Cancer News Network

Cancer Awareness , Developments in Cancer Research and News on Cancer

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Dangers of tanning – Miss Maryland 2006 explains how tanning nearly killed her

In this video, Brittany Lietz, Miss Maryland 2006, explains how tanning almost killed her. She was diagnosed with Stage-2 melanoma earlier this year and she believes that her choice to get tanned was the reason behind her skin cancer. She has now recovered and is trying to educate other young women on the darker side of tanning.

Many smokers are unaware of the multitude of poisonous substances found in cigarettes

Medical News Today: The British public is unaware of the multitude of poisonous chemicals found in cigarette smoke - according to a survey carried out for Cancer Research UK.

Smoke from cigarettes contains some 4,000 chemicals, 69 of which are known to cause cancer. But three quarters of people surveyed were not able to name a single chemical, other than nicotine and tar which are listed on cigarette packs. Of those who said they know a lot about the dangerous chemicals in cigarette smoke, 68 per cent could not name any. Even when given a list of poisons to choose from, more than two in five people were not able to identify a single one.

The results of the survey were published today (Monday) at the launch of the charity’s hard-hitting new anti-tobacco campaign, ‘Smoke is Poison’. By raising awareness of the poisons in cigarette smoke - which include, arsenic, benzene and formaldehyde - the campaign aims to save some of the tens of thousands of lives lost to smoking related diseases every year in the UK.

The main element of the campaign is a groundbreaking series of TV advertisements, filmed by award winning reporter and acclaimed documentary maker, Donal MacIntyre. Using the cover story of making a health and safety documentary, MacIntyre interviews professionals - including scientists, undertakers, and a crime museum curator - who use dangerous chemicals on a daily basis about the stringent precautions they take to protect their health.

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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Housework could save you from breast cancer!

BBC News: Women who exercise by doing the housework can reduce their risk of breast cancer, a study suggests.

The research on more than 200,000 women from nine European countries found doing household chores was far more cancer protective than playing sport.

Dusting, mopping and vacuuming was also better than having a physical job. The women in the Cancer Research UK-funded study spent an average of 16 to 17 hours a week cooking, cleaning and doing the washing.

Experts have long known that physical exercise can reduce the risk of breast cancer, probably through hormonal and metabolic changes. But it has been less clear how much and what types of exercise are necessary for this risk reduction.

And much of past work has examined the link between exercise and breast cancer in post-menopausal women only.

The latest study looked at both pre- and post-menopausal women and a range of activities, including work, leisure and housework. All forms of physical activity combined reduced the breast cancer risk in post-menopausal women, but had no obvious effect in pre-menopausal women

New drug offers hope to women in early phases of breast cancer

The Age: A new treatment that dramatically slows the spread of aggressive late-stage breast cancer is offering hope of a cure for women in the early phases of the disease.

By combining their normal chemotherapy with the drug Tykerb, a study found that women with late-stage or metastatic breast cancer benefited from significant delays in the spread of their disease to other parts of the body.

The results, published in The New England Journal of Medicine today, show that women on the combined treatment had an average wait of 36.9 weeks before the disease spread, compared with 19.7 weeks for women on chemotherapy alone.

More than 300 women, including several Australians, took part in the study. Co-author Arlene Chan, a breast cancer oncologist at the Mount Hospital in Perth, said the combined treatment could only extend and improve the quality of life for late-stage sufferers.

Such was the trial's success, she said there was a good chance the treatment would also help eliminate some early-stage breast cancers.

"The exciting thing about a trial like this in advanced breast cancer is that … it usually translates into the drug being available to be used in the early setting," she said. "This agent is now already being investigated in a number of large international clinical trials for women with early breast cancer."

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Four teaspoons of olive oil a day, keeps cancer at bay!

Daily Express: Four teaspoons of olive oil a day can help prevent cancer, scientists revealed yesterday.

The oil, found in Mediterranean diets, cuts levels of substances in the blood which can trigger the disease. Just a small amount of the oil every day helps protect against cell damage which can lead to tumours developing.

The research may help explain why many cancer rates are higher in northern Europe than in the south, where olive oil is a major part of the cuisine. Researchers also suggest that combining a wider Mediterranean diet – rich in fruit, vegetables and pasta – with the use of olive oil provides an even greater chance of cutting the risk of cancer as well as fighting Alzheimer’s, obesity and heart disease.

People in Mediterranean countries such as Spain and Italy live longer than those in other European countries, while rates of breast, colon, ovarian and prostate cancer are much lower. Dr Henrik Poulsen, who led the research, said: “Every piece of evidence so far points to olive oil being a healthy food.”

Daily Express doctor Rosemary Leonard, a GP, said: “The Mediterranean diet is very good for you.” Dr Poulsen and his team at Copenhagen University Hospital studied a large group of healthy men aged 20 to 60 from five European countries. The scientists then added olive oil to their diet over a period of two weeks.

