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April 17, 2008, 7:41 PM CT

Inherited colon cancer mutation is widespread

Inherited colon cancer mutation is widespread
A gene mutation responsible for the most common form of inherited colon cancer is older and more common than formerly believed, as per a recent study.

The findings provide a better understanding of the spread and prevalence of the American Founder Mutation, a common cause in North America of Lynch syndrome, a hereditary cancer syndrome that greatly increases a persons risk for developing cancers of the colon, uterus and ovaries.

The same researchers discovered the mutation in 2003. That research identified nine families with the mutation and concluded that a German immigrant couple brought the mutation to North America in 1727.

The latest study includes an additional 32 families and indicates that the mutation is actually about 500 years old, suggesting that it arose several generations earlier in Europeans or perhaps in Native Americans.

Of the 41 families overall, most are clustered in Kentucky, Ohio and Texas.

Researchers at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center and Creighton University conducted the study, published recently in the journal Cancer Research.

The increased age of the American Founder Mutation means that it is significantly more prevalent in the United States than previously thought, says principal investigator Albert de la Chapelle, a researcher with Ohio States Human Cancer Genetics program.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


April 13, 2008, 8:53 PM CT

Smoking related to subset of colorectal cancers

Smoking related to subset of colorectal cancers
Smoking puts older women at significant risk for loss of DNA repair proteins that are critical for defending against development of some colorectal cancers, as per research from a team led by Mayo Clinic scientists.

In a study being presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the scientists observed that women who smoked were at increased risk for developing colorectal tumors that lacked some or all of four proteins, known as DNA mismatch repair (MMR) proteins. These proteins keep cells lining the colon and rectum healthy because they recognize and repair genetic damage as well as mistakes that occur during cell division.

Scientists think that, in this study population, few if any of the four proteins were absent because of an inherited genetic alteration. We believe that smoking induces a condition within intestinal cells that does not allow MMR genes to express their associated proteins, and this loss leads to formation of tumors in some women, says the studys lead author, Mayo gastroenterologist Paul Limburg, M.D.

The scientists also discovered a direct association between the number of cigarettes smoked daily by study participants and increased risk of developing these specific tumors. They say a number of prior studies have observed only a very weak positive association between use of cigarettes and development of the cancer.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


April 3, 2008, 9:50 PM CT

Colon Cancer's Potential for Metastasis

Colon Cancer's Potential for Metastasis
Some colon cancers are destined to spread to the liver and other parts of the body, whereas others are successfully treated by surgical removal of the tumor. Now, Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers have observed that the ability of a colon tumor to metastasize arises early in its development.

Those colon cancers that spread carry the ability to metastasize from the time they become malignant, the scientists found. They don't need to acquire any new genetic mutations to become metastatic. The research also suggests that once a colon carcinoma develops, if it is going to spread outside the colon, it will do so in less than two years.

"The ability to metastasize is hard-wired into this group of tumors in the colon," said Sanford Markowitz, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at Case Western Reserve University. "It isn't something that happens after a cancer cell wanders off and leaves the colon."

Markowitz and colleagues published their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on March 3, 2008.

Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer mortality in the United States, causing about 60,000 deaths annually. But there are a number of more cases of colon cancer that are cured by surgical removal of the tumor. Markowitz and his team wanted to understand the genetic differences between the two types.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


March 9, 2008, 4:57 PM CT

New colorectal cancer gene

New colorectal cancer gene
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine scientists published a study in the March 7th issue of The American Journal of Human Genetics identifying the hereditary components of colorectal cancer (CRC.) Identification of Susceptibility Genes for Cancer in a Genome-wide Scan: Results from the Colon Neoplasia Sibling Study is the first large linkage study of families with CRC and colon polyps in the country. Because only five percent of CRC cases are due to known gene defects, this NIH-funded study is designed to identify the remaining CRC-related susceptibility genes. The team built on a prior study which identified a specific region on chromosome 9q that harbors a CRC susceptibility gene. Upon review of a whole genome scan of all chromosome pairs in 194 families, the scientists were able to identify additional CRC gene regions on chromosomes 1p, 15q, and 17p.

