Monday, October 27, 2014

Canadian Medical Association gives thumbs down to PSA test

CANCER DIGEST – Oct. 27, 2014 – About 10 percent to 20 percent of men diagnosed with prostate cancer using PSA screening won’t have cancer. Overall 40 percent to 56 percent of men will be overdiagnosed, meaning they will be considered to have more or more aggressive cancer than they actually do, leading to invasive treatment. 

Surgery can cause postoperative complications, such as infection (in 11 percent to 21 percent of men), urinary incontinence (in up to 18 percent, and erectile dysfunction in nearly a quarter of those treated along with other complications.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Researchers find missing link between vitamin D and prostate cancer

CANCER DIGEST – Oct. 23, 2014 – A new study shows that a gene known to be stimulated into action by vitamin D, is notably absent in samples of human prostate cancer driven by inflammation.

Since demonstrating that vitamin D stimulates production of GDF-15, researchers at the University of Colorado Cancer Center wondered if this gene might be a mechanism through which vitamin D works in prostate cancer. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Herceptin extends survival for in HER2 breast cancer

CANCER DIGEST – Oct. 20, 2014 – Women with early stage, HER 2 positive breast cancer had a 37 percent improvement in survival and a 40 percent reduction in risk of recurrence, when treated with Herceptin (trastuzumab) compared to patients treated with chemotherapy alone. Tumors with the human epidermal growth factor 2 protein, or HER 2 positive breast cancer, tend to have more aggressive cancer.

Friday, October 17, 2014

New test may boost accuracy of ovarian cancer diagnosis

Photo courtesy of BMJ – Dr. P. Marazzi
CANCER DIGEST – Oct. 17, 2014 – A new test to help doctors diagnose ovarian tumors and choose the most appropriate treatment is ready for clinical use, researchers say.

In a study published today in the British Medical Journal, an international team led by Imperial College London and KU Leuven, Belgium describe the new test, called ADNEX, which can discriminate between benign and malignant tumors, and identify different types of malignant tumor, with a high level of accuracy.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Prostate cancer’s need for copper may offer new treatment approach

Donald McDonnell, PhD
CANCER DIGEST – Oct. 15, 2014 – Loading up prostate cancer tumors with copper and then treating them with a drug that acts selectively on cells crammed with the mineral may provide a new treatment approach for the prostate cancer, Duke Medicine researchers say.

In a study published in today’s journal Cancer Research the new approach uses two drugs already FDA-approved for other uses, and could soon be tested in human clinical trials of men with late stage prostate cancer.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Stomach position can cut radiation exposure in breast cancer treatment

YouTube video courtesy OSU
Comprehensive Cancer Center
CANCER DIGEST – Oct. 14, 2014 – Researchers at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center have devised a treatment board that allows breast cancer patients to lie on their stomachs for radiation treatments following surgery for the cancer.

The center’s Dr. Julia White says the prone board allows gravity to pull the breast away from the chest wall and create a more uniform shape that enables better distribution of the radiation dose.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Hormone loss could trigger colon cancer

Guanylin plays a role in replenishing
skin cells lining the gut. (Illustration
from Wikipedia) 
CANCER DIGEST – Oct. 10, 2014 – Lack of a hormone may be linked to colon cancer, a laboratory study has shown. If confirmed, it would be the first time a cancer has been linked to hormone loss, which could lead to hormone replacement therapy to prevent colon cancer.

The hormone guanlyn is produced by normal colon cells and activates a receptor called GUCY2C (pronounced "goosy toosy" by researchers). The activation of GUC2YC signaling is critical to helping replenish the skin cells lining the gut and maintaining their overall function. People over 50 years old tend to produce much less of the hormone in their normal colon cells, which could help explain the increase in colon cancer risk in older individuals. The study was published online Oct. 10 in Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Increasing tobacco exposure linked to rise in oral cancer virus infection

CANCER DIGEST – Oct. 7, 2014 – People with higher levels of the tobacco-related chemicals in their blood and urine were more likely to have the herpes virus that causes oral cancers, a new study shows.

While previous studies have shown higher risk of oral infection with the HPV16 virus among smokers, this study looked at HPV16 infection among people who have tobacco-linked chemicals in their blood or urine, regardless of how they are exposed to tobacco including second-hand smoke. The new study appears in the Oct. 7 issue of JAMA.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Bone loss drug could prevent breast cancer spread to bones

CANCER DIGEST – Oct. 1, 2014 – A drug used to slow osteoporosis may prevent breast cancer from spreading to the bones, a new study suggests.

Dr. Richard Kremer and co-lead author, Dr. Nancy Mayo, of McGill University Health Center, in Montreal, Canada, worked with colleagues to evaluate data from more than 21,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer. The study was published in this month’s issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI).