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October 3, 2006, 9:46 PM CT

Target For Skin Cancer Treatment

Target For Skin Cancer Treatment
When normal skin cells become a melanoma tumor, they sometimes turn on genes not commonly found in the skin. As per scientists at the University of Virginia Health System, some of these genes are normally active in the male testis at the time sperm are formed.

The genes, called cancer-testis antigens, could be useful targets for drugs that could selectively kill a melanoma tumor, while sparing the rest of the body's tissues. The antigens could also help scientists develop a vaccine to stimulate the immune system to attack and suppress melanoma tumors.

"Researchers are beginning to see patterns in the profile of genes expressed in individual tumor cells," said John C. Herr, Ph.D., professor of cell biology at UVa and a scientist at the UVa Cancer Center. " Patients who express a given cancer-testis antigen may eventually be helped by such selective therapies. This scenario represents one aspect of the growing opportunities envisioned for personalized medicine".

Researchers at the UVa Cancer Center have studied melanoma tumors from patients at various stages of the disease over the last few years. They discovered that more than half of these tumors made the cancer-testis antigens, called SPANX proteins. As per a research findings reported in the Sept. 29, 2006 online edition of the Journal Molecular Human Reproduction, Herr and his UVa research team showed that the SPANX proteins play a role in the formation of the nuclear envelope of the developing human spermatid. The paper can be found online at this link: http://molehr.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/gal079........

Posted by: George      Permalink         Source


September 6, 2006, 10:02 PM CT

Keep Slapping On That Sunscreen

Keep Slapping On That Sunscreen
How often do you apply sunscreen? If it's anything less than once every 2 hours, you might be better off not using any in the first place.

So says Kerry Hanson, a chemist at the University of California at Riverside. She and her colleagues exposed human skin samples grown in the lab to UV radiation while they were covered with three common.

UV filters found in sunscreens: benzophenone-3, octocrylene and octylmethoxycinnamate. After just 1 hour, they found each compound had sunk into the skin, meaning its protective effect was greatly reduced. Worse, Hanson's team observed that the samples contained more reactive oxygen species (ROS) than skin exposed to UV with no sunscreen on it. ROS are free radicals that can damage skin cells and increase the risk of skin cancer (Free Radical Biology and Medicine, DOI: 10.1016/j. freeradbiomed.2006.06.011).

The Skin Cancer Foundation in New York recommends that people go no more than 2 hours between reapplications of sunscreen. Our findings tend to support that, says Hanson.

It might actually be necessary to reapply even more often. One way of counteracting free radicals, Hanson says, might be to add antioxidants such as vitamins C and E to sunscreens. "In prior work, we've shown that antioxidants can help neutralise ROS in the skin," she says, though she has yet to perform the same experiment with sunscreen.........

Posted by: George      Permalink         Source


August 28, 2006, 8:51 PM CT

Sunscreens Can Damage Skin

Sunscreens Can Damage Skin UV filters generate reactive oxygen species in skin
Credit: K. Hanson, UC Riverside
Are sunscreens always beneficial, or can they be detrimental to users? A research team led by UC Riverside chemists reports that unless people out in the sun apply sunscreen often, the sunscreen itself can become harmful to the skin.

When skin is exposed to sunlight, ultraviolet radiation (UV) is absorbed by skin molecules that then can generate harmful compounds, called reactive oxygen species or ROS, which are highly reactive molecules that can cause "oxidative damage." For example, ROS can react with cellular components like cell walls, lipid membranes, mitochondria and DNA, leading to skin damage and increasing the visible signs of aging.

When sunscreen is applied on the skin, however, special molecules - called UV filters - contained in the sunscreen, cut down the amount of UV radiation that can penetrate the skin. Over time, though, these filters penetrate into the skin below the surface of the epidermis, the outermost layer of skin, leaving the body vulnerable to UV radiation.

Led by Kerry M. Hanson, a senior research scientist in the Department of Chemistry at UCR, the scientists report that three UV filters (octylmethoxycinnamate, benzophenone-3 and octocrylene), which are approved by the Food and Drug Administration and widely used in sunscreens, generate ROS in skin themselves when exposed to ultraviolet radiation, thus augmenting the ROS that is naturally produced. The scientists note that the additional ROS are generated only when the UV filters have penetrated into the skin and, at the same time, sunscreen has not been reapplied to prevent ultraviolet radiation from reaching these filters.........

