General Cancer News: February 2007 Archives

Glaxo set for big push into cancer medicine

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GSKGlaxoSmithKline Plc is preparing for a "renaissance" of its oncology business, led by Tykerb, a novel pill that is expected to win U.S. regulatory approval for breast cancer next month.

Oncology head Paolo Paoletti said Monday's launch of a Phase III study in head and neck cancer underlined Tykerb's potential in more tumor types, while four additional cancer medicines could win a marketing green light by 2010.

"We have five drugs that can be approved in the next few years," Paoletti said in an interview.

"If you compare that with the leaders in the field, Roche and Novartis, they have each had four drugs approved in 10 years.

Secrets of Self-Healing Cancer - press release

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healthSelf healing does occur for people with cancer. It doesn’t yet happen as often as it does with the cold or with the flu, but it can. Remember that the same flu which kills an elderly person may be shaken off and healed in a younger person. Cancer is very different than the flu, but numerous cases exist of cancer being shaken off in the same way.

There are a number of practices that can be quickly and easily instituted into your life which will help to increase you capacity for self healing of any disease, and in particular cancer. The concepts of self-healing are both accepted and rejected by the Western medical establishment. This means that they accept it in some cases, such as the common cold or the flu but don’t accept it in other cases, like cancer.

Cancer Is A Stem Cell Issue

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european science foundationScience Daily There is an urgent reason to study stem cells: stem cells are at the heart of some, if not all, cancers. Mounting evidence implicates a clutch of rogue stem cells brandishing ‘epigenetic’ marks as the main culprits in cancer. Wiping out tumours for good, some biologists believe, depends on uprooting these wayward stem cells.

A team in the Netherlands has uncovered a key protein that could stop these stem cells from becoming malignant. “This is a hot topic in the cancer field,” Maarten van Lohuizen of The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam told participants at a EuroSTELLS workshop, held in Montpellier, France, 23-24 January. “To be successful in cancer therapy you need to target these stem cells: they are intrinsically resistant to chemotherapy.”

Polycomb proteins have emerged as key players in cancer pathogenesis. They are powerful epigenetic regulators that normally silence genes without altering the cell’s DNA. Compounds that regulate polycomb could result in novel anticancer drugs that shrink malignant tissue, and prevent cancer recurrence, a common problem with most chemotherapies.

astrazenecaAstraZeneca and the American Cancer Society has announced a strategic collaboration to significantly extend the reach of the Society's innovative Patient Navigator Program" an initiative to assist individual cancer patients in negotiating the health care system. With major support from AstraZeneca, the American Cancer Society will accelerate development of at least 50 new Patient Navigator Program sites over the next five years in communities throughout the United States.

The first three sites to launch are Seattle Cancer Care Alliance in Seattle, Washington; Helen F. Graham Cancer Center at Christiana Care in Wilmington, Delaware; and, John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County in Chicago, Illinois. The American Cancer Society Patient Navigator Program provides individualized personal guidance for cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers to help them navigate the cancer experience. The Society's initiative places an emphasis on assisting the medically underserved. As part of its ongoing organizational commitment to patient health, AstraZeneca has pledged USD$10 million to help fund the Society's Patient Navigator Program operations, as well the time of its local employees and other resources to support the program.

Cancer cells more likely to genetically mutate

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research When cells become cancerous, they also become 100 times more likely to genetically mutate than regular cells, researchers have found. The findings may explain why cells in a tumor have so many genetic mutations, but could also be bad news for cancer treatments that target a particular gene controlling cancer malignancy.

The research was led by Dr. Lawrence Loeb, professor of pathology and biochemistry at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. Loeb presented his research Feb. 18 at the meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Francisco.

Breakthrough in early cancer diagnosis

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cancer researchAUSTRALIAN researchers have discovered a new way that cancer can be passed down from parents to children that will allow them to diagnose the disease earlier.

Previously researchers believed young cancer sufferers inherited a parent's gene mutation.
However doctors were at a loss to explain why tests showed no sign of genetic mutation in some people with cancer.

Now researchers from St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney and the University of New South Wales have discovered that a chemical which paralyses part of the body's DNA can also be passed down from parents to children and cause cancer.

