General Cancer News: December 2006 Archives

Research Uncovers New Clues to Cancer

cancer researchHealthDay News  -- The same mechanism that drives tumor development can also suppress tumor growth, new research shows.

A team at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine studied mice that had cells with one or more extra or missing chromosomes -- a characteristic known as aneuploidy, a common feature of cancer cells.

"We questioned whether the wrong number of chromosomes contributed to tumor growth or was a consequence of the accrued damage in cancerous cells," Don Cleveland, a professor of medicine at UCSD, explained in a prepared statement.

"We found that, with age, having cells which inherited the wrong composition of chromosomes resulted in a larger number of spontaneous tumors," Cleveland said.

exhaust pipeBETHESDA, Md. An environmental group says Maryland's air has cancer-causing toxins at levels far above what the federal government deems safe.

The report was released by Environment Maryland as part of a push to make Maryland the eleventh state to follow California's stricter auto emissions standards.The group's report is based on an analysis of federal data released earlier this year.

It found that the risk of cancer from all air toxins was at least ten times higher than the federal standard in each of the state's 23 counties and Baltimore City. The report didn't include data on how Maryland's levels compare with the rest of the country.

Copyright 2006 Associated Press.

Korean Team Develops Tiny Cancer Diagnosis Tool


cancer researchKorean scientists say they have developed a diagnostic technique to discover tiny cancer cells that existing magnetic resonance imaging devices cannot locate, paving the way for early diagnosis and thus more effective treatment. The team led by Cheon Jin-woo and Suh Jin-suck, a chemical and medical professor at Yonsei University, said Monday they developed a super-sensitive nano particle that helped them photograph a 2 mm cancer cell in an animal test.

The results were published in the latest online edition of Nature Medicine on Monday. The team created a nano particle that is one 100,000th the size of a hair, named MEIO, which they combined with an antibody that sticks only to cancerous cells and then injected it to mice with breast cancer and ovarian cancer before performing an MRI. Prof. Cheon said oxidized steel adhering to cancer cells responds to the magnetic field of the MRI and makes a unique sound as if a magnet draws metals.

Research: Inactivity Increasing Cancer Risk Among Teens


sport and childrenLondon, Britain (AHN) - A new study by the Cancer Research U.K. at University College London found that British teen are putting their health at risk by spending more hours watching TV and playing computer games and not doing physical excercise.

The study, involving nearly 6,000 11-12 year olds from several London schools, tracked teen's physical activity and sedentary behavior over a five-year period. The study found that physical activity declined in girls by 46 percent and in boys by 23 percent over five years.

Girls increased their sedentary behavior by 2.8 hours a week while in boys the increase was 2.5 hours a week. By age 16, girls were physically active on less than two days a week and boys for just over three days a week.

Anti-Cancer 'Smart Bomb' Homes in on Deadly Tumors

cancer researchScientists have made astonishing progress in developing a "smart bomb" that can deliver powerful cancer-fighting drugs directly to tumors scattered throughout the body, thus minimizing damage to healthy tissue and easing the wretched side effects of chemotherapy.

The research builds on earlier work that showed that an engineered version of the stem cell could home in on a brain tumor and deliver drugs directly to the target area. But this is the first time that research has shown that the same process might be used to attack cancer that has metastasized throughout the body.

So far the research has been limited to mice, but scientists are hopeful that clinical trials involving humans with advanced cancer can begin reasonably soon, possibly in less than a couple of years.

Blame Our Evolutionary Risk Of Cancer On Body Mass


Why mice dont have cancerA key enzyme that cuts short our cellular lifespan in an effort to thwart cancer has now been linked to body mass.

Until now, scientists believed that our relatively long lifespans controlled the expression of telomerase—an enzyme that can lengthen the lives of cells, but can also increase the rate of cancer.

Vera Gorbunova, assistant professor of biology at the University of Rochester, conducted a first-of-its-kind study to discover why some animals express telomerase while others, like humans, don't. The findings are reported in today's issue of Aging Cell.

Experimental cancer drug attacks tumors in novel way


avastinScientists said on Wednesday they were developing new experimental drugs that block the blood supply to tumors in a novel way which could be effective for treating difficult types of cancer.

