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July 11, 2007, 4:59 AM CT

New option for treating type 2 diabetes

New option for treating type 2 diabetes
A review of prior studies indicates that use of a class of medications known as incretin-based treatment, which act via certain pathways that affect glucose metabolism may provide modest effectiveness and favorable weight change outcomes for the therapy of type 2 diabetes and may represent an alternative to other hypoglycemic therapies, as per an article in the July 11 issue of JAMA.

Current therapies for type 2 diabetes are often limited by adverse effects such as weight gain or hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). A more recent class of therapy to address these issues is incretin treatment, which involves glucose-stimulated insulin secretion by intestinally derived peptides, which are released in the presence of glucose or nutrients in the gut, as per background information in the article. In October 2006 the Food and Drug Administration approved the first oral incretin enhancer, sitagliptin, a selective DPP4 inhibitor (a class of oral hypoglycemics), for use as monotherapy or in combination with other medications. The effectiveness of this class of medications in managing type 2 diabetes is not well understood.

Renee E. Amori, M.D., of Tufts-New England Medical Center, Boston, and his colleagues conducted a meta-analysis of 29 studies to assess the effectiveness and safety of incretin-based treatment (GLP-1 analogues and DPP4 inhibitors) in nonpregnant adults with type 2 diabetes.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


July 10, 2007, 4:50 AM CT

Western-style 'meat-sweet' Diet Increases Risk Of Breast Cancer

Western-style 'meat-sweet' Diet Increases Risk Of Breast Cancer
A new study finds that the more western the diet -- marked by red meat, starches and sweets -- the greater the risk for breast cancer among postmenopausal Chinese women. As per scientists who conducted the analysis at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, Harvard University, Shanghai Cancer Institute, and Vanderbilt University, the findings mark the first time a specific association between a western diet and breast cancer has been identified in Asian women.

The study, reported in the recent issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, is the latest set of findings derived from the Shanghai Breast Cancer Study, conducted in the 1990s by Wei Zheng, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H, and his colleagues at Vanderbilt University. The Fox Chase scientists identified dietary habits among women in the study based on their reported eating habits, classifying them as either meat-sweet or vegetable-soy eaters.

The Shanghai data gave us a unique look at a population of Chinese women who were beginning to adopt more western-style eating habits, said, Marilyn Tseng, Ph.D. associate member in the population science division at Fox Chase. We found an association between a western-style diet and breast cancer was pronounced in postmenopausal women, particularly heavier women with estrogen receptor-positive tumors.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


July 10, 2007, 4:48 AM CT

Risks, Benefits Of Folic Acid Fortification

Risks, Benefits Of Folic Acid Fortification
Folic acid fortification may prevent neural tube defects, but it may increase the rate of colon cancer.
Since the institution of nationwide folic acid fortification of enriched grains in the mid 1990s, the number of infants born in the United States and Canada with neural tube defects has declined by 20 percent to 50 percent. Concurrent with the institution of fortification, however, the rate at which new cases of colorectal cancer were diagnosed in men and women increased, report scientists at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition.

Research Center on Aging (USDA HNRCA) at Tufts University. Joel Mason, MD, director of the USDA HNRCAs Vitamins and Carcinogenesis Laboratory, and his colleagues analyze the temporal association between folic acid fortification and the rise in colorectal cancer rates, and present their resulting hypothesis in an article in the recent issue of Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention.

Nationwide fortification of enriched grains is generally considered one of the greatest advances in public health policy, says Mason, who is also an associate professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts. But since the time that the food supply in North America was fortified with folic acid, we have been experiencing four to six additional cases of colorectal cancer for every 100,000 individuals each year in comparison to the trends that existed before fortification.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


July 8, 2007, 10:33 PM CT

New Risk Factors Discovered for Alzheimer's Disease

New Risk Factors Discovered for Alzheimer's Disease
A recent study in Journal of Neuroimaging suggests that cognitively normal adults exhibiting atrophy of their temporal lobe or damage to blood vessels in the brain are more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease. Elderly adults showing signs of both conditions were seven-times more likely to develop Alzheimer's than their peers.

