Cancer News Network

Cancer Awareness , Developments in Cancer Research and News on Cancer

Monday, October 30, 2006

Scientists develop new treatment for treating skin cancer

CBC News - Scottish scientists have developed a bandage that emits light to fight Skin Cancer, saying it is less painful than the conventional treatment and can be used at home.
Created by physicist Ifor Samuel from the University of St. Andrews and dermatology consultant James Ferguson at Ninewells Hospital Dundee, the light-emitting adhesive patch contains its own light source and is so portable that patients can move around while under treatment.
The metallic patch — similar to a bandage or "sticking plaster," as they're known in Britain — uses an organic diode, which emits light when a low voltage electric current passes through it.
Read more…

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Scientists crack the genetic code of breast and colon cancer

In a breakthrough in the field of cancer research, U.S scientists have cracked the genetic codes of breast and colon cancer, which could help in understanding how tumors form, grow and spread within the body. They have identified nearly 200 mutated genes that are responsible for growth and spread of cancer. This discovery could go a long way in developing efficient ways to diagnose cancer at its early stages, which might ultimately help in saving many lives from the clutches of cancer. All forms of cancer occur due to mutations in genes, which alters its functions and helps in the growth and multiplication of cancer cells. Cancer is the most common genetic disease and one in three people in the western world, develop it in their life time.
The mutated genes of the breast and colon cancer, identified in this research, were completely distinct from one another with different genetic blueprints, suggesting that cancer behaves differently in different persons. Now researchers would study how the mutations that trigger breast and colon cancer, occurs. The findings of this study indicate that cancer is a more complex disease than what scientists believe and each type of cancer have different pathways for development. Ed Young of
Cancer Research UK called this research as a potentially important one in the field of carcinogenesis and added that the genes identified in this study had not been previously liked to cancer.
Read more of this story...

Friday, October 27, 2006

Scans could help in early detection of lung cancer

A new study has found that screening smokers with computerized chest scans could help in early detection of tumors, which may save many lives, just like mammograms do for women with breast cancer. Lung cancer is the most lethal form of all cancers, causing up to 3 million deaths every year. The survival rate of lung cancer patients is very low, with only 10% of the patients diagnosed with this disease, expected to survive for at least the next five years. Inhaling carcinogens is the main cause for this disease and nearly 40% of smokers eventually develop lung cancer. Doctors believe that early detection of lung cancer can improve the survival rate of patients and this study has shown that early detection of lung tumors using CT scans increases the survival rate of patients by over 60%.
Dr. Robert Smith, director of screening at American Cancer Society, said that this study has given a thrust to the belief that screening offers many advantages in saving the lives of lung cancer patients. More than 31,500 people from the high-risk group (smokers or those who had been exposed to passive smoking) participated in this study, which involved frequent screening of the participants for lung tumors. Using statistical tools and data from this study, researchers estimate that the survival rate of lung cancer patients increase to 88% if the disease is detected early and it is 92% in those patients who underwent a surgery to remove the lung tumors within a month of its detection.
Read more of this story...

Monday, October 23, 2006

Red wine reduces the risk of colon cancer

A new research presented at the 71st Annual meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology in Las Vegas, says that consumption of red wine reduces the risk of colon cancer substantially. Colon Cancer or colorectal cancer is the third most common form of cancer and is the second lethal, next to the lung cancer, in the western world.
Colon cancer is believed to arise from adenomatous polyps (abnormal growth of tissues) in colon, rectum or appendix. The study shows that high levels of the compound ‘Resveratrol’ (a substance naturally produced by some plants) found in red wine could cut down the risk of colon cancer with its anti-cancer properties.
The study, which analyzed the drinking habits of more than 360 red and white wine drinkers with similar lifestyles, found that red wine reduced the risk of colon cancer by over 68%. Dr. Joseph C. Anderson, from the Stony Brook University in New York and the lead author of this study said that the concentration of resveratrol is much higher in red wine than in white wine, since the grape skins are not removed in the red-wine production, unlike in the case of white-wine production. However, he declined to recommend red wine to teetotalers.
Read more of this story...

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Brightly-colored foods reduce the risk of prostrate cancer

Lycopene, a bright red carotenoid pigment (organic pigments naturally occurring in plants) found in tomatoes, watermelon, papaya, pink grapefruit and rosehip, is found to reduce the risk of prostrate, colon and mouth cancer in humans. Food containing lycopene such as spaghetti sauce, ketchup, watermelon etc., can protect men from developing prostrate cancer. One in six men will develop prostrate cancer, some time in their lives, with the older men and those with a family history of prostrate cancer, at a higher risk of developing this disease.

