Showing posts with label cancer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cancer. Show all posts

Friday, 12 May 2017

New Model Could Speed Up Colon Cancer Research

MIT

Colon cancer buster

Gene editing science has been an area of growth for genetic engineers and researchers across the globe. With progressing research studies, newer treatment options are being devised and successfully delivered. One such research conducted by MIT researchers have used new gene-editing systems to generate colon tumors, resembling human tumors. A new approach to a pre-existing method in genetic sciences. This paves the path for further investigation into knowledge about disease progression.

Metastases and detection:

The highest cause of death due to colon cancer is metastases, which is difficult to detect. The disease progression is so high, that fatality is hard to control even after various treatment procedures. A recent study by the director of Koch Institute, Tyler Jacks, uses similar CRISPR- based technology to build mouse models of the disease, revolutionizing research in the field of oncology.

Various approaches have been used for modeling cancer, one of them being the usage of cancer cell lines in lab dishes. This poses a lot of limitations. Another method used is mutations, which is then genetically engineered in the mice.

Recent studies involving CRISPR, which consists of DNA- cutting enzyme Cas9 and short RNA guide strands, which specialize in targeting specific genome sequences. Using the same method scientists can make targeted mutations, by either removing or adding genes. The genes for Cas9 are packaged into lentiviruses, which are then injected into target organs of the mice, transferred by colonoscopy.

What follows?

Gene editing makes this procedure possible. By virtue of which, after establishment of the tumor, mutations can be added or deleted, making the study process more complicated and informative. The information includes the aspects of metastases, initiation and progression of the tumor from liver to various parts of the body. This also helps in studying the pattern of metastases which again is peculiar in human colon.

The MIT team delivered organoids with a mutated form of the APC gene, which when established, were introduced in a mutated form of KRAS, commonly found in colon and many other cancers. These new approaches have cut short research time and has sped up the process of gene editing.

Implications:

Gene editing, this newest form of development in the field of oncology helps in drug testing, making it more successful. This ensures widening of treatment options. Factors such as age, metabolism, sex etc are also taken into consideration while conducting the study. This helps scientists choose best options for individual patients.

The mice are studied over a period of time to gain results, even though the study is supposed to be prolonged, various new discoveries and science have made it easier and faster. This helps in minimizing of side-effects post treatment and other health implications by three folds.

Genetic research shows a progressive growth over the years, showing immense scope and employment options. Diseases are getting detected sooner and treatment delivered on time. This in turn saves a lot of time, cost, manpower and patient care excels automatically.

Friday, 9 December 2016

Teenage Cancer First to be cryogenically Frozen

cryogenically_Frozen_Girl's_letter

Cancer Teenager to be Cryogenically Frozen


The father of a British cancer teenager to be cryogenically frozen is apprehensive that she would be woken in `200 years’ all by herself in America without any memory or a family. The unnamed teenager who had died last month is presently in a `cryostat’ tank at about -196C in the Michigan based Cryonics Institute.

She had been in the midst of a fierce legal battle between her parents who had been divorced wherein her mother had agreed to her wish of being frozen while her estranged father; battling cancer had refused due to its cost of £37,000 together with the brutal process of preserving her.

He had informed the High Court that even if the treatment would be successful and she could be brought back to life in around 200 years, she would not find any of her relatives and would fail to remember things.

He further added that she may be left in a desperate situation considering that she is still only 14 years old and would be in the United States of America. Zoe Fleetwood, the girl’s solicitor had informed that the teenager had described Mr Justice Jackson as her hero before her death after he had approved to her dying wish that one day she would be cured and woken up.

Body Chilled to Two/Three Weeks in Liquid Nitrogen


Ms Fleetwood had also informed BBC Radio 4 Today programme: By October 6, the girl knew that her wishes would be followed and that had given her comfort. Sadly she had died on October 17 knowing those last few days that her wish would be granted.

She had further added that it was a great privilege to represent her and that she had extraordinary determination. Her body had been flown to America and had been chilled over two to three weeks in Liquid Nitrogen and stored with around 150 other bodies.

It was also disclosed by the judge that her father was persuaded eventually and said that he respects the decisions she had made and that this is the last and only thing she had asked from him. She had written an extraordinary letter to a judge during the landmark case while she had been on her death bed mentioning that she was only 14 years old and did not want to die though she knew that she was going to die.

Being Cryo-preserved - Opportunity to Be Cured


She had informed that she wanted to live longer and was of the opinion that in the future, they would find a cure for cancer and wake her up. It was this chance she wished to have. She further added that being cryo-preserved had given her an opportunity to be cured and woken up, even in hundreds of years’ time and that she did not want to be buried underground.

She had requested the High Court to rule that her mother would be the only one permitted to make decision regarding the disposal of her body. Mr Justice Jackson, the High Court judge, after agreeing had visited her before her death on October 17 informed that the terminally ill had died peacefully with the knowledge that her remains would be frozen. The judge also mentioned that he had been moved by the courageous way she had faced her dilemma.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Brain Radiotherapy 'No Benefit' for Lung Cancer Spread

Brain Radiotherapy
Science Photo Library

Whole Brain Radiotherapy – Not Beneficial to Lung Cancer Spread to Brain


Research in the Lancet has stated that whole brain radiotherapy- WBRT seems to be of no benefit to individuals having lung cancer that has spread to the brain. The authors state that though whole brain radiotherapy could be beneficial in patients who tend to be younger than 60 years old, it would not be considered as a standard treatment for the majority of patients having non-small cell lung cancer – NSCLC which has spread to the brain.