Unlike other drugs that starve tumors of blood by preventing the growth of blood vessels, or angiogenesis, the new treatment takes a different approach.

It increases the formation of blood vessels but they do not work well so the tumor cannot grow and survive.

"You seem to end up with more blood vessels but they are less functional," Dr Gavin Thurston, of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals in Tarrytown, New York, said in an interview.

Sex and Pregnancy in Cancer SurvivorsChris Knutson, ANP, MN

"Survivorship medicine" is becoming a more frequent challenge for practitioners of all specialties. Women cancer survivors who make their way back into "routine" care following cancer treatment have questions and concerns that could hardly be considered routine. Some will ultimately be cured. Some will deal with cancer's chronicity. All of them find their lives forever changed by cancer.

Michael Krychman, MD, Co-Director of the Sexual Medicine Program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, recently spoke of the reproductive and sexual concerns of women with cancer. He reminds his patients that "you may survive this illness but your life will never, ever be the same." Helping patients come to grips with that concept and making accommodations to enhance or preserve sexual functioning and fertility are increasingly frequent and critical components of cancer care.

Olive oil may hinder cancer process


olives NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - People who use plenty of olive oil in their diets may be helping to prevent damage to body cells that can eventually lead to cancer, new research suggests.

In a study of 182 European men, researchers found evidence that olive oil can reduce oxidative damage to cells' genetic material, a process that can initiate cancer development.

They say the findings may help explain why rates of several cancers are higher in Northern Europe than in Southern Europe, where olive oil is a dietary staple.

Study Reveals How Common Painkillers Fight Cancer

NSAIDsHealthDay News -- For years, experts have noted that people who take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for pain relief also lower their risk for a variety of cancers.

Now, scientists believe they know why that happens.

New research shows that NSAIDs -- which include aspirin, ibuprofen, Aleve and Celebrex -- boost the level of a cellular molecule that causes malignant cells to die off.

The finding "opens up our understanding of how anti-inflammatory drugs are effective against cancer cells. This could also lead to new drug development and of monitoring drugs' effect on cancer cells," said study senior author Towia Libermann, director of the Genomics Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

Synthetic marijuana helps cancer patients


medical marijuana LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - 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.

Cancer risk? Be a vegetarian

vegetablesBEIJING, Dec.14 (Xinhuanet) -- Want to be healthier? Be vegetarian, giving up delicious roast meat.

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.

"I believe our findings suggest that protein intake may be very important in regulating cancer risk," lead study author Dr. Luigi Fontana of Washington University in St. Louis said on Wednesday.

DOH releases report on nation's cancer problem

taiwanTAIPEI - One person was diagnosed with cancer every 8.4 minutes on average in Taiwan in 2003, compared with 8.5 minutes in 2001 and nine minutes in 2000, a report released yesterday by the Department of Health (DOH) showed.

The 2003 figures were calculated based on the number of cancer cases at 212 hospitals around the country with at least 50 beds.

There were 250.77 cancer patients out of every 100,000 people in Taiwan in 2003, with liver cancer and breast cancer the most common types of cancer among men and women, respectively, the report showed.

Yoga may help in mind-body healing from cancer


yogaYoga may help people with cancer face the fear and uncertainty of the disease, a growing body of research suggests.

Cancer treatment and defeating it often take precedence over addressing emotional needs, such as what the diagnosis means to a person's life and plans, family, retirement and future, said Linda Carlson, a psychologist who teaches yoga and studies it effects on patients.

Carlson says yoga participants tend to have less tension, sleep better and carry fewer stress hormones.

Autumn Olives the latest cancer fighter


autumn oliveISLAMABAD - Add another food to the list of those that can help fight off cancer. Called autumn olives, the berries have tremendously high levels of lycopene, which is supposed to help prevent cancer, according to an article.

The berries have up to 17 times more lycopene than tomatoes. The berries look and taste a little bit like cranberries. In Asia, they are eaten as a fruit. The bush itself is pretty common and is considered an invasive species in the United States. The bushes generally thrive, even in poor soil, and are often planted along roads and streams for erosion control and as a source of food for wildlife. The bushes often spread when birds eat the berries and scatter the seeds.

