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September 4, 2006, 7:11 PM CT

Tough Fight Against Ovarian Cancer

Tough Fight Against Ovarian Cancer
Gene therapy might be the answer to ovarian cancer as per some researches from University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. These researchers have used gene therapy with surprising ability by either completely abolishing or significantly inhibiting tumor progression in a mouse model of ovarian cancer. University of Pittsburgh researchers believe these findings, which was presented at the American Society of Gene Therapy annual meeting would significantly improve the prognosis for ovarian cancer patients.

Ovarian cancer is diagnosed in more than 25,000 women in the United States each year, and about 16,000 American women die from the disease annually. Despite aggressive surgery and chemotherapy approaches, the prognosis for ovarian cancer is poor, and most women have a life expectancy of only three to four years after their diagnoses.

In this study, the Pitt scientists inoculated mice with an ovarian cancer cell line. They treated some of the mice immediately with a genetically engineered vaccinia virus containing a gene coding cytosine deaminase, a suicide gene, and delayed treatment of other mice for 30 or 60 days. Control mice were inoculated with ovarian cancer cells but were not given the gene therapy.

The researchers found complete inhibition of tumor growth in the mice that were treated immediately with gene therapy and significant tumor inhibition in the 30- and 60-day delayed treatment mice. In contrast, all non-gene-therapy treated mice either died or were euthanized due to overwhelming buildup of fluid in the peritoneal cavity by 94 days following tumor inoculation.........

Posted by: Emily      Permalink         Source


August 28, 2006, 5:18 AM CT

Obesity Leads To More Aggressive Ovarian Cancer

Obesity Leads To More Aggressive Ovarian Cancer
Whether or not a woman is obese will likely affect her outcome once she has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, according to a new study from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

The study, published online on Aug. 28 in the American Cancer Society's journal Cancer, showed that obesity affected survival rates, shortened the length of time to recurrence of the disease, and led to earlier death from the cancer than for women diagnosed at their ideal body weight.

"This study is the first to identify weight as an independent factor in ovarian cancer in disease progression and overall survival, suggesting that there is an element in the fat tissue itself that influences the outcome of this disease in obese women," said Andrew Li, M.D., the study's principal investigator at Cedars-Sinai's Women's Cancer Research Institute at the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute.

Ovarian cancer, one of the most lethal cancers, affects almost one in 60 women. Most will be diagnosed with advanced disease, and 70 percent will die within five years. There are several types of ovarian cancer, but tumors that begin with the surface cells of the ovary (epithelial cells) are the most common type. While previous studies have shown that obesity is a factor in the development and prognosis of cancers such as breast, uterine and colorectal, the nature of the relationship in ovarian cancers has been less well understood. Obesity is defined as a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or above.........

Posted by: Emily      Permalink         Source


July 23, 2006, 10:20 PM CT

Chronic Stress And Ovarian Cancer

Chronic Stress And Ovarian Cancer
When mice with ovary cancer are stressed, their tumors grow and spread more quickly, but that effect can be blocked using a medicine usually prescribed for heart disease, as per a preclinical study by scientists at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

The finding, reported in the journal Nature Medicine, now available on-line, provides the first measurable link between psychological stress and the biological processes that make ovarian tumors grow and spread. Specifically, the scientists showed that stress hormones bind to receptors directly on tumor cells and, in turn, stimulate new blood vessel growth and other factors that lead to faster and more aggressive tumors.

"This study provides a new understanding of how chronic stress and stress factors drive tumor growth," says Anil Sood, M.D., associate professor of gynecologic oncology and cancer biology and director of ovary cancer research.

In fact, when the scientists blocked the stress hormone receptors in their experimental system using a heart disease drug called propranolol, also known as a "beta blocker," they were able to stop the negative effects of stress on tumor growth. The scientists used the beta blocker because the same hormone receptors, called beta adrenergic receptors, are found in the heart and normally work to maintain blood flow.........

Posted by: Emily      Permalink         Source


July 22, 2006, 9:56 PM CT

Finding Potential Ovarian Cancer Stem Cells

Finding Potential Ovarian Cancer Stem Cells
Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) scientists have identified potential ovary cancer stem cells, which may be behind the difficulty of treating these tumors with standard chemotherapy. Understanding more about the stem-like characteristics of these cells could lead to new approaches to treating ovary cancer, which kills more than 16,000 U.S. women annually and is their fifth most common cause of cancer death. The report will appear in the July 25 Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) and has received early online release.

"We feel these stem-like cancer cells may be resistant to traditional chemotherapy and could be responsible for the ultimately fatal drug-resistant recurrence that is characteristic of ovary cancer," says Paul Szotek, MD, of the MGH Pediatric Surgical Research Laboratories, first author of the PNAS report. "We believe this likely is the first time stem-like cells have been found in models of ovary cancer and in cells linked to human ovary cancer".

