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May 15, 2006, 6:57 AM CT

Shifting Trends For Breast Cancer Chemotherapy

Shifting Trends For Breast Cancer Chemotherapy
For years scientists and physicians were adding more and more chemotherapy for the therapy of breast cancer. They were trying different combinations, and different time interval between therapys. They have tried very high dose chemotherapy used for bone marrow transplant and shorter intervals between chemotherapy sessions.

After all these aggressive chemotherapy based outlooks for the therapy of breast cancer, scientists are not having a second thought for the use of chemotherapy in breast cancer. There is an increasing trend among scientists and physicians to skip chemotherapy altogether and treat women with breast cancer using hormonal treatment.

At this time this trend is just appearing, and is gaining popularity. This approach still lack solid scientific proof based on randomized clinical trials, so scientists are in the process of conducting clinical trials to prove the point. Studies with this theme are beginning to emerge.

At this time the general guidelines for therapy of breast cancer calls for postoperative adjuvant therapy of breast cancer with chemotherapy in almost all patients. Generally all women who have breast cancer tumors measuring more than 1 centimeter receives adjuvant chemotherapy.

In the new approach the decision for chemotherapy would be based mainly on hormonal status of the tumor, rather than tumor size. This would mean that a vast majority of women who have hormone receptor negative tumor would not be receiving adjuvant chemotherapy. It is not clear how the lymph node involvement would fit in to this algorithm of therapy, but is possible that women who have smaller number of lymph node involvement may also be able to skip chemotherapy in favor of hormonal treatment. The final decisions regarding these issues could only be clarified by large clinical trials.........

Posted by: Sherin      Permalink


May 14, 2006, 10:07 PM CT

Nationwide Rheumatoid Arthritis Studies

Nationwide Rheumatoid Arthritis Studies
Patients needed to participate in clinical research study.

Scientists are now seeking patients to participate in three clinical research studies. Each study will evaluate the safety and effectiveness of an investigational drug, rituximab, in combination with methotrexate, as compared to using methotrexate alone.

The goal of current RA therapys is to maintain normal joint function by alleviating pain, preventing joint damage, and reducing joint swelling and stiffness. During the last decade, many new therapies have entered clinical practice for RA, however, a number of patients still do not respond adequately to the available therapys. There remains a significant unmet need for new, effective therapies for patients with this chronic condition.

To be eligible to participate in the studies, you must meet specific criteria including, but not limited to: have active RA, and be between the ages of 18 and 80. To learn more about the studies, call toll-free.

1-888-82-STUDY (78839) or visit www.StudyRA.com.........

Posted by: Mark      Permalink         Source


May 14, 2006, 4:50 PM CT

Carcinogens Found In Their Babies' Urine

Carcinogens Found In Their Babies' Urine Image courtesy of Blogs.globalink.org
When mom or dad puffs on a cigarette, their infants may inhale the resulting second-hand smoke. Now, researchers have detected cancer-causing chemicals associated with tobacco smoke in the urine of nearly half the babies of smoking parents.

"The take home message is, 'Don't smoke around your kids,'" said Stephen S. Hecht, Ph.D., professor and Wallin Chair of Cancer Prevention at The Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota.

As per a research studyof 144 infants, reported in the recent issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, Hecht and colleagues found detectable levels of NNAL* in urine from 47 percent of babies exposed to environmental tobacco carcinogens from cigarette smoking family members. NNAL is a cancer-causing chemical produced in the human body as it processes NNK**, a carcinogenic chemical specific to tobacco.

"The level of NNAL detected in the urine of these infants was higher than in most other field studies of environmental tobacco smoke in children and adults," Hecht said.

"NNAL is an accepted biomarker for uptake of the tobacco-specific carcinogen NNK. You don't find NNAL in urine except in people who are exposed to tobacco smoke, whether they are adults, children, or infants."

