percent.

A key finding of the new study is that humans are more susceptible to developing retinoblastoma than mice, because mice can compensate for the loss of a gene critical to normal retinal development while humans cannot. The results of the study appear in the open-access journal BMC Biology.

"Our study gives us important new information on the normal development of the retina and suggests new studies that could lead to the design of more effective drugs to treat retinoblastoma," said Michael Dyer, Ph.D., an associate member of the Department of Developmental Neurobiology at St. Jude and senior author of the paper.

The scientists discovered that during the development of the retina in mice, three genes that belong to the Rb gene family are expressed at different times. Specifically, the p107 gene is active before birth in cells that are going to become the retina. This gene ensures that the retinal cells stop multiplying at the proper time during development of this tissue. The Rb gene is expressed after birth in those cells that are actively multiplying as they also help form the retina.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


May 8, 2006, 7:14 AM CT

Outcomes In Lobular Invasive Carcinoma Of The Breast

Outcomes In Lobular Invasive Carcinoma Of The Breast
A new study has confirmed that invasive lobular carcinoma can be effectively treated just like invasive ductal carcinoma by breast conservation surgery. The study proves that invasive lobular carcinoma does not require any additional preferential therapy compared to invasive ductal carcinoma.

Invasive ductal carcinoma is rare compared to the ductal carcinoma, and currently doctors are treating both subtypes of breast cancer similarly with breast conservation surgery in early stages of the disease. Now there is some proof to the all in one approach by the physicians and surgeons.

These findings appear in the latest issue of CANCER, which is a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society. Invasive lobular carcinoma is associated with similar success rates with breast conservation surgery and is not associated with any additional surgeries compared to invasive ductal carcinoma. Some recent studies have suggested invasive lobular carcinoma has suggested that breast-conserving surgery is not appropriate for invasive lobular carcinoma, and this study challenges that finding.

Invasive lobular carcinoma makes up only 10 percent of all breast cancers, and because of this data focusing on invasive lobular carcinoma is scanty. Much of information on mammography screening and breast conservation surgery are based on data from invasive ductal carcinoma which comprises of up to 85 percent of all breast cancers.........

Posted by: Sherin      Permalink


May 6, 2006, 6:50 AM CT

Fenretinide For Breast Cancer Prevention?

Fenretinide For Breast Cancer Prevention?
A trial meant to reduce the risk of recurrence of breast cancer in postmenopausal women by taking a vitamin like drug had just the opposite effect. Instead of decreasing the risk of breast cancer the drug has actually increased the risk of breast cancer.

Postmenopausal women who took the vitamin A derivative called fenretinide daily for five years after breast cancer surgery to help prevent cancer recurrence ended up having 23 percent increase in the breast cancer incidence compared to women who were not taking this drug.

A subgroup of younger premneopausal women however experienced a 38 percent reduction in the breast cancer recurrence.

This result comes from re-analysis of data from a 15-year study, which included 2,800 women from Europe who had undergone surgery for breast cancer. These research results appeared in the recent issue of the Annals of Oncology.

When the initial results from this trial was published in 1999 with data from the initial 11 years of the study, experts believed that the data showed no support for the argument that this drug decreases risk of breast cancer. Fenretinide is not approved for breast cancer prevention in the United States. Users of the drug have also experience higher incidence of night blindness in some users.........

Posted by: Sherin      Permalink


May 4, 2006, 4:58 PM CT

Breast Conservation Is A Good Option

Breast Conservation Is A Good Option
For women diagnosed with a type of non-invasive breast cancer, removing the breast is not the only therapy option. Breast conserving surgery, long known to be successful at treating the more common invasive cancer, can also be effective for this pre-invasive condition, as per a new study from scientists at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The condition, called ductal carcinoma in situ, or DCIS, is being diagnosed more often. It accounts for 22 percent of all breast cancer diagnoses and affects about 62,000 women each year. If left untreated, DCIS can progress to invasive breast cancer, which is the most common type of breast cancer diagnosed.

Treatment for DCIS is either mastectomy, which removes the entire breast, or breast-conserving lumpectomy, which removes only the malignant area, followed by radiation treatment.

