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October 1, 2006, 8:02 PM CT

Scientists Stop Colon Cancer Growth In Mice

Scientists Stop Colon Cancer Growth In Mice
Scientists from Texas were able to stop the growth of colon cancer in mice by blocking just one enzyme. They say that this is a big step against conquering cancer. Even though this was an experiment on mice, these scientists hope that their findings might soon find its way to human cancers including colon cancer.

In cell culture experiments, researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) and the University of Texas at Arlington determined that stopping the activity of a single enzyme called aldose reductase could shut down the toxic network of biochemical signals that promotes inflammation and colon cancer cell growth.

In a dramatic demonstration of the potential of this discovery, they followed up this work with animal studies showing that blocking the production of aldose reductase halted the growth of human colon cancer cells implanted in laboratory mice.

"By inhibiting aldose reductase we were able to completely stop the further growth of colorectal cancer tumor cells," said UTMB professor Satish K. Srivastava, senior author of a paper about the discovery would be published Oct. 1 in the journal Cancer Research.

As per the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, colon cancer is the country's second leading cancer killer. In 2002, the most recent year for which statistics are available, 70,651 men and 68,883 women were diagnosed with colon cancer in the United States; 28,471 men and 28,132 women died from the disease.........

Posted by: Sue      Permalink         Source


September 20, 2006, 5:09 AM CT

Why Food Tastes Bad To Chemotherapy Recipients

Why Food Tastes Bad To Chemotherapy Recipients
It's a common experience among patients who are receiving chemotherapy to have no tast for food. About two million cancer patients currently receiving certain drug therapies and chemotherapy find foods and beverages to have a foul metallic flavor, as per a medical study. In general, more than 40 percent of hospitalized patients suffer from malnutrition due to taste and smell dysfunction.

"Unfortunately, these problems that impact nutrition and quality of life are underestimated and understudied by oncologists," said Andrea Dietrich, Virginia Tech professor of civil and environmental engineering (CEE).

Dietrich believes there are two components to the metallic flavor the taste of metal ions on the tongue and the production of metal-catalyzed odors in the mouth that create a retro-nasal effect. "I am attempting to gain a better understanding of the metallic sensation, its prevention, and application to human health," Dietrich said.

Along with two of her university colleagues, Susan E. Duncan, professor of food science and technology, and YongWoo Lee, an assistant professor in the biomedical sciences and pathology department and a member of the Virginia Tech-Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences, Dietrich is the recipient of a $200,000 grant from the Institute of Public Health and Water Research (IPWR) to examine the problems of foul flavored water. The interdisciplinary investigative team combines proficiency in food oxidation and off-flavors, water chemistry, cell biology, and human perception.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


September 19, 2006, 10:01 PM CT

A spicy solution for colon cancer?

A spicy solution for colon cancer?
A spicy turmeric solution for colon cancer.

In the last few years, that tactic has proved productive for scientists investigating turmeric, a curry spice used for centuries in Indian traditional medicine.

They've observed that turmeric's active ingredient, curcumin, works in the lab to fight skin, breast and other tumor cells. In fact, human clinical trials employing curcumin have already been launched.

Now, working with cell cultures in a laboratory, researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) have discovered that curcumin blocks the activity of a gastrointestinal hormone implicated in the development of colorectal cancer, the country's second leading cancer killer with nearly 60,000 deaths annually. In a paper reported in the current issue of Clinical Cancer Research, the UTMB scientists link the gastrointestinal hormone neurotensin, which is generated in response to fat consumption, to the production of IL-8, a potent inflammatory protein that accelerates the growth and spread of a variety of human cancer cells, including colorectal and pancreatic tumor cells.

"We observed that in colon cancer cells, neurotensin increases not just the rate of growth but also other critical things, including cell migration and metastasis," said UTMB surgery professor B. Mark Evers, senior author of the article and director of UTMB's Sealy Center for Cancer Cell Biology. "The fact that all that can be turned off by this natural product, curcumin, was really remarkable".........

Posted by: Sue      Permalink         Source


September 5, 2006, 9:54 PM CT

Vioxx Reduces the Risk of Colorectal Polyps

Vioxx Reduces the Risk of Colorectal Polyps John A. Baron
A researcher from Dartmouth reports the results of a clinical trial that shows that the cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitor rofecoxib (VIOXX®) reduces the risk of colorectal adenomas, or polyps. Polyps are non-malignant tumors that are precursors to colon cancer, and they are often found in elderly adults.

