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June 13, 2007, 1:30 PM CT

Lung and bladder cancer after arsenic exposure

Lung and bladder cancer after arsenic exposure
Image courtesy of Liver pool Middle School
Arsenic exposure appears to continue causing lung and bladder cancer deaths years after exposure ends, as per a research studypublished online June 12 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute

Arsenic is a known cause of lung and bladder cancer, but scientists dont yet know how long cancer risk remains elevated after arsenic exposure. The drinking water in a region of northern Chile became contaminated with very high amounts of arsenic beginning in 1958. In the 1970s, construction of water therapy plants in the region led to a decline in arsenic concentration. This sudden rise and fall of arsenic levels gave scientists the opportunity to investigate the period between first and last exposure to high levels of arsenic and subsequent mortality due arsenic-related cancers, such as bladder and lung cancer.

Guillermo Marshall, Ph.D., of Pontificia Universidad Catlica de Chile in Santiago and his colleagues including collaborators from the University of California, Berkeley, investigated bladder and lung cancer death rates in the region between 1950 and 2000 and compared them with data from a similar region farther south, where the water was not contaminated.

Lung and bladder cancer mortality rates in the area with arsenic-contaminated drinking water began to rise about 10 years after arsenic levels rose. They then continued to climb, peaking between 10 and 20 years after the arsenic levels dropped. At the peak, lung cancer deaths among men and women in the contaminated region were about three times higher than in the control region, while bladder cancer deaths were six times higher in men and 14 times higher in women. The lag time between exposure to a carcinogen and the peak of cancer deaths is commonly difficult to determine, but the size of the study and the record of arsenic exposure aided the researchers.........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


June 6, 2007, 9:50 PM CT

Talcum powder stunts growth of lung tumors

Talcum powder stunts growth of lung tumors
Image courtesy of ubeaut.com.au
Talcum powder has been used for generations to soothe babies diaper rash and freshen womens faces. But University of Florida scientists report the household product has an additional healing power: The ability to stunt cancer growth by cutting the flow of blood to metastatic lung tumors.

The study, reported in the European Respiratory Journal in April, reveals that talc stimulates healthy cells to produce endostatin, a hormone considered the magic bullet for treating metastatic lung cancer. The UF scientists say talc is an exciting new therapeutic agent for a cancer largely considered incurable.

We found, to our surprise, that talc causes tumor growth to slow down and actually decreases the tumor bulk, said Veena Antony, M.D., a professor of pulmonary medicine and chief of pulmonary and critical care medicine at UFs College of Medicine. Talc is able to prevent the formation of blood vessels, thereby killing the tumor and choking off its growth. The tumors appeared to grow much slower and in some cases completely disappeared.

Researchers have only recently discovered that talcum powder stunts tumor growth, though the mineral has been used for almost 70 years to treat the respiratory problems that accompany metastatic lung cancer. About half of all patients accumulate fluid around the surface of the lungs, a condition known as cancerous pleural effusion.........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


May 21, 2007, 11:38 AM CT

Vitamin Supplements Don't Protect Against Lung Cancer

Vitamin Supplements Don't Protect Against Lung Cancer
A study of more than 75,000 adults observed that taking supplemental multivitamins, vitamin C and E and folate do not decrease the risk of lung cancer. The findings are being reported at the American Thoracic Society 2007 International Conference, on Monday, May 21.

The study, which also did not find any increased lung cancer risk from the supplements, is one of the most detailed, prospective findings based on observation to look at the effect of vitamin supplements instead of vitamins from foods on lung cancer risk.

People are spending billions of dollars on supplements, and there is a general sense in the population that they prevent cancer, said researcher Chris Slatore, M.D., of the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. We need to find out if theyre helpful or even harmful.

