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Broccoli sprout-derived extract protects against ultraviolet radiation
By Dross at 2007-10-23 21:20

A team of Johns Hopkins scientists reports in this week’s issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that humans can be protected against the damaging effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation — the most abundant cancer-causing agent in our environment — by topical application of an extract of broccoli sprouts.

The results in human volunteers, backed by parallel evidence obtained in mice, show that the degree of skin redness (erythema) caused by UV rays, which is an accurate index of the inflammation and cell damage caused by UV radiation, is markedly reduced in extract-treated skin.

read more | 861 reads

A classic method for modeling skin cancer is featured in Cold Spring Harbor Protocols
By Dross at 2007-09-05 05:57

COLD SPRING HARBOR, N.Y. (Tues., Sept. 4, 2007) – Skin cancer is the most prevalent form of human cancer in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control. But in order to more fully understand skin cancer in humans, scientists must use model organisms, such as mice, to study the disease in the laboratory.

This month’s release of Cold Spring Harbor Protocols ( includes free access to a protocol for generating mice with squamous cell carcinomaterm (SCC), one of the most common types of skin cancer. The procedure involves injecting mice with a drug called DMBA, which mutates (and thereby activates) a tumor-promoting gene. A second drug, called TPA, then encourages the proliferation of cells that carry the mutated gene. The resulting mass of cells is a tumor.

read more | 1341 reads

Why moles can become skin cancers
By Dross at 2007-06-14 03:08

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Monitoring moles and looking for changes on a regular basis is key to early detection and treatment of melanoma, doctors say.

However, patients tend to notice only moles they can easily see by themselves in the mirror.

“I tell my patients to have their significant other check them from top to bottom, front to back,” says Dr. Riza Tady Conroy, a family medicine physician at Ohio State University Medical Center. “By doing that at least once a year, they will know if something has changed or not, and can seek medical treatment. A skin exam should be part of the annual health check-up.”

read more | 1146 reads

Sun exposure early in life linked to specific skin cancer gene mutation
By Dross at 2007-06-10 02:53

CHAPEL HILL - Skin cancers often contain different gene mutations, but just how these mutations contribute to the cause of melanomas has been a mystery.

A new clue comes from scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Schools of Medicine and Public Health. Their research indicates that early life sun exposure, from birth to 20 years old, may specifically increase the risk of melanomas with BRAF gene mutations. A different mutation, on the NRAS gene, was found in patients who had sun exposure later in life (between ages 50 to 60 years old). The results indicate that different subtypes of melanoma are associated with different risk factors

read more | 1224 reads

Caspase-14 protects our skin against UVB and dehydration
By Dross at 2007-05-22 22:09

Ghent, Belgium - Ultraviolet rays can be harmful to our skin and pave the way to the onset of skin cancers. VIB researchers connected to Ghent University have demonstrated that the caspase-14 protein - whose function has been unknown up to now - not only plays a role in maintaining the balance of moisture in the skin but also offers protection against UVB rays. Future strategies that increase the production of caspase-14 will open new possibilities for fortifying the skin as a barrier against all kinds of stress.

Sunbathing and the pernicious consequences for our skin

read more | 917 reads

Stanford researchers identify immune dysfunction in melanoma patients
By Dross at 2007-05-08 22:26

STANFORD, Calif. -- Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have begun to shed light on why the human immune system isn't able to stop such cancers as melanoma, suggesting answers that could pave the way for better treatment of this often-fatal illness.

In a small study, the scientists found that the immune cells in a majority of people with this deadly skin cancer fail to respond properly to a molecule called interferon, which normally activates the immune system. Without the ability to respond to interferon, the cells are less able to fend off the cancer, according to the study that will be published in the May issue of Public Library of Science-Medicine.

read more | 924 reads

New survey ranks the nation's most and least sun-smart cities
By Dross at 2007-05-07 21:32

Most Americans are familiar with the popular city rankings of the fattest cities, the fittest cities, the most livable cities and the most expensive cities. Now, in the first-of-its-kind survey, the American Academy of Dermatology (Academy) has identified the cities that take sun protection seriously and those that fail to make the grade despite repeated health warnings.

The "RAYS: Your Grade" survey polled adults in 32 U.S. metropolitan regions spanning 29 states on their knowledge, attitudes and behaviors toward tanning and sun protection. Cities were then ranked based on the percentage of people who scored A’s and B’s.

read more | 1134 reads

Cellular 'SOS' signal in response to UV skin damage
By Dross at 2007-03-16 02:39

New research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine has identified two proteins that may help protect against skin cancer.

The study, which appears in the advance online edition of the journal Molecular and Cellular Biology, indicates that two proteins, named Timeless and Tipin, form a complex that regulates the rate at which DNA is replicated after exposure to ultraviolet radiation.

Ultraviolet radiation in sunlight damages the DNA in skin cells. If left unrepaired by the cell, this damage can turn into mutations that lead to cancer. Before cells divide, they must replicate, or copy, their DNA to form new daughter cells. If damage in the DNA is discovered even after the cell has given a "go-ahead" to replicate its DNA, the Timeless/Tipin complex sends a signal throughout the nucleus of the cell to slow the rate of replication. This slowdown may give the cell additional time to repair its DNA and potentially save itself from becoming cancerous or from dying in response to ultraviolet radiation.

read more | 1197 reads

Molecular differences between early and advanced melanomas could provide new drug targets
By Dross at 2007-03-13 22:13

- Editors note. Akt is a target in a large number of metastaticterm cancers. 


The cell-signaling molecule Akt is a primary trigger that leads malignant melanomas on the skin's surface to begin growing vertically beneath the skin and turn into deadly invasive cancers, scientists have found. Understanding this key molecular difference between radial melanomas that spread on the surface of the skin and melanomas that grow vertically and invasively could provide new targets for the development of drugs to treat individuals with advanced stage melanomas.

