Cancer Blog

Here's our collection of cancer-related stories. We sift through a variety of stories and share the issues that we think matter to cancer patients, caregivers, healthcare providers and survivors. Learn about current events in the cancer community, human interest stories, and promising technology and treatment advances. Tell us what you think in the Comments section at the bottom of each post.

Note: The information contained in this service is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Nothing contained in the service is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment of any illness, condition or disease.

Apr

16

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Research Suggests Omega-3 Reduces Kidney Cell Damage, Aids Cisplatin

by: cancercompass

New research performed on mice and rats suggests a common form of omega-3 fatty acid, when paired with the cancer drug Cisplatin (Platinol-AQ or Platinol) can strongly reduce nephrotoxicity and renal tissue damage, common side effects of the drug.

The study, published April 2 in Cell Division, discovered the omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic (DHA) increased the effectiveness of Cisplatin while decreasing its side effects. On the molecular level, DHA replenished internal antioxidant machinery that reduced inflammation, leukocytosis and oxidative stress.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Cisplatin as a treatment for a variety of cancers, most of which are advanced or metastasized, and have already been treated with surgery or cannot be treated with surgery or radiotherapy.  Examples include advanced ovarian cancer, locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, late-stage cervical cancer and malignant mesothelioma.

WebMD also reports in a recent article that oily, cold-water fish, such as halibut, salmon, sardines, trout and tuna are high in Omega-3 fatty acids.

Read what cancer patients, survivors and caregivers are saying about Omega-3 fatty acids and anti-oxidant supplementation at the Cancer Compass Supplement Message Board.

 

Apr

16

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Germany May See 15,000 Fewer Colorectal Cancer Cases in 2010

by: cancercompass

New German research estimates the country's nationwide colonoscopy screening program may prevent as many as 15,000 colorectal cancer cases through 2010, reported Reuters in a recent news article.

Reuters cited a study published in the April edition of the European Journal of Cancer that claims Germany was the first country to implement the nationwide screening program in 2002.

In 2010, these researchers estimate colorectal cancer burden will be reduced by 13% in women 55 to 59, 19% from 60-64 and 14% in women 65 to 69 years of age, reports Reuters. They also noted that the corresponding reductions in men will be 11%, 15% and 12% in the same age groups respectively.

Study authors said increased colonoscopy screening participation will further reduce this cancer burden. Reuters reported the study found colonoscopy participation rates among people 55 and 69 years of age were 30% for men and 40% for women.

This is just one of many studies showing how early detection can help prevent and treat cancer. Join the conversation at the Screening Discussion Message Board to chat with cancer patients, survivors and caregivers for candid feedback about screening methods.

 

Apr

16

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CTCA Chef Featured for Healthy, Delicious Recipes

by: cancercompass

The executive chef at the Tulsa Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) was recently featured in an article in The Organic Food Examiner for his commitment to preparing foods for healing.

Chef Kenny Wagoner is a part of CTCA's integrated care model, which incorporates state-of-the-art medical treatments with scientifically-supported complementary therapies such as nutrition.  Wagoner discusses how his mother's struggle with cancer has motivated him to prepare healthy dishes cancer patients will enjoy.

You read more about Kenny Wagoner in the full article, or learn how to make his chicken with pineapple.

Discuss this recipe and others at the Cancer Compass Recipe Discussion Board.

CTCA is a Cancer Compass Sponsor.

 

Apr

09

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Study Suggests SBRT May Effectively Treat Multiple Liver Metastases

by: cancercompass

New research in an article published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology suggests a high-dose stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) effectively treats cancer patients with one to three liver metastases.

Researchers treated 47 patients, each with one to three liver metastases and tumors less that 6m in diameter, with SBRT in three fractions. At the beginning of the study, 69% received at least one prior systemic therapy and 45% had extrahepatic disease.

Overall findings were 49 of the 63 metastatic lesions were assessable for local control with a median follow-up of 16 months. Of these lesions, only three experienced local progression at a median of 7.5 months after SBRT.  Local control rates at one and two years after SBRT were 95% and 92%. Among lesions with a diameter of 3 cm or less, 2-year local control was 100%. Median survival was 20.5 months.

Visit the Liver Cancer Message Board to communicate with patients, survivors and caregivers whose lives have been affected by liver cancer.

 

Apr

09

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Researchers Study Correlation Between Receptor Status & Breast Cancer Patient Management

by: cancercompass

According to a study published recently in the Annals of Oncology, Canadian researchers investigated the similarities of receptor status between a primary tumor and distance metastases to understand the impact on overall patient management.

Doctors often base many treatment decisions about metastatic breast cancer on receptor status, explained researchers.  Most common in breast cancer are estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PgR) and Her2.

Researchers biopsied suspect metastatic lesions in 35 of the 40 enrolled women, which yielded 29 samples for analysis. Hormone receptor status changed in 40% of these women, while Her2 status changed in 8%. These biopsy results meant cancer management options changed for 20% of patients.

These findings also led researchers to note the importance of tissue confirmation in patients with clinical or radiological suspicion of metastatic recurrence.

Discuss metastatic breast cancer with patients, survivors and caregivers on our Message Board.