The results is said to be presented at the European Respiratory Society meeting in London on September 5th. A sample of over 500 patients showed that it did not prolong or improve their quality of life any more than the other types of treatment.

Every year over 45,000 people have been diagnosed with lung cancer in the UK and in a third of cases, the cancer tends to spread to the brain. Secondary brain tumours tend to be usually treated with whole brain radiotherapy together with steroids as well as other treatments to ease the side-effects of the therapies for cancer. However, there can be serious side effect like nausea and extreme tiredness and could cause damage to the nervous system.

Radiosurgery – Precise Type of Radiotherapy


The research, comprising of doctors, researchers and patients from hospitals from across the UK, have discovered that there seems to be no improvement in the quality of life of those patients after a week of whole brain radiotherapy.

These patients seem to already have a poor forecast. The consultant clinical oncologist with Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Dr Paula Mulvenna, has informed that the whole brain radiotherapy had been utilised since it was believed to control tumours. However, in the lung cancer clinics, the expected improvements were not found in the patients.

Survival times seem to be poor which has hardly changed since the 1980s. Moreover, the toxicity of technique could be extensive and could damage reasoning function. As per Prof Ruth Langley, from the Medical Research Council clinical trials unit at University College London, states that radiosurgery is a very precise type of radiotherapy and is preferred as analternate technique that tends to have the least side effects. Nonetheless, some of the scientists state that there could still be a place for whole brain radiotherapy.

Result/Classical Prognostics Factor/Molecular status


Dr Cecile le Pechoux from Gustave Roussy Cancer Campus in France, while writing in a linked comment in the Lancet,had mentioned that they believe that optimised whole brain radiotherapy given at the appropriate time to the right patients could lead to more personalised strategies.

 They have stated that all treatments need to be discussed with the patients considering the result of the trial, classical prognostics factors as well as the molecular status. Whole brain radiotherapy had been adopted in clinical practices built on the assumption that it tends to improve tumour control in the patients suffering from brain metastases.

However in the lung cancer clinics, no improvement was seen in the patients with the survival times being poor.In spite of its extensive use, till now there does not seem to be any strong evidence in defining whether whole brain radiotherapy that tends to have considerable side effect is better than the best reassuring care with regards to prolonging life or improving the quality of life of a patient.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

No. 1 killer-Cancer is catching up to heart disease

killer

Cancer Considered as No 1 Killer


Though several Americans tend to die from heart disease, cancer has been considered as the No.1 killer. More people have died from cancer in 22 states during 2014 when compared to heart disease according to the new data from the National Vital Statistics System.

 This seems to be a considerable rise from 2002, when two states only – Alaska and Minnesota had recorded more cancer deaths than heart disease deaths.

This is be the cause of obesity that is said to be risk factor for heart disease as well as cancer according to Dr Paolo Boffetta, professor of environmental medicine and public health at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, who does not seem to be involved in the research.

Obesity is said to be more likely to cause heart deaths than deaths caused by cancer. Dr Boffetta had informed that cancer deaths gaining on deaths related to heart disease could be explained by the fact that `treatment for cancer tends to be more complex and they are unable to treat cancer as effectively as cardiovascular disease.

Boffetta further added that it is like two trucks travelling down the street where one tend to run slightly faster than the other. Similar trends seem to take place in Northern Europe, where cardiovascular disease deaths have gone down and cancer deaths have also declined though much slower’.

Asian-Americans & Hispanics Have Lower Cardiovascular Mortality


From the two groups of Americans, cancer tends to lead to more death than the heart disease. In Asians or Pacific Islanders, the leading cause of death in 2000 was cancer and within this population cancer deaths had increased by 79.6% between 2000 and 2014 and heart disease deaths had increased by 45.5%.

 Cancer had replaced heart disease in 2009 as the leading cause of death for Hispanics. The number of cancer deaths had increased by 72.2% within this group, from 2000 to 2014 in comparison to 31.8% increase in the number of heart disease deaths.

Boffetta mentioned that `Asian-Americans and Hispanics traditionally tend to have lower cardiovascular mortality. Bob Anderson, co-author of the study from the Mortality Statistic Branch Division of Vital Statistics at the National Centre for Health Statistics had stated that `heart disease has been the leading cause of death since 1910 except for one year, 1918’. Spanish flu had taken the nation and the world by storm in 1918.

Death Certificates Written Before Autopsy


Infectious diseases inclusive of flu had been the probable major cause of death before 1910 when `epidemiological transition had taken place, moving away from infectious diseases and towards chronic diseases. Anderson clarifies that it picked up in 1959 when there was widespread access to antibiotics.

The research of the leading causes of death has been gathered each year since 1900. The researchers had scrutinized death by state recording data on the race. ethnicity as well as the cause of the death. In order to create the present report, Anderson together with his co-author had accumulated data from death certificates.

As per Halaharvi, this is said to be a limitation of the research – death certificates are written before an autopsy, when the most accurate information is collected. She adds that `you are writing a death certificate before all the information is out and that an autopsy is not requested for everyone.

Someone with cancer could suffer from other medical issue including heart disease and could have died from one or another, though it is difficult to make the distinction without an autopsy or further tests. She further adds that it is difficult to know and so the death certificate is `more or less a guess’.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Head and Neck Cancer Drug 'Game Changer

neck

New Cancer Drug – A Game Changer for Head/Neck Cancer


According to experts, a new kind of cancer drug which arouses the immune system of a patient to fight the tumours could be a game change for dealing with aggressive head and neck cancers. Trials results from a US cancer conference recommend that the treatment seems to work better than the standard chemotherapy. Nivolumab tends to improve the survival chances of patients considerably with these hard-to-treat tumours. The same is already available on the NHS for those with advanced skin cancer.

