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Lung cancer rates higher among female nonsmokers than previously
By Dross at 2007-02-09 21:37
 

STANFORD, Calif. - 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, researchers 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, to be published 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.

read more | 990 reads

Master switches found for adult blood stem cells
By Dross at 2007-02-09 21:36
 

    Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center scientists have found a set of "master switches" that keep adult blood-forming stem cells in their primitive state.

 

Unlocking the switches' code may one day enable scientists to grow new blood cells for transplant into patients with cancer and other bone marrow disorders. The scientists located the control switches not at the gene level, but farther down the protein production line in more recently discovered forms of ribonucleic acid, or RNA. MicroRNA molecules, once thought to be cellular junk, are now known to switch off activity of the larger RNA strands which allow assembly of the proteins that let cells grow and function.

read more | 1483 reads

A visual picture of why Gleevec stops working
By Dross at 2007-02-09 03:17
 

 

See up close on an atomic scale how the mutation of one amino acid can render a drug like Gleevec useless. What is presented here is a crystal structure of the mutated protein CML patients have in a complex with the drug VX-680 which has been shown to inhibit the T315I mutation that no drug has yet been able to fight. Most interestingly is that the authors removed live cells from a patient harboring the mutation and tested the drug against these cells in a dish.The drug worked to kill the cells, but no word as to whether they could then give the drug to the patient. Probably not, as then the MD would be liable for murder before going through Phase I trials to determine the maximum tolerated dose. The drug showed inhibition at 10uM, whereas Gleevec is routinely given up to 5uM. The reading may be difficult, but that is what the forums are for, ask a question.

read more | 2644 reads

International study points to new breast cancer-susceptibility gene
By Dross at 2007-02-09 02:52
 

    A gene whose existence was detected only a couple of years ago may increase women's risk of breast cancer when inherited in a mutated form, and may contribute to prostate cancer as well, researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and colleagues in Finland report in a new study. The gene, known as PALB2, may play a role in only about 1 percent of breast cancer cases in the select population that was studied (Finnish women), but its discovery sheds light on the complex web of gene interactions that underlies the disease, say the authors of the study, which is being published by the journal Nature on its Web site, www.nature.com/nature, and lter in a print edition.

read more | 1514 reads

Gene elevating breast cancer risk also causes prostate cancer
By Dross at 2007-02-08 23:22
 

    Cancer is a complex and common disease caused by a combination of both genetic and environmental factors. An inherited predisposition seems to be involved in at least 5-10 per cent of all cases of breast cancer.

The two major familial breast cancer susceptibility genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 only explain 20-30 per cent of families with site-specific female breast cancer, which suggests the contribution of additional susceptibility genes. According to Dr Robert Winqvist, who coordinates the research effort, the identification of these genes may help to clarify the genetic background contributing to breast cancer and suggest novel pharmaceutical targets. It could also lead to genetic screening that identifies individuals at increased breast cancer risk and result in improved prevention efforts and treatment. About a year ago, Dr Bing Xia and Professor David Livingston at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston identified a novel BRCA2 binding factor, PALB2 that regulates certain key functions of normal BRCA2 activity.

read more | 729 reads

The multi-tasking reovirus
By Dross at 2007-02-08 21:31
 

   In the past couple of years, researchers at Oncolytics Biotech have been developing a harmless virus as a potent cancer killer, but they have also been accumulating data that suggests in addition to directly killing tumor cells, the reovirus may prime the immune system to mount a separate, powerful and long lasting defence against cancer. Evidence for this theory has been mounting for the past year. On January 10, 2007, Dr. Sheila Fraser of St. James's University Hospital in Leeds, U.K. delivered a paper at the Society of Academic & Research Surgery Conference in Cambridge, U.K., in which she described a test tube experiment further supporting this claim. Fraser's presentation, titled "Reovirus as a Potentially Immunogenic as well as Cytotoxic Therapy for Metastaticterm Colorectal Cancer," reported how cells taken from a colorectal cancer liver metastases were more susceptible to death many weeks after treatment with reovirus, and long after the virus had cleared the patient's system. These cells, when cultured in the laboratory, also appeared to be vulnerable to re-infection with reovirus. Moreover, Dr. Fraser noted that dendritic cells, which prime the immune system against cancer, were activated by exposure to the reovirus.

read more | 1096 reads

One Breast Cancer Therapy Could Have Counter-Productive Effects
By HCat at 2007-02-08 07:36
 

    A potential side effect of cancer patients treated with chemotherapyterm is a decrease of white blood cells. Cytotoxic chemotherapeutic agents work by destroying fast-proliferative cells. Unfortunately chemotherapy does not distinguish between normal and cancerous cells, thus normal fast-growing cells could also be destroyed. One group of cells that are affected by chemotherapy is white blood cells. White blood cells are needed by the immune system to fight infections, and the reduction in white blood cells may result in febrile neutropenia, a fever caused by reduced white blood cell count. Breast cancer patients treated with chemotherapy are often also treated with granulocyte-monocyte colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF).

read more | 1 comment | 4785 reads

Dichloroacetate: Panacea or Problematic?
By HCat at 2007-02-08 07:06
 

    Dichloroacetate (DCA) has hit the headlines with a splash recently being held as a cheap cure for cancer. The recent article in Cancer Cell is very intriguing in that it presents DCA as promoting apoptosis and inhibiting growth selectively in cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone. The article also presents data showing it is not toxic to the liver.

