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Phase III Trial of Capecitabine Plus Oxaliplatin as Adjuvant Therapy for Stage III Colon Cancer Safety Analysis
By HCat at 2007-01-21 02:53

    Recent analysis of a clinical trial with 1,864 patients examined the occurrence of adverse advents grade 3/4 (severe/life threatening) in a comparison of treatments with oxaliplatintermterm and capecitabinetermterm versus bolus FU/LV (fluorocuracil/leucovorintermterm). Capecitabine is an oral fluoroprimidine (5-FUterm prodrug) while bolus FU/LV is an infusion therapy. Capecitabine requires less medical resources and lowers costs for administration. It has been show that oxaliplatin with FU/LV prolongs disease-free survival significantly in patients with stage II/III colon cancer (CC) as well as reducing the recurrence of CC by more than 20% compared to FU/LV alone.

read more | 3197 reads

Aspirin saves lives of cancer patients suffering heart attacks, despite fears of bleeding
By Dross at 2007-01-20 00:07



HOUSTON -- Many cancer patients who have heart attacks often are not treated with life saving aspirin given the belief in the medical community that they could experience lethal bleeding. Researchers at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, however, say that notion is now proven wrong and that without aspirin, the majority of these patients will die.


Researchers say that their study, to be published in the February 1, 2007 issue of the journal Cancer and now available online, turns common medical assumptions upside down and will likely change medical practice for cancer patients. Because aspirin can thin blood and cancer patients experience low platelet counts and abnormal clotting, physicians view aspirin as a relative contraindication. Given that blood platelets are responsible for the clotting process, physicians do not eagerly prescribe aspirin as a standard treatment.

read more | 1 comment | 1332 reads

CHEK2*1100delC Breast Cancer Patients Have Increased Risk of Second Breast Cancer
By HCat at 2007-01-19 06:18

     Researchers from the Netherlands have conducted a retrospective analysis of 1,479 breast cancer patients diagnosed before age 50 who received surgery for invasive breast cancer. The study focused on 54 patients (3.7%) who carried a germlineterm mutation in CHEK2 gene marked as CHEK2*1100delC.


read more | 1670 reads

Sunshine Pill in 2009
By Dross at 2007-01-17 21:07

A tablet designed to emulate the healing power of the sun could be available for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer as early as 2009. But it remains to be seen whether the drug will be the revolution in prostate cancer care that its makers claim.

The drug, Asentar (DN-101), is based on vitamin D and is given to patients in the advanced stages of prostate cancer along with chemotherapyterm drugs. Drug makers came up with the idea because vitamin D from sunlight improves the prognosis of certain cancers. But taking natural levels of the vitamin has no effect. Novacea, the company that makes Asentar, produced a novel formulation that reproduces the healing effect without the dangerous side-effects of a vitamin D overdose. If the on-going phase III trial goes to plan, the new drug should be available in 2009, reports Chemistry & Industry, the magazine of the SCI.

read more | 1034 reads

Michigan and Stanford: Stem cell marker identified in head and neck cancer
By Dross at 2007-01-17 20:23

The cancer "Stem cell" theory comes from studies with blood cancers such as leukemiaterm, which are known to grow out of a subset of corrupted hematopoetic stem cells. In some studies, antibodies to the CD44 marker have been able to attach to these cells and block them from attaching to the bone marrow in a new mouse. Here Stanford and Michigan researchers seperated cancer cells from a solid tumor according to the CD44 marker using a technique known as Fluorescense Activated Cell Sorting in which a Flow Cytometerterm physically separates the cells.

Researchers have found a marker on head and neck tumor cells that indicates which cells are capable of fueling the cancer's growth. The finding is the first evidence of cancer stem cells in head and neck tumors.

read more | 2364 reads

Selective marker found to indicate aggressive form of breast cancer
By Dross at 2007-01-15 23:23

[via Selective marker found to indicate aggressive form of breast cancer]:

PHILADELPHIA -- Researchers have linked a structural protein called nestin to a particularly deadly form of breast cancer, identifying a new biomarker that could lead to earlier detection and better treatment.


In the January 15 issue of Cancer Research, researchers from Dartmouth Medical School demonstrate that nestin could represent a selective biological marker for basal epithelial breast tumors, a highly aggressive cancer with similarities to mammary stem cells, the regenerative cells believed to be the site of breast cancer initiation.

read more | 1173 reads

Texas M.D. Anderson Opens First-Ever IBC Clinic
By HCat at 2007-01-14 12:25

    The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center has opened the first clinic in the world dedicated to the research and treatment of inflammatory breast cancer (IBC). Since this is a rare form of breast cancer, representing 1-2% of all breast cancers, there has been little progress in understanding why it is so resistant to treatment. M.D. Anderson sees more cases of IBC than any other institution in the country. The clinic is under the co-direction of Massimo Cristofanilli, MD, and Thomas Buchholz, MD.

