General Cancer News: October 2006 Archives

Scientists Identify 'Faulty Cancer Gene'

cancer cellScientists have identified a faulty gene which can almost double the risk of prostate cancer.

The finding published online by the Journal of Medical Genetics could help doctors treat the gene's damaging effect.

The gene called CHEK2 programmes the manufacture of a chemical to alert the body to DNA damage.

The researchers assessed almost 2,000 Polish men who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer between 1999 and 2005 to see if they carried the gene.

alcohol abuseWhy is alcohol consumption a risk factor for cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, and esophagus? Scientists long have suspected that the culprit is acetaldehyde, a compound produced as the body breaks down the alcohol in beer, wine and hard liquor.

Now researchers in Japan have discovered direct molecular evidence supporting that link between acetaldehyde and alcohol-related cancers. In a report published in the current (October) issue of the monthly ACS journal Chemical Research in Toxicology, Tomonari Matsuda and colleagues studied DNA from the blood of 44 patients being treated for alcoholism.

Harnessing The Measles Virus To Attack Cancer


cancer cellMayo Clinic Cancer Center has opened a new clinical study using a vaccine strain of the measles virus to attack recurrent glioblastoma multiforme, a largely untreatable brain tumor. This is the second of several pending molecular medicine studies in patients using measles to kill cancer. 

"We are looking at better ways to treat some of the most lethal cancers," says Eva Galanis, M.D., oncologist and lead researcher on the glioblastoma multiforme project in the measles virus investigation. "We have shown in the laboratory and in several animal models that measles virus strains can significantly shrink glioma tumors and prolong animal survival. It is very rewarding to see this work maturing to the point of now being able to offer this novel and promising treatment approach to patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme." She also reports that toxicology studies, conducted in conjunction with Federal Drug Administration, showed an excellent safety profile.

Korean Team Discovers Cancer Breakthrough


cancer researchA Korean research team, led by Yonsei University professor Yook Jong-in, made a breakthrough in discovering the mechanism by which cancer cells metastasize.

This breakthrough is expected to help scientists better understand the changing nature of cancerous cells, taking a step closer to the discovery of cures.

So far, the pathways by which cancerous cells spread have not been exactly known, posing great difficulties for scientists to come up with medicines that effectively fight their spread.

Mayne PharmaSYDNEY (AFX) - Mayne Pharma Ltd said it has received approval to market its version of the anti-cancer drug oxaliplatin in Germany.

The pharmaceutical company said Germany's oxaliplatin market is one of the largest, with a local market value (LMV) of 88 mln usd.

Mayne now has marketing approval for its oxaliplatin in 13 European Union countries as well as Australia.

Knowing Your Cancer Risk

(NAPSA)-Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among American men after skin cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Based on this statistic, most people might assume that the majority of American men are well educated about how best to fight prostate cancer, where to turn for more information and what support group an uncle or golf buddy relied on during their respective battles with the disease.

Unfortunately, this is not the case. While women regularly host breast cancer awareness and fund-raising walks across the country, men have been less proactive on matters related to their health, including essential measures such as soliciting second opinions and researching treatment options. The result of this passive approach is that the average man does not always make good, informed decisions about his own health care.

HK scientists identify cancer-blocking protein


HONG KONG, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Scientists in Hong Kong have identified a protein that can help suppress the growth of prostate cancer cells, the third most common cancer in men worldwide.

With half a million new cases a year, prostate cancer afflicts one in every six men in the United States and one in 50 males in Hong Kong.

But current therapies for advanced prostate cancer, such as chemotherapy, are far from satisfactory and carry side effects.

Topotarget: Encouraging results with cancer treatment


The Danish biotech company Topotarget has very good results with the first tests of a treatment of advanced cancer, the company informed today.

The management of Topotarget is very pleased with the results of the Phase II studies of the PXD101. Topotarget cooperates with the American CuraGen on the development of the cancer drug.