New cancer Web portal for young adults


I am too young for this (logo)NEW YORK, Dec. 11 (UPI) -- Young adults with cancer can now seek support from a new U.S. online Web portal, the site's developers said Monday.

The site, designed for cancer survivors ages 15 to 39, offers support like online blogs, social networking and fertility education tailored to the group's unique demographic and lifestyle needs. was founded by Steps For Living, a non-profit advocacy group, as part of a larger campaign featuring a CD release and support literature distributed to cancer treatment centers.

"Too often, adolescents and young adults are not aware of, and therefore do not access free services that are available to them," said Archie Bleyer, former chairman of the Children's Cancer Group.

source - UPI 

Yorkshire cancer patients to get virus amid trial hope


researchPATIENTS suffering from cancer in Yorkshire are set to be infected with a common virus in a new trial which could herald a revolution in treatment for the disease.

Laboratory tests have shown the viral infection, which is harmless to humans, has a dramatic impact in killing cancer cells.

A group of patients at St James's Hospital in Leeds will have the virus injected directly into tumours and undergo a course of radiotherapy to examine the impact on the disease.

Bacteria drug to fight HIV/cancer soon?


Prof. ChakrabartyIf Prof Ananda M. Chakrabarty — the scientist who fought a long legal battle to patent the first living organism — has his way, we could soon have a bacteria drug that can fight HIV and cancer.

"In three years time, I can have a bacteria product ready for clinical trials provided that administrative hurdles and funding is taken care of," says the eminent scientist, currently Distinguished Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Illinois at Chicago.

"All it will take is Rs 30 crore to bring the drug to clinical trials stage in India. However, there is a cultural problem in India. The industry just does not want to take risks," says Prof Chakrabarty.

Only 25 per cent of Chinese cancer patients live for 5 years


chinaBeijing, Dec 11. (PTI) - Only 25 per cent of Chinese cancer patients can survive for five years, compared with Western countries' 68 per cent due to failure in timely diagnosis and treatment, a health expert has said.

China lags far behind developed countries on the key health indicator and 90 per cent of different types of cancer can be cured given that they are spotted and treated at an early stage, secretary-general of the China anti-cancer association, Zhang Zongwe said.

But lack of knowledge on cancer slows the public reaction to the disease. Over 80 per cent of Chinese cancer patients know they have the disease only after it evolves into the middle or later stage.

Housework 'could keep cancer at bay'


houseworkHousework could help reduce the risk of bowel cancer, a report claims.

Just one hour of "vigorous" housework - scrubbing the floor, vacuuming the stairs or polishing furniture - is the equivalent of a session on the treadmill or a brisk walk. That is considered enough activity to help cut down on the chance of colon tumours.

Bowel cancer is the third commonest cancer in men and the second in women.

When Cancer Flows From Oil Wells


crude oil Naisan Naingisan, 25, from Korr village in Marsabit District has a large wound that started as a growth on her left leg. She cannot afford to go to hospital.

Could death caused by cancer be looming behind the expensive prospecting for oil going on in Kenya?

A survey in some remote villages where foreign companies sunk oil wells in Marsabit District almost two decades ago reveals shocking statistics of villagers who have contracted throat cancer and others who have died of it.

The new claims are likely to turn the spotlight on international oil firms, which are currently engaged in the search for oil at the Kenyan Coast and elsewhere.

GM Bacteria eats cancer

medical breakthroughThe genetically modified bacterium, Clostridium novyi-NT (C.novyi-NT) has been found to have a special taste for the oxygen-starved regions found at the centres of large cancerous growths by researchers at the John Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Centre. The bacterium also secretes a protein that opens up anti-cancer therapies encapsulated in fatty capsules, known as liposomes, turning the normal slow-release mechanism into a targeted chemotherapy bomb.

When tumours grow to a size greater than that of a pinhead the centre of the cancerous growth becomes starved of oxygen due to the lack of organized blood capillaries feeding the growth.