However, experts are of the opinion that more research needs to be done before offering it regularly to patients with other cancers. One of the most exciting developments in the treatment of cancer for years is immunotherapy. Though it does not cure every cancer, rising evidence proposes that it can buy some very ill patients with some valuable time.

Presented at the American Association Centre Research, the phase-three trial of nivolumab recommends that the drug tends to extend the survival time by months even though the cancer seems to be aggressive and in the advanced stage. In the test, 240 patients suffering from head and neck cancer had been given nivolumab while another 121 were given standard chemotherapy.

Nivolumab – New Wave of Immunotherapies


After a period of one year, 36% of the patients treated with novolumab injections seemed to be still alive when compared with the 17% of those with chemotherapy. Prof Kevin Harrington, UK trial leader, from the Institute of Cancer Research and the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust mentioned the results were a `potential game changer’ for head and neck cancer, and introduced a new drug treatment in our armoury which at last is better than the standard chemotherapy.

Nivolumab is one of a new wave of immunotherapies which are beginning to have an impact across cancer treatment and which will provide greater promise in the future as we tend to understand how best to use them. He further adds that once it has relapsed or spread, head and neck cancer tends to be very difficult to treat with surgery and radiotherapy, often being impossible. So it is good news for patients that these interim results show that we now have a new treatment which works and can significantly extend life.

Needs Approval of NICE


Dr Emma King of Cancer Research UK has stated that `these results could have a significant impact for head and neck cancer patients who no longer respond to treatment. They also reinforce the important shift which is seen towards using immunotherapies for cancer treatment. However, the new trial is the first time it has revealed to work in head and neck cancer.

Before Nivolumab can be utilised regularly in treating head and neck cancer in the UK, it will need the approval by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence –NICE.Its manufacturer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, now intends to submit a licensing application to the European Medicines Agency for use for this cancer type. If approved, UK drugs rationing watchdog NICE would be making a decision whether to fund the £68,000 a year drug for the patients of NHS.

Friday, 1 April 2016

Cancer Scans 'Reduce Risky Operations

scan

Cancer Scans Can Reduce Surgery


Researchers from the University of Birmingham and the University of Warwick had discovered that cancer scanners could reduce the need of a surgery for checking if cancer treatment is successful. A study suggests that utilising a scanner instead of a scalpel could save hundreds of thousands of cancer patients from risky operation.The study had been published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The positron emission tomography-computed tomography or PET-CT. according to the study tends to pick up cancer cells to find out if the treatment is effective. Prof Hisham Mehanna from the Institute of Head and Neck Studies and Education, or InHANSE at the University of Birmingham informed BBC News website that `cancerous cells tend to hid among the dead cells, with PET-CT one can call them out and find out if they are alive or not.

He further added that using this new technology could save patients having a overwhelming operation and identifies those that need the operation instead of giving it to everyone.Dr Mehanna also mentioned that after treatment, the remaining cancer cell tend to play something similar to `hide and seek’. He added that `the main focus of this study was patient outcomes and avoiding unnecessary surgerythough there is a cost saving to be made also’.

An Improved Option


Scanning would reduce the chances of surgery to determinate visually if the growth has disappeared. The study was conducted on 564 patients and showed that 80% of them could avoid surgery by scanning and only around one in five of the patients needed the procedure. Doctors generally tend to check the head and neck tumour growth after chemotherapy and radiotherapy by a three hour operation.

However, the research team discovered that the scanning and surgery technique’s survival rates essentially remained the same. These rates are due to the positron emission tomography computed tomography that utilises a radioactive dye which is picked up by quickly dividing cancer cells. This enables the doctor to see if any of the head or neck cancer seems to be active without surgery. However not having to go through risky operation is not the only benefit PET-CT tends to offer. It also seems to be an improved option since it can save recovery time, money as well as prevents disfigurement owing to nerve damage which the operation could cause.

Kinder Treatment for Head & Neck Cancer


UK’s researcher, Arnie Purushotham stated that this was an important study and if long term follow-up confirms these results, this imaging procedure would result in kinder treatments for patients with head and neck cancer. She also informed that there can also be occasions to expand this kind of approach to the other types of cancer as well as probably save money for the NHS.

George Freeman, Life Science Minister had commented that `this exciting trail has the capabilities of making a difference to the lives of people with head and neck cancer, which means that they may not have to go through an extremely stressful medical procedure’. The team are of the belief that this system can help people all across the world, particularly those who may not be in a position to pay the present approach that tends to cost around £1,492 or AU$2,799 for each patient.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Mysterious Cancers of 'Unknown' Origin in Men Traced Back to HPV

cancer

Cancer Ailments Mysterious – Difficult to Define


Some of the cancer ailments seem mysterious and doctors find it difficult in defining where they may originate and how they tend to spread. These types of cancers are given the name of `unknown primary squamous cell carcinoma – UPSCC and around 4% of head and neck cancers belong to the UPSCC variety. They tend to appear in this section of the body after being metastasized or spread from somewhere though the exact origin of the cancer cell is not known.

It is this lack of information of cancer type which seems to make the treatment of cancer a bit difficult. Researchers at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore have now found that the human papillomavirus – HPV has been strongly linked with UPSCC in the head and the neck part and more precisely, cancer of the oropharynx, in the middle area of the throat which comprises of tonsils and the base of the tongue.