The results of the study appeared online on August 30 at the American Gastroenterological Association website (212kb PDF) in advance of being reported in the journal, Gastroenterology. Extensive data have suggested previously that aspirin and non-selective nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) could reduce colon cancer risk, and this study now demonstrates a similar effect for VIOXX®.

"These are exciting findings," says Dr. John Baron, the lead author of the paper and a professor at Dartmouth Medical School, who has been studying chemoprevention of colorectal cancer for more than twenty years. "They show once again the potential for NSAIDs to interfere with the development of cancer in the colon and rectum."

This study, called the APPROVe (Adenomatous Polyp Prevention on VIOXX®) study, was a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial conducted by Merck Research Laboratories. The study involved 108 sites in the United States and abroad and followed 2,587 patients with a recent history of confirmed colorectal adenomas. After removal of all polyps, the subjects were randomized to receive daily placebo or 25 mg rofecoxib on a daily basis. The primary endpoint was to analyze all adenomas diagnosed during the three-year therapy period based upon colonoscopies conducted one year and three years after baseline.........

Posted by: Sue      Permalink         Source


August 1, 2006, 6:53 AM CT

Curry And Onions May Prevent Colon Cancer

Curry And Onions May Prevent Colon Cancer
A small but informative clinical trial by Johns Hopkins researchers shows that a pill combining chemicals found in turmeric, a spice used in curries, and onions reduces both the size and number of premalignant lesions in the human intestinal tract.

In the study, reported in the recent issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, five patients with an inherited form of premalignant polyps in the lower bowel known as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) were treated with regular doses of curcumin (the chemical found in turmeric) and quercetin, an antioxidant in onions, over an average of six months. The average number of polyps dropped 60.4 percent, and the average size dropped by 50.9 percent, as per a team led by Francis M. Giardiello, M.D., at the Division of Gastroenterology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and Marcia Cruz-Correa, M.D., Ph.D., at Johns Hopkins and the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine.

"We believe this is the first proof of principle that these substances have significant effects in patients with FAP," says Giardiello.

Typically familial adenomatous polyposis is a disorder that runs in families and is characterized by the development of hundreds of colorectal adenomas (polyps) and eventual colon cancer. Recently, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have been used to treat some patients with this condition, but these compounds often produce significant side effects, including gastrointestinal ulcerations and bleeding, as per Giardiello.........

Posted by: Sue      Permalink         Source


July 10, 2006, 6:44 AM CT

Exercise Reduces Recurrence Of Colon Cancer

Exercise Reduces Recurrence Of Colon Cancer
Patients with stage III colon cancer who walked at an average pace six days a week or had equivalent exercise had a 51% reduced risk of having their cancer return compared to those who were less active.

As part of a study comparing two chemotherapy regimens, patients were enrolled in an evaluation of their exercise levels after therapy. Scientists compared exercise using a standardized unit called a MET or metabolic equivalent task. One MET equaled the energy expended during an hour of sitting quietly Walking at an average pace for an hour equaled 3 METS, running expended 12 METS, while swimming, bicycling, and tennis each resulted in 7 METS per hour.

To be sure that illness from cancer or chemotherapy was not effecting exercise levels, patients were questioned about their exercise activities 6 months after finishing chemotherapy for their cancer and only those who were cancer-free were included in the study.

Patients whose exercise reached 18 METS in a week had an 85% chance of being alive and cancer-free three years after the study questionnaire, those with less than 18 METS had a 75% chance of similar survival. 18 METS was equivalent to walking a mile at an average pace 6 days a week.

Both men and women benefited from exercise as did people younger and older than 60. There was no significant difference in benefits based on body mass index, number of lymph nodes, therapy received, or overall health at the beginning of therapy. Furthermore, exercise benefits after cancer diagnosis and therapy were independent of exercise habits before cancer. Additional exercise above the 18 METS improved disease-free survival even more, but after about 27 METS a week improvement reached a plateau.........

Posted by: Sue      Permalink         Source


July 1, 2006, 11:48 AM CT

Aspirin may not reduce the risk of colorectal cancer in smokers

Aspirin may not reduce the risk of colorectal cancer in smokers
It is widely known that the use of aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDS, may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer by up to 40 percent, but this protective effect may not extend to long-term smokers, who already face an increased risk of the disease, as per a research studyled by scientists at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

In a large, population-based study comparing risk factors in people with and without colorectal cancer, the scientists found the highest risk of colon cancer to be among long-term smokers of 20 or more years who had never used NSAIDs. The scientists also found that smokers who used NSAIDs were still at an approximate 30 percent higher risk of colon cancer than nonsmokers.