The 77,738 men and women in the VITamins And Lifestyle (VITAL) study, ages 50-76, filled out an extensive questionnaire on vitamin intake over the prior 10 years, including how much of each supplement they took. The scientists then checked to see how a number of of the people in the study had lung cancer, using a government cancer registry. They found 393 cases of lung cancer. Adjusting for such risk factors as smoking, age, sex, cancer history, other lung disease and history of lung cancer, they found no statistically significant relationships between different types of supplements and lung cancer.........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


May 9, 2007, 11:31 PM CT

FDG-PET Predicts Response to Chemotherapy

FDG-PET Predicts Response to Chemotherapy
An earlier indication of whether chemotherapy benefits non-small cell patients with lung cancer-provided by positron emission tomography (PET) imaging-can guide doctors in offering them better care, as per scientists in the May Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

"Our study demonstrates that patients who respond to chemotherapy can be identified early in the course of their therapy, and these patients will generally exhibit prolonged overall survival," explained Claude Nahmias, professor of radiology and medicine at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville. "Eventhough we studied a relatively small number of patients-and our results should be interpreted with caution-it is clear that a repeat PET study with the radiotracer fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) at the end of the first cycle of chemotherapy would allow the identification of those patients for whom the treatment was futile," he said. "The ability to provide an early indication of therapeutic response has the potential to improve patient care by identifying those patients who do not benefit from their current therapy," explained Nahmias. "Patients would benefit from either having chemotherapy and its associated toxic side effects stopped or going on to a different, and hopefully more adequate, therapeutic approach," added the co-author of "Time Course of Early Response to Chemotherapy in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients With 18F-FDG PET/CT".........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


April 3, 2007, 10:44 PM CT

Secondhand smoke proves to be serious

Secondhand smoke proves to be serious
A study published in this months issue of the Journal of Periodontology observed that subjects with periodontitis who were exposed to secondhand smoke were more likely to develop bone loss, the number one cause of tooth loss.

Scientists studied rats that were induced with periodontal disease. One group was not exposed to cigarette smoke while the other two groups were exposed to either 30 days of smoke inhalation produced by non-light cigarettes (cigarettes containing higher tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide levels) or light cigarettes (cigarettes containing lower tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide levels). Results showed that bone loss was greater in the subjects exposed to secondhand smoke regardless of if it was smoke from light or non-light cigarettes than those who were exposed to no smoke at all.

"Prior clinical research has proven a strong positive connection between smoking and gum disease. However, this study is unique in that it reviewed the impact of secondhand smoke on periodontitis," explained study author Getulio da R. Nogueira-Filho, DDS.

"This study really drives home the fact that even if you dont smoke the effects of secondhand smoke can be devastating. Part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle should include avoiding smoke filled places such as nightclubs, bars and even some restaurants," said Preston D. Miller, Jr., DDS and AAP president. "The Academy applauds the cities that are taking steps to make their hospitality industries smoke free so all patrons can enjoy not only a good time but also good overall health." .........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


March 29, 2007, 4:41 AM CT

RF ablation effective for inoperable lung cancer

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.........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


February 27, 2007, 7:49 PM CT

Eat well, get fit, stop smoking - prevent cancer

Eat well, get fit, stop smoking - prevent cancer
If you wanted to start today to reduce your chances of getting cancer, what would you have to do? Lose excess weight, get more exercise, eat a healthy diet and quit smoking.

Watch video

Those basic behavior changes would have a tremendous impact on the occurence rate of the most prevalent types of cancer - lung, breast, prostate and colon cancer - says Graham Colditz, M.D., Dr.P.H., associate director of Prevention and Control at the Siteman Cancer Center at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Barnes-Jewish Hospital. "We estimate that more than 50 percent of cancer incidence could be prevented if we act today on what we already know," Colditz says.

Every year, more than 500,000 Americans die from cancer. The National Cancer Institute estimates that on average each person who dies from cancer loses 15 years of life, and altogether cancer deaths were responsible for nearly 8.7 million person-years of life lost in 2003, the most recent year for which the data were available.

"The loss of life and earning potential and the social impact of cancer are enormous," Colditz says. "Reducing risk by adopting changes in lifestyle like quitting smoking and losing weight isn't always easy, but it may help to remember that these behavior changes can also reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke and osteoporosis."........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


February 8, 2007, 10:06 PM CT

Lung Cancer Rates Among Female Nonsmokers

Lung Cancer Rates Among Female Nonsmokers
Not all lung cancer is due to a lifetime of smoking cigarettes. Sometimes the diagnosis is a mystery, and the stigma surrounding the disease makes it hard for patients to talk about. Now, scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine and the Northern California Cancer Center have taken the first steps toward analyzing why people who never smoked get lung cancer.