 According to the researchers, this discovery could be helpful in turning the `unknown’ in UPSCC into a `known’, helping the doctors on a treatment option and target therapy for the victim.

HPV Infection on the Rise


Besides this, the discovery also strengthens the theory that the rising rates of HPV infection are on the rise of not only oropharynx or throat cancers but also UPSCCs, thereby further emphasizing the significance of vaccinating against HPV infection. The study appears in the journal JAMA Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery dated January 14.

HPV is mainly a sexually transmitted virus where most of the infection does not seem to cause any harm. But it could be the main cause of cervical cancer and is the cause of almost 300,000 deaths annually all over the world, as per World Health Organization. HPV too, together with substantial tobacco and with the use of alcohol is a major cause of throat cancer, especially in men. Around 75% of the assessed 12,500 annual cases of throat cancer in the United States are the cause of HPC as per the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

An associate professor of otolaryngology, head and neck surgery at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Dr Carole Fakhry, in a new study had led a research team that examined 84 male patients with UPSCC over a period of 9.5 years, which was the largest study of its kind at a single hospital.

HPV – Probable Cause for Cancer


It was observed that over 90% of the patients were HPV positive portraying that HPV seems to be a probable cause for cancer. Fakhry’s team found that, for the almost 60% of the patients with these `unknown’ cancers, they could ultimate detect the tumour’s main source.

All of these cancers had been in the oropharynx in the base of the tongue or in the tonsils thereby changing the dim UPSCC diagnosis to orophryngeal cancer with better prediction. Researchers also documented an increase in the number of UPSCC cases at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and in the first four years of the study, there were around 14 cases of UPSCC.

In the following three years, there were 30 cases and over the next 2.5 years, 37 cases. This rise indicated the national trend of increased HPV infection rate in young people. Fakhry who had emphasized on the importance of HPV vaccine for teenagers, states that the study, `gives a glimpse of what is happening at other hospitals ‘.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Bacon Gives You Cancer: Global Health Study Condemns Processed Meat

meat

Processed Meat – Officially Carcinogenic By WHO


Processed meat has been classified as officially carcinogenic by The World Health Organisation after an evaluation of evidence that it could lead to certain kind of cancer. As per the available evidence, WHO had stated that about 50g of processed meat per day, 2 slices of bacon or two small sausages would be adequate to increase the risk of developing colorectal cancer by 18%.

WHO also mentioned that red meat was probably carcinogenic but stated that the evidence was not yet definite. The declarations seems to be among the strongest ever reached by main health body going well beyond recognizing links between meat and cancer as utmost individual research studies are capable of doing.

Dr Kurt Straif, who had joined in the report, had commented that for individual, the risk of developing colorectal/bowel cancer due to their consumption of processed meat tends to be small. However this risk could increase with the amount of meat consumed. A 22-member panel had produced the report who had reviewed the huge research that had already been completed on the link between meat, especially processed and red meats and cancer.

Conclusions Facing Disapproval


The panel had viewed the studies on human diet, together with animal experiments and cell-based studies with a conclusion that there seems to be a link that was important enough to change its authorized guidelines. The conclusions would be facing disapproval with the US beef industry with those said to have prepared a huge lobbying as well as publicity campaign to attack WHOs’ assumption.

The result would be unlikely to end the argument on the safety of consuming processed and red meat. Dr Carrie Ruxton, of the industry funded Meat Advisory Panel had stated that the publication seems to be nothing new and that meat consumption had fallen on an average in the UK.

She commented that WHO had said in their report that they were looking at increased risk – for people consuming 50g and in UK it was only eating 17 when compared with the other European countries which was 24g to 25g each day.She further added that media need to be cautious while reporting bacon and sausages as processed.

Greatest Risk to Health - Smoking


When in UK, curing substances to the sausages is not added and British banger is actually fresh meat and not processed meat.Cancer Research UK stated that it support the decision, however Professor Tim Key, epidemiologist of Cancer Research UK, University of Oxford commented that this decision does not mean one need to stop eating any red and processed meat.

Consuming a bacon roll once in a way would not do much harm and having a healthy diet is all about moderation. Red and processed meat tend to cause less cases of cancer in the UK than the other lifestyles issues The greatest risk to health is smoking which causes over a quarter of cancer death in the UK and around one in five cancer cases.

A list of compounds or activities have been maintained by the International Agency for Research on Cancer with suspected, likely and ultimate links to cancer with the possibility of each item falling in a selected group based on whether it causes cancer or not.

 Processed meat tends to now fall in `group 1 which ranks it as high as tobacco smoking, which is the most dangerous variants of human papillomavirus – HPV and asbestos exposure with regards to causes of cancer. Red meat falls in `group 2A’ with inorganic lead

Monday, 28 September 2015

Healthier Lifestyles could Cut Cancer Cases by One Third

Health

Cancer Prevented – Adopting Changes in Lifestyle


One third of cancer cases in the UK can be prevented if people tend to have healthy intake, exercise regularly and reduce on alcohol. Data from the World Cancer Research fund indicate that 20,000 cases of breast cancers and around 19,000 cases of bowel cancer could be prevented annually with few changes in the overall lifestyle.

More than 351,000 new cases of cancer have been reported in the UK in 2013 and WCRF had mentioned that 84,000 could have been prevented from these diseases. Dr Rachel Thompson, head of the research had stated that simple changes in diet and the lifestyle could make tremendous difference could combat against this dreaded disease.

She added that even minor adjustments like 10 to 15 minutes of physical activity every day, reducing the intake of alcohol or restricting the consumption of high calorie foods as well as sugary drinks could be beneficial in reducing the risk of cancer.

She also mentioned that on cutting out smoking, having a healthy body weight seemed to be the most important factor which a person could do to prevent the risk of cancer. There seems to be strong evidence that being overweight or obese could increase the risk of 10 cancers.

Connection between Healthy Lifestyle/Risk of Developing Cancer


The connection between a healthy lifestyle and the risk of developing cancer is a known fact and the new data seeks in preventing cases in 13 of the UK’s common cancer cases.For instance in the case of men, around 9% of them suffer from advanced prostate cancer which could be prevented every year if men were not overweight or obese.

Cases of lung cancer could be reduced by 15,000 by accomplishing people to quit smoking and around 38% cases of breast cancer could have been stopped especially in postmenopausal women by way of increasing physical exercises as well as by reducing body fat.

According to WCRF, 2,200 cases of kidney cancer and 1,400 cases of pancreatic cancer could have been prevented if the people had implemented a healthier lifestyle. The director of health and well-being at Public Health England, Prof Kevin Fenton had said that the UK was presently behind cancer survival rates when compared with the other European countries.

Cancer is thought as Lottery


He further added that the connection between tobacco and cancer is generally known and accepted willingly by the public though several are not completely convinced that on eating healthy food, exercising regularly and avoiding the consumption of alcohol could lower the risk of cancer.

 He stated on major factor was that cancer prevention was not in the public consciousness. Amanda McLean, Fund director adds his comments that `prevention should be part of the solution to the epidemic and we are fooling ourselves if we tend to think that we can treat our way out of the problem. Professor Kevin Fenton of Public Health England has recently informed, `the harsh reality is thatwe are behind on survival rates when compared to their European counterparts’.

According to Richard Roope, of Royal College of GPs added that `GPs do not want to be killjoys though we need to work together to support patients over lifestyle choices. Cancer is thought as being a lottery but we have more control over our health than we think.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

3D Cancer Model Shows How Tumours Mutate

Cancer

3D Exhibiting Technique – Cancerous Tumours


Cancer is considered as a terrible disease and is often looked as a dreaded disease with less chances of being free of this disease. However a good representation of it could help the health care experts to deal with the disease more effectively.

An international group of researchers have developed tumour stimulation, an updated 3D exhibiting technique showing how cancerous cells tend to grow and change over a period of time. Each colour seen in a given model represents a different mutation and the more successful one of these deviations is at migrating and reproducing, the more its colour dominates the tumour.

The stimulation is also an improvement than the previous models in representing the overall shapes of tumours showing the bulges which come as cancer speedily outgrow any healthy cells nearby. But this is not the perfect imitation of a tumour and tends to ignore or streamline some factors so that one does not utilise the code in predicting how the illness tends to develop in the body.

However a leap in accuracy could be helpful. Scientists could measure the effectiveness of the treatment prior to going ahead with the clinical trials or studying the resistance which could lead to a tumour coming back after a remission.

High Resolution Stimulation


The medical world need to spend more time in refining cancer-fighting procedures and reduce the time by checking the efficiency of these techniques.

Tumours are particularly not easy to control and spreads randomly in the most unexpected manner. Unlike the healthy cells, which change fairly regularly with each division, the tumour cells could be nearly the same within large tumours and change only on certain rare instances.

A team of researchers from University of Edinburgh, Harvard University and John Hopkins University created a high resolution simulation on how a tumour grows from a single cell into a complicated mass of variously changed groups of cells.

 They discovered that an individual cell which mutates from the rest of the tumour tends to quickly take over as the main tumour cell type and this mechanism makes the tumours resistant to chemotherapy.

These results could support the researchers in focusing their attention on those cell which tend to change and take over, by eliminating them at their initial stage and preventing from further diversity of the tumour

Comprehend Complex Progress of Disease


It is expected that the new insight would be helpful to researchers in understanding better on how the diseases tends to evolve. The research supporting the imitation, had been published in `Nature’ and carried out by a team of researchers from the University of Edinburgh, Harvard University and John Hopkins University.

 With the use of mathematical algorithms, the research investigated how the tumours grew over space and time. Though the 3D mapping does not seem to be flawless visualisation of a tumour, it provided headway in allowing experts to chart and comprehend the complex progress of the disease.

 It is expected that the technique would allow scientists in studying the effectiveness of new drugs or analyse how some of the tumours return even after treatment.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Nanotube-Packed Pills Could Target Cancer Directly

Nanotube

Nanotechnology – Targeting Cancerous Cells


New studies into nanotechnology is being explored to find ways in tackling problems of targeting cancerous cells and chemotherapy could one day be replaced by high tech pills to treat cancer. Nanotechnologies could be defined as the characterisation, design, production as well as application of structures, systems and devices in controlling the shape and size at a nanometre scale wherein the benefits of nanomaterial are recognized in literature.

Some commentators are of the opinion that nanotechnology tends to exceed the impact of the Industrial Revolution heading towards a $1 trillion market in 2015. In medicine, the interest lies in the use of nanoparticles to improve drug delivery with interest too in, `in vitro diagnostics, novel biomaterial design, bio-imaging, therapies as well as active implants.

According to American society for Testing and Materials – ASTM, the standard definition of nanoparticles are particles with length which may range from 1 to 100 nm in 2 or 3 dimensions. Nanoparticle which is studied the most is carbon nanotubes, gold nanoparticles – GNPs and cadmium selenide quantum dots.