Hawkins and colleagues have linked anticancer agents to a PET tracer substance to deliver the treatment directly to tumors in mice (red and yellow color shows highest amounts of tracer). (Image courtesy of Washington University in St. Louis)Science Daily — Cancer cells are sick, but they keep growing because they don't react to internal signals urging them to die. Now researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found an efficient way to get a messenger into cancer cells that forces them to respond to death signals. And they did it using one of the most sinister pathogens around — HIV.

"HIV knows how to insert itself into many different types of cells," says senior author William G. Hawkins, M.D., assistant professor of surgery and a member of the Siteman Cancer Center at the School of Medicine and Barnes-Jewish Hospital. "A portion of the HIV protein called TAT can transport biologically active compounds into cells. TAT is small, but it can move massive molecules. You could almost hook TAT up to a train, and TAT would drag it inside a cell. So we've taken advantage of this ability."

reovirusNewswise — 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' 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 Metastatic 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.

European cancer cases rise 10 percent in two years

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cancerDiagnosed cases of cancer rose by 10 percent in Europe over two years, an increase attributable to the continent's ageing population, the effects of smoking and better screening for breast cancer, doctors reported.

In 2006, there were 3.2 million new cases of cancer in 39 European countries, compared with 2.9 million in 2004, they said.

For the first time, breast cancer overtook lung cancer as the commonest diagnosed cancer, with 429,000 new cases in 2006, or nearly one in seven of the total.

Vitamin D may reduce colorectal, breast cancer risks

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vitamin DRaising vitamin D levels by taking supplements and absorbing a little bit of sunshine each day may help prevent colorectal and breast cancers, said two studies.

A high blood level of vitamin D could help reduce the risk of breast cancer by half and of colorectal cancer by two-thirds, the studies found.

Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that is found in food and is made in the body because sunlight's UV rays trigger vitamin D synthesis in the skin. US health authorities have not established a recommended daily allowance for the vitamin due to insufficient scientific evidence.

Lab disaster may lead to new cancer drug

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cancer researchHer carefully cultured cells were dead and Katherine Schaefer was annoyed, but just a few minutes later, the researcher realized she had stumbled onto a potential new cancer treatment.

Schaefer and colleagues at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York believe they have discovered a new way to attack tumors that have learned how to evade existing drugs.

Tests in mice suggest the compound helps break down the cell walls of tumors, almost like destroying a tumor cell's "skeleton."

The researchers will test the new compound for safety and hope they can develop it to treat cancers such as colon cancer, esophageal cancer, liver and skin cancers.

cancer awarenessIowa City, Ia. - Kara Meiborg told her 2-year-old son, Max, that they were going to a party in his honor.

The Cedar Rapids boy, whose hair is sparse and downy from chemotherapy, paraded in front of more than 1,000 college students, all cheering and clapping as the Meiborg family's name was read on a loudspeaker, along with the names of dozens of other families battling cancer.

"They loved it," Kara Meiborg said of her sons, Max, and Ozzie, 4. "They thought it was great."

The real cancer

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profitA promising drug for fighting cancer is found. It has already been proven relatively safe. Laboratory and animal tests have shown it kills cancer cells and shrinks tumors.

You would think the drug companies would fall all over themselves to do the clinical trials necessary for the drug to be prescribed to cancer patients. Right?

Wrong.

This may be the biggest scandal to hit the medical world in years. Yet so far, all the commercial U.S. media have stayed away from reporting on it.

Scientists identify cancer stem cells

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stem cellsScientists in the US claim to have discovered a small group of cells in pancreatic cancer that are capable of fuelling tumour growth.

The research at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Centre (UMCCC) appears to be the first to successfully identify stem cells in pancreatic tumours.

Cancer stem cells are crucial to a tumour's development and it is hoped that successfully identifying them will lead to more effective treatment.

Pancreatic cancer has one of the worst survival rates among cancer types, making a potential breakthrough in this area all the more significant.

Greek health ministry rejects olive cancer cure

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olive leavesThe Greek health ministry has moved to curb what it called "ridiculous behaviour" following reports that a wonder-cure for cancer had been found in olive leaf extract.

"No systematic clinical study exists ... to prove the usefulness of olive leaf or fruit extract (against cancer)," the ministry said in a statement, warning patients against straying from their prescribed medication.

The statement came after several TV chat shows last week hosted self-styled therapists claiming that olive leaves mixed in water had curative properties against the illness.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the General Cancer News category from February 2007.

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