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April 17, 2007, 5:07 AM CT

Increased Survival In Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

Increased Survival In Metastatic Colorectal Cancer
A phase III trial of 1,298 colorectal cancer patients has observed that a combination of the drugs cetuximab (Erbitux) and irinotecan showed a significant improvement in progression-free survival over just irinotecan alone, as per an international team of researchers.

The Erbitux Plus Irinotecan in Colorectal Cancer (EPIC) study looked at survival in metastatic colorectal cancer patients who had already shown resistance to conventional therapies. The research was presented today at the 2007 Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research.

By the end of the study, a significantly larger number of patients who received the combination of cetuximab, an antibody against the epidermal growth factor and irinotecan, an enzyme-inhibiting cancer drug, survived without their cancers progressing further. The tumor response rate in this group was also significantly higher. The study was sponsored, in part, by Bristol-Myers Squibb and Merck KGaA.

"Patients who received both cetuximab and irinotecan experienced longer periods of time spent, on average, without further progression of the disease," said Alberto F. Sobrero, M.D., of the San Martino Hospital's Department of Medical Oncology in Genoa, Italy. "From a patient perspective, any improvement in progression-free survival, as well as tumor shrinkage, is worthwhile. These data confirm that, despite a moderate increase in side effects, cetuximab is a key therapeutic agent in the optimal therapy of advanced colorectal cancer".........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


March 29, 2007, 4:34 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


December 18, 2006, 7:33 PM CT

Estrogen Use May Lower Colon Cancer Risk

Estrogen Use May Lower Colon Cancer Risk
A new study from the Dana-Farber cancer institute shows that postmenopausal women with colon cancer lives longer if they have been taking estrogen supplements within five years of their diagnosis. This becomes an interesting finding given the fact that postmenopausal estrogen usage has been on decline recently because of reports of increased risk of breast cancer linked to its use.

In this new study, which is reported in the latest issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, researchers examined the effect of estrogen use on the survival of older women already diagnosed with the disease.

The scientists are not suggesting that women should be taking postmenopausal hormone therapy to prevent colon cancer risk. With estrogen use has dropped sharply among postmenopausal women in recent years, due to concerns about its role in heart disease and breast cancer, numerous studies have shown it significantly lowers the chances of developing colorectal cancer considering the other health risks linked to its use. Scientists are hoping that this finding would lead to development of new drugs from the clues obtained.

"This study provides a rationale to further study the basic mechanism by which estrogen influences the development and progression of colon cancer," states lead author Jennifer Chan, MD, MPH, of Dana-Farber. "By understanding how estrogen offers potentially beneficial effects in some types of cells yet deleterious effects in others, it may be possible to design therapies that are effective against colon cancer without posing a significant risk of other problems".........

Posted by: Sue      Permalink         Source


November 15, 2006, 4:31 AM CT

Vaccine Against Colorectal Cancer

Vaccine Against Colorectal Cancer
British scientists have developed a vaccine that stimulates colorectal cancer patients' immune systems to fight malignant cells.

In a clinical trial of 67 patients, scientists at the University of Nottingham found that when the vaccines were administered before and after surgery to remove malignant tumors, they helped stimulated immune cell production in up to 70 percent of patients. These results are reported in the November 15 issue of Clinical Cancer Research.

"This is the first vaccine shown to stimulate TNF-alpha an immune-system protein that is very effective at killing cancer cells," said Lindy Durrant, senior author of the study and professor of cancer immunotherapy at the university.

The vaccine works by stimulating the patients' immune response to generate infection-fighting white blood cells called T cells, which in turn produce immune system proteins called cytokines that destroy cancer cells. The antibody contained in the vaccine, called 105AD7, was cloned from a patient who survived seven years with liver metastases from colorectal cancer, Durrant explained.

"This is very unusual as most patients die within one year of getting liver metastases," she said. "I thought if this antibody had helped this patient, if we could clone it, it might help others".........

Posted by: Sue      Permalink         Source


November 3, 2006, 4:36 AM CT

Low Folate Diets Increase Risk Of Colorectal Cancer

Low Folate Diets Increase Risk Of Colorectal Cancer Food items that contain folate
A new study by researchers at the MUHC has revealed that a diet low in folate may increase the risk of developing colorectal cancer. Reported in the scientific journal Cancer Research today, the study not only illustrates a way to prevent the disease but also provides further insight into the mechanisms of the disease, which could lead to novel therapies. Using animal models, the MUHC study is the first to demonstrate directly that diets low in folate cause colorectal cancer, and follows on the heels of earlier research by the same team that revealed how high folate diets can protect against heart disease.

"This research, which is consistent with prior epidemiological studies in humans, demonstrates a clear link between low dietary folate and the initiation of colorectal cancer in animal models," says Dr. Rima Rozen, Scientific Director of the Montreal Children's Hospital, Deputy Scientific Director of the MUHC, and lead investigator in the study. "None of the mice fed a control diet developed tumours whereas 1 in 4 mice on the folate-deficient diet developed at least one tumour".

Possible mechanisms of the disease were also investigated using molecular biological techniques. "The study shows that a low level of dietary folate may cause an increase in DNA damage, which plays a role in the development of tumours," noted Dr. Rozen. The study also reveals that folate deficiency causes genes which commonly respond to DNA damage to behave abnormally, also contributing to the development of tumours. The results suggest that a diet containing sufficient folate may reduce the risk of developing colorectal cancer.........

Posted by: Sue      Permalink         Source


November 2, 2006, 5:29 PM CT

Smoking Related Cancers

Smoking Related Cancers
There are currently about fifty million smokers in the U.S. and there are another fifty million ex-smokers. Cigarette smoking has been linked to several human malignancies. Some of these links like the relationship between smoking and lung cancer are well established. In some other cases the relationship between smoking and cancer is not very well established. However several studies have clearly shown the malignant potential of chemical substances in cigarette smoke. This article is an attempt to summarize some of the known links between cigarette smoking and caner.

Lung cancer

Lung cancer has a strong association with smoking. On average, smokers increase their risk of lung cancer between 5 and 10-fold compared to never smokers. Even though lung cancer can occur in non-smokers, it should be appreciated that more than 90 percent of all lung cancer patients are current or past smokers. Some sub types of lung cancer like small cell lung cancer is more strongly associated with smoking than others. There is plenty of research evidence in the literature linking lung cancer to smoking. A recent study published in the British Journal Of Medicine (Ref: BMJ 1997) concluded that the accumulated evidence support the fact secondhand exposure to cigarette smoke could lead to lung cancer. ........

Posted by: Agarwaal MD      Permalink


October 24, 2006, 8:55 PM CT

Genetic Variations Aspirin And Colon Cancer

Genetic Variations Aspirin And  Colon Cancer
Dartmouth scientists are among a team of doctors that have learned more about how people may or may not benefit from taking aspirin in the effort to curb colon cancer. Their study, which appears in the Oct. 18 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, finds that the beneficial effect of aspirin may be limited to individuals who have a specific genetic variation in their ODC gene.

"There is evidence that aspirin and related anti-inflammatory drugs can reduce the risk of colorectal adenomas [polyps] and cancer," says Elizabeth Barry, a research assistant professor of community and family medicine at Dartmouth Medical School, and one the authors of the study. "And with this study, we looked closer at the impact of aspirin in people who have a higher risk of developing colorectal adenomas, which lead to cancer, by examining their ODC genotype. So now we know that aspirin appears to work better in people who have this slight genetic variation, and this finding could potentially be clinically useful in the future by allowing physicians to predict which individuals are likely to benefit from aspirin use for colorectal cancer chemoprevention".

The scientists studied 973 subjects over three years as part of the Aspirin/Folate Polyp Prevention Study. In a randomized manner, some were given aspirin and some were given placebos. Almost half of the participants carried one or two copies of the ODC genetic variation. The study observed that there was no association between carrying the genetic variation and the occurrence or new adenomas, but the genotype did influence the effect of aspirin on adenoma development. Those with the ODC genetic variation were 23 percent less likely to develop new adenomas and 49 percent less likely to develop more advanced lesions, which also lead to cancer.........

