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Home   Membership   Events   Resources   Accreditation Feb. 29, 2012

Cancer cure hopes as hereditary breast disease's genetic code mapped for 1st time
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The genetic code of the most common type of hereditary breast cancer has been mapped for the first time, raising hopes for better diagnosis and treatment for the killer disease, scientists said. Researchers say they have "fully sequenced" the DNA of two breast cancers caused by a faulty BRCA1 gene, which is responsible for aggressive and highly drug-resistant tumors. The team from the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Centre at the Institute of Cancer Research say they hope that their work will lead to more tailored treatment for patients. More

Study on mice shows fasting weakens cancer
Agence France-Presse via Google News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Early research on mice with cancer shows that fasting may weaken tumors and help chemotherapy work better, scientists said. While it remains unknown if the same approach could work in humans, or if it would even be safe, researchers said the findings suggest a promising new route of study for improving response to cancer treatment. In the mice experiments, "the combination of fasting cycles plus chemotherapy was either more or much more effective than chemo alone," said senior author Valter Longo, professor of gerontology and biological sciences at the University of Southern California. More

Major breakthrough in pancreatic cancer: Trial drug shows positive result
International Business Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Researchers at Cancer Research UK's Cambridge Research Institute carried out an experiment on mice, in which a chemotherapy drug called gemcitabine was combined with an experimental drug called MRK003 resulting in a chain of events that ultimately killed the cancer cells. In a press release, Cancer Research UK revealed that testing was currently in progress on humans. More

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Zelboraf may double survival for some melanoma patients
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The newly approved drug Zelboraf appears to nearly double the length of time a person can expect to live with advanced melanoma skin cancer, a new study shows. Melanoma kills about 9,000 Americans each year, and it often progresses quickly. Studies have found that the midpoint in survival time for patients on standard chemotherapy is just six to 10 months for patients with melanoma that has spread to other organs. Last year, the FDA fast-tracked approval for Zelboraf, a pill that targets a specific mutation in the BRAF gene that's present in about half of all melanomas. More

Shipments from abroad to help ease shortage of 2 cancer drugs
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Dire shortages of two critical cancer drugs — shortfalls that have threatened the lives and care of thousands of patients — should be resolved within weeks, federal drug officials said. The two drugs are Doxil and methotrexate, and in both cases supplies in the United States are being bolstered by shipments from abroad. Shortages of scores of other drugs continue. "We're not out of the woods," said Dr. Sandra L. Kweder of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's drug center. "But these two particular shortages have been very, very upsetting to patients and to us." More

Racial, ethnic disparities seen in cancer burden
Internal Medicine News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Among racial and ethnic groups, African-Americans had the highest cancer incidence and death rates during the period 2004-2008, according to a report from the American Cancer Society. Cancer mortality for black men was 33 percent higher than for white men. Black women had a death rate that was 16 percent higher than that of white women, the ACS noted, even though the incidence of cancer for black women was 6 percent lower. More

AstraZeneca sells discounted cancer drug directly to patients
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Drugmakers are getting creative about capturing sales even after their products go off patent. And AstraZeneca is no exception: It's launching a direct-to-patients sales program for its breast cancer drug Arimidex. The company's "Arimidex Direct" plan will offer U.S. patients a month's supply at $40, with the orders fulfilled and shipped by pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts. The cancer treatment went off patent in 2010, and AstraZeneca has seen sales plummet. For all of 2011, Arimidex brought in just $42 million in the U.S., a 91 percent drop from 2010 levels, Reuters reports. More

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Radiologists seek to halt imaging reimbursement cuts
FierceMedicalDevices    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It looks as if budget issues are continuing to curtail the wider use of CT and MRI scans for crucial cancer and other screenings, a cumulative effect of $6 billion in federal reimbursement reductions since 2007. These reductions were an attempt to control spiraling costs and boost efficiency, but as Bloomberg reports, radiologists who conduct these procedures are fighting back. And we can expect that imaging equipment makers are paying close attention. More

Report affirms lifesaving role of colonoscopy
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A new study provides what independent researchers call the best evidence yet that colonoscopy — perhaps the most unloved cancer screening test — prevents deaths. Although many people have assumed that colonoscopy must save lives because it so often is recommended, strong evidence has been lacking until now. In patients tracked for as long as 20 years, the death rate from colorectal cancer was cut by 53 percent in those who had the test and whose doctors removed precancerous growths, known as adenomatous polyps, researchers reported in The New England Journal of Medicine. The test examines the inside of the intestine with a camera-tipped tube. More

Catalyst - Reinforcing the Treatment Chain
Improve patient throughput whilst ensuring patient safety. The Catalyst is an optical scanner which creates a 3D model of the patient surface and projects positional delta directly onto the patient providing continual feedback for the Therapist. Movement during the fraction is detected triggering a visual and audible alarm. more

Breast cancer kills older women more often
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Breast cancer is often considered more deadly among younger women, but a new study shows older women are actually more likely to die of the disease. Researchers found that among women who had been diagnosed with a certain type of breast cancer, those over 75 years old were 63 percent more likely to die of the cancer than women younger than 65. "I suspect it's undertreatment," said Dr. Stephen Jones, one of the authors of the study and the medical director at US Oncology Research in Texas. "We did show the rates of chemotherapy and radiation therapy are less in the older group." More

Cancer therapy more potent when it hits 2 targets
University of California-San Francisco    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Simultaneous targeting of two different molecules in cancer is an effective way to shrink tumors, block invasion, and stop metastasis, scientists at the University of California-San Francisco have found — work that may improve the effectiveness of combination treatments that include drugs like Avastin. The two-target approach, tested in mice with a type of cancer known as neuroendocrine pancreatic tumors, may have broad application for treating a wide variety of cancers, the UCSF team said. The drugs used in the tests belong to classes of pharmaceuticals that are either on the market or under development in clinical trials. More

Endometriosis increases risk of certain ovarian cancers
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Women with a history of endometriosis are at a significantly increased risk of developing several types of ovarian cancers, according to a new study published in the Lancet Oncology. Endometriosis occurs when the cells from the lining of the uterus grow in other areas of the body, according to the National Institutes of Health. About 10 percent of women in their childbearing years experience it. It can cause pain, irregular bleeding and make it difficult to conceive. More

Lumpectomy often not end of story
MedPage Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Almost a quarter of breast cancer lumpectomies are followed by revision surgery, although that rate varies widely across surgeons and centers. Overall, half of these re-excisions were in patients with negative margins, but that rate ranged from 0 to 70 percent in individual surgeons' practice and from 2 to 21 percent across institutions, Dr. Laurence E. McCahill, of Michigan State University in Grand Rapids, and colleagues found. More
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