Co-Director of the Oxford Martin Programme on Nanotechnology at Oxford University, Dr Sonia Trigueros states that `Nanotechnology is a new exciting field which has the potential to transform the way that medical and healthcare solutions are being developed’.

Target of Medicine At Nano Level


Trigueros has been working with her colleagues of chemist, physicist as well as engineers in coating nanotubes in drugs, wrap them in protective DNA and utilise them to eliminate cancer. Her work has been motivated by taking on cancer at its own nano scale wherein she explains that `all of the targets for the medicine are at the nano level’.

She further informed the audience at WIRED Health 2015, that the purpose of the project which may happen in 20 years is to take a pill made of these carbon nanotubes every year and as soon as one has one or two cancer cells, these nanotubes tend to target them and kills the cancer before it gets to the tumour level’.

 A lot of work needs to be done initially and one of the biggest is the funds. Trigueros has presently spent 80% of her time attempting to collect funds in continuing with the research and working at such small scale could be faced with great problems. She explains that the nano structures tend to be very unstable and break down after a few days.

Accurately Targeted Drug Delivery


However, on working with the structure of DNA for 20 years, Trigueros has turned out to be quite good at playing around with it and can now handle to wrap carbon nanotubes in DNA, keeping them stable for over two years at temperature up to 42C.

Besides keeping the drug delivering carbon nanotube stable, it also tends to enable them to target specific cells. Since cancer cells are more permeable than the normal cells, Trigueros explains that, this permits the nanotubesto enter the cells, unpack the DNA and then release the cancer-killing drug which is an accurately targeted drug delivery.

 The research could ultimately take the form of a new pill made of these nanotubes. Trigueros has plans for another generation of drug delivery, expecting greater understanding of interdisciplinary studies with the combination of physics, biology and chemistry which can make it happen.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Neuroblastoma


Neuroblastoma
Neuroblastoma – Rare Cancer Affecting Young Children 

Neuroblastoma is a type of rare cancer which affects mostly young children and develops from nerve cells known as neuroblasts. The term neuro refers to nerves and blastoma refers to cancer which affects immature or developing cells. These cells are found in a chain the run down the back of the chest and stomach and in several cases; it tends to develop in the adrenal glands, the two small glands above the kidneys and could spread to various other areas like the bones, skin and liver. .

This kind of cancers occurs often in infants and young children and is rarely found in children older than ten years. The cause of this condition is unknown and there are some rare cases where the children in the same family tend to get affected though it does not run in families. Symptoms would depend on where the cancer is located and whether it has spread to other areas in the body. It is often difficult to diagnose neuroblastoma in its initial stage as the symptoms are common like aches and pain with loss of energy and appetite. A late sign is a lump or swelling in the abdomen since this is where the cancer usually begins and could be missed out in a young child. The lump could cause constipation as well as difficulty in passing urine and is accompanied with pain and discomfort.

Symptoms and Signs 

Besides this, other symptoms could include lump in the neck, pale skin, bruising, bleeding with frequent infection, if the cancer has reached the bone marrow, bone pain with difficulty in walking if the bones are affected, numbness, weakness or loss of movement in the lower region of the body if the cancer has affected the spinal cord and bluish lumps on the skin and appearance of black eyes.

Test may include urine analysis test for certain chemicals found in the urine which could produce neuroblastoma cells, scans of various areas to look for affected parts of cancer like ultrasound scans, computerised tomography scans and magnetic resonance imaging scans. A special kind of scan which involves an injection of a substance is taken up by neuroblastoma cells in any area of the body known as mIBG scan. A biopsy also enables the cancer to be identified wherein the sample is removed under general anaesthesia, using a special needle.

Different Stages of Neuroblastoma 

Neuroblastoma is defined by stages as with most cancer cases which reflect the spread of the condition and in stages 1 and 2- L1, the cancer is in one site and has not spread. Stage 3 - L2, the cancer has reached local structures though not to the distant parts of the body, while stage 4 – M, the cancer has spread to distant parts of the body.

Stage 4s – Ms, is a special stage for tumours diagnosed in babies under the age of twelve months though it could spread to other areas of the body and the outlook is good since it can get better on its own.Based on the stage of infection, chemotherapy is given in order to shrink the tumour before it can surgically be removed and in some cases followed by radiotherapy to kill any remaining cancer cells.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Lymphoma



Lymphoma
Lymphoma – Type of Cancer Affecting the Immune System

Lymphoma is a type of cancer which affects the immune system and it is cancer of immune cells known as lymphocytes, a kind of white blood cell. Lymphoma is a group of blood cell tumours which develop from lymphocytes and is sometimes referred to cancerous ones rather than tumours.

The symptoms include enlarged lymph nodes which do not seem to be painful, fever, itchiness,weight loss, a feeling of tiredness and sweats which are very common at night. There are two main types of lymphoma namely Hodgkin Lymphoma – HL and non-Hodgkin Lymphoma –NHL along with two others, multiple myeloma and immunoproliferative diseases which have been included by the World Health Organization in its category.

While Non Hodgkin lymphoma is around 90% of cases which includes a large number of sub-types, lymphomas belong to a wider group of neoplasm known as tumours of the hematopoietic and lymphoid tissues. Lymphoma just like cancer represents various diseases, have different cancers of lymphocytes which are around of thirty five different subtypes. It is a kind of cancerous group which affects the cell that play an important role in the immune system especially representing cells which involve in the lymphatic system of our body.

