Mon, Feb

As cancer patients live longer, doctors are looking at how symptom management can affect patients' health -- and finances. MarketWatch's Kristen Gerencher talks with Dr. Michael Fisch, chair of the oncology department at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Read more …MarketWatch's Kristen Gerencher talks with Dr. Michael Fisch, chair of the oncology department at...

(Reuters) - Atomic bomb blast victims lucky enough to survive one cancer have a high risk of developing a second, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday, in a study that offers new insights about cancer risks from radiation exposure.

- "We found that radiation increases the risk of developing a second cancer in a very similar way to how it is related to risk of a first cancer," -- "We also found that cancer survivors had particularly high risks of developing a second cancer that we know to be radiation-sensitive. These include breast, colon, lung, thyroid and bladder cancers,"
- The findings would likely hold true for other types of radiation exposures known to cause cancer.

Read more …High radiation raises risk of second radiation-sensitive cancer such as breast, colon, lung,...

CNN's Deborah Feyerick has the story of a 9/11 first responder who's fighting for his life.

- A rare blood cancer called mulitple Myeloma.
- 100's of first responders have died post 911 from various cancers there's no proof toxins from ground zero are to blame.
- Doctors say most cancers take longer than 9 years to develop.

Read more …100's of first responders have died post 911 from various cancers, no proof toxins from ground...

- Fruits and vegetables cuts our risk of getting lung cancer.
- Those who eat a variety of fruits and vegetables decreased their chances of getting lung cancer.
- Results published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Read more …Study shows a diverse diet of fruits and vegetables may decrease the risk of lung cancer - CNN...

17 networks, 100 celebrities, and 12 million cancer survivers came out for an event "Stand Up to Cancer 2010"

Some names Brian Williams NBC, Katie Couric CBS, Diane Sawyer ABC, Gwyneth Paltrow, Renee Zellweger, Adam Sandler, Denzel Washington, Neil Diamond, kareem abdul jabbar, Apolo Ohno, Bill Hader SNL, Christina Applegate, and Michael Douglas

Read more …Stars turn out for cancer event "Stand Up to Cancer 2010" - Today (video)

(Reuters) - AstraZeneca has agreed a deal with the commercial arm of a British charity to take an experimental cancer drug into early clinical trials.
- The work will be carried out by the charity's development and commercialization arm, Cancer Research Technology (CRT).

AZD-3965, is one of a new class of cancer metabolism drugs and targets the monocarboxylate transporter 1 (MCT-1) which is essential in cell metabolism.
- The idea is that by blocking MCT-1 the drug could limit cancer cells' ability to generate energy, reducing their ability to survive.

AstraZeneca signed a previous agreement with CRT in February for a three-year alliance to work on projects aiming to exploit the fact cancer cells use energy differently to normal cells.

Read more …UK charity (CRT) to test experimental Astra cancer drug AZD-3965 that targets cell metabolism...

(Reuters) - All patients in a study of a Johnson & Johnson drug for advanced prostate cancer will be offered the medicine after an independent monitoring committee found it demonstrated an improvement in patient survival.

- A program to provide early access to abiraterone acetate for patients who meet specified medical criteria is being initiated,
- Patients in the study received either the J&J drug plus the steroid prednisone or a placebo plus prednisone.

Independent data monitoring committees routinely oversee clinical trials to look for signs of safety problems that would lead to a study being halted, or for evidence that a drug works so well that it would be unethical not to offer it to patients receiving other medicines.

Read more …J&J widens access as cancer drug abiraterone acetate for advanced prostate cancer demonstrated an...

(Reuters Health) - Patients with advanced head and neck cancer survived just as well on experimental drugs as they did on FDA-approved standard therapies in a new study.

- The findings suggest that doctors should consider referring their terminally ill patients to such trials.
- Patients survived an average of 12 weeks on FDA-approved treatments and 10.7 weeks on experimental drugs.
- 4 patients had some improvement in their cancer in response to the experimental drugs and 34 of them had no changes -- 1 patient died from a cause related to the treatment.

"There are worries about whether people who are vulnerable in this way are able to give informed consent" -- "you have to be very careful," -- "They've exhausted all the (treatments) that are available and standard," -- "there really isn't any better option for them. I think this is genuinely what many people want to do."

Read more …Can cancer patients benefit from new drug trials? - Reuters (article link)

In the PNAS study, researchers demonstrated that this approach effectively eliminates lab-grown human brain, prostate and bone cancer cells in a mutation-specific manner.

- "The molecules are able to detect a mutation within a cancer cell, and then change conformation to activate a therapeutic response in the cancer cell, while remaining inactive in cells that lack the cancer mutation,"
- Here's how it works: Treatment involves two different small RNAS. The first small RNA will open up if --and only if-- it finds the cancer mutation. A positive "diagnosis" exposes a signal that was previously hidden within the small RNA. Once this small RNA is open, a second small RNA binds to it, setting off a chain reaction in which these RNA molecules continue to combine to form a longer chain. The length of the chain is an important part of the "treatment". Longer chains trick the cell into thinking it has been invaded by a virus, tripping a self-destruct response.