Posted by: Sue      Permalink         Source


October 24, 2006, 5:48 PM CT

Virtual Colonoscopy More Expensive

Virtual Colonoscopy More Expensive Image courtesy of Mayo clinic
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center scientists have observed that "virtual" colonoscopy using a computer tomography (CT) scanner is considerably more expensive than the traditional procedure due to the detection of suspicious images outside of the colon.

"Virtual colonoscopy will certainly play a role in the future of colon cancer screening," said gastroenterologist Richard S. Bloomfeld, M.S., M.D., assistant professor of medicine at Wake Forest Baptist and a member of the research team. "It is important to understand the implications of findings outside the colon before we advocate wide-spread use of this technology".

Virtual colonoscopy, also known as CT-colonography (CTC), was developed at Wake Forest Baptist. It allows doctors to use Computerized axial tomography scanners to look at the colon to detect polyps (small growths in the colon that may become malignant if they are not removed) and cancers. Virtual reality software allows them to look inside the body without having to insert a long tube (conventional colonoscopy) into the colon or without having to fill the colon with liquid barium (barium enema).

Research performed at Wake Forest Baptist and elsewhere has shown that CTC is better able to see polyps than barium enemas and is nearly as accurate as conventional colonoscopy. Most patients report that CTC is more comfortable than either procedure.........

Posted by: Sue      Permalink         Source


October 17, 2006, 9:21 PM CT

Virtual Colonoscopy Prevents Colorectal Cancer

Virtual Colonoscopy Prevents Colorectal Cancer Image courtesy of Vision system
Three-dimensional computed tomography (CT) colonography, also known as virtual colonoscopy, is an accurate screening method for colorectal cancer, as per a research studyreported in the recent issue of the journal Radiology. In addition, when covered by third-party payers, virtual colonoscopy may entice more people to be screened.

"Our positive experience with virtual colonoscopy screening covered by health insurance demonstrates its enormous potential for increasing compliance for colorectal cancer prevention and screening," said lead author Perry J. Pickhardt, M.D., associate professor of radiology at The University of Wisconsin Medical School in Madison. "In addition, recent technical improvements have resulted in even better performance results".

Colorectal cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer mortality in the United States, and the American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates that there will be 148,610 new cases diagnosed in 2006 and 55,170 deaths. The disease is largely preventable through screening for colon polyps, which are non-malignant growths that may develop into cancer if not removed. ACS recommends that people at average risk for colorectal cancer begin regular colorectal cancer screening at age 50, but current compliance with this recommendation remains well below 50 percent. A number of people resist screening because of the discomfort and inconvenience caused by the standard optical colonoscopy test.........

Posted by: Sue      Permalink         Source


October 9, 2006, 8:29 PM CT

New Way To Treat Colon Cancer?

New Way To Treat Colon Cancer?
Scientists at University of Utah's Huntsman Cancer Institute have discovered a new target for possible future colon cancer therapys a molecule that is implicated in 85 percent of colon cancer cases.

These findings were published online Oct. 6, 2006, in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

By knocking out that is, genetically disabling a molecule called C-Terminal Binding Protein (CTBP) scientists were able to rescue zebrafish from the effects of a mutation in the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene.

In humans, mutations in this gene long have been known to initiate a series of events that cause colon polyps, which eventually become malignant. APC mutations play a role in 85 percent of colon cancers. The new findings mean CTBP also is involved in that proportion of colon cancers.

In zebrafish, APC mutations keep the intestine from developing properly. "In essence, knocking out CTPB promotes normal development of the intestine in zebrafish carrying an APC mutation," says David A. Jones, a University of Utah associate professor of oncological sciences and leader of the study.

In normal cells of both humans and zebrafish, the APC gene controls the amount of CTBP present by marking it for destruction. In tumor cells with mutated APC, CTPB is not destroyed; instead it accumulates in the cell.........

Posted by: Sue      Permalink         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.

Medicineworld.org: Archives of colon-cancer-blog

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