According to
Prostrate Cancer Foundation eating tomato sauce twice a week can reduce the risk of prostrate cancer in men by over 33%. Adding a bit of fat to the tomato sauce, in the form of olive oil, cheese ravioli etc., can do a lot of good, since lycopene dissolves best in fat and it is easier for the body to absorb it then. However, fat from animal products like meat, diary-products etc., increases the risk of prostrate cancer and coronary heart diseases, according to the British Journal of Nutrition.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Indole-3-carbinol in green vegetables can help in combating breast cancer

Scientists at the University of Leicester have discovered that a molecule found in vegetables like cabbage and broccoli could stop the growth of breast cancer cells. This molecule can be used in conjunction with drugs, to fight breast cancer. Researchers studied the role of the molecule indole-3-carbinol (I3C), which is considered to inhibit cancer cell growth, on four different groups of breast cancer cells. The estrogen modulating activity of indole-3-carbinol is responsible for its anticarcinogenic properties.

The study revealed that, I3C altered the receptors of the cancer cells, thereby decreasing their resistance to anti-cancer drugs. Professor Margaret Manson, the lead researcher of this study, said that dietary agents combined with drugs can increase the efficiency of the drugs and at the same time helps in reducing the dosage given to patients.

If scientists could discover more and more dietary agents like I3C, which could assist in fighting cancer with low doses of drugs, patients could enjoy a dual benefit of eating a healthy diet and at the same time escape from the toxic effects of over dosages of drugs.
Read more of this story...

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Predicting breast cancer!

A team of researchers from Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, studying a group of patients suffering from early stage of breast cancer, discovered breast cancer stem cells in the patients’ bone marrow and the number of cancer stem cells in the bone marrow was found to be much higher than in solid tumors. Breast cancer stem cells can reproduce indefinitely and produce more tumors, compared to adult tumor cells. The study found that 70% of breast cancer cells in the bone marrow of the patients studied was stem cells, which can lead to metastasis, a condition where the cancer cells spread from its original site to other regions in the body.

One of the researchers said that nearly half of the breast cancer patients can be cured using the current therapies for breast cancer, which indicates that stem cells in those patients are more sensitive to therapies. However, breast cancer stem cells in some patients are resistant to therapies and if the reason behind this resistance is established, then metastatic diseases in all breast cancer patients can be prevented.

Read more of this story...

Friday, October 06, 2006

Anti-viral molecules are essential in the survival of cancer cells

U.S cancer researchers have discovered a new way to destroy cancer cells. An anti-viral molecule TBK-1, which is normally activated in healthy cells as a result of immune response, is found to be always active in cancer cells. Researchers found that TBK-1 plays a crucial role in the survival of these cancer cells.

When the activity of the TBK-1 molecule was inhibited in both cancerous cells and normal cells, scientists found that only normal cells were able to survive, while cancerous cells died. This discovery is published in the current issue of journal ‘Cell’.

Michael White, associate professor of cell biology, said that researchers were surprised to know that a mechanism involved in immune response, is also essential in the survival of cancer cell. He also added that there are many more surprises are awaiting discovery in the field of cancer biology.

This discovery might one day help the researchers to find an effective solution to eliminate cancer.

Gene therapy can be a savior!

A 41-year old melanoma patient was saved from the clutch of death with the help of gene therapy. Thomas May, was suffering from advanced- stage of melanoma when he underwent an experimental gene therapy along with another 16 melanoma patients. Melanoma is referred to a condition of tumor of the melanocytes, which is located in the bottom of the Skin’s epidermis. Although the results of this are not conclusive, scientists believe that gene therapy can control the growth of tumor cells significantly.

Gene therapy is a technique which is used to repair the dysfunctional gene by inserting a right model of the repaired gene into the body by the use of vectors. This therapy is gaining momentum in the field of medicine and its scope is very wide as it can be used to treat a number of diseases that are incurable by drugs. Researchers who are in the process of finding a cure to cancer are looking closely at gene therapy and hope that this technique could eventually turn out to be a savior against cancer.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

‘Breakthrough’ in lung cancer diagnosis!

