April 1, 2007, 9:04 PM CT
Fat Cancels Effects Of Vitamin C
Fats in our stomach may reduce the protective effects of antioxidants such as vitamin C. Researchers at the University of Glasgow observed that in the presence of lipid the ability of antioxidants, such as ascorbic acid (the active component of vitamin C), to protect against the generation of potential cancer-forming compounds in the stomach is less than when no lipids are present. Our results illustrate how diet can influence gastric biochemistry, says Emilie Combet, the post-doctoral researcher working on the project, who will be presenting her results at the Society of Experimental Biologys Annual Main Meeting on Monday 2nd of April.
The occurence rate of cancer of the proximal stomach has been increasing over the last 20 years for which environmental factors, such as diet, certainly play a part. Nitrite, which is present in our saliva and is derived from nitrate in our diet, is believed to be a pre-carcinogen for gastric cancer. When it is swallowed and enters the acidic environment of the stomach, nitrite spontaneously forms nitrosating species able to convert a range of targets, such as secondary amines and bile acids, into carcinogenic N-nitrosocompounds. Antioxidants such as ascorbic acid protect against the formation of these nitrosocompounds by converting the nitrosating species back into nitric oxide (NO). However, NO diffuses rapidly to lipids, where it reacts with oxygen to reform nitrosating species. The presence of lipids therefore overrides the protective effect of vitamin C against the formation of harmful compounds.........
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March 29, 2007, 10:35 PM CT
Should single parents stay that way?
In an age when cohabitation and divorce are common, single parents concerned about the developmental health of their children may want to choose new partners slowly and deliberately, new research from The Johns Hopkins University suggests.
The reason for taking your time? The more transitions children go through in their living situation, the more likely they are to act out, Johns Hopkins sociologists Paula Fomby and Andrew Cherlin report. They also observed that the effect of family upheaval on children varies by race.
In their paper, "Family Instability and Child Well-Being," reported in the recent issue of the American Sociological Review, Fomby and Cherlin note that with each breakup, divorce, remarriage or new cohabitation, there is a period of adjustment as parents, partners, and children establish their places in a new family setting. Studying a nationally representative sample of mothers and their children, the scientists observed that children who go through frequent transitions are more likely to have behavioral problems than children raised in stable two-parent families and maybe even more than those in stable single-parent families.
Looking at children's scores on a mother-reported assessment of behavior problems with a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 15 (similar to how an IQ test is scored), the authors observed that a child who experienced three transitions would have a behavior problems score about 6 points higher in comparison to a child who had experienced no transitions. Experiencing multiple transitions was also linked to children's more frequent delinquent behavior, including vandalism, theft and truancy.........
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March 29, 2007, 10:03 PM CT
Omega-3 Fatty Acid And Alzheimer's Disease?
Eating fish may help reduce the risk for dementia.
Nutritionists have long endorsed fish as part of a heart-healthy diet, and now some studies suggest that omega-3 fatty acids found in the oil of certain fish may also benefit the brain by lowering the risk of Alzheimer's disease. In order to test whether docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid, can impact the progression of Alzheimer's disease, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine and Saint Louis University School of Medicine will evaluate DHA in a clinical trial sponsored by the National Institute on Aging (NIA).
The local effort is part of a nationwide consortium of leading Alzheimer's disease scientists supported by the NIA and coordinated by the University of California, San Diego. The trial will take place at 52 sites across the United States. It seeks 400 participants age 50 and older with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease. Joseph Quinn, M.D., associate professor of neurology at Oregon Health and Science University, is directing the national study. James Galvin, M.D., M.P.H., at Washington University School of Medicine, and George Grossberg, M.D., at Saint Louis University School of Medicine, will conduct the study locally.
Scientists will primarily evaluate whether taking DHA over a number of months slows both cognitive and functional decline in people with mild to moderate Alzheimer's. During the 18-month clinical trial, researchers will measure the progress of the disease using standard tests for functional and cognitive change.........
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March 29, 2007, 5:10 AM CT
Link Between Smoking AndPancreatic Cancer
Scientists at Michigan State University have added yet another piece to the puzzle that links cigarette smoking with cancer of the pancreas, one of the deadliest forms of cancer.
In research reported in the recent issue of the International Journal of Cancer, MSUs James Trosko and his colleagues zeroed in on the mechanism by which a healthy cell turns malignant.
Specifically, they observed that the chemicals produced by the burning of tobacco products polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs interfere with communication between the bodys cells. More importantly, the work showed that some of these chemicals dont necessarily initiate the cancer, but rather contribute to the promotion of it.
"These PAH chemicals are correlation to the multistage, multimechanism process of carcinogenesis, not by mutating the stem cell, but by triggering the stem cell thats been previously mutated to proliferate," said Trosko, a professor of pediatrics and human development. "This finding has major implications, including the possibility that dietary intervention might interrupt or even reverse the promotion of pancreas cancers".
Until now, most researchers thought that specific PAHs produced by burning tobacco mutated genes which, in turn, triggered the cancer mechanism.........
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March 29, 2007, 4:59 AM CT
Breast Cancer Patients For Reconstruction
Forty-four percent of surgeons do not refer the majority of their patients with breast cancer to a plastic surgeon previous to the initial surgery when the woman is choosing her therapy course, as per a new study by scientists at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.
The finding may help explain the consistently low number of women who pursue breast reconstruction after mastectomy.
The scientists surveyed 365 surgeons, asking them how often they referred patients considering a mastectomy to a plastic surgeon before performing the mastectomy. The surgeons were identified from a population-based database of women in the Detroit and Los Angeles metropolitan areas who had been treated for breast cancer.