 

Apr

09

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Report on Prostate Cancer Mortality Published

by: cancercompass

The New England Journal of Medicine recently published the first report from the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial on prostate cancer mortality.

Researchers in the trial randomly assigned either annual screenings or usual care methods to 76,693 men at 10 U.S. study centers. Men in the screening group received an annual prostate-specific-antigen (PSA) test for six years and digital rectal exams for four years.  Usual care may have included screening, as some organizations have recommended.

Overall study findings, after 7 to 10 years of follow up with each group, suggested the rate of death from prostate cancer was very low, and didn't differ significantly between the two testing groups.

Read other prostate cancer news or join discussions about prostate cancer on the Cancer Compass Message Board.

 

Apr

03

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Study Finds Hot Tea May Increase Throat Cancer Risk

by: cancercompass

New findings recently published in The British Medical Journal suggest that drinking hot tea may increase a person's risk of throat cancer.

Researchers analyzed the tea drinking habits of northern Iranians in the Golestan province, where there is a high rate of oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma. Almost all study participants (98%) consumed over one liter of black tea per day. Of those participants, 39% drank their tea at temperatures less than 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit), 38.9% at 60-64 degrees Celsius (140-147.2 degrees Fahrenheit) and 22% at 65 degrees Celsius (149 degrees Fahrenheit) or higher.

Researchers concluded that participants who drank their teas at the hottest temperatures were at highest risk of throat cancer.  Also, participants who drank tea less than two minutes after being poured were more at risk than those who waited four or five minutes before drinking their tea.

According to an article by Reuters it's not exactly clear how hot tea might cause throat cancer, but researchers told Reuters repeated thermal injury could be a possibility.

U.S. News and World Report also stated that a diet lacking in fruits and vegetables, socioeconomic status and poor oral health habits were also contributing factors for throat cancer.

Learn what researchers are discovering about dietary changes for cancer prevention. Read other blog posts about green tea and mushrooms helping prevent breast cancer or a new study launched to learn about the relationship between caffeine and Leukemia.

Discuss these findings and your own personal experiences with preventing cancer through diet, nutrition and other methods by posting comments at the Cancer Compass Cancer Prevention Message Board.

 

Apr

03

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FDA Approves Afinitor to Treat Advanced Kidney Cancer

by: cancercompass

Doctors have a new targeted drug to fight and slow tumor growth in advanced kidney cancer patients.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Afinitor (Everolimus) for use in renal cell carcinoma patients who were unresponsive to Sutent (sunitinib) or Nexavar (sorafenib), according to a news article posted by the American Cancer Society. Early data from a phase III clinical trial showing delayed tumor growth and spread for five months in patients taking the drug is what helped the FDA make its decision.

Afinitor, a kinase inhibitor that targets one protein to interrupt tumor cell division and blood vessel growth, is manufactured by Novartis.  

The American Cancer Society warns that this drug does not cure kidney cancer.  Afinitor was effective in 2% of patients, significantly slowing tumor growth, however early clinical trials also revealed 75% of patient tumors began growing back after 10 months.

Common side effects of Afinitor are mouth sores, weakness, diarrhea, poor appetite, fluid buildup in the arms and legs, nausea, vomiting, rash, fever and shortness of breath.

Join the discussion at our Kidney Cancer Message Board.

 

Apr

03

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Bone Marrow Study Analyzes Risk for Early Relapse of Prostate Cancer

by: cancercompass

Researchers trying to identify patients at high risk for early relapse of prostate cancer found that when certain bone marrow cells are present prior to surgery, it may indicate these patients need adjuvant therapy.

German researchers genetically analyzed disseminated tumor cells in bone marrow at various stages of prostate cancer over a 10 year period. According to the study published online recently in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the purpose of the research was to understand the dynamics of systemic disease and identify patients at high risk for early relapse of prostate cancer.

Investigators analyzed 900 bone marrow aspirates from 384 patients. They found that cytokeratin-positive cells that were present before surgery were the strongest independent risk factor for metastasis within 48 months. When these cells were detected and consistently present in bone marrow for 6 months to 10 years after radical prostatectomy, no influences on disease outcome were found.

Study authors concluded that patients with cytokeratin-positive cells in their bone marrow prior to surgery may benefit from adjuvant therapies.

Join the discussion at our Prostate Cancer Message Board to chat with survivors, caregivers and current patients about relapse, treatment options and many other topics.

 

Apr

01

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Blood Type May Play a Role in Pancreatic Cancer Risk

by: cancercompass

Researchers have discovered that a person's blood type can be associated with pancreatic cancer risk.

The Journal of the National Cancer Institute published the research, which was conducted by various institutions including the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

Genetic risk factors for sporadic pancreatic cancer were mostly unknown, according to researchers, who said previous studies linked blood type to gastrointestinal malignancies.

During this investigation, researchers examined the relationship between ABO blood type and the risk of pancreatic cancer in two independent studies.

Overall findings concluded participants with blood groups A, AB or B were more likely to develop pancreatic cancer compared to those in the type O blood group. Researchers found that overall, 17% of the pancreatic cancer cases were attributable to inheriting a non-O blood group.

 

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