Radial melanomas that have not spread below the skin can be treated surgically and have a survival rate of 98 percent beyond five years, according to the American Cancer Society. But when melanomas grow downward, the tumors become highly resistant to chemotherapyterm and radiation and the five-year survival rate falls rapidly, to 64 percent if the disease has reached the lymph nodes and 16 percent if it has spread to other organs.

read more | 1346 reads

'Guardian of the genome' protein found to underlie skin tanning
By Dross at 2007-03-09 01:25

A protein known as the "master watchman of the genome" for its ability to guard against cancer-causing DNA damage has been found to provide an entirely different level of cancer protection: By prompting the skin to tan in response to u

ltraviolet light from the sun, it deters the development of melanoma skin cancer, the fastest-increasing form of cancer in the world.

In a study in the March 9 issue of the journal Cell, researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute report that the protein, p53, is not only linked to skin tanning, but also may play a role in people's seemingly universal desire to be in the sun – an activity that, by promoting tanning, can reduce one's risk of melanoma.

read more | 1950 reads

Melanoma Basics
By Dross at 2007-02-19 09:06

Definition of melanoma: A form of skin cancer that begins in melanocytes (the cells that make the pigment melanin). Melanoma usually begins in a mole. Estimated new cases and deaths from melanoma in the United States in 2007: New cases: 59,940 Deaths: 8,110


What Is Melanoma?


Melanoma is a type of skin cancer. It begins in cells in the skin called melanocytes. To understand melanoma, it is helpful to know about the skin and about melanocytes—what they do, how they grow, and what happens when they become cancerous.

read more | 13473 reads

Chemicals In Brown Algae May Protect Against Skin Cancer
By Dross at 2007-01-26 10:03


Substances extracted from a marine seaweed may protect against skin cancer caused by too much sun, new research suggests. The animal study indicates that chemicals called brown algae polyphenols (BAPs), which are found in a type of brown marine seaweed, might protect against skin cancers caused by ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation. Garry D. Stoner UVB radiation in sunlight is thought responsible for 90 percent of the estimated 1.3 million cases of non-melanoma skin cancer diagnosed in the United States annually. Researchers applied the BAPs to the skin of hairless mice and fed it to the animals in their diet. In both cases, the substances reduced the number of skin tumors by up to 60 percent and their size by up to 43 percent. They also reduced inflammation.

read more | 1319 reads

Vical Highlights Transition to Phase 3 Trial With Allovectin-7(R) for Metastatic Melanoma
By Dross at 2007-01-25 01:24


Vical Incorporated presented today the process followed by the company in advancing its Allovectin-7(R) cancer immunotherapeutic from a successful Phase 2 trial into a Phase 3 pivotal trial designed to support regulatory approval. The detailed process was described by Alain P. Rolland, Pharm.D., Ph.D., Vical's Senior Vice President of Product Development, in a presentation titled "Transitioning Plasmid-based Products from Phase 2 to Phase 3: Allovectin-7(R) Case Study," at the Phacilitate Cell and Gene Therapy Forum in Baltimore, Maryland. The company announced earlier this month the initial treatment of the first patient in the Phase 3 pivotal trial of Allovectin-7(R) as first-line therapy in chemotherapyterm-naive patients with recurrent Stage III or IV metastaticterm melanoma. The trial, known as AIMM (Allovectin-7(R) Immunotherapeutic for Metastatic Melanoma), will be conducted in accordance with a Special Protocol Assessment (SPA) completed with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) at up to 50 clinical sites. AnGes MG, Inc., will fund the clinical trial through a combination of sponsored development and purchases of Vical common stock. "Through the SPA process, we reached agreement with the FDA on a feasible Phase 3 trial design with what we believe are achievable endpoints providing a clear path to approval," said Vijay B. Samant, Vical's President and Chief Executive Officer. "The Phase 3 AIMM trial will allow head-to-head comparison of our Allovectin-7(R) immunotherapy against chemotherapy in a protocol designed to reveal the potential advantages of our product candidate. The primary endpoint is a comparison of objective response rates after six months, which will allow completion of at least two full Allovectin-7(R) treatment cycles. We are now focused on enrolling patients as quickly as possible and completing the trial in strict adherence to the protocol."

read more | 1363 reads

Multiple Cancer Types treated with Photodynamic Therapy for Tumor Ablation
By HCat at 2007-01-09 03:04

    Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is more than 25 years old, yet this cancer therapy is now becoming more widely used in multiple cancer treatment areas. PDT uses an injectable drug (usually photofrin) that is light sensitive to certain wavelengths. When this photosensitizer is hit with light at the particular wavelengths, a chemical-light reaction occurs in which numerous oxygen radicals are formed. These oxygen radicals cause damage and death to cells, inducing apoptosis and necrosis to the surrounding tissue while also initiating the immune and inflammation response within the body. To specify where the damage occurs, the light source is inserted into a fiber optic wire within a needle. The needle is then guided to the site of the cancer through various imaging techniques such as computed tomographic (CT) imaging or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

read more | 2435 reads

Vical Initiates Pivotal Phase 3 Trial of Allovectin-7(R) as First-line Therapy for Metastatic Melanoma
By Dross at 2007-01-05 01:30

Here Vical announces a lipid/plasmid (DNA) complex which is to be injected into cancerous cells and will make them express foreign Major Histocompatibility complex antigens on their surface, which will then allow the body's natural immune defences to target the cell, just like it targets a bacteria. This is the same idea as the bone marrow transplant or stem cell therapy, but on a much smaller scale. Bone Marrow Transplants are the only known way to cure many cancers, as other treatments put the cancer into a remission of varying duration.

read more | 956 reads

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