"Alzheimer's disease, a highly debilitating and ultimately fatal neurological disease, is already linked to other risk factors such as poor cognitive scores, education or health conditions," says study author Caterina Rosano. "This study, because it focused on healthy, cognitively normal adults, shows that there other risk factors we need to consider."

MRI images of participants' brains were examined to identify poor brain circulation, damaged blood vessels and/or atrophy of the medial temporal lobe. Subjects showing any one or a combination of these symptoms were more likely to develop Alzheimer's in the following years.

"Similarly to heart disease, brain blood vessel damage is more likely to occur in patients with high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes," says Rosano. "Since we know that prevention of these conditions can lower risk of heart attack and stroke, it is likely that it would also lower the risk of developing Alzheimer's".........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


July 8, 2007, 10:18 PM CT

Cancer-fighting virus shows promise

Cancer-fighting virus shows promise
A virus that has been specifically designed by researchers to be safe to normal tissue but deadly to cancer is showing early promise in a preliminary study, scientists said today at the ESMO Conference Lugano (ECLU), Switzerland.

The virus, called NV1020, is a type of herpes simplex virus modified so that it selectively replicates in virus cells, killing them in the process.

It doesnt replicate in normal, healthy cells, so our hope is that it will help fight cancers without causing side-effects in the rest of the body, said Dr. Axel Mescheder, VP Clinical Research & Development, from the Munich-based biotech company MediGene. The study is conducted in seven leading US-cancer centers, with Dr. Tony Reid from the University of California in San Diego, CA as Principal Investigator. Dr. Mescheder presented preliminary safety and efficacy results and a case report from this ongoing clinical trial in patients with colorectal cancer metastatic to the liver at the meeting.

Dr. Mescheders poster presentation described the case of a patient whose cancer had spread to 10 different places around the liver and four in the lungs. He was given the virus therapy in four weekly infusions direct into blood stream, followed by two cycles of approved chemotherapy.

Six months after therapy, scans showed the liver masses had nearly disappeared. The reduction in the tumor masses was really impressive in this patient, Dr. Mescheder said. The hepatic masses almost disappeared.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


July 8, 2007, 10:11 PM CT

obesity drug and new cancer treatments

obesity drug and new cancer treatments
Based on their surprising discovery that an obesity drug can kill cancer cells, researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine have made a new finding about the drugs effects and are working to design more potent cancer therapys.

Published online today in Nature Structural and Molecular Biology, the study is the first to report how the drug orlistat (Xenical or Alli) binds and interacts with a protein found in tumor cells. The drug blocks the proteins function and causes cell death.

The project started five years ago when Steven Kridel, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Cancer Biology, analyzed prostate cancer cells to see which enzymes were expressed at high levels. His hope was that therapys to inhibit those enzymes could also stop tumor growth.

We observed that a protein known as fatty acid synthase is expressed at high levels in prostate tumor cells, and is fairly absent in normal cells, said Kridel.

Other research has shown that the protein is found in a number of tumor cells including breast, colon, ovarian, liver, lung and brain.

High levels of fatty acid synthase correlate with a poor prognosis so it is a great therapy target, said Kridel. This makes an exciting therapy target because theoretically you dont have to worry about harming nearby healthy tissue.........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


July 8, 2007, 10:09 PM CT

A gene that protects from kidney disease

A gene that protects from kidney disease
Scientists from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and the University of Michigan have discovered a gene that protects us against a serious kidney disease. In the current online issue of Nature Genetics they report that mutations in the gene cause nephronopthisis (NPHP) in humans and mice. NPHP is a disease marked by kidney degeneration during childhood that leads to kidney failure requiring organ transplantation. The insights might help develop effective, noninvasive therapies.

The kidneys are the organs that help our body dispose of potentially harmful waste. Diseases that affect this fundamental function are very serious but so far only poorly understood. NPHP is such a disease; it causes the kidneys to degenerate and shrink starting early on in childhood often leading to renal failure before the age of 30. So far, kidney transplantation in early age has been the only way to save patients suffering from NPHP. With a new mouse model Mathias Treier and his group at EMBL have shed new light on the molecular mechanisms underlying NPHP opening up novel ways to treat the disease.

