September 22, 2009 at 9:57 pm Comments (2)
According to U.S. researchers a virus that has been found to cause leukemia and tumors in animals may play a part in prostate cancer in humans. Xenotropic murin leukemia virus related virus (also known as XMRV) was found in about 27% of prostate cancer cases( 233 active cases and 101 benign controls were studied), especially those with particularly aggressive tumors. It’s hoped that these findings could help with the development of a new vaccine or more effective treatment method based on the link.
Viruses like HPV have been found to cause certain cancers in recent years, making it possible for drug makers to develop vaccines to inoculate against the virus and thus prevent cancer. If these findings prove to be true it could help vaccines and preventative medicines to reduce and in time perhaps eliminate some forms of cancer.
Prostate cancer kills 254,000 men a year and is the second most deadly form of cancer in men worldwide.
XMRV is a retrovirus which means that it introduces it’s genetic map into the framework of any cells it contaminates. This in turn either kills or makes the cell cancerous. If the way it infects the human body can be found and prevented some forms of prostate cancer could be averted.
September 11, 2009 at 6:57 pm Comments (0)
New research on how tumor cells grow from sugar may help scientists to prevent tumors from developing and aid in better treating and understanding diseases like diabetes. While the fact that tumor cells feed off of sugar has been known since the 1920s little has been found out about how the process works since the discovery. These new findings give researchers insight into how tumors develop and now a way to stop or reduce the rate of growth through reducing levels of an amino acid called glutamine in the body. When this amino acid is reduced in the cell it causes the cell to effectively “short-circuit” stopping any growth from occurring. Researchers will next explore the effects of the protein MondoA and the gene TXNIP on glucose uptake in cells utilizing animal models. If this process can be better understood then it may be possible to use it to create an effective treatment for cancer.
August 27, 2009 at 3:59 pm Comments (0)
A rise in HPV which can cause throat cancer if contracted during oral sex may be responsible for rising rates of the cancer. The dramatic rise in the virus over the course of the last two decades led the American Association for Cancer Research to call a meeting to discuss new research into HPV and its link to throat cancer. While tumors tested twenty years ago had HPV levels of about 20% current samples have a much higher rate 60% which is the reason for concern. It’s believed that because of the changing beliefs on sexual practice and interaction HPV may have become a more serious problem, potentially causing higher risk for developing head and neck cancer, including esophageal cancer. While it was once a problem primarily found in older people who drank and smoked now these cancers are being found in younger people. Part of the rise of oral sex is believed to be linked to a belief that it is safe sex, the reality is that oral sex should require protection as much as penetration as it leaves those who practice it open to just as many diseases including AIDS as intercourse.
August 23, 2009 at 10:44 pm Comment (1)
Researchers have found a compound which destroys certain stem cells that are thought to cause recurrence in cancer after treatment. There is already a large collection of research which proves these stem cells play a part in rebuilding cancer after treatment is thought to have killed the initial tumor. The stronger tumors associated with these stem cells include those caused by cancers such as breast, lung and prostate cancers among others.
Studying these cells has been a problem however, because they don’t grow as well outside of the human body. Through a process called epithelial-to-mesynchymal transition researchers of this study were able to produce and test stem cells against thousands of chemical compounds that have been effective against breast cancer. Salinomycin, the compound in question, destroyed lab generated and naturally occurring cancer stem cells, reducing them by a 100 fold and breast tumor re-growth in the mice tested. More research will need to be done before the effects of the compound can be confirmed as effective for humans as they have been for the mice. It’s also hoped that the reason why the chemical is effective can be resolved during further study.
August 21, 2009 at 10:40 pm Comments (0)
While the drug has been recently connected to an increased survival rate in those with colorectal cancer its risks shouldn’t be any less regarded according to medical authorities. Side effects such as stroke hemorrhaging, gastrointestinal bleeding and bleeding in the brain are still considered serious side effects of the drug. Experts warn against beginning an aspirin regimen without first discussing it with your doctor. While there are benefits to using the drug the dangerous side effects should never be forgotten.
According the results of a study earlier this week patients suffering from colorectal cancer are nearly a third less likely to be killed by the condition and patients who began taking the drug shortly after being diagnosed cut the risk by almost half. While it had already been established that aspirin could reduce the occurrence of tumors in the colon, the effects of the drug on patients who already had the disease were unclear. It thought that aspirins anti-inflammatory qualities help reduce the ability of tumors to form in certain cancers.
August 9, 2009 at 11:43 am Comments (0)
The FDA has put out new warnings about using TNF blockers (Simponi, Humira, Enbrel, Cimzia, Rimicade) due to the risk of developing lymphoma and other cancers in teen and child patients with inflammatory disease. The drugs already have a black box that warns that the drug may cause cancer but the FDA wants the risk of lymphoma and other cancers for child and teen patients to be clear as well. Made to neutralize tumor necrosis factor alpha, a protein that is overproduced in a patient with inflammatory disease(such as psoriasis, Crohn’s Disease, and psoriatic arthritis), the drug does its job. Unfortunately TNF is a major factor in the prevention of developing cancers.
An investigation begun in June of 2008 led to these findings. During the investigation 48 cases of malignant cancers and 147 cases of leukemia were found in teens and children who were taking the TNF blockers. 11 of these who contracted lymphoma and 26 of those who contracted leukemia died as a result of the cancer or its treatment. The FDA warns doctors and patients to be aware of the symptoms of cancer and watch for them if they’re using the drug.
February 18, 2009 at 8:29 am Comment (1)
Israeli scientists reported last Tuesday that a boy – whose identity is withheld – developed tumors in his brain and spinal cord as a result of a highly experimental fetal stem cell injection. The family of the boy who was sick with ataxia telangiectasia or A-T, which causes certain regions of the brain to degenerate thereby gradually robbing the patient with the ability to move, was desperate to save the child that they traveled to Russia to get the treatment.
Scientists are devotedly working to harness various types of stem cells, which are the building blocks for all other cells that make up the body, to enable damaged tissue to re-grow and consequently treat devastating diseases. Researchers warn, though, that while the concept shows much promise, scientists must learn to control newly-injected stem cells so that they don’t grow in places where they shouldn’t. At this point in time, small studies in people are only beginning.
The report on the boy reveals the first known incidence of a tumor caused by a fetal stem cell injection, although it is benign and is slow growing. This further emphasizes the need for extensive and careful research. It also serves as a reminder to patients and their families to be wary on stem cell injections that have yet to be proven, no matter how desperate the situation may be. Stem cells should not be mistaken for drugs as they can misbehave in a lot of different ways, some over a period of time.
Since the boy is quite ill, the thought that other factors may have triggered the growth has crossed doctor’s minds. Extensive tests on the tumor tissue, however, have traced it conclusively back to the stem cell injections. The fact that the boy had a poor immune function to begin with may have helped the growths to take hold.