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April 20, 2006, 8:45 PM CT

Black Lean Women Face Dangers From Hormone Replacement

Black Lean Women Face Dangers From Hormone Replacement
Increased risk of breast cancer associated with hormone replacement treatment is well known and has been discussed in this column before. Now a new study has shown that Black women have an increased risk of development of breast cancer when they take replacement hormones compared to Caucasian women. The research also found that, and that the risk is greater for leaner women.

Most of the prior studies that have linked increased breast cancer risk to the use of hormone replacement treatment were done on Caucasian women, hence this information regarding Black women was not available. The chief investigator, Dr. Lynn Rosenberg of Boston University and his colleagues investigated the association between breast cancer and hormone treatment using data from the Black Women's Health Study.

In this study data from 32,559 women 40 years of age or older was used. Scientists have shown that among these women 615 have developed breast cancer.

Rosenberg and his colleagues found that use of hormone replacement for 10 or more years is associated with a 58 percent increased risk of development of breast cancer. Interestingly they found that women lean body with history of hormone replacement of 10 years or more had three times the risk of breast cancer.

Scientists suggest that heavier women may be producing more estrogen from fat tissue and may be less affected by taking estrogens than leaner women.........

Posted by: Sherin      Permalink         Source

April 20, 2006, 0:15 AM CT

Cancer therapy based on anatomical location may soon be obsolete

Cancer therapy based on anatomical location may soon be obsolete
The results of a new study at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis could eventually have oncologists removing their specialties from their shingles by making treatment based on a tumor's anatomical location obsolete.

When the scientists compared eight different kinds of malignant tumors, they saw that whether the tumor was, for instance, a breast tumor, lung tumor or colon tumor didn't correlate to how the cancers interacted with a standard anticancer drug.

Their findings suggest that traditional cancer therapys - which have established different drug regimens for brain, prostate or ovary cancer, for example - should eventually be replaced with therapies that use drugs deemed to be of highest benefit based on the tumor's pharmacologic profile. Treatment choice would be determined by how each patient's tumor reacts to anticancer drugs, regardless of the tumor's anatomical origin.

"This study is the first time the pathway for a drug's effect has been analyzed in tumors from different anatomical locations," says Howard McLeod, Pharm.D., director of the pharmacology core at the Siteman Cancer Center and a member of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Pharmacogenetics Research Network. "We've shown that drug effect is independent of where the tumor came from in the body. If further studies confirm that a tumor-specific approach is better than the current anatomical emphasis, oncologists may have to stop thinking of themselves as colon cancer or breast cancer specialists and let the cancer tell them which drugs to use for each specific patient."........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source

April 18, 2006, 11:39 PM CT

Using PSA Endpoints For Prostate Cancer Research

Using PSA Endpoints For Prostate Cancer Research
A new study from Columbia University Medical Center scientists at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia, who are members of the Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG), suggests that certain changes in prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels may serve as surrogate endpoints for prostate cancer survival. Scientists looking to speed up the process of clinical trials have suggested that these biomarkers could be used to measure therapy efficacy.

Currently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration accepts only survival as an endpoint of measure. Survival as a primary endpoint was used in phase III studies of novel chemotherapeutic drugs for men with androgen-independent prostate.

Daniel P. Petrylak, M.D., associate professor of medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons and director of the genitourinary oncology program at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia, together with his research team, retrospectively analyzed results of 551 men with prostate cancer treated in the Southwest Oncology Group Protocol S9916. By reviewing the clinical trial, it was noted that there were several different changes in PSA levels, which could possibly serve as surrogate endpoints for survival.

The authors observed that the risk of death, in men whose serum PSA levels declined by at least 30 percent in the first three months of therapy, was reduced more than 50 percent. Findings are reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (April 19, 2006 issue).........

Posted by: Mark      Permalink         Source

April 18, 2006, 7:03 AM CT

New Drug For Breast Cancer Prevention

New Drug For Breast Cancer Prevention
One more breakthrough and one more addition to the armamentarium to fight against breast cancer. National Cancer Institute reports that one of the largest breast cancer studies ever done showed that the osteoporosis drug Raloxifene (Evista andreg;) is as effective as tamoxifen in the prevention of breast cancer.

Raloxifene (Evista andreg;) has a lower side effort profile compared to tamoxifen and has 36 percent fewer uterine cancer risk and about 30 percent fewer risk of blood compared to Tamoxifen.

Tamoxifen is indicated for women who are at high risk of developing breast cancer for example those women who carry BRCA mutations. Since Raloxifene is as effective as tamoxifen with lesser side effects, this drug may soon replace Tamoxifen for prevention of breast cancer in high-risk women. Raloxifene needs approval from FDA as a breast cancer prevention drug before it could be used for this purpose.

Currently an estimate 500,000 women use Raloxifene to reduce the risk of osteoporosis, so it is expected that a number of women will be comfortable using it for breast cancer prevention.

"There is something proactive you can do if you're at higher than average risk of getting breast cancer," said Dr. James Stewart who is the director of the breast cancer program at the UW Comprehensive Cancer Center. "The sticky part of it will be sitting down with your doctor to talk about are the expected benefits worth it".........

Posted by: Sherin      Permalink

April 17, 2006, 10:46 PM CT

Recurrent Melanoma May Be More Common

Recurrent Melanoma May Be More Common
Approximately 8 percent of patients with melanoma skin cancer may develop an additional melanoma within two years of their initial diagnosis, and those with atypical moles appear to be at higher risk, as per an article in the recent issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Cutaneous (skin) melanoma begins in cells known as melanocytes, which produce the pigment that gives skin its color. Prior studies have evaluated the recurrence of melanoma among patients already diagnosed with the disease; most have estimated that less than 4 percent of them will develop additional tumors in the year following diagnosis, as per background information in the article.

Linda Titus-Ernstoff, Ph.D., Dartmouth Medical School, Lebanon, N.H., and his colleagues assessed the frequency of and risk factors for recurring cancer among 354 New Hampshire residents with a first diagnosis of cutaneous melanoma. Participants completed a 40-minute telephone interview, during which they answered questions about medical history, demographics, eye and hair color, sun exposure and whether their skin tanned, burned or freckled in the sun. They then underwent a skin examination, during which a doctor identified and catalogued non-malignant and atypical moles. Atypical moles have at least three of the following features: a diameter larger than 5 millimeters, redness, an irregular or ill-defined border, a variety of colors or a portion that is flat.........

Posted by: George      Permalink         Source

April 17, 2006, 10:34 PM CT

Genetic Switch That Links Animal Growth And Cancer

Genetic Switch That Links Animal Growth And Cancer
Laboratory discoveries by researchers at two universities may lead to new directions in cancer treatment drugs. The scientists have discovered that a genetic switch involved in growth and development of an animal is the same one used to prevent normal cells from becoming malignant.

The findings are published in the April 18 issue of Current Biology. Experiments were carried out by first author Masamitsu Fukuyama, a postdoctoral scientist working in the laboratories of Joel H. Rothman, a professor in the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Ann Rougvie, a professor in the Department of Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development at the University of Minnesota. Fukuyama is now an assistant professor at the University of Tokyo.

"The parallels between the control of development during the normal process of maturation and the control of cancer growth are striking," said Rothman. "We recognize that cancer cells in a number of ways simply mimic what normal cells do in a developing animal, only at an unfortunate time and place."

In life, there is a time to wait and a time to grow, Rothman explained. "A number of creatures remain in a waiting state until conditions are right for growth. A tiny redwood, for example, can remain persistently arrested for years inside a seed. Only when the seed senses water will it sprout and initiate development into a mature tree. A number of animals similarly halt their development until the environment is right for growth and development."........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source

April 17, 2006, 10:28 PM CT

Smoking May Cause Far More Cancer Deaths In Asian Americans

Smoking May Cause Far More Cancer Deaths In Asian Americans
Korean, Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese American males living in California die of cancer at three times the rate of South Asian females in California, whose cancer mortality rate is one of the lowest in the world.

As per a new study by UC Davis Cancer Center researchers, such disparities between genders and Asian and Pacific Islander ethnic groups can be explained almost entirely by tobacco smoke exposure - suggesting that if smoking were eliminated, Asian and Pacific Islander Americans all would have very low cancer mortality rates, with minimal variation from group to group.

"Among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, non-lung cancer death rates, like lung cancer death rates, correlate very closely with their smoke exposures," said Bruce N. Leistikow, associate professor of public health sciences at UC Davis and a leading expert on the epidemiology of smoking-related illnesses. "If all Asian and Pacific Islander Americans had as little smoke exposure as South Asian females in California, our work suggests that their cancer mortality rates across the board could be as low as that of the South Asian females."