At the end of the study, they measured levels of 8oxodG a substance in urine which indicates oxidative damage to cells. Oxidative damage is where the balance of a cell is disrupted, exposing it to substances that result in the accumulation of free-radicals – particles known to cause cancer.

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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Hormones and breast cancer

The New York Times: When researchers reported recently that a precipitous drop in breast cancer rates might be explained by a corresponding decrease in the use of hormones for menopause, women reacted with shock, anger and, in some cases, profound relief that they had never taken the drugs.

But many also had questions. How certain were scientists that the hormones were responsible? How could stopping hormones have such an immediate and pronounced effect? And how much did scientists really know about the biology of breast cancer and hormones?

The data seemed clear enough. In 2003, after climbing for almost seven decades, the breast cancer rate fell for the first time in the United States, and it fell sharply. Over all, the incidence of newly diagnosed breast cancer dropped 7 percent, and it dropped 15 percent among women with cancers whose growth is fueled by estrogen.

There also was no question that at the same time, women had begun to abandon hormones as a treatment for menopause. In July 2002, a large study, the Women’s Health Initiative, concluded that a popular hormone therapy for menopause, Prempro, made by Wyeth, slightly increased the risk of breast cancer. Within the next six months, prescriptions for Prempro dropped by half.

A connection between hormone use and breast cancer rates did not surprise scientists like Dr. V. Craig Jordan, vice president and scientific director for the medical science division at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia.
Dr. Jordan is a leader in studying the effects of estrogen-blocking drugs on breast cancer. Among his many awards is this year’s American Cancer Society Award from the American Society for Clinical Oncology for his work on estrogen and the prevention and treatment of breast cancer.

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Monday, December 25, 2006

Phase – III trials of a vaccine for non-Hodgkin lymphoma gives hope to many patients

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a cancer arising from lymphocytes, a type of white blood cells. It is distinct from Hodgkin's disease, another subtype of lymphoma.

A company called Biovest International is now developing a vaccine for this disease and this vaccine is currently in its Phase-III trials in 24 medical institutions across the United States. This video throws more light on this subject.

The story behind the ban on red-yolk duck eggs in China

Health officials in China recently banned the sale of red-yolk duck eggs, as they were found to contain a carcinogenic substance called ‘Sudan IV’. Farmers in Hebei province have been feeding their ducks with a carcinogenic substance to make the yolk of the egg, red. Red-yolk eggs were very famous in the Chinese capital and they cost more because they were believed to be healthier than normal duck eggs. This video explains how the farmers in Hebei used a dye to change the color to the yolk.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Quitting cigarettes after lung cancer diagnosis reduces the severity of the disease Once people have been diagnosed with lung cancer they might think it pointless to stop smoking, but in fact it's not too late to benefit from quitting, a new study shows.

Researchers found that among more than 200 lung cancer patients at their center, those who quit smoking after the diagnosis became less severely impaired by the disease than those who kept up the habit.

Specifically, their "performance status" -- a measure of patients' ability to care for themselves and function in daily life -- was generally higher, according to findings published in the medical journal Chest.

Patients who gave up cigarettes did not live appreciably longer than those who continued smoking, the study found, but the difference in quality of life highlights the importance of quitting even after lung cancer develops, according to the study authors.

"To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate a correlation between smoking cessation after diagnosis and performance status," write Dr. Sevin Baser and his colleagues.

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Mathematical model that predicts tumor growth!

Medical News Today: The aggressiveness of cancer tumours may be determined by the tissue environment in which they grow new research from the University of Dundee shows.

Dr Sandy Anderson, of the Division of Mathematics at Dundee, has developed a mathematical model - similar in concept to weather forecasting but considerably more complex - which predicts how tumours grow and invade tissue. The results produced by the model have given startling insights into how cancerous tumours develop in the body.
"What this model predicts is that the more barren and harsh the tissue environment surrounding it is, the more aggressive the tumour becomes," said Dr Anderson.The findings have the potential to impact on how certain cancers are treated, by forcing the environment around the tumour to be considered as a contributory factor in how aggressive the cancer is.

The combination of maths and laboratory research to develop such models has been hailed as a "new era in cancer research" by Professor Vito Quaranta, a leading American cancer biologist who is collaborating on the project.

Professor Quaranta envisions a future when computer simulations like this will be used to predict a tumour's clinical progression and formulate treatment plans, in a fashion not dissimilar to how we forecast the weather now.

"Today we can know pretty well that for the next few days we're going to expect good weather or that there's a storm on the way," said Professor Quaranta. "That's the kind of predictive power we want to generate with our model for cancer invasion."Dr Anderson's research is published in the scientific journal Cell today, December 1st 2006, and is one of the few purely mathematical modeling papers to appear in the history of this prestigious biological journal.