In this study, scientists at U-M and William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich., looked at the records of women who had opted for lumpectomy and radiation for DCIS between 1981 and 2003. Of the 513 women studied, only 8 percent developed a recurrence of breast cancer or DCIS.

Of those recurrences, 97 percent were detected by mammography, and 91 percent were diagnosed exclusively by mammography, suggesting that regular follow-up mammograms are a reliable way of detecting any return of cancer after breast-conserving surgery.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


May 3, 2006, 11:26 PM CT

Fenretinide Cuts The Risk Of Second Breast Cancers

Fenretinide Cuts The Risk Of Second Breast Cancers
A 15-year follow-up of women in a breast cancer trial has found that fenretinide[1] - a drug correlation to vitamin A - significantly cuts the risk of a second breast cancer among younger patients.

The Italian research team reporting the findings on-line (Thursday 4 May) in Annals of Oncology[2], are sufficiently convinced of the drug's protective potential to call for a trial to test its use as a preventive in pre-menopausal healthy women at high risk of the disease. They are now seeking international partners and funding for such a trial.

The women in the long-term follow-up comprised a sub-group of 1,700 - 60% of the patients in a 10-centre trial lead by Professor Umberto Veronesi and co-ordinated by Milan's Istituto Nazionale Tumori when he was its director. The study, which began in 1987, randomised more than 2,800 women to receive 200 mg fenretinide daily for five years or no extra therapy after surgery for early-stage breast cancer.

The new analysis, also lead by Professor Veronesi, who is now Director of the European Institute of Oncology in Milan, followed the 1,739 patients who had been recruited by the Istituto Nazionale Tumori centre, investigating whether these patients developed a second cancer either in the treated breast or the other breast.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


May 3, 2006, 11:11 PM CT

Drug Could Help Quit Smoking

Drug Could Help Quit Smoking
Smokers who try to quit using existing medications, such as nicotine patches or Zyban, are about twice as likely to succeed as those who don't use medicine or are prescribed placebos during clinical trials.

But despite the relative effectiveness of medications currently on the market, more than 80 per cent of quitters will be smoking again within a year, as per a review in the latest IJCP, the UK-based International Journal of Clinical Practice.

A new kind of drug has now been developed that could improve long-term quit rates, as per Dr Jonathan Foulds from the Tobacco Dependence Program at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

Varenicline is being evaluated by the US Food and Drug Administration under a six-month priority review which began in late 2005.

"Trials carried out so far have yielded promising results, suggesting that varenicline could be a major advance in the therapy of nicotine dependence" says Dr Foulds.

"Drugs are normally earmarked for priority review by the FDA if they are felt to address health needs that are not currently being adequately met.

"What makes varenicline different to existing medicine is that it is the first therapy specifically designed to target the neurobiological mechanism of nicotine dependence."........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


May 3, 2006, 10:28 PM CT

Inhibiting Cell Process To Boost Cancer Drug

Inhibiting Cell Process To Boost Cancer Drug
A molecule that interferes with the internal scaffolding that shapes the cell may kill cancer cells, retard the growth of tumors and give a boost to a common chemotherapy drug, as per findings appearing in the May 3 issue of the European Journal of Cancer.

Eventhough tumor growth depends on the rapid cell division and mobility of cancer cells -- processes highly dependent on the cytoskeleton -- the cytoskeleton has not been a target in treating cancer, said Primal de Lanerolle, professor of physiology and biophysics at the University of Illinois at Chicago and principal author of the study.

The scientists found that ML-7, which inhibits an enzyme called myosin light chain kinase, which is important to the structure and dynamics of the cytoskeleton, induces cell suicide, or apoptosis, in cultured breast and prostate cancer cell lines. In addition, therapy with ML-7 in combination with etoposide, a chemotherapy drug used to treat solid tumors, enhanced the ability of etoposide to kill cancer cells.

In animal models, ML-7 retarded growth of breast cancer and prostate cancer tumors. The combination of ML-7 and etoposide reduced tumor growth by 88.5 percent for the breast cancer tumors and by 79.1 percent in the prostate cancer tumors compared to controls.........

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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