South Asian females in California had a cancer mortality rate of 58 deaths per 100,000 people per year. The cancer mortality for the United States as a whole was 193.5.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source

April 16, 2006, 8:21 PM CT

Low Dose Vitamin A Derivative Not Effective In Cancer Prevention

Low Dose Vitamin A Derivative Not Effective In Cancer Prevention
Taking a vitamin A derivative called isotretinoin did not reduce the risk of second primary tumors or improve survival in patients with stage I or II head and neck squamous cell cancers (HNSCC), as per a research studyin the April 5 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. In addition, current smokers had an increased risk of second primary cancers and death.

HNSCCs are the fifth most common cancers and sixth leading cause of cancer related death today. In 2002, there were 600,000 new cases diagnosed worldwide. Some studies have suggested that vitamin A derivatives called retinoids may halt or even reverse growth of head and neck tumors. A clinical trial of high doses of a retinoid called isotretinoin, widely used to treat cystic acne, in patients with HNSCC found that those receiving isotretinoin developed fewer second primary tumors, especially smoking-related tumors. However, there were substantial side effects among those who received the high-dose isotretinoin, and subsequent studies of the compound have shown mixed results.

To assess the effect of lower, more tolerable doses of isotretinoin on the development of second primary tumors and survival among patients with early-stage HNSCC, Fadlo R. Khuri, MD, associate director of the Emory Winship Cancer Institute, and his colleagues conducted a randomized clinical trial of 1,190 patients diagnosed with stage I or II HNSCC. Patients were randomly assigned to receive low-dose isotretinoin (30 mg/day) or a placebo for 3 years. They continued to monitor the patients for 4 or more years after therapy. This clinical trial is the largest chemoprevention study to date to examine the use of retinoids in patients with early-stage HNSCC.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source

April 16, 2006, 8:13 PM CT

More Research Needed Into Cholesterol Prostate Cancer Link

More Research Needed Into Cholesterol Prostate Cancer Link
Cancer Research UK has called for further research after a study claimed to have identified a link between cholesterol intake and prostate cancer risk.

The research, by the Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri in Italy and reported in the annals of Oncology, used questionnaires to assess men?s medical histories, including their prior cholesterol levels.

"This study is based on questionnaires rather than directly measured cholesterol levels, so follow-up research is needed before the firm conclusion can be drawn that high cholesterol levels are directly linked to prostate cancer risk," said Henry Scowcroft of Cancer Research UK.

"There is some evidence to suggest that men who eat a high fat diet have a greater risk of prostate cancer, but we do not know for sure whether high levels of fats in the bloodstream actually cause prostate cancer.

"It may be that men who lead a typical western lifestyle are exposed to other factors that could increase their risk," he added.

Some prior research has suggested a link between prostate cancer and cholesterol levels, but firm evidence has remained elusive.

Prostate cancer is the most common form of the disease among men in the UK, with 30,100 new cases diagnosed every year.........

Posted by: Mark      Permalink         Source

April 14, 2006, 9:07 AM CT

Estrogen Alone HRT Does Not Increase Breast Cancer Risk

Estrogen Alone HRT Does Not Increase Breast Cancer Risk
New research is suggesting that estrogen may not be as bad it was thought in terms of breast cancer risk. Scientists have found that estrogen-alone hormone treatment does not increase the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. This result comes from an updated analysis of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) Estrogen-Alone Trial.

These results are in apparent contrast with previously reported WHI Estrogen plus Progestin Trial, which found an increase in breast cancer if use exceeds 5 years.

These new research findings appear in the latest issue of Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). These researchers followed postmenopausal women who were taking estrogen-alone hormone replacement over a period of 7 years. Over this period, women who were taking estrogen replacement actually had fewer breast cancers compared to those women who were taking placebo.

While women who were taking estrogen-alone hormone replacement had an incidence rate of 28 per 10,0000 participants per year, women who were taking placebo had an incidence rate of 34 per 10,000 participants per year. The difference in rates of breast cancer (6 per 10,000) between the groups was not statistically significant, meaning it could have occurred by chance.

The new analysis also found that participants taking estrogen had 50 percent more abnormal mammograms compared to those women who were taking placebo. Obviously an abnormal mammogram does not necessarily mean cancer as it was shown in the study results.........

Posted by: Emily      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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