Posted by: George      Permalink         Source


August 2, 2006, 11:33 PM CT

Mapping System For Skin Cells

Mapping System For Skin Cells
Global-positioning system aficionados know that it's possible to precisely define any location in the world with just three geographic coordinates: latitude, longitude and altitude. Now researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have discovered that specialized skin cells use a similar mapping system to identify where they belong in the body and how to act once they arrive.

These cellular cornerstones direct embryonic patterning and wound healing by sending vital location cues to their neighbors, and may help in growing tissue for transplant or understanding metastatic cancer.

"There is a logic to the body that we didn't understand before," said John Rinn, PhD, a postdoctoral scholar in the laboratory of Howard Chang, MD, PhD, assistant professor of dermatology. "Our skin is actively maintaining itself throughout our life, and these 'address codes' help the cells know how to respond appropriately." Rinn is the first author of the research, which is reported in the current issue of Public Library of Science-Genetics.

Until now it's been a mystery as to how adult skin, which consists of basically the same components all over the body, knows to grow hair in some areas like the scalp, while manufacturing sweat glands, calluses and fingerprint whorls in others. In 1969, well-known developmental biologist Lewis Wolpert authored a famous treatise that described two possible ways for cells to know where they are in the body: Either they infer their location and adjust their behavior based on interactions with nearby cells, or they deduce their "positional identity" through the use of some type of coordinate system. The findings from the new Stanford study bolster the second possibility.........

Posted by: George      Permalink         Source


July 31, 2006, 6:51 AM CT

Malignant Melanoma Secretes Embryo Protein

Malignant Melanoma Secretes Embryo Protein
A Northwestern University research group has discovered that aggressive melanoma cells secrete Nodal, a protein that is critical to proper embryo formation.

An article describing this research was published recently in the advanced online issue of the journal Nature Medicine.

The scientists identified the potent and highly unstable embryonic growth factor by injecting aggressive melanoma cells into developing zebrafish embryos, which were used as "biosensors" for tumor cell-derived signals, and were consequently able to induce ectopic (abnormal) embryonic skull and backbone (axes) formation.

"This finding highlights the convergence of tumorigenic and embryonic signaling pathways. From a translational perspective, Nodal signaling provides a novel target for therapy of aggressive cancers such as melanomas," said Mary J. C. Hendrix, the corresponding author, of Children's Memorial Research Center where the discovery was made.

Hendrix is president and scientific director of the Children's Memorial Research Center, professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a member of the executive committee of The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University. Jolanta M. Topczewska and Lynne-Marie Postovit, from Children's Memorial Research Center, co-led the study.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


July 26, 2006, 5:47 PM CT

Treating Severe Psoriasis

Treating  Severe Psoriasis
NICE's announcement comes as welcome relief to the thousands of UK patients who have exhausted current available therapy options and failed to sustain a long-term benefit. It is a positive sign for patients throughout Europe, whose healthcare systems are influenced by NICE decisions. Leeroy Blake in England was fortunate enough to be offered therapy with a biological treatment, after years of trying every other available psoriasis therapy: "For a number of years, I tried every suitable therapy but nothing seemed to relieve the painful itching. As the itching got worse, I would get more stressed and this only made my condition worse. Following a therapy review with my doctor, I was prescribed a biological treatment and for the first time since developing psoriasis, my skin started to clear and my confidence came back. This therapy might not be suitable for everyone with severe psoriasis, but I believe that it's important that patients at least discuss this option with their doctor".

Latest research has dismissed the preconception that psoriasis is merely a skin complaint, with recent data showing that severe psoriasis can affect a patient's quality of life to a similar extent as other prevalent chronic diseases such as diabetes and even heart diseases.

In addition to the impact on a patient's appearance, up to 30% of patients with psoriasis have been reported to have psoriatic arthritis, which causes pain, stiffness and swelling in and around the joints. Coinciding with its decision on the use of biological therapies in moderate to severe psoriasis, NICE has also given its backing for the NHS to use Enbrel and Remicade (infliximab) to treat patients with severe, active psoriatic arthritis. Professor Robert Moots, Professor of Rheumatology at the University of Liverpool, UK welcomes this guidance commenting, "the NICE guidance is a positive step forward for those patients whose condition is severe enough to warrant therapy with biologic therapies" adding that "the onus is now on NHS trusts to take note of this recent recommendation and ensure that the necessary funding is in place to allow patients access to these much-needed therapies".........

