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The fight against colorectal cancer
By Dross at 2007-09-11 20:16

Montreal, 6 september 2007 - In 2007, colorectal cancer will kill approximately 8700 Canadians. To draw attention to this situation, Dr. Alan Barkun, Director of the gastroenterology department at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) and Dr. Ken Flegel, service chief in internal medicine, have coauthored an editorial that will appear in the September 11, 2007 issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Canada’s mortality rate from colorectal cancer is in large part due to Canadian policy failures in terms of adequate prevention and screening, say Dr Barkun and Dr Flegel. As a result, the percentage of at-risk patients who are screened is only 23.5% in Canada compared to 62.9% in the USA. This means that Canadian patients often receive treatment at an advanced stage of the disease, which greatly reduces their chances for success.

read more | 1806 reads

Compounds That Color Fruits And Veggies May Protect Against Colon Cancer
By Dross at 2007-08-20 00:22

Understanding the molecular structures of compounds that give certain fruits and vegetables their rich colors may help researchers find even more powerful cancer fighters, a new study suggests.

Evidence from laboratory experiments on rats and on human colon cancer cells also suggests that anthocyanins, the compounds that give color to most red, purple and blue fruits and vegetables appreciably slow the growth of colon cancer cells.

The findings also bring scientists a step closer to figuring out what exactly gives fruits and vegetables their cancer-fighting properties.

read more | 1523 reads

Diet high in meat, fat and refined grains linked to risk for colon cancer recurrence, death
By Dross at 2007-08-15 03:38

Patients treated for colon cancer who had a diet high in meat, refined grains, fat and desserts had an increased risk of cancer recurrence and death compared with patients who had a diet high in fruits and vegetables, poultry and fish, according to a study in the August 15 issue of JAMA.

Previous research has indicated that diet and other lifestyle factors have a significant influence on the risk of developing colon cancer. However, few studies have assessed the influence of diet on colon cancer recurrence and survival, according to background information in the article.

Jeffrey A. Meyerhardt, M.D., M.P.H., of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, and colleagues examined the influence of two distinct dietary patterns on cancer recurrence and survival in a group of 1,009 stage III colon cancer patients (cancer present in the colon and lymph nodes) enrolled in a clinical trial of postoperative chemotherapyterm in addition to other treatment. Patients reported dietary intake using a food frequency questionnaire during and six months after supplemental chemotherapy. Two major dietary patterns were identified, prudent and Western. The prudent pattern was characterized by high intakes of fruits and vegetables, poultry, and fish; the Western pattern was characterized by high intakes of meat, fat, refined grains, and dessert.

read more | 1812 reads

Phase II study of therapeutic vaccine shows efficacy in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer
By Dross at 2007-08-04 00:51

PHILADELPHIA – A therapeutic cancer vaccine has shown effectiveness when given alongside chemotherapyterm to patients with metastaticterm colorectal cancer in a phase II trial, according to researchers at Oxford BioMedica (UK) Ltd. The study found that six of the 17 metastatic colorectal cancer patients in the study showed tumor shrinkage, classified as complete or partial responses following independent expert review.

The study, reported in the August 1 issue of Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, was designed to demonstrate the safety and immunogenicity of the vaccine, called modified vaccinia Ankara-encoding 5T4 (TroVax®), when used alongside standard chemotherapy. The research was funded by Oxford BioMedica which is developing the vaccine in partnership with Sanofi-Aventis.

read more | 2116 reads

Enzyme eliminated by cancer cells holds promise for cancer treatment
By Dross at 2007-07-19 03:34

An enzyme that cancer cells eliminate, apparently so they can keep proliferating, may hold clues to more targeted, effective cancer treatment, scientists say.

In a high-stakes tit for tat, protein kinase G enables healthy cells to stay on task to proliferate, differentiate then provide a useful function. Cancer somehow reduces or eliminates PKG and cells get stuck proliferating.

“The bottom line is, in normal tissue, you can see PKG being expressed; but tumors or cell lines that correlate with those tissues don’t have nearly as much,” says Dr. Darren Browning, cancer researcher at the Medical College of Georgia.

read more | 1080 reads

New Combination Therapy Promotes Cancer Cell Death
By Dross at 2007-07-17 02:16

PHILADELPHIA – Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine identified a combination therapy as a way to sensitize resistant human cancer cells to a treatment currently being tested in clinical trials They propose that the therapy may help to selectively eliminate cancer cells while leaving healthy cells intact, providing a cancer treatment with fewer side effectsterm. The Penn team reports their findings in the July issue of Cancer Cell.

To test the ability of the combined therapy in treating cancerous tumors, senior author Wafik S. El-Deiry, MD, PhD, and colleagues administered TRAIL, a tumor necrosis factor, and sorafenibterm, an inhibitor currently used to treat renal cancer, to mice  with colon carcinomas. The sorafenib and TRAIL therapy reduced the size of tumors in mice with few side effects, demonstrating the potential effectiveness of the combined treatment on human colon cancers.

read more | 9 comments | 1830 reads

Colon cancer proteins show promise for blood test
By Dross at 2007-06-15 21:16

Searching for less invasive screening tests for cancer, Johns Hopkins scientists have discovered proteins present in blood that accurately identify colon cancer and precancerous polyps.

Initial studies of the proteins, CCSA-3 and CCSA-4, suggest they could be used to develop a blood test to identify at-risk individuals.

"The reality is that many people are not getting regular screening colonoscopies," says cancer researcher Robert Getzenberg, Ph.D. "So, ideally we'd like to identify those with some molecular for the disease and really need them."