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Saturday, December 23, 2006

Obesity increases the risk of prostate cancer!

WebMD Medical News: Men who lose weight may be less likely to get aggressive prostate cancer, while obesity may increase a man's risk. So say researchers, including Carmen Rodriguez, MD, MPH, of the American Cancer Society.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer (except for skin cancer) in U.S. men, becoming more common with age. This study is the first to probe links between a man's adult weight change and prostate cancer risk.

In 1992, Rodriguez and colleagues asked nearly 70,000 U.S. men about their current weight and their weight 10 years earlier. The researchers then tracked new prostate cancer cases among the men from 1992 to 2003.

Those who reported losing at least 11 pounds from 1982 to 1992 were about 40% less likely to develop aggressive (but nonmetastatic) prostate cancer between 1992 and 2003 than those with little weight change in the 1982-1992 time period.

"Our study linking obesity to aggressive prostate cancer adds to increasing evidence of the importance of maintaining a healthy weight throughout life," Rodriguez says in an American Cancer Society news release.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Eating vegetables like broccoli and cabbage during pregnancy can protect the child from cancer

eMaxHealth: There may be another reason for pregnant and nursing women to eat a nutritious diet that includes generous amounts of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cabbage - it could help protect their children from cancer, both as infants and later in life.

A new study by scientists from the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, done with laboratory mice, found that supplements of a key phytochemical found in certain vegetables provided a very high level of protection against leukemia and lymphoma in young animals, and also significantly protected against lung cancer during the rodent's equivalent of middle age.

The research, published in the Journal of Carcinogenesis, is one of the first of its type to demonstrate that diet may play a protective role in a fight against cancer that may begin – and could be won or lost – well before a person is ever born. And some of the protective benefits may last into adulthood.

"Research of this type is still in its infancy, but it's pretty exciting," said David Williams, an LPI researcher and director of the Marine and Freshwater Biomedical Sciences Center at OSU.

"There's strong epidemiologic evidence that infant cancers can be caused by exposure of the fetus to carcinogens, either during pregnancy or by nursing," Williams said. "Among all childhood deaths in the U.S., cancer is second only to accidents as the leading cause, and the fetus and neonate are sensitive targets for toxic carcinogens. It would be important if we could affect this through maternal diet."

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Kidney transplantation increases the risk of certain types of cancer Following kidney transplantation, some recipients may face a three-fold increased risk of certain cancer types, according to a study in the Dec. 20 issue of JAMA.

Immune suppression after organ transplantation is associated with a markedly increased risk of nonmelanoma skin cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and Kaposi sarcoma. Whether other cancers occur at increased rates is uncertain, because there have been few long-term population-based studies, according to background information in the article.
Claire M. Vajdic, Ph.D., of the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, and colleagues compared the incidence of cancer in 28,855 patients with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) who received renal (kidney) replacement therapy (RRT). Data were collected for three separate time periods: the 5 years before RRT, during dialysis, and after transplantation. New cancers (1982-2003) were determined by record linkage between the Australia and New Zealand Dialysis and Transplant Registry and the Australian National Cancer Statistics Clearing House.

The researchers found that the overall incidence of cancer, excluding nonmelanoma skin cancer and those cancers known to frequently cause end-stage kidney disease, was markedly increased (3.27 times) after transplantation.

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Photo Dynamic Therapy (PDT) in the treatment of lung caner

Lung cancer is the most lethal form of cancer and it kills nearly 3 million people worldwide, every year. Treatment of lung cancer depends on the cancer’s specific cell type, how far it has spread and the patient’s performance status. Doctors use common treatments like surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy to treat lung cancer patients and this video explains how Dr. Patrick Ross of the Ohio State University - James Cancer Hospital, is using photo dynamic therapy (PDT) to treat lung cancer patients.

Breast Cancer stem cells are resistant to radiation therapy!

HealthDay News: Breast cancer stem cells, a type of cell that scientists have recently discovered is difficult to kill, may be especially resistant to radiation therapy, a new study suggests.

In fact, the radiation can even increase the growth of these stubborn stem cells, report researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, David Geffen School of Medicine.

"This population of stem cells is more radiation-resistant than are non-stem cells," said Dr. Frank Pajonk, an assistant adjunct professor of radiation oncology at UCLA and corresponding author on the study. "We are the first to report this."

Radiation treatment involves exposure to high-energy rays or particles that destroy cancerous cells. It is often recommended after surgery for breast cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.

Pajonk and his colleagues exposed breast cancer stem cells and "normal" breast cancer cells to either single or multiple doses of radiation. More of the stem cells, also called cancer-initiating cells, lived through the radiation than did the other breast cancer cells.

