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Study finds tanning beds more dangerous ...

Study finds tanning beds more dangerous than once thought

Tanning Beds and Skin CancerIt’s no secret that tanning beds cause skin cancer. Now there’s evidence that some of the ultraviolet rays from these beds may be even more dangerous than previously thought – and that has the “health police” renewing their call for banning teens from the beds.

Experts had only thought UVB rays – the ones that cause sunburn – were the main cause of skin cancer. But a new study suggests UVA rays – which pass through clouds and glass windows and are linked to aging and wrinkles – are just as dangerous.

“Tanning salons still tend to claim that UVA is safe, but that’s nonsense,” study author Dr. Antony Young, professor of photobiology at King’s College London, told The Daily Mail. “It may be more carcinogenic than previously thought.”

New Herceptin treatment combo can be saf...

New Herceptin treatment combo can be safer for aggressive breast cancer

HerceptinThe effective breast cancer drug Herceptin can be administered in a way that greatly reduces one of its most serious side effects, a risk of heart damage, according to a study published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Herceptin targets a protein called Her2 which appears on the surface of the cancer cells in about one quarter of breast cancer patients. As a result of the Her2 protein, women who develop that type of cancer often have a more aggressive form. Previous studies, confirmed by the latest one, have found that if Her2 positive patients get Herceptin together with a chemotherapy drug soon after the initial surgery — called adjuvant therapy — their chance of a recurrence drops by about 50 percent. That discovery is one of the greatest successes in the history of breast cancer research.
Most doctors give Herceptin together with the familiar chemotherapy drug called adriamycin. Adriamycin by itself increases the risk for heart problems, including heart failure and even death. Combined with Herceptin, the heart risk is greater.

Hypertension Increases Risk for Cancer D...

Hypertension Increases Risk for Cancer Death

HypertensionA large study has found that hypertension is associated with an increased risk for cancer death, and that hypertension increases the risk of developing cancer — although the latter effect reached statistical significant only in men, not women.

“The relative and absolute risk estimates were rather modest,” said lead researcher Mieke Van Hemelrijck, PhD, from the cancer epidemiology group at King’s College London, United Kingdom.

“This is important from a public health perspective, since a large proportion of the population in many western countries suffers from hypertension,” she told delegates at a presidential session here at the 2011 European Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress. The paper was chosen as one of the best abstracts from the meeting.

One of the implications of this finding is the opportunity it offers for intervention, said Per Hall, MD, PhD, medical oncologist and professor of epidemiology at the Karolinksa Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, who acted as discussant for the paper.

“Primary prevention strategies developed by cardiologists have the potential to lower the risk of cancer,” Dr. Hall explained.

For oncologists, this highlights the need for a more holistic approach, he continued. Oncologists must learn to think beyond cancer therapy and consider treatment of the whole person, including conditions such as hypertension and cardiovascular disease, he said. “If we look for other things also, it would definitely improve overall survival,” he added.

HPV Vaccines Differ in Cost-Effectivenes...

HPV Vaccines Differ in Cost-Effectiveness and Cancer Deaths

HPV VaccineBetween the 2 vaccines now available for protection against human papilloma virus (HPV), the quadrivalent vaccine may have an advantage over the bivalent vaccine with respect to costs and quality of life, but the bivalent vaccine may prevent more deaths from cervical cancer, according to new research.

Mark Jit, PhD, MPH, a mathematical modeler from the Health Protection Agency in London, United Kingdom, and colleagues published their findings online September 27 in the BMJ.

As described in the article, the HPV bivalent vaccine (Cervarix, GlaxoSmithKline) targets HPV types 16 and 18, which are estimated to cause more than 70% of cervical cancer cases worldwide. In contrast, in addition to HPV types 16 and 18, the quadrivalent vaccine (Gardasil, Merck) also targets HPV types 6 and 11, to which anogenital warts and recurrent respiratory papillomatoses are attributed.

In 2008, the UK government selected the bivalent vaccine for protection against HPV based on a previous analysis led by the same authors, indicating that the bivalent vaccine would have to be £15 to £23 cheaper per dose to be as cost-effective as the quadrivalent vaccine because of “the lack of protection against anogenital warts,” as understood at that time. Since then, however, new data have emerged. First, studies have indicated that both the bivalent and the quadrivalent vaccines may also be effective against certain oncogenic HPV types not included in the respective vaccines. In addition, the quadrivalent vaccine has shown protection against vulvar, vaginal, and anal cancer; and the bivalent vaccine has shown some protection against anal infection, which may ultimately translate into prevention of anal cancer.

Fructose helps feed cancer, US study fin...

Fructose helps feed cancer, US study finds

Corn SyurpPancreatic tumor cells use fructose to divide and proliferate, U.S. researchers said on Monday in a study that challenges the common wisdom that all sugars are the same.

Tumor cells fed both glucose and fructose used the two sugars in two different ways, the team at the University of California Los Angeles found.

They said their finding, published in the journal Cancer Research, may help explain other studies that have linked fructose intake with pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest cancer types.

“These findings show that cancer cells can readily metabolize fructose to increase proliferation,” Dr. Anthony Heaney of UCLA’s Jonsson Cancer Center and colleagues wrote.

