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.

Feb

24

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Study Finds Delayed Treatment Acceptable for MCL Patients

by: cancercompass

New research says a "watch and wait" approach to treating asymptomatic patients with mantel-cell lymphoma (MCL) is an acceptable management approach according to a recent study published by the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Currently, there isn't a standardized treatment for MCL, other than doctors typically begin treatment immediately after diagnosis, according to the study abstract. Researchers from Weill Cornell Medical College and New York Presbyterian Hospital wanted to analyze the outcome of deferring the initial therapy, as there currently is not any documented research done on deferring initial treatment.

Investigators reviewed hospital and research charts for 97 patients diagnosed between 1997 and 2007 where the first date of treatment was known.  

Overall study findings suggested those patients observed prior to treatment, three months before initial systematic therapy was done, had better statistical odds of survival than the group treated right away, suggesting that the "watch and wait" method is an acceptable management approach.

However, researchers noted that time to treatment didn't predict overall survival in a multivariate analysis.

 

Feb

24

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Pediatric-Inspired Chemotherapy May Benefit Adults with Leukemia

by: cancercompass

A new research study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology suggests adult patients diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) may benefit from pediatric chemotherapy regimes.

Researchers conducted the study to test pediatric-inspired treatments, such as increased doses of the drugs prednisone and vincristine, in adults age 60 or younger with ALL.  A total of 225 adult patients ranging in ages from 15 to 60 were enrolled in the study.

Findings showed a complete remission rate of 93.5%. At 42 months event free and overall survival rates were, respectively, at 55 and 60%. Researchers also determined 45 was the cut-off age for effectiveness of the pediatric-inspired ALL treatments.

Research to help ALL patients happens across the country through clinical trials. Learn more about leukemia treatments and talk with survivors, current patients and caregivers.

 

Feb

24

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Study Finds Soy Foods Reduce Colorectal Cancer Risk

by: cancercompass

Soy food can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer in women, according to a study published in this month's edition of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Researchers from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine investigated the relationship between soy food intake and colorectal cancer in 68,412 women aged 40 - 80 who were currently cancer and diabetes free.

Exams establishing a baseline for research were conducted between 1997 and 2000. Researchers then conducted their first follow up with the women between 2000 and 2002 through a food-frequency questionnaire. Researchers discovered 321 women were diagnosed with colorectal cancer during the mean follow up, 6.4 years later.

Study authors noted that consuming foods containing soy may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer in postmenopausal women.  Specifically the study reports "each 5-g/d increment in intake of soy foods as assessed by dry weight (equivalent to approximately 1 oz (28.35 g) tofu/d) was associated with an 8% reduction in risk."

The intake of soy protein and isoflavones also suggested the same results.

 

Feb

24

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Combination Therapy Shows Promise in Glioblastoma

by: cancercompass

Combining radiotherapy, lomustine (CCNU), and temozolomide (TMZ) showed promising results for long-term survival in patients newly diagnosed with glioblastoma, according to a study published this month in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Researchers analyzed 39 patients receiving radiotherapy solely at the tumor site and a combination of CCNU and TMZ chemotherapy. Eight of those 39 received an intensified dosage of CCNU and TMZ chemotherapy.

Overall findings were a median survival of 23.1 months. Of the patients 47.4% survived for two years, while 18.5% survived for four years. The intensified group showed a median survival of 41.5 months, however the intensified CCNU/TMZ dosage may add a greater acute toxicity.  

Brain cancer treatment options vary depending on the type of tumor.  Join our brain cancer discussion board to connect with other patients, survivors and caregivers.

 

Feb

16

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Dell Donates $5 to Komen for Every Promise Pink Laptop Purchase

by: cancercompass

Dell has agreed to donate $5.00 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure with every purchase of a Promise Pink laptop, announced Susan G Komen earlier this month.

Money raised will help breast cancer research and community-based programs for breast health, education and screening.

Dell has committed to a minimum 2009 donation of $250,000.

Dell’s Promise Pink laptops are available in the following models: Inspiron Mini 9, Inspiron Mini 12, Inspiron 1525, Studio 15, Studio 17, Studio Hybrid, XPS M1330, XPS M1530 and the Latitude E4200.

 

Feb

12

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Urine Tests May One Day Detect Aggressive Prostate Cancers

by: cancercompass

Aggressive forms of prostate cancer may one day be detected with a urine test, say researchers from the University of Michigan.