One good example, according to Pajonk: While 46 percent of the stem cells survived treatment with 2 Gray of radiation (a dose typically used for breast cancer treatment), only 20 percent of normal breast cancer cells did.

Then, the team simulated clinical treatment that is interrupted -- a challenge that Pajonk and other health-care providers face when patients don't make all their scheduled appointments due to fatigue, inconvenience or other factors. Pajonk and his colleagues suspect this reduces the effectiveness of radiation, and the study suggests they are correct.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Individualized treatments make it possible for women to survive breast cancer

CBS News: Three women were once diagnosed with breast cancer. Each one is surviving thanks to new treatments that are as individual as they are, CBS News medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook reports.

"We have changed almost everything that we do," says Dr. Clifford Hudis, the doctor for all three women and one of the nation's leading experts on breast cancer. "We've learned that breast cancer is really a collection of diseases as opposed to being just one disease. And from that flows a series of treatments that are to some degrees tailored for each patient."
Linnie Pickering was diagnosed with breast cancer eight years ago. Her treatment was a double mastectomy, chemotherapy and hormone therapy. "I think I feel better now than before," says Pickering. "I'm really eating healthier. I'm exercising more."
Pickering's form of breast cancer used her own body's estrogen as fuel to grow. "I'm always so amazed that this little teeny pill is helping me every day fight the cancer and stay healthy," she says.

That tiny pill is called Femara. It's a form of hormone therapy that shuts off her body's estrogen production, keeping the cancer at bay and the 58-year-old on the move.

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Synthetic marijuana to the rescue of cancer patients!

The Times of India: A synthetic version of the active ingredient in marijuana, a legal treatment for nausea in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, also helps symptoms like pain, anxiety and depression, according to research presented on Friday. "The findings show how great the potential is to improve the quality of life for cancer patients," said lead investigator Dr Vincent Maida of the University of Toronto. The 139-patient study involved a drug called nabilone, sold under the brand name Cesamet by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International.

It has been available in Canada for years, and was approved in May by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for patients who have failed to respond adequately to conventional anti-nausea treatments.

The drug is part of a class known as cannabinoids that are similar to the active ingredient found in naturally occurring cannabis, or marijuana.

But Cesamet, as with similar drugs such as Solvay SA's Marinol, is designed to target specific cannabinoid receptors and does not carry the toxic effects associated with smoking marijuana, Maida said.

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Cancer gene mutations occur more frequently than previously thought!

Medical News Today: Cancer gene mutations are found in about one percent of the total general population, occurring more frequently than previously thought, and may be associated with various types of cancers, according to researchers at Yale School of Medicine.

Published in the December 6 Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI), the study looked for the presence and rate of BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 mutations in a population of women with newly diagnosed ovarian cancer. They screened not only for the most common mutations but also for variants that may be more rare or difficult to distinguish. They then calculated the incidence of those variants in the general population and in individuals with family members who have had cancer.
Previous research has shown that lifetime risks for breast, ovarian and other cancers are elevated for people carrying the BRCA1/2 mutations. The Yale team found that the lifetime risk to age 80 is not the same for all mutations and some mutations have higher and some lower risks for developing cancers.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Physicians should reconsider the use of mammograms in men! Many men have breast symptoms, including enlarged or painful breast tissue, but the majority does not need a mammogram, say researchers from Mayo Clinic Cancer Center. Mammograms are used to check for the presence of breast cancers, which are very rare in males.

Their study, presented Saturday, Dec. 16, at the 2006 meeting of the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, suggests physicians should reconsider ordering mammograms for men, who are most often diagnosed with non-cancerous gynecomastia, a common condition which includes breast swelling, a tender mass or painful breast tissue.
“Mammography is being performed with increasing frequency in men with breast symptoms, but we found that breast cancer in men can be felt as a firm, discrete mass on a physical exam, or seen as changes in the skin or nipple,” says the study’s lead author, Stephanie Hines, M.D., of Mayo’s Multidisciplinary Breast Clinic and Breast Cancer Program in Jacksonville, Fla. Male breast cancer is exceedingly rare -- fewer than 2,000 men in the United States are diagnosed with the condition annually, she says.
“But the problem is that there are no guidelines about the use of mammograms in male patients and few studies have been conducted to find out if they are helpful,” says Dr. Hines.

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Brain cancer stem cells are found to be highly resistant to chemotherapy and other treatments

Newswise: While great interest has followed the discovery of neural stem cells and their potential for someday treating diseases and injuries of the brain and spinal cord, recent research identified “cancer stem cells,” a small population of cells that appear to be the source of cells comprising a malignant brain tumor. Theoretically, if these mother cells can be destroyed, the tumor will not be able to sustain itself. On the other hand, if these cells are not removed or destroyed, the tumor will continue to return despite the use of current cancer-killing therapies.

Researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute, who first isolated cancer stem cells in adult brain tumors in 2004, have now found these cells to be highly resistant to chemotherapy and other treatments. Even if a tumor is almost completely obliterated, it will regenerate from the surviving cancer stem cells and be even more resistant to treatment than before.

Results of studies on three established glioma cell lines and tumor tissue removed from five patients at Cedars-Sinai appear in the Dec. 2 issue of the journal Molecular Cancer. The researchers describe genes and mechanisms that give cancer stem cells their chemoresistant properties. They also allude to ongoing research aimed at developing methods for readily distinguishing cancer stem cells from normal neural stem cells, which could lead to therapies targeting the cancer-causing cells without damaging healthy ones.

“If one believes in the cancer stem cell hypothesis, this is an extremely important area of investigation. These stem cells are like the mother cells of the tumor, which I think is a very significant observation. It may guide the way we research tumors and the way we look for therapeutic approaches to treat these tumors because all of our efforts will need to be directed at killing these cells,” said Keith L. Black, M.D., neurosurgeon, director of the Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute and chair of Cedars-Sinai’s Department of Neurosurgery.

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Saturday, December 16, 2006

Two protein biomarkers can help researchers to predict breast cancer metastasis Expression of two different proteins taken from primary tumor biopsies is highly associated with spread of breast cancer to nearby lymph nodes, according to researchers who say this protein profile could help identify at an early stage those patients whose disease is likely to metastasize.

In the December 15 issue of Cancer Research, the researchers say over-expression of one unidentified protein and under-expression of another is 88 percent accurate in identifying breast cancer that has spread in a group of 65 patients, compared to an analysis of lymph nodes and outcomes.

If the predictive and diagnostic power of these proteins is validated, they could be analyzed in primary tumor biopsies that are routinely collected at the time of diagnosis, saving some women from extensive and possibly unnecessary treatment as well as from undergoing a second surgery to collect lymph nodes for analysis, the researchers say.

"We want to be able to predict, at the earliest stages, if a tumor has spread and how dangerous it will be," said the study’s lead author, Dave S. B. Hoon, Ph.D., director of Molecular Oncology at the John Wayne Cancer Institute, Saint Johns Health Center, in Santa Monica, California. "These two proteins may allow us to target aggressive tumors with more extensive therapy management to some women, while sparing others from needless treatment."

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Friday, December 15, 2006

‘Velcade’ provides new hope to Mantle Cell Lymphoma patients!

Recent approval to the cancer drug ‘Velcade’ by FDA has provided new hope to patients suffering from Mantle Cell Lymphoma, an aggressive form of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Mantle Cell Lymphoma is a disease, which cannot be cured with standard chemotherapy and Velcade is the first drug to receive FDA’s approval for the treatment of this disease. Watch this video to know more about this drug.

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

New therapies are changing the outlook for blood cancer patients

Medical News Today: The International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) - conducting research and providing education, advocacy and support for myeloma patients, families, researchers and physicians - noted that multiple studies presented at the 2006 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) illustrate the breadth of the gains being made in the treatment of multiple myeloma and related blood cancers.

The findings show that new treatment regimens that began with THALOMID® and extend to both VELCADE® and the newest oral treatment REVLIMID® are helping a growing range of myeloma patients when used alone, sequentially and in various combinations. Collectively, these studies represent a significant increase in knowledge of how myeloma responds to treatment, which is already becoming applicable to other cancers.

The patient groups studied cover the full range, from relapsed patients to the newly diagnosed, young to old, and include patients with an otherwise poor prognosis due to chromosomal abnormalities. In some cases the data being presented at the conference significantly advances previous studies to show long-term response in newly diagnosed patients. In one of the most significant studies, researchers from the Mayo Clinic report 67% of patients using REVLIMID (plus the steroid dexamethasone) as primary therapy, achieved a response categorized as complete or very good, with a low rate of disease progression continuing even after two years.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

What is cancer?

Do you want to know what cancer is, how it affects the body and how to prevent it? Then watch this really informative clip, in which a guy explains cancer in layman’s terms.

Study: Low-protein diets alter cancer risks

Reuters Health: Researchers studying a group of vegetarians who'd maintained a diet relatively low in protein and calories found that they had lower blood levels of several hormones and other substances that have been tied to certain cancers.

A comparison group of distance runners also had lower levels of most of these substances compared with sedentary adults who followed a typical American diet -- that is, relatively high in protein from meat and dairy.
However, the low-protein group also had a potential advantage over the runners: lower levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), a body protein that helps cells grow and multiply. High IGF-1 levels in the blood have been linked to breast, prostate and colon cancers.

