Sunday, July 31, 2016

Blocking glutamine may starve colorectal cancer cells

A molecular model of L-glutamine. Image courtesy Jynto
via Wikimedia Commons
CANCER DIGEST – July 31, 2016 – A new clinical trial set to get under way later this summer will try to determine if denying certain types of colorectal cancer cells a specific nutrient will starve them to death.

The Case Western Reserve University trial is based on laboratory and mouse studies showing that colorectal cancer cells with a genetic mutation called PIK3CA died when deprived of the nutrient glutamine, which is an amino acid used by cells to make proteins. This mutation is located in a gene critical for cell division and movement, and is found in approximately one third of all colorectal cancers. Glutamine is the most abundant free amino acid in human blood and is mostly made in muscle tissue.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Skin cancer screenings don’t boost referrals or surgeries

Melanoma can be cured if caught early. Image courtesy
Brown University
CANCER DIGEST – July 20, 2016 – A new study of more than 1,000 primary care melanoma screenings in the western Pennsylvania area suggests that such screenings would not be harmful as some experts had thought.

Melanoma is one of those cancers that can be cured if caught early, which has led to some experts calling for widespread training of primary care providers to conduct screenings at routine visits. Other experts, however, have worried that widespread screening could lead to overtreatment and unnecessary patient distress.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Education key to acceptance of surgery step to prevent ovarian cancer

CANCER DIGEST – July 12, 2016 – Ovarian cancer most often starts in the fallopian tubes, an observation that caused the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) to issue an opinion in January 2015 recommending that women undergoing hysterectomies for non-cancerous conditions should also have the fallopian tubes removed, while sparing the ovaries as a way to prevent ovarian cancer.

In issuing their opinion, the ACOG acknowledged that randomized controlled clinical trials are needed to determine if salpingectomy, or removing fallopian tubes, does reduce ovarian cancer risk.