The Lymphatic System

The lymphatic system is a part of the immune system which comprises of a network of vessels carrying fluid known as lymph like the way that network of blood vessel supply blood throughout the body. Lymph also contains white blood cells known as lymphocytes which attack a variety of infectious properties together with other cells in the precancerous stage of development.

The lymph nodes are a collection of small lymph tissue which appears in the body and the lymphatic system functions through the lymphatic channels which connect thousands of lymph nodes that may be present in the body.

The lymph flows through the lymph nodes together with other lymphatic tissues which include the tonsils, spleen, the bone marrow and the thymus glands wherein these lymph nodes filter the lymph that carry bacteria, viruses or any other microbes. Huge numbers of microbial organisms tend to collect in the regional lymph nodes at the affected areas causing swelling and tenderness, typical of a localized infection.

These may also get enlarged and at times confluent collection of lymph nodes also called lymphadenopathy which is often referred to swollen glands. In certain areas of the body like the anterior part of the neck they tend to be visible when they are swollen.

Lymphocytes Identifies Infectious Organism/Abnormal Cells

The lymphocytes identify the infectious organism and abnormal cells and eliminate them. Cancer occurs when normal cellsgo through a transformation when they tend to grow and increase uncontrollably andlymphoma is a malignant transformation of cells.

As the abnormal cells tend to multiply, they get collected in one or more lymph nodes in other lymph tissues like the spleen. The cells continue to increase forminga mass which is often referred to a tumour. These tumours affect the surrounding tissues by invading their space resulting in depriving them of the necessary nutrients and oxygen that is needed for the function and survival of the body.

Lymphomas that are formed outside the lymphatic tissue are called extra nodal disease. The treatment for lymphoma depends on the kind and stage of the condition. Certain factors like the age, overall health of the individual and if the person has already been treated for lymphoma earlier are taken in consideration at the onset of the treatment process.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Hodgkin Lymphoma – Uncommon Cancer

Hodgkin Lymphoma
Hodgkin lymphoma also known as Hodgkin’s disease is an uncommon cancer which develops in the lymphatic system and is a network of vessels and glands spread in the body which acts as an immune system in our body. The clear fluid known as lymph flows in the lymphatic vessels containing infection fighting white blood cells, known as lymphocytes. In this ailment, B-lymphocytes which is a particular type of lymphocyte, tends to increase in an abnormal way and gets collected in certain parts of the lymphatic system like the lymph nodes or glands and the affected lymphocytes thereby lose their properties of infection fighting and the person can be a victim of Hodgkin lymphoma. The common symptoms of this ailment are a painless swelling in a lymph node, mainly in the armpit, neck or groin area. It is characterized by the spread of disease from one lymph node group to another as well as by the development of systemic symptoms in advanced disease. When the cells are examined microscopically, multinucleated RS cells – Reed Sternberg cells, are the histopathologic characteristic found.

The victim with this ailment may be treated with radiation therapy, chemotherapy or hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. The choice of the treatment also depends on the age and gender of the patient along with the stage, bulk and histological condition of the disease. Hodgkin lymphoma can affect persons of any age and it generally affects young adults in their twenties and older adults above the age of seventy, affecting men more than women and the exact cause of this ailment is not known. However, if a person having a medical condition wherein the immune system tends to get weakened, immune suppressant medication could be taken to strengthen the immune system. Diagnosis of the ailment is done by carrying out a biopsy which is a minor surgical procedure where the sample of the affected lymph node tissue is removed and tested in the laboratory.

After the ailment is diagnosed, the patient is then staged by undergoing a series of test and procedures that can determine which areas of the body has been affected and these procedures may include a physical examination, blood test, chest X ray radiographs, documentation of their histology, computed tomography – CT or Positron emission tomography – PET, MRI – magnetic resonance imaging, scans of the chest, abdomen and pelvis and a bone marrow biopsy. The PET scan is used instead of the gallium scan for staging where, in the PET scan, sites with lymphoma light up brightly providing accurate as well as reproducible imaging. Earlier lymph angiograms or surgical laparotomy involving opening of the abdominal cavity and inspection of tumors were done but not anymore, which is now improved in imaging with the CT and PET scan.

Hodgkin lymphoma is an aggressive cancer which can quickly spread in the body but it is also one of the most easily treated types of cancer. More than eighty percent of the people with Hodgkin lymphoma live at least five years with most of them cured of this disease though there may be long term problems after treatment like infertility or the risk of developing another type of cancer later on. Check up for information at Dream Health for more updates on health issues.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Symptoms of colorectal cancer


Symptoms of colorectal cancer may include:
  •     stool changes
  •     diarrhea alternating with constipation
  •     blood in stool
  •     stools that are narrower than normal stools
  •     printing of incomplete evacuation of the intestine
  •     rectal bleeding
  •     bloating of the abdomen persisting, a feeling of fullness and cramping
  •     an unexplained weight loss
  •     constant fatigue and unexplained anemia
If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Advocacy and awareness for colorectal cancer


The Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada is the largest nonprofit organization of its kind in Canada, and aims to change the lives of people with colorectal cancer and even of the population across the country. The mission of CCA is to raise awareness about colorectal cancer and provide information about the disease, support those who have it and plea for a screening policy and access to treatment Canada.

Every year, throughout the month of March, many people are joining forces with the Canadian Association of colorectal cancer  to promote awareness program for colorectal cancer.

Throughout the year, the
Canadian Association of colorectal cancer conducts outreach and education to help people identify the warning signs and risk factors associated with this devastating condition in order to detect it before it is too late. In addition, the Association provides to people already suffering, information on existing and treatments available shortly and it thus provides every opportunity to defeat this disease.