It's not clear that this all translates into lower odds of developing cancer, but the findings are a "first step" in showing how lower-protein diets might alter cancer risk, according to the researchers.

"I believe our findings suggest that protein intake may be very important in regulating cancer risk," lead study author Dr. Luigi Fontana, an assistant professor of medicine at Washington University in St. Louis, said in a statement.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Children with more siblings are at greater risk of brain cancer

Live Science: Older children often think younger siblings are a headache, but sobering findings reveal the chances of a child developing a brain tumor and cancer elsewhere in the nervous system increase with the more younger brothers and sisters one has.

The finding suggests
infectious agents might play a role in causing these cancers.

The researchers analyzed more than 13,000 cases of nervous system tumors in Sweden, data collected over the course of more than 70 years. They found people with four or more siblings were twice as likely to develop such tumors as people with no siblings.

The investigators also found there was a two- to four-fold increase in nervous system tumor rates among children younger than 15 who had three or more younger siblings compared to children of the same age who had no younger siblings.

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Can’t give up smoking? Then exercise everyday to reduce the risk of lung cancer!

China Daily: Everyone knows smoking is a bad idea, but those who can't give it up may get a little protection from exercise, a study suggests. In a study of older women, researchers found that a physically active smoker had a 35 per cent lower risk of lung cancer than a sedentary smoker.

Even so, one expert called that reduction trivial because smoking itself is so risky. And Dr. Kathryn Schmitz, the study's lead author, stressed that exercising does not give women a free pass to smoke.

"The most important thing that smokers can do to reduce the risk of lung cancer is quit smoking," said Schmitz, an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics.

Those who quit smoking are 10 to 11 times less likely to develop lung cancer than those who smoke, she said.

The research, published in this month's issue of Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention, was based on information from the Iowa Women's Health Study. That project began in 1986 to follow nearly 42,000 older women. The women filled out health questionnaires over the years, including information about their smoking status and physical activity.

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Monday, December 11, 2006

Watch this video before taking another puff!

Every cigarette is doing you damage and nothing can be more descriptive than this video in explaining you how!

Enjoy Cigarette - video powered by Metacafe

A gene discovered six years ago is linked to pancreatic cancer A gene discovered by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine has been associated with two forms of pancreatic cancer, according to a study by an international group of researchers.
The gene, called palladin, was discovered six years ago by Dr. Carol Otey and her former student, Dr. Mana Parast, now a pathology fellow with Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Otey has shown that palladin is involved in the formation of scar tissue on nerve cells in the brain or spinal cord, and it’s found in cells that are moving, including embryonic cells and cells at the edge of wounds.

“Now we find it implicated in pancreatic cancer,” said Otey, an associate professor of cell and molecular physiology at UNC and a member of the UNC Neuroscience Center.
A study reported in the Dec. 12 issue of PLOS-Medicine, led by scientists at the University of Washington and the University of Pittsburgh, found palladin over expressed in people with sporadic, or non-familial, pancreatic cancer. A mutation of the gene was over expressed in cells of people with familial pancreatic cancer, which makes up at least 10 percent of all pancreatic cancer cases. Otey is a co-author on the paper.

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Sunday, December 10, 2006

Addiction to smoking is very powerful in majority of lung cancer patients

Ivanhoe Newswire: Even after a bout with lung cancer, many people go back to smoking. The finding is part of the latest research in lung cancer. Two studies released this week provide more insight into how to help cancer victims give up the habit and how to prevent the disease in the first place.

Researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis report going back to smoking after lung cancer surgery is common, especially for those who only quit because of the surgery.

In a study of 154 smokers who had surgery to remove early stage lung cancer, half of the smokers went back to smoking within one year after the surgery. Sixty percent of this group actually started smoking within two months after surgery. However, patients who held out the longest before picking up a cigarette again were more likely to eventually stop smoking.

Researchers conclude the addiction to smoking is very powerful for some lung cancer patients.

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Gleevec continues to give a second-life to blood cancer patients!

The Washington Post: Doug Jenson, a 73-year-old retiree in Canby, Ore., knows what the "wonder drug" Gleevec has given him.

"I've had the pleasure of welcoming a new daughter-in-law, two new granddaughters, seeing my other grandkids grow up. My wife and I just had our 50th anniversary this summer," the former engineer said. "But a few years ago, I didn't think I'd live to see 65."

That's because in 1998, Jenson's doctors called to tell him he had chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) -- at the time, a death sentence.

"Back then, what would happen is that people would take some really tough drugs, interferon or hydroxyurea, and very few -- maybe 2 or 3 percent -- would ever achieve any kind of remission," explained Robin Kornhaber, senior vice president of patient services at the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

In fact, Jenson's side effects from interferon were so onerous that he was forced to quit the medication early.