"The results which we can present with the PXD101 strengthen our expectations for this new type of drug against cancer. PXD101 is well tolerated and seems to be well suited in combination with other cancer drugs used today. This admits a broad use of the drug," - CEO Peter Buhl Jensen, TopoTarget said.

"I Can Cope" Classes For Cancer Patients Start Nov. 7


I Can Cope, offered by the American Cancer Society and the Sarah Cannon Cancer Center at Parkridge Medical Center, is a series of classes that provide patients and their loved ones with practical help in coping with some of the emotional and physical challenges of cancer.

The American Cancer Society’s I Can Cope program gives participants an opportunity to share their concerns with others facing similar experiences and to design ways to cope with the challenges that arise from a cancer diagnosis. This program provides relevant knowledge and enhanced skills on various aspects of a cancer diagnosis.

Cancer patient dies during quest to visit every MLB park


TWINSBURG, Ohio - A cancer patient who was trying to raise awareness of the disease during a quest to visit every Major League Baseball park this season has died at his home near Cleveland.

Jeffrey Newbauer Jr., 22, died Wednesday night, according to the Web site that chronicled his journey:

Donations helped Newbauer visit 26 of 30 ballparks over the last four months in what was called the "Cancer Sucks Ballpark Tour."

UCD researchers discover cancer-fighting drugs

A new range of anti-cancer drugs has been discovered by researchers at University College Dublin, it was confirmed today.

Dr Margaret McGee, a scientific researcher and biochemistry lecturer at UCD, have been working to create inhibitors to tackle breast cancer.

The work funded by Cancer Research Ireland has designed a series of compounds which at low doses block a cancer promoting protein called Cyclophilin A.

The joys of walking: losing weight as cancer prevention


by Dalene Entenmann, The Cancer Blog, 24 Oct 2006

Approximately 3 percent of all new cancers in the United States are linked to obesity, according to the US National Cancer Institute. Stay trim to cut cancer risk, that is what the headline reads. Researchers hypothesis that fat might be preventing apoptosis -- the process in which cancer cells perform a sort of suicide. But it's all untested speculation at this point as to how fat might affect cancer development and growth.

Recently, Rutgers University researchers conducted tests on mice and found leaner mice were less susceptible to developing cancer. Cancer cells in fatter mice died much more slowly, twice as slow as their skinny counterparts. The study is published in the National Academy of Sciences.

Test helps guide cancer treatment


- US study shows

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A new test that looks at genetic material from a patient's tumor is 80 percent accurate in predicting which drugs would be most effective against that particular cancer, U.S. researchers reported on Sunday.

The test can be used to predict not only whether a single drug can work to stop a tumor but whether a specific combination of drugs will work, the team at Duke University in North Carolina reported.

Writing in the journal Nature Medicine, the researchers said they used a "gene chip" made by Affymetrix as the basis of the test, done in lab dishes using tumor samples from several hundred different patients with leukemia and ovarian, breast and lung cancers.

Cyber patient predicts cancer treatment outcome


by Dalene Entenmann, The Cancer Blog, 18 Oct 2006

During clinical studies, the Virtual Cancer Patient Engine (VCP) was found to be 70 percent accurate in predicting individualized patient response to chemotherapy drugs. The significance of the ability of this new technology to make accurate predictions in cancer treatments that will work before treatment begins is a 40 to 45 percent better accuracy rate than is currently predicted by oncologists.

VCP analyzes how chemotherapy drugs will affect the growth of the cancer, how the chemotherapy drugs will behave in the body and how the cancer cells will respond to the chemotherapy drugs using mathematical modeling and computerized simulation between biological, pathological and pharmacological processes of drug-patient interactions.

Grape Seed Extract Halts Cell Cycle


PHILADELPHIA - Chemicals found in grape seeds significantly inhibited growth of colorectal tumors in both cell cultures and in mice, according to researchers who have already demonstrated the extract's anti-cancer effects in other tumor types.