Our mice show striking similarities with NPHP patients, says Mathias Treier, group leader at EMBL. Very early on in their lives their kidney cells start to die and the mice develop all the characteristic disease symptoms. It is the first time that a mouse model reveals increased cell death as the mechanism underpinning kidney degeneration in NPHP. The genetic cause is a mutation in a gene called GLIS2.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


July 8, 2007, 10:06 PM CT

Genetic Risk Factor For Colorectal And Prostate Cancer

Genetic Risk Factor For Colorectal And Prostate Cancer
A study led by scientists at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) has observed that one of seven genetic risk factors previously identified as increasing the probability of developing prostate cancer also increases the probability of developing colorectal cancer. As in the prior prostate cancer study, which was also conducted by USC scientists and reported in the April 2007 edition of Nature Genetics, the colorectal cancer risk factor is located in a region of the human genome devoid of known genes on chromosome 8. The studys complete findings would be reported in the July 8 online edition of Nature Genetics.

This is an important finding because, for the first time, a common genetic risk factor for multiple cancers has been identified, says lead author Christopher Haiman, assistant professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. Adding, There appears to be something fundamental occurring in this region that influences not only colorectal and prostate cancer, but perhaps cancers in general. (Another recently published study, in which USC scientists also were involved, identified variants in this same chromosomal region as playing a predictive role relative to the risk of developing breast cancer.).

For the current colorectal cancer study, the USC team genotyped six of the seven variants previously identified as increasing the risk of prostate cancer development. The samples analyzed totaled 1,807 invasive colorectal cancer cases and 5,511 controls. These samples were drawn from five populations (African Americans, Japanese Americans, Native Hawaiians, Latinos, and European Americans) included in the Multiethnic Cohort Study, an epidemiological study of more than 215,000 people from Los Angeles and Hawaii created in 1993 by Brian Henderson, dean, Keck School of Medicine of USC, and Laurence Kolonel of the University of Hawaii.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


July 5, 2007, 9:34 PM CT

Simple Bladder Cancer Test

Simple Bladder Cancer Test
University of Florida scientists have identified a set of proteins that appear to signal the presence of bladder cancer, a discovery they hope will lead to a simple, fast and noninvasive test that can detect the disease early.

Working with colleagues at the University of Michigan, the researchers used advances in technology to isolate nearly 200 proteins from the urine of patients with and without bladder cancer. Several appear promising as potential biomarkers, including one that studies conducted elsewhere have already associated with liver and ovary cancer. The findings, available online, are scheduled would be reported in the July 6 print edition of the American Chemical Societys Journal of Proteome Research.

Developing a simple dipstick test that would better single out patients whose symptoms are associated with cancer would enable those who simply have an infection to avoid a battery of screenings that typically include cystoscopy, a painful procedure that uses a small camera threaded through the urethra to image the bladders interior. Such a test also could be used to detect cancer sooner, possibly before its signs even surface.

With any cancer, the earlier you find it the better because its not as aggressive in its early stages, and of course its much easier to remove any cancer anywhere in the body if you catch it while its relatively small, said Steve Goodison, an associate professor of surgery at the UF College of Medicine-Jacksonville.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


July 5, 2007, 9:31 PM CT

Wives Have Greater Power In Marriage

Wives Have Greater Power In Marriage
Men may still have more power in the workplace, but apparently women really are "the boss" at home. That's as per a new study by a team of Iowa State University researchers.

The study of 72 married couples from Iowa observed that wives, on average, exhibit greater situational power -- in the form of domineering and dominant behaviors -- than their husbands during problem-solving discussions, regardless of who raised the topic. All of the couples in the sample were relatively happy in their marriages, with none in counseling at the time of the study.

Associate Professor of Psychology David Vogel and Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Studies Megan Murphy led the research. The ISU research team also included Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies Ronald Werner-Wilson, Professor of Psychology Carolyn Cutrona -- who is director of the Institute for Social and Behavioral Research at Iowa State -- and Joann Seeman, a graduate student in psychology. They authored a paper titled "Sex Differences in the Use of Demand and Withdraw Behavior in Marriage: Examining the Social Structure Hypothesis," which appeared in last month's issue of the Journal of Counseling Psychology -- a professional journal published by the American Psychological Association.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         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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