A prior study by Hecht and colleagues indicated that the first urine from newborns whose mothers smoked during pregnancy contained as much as one-third more NNAL compared to the babies in the current study. The newborn infants, however, took in the carcinogen directly from their mothers through their placentas rather than by breathing second-hand smoke in the air in their family homes and cars.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


May 14, 2006, 3:56 PM CT

How Exercise Can Protect Against Skin And Bowel Cancers

How Exercise Can Protect Against Skin And Bowel Cancers
Two studies published recently have shown that exercise can protect against skin and bowel cancer, and they have identified new mechanisms that could be responsible for this effect.*

Reported in the journal "Carcinogenesis", one study found that female mice that had 24-hour access to running wheels and were exposed to ultraviolet B light (UVB) took longer to develop skin tumours, developed fewer and smaller tumours, and had decreased amounts of body fat compared to mice that did not have access to running wheels. The second study looked at the development of pre-malignant polyps in the intestines of male mice and discovered that voluntary exercise and a restricted diet reduced the number and size of polyps and improved survival.

Dr Allan Conney, Garbe Professor of Cancer and Leukemia Research and Director of the Susan Lehman Cullman Laboratory for Cancer Research at Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA, is one of the authors of the skin cancer study. He said that programmed cell death (apoptosis), triggered by exercise, might explain why the running wheel mice did better.

"Preliminary indications from follow-up work in the laboratory suggest that voluntary exercise enhances UVB-induced apoptosis in the skin, and that it also enhances apoptosis in UVB-induced tumours. So, eventhough UVB is triggering the development of tumours, exercise is counteracting the effect by stimulating the death of the developing cancer cells.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


May 14, 2006, 3:46 PM CT

New Findings On Insulin Signaling In The Liver

New Findings On Insulin Signaling In The Liver
Insulin uses two distinct mechanisms to control glucose and the metabolism of blood fats (lipids) in the liver, a new Joslin Diabetes Center-led study has discovered. Failures in each of these networks can lead to serious health problems: the breakdown of glucose metabolism that can lead to type 2 diabetes, and the malfunction of lipid metabolism contributing to metabolic syndrome, which is a cluster of conditions that puts people at increased risk of heart disease, vascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

The new study, led by C. Ronald Kahn, M.D., and Cullen Taniguchi, M.D., Ph.D., of Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston and their colleagues, is reported in the May edition of Cell Metabolism. The findings open the door to the development of new therapys that one day may target directly the conditions that contribute to type 2 diabetes and the metabolic syndrome.

"Patients with the metabolic syndrome have high levels of both glucose and lipids in the blood. We now understand that insulin that controls the pathways that control glucose levels are different from those that regulate lipid levels. By targeting these specific pathways, we might be able to improve problems with glucose metabolism, lipid metabolism or both," says Dr. Kahn, President of Joslin Diabetes Center and Mary K. Iacocca Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


May 14, 2006, 3:38 PM CT

Inducing Labor Carries Risks

Inducing Labor Carries Risks
Women who have their labor induced or are given medicine to stimulate contractions are at greater risk of developing chorioamnionitis, an infection of the placental tissues and amniotic fluid, new Saint Louis University research finds.

Elisabeth Erekson, M.D., a resident in obstetrics, gynecology and women's health at Saint Louis University School of Medicine, presented her research at the annual meeting of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in May.

Her advice to women who are tired of being pregnant and thinking of speeding things along by asking their doctors to induce labor? Let nature take its course.

"Induction is not a non-malignant process and is associated with risk factors, one of them being an infection inside the uterus. Women who are tired of being pregnant and looking at induction for elective reasons need to closely consider that an elective induction may have more risk than spontaneous labor," she said.

"So, enjoy the pregnancy. You won't be getting lots of rest after delivery."

Chorioamnionitis can lead to severe infections in the mother with risks of sepsis, abnormal bleeding and future infertility, as well as infections in the newborn baby.........

Posted by: Emily      Permalink         Source


May 14, 2006, 3:13 PM CT

Lose weight before getting pregnant

Lose weight before getting pregnant
Doctors should advise overweight moms considering another pregnancy to take off extra weight first because they are at greater risk of having big babies, a new Saint Louis University study finds.

Scientists found that moms who don't lose the weight they gained during the first pregnancy and continue to gain after their first child is born are at risk of having bigger babies than mothers who do not gain weight between pregnancies. A patient's prepregnancy weight remained the strongest predictor for the birth of a large infant in the next pregnancy.