While the overall Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine study looked at families with colon cancer and colon polyps, the study also analyzed families with different clusters of cancer, such as CRC with multiple polyps and CRC with breast cancer. These different phenotypes appeared to link to different chromosomal regions, which the study teams says supports the idea of multiple susceptibility genes causing different types of cancers. These links will be further investigated in the next phase of the study.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


March 5, 2008, 8:51 PM CT

Tests that prevent colorectal cancer

Tests that prevent colorectal cancer
New consensus colorectal cancer guidelines released recently state for the first time that the primary goal of colorectal cancer screening is cancer prevention. Prior guidelines have given equal weight to tests for detecting cancer and preventing cancer. By removing polyps from the large bowel, colonoscopy is the only screening test that also prevents colorectal cancer.

Colorectal cancer prevention should be the primary goal of screening, said Nicholas LaRusso, MD, AGAF, president, American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute. Detection and removal of premalignant lesions is essential to improve the health of Americans.

The guidelines, which represent the most current scientific evidence and expert opinion available, are a joint effort of the American Cancer Society, the American College of Radiology and the U.S. Multi-society Task Force (comprised of the American College of Gastroenterology, the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute and the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy).

While the AGA Institute considers optical colonoscopy the definitive screening and therapy procedure for colorectal cancer, we support all clinically proven options for colorectal cancer screening. There are a number of tests available for screening and everyone age 50+ should talk with their doctor about what test is available to them, said John I. Allen, MD, MBA, AGAF chair of the AGA Institute Clinical Practice and Quality Management Committee.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


February 24, 2008, 9:36 PM CT

5-fluorouracil in colonic neoplasm?

5-fluorouracil in colonic neoplasm?
5-fluorouracil (5-FU) is a common chemotherapeutical drug. It exerts its antitumor effect through competitive thymidylate synthase (TS) inhibition. Thymidylate synthase (TS) catalyses deoxyuridine-5-monophosphate (dUMP) to 2-deoxythymydine-5-monophosphate (dTMP). It is the only de novo source of thymidylate, an essential precursor of DNA biosynthesis. In the 5-untranslated region of TS gene, there a unique tandem repeated sequence. There are three predominant genotypes of TS: (1) Homozygous with two tandem repeats (2R/2R); (2) homozygous with three tandem repeats (3R/3R); (3) heterozygous with both alleles (2R/3R). It was reported that TS genes with the triple repeats have higher expression activity than those with double repeats in vitro and in vivo.

The critical role of TS in nucleotide metabolism has made it an important target for cancer chemotherapy. Intratumoral TS protein expression before the chemoradiation therapy has been observed to inversely correlate with the response to 5-FU chemotherapy. Patients with low TS levels have better clinical outcome than those with high TS levels. Detecting the intratumoral TS levels is important for patients who are going to receive 5-FU-based chemotherapy, as these can be used to forecast the efficacy of chemotherapy. However, the classical assay for TS-activity determination (high-performance liquid chromatography with output monitored by radioactive flow detector) is tedious and expensive. A simple way to detect the TS levels is necessary. A research article would be published on January 28, 2008 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology addresses this question.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


February 20, 2008, 8:04 AM CT

Cancer deaths down but

Cancer deaths down but
New data revealing decreasing trends in cancer deaths in the United States overall, and in colorectal cancer deaths in particular, highlight the remarkable benefits of colorectal cancer screening tests, but the lifesaving potential of these tests is unrealized for a number of Americans as per experts from the American College of Gastroenterology. Racial minorities, uninsured Americans and even Medicare patients who should be tested are not being screening appropriately, and other recent studies reveal that they are diagnosed with more advanced cancers in comparison to patients with private insurance.

Today, the American Cancer Society reported a downward trend in cancer deaths between 2004 and 2005. Deaths from cancer of the colon and rectum decreased from 1998 to 2004 among both men and women, as per ACS. The report attributes early detection to this sharp decline in colon cancer deaths. Early detection of colorectal cancer, when it is most treatable, directly results in improved survival, exceeding 90 percent when detected at the earliest stage.