This is the site link to information on inflammatory breast cancer at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

1601 reads

Antibody vs Antibody
By Dross at 2007-01-13 04:31

Panitumumabtermterm, otherwise known as Vectibixterm, is the first fully human monoclonal antibodyterm directed against the EGFRtermtermterm receptor which is expressed on the surface of 75% of colorectal cancers. It was also approved by the fda this month, so knowledge of its efficacy could help you in discussing options in the treatment of your cancer. Be sure to ask your doctor about this human antibody and be sure to use the name of the drug when discussing it rather than the term "antibody" as there are many antibodies currently being used or approved for the treatment of cancer. What is the difference between Erbituxterm and Vectibix? Vectibix, (the fully human derived antibody) showed a 3% lesser amount of rash type immunolgical reactions than Erbitux.

read more | 4707 reads

Prevention of Chemotherapy-Induced Mucositis
By HCat at 2007-01-12 06:22

    Mucositisterm from chemotherapyterm can be prevented with cryotherapyterm or chlohexadine rinses. Mucositis is an inflammation (and dying) of the cells that line the mouth, throat, and the rest of the digestive tract. It is a common side effect seen in chemotherapy and radiation treatment but seems to be under reported in statistics. Its symptoms can include ulcers and raw sores in the mouth as well as loss of taste and difficulty eating. A supportive care abstract from the Annals of Oncology recently reported findings at the 31st Congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) (abstract 988 O).

read more | 6767 reads

Bayer and Onyx announce pivotal Nexavar kidney cancer study published in NEJM
By Dross at 2007-01-12 05:44



Bayer Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NYSE: BAY) and Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced that the New England Journal of Medicine has published their pivotal Phase III trial demonstrating that Nexavartermterm (sorafenibterm) tablets doubled median progression-free survival (PFS) in patients with advanced renal cell carcinomaterm (RCC), or kidney cancer. The data, as assessed by independent radiologic review, are from the Treatment Approaches in Renal Cancer Global Evaluation Trial (TARGET) the largest randomized controlled trial ever conducted in advanced RCC. "Historically, patients with kidney cancer have had limited treatment options and there has been a particularly critical need for new therapies to help patients with advanced disease," said co-principal investigator Ronald Bukowski, M.D., Director of the Experimental Therapeutics Program of The Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Center in Cleveland, OH. "This landmark study demonstrated the efficacy, tolerability and clinical benefit of Nexavar, which has rapidly become a valuable weapon against this devastating disease." Based on these data, Nexavar was granted U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for the treatment of patients with advanced RCC, or kidney cancer, on December 20, 2005. Since then, Nexavar has been approved in nearly 50 countries. "Nexavar was the first new drug approved for patients with advanced kidney cancer in over a decade," said Bill Bro, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Kidney Cancer Association (KCA). "With the advent of targeted therapies such as Nexavar, there has been remarkable change patients are experiencing improved outcomes without the toxic effects traditionally associated with chemotherapyterm."

read more | 2180 reads

Thomas Jefferson University Hospital - Pancreatic Cancer Surgery Five-Year Survivors 65 and Up Live Nearly as Long As Anyone
By Dross at 2007-01-12 01:42

[via Thomas Jefferson University Hospital - Pancreatic Cancer Surgery Five-Year Survivors 65 and Up Live Nearly as Long As Anyone]:

A new study shows that pancreatic cancer patients 65 or older who live at least five years after surgery have nearly as good a chance as anyone else to live another five years. Researchers at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia reviewed the records of 890 patients with pancreatic cancer who underwent the standard pancreaticoduodenectomy, or Whipple procedure, which entails the removal of the gallbladder, common bile duct, part of the duodenum, and the head of the pancreas, between 1970 and 1999 at Johns Hopkins University. They identified those who lived for five years, and compared those who lived for at least an additional five years to the actuarial estimated survival of the general population beginning at age 70. Reporting in the journal Surgery, they found that 201 patients (23 percent) lived five years after surgery, at least half of whom were 65 years old or older at the time of surgery. Of those five-year survivors, an estimated 65 percent lived at least an additional five years.

read more | 1 comment | 2697 reads

Role for proteomics in identifying hematologic malignancies
By Dross at 2007-01-12 01:32


BOSTON - Scientists have identified a set of biomarkers that could help clinicians identify a group of hematologic malignancies known as myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), which affect approximately 300,000 individuals worldwide and often progress to acute myeloid leukemiaterm. Reported in the advance issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (which appears on-line the week of January 8) the findings point to a possible new diagnostic method for these malignancies, which occur when blood cells remain in an immature stage within the bone marrow and never sufficiently develop into the mature cells necessary for proper hematologic functioning.