Current screening guidelines for healthy people call for a baseline colonoscopy - colonic cleansing, fasting and heavy sedation followed by the insertion of a flexible, optical-scanning scope through the rectum into the colon -- at age 50, followed by re-screening at least every five to 10 years. Colonoscopy is not foolproof; cancers can develop between screenings.

read more | 1225 reads

Taking folic acid does not reduce risk of precancerous colon tumors
By Dross at 2007-06-10 02:51

Taking folic acid supplements does not reduce the risk of developing precancerous tumors in the colon and may even increase the risk, a new study has found.

“We had great hope that folic acid would be a very cheap and effective agent to prevent large bowel adenomas. We expected that folic acid would decrease the risk for colorectal cancers, perhaps as much as 40 percent. So these results are disappointing,” said Robert Sandler, M.D., a study co-author and chief of the division of gastroenterology and hepatology in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine.

In addition, the government-mandated addition of folic acid to common grain-based foods such as bread, flour and pasta may be a contributing factor to increased risk and thus research into this possibility should have a high priority, the study authors concluded.

read more | 765 reads

Celator(R) Pharmaceuticals Study Shows Anti-Tumor Activity in Cancer Patients Treated with Therapy Based on Ratiometric
By Dross at 2007-06-05 22:16

Celator Pharmaceuticals announced positive safety and efficacy results from its Phase I study of CPX-1 (Irinotecantermterm HCI:Floxuridine), Liposome Injection in patients with heavily pre-treated, advanced solid tumors. Results were presented yesterday in a poster presentation at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting in Chicago.

Among a total of 33 patients with different types of cancer who were treated in the dose-escalating study, 73% showed clinical benefit including either partial regression or stable disease. In ten patients delay of disease progression was greater than six months. Among a subset of 15 patients with colorectal cancer, median duration of progression-free survival was 5.3 months. Of these patients, 80% received CPX-1 as a third, fourth or fifth line treatment, and 66% had prior treatment with irinotecan.

read more | 1279 reads

The Eloxatin(R)-Based Regimen (FOLFOX4) Significantly Improved Progression Free Survival When Given Before and After Sur
By Dross at 2007-06-05 22:14

- Results of the randomized phase III EORTC 40983 Intergroup study, or EPOC study, demonstrate for the first time that peri-operative (pre and post surgery) FOLFOX4 (Eloxatinterm(R) (oxaliplatintermterm injection) in combination with a standard chemotherapyterm regimen for colon cancer, 5-fluorouraciltermtermtermterm/leucovorintermterm (5-FUterm/LV)) given to patients with resectable liver metastases from colorectal cancer significantly improved Progression-Free Survival (PFS) compared to surgery alone. (PFS is the time from the start of therapy until disease progression or death). The EPOC study results were presented today at the Plenary Session of the 43rd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago, IL.

read more | 2371 reads

Ireland Cancer Center researcher lays out benefits of aspirin to prevent colon cancer
By Dross at 2007-05-24 22:05

A colon cancer researcher at the Ireland Cancer Center of University Hospitals Case Medical Center (UHCMC) has laid out the roadmap for how medical science should employ aspirin and new aspirin-like drugs for use in preventing colon cancer in certain high-risk individuals.

In today's New England Journal of Medicine, Sanford Markowitz, MD, PhD, writes an editorial accompanying research from Dr. Charles Fuchs' team at Harvard Medical School that lays out the hypothesized mechanism by which the use of aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), also called COX-2 inhibitors, act to decrease the risk of developing colon cancer.

read more | 1146 reads

The body’s ‘sentinel’ prevents the spread of tumours
By Dross at 2007-05-07 23:03

The body’s ‘sentinel’ prevents the spread of tumours


Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have discovered a new method of treating advanced colorectal cancer without the need for chemotherapyterm. By removing special lymphocytes (white blood cells), cultivating them and returning them to the patient’s body, scientists can strengthen the patient’s immune defence and stop the spread of the tumour. 

read more | 1250 reads

Webcast Showing Laparoscopic Bowel Resection
By HCat at 2007-05-07 05:59

    This is a webcast of a surgery procedure from University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Cleveland, OH.  This is a live laparoscopic bowel resection performed on 4/4/2007. There is no registration required but RealPlayer is needed to watch the streaming video. 

This is the link to the webcast showing the minimally invasive procedure of laparoscopic bowel resection.

read more | 1235 reads

No data to support leaving small colon polyps in place
By Dross at 2007-04-27 02:38

The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute is eager to increase the number of patients who receive screening for colon cancer. There are a variety of established screening methods that are widely available, and emerging technologies, such as computed tomography colonography (CT colonography), that are under investigation. As the medical community evaluates CT colonography, the AGA Institute offers the following comments regarding the study by Pickhardt et al published in Cancer on the cost-effectiveness of colorectal cancer screening with CT colonography and the impact of not reporting diminutive lesions.

read more | 924 reads

Colon cancer survival linked to number of lymph nodes examined
By Dross at 2007-03-22 03:21

An analysis of 17 studies from nine countries has found that the more lymph nodes that are removed and examined during surgical treatment of colon cancer, the better the outcome appears to be for patients. The study suggests that removal of the nodes takes away a reservoir for potentially lethal cancer, and that knowing how far a cancer has spread leads to tailored and more beneficial treatment, according to researchers at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Investigators say the findings, reported in the March 21 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, encourage a dialogue amongst physicians regarding the number of lymph nodes removed by surgeons and evaluated by pathologists as a measure of the quality of care that colon cancer patients receive.

read more | 891 reads

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