“They have major significance for cancer patients given dietary refined fructose consumption, and indicate that efforts to reduce refined fructose intake or inhibit fructose-mediated actions may disrupt cancer growth.”

HPV test may be better predictor of cerv...

HPV test may be better predictor of cervical cancer than pap smear

HPV test may predict better than pap smearA test that detects the two strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) that are most likely to raise the risk of invasive cervical cancer, when combined with the Pap test, may be more accurate for many women than the Pap test alone, a new study indicates. And, for those women who are HPV-positive, using the HPV test alone appears to be enough, said study author Philip Castle, a researcher at the American Society for Clinical Pathology Institute in Washington, D.C.
For the women who were HPV-positive, he said, “we didn’t need the Pap. We could have used the HPV alone and gotten the same results.”
The study was funded by Roche Molecular Systems, which makes an HPV test. The study is published online Aug. 22 in The Lancet Oncology.
The researchers looked at a DNA-based HPV test, made by Roche and approved in 2011 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Castle works as an unpaid consultant for the company. Other authors have received consulting fees from Roche or work as employees at the company.
Under cervical cancer screening guidelines issued by the American Cancer Society in 2002 and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in 2003, women aged 30 or older should have both a Pap test, also known as a Pap smear, as well as an HPV test, also called an HPV co-test. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection, and certain strains of the virus can cause cervical cancer.
Under current guidelines, if the results of both tests are normal, a woman can wait three years for her next Pap test, which looks for signs of cancer in cells from a woman’s cervix.

New Anti-Cancer Agents Show Promise for ...

New Anti-Cancer Agents Show Promise for Treating Aggressive Breast Cancers

ABT-737Some of the most aggressive forms of breast cancer are more vulnerable to chemotherapy when it is combined with a new class of anti-cancer agent, researchers from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute have shown.

ABT-737 is one of a new class of anti-cancer agents called BH3 mimetics that target and neutralise the so-called Bcl-2 proteins in cancer cells. Bcl-2 proteins act to ‘protect’ the cells after they have been damaged by chemotherapy drugs, and prevent the cancer cells from dying.

Professors Geoff Lindeman and Jane Visvader, who led the research with colleagues Dr Samantha Oakes and Dr François Vaillant from the institute’s Stem Cells and Cancer division, said that the BH3 mimetics showed promise for treating breast cancers, including ‘triple negative’ cancers. Their research is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Triple negative breast cancers are so-called because they test negative for oestrogen, progesterone and HER2 receptors, and cannot be treated with hormone therapy or trastuzumab. They account for up to 20 per cent of all breast cancers and are typically aggressive with a poor prognosis.
Dr Lindeman said that early results suggest navitoclax (an orally-available BH3 mimetic) could provide new hope for treating some breast cancers that are not candidates for other currently available treatments.

Urine test shows prostate cancer risk

Urine test shows prostate cancer risk

Urine test may show risk for prostate cancerA new urine test can help aid early detection of and treatment decisions about prostate cancer, a study from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Michigan Center for Translational Pathology finds.

The test supplements an elevated prostate specific antigen, or PSA, screening result, and could help some men delay or avoid a needle biopsy while pointing out men at highest risk for clinically significant prostate cancer.

The test looks for a genetic anomaly that occurs in about half of all prostate cancers, an instance of two genes changing places and fusing together. This gene fusion, TMPRSS2:ERG, is believed to cause prostate cancer. Studies in prostate tissues show that the gene fusion almost always indicates cancer. But because the gene fusion is present only half the time, the researchers also included another marker, PCA3. The combination was more predictive of cancer than either marker alone.

Cigarette smoking implicated in half of ...

Cigarette smoking implicated in half of bladder cancers in women

Smoking leads to bladder cancer in womenCurrent cigarette smokers have a higher risk of bladder cancer than previously reported, and the risk in women is now comparable to that in men, according to a study by scientists from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health. The report was published on Aug. 16, 2011, in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

This latest study uses data from over 450,000 participants in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study, a questionnaire-based study that was initiated in 1995, with follow-up through the end of 2006.

While previous studies showed that only 20 to 30 percent of bladder cancer cases in women were caused by smoking, these new data indicate that smoking is responsible for about half of female bladder cancer cases – similar to the proportion found in men in current and previous studies. The increase in the proportion of smoking-attributable bladder cancer cases among women may be a result of the increased prevalence of smoking by women, so that men and women are about equally likely to smoke, as observed in the current study and in the U.S. population overall, according to surveillance by the CDC. The majority of the earlier studies were conducted at time periods or in geographic regions where smoking was much less common among women.

Daily cup of coffee could help fight can...

Daily cup of coffee could help fight cancer

Coffee may help fight cancer
SEATTLE — Caffeine may do more than just help you wake up each morning. According to a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, it can also guard against certain skin cancers.

Researchers at both the University of Washington and Rutgers University say caffeine inhibits a DNA repair pathway, helping kill cells damaged by the sun.

Experts suggest that moderate caffeine drinking, or caffeine based lotion, could be useful in preventing skin cancer.