As per ACG President Amy E. Foxx-Orenstein, D.O., FACG, The good news is that colorectal cancer deaths are down, but marked differences in the experience of colorectal cancer, its impact on quality of life, and death rates are seen between whites and blacks, and between the uninsured, and even those with health coverage under Medicare and Medicaid. As per Dr. Foxx-Orenstein, The American College of Gastroenterology is committed to national policy changes to improve access to colorectal screening and increased use of these proven prevention strategies, including reversing Medicares massive cuts to reimbursement for these tests since the benefit was first introduced, as well as to payments in ambulatory surgery centers where a number of screening tests are performed.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


February 13, 2008, 9:22 PM CT

Earlier colon cancer screening for smokers

Earlier colon cancer screening for smokers
New evidence suggests screening for colorectal cancer, which is now recommended to begin at age 50 for most people, should start five to 10 years earlier for individuals with a significant lifetime exposure to tobacco smoke, a University of Rochester Medical Center study said.

An examination of 3,450 cases observed that current smokers were diagnosed with colon cancer approximately seven years earlier than people who never smoked. The study is also one of the first to link exposure to second-hand smoke, particularly early in life, with a younger age for colon cancer onset.

The article appears online in the Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology.

The message for physicians and patients is clear: When making decisions about colon cancer screening you should take into account smoking history as well as family history of disease and age, said lead author Luke J. Peppone, Ph.D., research assistant professor of Radiation Oncology at the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center at the University of Rochester.

Peppones group examined data from patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer between 1957 and 1997 at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo. (Peppone joined the University of Rochester in 2007, coming from RPCI. Co-authors are from RPCI.).........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


December 18, 2007, 8:43 PM CT

Colon cancer screenings may not pay off

Colon cancer screenings may not pay off
Even though current guidelines advocate colorectal cancer screenings for those with severe illnesses, they may bring little benefit and may actually pose harm, as per a recent study by Yale School of Medicine scientists reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

The study offers a new approach for assessing who is likely to benefit from a screening so that screening recommendations can be tailored more effectively to individual patients.

First author R. Scott Braithwaite, M.D., and colleagues developed a new method of evaluating medical screening tests like colonoscopy, called the payoff time, which is the minimum amount of time it takes for the benefits from a test to exceed its harms (i.e., its complications and side effects). The method can also be applied to patients of any age and illness.

To estimate the payoff time for using colonoscopy to screen for colorectal cancer, the team focused on two patient groups that included 50-year-old men with HIV, and 60-year-old women with congestive heart failure.

Braithwaite said the payoff time for colorectal cancer screening was as long as five years for 50-year-old men and as long as 2.9 years for 60-year-old women. Because patients with severe congestive heart failure have a life expectancy of less than 2.9 years, they were more likely to be harmed than benefited by colorectal cancer screening, say the researchers, whereas patients with HIV have a life expectancy of greater than five years, so they were likely to benefit from colorectal cancer screening.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


December 17, 2007, 9:30 PM CT

Underuse of colorectal cancer screening

Underuse of colorectal cancer screening
Two recently released studies confirm an alarming reality, that a majority of Americans who should be getting screened for colorectal cancer are not. Men and women over the age of 50 should be screened for colorectal cancer, but as per a research studyin the journal Cancer, scientists observed that among an assessment of Medicare beneficiaries between 1998 and 2004, only 25.4 percent of people were screened, despite Medicare coverage for colorectal cancer screening. As per figures released by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, only half of all Americans age 50 and over have had a screening colonoscopy.

These numbers are very discouraging and, unfortunately they confirm prior studies that show not enough people are getting screened for colorectal cancer. This disease is preventable and treatable when caught in its early stages, and screening is a covered benefit for those eligible for Medicare, said Grace Elta, MD, president of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE). We know that screening works. As per a recent study by leading cancer groups, including the American Cancer Society and the CDC, deaths from colorectal cancer dropped nearly 5 percent between 2002 and 2004. Prevention through screening and the removal of premalignant polyps were among the reasons credited for the decline. The ASGE encourages all people age 50 and older to talk to their doctor about getting screened for colorectal cancer.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source



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Colorectal cancer
Colorectal cancer is a malignant tumor that arises from the inner wall of the large intestine or rectum. Colorectal cancer is the third commonest cancer diagnosed in the United States. Each year over 100,000 people are diagnosed with colorectal cancer in the United States. Most, of these cancers develop from growths in the colon called polyps. Removal of these polyps can prevent colon cancer.

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