Their study, published in the October 18 issue of Clinical Cancer Research, documented a 44 percent reduction of advanced colorectal tumors in the animals, and also revealed, for the first time, the molecular mechanism by which grape seed extract works to inhibit cancer growth. The authors found that it increases availability of a critical protein, Cip1/p21, in tumors that effectively freezes the cell cycle, and often pushes a cancer cell to self destruct.

Cancer patients have higher suicide risk


Indeed very sad results of the study... but not really unexpected.

The study was done by Dr. Wayne Kendal, a radiation oncologist at the Ottawa Hospital Regional Cancer Center, based on an analysis of 1.3 million cancer cases in the United States. His analysis showed that 19 out of every 1,000 males with cancer and four out of every 1,000 females with cancer take their own lives.

Cancer patients need support. Your Support.

Carcinogenic Diagnosis


As posted yesterday in Breast cancer screenings attacked there's a big risk of getting cancer by doing a CT scan.

Surely these risks should be mentioned to patients. Often they can also just be avoided or reduced. CT scans are sometimes superior to other imaging techniques, but in other cases, CT scans can be replaced with magnetic resonance imaging or ultrasound, which do not expose patients to damaging ionizing radiation. Sometimes just a good medical history suffices. One reason for the proliferation of CT scans is the proliferation of CT scanners; once purchased, they bring in more money the more often they are used.

Dealing with thinking and memory problems caused by cancer or cancer treatment can be frustrating. Find out more about chemobrain and how to cope.

For years people undergoing cancer treatment have described their minds as being in a fog — unable to concentrate and remember details about their everyday lives. Doctors and researchers knew something was wrong, but they couldn't pinpoint what it was.

Research now shows that what these people are experiencing is called mild cognitive impairment — the loss of the ability to remember certain things, learn new skills and complete certain tasks. The cause of mild cognitive impairment during cancer treatment still isn't clear, nor is it clear how often it happens or what may trigger it. Doctors aren't sure what they can do about it.

Woman accused of faking cancer to make money


COHOES, N.Y. --A former teacher accused of faking cancer to collect health benefits was indicted on charges that she tried to steal more than $110,000 from the state Teachers' Retirement System.

If convicted, Candice Lambert, 41, would face seven to 20 years in prison for grand larceny, attempted grand larceny and scheming to defraud.

Lambert turned herself in to Cohoes police in April after school officials in New Hampshire, where she was then working, investigated her and told the public she did not have cancer.

Brokaw: Cancer touches many families

OMAHA, Neb. - Legendary journalist Tom Brokaw says every family in America has been touched by cancer. Brokaw mentioned the deaths of two friends - ABC anchor Peter Jennings and New York Times journalist R.W. Apple - during a news conference Friday at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. "I don't know any family in America who has not had some kind of really unsettling and ultimately difficult experience with cancer," the former "NBC Nightly News" anchorman said.

Algae Provide New Clues To Cancer


Salk Institute, 13 Oct 2006

A microscopic green alga helped scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies identify a novel function for the retinoblastoma protein (RB), which is known for its role as a tumor suppressor in mammalian cells. By coupling cell size with cell division, RB ensures that cells stay within an optimal size range.

Protein May Help Targeting for Anti-Tumor Drugs


THURSDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- A protein that may help in the development of new anti-tumor drugs has been identified by Mayo Clinic researchers.

The protein -- cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (CDK2) -- acts as a "quality control inspector" during cell division, and also directs cell death for cells that are damaged during division.

Normal cells pause during the division process if they detect an inaccurate genetic code embedded in their DNA. If possible, repairs are made to those mistakes.

Study Reveals Mechanism For Cancer-drug Resistance


Using the worm Caenorhabditis elegans, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have discovered a mechanism by which cancer cells become resistant to a specific class of drugs.

They found that a mutation in a single protein in the worm renders a potential new cancer drug ineffective. The drug is a derivative of a compound called hemiasterlin. Because hemiasterlin compounds are being tested as a way to fight multi-drug resistance, this newly discovered resistance effect is problematic, the researchers said.