Read more …New cancer treatment uses characteristics built into DNA and RNA, and small RNA to activate...

- All diseases have proteins specifically linked to them called biomarkers.
- This would help doctors increase the success rate of treatment through early intervention and help drug companies develop more effective drugs for these diseases.

"This new strategy uses a probe to 'fish' for likely proteins, selecting them from a crowded blood sample," -- "A microgel on the probe works like a sponge, picking up proteins which have a charge or mass within a certain range." -- "You can do it in one day instead of a few days or even a week," -- "These types of probe would in theory be suitable for different classes of diseases, mainly Alzheimer's and the like, but I also hope they would have applications for cancer."

The Biotechnology Group want to develop biomarker detection techniques further, and are already working on a probe which can select one specific protein, rather than ranges of size or charge.

Read more …Scientists have developed quicker detection of biomarkers, a leap forward in early detection for...

PHY906 is the laboratory formulation of a 1,800-year-old Chinese formula containing peonies, a purple flower called skullcap, licorice and fruit from a buckthorn tree.
- "After a few days of treatment with PHY906, the medicine restored the damaged intestinal linings in the mice."
- "Irinotecan reduces tumor growth by itself but if you combine with PHY906, it will further reduce tumor growth,"
- "By itself, PHY906 does not decrease tumor growth, it has to be used in combination with chemotherapy."

According to the American Cancer Society, the economic impact from colorectal cancer in terms of premature death and disability is US$99 billion annually, excluding direct treatment costs.

Read more …An ancient Chinese brew may help reduce the intestinal damage caused by chemotherapy - Reuters...

Researchers at the Cork Cancer Research Center in Ireland treated esophageal cancer cells with curcumin -- a chemical found in the spice turmeric, which gives curries a distinctive yellow color -- and found it started to kill cancer cells within 24 hours.

- Previous scientific studies have suggested curcumin can suppress tumors.
- U.S. researchers said in 2007 they had found curcumin may help stimulate immune system cells in the Alzheimer's disease.
- McKenna said the study showed curcumin caused the cancer cells to die "using an unexpected system of cell messages."

"these cells showed no evidence of suicide, and the addition of a molecule that inhibits caspases and stops this "switch being flicked' made no difference to the number of cells that died, suggesting curcumin attacked the cancer cells using an alternative cell signaling system."

Read more …Study suggested a potential for scientists to develop curcumin as an anti-cancer drug to treat...

Doctors are experimenting with a promising new approach to treating an all-too-common and potentially deadly cancer.

- more than 80% saw their tumor shrink.
- PLX4032 targets a genetic mutation that appears in about 60% of people with melanoma.
- another drug called ipilimumab appears to cure 20%-30% of patients by stimulating the immune system.

Read more …New drug PLX4032 targets genetic mutation in 60% of people with melanoma, patients saw their tumor...

University of Minnesota researchers found that drugs used to treat one deadly disease might actually help to fight off another.

- Gemcitabine and Decitabine used to treat cancer, when combined used to treat HIV.
- force the virus to mutate at a much higher rate and kill its self off.
- the drugs are already approved by FDA, optimistic about discovery, hope to apply in a therapy.

Read more …Researchers discover drugs for cancer may help treat HIV - NBC News (video)

Dr. Edward Kim of the MD Anderson Cancer Center discusses the implication of being diagnosed with Stage Four Head and Neck Cancer. The actor Michael Douglas has revealed that he is being treated for the disease.

- stage 4 head and neck cancer does not mean a death sentence, where it means a very bad thing in other cancers.
- head and neck stage 4 cancer has 3 different levels a, b, and c.
- 2 out of 3 of these scenarios for stage 4 can be cured with therapy.

Read more …Dr. Edward Kim of the MD Anderson Cancer Center discusses Stage Four Head and Neck Cancer -...

People Magazine reports that actor Michael Douglas suffered from a sore throat and other symptoms of months before doctors discovered a throat tumor three weeks ago, but now he's in treatment and hopeful for a recovery.

- The voice of Michael Douglas at the top of Nightly News each night.
- He found out 3 weeks ago, Battling stage 4 throat cancer.
- Head and neck cancers, 30 thousand a year, he smoked cigarettes and drank.
- Stage 4 means the cancer has spread to the local lymph nodes.

Read more …Michael Douglas, the voice at top of Nightly News, has stage 4 throat cancer - Nightly News (video)

The ESPN college basketball analyst joins the Morning Joe gang to discuss the importance of early screening for prostate cancer.

- September is prostate cancer awareness month.
- Prostate cancer kills about 240, 000 men each year.
- Digger Phelps says go for a checkup twice a year, it may have saved him.
- Digger Phelps recommends going for a colonoscopy, prostate cancer screening, and physical at age 45.

Read more …ESPN Digger Phelps recommends 2 prostate cancer screenings a year, may have saved him - Morning...
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