The genetically modified C.novyi-NT bacterium thrives in these oxygen-deficient areas, which are unique to cancerous growths, and starts to kill the tumour from the inside out. Normal surrounding cells were largely unaffected as were the exterior of the tumours as the bacteria don’t like the more oxygen rich conditions.

A Year of Major Advances in Cancer Cited

HealthDay News -- There were important advances in the detection and treatment of cancer this year -- more people than ever are now surviving the disease -- but cuts in government cancer research dollars could slow progress in the fight.

Those are the conclusions of new research released Friday by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

The report, Clinical Cancer Advances 2006: Major Research Advances in Treatment, Prevention, and Screening, identified six important advances in cancer research for the year, including five new drugs that prolong life.

New Nutrition and Exercise Guidelines for Cancer Survivors

Nutrition and Exercise for Cancer SurvivorsNews Author: Laurie Barclay, MD
CME Author: Désirée Lie, MD, MSEd

December 8, 2006 — The American Cancer Society (ACS) has issued nutrition and physical activity guidelines for cancer survivors during phases of treatment and recovery and for others living with advanced cancer. The new recommendations appear in the November/December issue of CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

"Cancer survivors are often highly motivated to seek information about food choices, physical activity, and dietary supplement use to improve their treatment outcomes, quality of life, and survival," write Ted Gansler, MD, MBA, of the 2006 Nutrition, Physical Activity and Cancer Survivorship Advisory Committee, and colleagues. "To address these concerns, the ACS convened a group of experts in nutrition, physical activity, and cancer to evaluate the scientific evidence and best clinical practices related to optimal nutrition and physical activity after the diagnosis of cancer. This report summarizes their findings and is intended to present health care providers with the best possible information from which to help cancer survivors and their families make informed choices related to nutrition and physical activity."

Five-month deadline for NHS to hit cancer target


waiting listSCOTLAND'S NHS boards have been set a five-month deadline to meet a national target on cancer waiting times.

Andy Kerr, the health minister, said he wanted the key target of 95 per cent of cancer patients starting treatment within two months of urgent referral by their doctor to be met by April. It was originally supposed to have been met by the end of last year. Waiting time figures released last week revealed that only 79.2 per cent of patients had been seen within that timescale.

Then, the minister said he could not give a specific date by which the target would be met. But he told MSPs yesterday: "I would expect the target to be met by April 2007 and consistently maintained thereafter."

source - The Scotsman 

Roberts family donates to cancer center


Brian RobertsThe founding family of cable operator Comcast Corp. will donate $15 million toward a new proton therapy center for treating cancer at the University of Pennsylvania, the company and school officials said Wednesday.

The $144 million Penn center would be one of six in the nation using proton therapy, which targets cancerous tumors precisely by using a beam of tiny particles accelerated to near light-speed.

The donation from Comcast Chief Executive Officer Brian L. Roberts and his wife, Aileen, and by Brian's mother and father, Suzanne and Ralph Roberts comes 11 days after Aileen Roberts completed radiation treatment for breast cancer. Comcast is the nation's biggest cable system operator.

New guide to dealing with cancer in the workplace

CIPDA new guide has been published to help employers deal with cancer and cancer-related issues in the workplace.

The guide from the  followed research which showed that more than 40% of employers failed to provide any support or information to employees with cancer, even though the issue affected the vast majority of workplaces at some time.

According to the CIPD around 90,000 people of working age receive a cancer diagnosis each year, and often they require support from employers during their treatment and recuperation, as well as in their rehabilitation and return-to-work.

Cancer group concerned new hospital facility not complete


Royal Darwin hospital The Cancer Council says the long awaited cancer treatment facility for the Royal Darwin Hospital will not be a fully equipped oncology unit.

In 2001, Labor promised to build an oncology unit if it won power.

But the project stalled until the Commonwealth agreed to contribute $13 million earlier this year.

Former health minister Peter Toyne promised construction would begin in 2007.

Syngenta agrees to compensate cancer victims

syngentaAgrochemicals firm Syngenta has agreed to pay compensation to eleven former employees of an insecticide factory in southwestern Switzerland.