The
Canadian Association of colorectal cancer offers free information packages for patients as well as online information and support through its toll-free 1-877-50COLON. The Canadian Association of colorectal cancer has established support groups and a support network for patients and their families to meet their emotional and informational.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

The evolutionary stages and Management of colorectal cancer (staging)



The management of colorectal cancer depends on the stage of the disease. A tumor is classified in a different stage of development according to its size and its spread:
  •      When the tumor is still small and it did not penetrate the mucous membrane, it is a cancer stage I.
  •      Stage II tumors invade the muscle wall.
  •      In stage III, they reach the lymph nodes.
  •      Very rare, cancer stage IV, has spread to distant organs (it has metastasized).
Treatment options against colorectal cancer include:
  •      surgery: eliminating parts of the colon cancer patients (and perhaps even the surrounding tissue);
  •      irradiation: exposing the body to radiation to kill cancer cells;
  •      drugs: that destroy cancer cells or induce the immune system to attack cancer cells.
In many cases, surgery is the main treatment in the management of colorectal cancer. It may be the sole treatment or be used in combination with radiation or drugs, depending on the stage of the disease.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Screening and prevention of colorectal cancer


Colorectal cancer is preventable in 90% of cases through screening, a healthy diet and physical activity.

Because most colorectal cancer cases result from the evolution of benign polyps in cancerous polyps, regular screening is proving critical to early diagnosis and removal of polyps in the initial stages.

The Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada (ACCC) recommends a screening for people aged 50 and those who have not yet reached that age, but who have a family history of colorectal cancer.

Screening tests for colorectal cancer include:

  • Looking for occult blood test (FOBT), it determines the presence of blood in the stool - index of potential precancerous polyps;
  • Barium enema, it involves the injection into the colon of a liquid containing barium, then x-rays to locate polyps or tumors;
  •  The flexible sigmoidoscopy, it examines the rectum and lower colon through a flexible tube, flexible, with a light to detect or rule out polyps or tumors;
  • Colonoscopy, it uses a thin flexible tube, equipped with fiber optic light some lead and others return an image, this tube is as flexible as the sigmoidoscope but longer. Colonoscopy is the screening method of choice that allows a doctor to examine the entire colon - and ablate polyps found there, thus avoiding the occurrence of colorectal cancer.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

What is colorectal cancer?



The colon denotes commonly the last 6 feet (1.80 meters) of the intestines leading to the small intestine to the rectum. The colon is also known as large intestine. The last part of the large intestine is the rectum.

Colon cancer or colorectal cancer (terms used interchangeably) is a cancer of cells lining the colon. Almost all colorectal cancer cases are caused by the growth of benign polyps (noncancerous). These polyps can become cancerous and invade the colon wall and surrounding blood vessels and spread to other body parts. The symptoms are virtually unnoticed in the initial phases, while the condition is easier to treat, this is why regular screening examinations are important.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

You can implement other strategies for cancer


The Harvard study shows that in addition to being overweight, smoking and drinking, other factors related to lifestyle can increase your risk of cancer. There are a few others who are likely to affect your health, here in North America:
  •     low consumption of fruits and vegetables,
  •     of unprotected sex,
  •     air pollution.
As with the three most important factors, there are ways to reduce their risks as well. Here are some tips.

Eat healthy:
  • Consume at least 7 to 10 daily servings of fruits and non-starchy vegetables (eg. the green leafy vegetables, broccoli, carrots), as recommended by the Food Guide. Keep the fingertips of fruits and vegetables already washed and cut. It is more likely that you will make snacks if they do not require much preparation;
  • Start your meal with a salad or add fresh fruit to your cereal;
  • Stock up on frozen vegetables and keep them handy. Vegetables do not lose their nutritional value during the freezing process and commercial revenue they easily compliment to pasta or fried meats. Adding fruit to milk, juice or yogurt will allow you to quickly make a delicious smoothie;
  • Avoid sugary drinks, fast food and processed foods - this is advice that you've probably heard a thousand times, but it's worth repeating! To make a simple message: lots of fruits, vegetables and fiber, and very little sugar and fat!
  • limit your intake of salt and red meat - the World Cancer Research Fund proposes to settle for more than 2.4 g of sodium per day and 500 g of red meat per week. Also make sure to limit your intake of processed meat.
Adopt sexual practices "safe":
  •  Entertain sex with one partner at a time, do not stop using condoms during the first 6 months of your relationships or until it has been tested for sexually transmitted infections;
  • Learn how to properly use a condom. This is the only form of contraception that, when properly used, can provide good prevention of sexually transmitted infections;
  •  Keep condoms away from your wallet, unless you have the intention of using it shortly;
  •  Use a water based lubricant. The oil-based lubricants ab├«meraient latex which may tear;
  •  Think, if you are a woman, to undergo a Pap smear, as advised by your doctor to detect early signs of cancer of the cervix;
  • Discuss with your doctor the vaccine that prevents HPV (human papillomavirus) - which has been associated with cancer of the cervix.
Reduce your exposure to air pollution:
  •  Check the index of the air quality in your area before leaving. Limit the time you spend outdoors when smog alert is issued, especially if you suffer from a respiratory disease;
  •  Take steps to make your home and car smoke-free;
  •   Avoid the fumes do not exist in your living space, regularly check the exhaust system and flues of furnaces, fireplaces, water heaters and other possible sources of pollutants;
  •  Clean or replace the various filters as recommended by the manufacturer;
  •  Contribute to reducing air pollution: when possible, walk, take transit, or bike instead of your car.