However, there are a few perspectives of this compound that should be included in the public’s mind.

read more | 1 comment | 8004 reads

Cytokine treatment during chemotherapy (Adjuvant Chemotherapy) linked with Leukemia
By raja at 2007-02-08 01:02
 

When a patient undergoes chemotherapyterm, all dividing cell types are affected. Cancers are rapidly dividing cells and this is the property that chemotherapy looks to exploit. Unfortunately, since this is a non-targeted approach, several other dividing cells types in the body are also affected. White blood cells are one such affected group of cells along with Red blood cells and platelets (which are all derived from the Bone Marrow, which is a rapidly dividing cell type). This depression of WBC numbers is known as the Myelosuppressive effect. This usually ends up being the limiting factor on how much dosage a patient can withstand. If too many WBCs are destroyed, then it will lead to a weakened immune system and that will lead to secondary infections and sepsis. So to counter this, patients undergoing chemotherapy to treat breast cancer are given a supplement of a certain kind of growth factors called Cytokines that stimulate the growth of subtypes of white blood cells.

read more | 3874 reads

Man-made Proteins Could Be More Useful than Real Ones
By Dross at 2007-02-07 22:12
 

 

 

Structure of the Zwit-1F beta-peptide bundle as determined by x-ray crystallography. The bundle contains eight copies of the beta-peptide Zwit-1F with parallel and antiparallel helices in like and unlike colors, respectively. Researchers have constructed a protein out of amino acids not found in natural proteins, discovering that they can form a complex, stable structure that closely resembles a natural protein. Their findings could help scientists design drugs that look and act like real proteins but won't be degraded by enzymes or targeted by the immune system, as natural proteins are. The researchers, led by Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) professor Alanna Schepartz, report their findings in the February 14, 2007, issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society, published in advance online on January 19, 2007.

read more | 813 reads

Artificial Intelligence could speed up radiation therapy for cancer patients
By Dross at 2007-02-07 21:05
 

A new computer-based technique could eliminate hours of manual adjustment associated with a popular cancer treatment. In a paper published in the Feb. 7 issue of Physics in Medicine and Biology, researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center describe an approach that has the potential to automatically determine acceptable radiation plans in a matter of minutes, without compromising the quality of treatment.

 

"Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) has exploded in popularity, but the technique can require hours of manual tuning to determine an effective radiation treatment for a given patient," said Richard Radke, assistant professor of electrical, computer, and systems engineering at Rensselaer. Radke is leading a team of engineers and medical physicists to develop a "machine learning" algorithm that could cut hours from the process.

read more | 2172 reads

Lombardi expert helps set new guidelines for assessing lymphoma treatment
By Dross at 2007-02-07 05:02
 

    An international team of cancer specialists and imaging experts, including Bruce Cheson, professor of medicine, head of hematology, and director of hematology research at Georgetown's Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, has developed standardized guidelines for assessing how lymphomas respond to treatment. The guidelines will provide clinicians worldwide with consistent criteria to compare and interpret clinical trials of lymphomaterm treatments and should facilitate the development of new therapies. The recommendations appear in the Jan. 22 online issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

read more | 1972 reads

Increase in Breast Cancer treatment related MDS when GCSF given with Chemo
By Dross at 2007-02-07 05:00
 

Please read the About Us section if you have been diagnosed with Treatment related MDS. Leave your questions in the forums and I will be happy to help you with the latest research.

 

    Women with breast cancer who receive compounds that stimulate white blood cell production to help their bodies better tolerate chemotherapyterm are at an increased risk of developing a type of leukemiaterm or a condition called myelodysplastic syndrome, according to a new study in the February 7 Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

 

read more | 4 comments | 8381 reads

Improved imaging for identifying breast cancer in overweight women
By Dross at 2007-02-07 01:17
 

Increasing the ability to identify sentinel nodes the very first lymph nodes that trap cancer cells draining away from a breast lesion site has a major impact in the treatment and outcome of breast cancer patients, possibly eliminating the need for unnecessary and painful surgery.

 

Researchers found that using SPECT/CT imaging aids in sentinel node identification especially for overweight or obese women, according to a report in the February issue of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

 

Lymphoscintigraphy (a commonly performed nuclear medicine procedure that makes the lymphatic system visible to specialized cameras) used with single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT)/computed tomography (CT) imaging boosted sentinel node identification not only for the general population but also for those who were overweight.

read more | 1388 reads

2 new studies back vitamin D for cancer prevention
By Dross at 2007-02-06 21:41
 

Two new vitamin D studies using a sophisticated form of analysis called meta-analysis, in which data from multiple reports is combined, have revealed new prescriptions for possibly preventing up to half of the cases of breast cancer and two-thirds of the cases of colorectal cancer in the United States. The work was conducted by a core team of cancer prevention specialists at the Moores Cancer Center at University of California, San Diego (UCSD), and colleagues from both coasts. The breast cancer study, published online in the current issue of the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, pooled dose-response data from two earlier studies - the Harvard Nurses Health Study and the St. George's Hospital Study - and found that individuals with the highest blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D, or 25(OH)D, had the lowest risk of breast cancer.

read more | 1156 reads

 
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