The Unia trade union said on Wednesday the deal was exemplary, but both sides agreed to withhold details of the payouts.

The agreement comes more than a year after reports of a number of cases of bladder cancer around the southwestern town of Monthey that could be connected to exposure to the chemical galecron.

Mushroom helps cancer survival


coriolus versicolorA CHINESE mushroom can help stomach cancer patients survive longer.

An analysis by Japanese researchers of eight studies involving 8000 patients over almost 20 years has found extract of the mushroom coriolus versicolor boosts the human immune system.

People have been using the mushroom in Asian countries since antiquity and it has become a prescription medication in Japan, said Professor Thomas Borody, director of Sydney's PSK Information Foundation and the Centre for Digestive Diseases.

No Cancer Risk Seen With Cell Phones

cell phoneA Danish study shows no rise in cancer among people who've used cell phones as long as 21 years.

The study included more than 420,000 Danes who got their first cell phone between 1982 and 1995.

Some of those people kept their phones as long as 21 years. But, on average, they had cell phone service for 8.5 years.

The study's researchers included Joachim Schuz, PhD, of the Danish Cancer Society. It tracked cancers among the cell phone users from the start in 1982-1995 through 2002.

Obesity epidemic 'will drive cancer cases to 12,000 a year'


obesity Fat Britons are more likely to get cancer, experts warn. The obesity epidemic is set to drive up cancer rates, causing 1,500 extra cases a year by 2010, the charity Cancer Research UK says.

In all, 12,000 cases of cancer caused by excess weight will be diagnosed annually, if the present upward trend in obesity rates continues, the specialists say.

Almost 4 per cent of cancers are attributed to being overweight and government figures suggest the total of obese and overweight people is set to rise by 14 per cent by 2010, from 24.2 million in 2003 to 27.6 million.

MIT wins $6 million cancer research grant


fund raisingCAMBRIDGE, Mass., Dec. 4 (UPI) -- The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has won a $6 million U.S. National Cancer Institute grant to research the microenvironment of tumor cells.

"It has been clear for a long time that tumor cells do not proliferate and progress in isolation -- rather, they are dependent on support from their surroundings, which include extracellular matrix and various supporting (or stromal) cells," said Professor Richard Hynes, the principal investigator for the grant. Similarly, he said, tumor cells can also be controlled by elements in their environment, including a variety of cell types of the immune system.

Fight cancer with healthy food


Megan Schanie (courtesy of Courier Journal) To Megan Schanie, blueberries, broccoli and tuna steaks are no longer just foods -- they're weapons in her battle with breast cancer.

"How can food not affect me? I'm putting it into my body three times a day," said Megan, who has already fought the cancer with surgery and is undergoing chemotherapy. "Part of it is a control issue. It's something else I can do to prevent it from coming back."

The 31-year-old mother of two, who is sharing her story at, says she's always eaten pretty well. But before her cancer diagnosis, a routine doctor checkup showed she had high cholesterol. She started adding more fiber to her diet by switching to whole-grain breads and cereals. She lost a few pounds and felt better.

Government announces new cancer plan

cancer researchUK - The government has announced that it will be producing a draft Cancer Reform Strategy, setting out its cancer care strategy until 2020.

The eventual strategy will replace the Cancer Plan launched in 2000.

Speaking at the Britain against Cancer conference, health secretary Patricia Hewitt admitted that, while the Cancer Plan had been a great success, it would soon become outdated.

Cancer Research UK has called for a renewed cancer plan to focus on changing needs, delivering a 250,000 signature petition backing its calls to Downing Street last week.

Hopkins receives $20M cancer research donation


fund raising An executive for a Kansas-based conglomerate had donated $20 million to support a newly constructed cancer research building on the Johns Hopkins campus in East Baltimore, Hopkins said.

David H. Koch of New York, executive vice president of privately held Koch Industries Inc. of Wichita, made the donation. The 267,000 square foot building, which opened in March, will be named after Koch and dedicated Dec. 4.

"I am sure that breakthrough discoveries on the treatment of cancer will be made in the future in this building," Koch, a Hopkins trustee and longtime supporter, said in a statement.

About this Archive

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

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