read more | 2 comments | 1563 reads

FDA Okays Zolinza for Cutaneous T-cell Lymphoma Skin Lesions
By HCat at 2007-01-11 08:24

    Zolinza (from Merck, chemical name vorinostat) is now FDA approved for the treatment of Cutaneous T-cell Lymphomaterm (CTCL) skin lesions, a general term used to describe a non-Hodgkins lymphoma where T-cells proliferate uncontrolled at the skin. The drug can now be used to treat patients who have persistent, progressive or recurring CTCL during or following at least 2 systemic treatments. The overall response rate (OR) is said to be 30% (or 30% of people who take it will respond) with those responding having a duration of response for at least 6 months. Some serious adverse events where noted in clinical trials, including embolism and deep vein thrombosis as well as gastrointestinal side-effects.

read more | 1845 reads

Strawberries May Slow Cancer Cell Growth
By Dross at 2007-01-11 04:50


Strawberries may be the most effective of commonly consumed berries at slowing the growth of some cancer cells, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry.

-Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles tested extracts of six berries -- strawberries, raspberries, black raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and cranberries -- against human oral, breast, colon and prostate tumor cell lines in cell cultures. All the berry extracts slowed the cancer cell growth in each cell line studied, and this protective effect grew stronger as berry concentrations were increased. Strawberries were strongest against colon and oral cancers. "The strongest California strawberry effects were seen against slowing the growth of two types of oral cancer cells and one type of colon cancer cells," reported Navindra Seeram, PhD, assistant director of UCLA Center for Human Nutrition and lead author of the study. "In colon cancer cells, strawberries were also found to be potent inducers of programmed cell death, called 'apoptosis,' which is an important mechanism of cancer suppression." Apoptosis is the process by which cancer cells are forced to self-destruct. Strawberries contain high levels of phytonutrients that are believed to be responsible for the protective effects of diets high in fruits and vegetables. Phytonutrients are nutrient-like compounds in foods that exert antioxidant, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and anti-neurodegenerative effects. These effects in turn are thought to be protective against the development of chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease and mental deterioration. "These laboratory results about the effects of berry phytonutrients on cancer cells provide us with a roadmap for future studies in humans. Eventually this will allow us to make dietary recommendations for preventing or slowing the progression of cancer," Seeram commented. In addition to providing beneficial phytonutrients, strawberries are a good source of health-promoting nutrients such as vitamin C, folate, fiber and potassium. Not only do strawberries, whether fresh or frozen, provide these nutrients and have science to support their health benefits, 2006 consumer research has revealed that strawberries are America's favorite fruit. Eighty- eight percent of the nation's supply of strawberries comes from California. Visit for more information about California strawberries.

read more | 1372 reads

Introgen's INGN 241 Shows Synergy With Heat Shock Protein Inhibitors
By Dross at 2007-01-10 06:28


Results from a new Introgen Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:INGN) study have demonstrated that its INGN 241 cancer therapy induces human lung cancer cells to undergo apoptosis, or programmed cell death, via newly discovered mechanisms of action. The preclinical study announced today documented the synergistic action of INGN 241 and a promising new class of tumor-targeted drugs called heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) inhibitors. In the study, the combination of INGN 241 and two Hsp90 inhibitors resulted in the enhancement of cell death in lung cancer cells. Introgen has studied the various ways in which INGN 241 may be used in the treatment of cancer and this combination treatment offers promise for improving efficacy using low toxicity drugs for lung cancer. The study was performed by Dr. Abujiang Pataer, M.D., PhD, assistant professor, and Dr. Stephen Swisher, professor, both in the Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, in collaboration with Introgen scientists. The study is published in the current issue of Cancer Gene Therapy. Dr. Sunil Chada, Introgen's associate vice president of Clinical Research and Development said, "The Hsp90 inhibitors are a promising new class of drugs that have recently entered clinical trials. The synergistic results found by the combination of INGN 241 and this class of tumor-targeted drugs are encouraging and warrant further investigation." In the study, the Hsp90 inhibitors geldanamycin (GA) and 17-AAG (17-N- Allylamino-17-Demethoxygeldanamycin) were combined with INGN 241 and killing of lung tumor cells evaluated. The combination treatment proved to be highly synergistic as significant increased tumor cell killing was observed when INGN 241 was added to GA or 17-AAG treatment. Additional studies were performed to evaluate the ability of tumor cells to migrate and metastasize; the combination treatment dramatically inhibited tumor cell movement, suggesting an anti-metastaticterm effect.

read more | 3 comments | 565 reads


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