Luckily, his physician mentioned that Dr. Brian Druker, a researcher at the Oregon Health and Science University in nearby Portland, was working on a highly targeted molecular therapy called STI571. The molecule was specifically designed to block the genetic aberration that gives rise to CML, which affects about 6,000 Americans each year.

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Targeted therapies and other developments are revolutionizing the field of cancer research

Cancer research has come a long way and today the developments in this field are offering hope to millions of cancer patients across the world. In this video Katie Couric from CBS News talks to Dr. Jon LaPook, a medical correspondent, about a series on medical breakthroughs in the battle against cancer, and targeted therapies that are showing great promise.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Diagnosed with cancer? Get a second opinion! Researchers feel that a second opinion is very vital for cancer patients as this would help improve the type of treatment and it should surely be taken before undergoing surgery.

The University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center wanted to find out whether cancer diagnosis and treatment differed with specialists. The records of 149 breast cancer patients diagnosed elsewhere was referred to the center's tumor board for a second opinion. The result was startling as treatment recommendations for 77 (almost 52 %) were different. The tumor board consisted of specialists from pathology, radiology and oncology.
Change in opinion was seen in all aspects beginning from interpretation of mammograms to the necessity for mastectomy. In most cases an additional cancer site was found. 6 out of 149 patients had residual cancer, 1 patient’s cancer was upgraded from benign to invasive cancer. The report of this study was published in the Nov. 15 issue of the journal Cancer.
All of them had undergone all tests required for a diagnosis and all arrived with biopsy slides, X-rays and a surgeon’s recommendation at the cancer center for a second opinion.

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Friday, December 08, 2006

Mobile Phones and Brain Tumor in Children

Recent studies have shown that usage of mobile phones can raise the risk for brain tumors, especially in children. Watch this video, which throws more light on this subject.

Scientists develop a new treatment for brain cancer

Life Style Extra: Scientists have developed a treatment that may be effective against the most common and deadly form of brain cancer.

Glioblastomas usually grow so quickly that they kill within a year of diagnosis - and neither surgery, drugs nor radiotherapy can stop it.

But Italian researchers have blocked the tumor’s growth in lab mice by injecting a protein into their brains.
It's hoped the study published in Nature will yield new treatments for glioblastomas - known as GBMs - for which there is currently no cure.

It's thought that glioblastomas are maintained by so-called cancer stem cells - a small population of tumor cells that can generate copies of themselves and of all the other cell types that make up a tumor.

Dr Angelo Vescovi and colleagues at the University of Milan Bicocca found when mice injected with human glioblastoma cells enriched for such cancer stem cells were treated with a protein called bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4) tumor growth was reduced.The researchers said protein activates BMP receptors which are also involved in normal development. But rather than killing the cancer stem cells it seems BMP4 pushes them to differentiate into benign, non-cancerous cells.

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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Pregnancy may increase cancer survival rate! Women who fall pregnant after receiving treatment for breast cancer boost their chances of surviving the disease, a study shows.

They need not wait the recommended two years before attempting to conceive, according to the research published online by the British Medical Journal.

Women of childbearing age who are diagnosed with breast cancer are currently advised to delay pregnancy to identify those who relapse early and have a poor prognosis.

But there is no published data to suggest that postponing conception will affect the outcome of the cancer or pregnancy - and now some studies have implied that subsequent pregnancy may provide a survival benefit.

Researchers identified 123 women aged between 15 and 44 who were diagnosed with breast cancer and had at least one pregnancy after their diagnosis.

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Pancreatic cancer !

Trade Arabia: Eating lots of sugar and sugar-sweetened foods could increase a person's likelihood of developing cancer of the pancreas, by far one of the deadliest types of cancer, Swedish researchers report.

The researchers followed 77,797 men and women aged 45 to 83 for an average of about seven years. Those who reported eating five or more servings of added sugar daily, for example sugar added to tea, coffee or cereal, were 69 per cent more likely to develop pancreatic cancer than those who never added sugar to their food or drink.

People who consumed two or more servings of soft drinks a day had a 93 per cent greater risk of pancreatic cancer compared to those who abstained from these beverages. Eating sweetened fruit soups or stewed fruit increased risk by 51 per cent.

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) - Something Every Woman Should Know!

Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) is a silent killer and many women know nothing about it. Watch this really interesting video that throws light on this silent killer and emphazises the need for every woman to know about this disease.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Nanotechnology to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of brain tumor

Nanowerk News: Combining two promising approaches to diagnosing and treating cancer, a multidisciplinary research team at the University of Michigan has created a targeted multifunctional polymer nanoparticle that successfully images and kills brain tumors in laboratory animals. This work was conducted as part of the National Cancer Institute’s Unconventional Innovations Program, an effort that first showed the promise of nanotechnology for diagnosing and treating cancer.

