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December 7, 2007, 9:23 PM CT

Diet, gardening and lung cancer risk

Diet, gardening and lung cancer risk
By simply eating four or more servings of green salad a week and working in the garden once or twice a week, smokers and nonsmokers alike may be able to substantially reduce the risk of developing lung cancer, say scientists at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

"This is the first risk prediction model to examine the effects of diet and physical activity on the possibility of developing lung cancer," says Michele R. Forman, Ph.D., lead author of the study and a professor in M. D. Anderson's Department of Epidemiology. Forman presented study results at the American Association for Cancer Research "Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research" meeting Dec. 7 in Philadelphia, Pa. The data are from an ongoing M. D. Anderson case-control lung cancer study involving more than 3,800 participants. Separate epidemiologic risk assessment models were developed for current and former smokers as well as for those who have never smoked ("never smokers").

Forman's study looked at salad consumption and gardening because, "salad is a marker for the consumption of a number of vegetables and gardening is an activity in which smokers and nonsmokers can participate".

The baseline lung cancer prediction model had moderate risk protection. The study pairs M. D. Anderson patients with lung cancer with cancer-free current, former and never smoker counterparts provided through a partnership with Kelsey-Seybold Clinic, a Houston-based HMO. By including diet and physical activity, the discriminatory power of the model was raised to 64 percent, 67 percent and 71 percent respectively for never, former and current smokers.........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


November 29, 2007, 10:19 PM CT

Quit Rates Double With Counseling And Free Nicotine Patches

Quit Rates Double With Counseling And Free Nicotine Patches
Increasing the level of Quitline smoking cessation services and offering free nicotine patches are a successful and cost-effective way to reduce smoking rates, as per two new studies in the recent issue of Tobacco Control, a peer-evaluated publication of the British Medical Journal. Both studies were conducted by scientists at Kaiser Permanentes Center for Health Research in Portland, the Oregon Health Department, and Free & Clear in Seattle, a phone-based tobacco therapy program.

One study observed that the number of callers to the Oregon Tobacco Quitline jumped from 6,426 to 13,646 annually, and their quit rates nearly doubled, when Oregon became the first state in the country to promote Quitline services by combining one 30-minute telephone counseling session with a free two-week supply of Nicotine Replacement Therapy using earned or unpaid media to increase calls from smokers.

Previous to this initiative, the Oregon Tobacco Quitline provided one 30-minute telephone counseling session with no NRT and promoted the service through paid advertising. Analysis of the one-year results showed that the free NRT initiative was extremely successful even though its total costs were higher than the costs of the pre-initiative program ($2.25 million versus $1.97 million) because:.........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


November 27, 2007, 8:48 PM CT

PET scanning for lung cancer staging

PET scanning for lung cancer staging
PET scanner
Positron emission tomography (PET) is a useful diagnostic tool that supports the need for more accurate staging of lung cancer and improved therapy for patients, concludes an extensive systematic review published online today in Journal of National Cancer Institute.

The review conducted by the Lung Cancer Disease Site Group of Cancer Care Ontarios Program in Evidence-Based Care led by a Sunnybrook researcher, Dr. Yee Ung, evaluates the accuracy and utility of 18-fluorodeoxyglucose PET (18FDG-PET) in the diagnosis and staging of lung cancer.

Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer-related death and early diagnosis provides the best chance for long term survival, says Dr. Ung, chair, Lung Cancer Site Group, Odette Cancer Centre, Sunnybrook. It is our hope this systematic review contributes to clinical guideline discussions exploring the potential of PET as part of standard preoperative work-up - along with computed tomography (CT) - to further enhance assessment of early-stage lung cancer.

While the standard imaging technologies CT provide structural information and defines disease states based on anatomical changes, PET provides complementary information on biochemical processes that may precede gross anatomical changes.

Key findings drawn from the literature review include PET imaging is accurate in differentiating between non-malignant and cancerous lung tumours as small as 1 centimetre. PET was also shown to be more effective for mediastinal (lymph nodes in the centre of the chest) staging in non-small cell lung cancer. Nonetheless, confirmation of PET findings by surgical biopsy remains important. With best available data, the scientists also identified good accuracy in staging extensive versus limited stage small cell lung cancer.........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


November 18, 2007, 8:53 PM CT

Genomic Landscape Of Lung Cancer

Genomic Landscape Of Lung Cancer
An international team of researchers has produced the most comprehensive view yet of the abnormal genetic landscape of lung cancer, the world's leading cause of cancer deaths. Appearing in the Nov. 4 advance online issue of Nature, the research reveals more than 50 genomic regions that are frequently gained or lost in human lung tumors.