The findings, which appear in the July 1 issue of Cancer Research, arise from the first study of its kind to examine the effects of NSAID use on colorectal-cancer risk among smokers, said first author Victoria Chia, a research associate in the Hutchinson Center's Cancer Prevention Program.

"Smoking has been linked to a modestly increased risk of colorectal cancer, and use of NSAIDs has been shown to significantly decrease the risk of colorectal cancer. We wanted to see if NSAIDs could counteract the adverse effects of smoking with regard to colorectal-cancer risk, and whether these associations differed by tumor characteristics," she said.........

Posted by: Sue      Permalink         Source


July 1, 2006, 9:52 AM CT

Prostatic Radiation Does Not Increase Rectal Cancer Risk

Prostatic Radiation Does Not Increase Rectal Cancer Risk
Men who receive radiation treatment for prostate cancer are not at any appreciable increased risk of developing rectal cancer compared to those not given radiation treatment, as per a new study reported in the July 1, 2006, issue of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology*Biology*Physics, the official journal of ASTRO, the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology.

This year, 235,000 American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. The main ways of dealing with the disease are radiation treatment, surgery and watchful waiting - each of which has its benefits and disadvantages. Scientists have hypothesized that one disadvantage of using radiation to kill the cancer cells in the prostate is that it might also make men more likely to develop cancer in the nearby rectum.

In this study, doctors in Canada evaluated the records of 237,773 men who had prostate cancer. Of them, 33,841 received radiation treatment, 167,607 had their prostate removed surgically and 36,335 received neither therapy. On an initial simple evaluation, doctors found that rectal cancer developed in 243 men who received radiation (0.7 percent), 578 men treated with surgery (0.3 percent), and 227 of the men given neither therapy (0.8 percent). Once doctors had adjusted for the age differences between all the men in the irradiated and non-irradiated groups, they could not find any significant increased risk of rectal cancer in the irradiated men compared to those not given radiation treatment.........

Posted by: Mark      Permalink         Source


June 24, 2006, 11:24 PM CT

Better Lymph Node Staging For Colorectal Cancer

Better Lymph Node Staging For Colorectal Cancer
Techniques that identify the key lymph nodes and the lymph channels that drain areas of the colon or rectum where cancer is located can identify more patients with lymph nodes that contain cancer. Patients with nodes positive for cancer - stage III diagnosis -benefit from chemotherapy.

Patients who don't have positive nodes - stage II - have less benefit from chemotherapy and deciding whether the risk outweighs the benefit is difficult for both doctors and patients.

Because it is important to make sure that the staging is accurate, better techniques to locate lymph nodes and test them for cancer may find patients who are need to have their cancer upstaged from stage II to stage III and be treated with chemotherapy after their surgery.

Using a technique called lymphatic mapping along with identification of sentinel nodes, surgeons at the John Wayne Cancer Center in California found that 1 in 4 stage II patients had cancer that had spread to very small lymph nodes and were actually stage III.

Surgeons were able to locate sentinel nodes in almost all patients. Pathologists located the rest. Dye was used to stain the sentinel nodes and their lymphatic channels during surgery so that small nodes could be found and tested during the pathological examinations after surgery critical to accurate staging.........

Posted by: Sue      Permalink         Source


June 21, 2006, 9:10 PM CT

FDA Approves Avastin For Second Line Treatment Of Colon Cancer

FDA Approves Avastin For Second Line Treatment Of Colon Cancer

On June 20, 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted approval for a labeling extension for bevacizumab (Avastin®, Genentech), administered in combination with intravenous 5-fluorouracil-based chemotherapy, for the second-line therapy of metastatic carcinoma of the colon or rectum. This recommendation is based on the demonstration of a statistically significant improvement in overall survival (OS) in patients receiving Avastin® plus FOLFOX4 (5-flourouracil, leucovorin, and oxaliplatin) when compared to those receiving FOLFOX4 alone.

The trial (E3200) supporting this approval was an open label, randomized, 3-arm, active-controlled, multi-center clinical trial evaluating AVASTIN® alone (n=244), AVASTIN® plus FOLFOX4 (n=293), and FOLFOX4 alone (n=292). Following a planned interim analysis, the AVASTIN® monotherapy arm was closed to accrual based on evidence of decreased survival in patients treated with AVASTIN® alone compared with FOLFOX4 alone. Patients entered on the trial had progressive or recurrent disease following previous 5-FU and irinotecan-based treatment. Patients (99%) received irinotecan with or without 5-FU as initial treatment for metastatic disease; those who received adjuvant irinotecan-based chemotherapy were mandatory to have recurred within 6 months of completing treatment.........

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.

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