Writing in the journal Clinical Cancer Research (
"Vascular targeted nanoparticles for imaging and treatment of brain tumors), the research team led by Brian Ross, Ph.D., Alnawaz Rehemtulla, Ph.D., Raoul Kopelman, Ph.D., and Martin Philbert, Ph.D., describes its development of a 40-nanometer-diameter polyacrylamide nanoparticle loaded with a photosensitizing agent, known as Photofrin, and iron oxide. When irradiated with laser light, Photofrin, which is used to treat several types of cancer, including esophageal, bladder, and skin cancers, triggers the production of reactive oxygen species that destroy a wide variety of molecules within a cell. The iron oxide nanoparticles function as a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agent.

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Reversing the effects of drug resistance in lung cancer patients can save lives!

BBC News: It may be possible to save more lives by reversing drug resistance in lung cancer patients, scientists say.

Most lung cancer deaths are the result of the tumor adapting to block the effects of chemotherapy drugs. Scientists have now pinpointed the chemistry which one type of the disease - small cell lung cancer - uses to achieve this effect.

The Cancer Research UK study, which appeared in the EMBO Journal, raises hopes of sabotaging this process.
The researchers have identified a number of key proteins, which they believe might play a key role in the development of resistance, not only of small cell lung cancer, but other forms of cancer too.

The majority of small cell lung cancer patients can only be treated with chemotherapy because most are undetected until the disease is at an advanced stage when it is too late for surgery.

Tumours with a protein called FGF-2 are known to be less likely to respond to treatment.

The latest study proves that this is because the protein plays an active role in the development of drug resistance.

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Sunday, December 03, 2006

Gene discovery might help to stop the progression or reverse tumor growth in lobular breast cancer

Times Online- Scientists have identified a genetic error that drives a form of breast cancer, opening the way to new therapies for women with the disease.

Lobular breast cancer accounts for between 10 and 15 per cent of all breast cancer cases and are very difficult to treat. At present, lobular tumors are treated with hormone-blocking drugs but the cancer returns in about 30 per cent of women.

Researchers at the Institute of Cancer Research, in London, found extra genes in lobular breast cancer cells. Half the cancers carried extra copies of the gene FGFR1, which is responsible for a protein of the same name and is involved in promoting cell division. An excess of FGFR1 sends this process out of control.

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Significant breakthrough in the treatment of ovarian cancer

The Observer- Doctors have made a significant breakthrough in the treatment of ovarian cancer by discovering a way to reverse the resistance to drugs that denies thousands of women patients each year a chance of survival.

The disease is the fourth most common cancer in women in the UK - after breast, bowel and lung - but is also one of the hardest to treat. There are around 6,900 new cases each year, but 70 per cent of patients cannot be cured because they develop resistance to the chemotherapy which targets the malignant cells.

Professor Hani Gabra and his team at the Hammersmith Hospital in west London have discovered four major gene pathways that could reverse the resistance. This opens up the prospect of developing a drug to block these pathways and allow the chemotherapy to carry on working. The drugs in question, cisplatin and carboplatin - also known as platinum chemotherapy - are given as injections after surgery.

The hope is that a treatment can be developed which would allow the majority of women, in whom the disease has spread, to carry on living with it as a 'chronic' condition, which cannot be cured but can be treated.

Gabra, a professor of medical oncology and head of the West London Gynaecological Cancer Centre, said: 'The discovery could mean we change the outlook for patients suffering from ovarian cancer and potentially other cancers too. This really is a significant advance.'

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Friday, December 01, 2006

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) may be used prevent cancer in future

The Hindu- Mayo Clinic Cancer Center has begun three clinical studies looking at the use of Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) to prevent cancer -- colon, esophageal or lung.

This press release issued by Eurekalert says that these studies are part of the ongoing Cancer Center chemoprevention program, using medications to prevent cancer, especially for people with increased cancer risk.

“While searching for the cure is important, even more so is finding effective ways to prevent cancer,” says Paul Limburg, M.D., M.P.H., Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist and lead researcher on the colon cancer prevention study. “We have observed that some of the same biological processes that cause inflammation may also be involved in developing cancer, so the next step was to see if drugs that prevent inflammation also serve to lessen the risk of cancer.”

The colon cancer study is looking at the NSAID sulindac (Clinoril®), and its ability to inhibit inflammation and subsequent transformation of damaged cells into cancer cells. Sulindac’s preventive effect will be measured against that of two other potential prevention agents: atorvastatin (Lipitor®), a cholesterol-lowering drug with some reported cancer prevention aspects (Cancer Research, April and July 2006); and Raftilose®Synergy1, a food supplement derived from chicory, also with some supporting research conducted overseas (The British Journal of Nutrition, April 2005).

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