The study found 44 percent of the surgeons referred fewer than a quarter of their patients to a plastic surgeon previous to the mastectomy. Only 24 percent of surgeons referred three-quarters or more of their patients for reconstruction.
The study appears March 26 in the online edition of the journal Cancer.
"Women may be more inclined to choose mastectomy with a good understanding of the reconstructive options. We need to help patients through this difficult decision-making process up front, through patient decision aids that include information about reconstruction and multidisciplinary approaches to care, where all surgical options are fully explained," says lead study author Amy Alderman, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of plastic surgery at the U-M Medical School.........
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March 29, 2007, 4:51 AM CT
Women without regular medical care
In North America, ovary cancer is the second most common gynecological cancer and is the leading cause of death among women with gynecological cancer. The high mortality is in part due to the difficulty of detecting and diagnosing this condition at an early stage.
In this case-control study, Abenhaim and his colleagues examined whether the frequency of medical visits and pelvic examinations and the type of health care provider visited had an effect on the risk of ovary cancer. They observed that women who did not have an annual medical visit or pelvic examination and who had no regular health care provider were at an increased risk of ovary cancer. This risk was most pronounced among postmenopausal women. Eventhough the study could not determine whether women who sought regular health care and had a regular doctor were at a decreased risk of ovary cancer, the most prudent recommendation is that women, particularly those who are postmenopausal, should be encouraged to maintain regular health care.........
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March 29, 2007, 4:41 AM CT
RF ablation effective for inoperable lung cancer
A minimally invasive procedure known as radiofrequency (RF) ablation is effective for treating lung cancer in patients who are not candidates for surgery, as per a Rhode Island Hospital study reported in the recent issue of the journal Radiology.
Damian Dupuy, MD, director of ablation at Rhode Island Hospital and professor of diagnostic imaging at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, conducted a study of 153 patients who were treated for early-stage, inoperable lung cancer with RF ablation. The procedure involves using a specialized needle inserted through the skin to transmit high-frequency electrical currents into a tumor. The overall results of the study show RF ablation to be safe and linked it with promising long-term survival and local tumor progression outcomes when in comparison to the older therapy method of external beam radiation (EBT).
EBT, which has been used for decades, requires a number of therapys over a six-week period. This can often lead to a variety of side effects. RF ablation, however, is performed in a single day on an outpatient basis, is minimally invasive and has few side effects.
Dupuy says, "Our study has shown that this minimally invasive procedure can successfully treat lung cancer patients who could not undergo surgery in one fairly simple therapy. The study also shows that radiofrequency ablation is equal to or more effective in terms of both survival and tumor control." With RF ablation, the Rhode Island Hospital scientists noted a two-year survival rate at 57 percent in comparison to 51 percent using EBT.........
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March 29, 2007, 4:38 AM CT
Biopsy for prostate cancer in obese men
Obese and overweight men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer by biopsy are more likely than healthy weight men to actually have a more aggressive case of the disease than the biopsy results would indicate, as per a research studyled by a Duke University Medical Center researcher.
The finding suggests that misleading biopsy results may be causing a number of obese and overweight men to receive inadequate or inappropriate therapy that is not aggressive enough to combat the true nature of their disease, said study leader Stephen Freedland, M.D., an assistant professor in the Division of Urology and the Duke Prostate Center.
"We already know that it's more difficult to diagnose prostate cancer in obese men because they have lower levels of prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, a common blood marker for prostate cancer, and because their larger-sized prostates make it more likely for a biopsy to miss the cancer," he said. "These findings further suggest that we could be missing even more high-grade disease among obese men".
Gaining a better understanding of links between biopsies and prostate cancer also may help physicians improve patient therapy, said Freedland, who also holds an appointment in surgery at the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
"If we can determine through additional biopsies that an obese or overweight man has more aggressive prostate cancer, we can discuss whether the cancer should be treated with more than one approach, such as combining hormonal treatment with radiation, to reduce the risk of the cancer spreading and improve the chances of cure," Freedland said. "We must also keep in mind that even if a well-done biopsy shows low-grade cancer in an obese patient, there is still a reasonable likelihood that the patient may have high-grade disease."........
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March 29, 2007, 4:34 AM CT
Rice Bran to Reduce Intestinal Cancer
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.........
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March 28, 2007, 10:21 PM CT
MRI Detects Most Missed Opposite Breast Cancers
Up to 10 percent of women newly diagnosed with cancer in one breast develop cancer in the opposite breast. Results of a major clinical trial show that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans are highly effective tools for quickly identifying these opposite breast cancers, detecting diseased tissue that other screening methods missed.
In the new trial, conducted by the American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN) and funded by the National Cancer Institute, scientists wanted to determine whether MRI could improve doctors' ability to identify these opposite breast cancers right at the initial diagnosis - boosting the chances for swift and successful therapy.
The results, reported in the New England Journal (NEJM), show that for women already diagnosed with cancer in one breast, MRI scans detected more than 90 percent of cancers in the opposite, or contralateral, breast.
"The study establishes MRI as a key component of the diagnostic workup for women with breast cancer," said Constantine Gatsonis, lead statistician for the trial and director of the Center for Statistical Sciences at Brown University. "If my wife were diagnosed with breast cancer, I'd be sure that she got an MRI of the opposite breast".
Gatsonis, a Brown professor of biostatistics, oversaw design of the MRI trial and led analysis of its results. He offered a caveat: The study showed that MRI is an effective addition to - but not a replacement for - clinical breast exams and mammography.........
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