By Salynn Boyles, WebMD , 11 Oct 2006

Well over a third of adult survivors of childhood cancer develop serious, disabling, or life-threatening health problems in the decades following treatment, and three out of four experience some chronic health issue.

Researchers followed more than 10,000 pediatric cancer survivors diagnosed and treated in the 1970s and 1980s in the largest long-term study of patient outcomes ever reported.

Pfizer's Sutent "effective for intestinal tumor"


LONDON (Reuters) - Pfizer Inc's new cancer drug Sutent is effective for patients suffering from advanced gastrointestinal tumors which do not respond to the standard treatment, researchers said on Wednesday.

The drug, which is also known as sunitinib, is used to treat advanced kidney cancer. But research published online by The Lancet medical journal shows it helps patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) resistant to imatinib, which is sold by Novartis AG under the name Gleevec.

Sugar, a sweet poison


by Dr. Tony Vendryes, 9 Oct 2006

The average American consumes an astounding two to three pounds of sugar each week. Sugar consumption has gone from only five pounds per year in 1900 to the current level of 135 pounds per person per year.

This is not surprising as highly refined sugars in the forms of sucrose (table sugar), dextrose (corn sugar), and high-fructose corn syrup are being quietly processed into many popular foods such as bread, biscuits, breakfast cereal, mayonnaise, peanut butter, ketchup, spaghetti sauce, and a host of other convenience foods.

Acid reflux may raise risk of cancer of larynx (Reuters)


by Jacki Donaldson, 7 Oct 2006

Studies exist that link acid-reflux conditions to cancer of the larynx -- or voice box -- but authors of a new study say they all suffer shortcomings in methodology.

The new study, published in the American Journal of Medicine, was intended to make up for these shortcomings by comparing 96 men and women with laryngeal cancer to a group of adults without the disease. All participants were matched by age, gender, and ethnicity -- three of the most important risk factors for this cancer. Overall, the study found people with GERD -- gastroesophageal reflux disease -- were twice as likely to develop laryngeal cancer, compared to those without the condition. GERD has long been considered a possible risk factor for this cancer, mostly because GERD is common among people with the cancer. More definitive studies are on the horizon.

Is Cancer a Disease or a Symptom?

Is there indeed a "cure" for the "disease" known as "cancer" ... or is it merely the outcome of an unhealthy body? It apparently depends on who you ask, as two conflicting views demonstrate. On the one hand, News Target's Mike Adams attacks the "Race for the Cure" fundraising "scams," declaring that, most specifically with "breast cancer," it is NOT a disease for which there might be a cure, but "a name given to an observable pattern of symptoms indicative of cellular malfunction and a systemic failure of the immune system in a human being. ... 'Breast cancer' is a name given to the side effects of poor health that just happen to emerge first in the breast tissues."

Chemo has long-term impact on brain function


Chemotherapy patient Linda Bremmer blows into the world's first cancer 'breath test' bag which monitors how a patient breaks down chemotherapy drugs so that the dose of drugs can be prescribed at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney October 24, 2001. Chemotherapy causes changes in the brain's metabolism and blood flow that can last as long as 10 years, a discovery that may explain the mental fog and confusion that affect many cancer survivors, researchers said on Thursday. (David Gray/Reuters)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Chemotherapy causes changes in the brain's metabolism and blood flow that can last as long as 10 years, a discovery that may explain the mental fog and confusion that affect many cancer survivors, researchers said on Thursday.

The researchers, from the University of California, Los Angeles, found that women who had undergone chemotherapy five to 10 years earlier had lower metabolism in a key region of the frontal cortex.

Women treated with chemotherapy also showed a spike in blood flow to the frontal cortex and cerebellum while performing memory tests, indicating a rapid jump in activity level, the researchers said in a statement about their study.

Antibiotic stops cancer gene


A little-known antibiotic shows early promise as an anti-cancer agent, inhibiting a gene found at higher-than-normal levels in most human tumors, according to researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the General Cancer News category from October 2006.

General Cancer News: September 2006 is the previous archive.

General Cancer News: November 2006 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.