Posted by: George      Permalink         Source


June 20, 2006, 6:47 PM CT

Strategies For Melanoma Treatment

Strategies For Melanoma Treatment
Melanoma drug development has and will continue to have a strong focus on target therapy such as vaccines, monoclonal antibodies, dendritic cells, and gene therapy. In recent years, immunologic strategies including tumor vaccine and adjuvant therapy with interferon-alfa have been attempted to improve survival of patients with more advanced malignant melanoma. Another emerging strategy in anticancer therapy is the targeting of chemotherapy resistance by overcoming the antiapoptosis mechanisms of cancer cells.

An example of this approach is the novel antisense oligonucleotide Genasense that targets the antiapoptotic gene bcl-2. Recently, Genta initiated a European regulatory submission for Genasense plus chemotherapy for patients with advanced melanoma by sending a letter of intent to EMEA for Marketing Authorization Application. This in-depth analysis, 200+ pages and almost 100 figures, tables and boxes, deals with the current therapy strategies employed and opportunities for increased pharmaceutical intervention, in the context of the present competitive landscape for malignant melanoma.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


June 19, 2006, 9:24 PM CT

Suggest your News Item To Medicineworld

Suggest your News Item To Medicineworld
As you are aware we are the leading publishers of health news on the web. We publish news items in various forms including numerous blogs and news items. We invite you to participate in our new collection.

We are looking for quality news items that would be interesting to our readers. Now you may suggest the news item from your site to be included at Medicineworld.org. Inclusion of news item at our site get instantaneous attention since the item is illustrated from various blog posts. Addition of pictures to the item adds additional attraction to your news item. Inclusion in the Medicineworld.org site brings quality links and visitors to your site.

If you have an interesting news item related to health, share it with Medicineworld.org and we share it with the world.

Suggest your News Item To Medicineworld........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink


May 22, 2006, 12:52 AM CT

Minimizing the Risk of Melanoma

Minimizing the Risk of Melanoma
The incidence of melanoma, the most serious and deadly type of skin cancer, is increasing. In the United States, the lifetime risk of developing melanoma is now about one in 70. It used to be less than one in 100.

"The best way to reduce your risk is to avoid sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m, when the sun's rays are strongest," says Mark Pittelkow, M.D., Mayo Clinic dermatologist. "But, it's a misconception to believe that melanoma occurs only with too much sun exposure, or that it occurs only on sun-exposed areas".

In the recent issue of Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource, Dr. Pittelkow shares insights on causes, prevention and warning signs of this potentially deadly cancer.

Causes: As with many types of cancers, melanoma results from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. That's why melanoma can occur in areas not commonly exposed to sun, such as the genital area or on the scalp underneath hair.

Prevention: Staying out of the sun (or tanning beds) is best. A broad-spectrum sunscreen (which protects against both UVA and UVB radiation from the sun) with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 offers important protection when you are in the sun. But don't rely on sunscreen alone to protect you and don't abuse the benefits of sunscreen by staying out in the sun for long periods. Think of sunscreen as a supplement to other measures to protect you from UV radiation. Wear protective clothing, such as a wide-brimmed hat and tightly woven clothes to protect your arms and legs.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


May 17, 2006, 10:31 PM CT

About Summer Sun Safety

About Summer Sun Safety
Fifty years of medical studies show that sun exposure is a primary component in the development of melanoma, the most serious and deadly type of skin cancer, report leading dermatologists in the April 2006 issue of Dermatology Surgery.

"Though genetics may play a role in the development of some melanomas, there's overwhelming evidence that shows sun exposure adversely affects patients both with and without genetic predisposition to melanoma," said Elisabeth K. Shim, M.D., an Associate Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Keck USC Medical School of Medicine in Los Angeles, CA.

It's not clear what pattern of sun exposure causes melanoma or whether it's short, intense intermittent or cumulative. Further more, it's not clear if ultraviolet B (UVB), ultraviolet A (UVA) rays, or both are responsible for causing melanoma. "Regardless, the sun acts as an initiating and promoting agent in causing melanoma, and causes immunosuppression," noted Dr. Shim.

With summer quickly approaching, it's necessary to protect yourself by using sunscreen and sun protective measures to prevent melanoma, and other skin cancers, despite current controversy.........

Posted by: George      Permalink         Source



Older Blog Entries   1  

Did you know?
Scientists at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center have found that the risk of developing melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, is only partially associated with exposure to ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation, the rays in sunlight that increase in summer and cause sunburn.

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