While one-third of these regions contain genes already known to play important roles in lung cancer, the majority harbor new genes yet to be discovered. Flowing from this work, the researchers uncovered a critical gene alteration--not previously associated with any form of cancer--that is implicated in a significant fraction of lung cancer cases, shedding light on the biological basis of the disease and a potential new target for treatment.

"This view of the lung cancer genome is unprecedented, both in its breadth and depth," said senior author Matthew Meyerson, a senior associate member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and an associate professor at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School. "It lays an essential foundation and has already pinpointed an important gene that controls the growth of lung cells. This information offers crucial inroads to the biology of lung cancer and will help shape new strategies for cancer diagnosis and treatment."........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


November 12, 2007, 9:41 PM CT

Anti-smoking strategy targets fourth-graders

Anti-smoking strategy targets fourth-graders
A smoking-prevention strategy that targets black fourth-graders and their parents is under study in urban and rural Georgia.

Scientists want to know if they can keep these children from smoking and help smoking parents quit, as per Dr. Martha S. Tingen, nurse researcher at the Medical College of Georgia's Georgia Prevention Institute, and Interim Program Leader for Cancer Prevention and Control, MCG Cancer Center.

Dr. Tingen is principal investigator on a $2.5 million National Cancer Institute grant to determine if this novel strategy of concurrent intervention in the classroom and at home reduces smoking and related disability and death in blacks. Blacks tend to have higher rates of second-hand smoke exposure and more adverse health effects than whites.

"Every day in Georgia, 84 kids between 10 to 13 years of age start smoking cigarettes," says Dr. Tingen.

"Ninety percent of all smokers start before they are out of high school. If we can help keep kids from smoking before they get out of high school, they probably won't ever start. I am hoping the fourth graders haven't started smoking, but I am thinking a lot of them still are exposed to tobacco use and second-hand smoke in the home".

Scientists are enrolling 350 students and their parents or guardians in 16 elementary schools in Augusta, Ga., and rural Jefferson County, Ga., about 60 miles away. During the fourth and fifth grades, half the children will get two intense learning sessions per week over four weeks of Life Skills Training, developed by Dr. Gilbert J. Botvin, director of the Institute for Prevention Research at Cornell University Medical College.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


November 4, 2007, 2:28 PM CT

Gene alterations in lung cancer

Gene alterations in lung cancer
An international team of scientists, supported in part by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), today announced that its systematic effort to map the genomic changes underlying lung cancer has uncovered a critical gene alteration not previously associated with any form of cancer. The research, reported in the advance online issue of the journal Nature, also revealed more than 50 genomic regions that are frequently gained or lost in lung adenocarcinoma, the most common type of lung cancer in the United States.

"This view of the lung cancer genome is unprecedented, both in its breadth and depth," said senior author Matthew Meyerson, M.D., Ph.D., a senior associate member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in Cambridge, Mass., and an associate professor at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School in Boston. "It lays an essential foundation, and has already pinpointed an important gene that controls the growth of lung cells. This information offers crucial inroads to the biology of lung cancer and will help shape new strategies for cancer diagnosis and treatment."

Each year more than 1 million people worldwide die of lung cancer, including more than 150,000 in the United States. The new study focused on lung adenocarcinoma, which, as per the National Cancer Institute (NCI), is the most frequently diagnosed form of lung cancer in the United States, accounting for approximately 30 percent of cases.........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


September 18, 2007, 5:18 AM CT

Personalized Treatment For Nicotine Addiction

Personalized Treatment For Nicotine Addiction
Whether a smoking-cessation drug will enable you to quit smoking may depend on your genes, as per new genotyping research from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). The study, reported in the recent issue of the journal Biological Psychiatry, observed that the enzyme known to metabolize both the smoking cessation drug bupropion and nicotine is highly genetically variable in all ethnicities and influences smoking cessation. This finding is a step toward being able to tailor smoking cessation therapy to individuals based on their unique genetic make-up.

This first study identifies a very common genetic variant (present in anywhere from 25 to 50 percent of world populations) that appears to affect the outcome of smoking cessation therapy, said Rachel Tyndale, Section Head of Pharmacogenetics at CAMH and lead researcher on the study, adding that the results would have to be replicated.

Tyndale and his colleagues performed genotyping on smokers for CYP2B6, a gene known to be highly variable and whose enzyme metabolizes bupropion, nicotine and serotonin. Participants were then provided with either placebo or bupropion therapy for ten weeks and followed up for 6 months.