A new method, which could be considered as a breakthrough in lung cancer diagnosis, is developed by a team of French researchers. Scientists have developed a blood test that could detect lung cancer at an early stage and this test could prove to be a valuable tool in saving thousands of lung cancer patients. Cancer cells produce a few proteins in larger quantities than the normal cells. Scientists believe that by identifying the presence of these proteins produced by cancer cells in blood, it is possible to detect cancer even before visible symptoms arise. This test will enable health professionals to easily differentiate lung cancer from other lung diseases and help them to start treating the disease at its early stage, ultimately increasing the patient’s chances of survival.

Proper diagnosis is very important in the fight against cancer and early detection of cancer could help doctors in effectively treating the disease. Cancers detected at its early stages are easily curable. The maximum survival period of patients who are suffering from lung cancer, the most lethal form of all cancers, is only 5 years. Only 16% of patients live more than five years and this low survival rate of lung cancer is attributed to the inability to diagnose the disease at its early stage. Active and passive smoking is considered to be the main cause of this disease. People who are over 50 are considered to be more prone to this disease.

Scientists believe if this new development in cancer diagnosis is successfully tested then it could make a big difference in lung cancer detection and its treatment.

Source -
The Herald - Web issue

Labels: , , , , ,

Computer-aided technology to help in screening breast cancer

Breast cancer, the most common form of all cancer in women all over the world, can now be easily detected with the help of computers. Computer-aided detection of breast cancer is more accurate and detects 6.5% more cancers, when compared to screening of breast cancer by radiologists, using x-rays. Many women in U.K are not able to get screened for breast cancer due to shortage of radiologists and this problem can be overcome by using this computer aided detection (CAD) program, which screens the x-rays more effectively, compared to the radiologists.

To check the efficiency of this new technology, researchers collected 10,000 mammograms taken in the year 1996, which had previously been screened by two radiologists. The computer screened the mammograms for suspicious tumors and cysts (symptoms of breast cancer). The results showed that the cancer detection rate of the computer was much better and accurate when compared to that of the radiologists. This new technology could ensure better screening of breast cancer in women, which could ultimately save thousands of women from death, in the future.

New Zealand researchers discover a new drug to fight lung cancer

Lung cancer, the most lethal forms of all cancer, which causes nearly 3 million deaths every year worldwide, can be controlled with a new experimental drug discovered in New Zealand, which could increase the lifespan of lung cancer patients’ significantly. The drug was discovered by researchers in New Zealand and developed by Antisoma a U.K based biotechnology company with support from Cancer Research UK.

Smoking, asbestos and radon gas are the major contributors of lung Cancer in humans. A recent study revealed that people living in areas close to heavy industries are at a higher risk to this. This new drug belongs to a class of compounds called vascular disrupting agents, which selectively destroy blood vessels that help in the growth of tumors.

Although this drug is not a cure for the disease, its discovery can considered as a step that takes us closer to finding a solution to lung cancer.

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, October 02, 2006

Eating fatty fish can reduce the risk of cancer

Swedish researchers have found that eating fatty fish, which is rich in vitamin D and omega 3 fatty acids, can reduce the risk of kidney cancer significantly. Fish like salmon, herring, sardines and mackerel were defined as fatty fish by researchers, while tuna and cod were considered to be lean fish.

A study carried out by ‘Journal of the American Medical Association’ revealed that women eating fatty fish once a week at a lesser risk to cancer compared to others, whereas, eating three fish a month for a period of 10years would reduce cancer risk by nearly 74 percent.

Kidney cancer also referred to as renal cell carcinoma is one of the most common forms of cancer in the United States with a very low survival rate. It is the most common form of cancer in women above 40yrs of age.

Labels: , , , ,

Vaccines under development could be a solution to breast cancer

Breast cancer, the most common form of cancer in women, can now be fought with new vaccines that are under development. Listeria monocytogenes, a microorganism found in diary products will be used in a new vaccine development program. Dr. Yvonne Paterson, the scientific founder of Advaxis Incorporation and a person who suffered from breast cancer herself, is heading a team of researchers, who are working to develop a new vaccine to fight cancer, using Listeria monocytogenes, which has a direct stimulatory effect on activities of immune killer T cells.

A new vaccine called Lovaxin B has been developed by this team and it is in pre-clinical study and Advaxis Incorporation has sought the approval of FDA for clinical trial of this vaccine. If the vaccine passes the clinical trials, the company plans to manufacture this vaccine in large quantities in future.

Only 20% of people, who are suffering from breast cancer, survive and breast cancer is considered to be a ‘killer disease’ in developing nations. If new initiatives like this one come out well, it would be a great achievement in the field of medicine.

Labels: , , , , ,