"Our advice to moms is to take off the weight they gained during one pregnancy and not to gain weight between pregnancies," said Robert Blaskiewicz, M.D., professor of obstetrics, gynecology and women's health at Saint Louis University.

Large babies can be more difficult and take longer to deliver than normal weight babies because they are too big to fit easily through the birth canal. Large birth weight also might lead to a cesarean delivery.

"The ideal is to have their weight as close to normal as possible. Weight gain between pregnancies doubles the risk of having a 'large for gestational age' baby."

Dr. Blaskiewicz presented the research, which was conducted in conjunction with the Saint Louis University School of Public Health, at the May meeting of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.........

Posted by: Emily      Permalink         Source


May 14, 2006, 1:04 PM CT

What are the risk factors for mesothelioma?

What are the risk factors for mesothelioma?
Working with asbestos is the major risk factor for mesothelioma. A history of asbestos exposure at work is reported in about 70 percent to 80 percent of all cases. However, mesothelioma has been reported in some individuals without any known exposure to asbestos. History of exposure to various other chemicals have been found in some of these patients, but majority of these patients have no understandable risk factors for mesothelioma.

Asbestos is the name of a group of minerals that occur naturally as masses of strong, flexible fibers that can be separated into thin threads and woven. Asbestos has been widely used in many industrial products, including cement, brake linings, roof shingles, flooring products, textiles, and insulation. If tiny asbestos particles float in the air, especially during the manufacturing process, they may be inhaled or swallowed, and can cause serious health problems. In addition to mesothelioma, exposure to asbestos increases the risk of lung cancer, asbestosis (a non-cancerous, chronic lung ailment), and other cancers, such as those of the larynx and kidney.........

Posted by: Scott      Permalink


May 14, 2006, 12:52 AM CT

School Shut Amid Fears Of Asbestos

School Shut Amid Fears Of Asbestos
Officials conducted air-quality tests at a borough elementary school Friday evening, hours after smoke in its basement forced an evacuation and prompted an asbestos scare.

Results of the tests at Merritt Memorial School were not available Friday night, but borough officials said the tests were merely precautionary. The officials said they expected classes to resume on Monday.

"Right now, we plan on having everyone at Merritt Monday, but I will know better once I get the test results," Superintendent Charles Khoury said.

There were conflicting reports throughout the day Friday as to what transpired in a small area under the school gymnasium where contractors were conducting demolition work as part of a renovation project. County officials at first said no asbestos had been disturbed, but borough police said there had indeed been a "fibrous release" of the carcinogenic substance, which was once used in insulation and fireproofing.........

Posted by: Scott      Permalink         Source


May 14, 2006, 11:07 AM CT

Inhalable Corticosteroids And Asthma Prevention

Inhalable Corticosteroids And Asthma Prevention
Your preschooler is having intermittent, sporadic fits of wheezing. Do you give inhaled corticosteroids in the hope that it will not develop into a full blown chronic asthma later on?

As per latest research published in The New England Journal of Medicine, eventhough symptoms may be alleviated while the child is under therapy, there seems to be little effect on the child's chances of contracting a more chronic form later on.

Our data suggest that inhaled corticosteroids have little therapeutic effect on the processes that determine the progression of the disease from its initial, intermittent stages to a more chronic form, as described in the epidemiology literature".

Interesting though, is that they noted those children who used Flovent, an inhalable corticosteroid made by GlaxoSmithKline, grew about a centimeter less than those who did not. After a year of observation, the Flovent kids seems to be catching up, but as per the researchers, there is still no determinitive data of the log-term effects of Flovent on height.

For a more through discussion of the study, read WebMD's Easing Kids' Breathing Before Asthma.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source



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Did you know?
Studies in monkeys and women suggest that unlike traditional estrogen therapy, a diet high in the natural plant estrogens found in soy does not increase the risk of uterine cancer in postmenopausal women, according to Mark Cline, D.V.M., Ph.D., an associate professor of comparative medicine at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

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