Further testing and validation of U of M's research is underway, but the British journal Nature published initial findings this month.

Nature News, the journal's reporting arm, discussed the study findings with lead author Christopher Beecher.

Basic findings suggest higher concentrations of sarcosine, a small molecule in urine, were found in advanced forms of prostate cancer. Researchers also said adding sarcosine to benign prostate cells caused cancerous behavior in the healthy cells.

Researchers said their findings could lead to a urine test that detects aggressive prostate cancer.

Various other news outlets, including U.S. News & World Report and BBC News also reported on the findings.

Currently urine tests are used to detect blood in the urine, which is a symptom associated with prostate cancer.  Learn more about prostate cancer diagnosis and understand the prostate cancer disease process.

 

Feb

09

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New Research May Help Doctors Predict A Patient's Response to Chemo

by: cancercompass

UCLA scientists have discovered an approach that could predict how a patient will respond to chemotherapy prior to undergoing the therapy.

Their research, published this month in an advanced online edition of The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, used a non-invasive scan after injecting a probe into mice that developed leukemia and lymphoma tumors. The scan, known as positron emission tomography (PET), acts like a "molecular camera" that allows researchers to see how the tumor will react to treatment, said Caius Radu, one of the authors of the study, in a ScienceDaily press release.

In that same ScienceDaily press release, first author Rachel Laing, A UCLA graduate researcher in molecular and medical pharmacology, explained that "The PET scan offers a preview for how the tumor will react to a specific therapy. We believe that the tumor cells that absorb the probe will also take up the drug. If the cells do not absorb the probe, it suggests that the tumor might respond better to another medication."

Researchers say their next step is to expand the scope of their research by trying to determine whether the probe can predict cellular response to several other widely used chemo drugs. They say this could help them better understand whether a diagnostic test of this sort provides clinical value.

 

Feb

09

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Research Suggests Endometrial Cancer Patients Can Keep Ovaries

by: cancercompass

New research suggests that surgeons no longer need to remove ovaries in early-stage endometrial cancer patients, age 45 and younger.

In a press release adapted from The American Society of Clinical Oncology, Jason D. Wright, M.D., assistant professor at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, says that recent university research, "suggests that oncologists may no longer need to remove the ovaries during surgery in younger women with early-stage endometrial cancer, which has been the standard approach for many years. Leaving the ovaries intact appears to be a safe option that offers women a range of important short- and long-term health and quality of life benefits."

Wright and colleagues compared the five-year survival statistics between 402 women age 45 and younger with stage one endometrial cancer with intact ovaries and 3,269 similar women without intact ovaries. All women had a hysterectomy and were diagnosed between 1988 and 2004.

The study concluded that the five-year overall survival rates were similar between the two groups of women.

 

Feb

05

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Researchers Use New Technique to Catch More Cancerous Breast Cancer Cells

by: cancercompass

A new technique may help surgeons determine if they have removed all the cancer during lumpectomies and eliminate further surgeries, according to a press release put out by researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD).

The research team used a technique called automated microscopy and specially designed computer software to identify invasive breast cancers. The procedure could help lead to a better method for surgeons to determine if they have removed all of the cancerous cells during breast conserving surgeries or lumpectomies.  This could potentially also cut down on the need for second surgeries.

Pathologists normally need to analyze the outer tissue after a lumpectomy, which is a process that could take up to a week, according to researchers. Additionally, 20 to 50% of the time, cancerous cells still remain, which means more surgery.

UCSD researchers examined tissue from 10 healthy women and 24 women with cancer and found that automated microscopy, working in conjunction with special computer software, correctly identified 83% of invasive breast cancer tumors, while a normal microscope only identified 65% of the cancer specimens.

Their work and other findings are recorded in the Annals of Surgical Oncology.

 

Feb

05

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Researchers Investigate Thyroid Function's Influence on Cancer Risk

by: cancercompass

Lower levels of a pituitary hormone may increase cancer risk, according to a recent study published online in the journal of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Researchers investigated a hypothesis that thyroid function may influence the risk of cancer by studying 29,691 people without previously known thyroid disease.  Scientists established a baseline reading of thyrotropin (TSH), a hormone produced by the pituitary gland that regulates the thyroid gland.

After following up with the patients over a 9-year period, researchers discovered that TSH levels suggestive of hyperthyroid function are associated with an increased risk of lung and prostate cancer.

The study also found that hypothyroid function doesn't seem to be associated with an increased cancer risk.

 

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