Their data, would be reported in the Feb. 10 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, shows that never-smokers get lung cancer more often than thought, with women even more at risk than men.

"People tend to banter about this number of 10 to 15 percent of lung cancer cases being in people who have never smoked," explained lead author Heather Wakelee, MD, assistant professor of medicine at Stanford. "But when you actually try to find the hard data to show that, it's very limited".

The team of scientists used multiple collections of data from both the United States and Sweden that, in total, tracked the occurence rate of lung cancer in more than 1 million people from the ages of 40 to 79. They calculated the lung cancer incidence rates in terms of new cases per person-year, representing every year that someone was included in the study.

They observed that for women, the lung cancer incidence rate in never-smokers ranged from 14.4 to 20.8 cases per 100,000 person-years. In men, it ranged from 4.8 to 13.7 incidents. For current smokers, the rates were about 10 to 30 times higher. To put these numbers in perspective, Wakelee pointed out that the rates for cervical and thyroid cancer in women of the same age range are comparable, at 15.4 and 17.3 cases per 100,000 person-years, respectively.........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


January 15, 2007, 4:58 AM CT

Dual Gene Therapy Suppresses Lung Cancer

Dual Gene Therapy Suppresses Lung Cancer
Combination gene treatment delivered in lipid-based nanoparticles drastically reduces the number and size of human non-small cell lung cancer tumors in mice, scientists at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center report in the Jan. 15 edition of Cancer Research.

Two tumor-suppressing genes given intravenously reduced cancer separately but had their most powerful effect when administered together, cutting the number of tumors per mouse by 75 percent and the weight of tumors by 80 percent.

"In cancer therapy we have combination chemotherapy, and we also combine different modes of treatment - surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Now you've got the possibility of combined targeted gene treatment," said Jack Roth, M.D., professor and chair of the M. D. Anderson Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery and a senior researcher on the project.

The genes wrapped in the nanoparticles were p53, a well-known tumor suppressor that works by causing defective cells to commit suicide and is often shut down or defective in cancer cells, and FUS1, a tumor-suppressor discovered by the research group that is deficient in most human lung cancers. Each nanoparticle carried one of the two genes.........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


December 23, 2006, 7:31 AM CT

Incredible Story Of Paul Kraus

Incredible Story Of Paul Kraus
What would be more inspiring for mesothelioma patients than listening to the longest mesothelioma survivor in the world? Do you know Paul Kraus? He is the inspiration behind a number of patients with the diagnosis of one of the deadliest forms of cancer called mesothelioma. I have been personally moved by his story.

It was in one those days in June 1997, Paul Kraus was diagnosed with mesothelioma. That has changed his world forever. The cancer was so widespread that he was told there was little hope and that he should go home and get his affairs in order. Fearful and depressed, but not ready to give up, he researched various therapy options. Unlike a number of Paul was not willing to give an unconditional surrender to the one of the most devastating forms of cancer. With the help of his doctors and family, Paul Kraus created his own remarkable path to healing. Today, over nine years later, he continues to enjoy a good quality of life.

"Dr. Andrew Weil wrote that any illness can be conquered through radical lifestyle change because our bodies are made with powerful self-healing capacities. It was hard to make such radical changes, but I was determined to see them through," Paul Kraus said.

During this teleconference, mesothelioma patients and their loved ones can listen to Mr. Kraus summarize his knowledge and insight into this disease. He will discuss how he handled his diagnosis, what he learned about the cancer, and the steps he took to heal his mesothelioma. Subjects include: chemotherapy, surgery, holistic approaches, integrative therapies, vitamins and other supplements, traditional Chinese medicine, mind-body medicine, doctor-patient relationships, and more. Participants can also ask questions of Mr. Kraus and share information and knowledge with each other.........

Posted by: Scott      Permalink         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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