Archive for June, 2011

Researchers hope to get best chemotherapy cocktail for pancreatic cancer

June 30, 2011

A diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is like a death sentence for most people, so receiving the right chemotherapy drugs is crucial to prolong and improve quality of life.

New research hopes to find a biomarker or sign in people’s pancreatic tumours that would indicate to doctors what treatment would work best. Currently, there are no such indicators identified and oncologists are forced to guess and give drug cocktails with nasty side effects without knowing if the medications will work.

If patients do have that protein, Gemcitabine is believed to work well and is more gentle to the system than another chemotherapy drug, which can cause nausea, nerve damage in the fingers and toes and the sensation that the patient’s throat is closing. Read more…

Wonder drug could kill all types of cancer

June 29, 2011

A breast cancer wonder drug could be turned into a universal weapon against tumors. Researchers said a family of cancer drugs, known as PARP inhibitors, affect the way tumor cells repair themselves. These inhibitors target hereditary forms of breast cancer as well as ovarian prostate cancer and pancreatic tumours with the same rogue gene.

The drugs exploit the ” Achilles heel” of hereditary forms of breast cancer. This is caused by a flaw in a gene called BRCA1, which limits the cells’ ability to repair damage to their DNA. Healthy cells have two ways of patching up damage – which allows them to breed, grow and spread – but cells in BRCA tumours have only one. PARP inhibitors block this remaining pathway, stopping the tumour cells from multiplying, eventually leading them to die. Some breast, ovarian and prostate tumours have flawed BRCA genes – but account for a small proportion of all cancers. Read more…

Therapies to normalise cancer cells

June 28, 2011

A new study promises to make cancer treatment more tolerable and successful by focusing on therapies that could help cancer cells get back to normal, in addition to strategies for killing them. 

A team of researchers  used the latest gene sequencing tools to examine the so-called epigenetic influences on the DNA makeup of colon cancer. They focused on a particular epigenetic biochemical signature known as methylation, which silences the genes.

By comparing the epigenomes of eight human tissue samples, three from non-cancerous colon tissue, three from colon tumours and two from polyps (early-stage colon cancer), the team found that in all the colon tumours the defining characteristic was a universally “chaotic” pattern of methylation. Read more…

New Cancer Therapy

June 27, 2011

Researchers in a recently conducted study have identified a glue-like substance that can make cancer treatment easier. The study gave as example the reaction soap has to a sink full of greasy water, how as soon as the soap hits water, the grease recoils, and retreats to the edges of the sink.
The researchers said the drug could force the proteins to the cell’s membrane (a.k.a., the edge of the sink), and make the cancer cell more vulnerable to chemotherapy. The “glue” is shaped like a dumbbell: at one end is an anchor that sticks to the membrane, and at the other is a molecule that binds to the cancer-promoting proteins. Read more…

Eat strawberries to prevent cancer, diabetes

June 25, 2011

It’s often called the wonder fruit. Now, a new research has revealed that eating strawberries could help stave off ageing and even prevent cancer.

It said eating the fruit helps boost antioxidant levels in the blood. Higher levels of antioxidants have been found to combat the effects of oxidative stress, lessening the effects of ageing and even the chances of contracting diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

To cone to the conclusion, Spanish and Italian researchers fed 12 healthy volunteers half a kilo of strawberries over two weeks. Results showed that eating strawberries regularly can boost levels of antioxidants in the blood and also help prevent red blood cells undergoing haemolysis, a process which sees them fragmenting. Read more…

No sign scans after testicle cancer cause new tumors

June 24, 2011

Follow-up scans after treatment for testicular cancer don’t appear to put men at higher risk of new tumors, researchers have found.

Men usually get regular computerized tomography (CT) scans to check if their testicular cancer has returned following treatment, but some worry that the associated radiation could be dangerous.

But that did not seem to be the case in the new study, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Overall, 14 percent of some 2,500 men who received multiple follow-up scans developed new tumors in the scanned area over the decade following their diagnosis. And those who received the most radiation were at no higher risk.  Read more…

Breast Cancer & Heart Disease

June 22, 2011

Breast cancer accounts for almost a third of all cancer cases reported in women. Advances in the treatment for breast cancer, and early detection, have improved the chances of survival from the disease. New research has found that two thirds of women with breast cancer died from other causes and that over the length of the study cardiovascular disease was the leading cause of death.

Researchers followed over 60,000 women in the United States who were at least 66 years old with a breast cancer diagnosis for up to 12 years. About half of the women participating in the study survived. Of those who did however, more than two thirds died from causes other than breast cancer such as cardiovascular disease which killed more women that the breast cancer itself. Read more…

A cancer jab that wipes out tumours

June 21, 2011

In what could be called a possible breakthrough , scientists have developed a cancer jab which they claim can wipe out tumours by stimulating the immune system so that it seeks out and destroys cancer cells.  A team, which has developed the vaccine, says that though the jab may not fully cure cancer but it would help make the disease more like a chronic illness than a merciless killer.

Cancer victims given the jab should be able to live much longer with the disease under control, says the team. Normally the immune system does not recognise cancer as a threat and therefore ignores it. The new treatment fools the system into thinking the cancer is a virus and must be attacked. Read more…

Cancer vaccine discovery can zap tumours

June 20, 2011

CANCER vaccines could become the next generation of therapy after a new method of treatment was discovered. Scientists have had problems targeting tumours with jabs without causing side effects.

But they have now taken a “library of DNA” from the same organ as a tumour and inserted it into a virus to attack cancers. This wakes up the immune system, which often ignores cancers, and gets the patient’s body to fight back against any growths. Read more…

Diabetes drug Actos may raise bladder cancer risk

June 18, 2011

Since studies of the diabetes drug Actos suggest an increased risk of bladder cancer for patients taking it for more than a year, Health Canada is reviewing the drug.

An FDA analysis half way through a 10-year study showed there was no overall increased risk of bladder cancer with pioglitazone use. But there was in patients with the longest exposure to pioglitazone, and in those exposed to the highest cumulative dose of the drug. Read more…