The research project, supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the National Institute of Health, observed that 45% of individuals with a specific variant of the gene benefited from bupropion therapy and maintained abstinence longer while doing poorly on placebo, with a 32.5% abstinent rate vs. 14.3%, respectively. In contrast, the 55% with a different variant of the gene (wild type variant) had good abstinences rates on placebo and gained no additional benefit from Bupropion, suggesting no benefit from treating these individuals with Bupropion. Of note, this group was able to quit smoking very well in the absence of an active drug (on placebo).........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


July 23, 2007, 4:45 PM CT

Smokers who see more ads for smoking-cessation products

Smokers who see more ads for smoking-cessation products
The more magazine ads smokers see for the nicotine patch and other quit-smoking aids, the more likely they are to try to quit smoking and be successful -- even without buying the products, finds a new Cornell study.

"We believe that the reason may be that important 'spillover effects' from advertising may be occurring, which has important implications for advertising for a wide range of health products," said Alan Mathios, professor of policy analysis and management at Cornell and a co-author of the study, published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Political Economy and winner of best conference paper at the 2007 American Marketing Association's Public Policy and Marketing Conference, May 31-June 2, in Washington, D.C.

Mathios noted that the results of this study may also apply to other types of pharmaceutical advertising. For example, when patients discuss with their physicians an advertised drug that lowers cholesterol, physicians will often recommend such health behavior changes as diet and exercise, creating a positive spillover effect from the advertising.

Using databases on the consumer behavior and magazine-reading habits of 28,303 current or former smokers and advertising data in 26 consumer magazines, Mathios and three Cornell colleagues explored the impact of advertising of smoking-cessation products on quitting decisions.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


July 17, 2007, 10:52 PM CT

Nonsmall cell lung cancer: chemotherapy before surgery

Nonsmall cell lung cancer: chemotherapy before surgery
Combining pre-operative chemotherapy and surgery increases the average chance of survival at five years by approximately 6% compared with surgery alone.

This conclusion was drawn by a team of Cochrane Scientists from the MRC Clinical Trials Unit in London after they identified 12 eligible randomised controlled trials. Data from seven of these trials were available from trial reports and were combined in a meta-analysis. The seven trials involved a total of 988 patients.

This is currently the best estimate of the effectiveness of this treatment, but is based on a relatively small number of trials and patients, says lead researcher Sarah Burdett.

There was, however, insufficient data to break the patients down into sub-groups and see whether the effectiveness varies for different types of patients or stages of the disease.

This research is important because around the world more than a million new cases of lung cancer are diagnosed each year, around 80% of which are non-small cell lung cancer. In addition, a number of patients are only diagnosed after the disease has progressed, so survival rates across all stages of disease tend to be fairly low at around 14%, with only a quarter of patients being suitable for surgery.

The Cochrane Systematic Review observed that using chemotherapy before surgery can reduce the size of tumours making the surgery simpler, and increasing the number of patients who may be candidates for surgery. The worry is, however, that having a course of chemotherapy delays the operation, and could therefore leave patients at risk of allowing the tumour to spread.........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


June 25, 2007, 8:06 PM CT

Tree Bark For New Lung-cancer Treatment

Tree Bark For New Lung-cancer Treatment
Lapacho rosado (Tabebuia impetiginosa)
Scientists at UT Southwestern Medical Center have determined how a substance derived from the bark of the South American lapacho tree kills certain kinds of cancer cells, findings that also suggest a novel therapy for the most common type of lung cancer.

The compound, called beta-lapachone, has shown promising anti-cancer properties and is currently being used in a clinical trial to examine its effectiveness against pancreas cancer in humans. Until now, however, scientists didn't know the mechanism of how the compound killed cancer cells.

Dr. David Boothman, a professor in the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center and senior author of a study appearing online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, has been researching the compound and how it causes cell death in malignant cells for 15 years.

In the new study, Dr. Boothman and colleagues in the Simmons Cancer Center observed that beta-lapachone interacts with an enzyme called NQO1, which is present at high levels in non-small cell lung cancer and other solid tumors. In tumors, the compound is metabolized by NQO1 and produces cell death without damaging nonmalignant tissues that do not express this enzyme.

"Basically, we have worked out the mechanism of action of beta-lapachone and devised a way of using that drug for individualized treatment," said Dr. Boothman, who is also a professor of pharmacology and radiation oncology.........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source



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Lung cancer
We engage a never-ending daily struggle to understand and defeat the hidden mysteries of cancer. This is a long and laborious fight, but some moments stand out as grim reminders of the severity of the problem and ruthlessness of the enemy. We recently heard about the sad demise of Peter Jennings, who was the news anchor of ABC News for a long time.

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