Several recent studies have identified tiny populations of tumor cells that appear to act like stem cells, driving the tumor's ability to grow and spread. If some of these specialized cells escaped destruction by chemotherapy or radiation, the tumor would be able to recur quickly, often in a form resistant to chemotherapy. Similar cancer stem cells have been previously identified in leukemia and breast cancer and in cell lines of central nervous system and gastrointestinal tumors.........

Posted by: Emily      Permalink         Source


July 12, 2006, 7:26 AM CT

Physical activity does not protect from ovarian cancer

Physical activity does not protect from ovarian cancer
There are several benefits to a regular exercise program. It keeps you fit, it prevents heart attack, and it protects you from breast cancer. But the benefits of exercise do not extend to the field of ovarian cancer.

A new research has found that exercise programs do not protect women from developing ovarian cancer. This is as per reports published in International Journal of Cancer.

"However, despite not protecting for ovarian cancer, physical activity has so many other positive health effects that women should be encouraged to exercise daily, if possible," study chief Dr. Elisabete Weiderpass from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm emphasized in comments to Reuters Health.

She and her colleagues assessed associations between physical activity during different periods of life and ovarian cancer incidence in roughly 96,000 women from Norway and Sweden who were followed for more than a decade.

"We asked the women how much they exercised at ages 14, 30 and between ages 30 and 50 year," Weiderpass said.

A total of 264 women developed ovarian cancer during the time they were followed.........

Posted by: Emily      Permalink         Source


July 12, 2006, 7:10 AM CT

Removal Of Ovaries Does Not Completely Eliminate Risk

Removal Of Ovaries Does Not Completely Eliminate Risk
Even after having their ovaries and fallopian tubes removed on a preventive basis, women who carry one of two gene mutations known to be linked to high rates of breast and ovary cancer are still at risk of developing a form of ovary cancer, cancer in the peritoneum, a large international study released Tuesday confirms.

About four per cent of women who had the preventive procedure, called a salpingo-oophorectomy, went on to develop peritoneal cancer within 10 years of the operation, the researchers, from the Hereditary Ovarian Cancer Clinical Study Group, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Senior author Dr. Steven Narod, a leading researcher in the field of inherited breast and ovary cancers, said that means that even after having their ovaries and fallopian tubes removed women with the mutations - known as BRCA1 or BRCA2 - still face a risk of developing peritoneal cancer that is significantly higher than that faced by women who didn't inherit either of the genes.........

Posted by: Emily      Permalink         Source


June 19, 2006, 9:24 PM CT

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June 4, 2006, 8:35 AM CT

Gene Therapy For Ovarian Cancer

Gene Therapy For Ovarian Cancer
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine scientists have used gene treatment to either completely abolish or significantly inhibit tumor progression in a mouse model of ovary cancer. The scientists believe these findings, which are being presented at the American Society of Gene Therapy annual meeting in Baltimore, May 31 to June 4, may significantly improve the prognosis for ovary cancer patients.

Ovary cancer is diagnosed in more than 25,000 women in the United States each year, and about 16,000 American women die from the disease annually. Despite aggressive surgery and chemotherapy approaches, the prognosis for ovary cancer is poor, and most women have a life expectancy of only three to four years after their diagnoses.

In this study, the Pitt researchers inoculated mice with an ovary cancer cell line. They treated some of the mice immediately with a genetically engineered vaccinia virus containing a gene coding cytosine deaminase, a suicide gene, and delayed therapy of other mice for 30 or 60 days. Control mice were inoculated with ovary cancer cells but were not given the gene treatment.

The scientists found complete inhibition of tumor growth in the mice that were treated immediately with gene treatment and significant tumor inhibition in the 30- and 60-day delayed therapy mice. In contrast, all non-gene-therapy treated mice either died or were euthanized due to overwhelming buildup of fluid in the peritoneal cavity by 94 days following tumor inoculation.........

Posted by: Emily      Permalink         Source


April 2, 2006, 8:52 PM CT

Diagnosing Ovarian Cancer

Diagnosing Ovarian Cancer
The search for a specific protein that could help diagnose ovarian cancer in its early stages has for years eluded researchers who are seeking a reliable and accurate test for the disease. Instead of searching for a single protein, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine used a new technology to analyze a large number of proteins, or potential biomarkers, from a very small sample of serum from women with ovarian cancer. They identified a combination of several biomarkers that could help detect the disease much earlier than it is currently being diagnosed, according to findings presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, April 1 to 5 at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

"One of the most challenging problems with ovarian cancer is that we lack a reliable and accurate test that can detect it early when it is most responsive to treatment," said Anna E. Lokshin, Ph.D., lead investigator and assistant professor of medicine and pathology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. "By the time women are diagnosed, their cancers have already spread and are extremely difficult to treat successfully. To improve the long-term outcome for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer, we sought to identify a panel of proteins that could signify the presence of early disease".........

Posted by: Emily      Permalink         Source


February 15, 2006, 11:13 PM CT

Aspirin Derivative With Chemo For Ovarian Cancer

Aspirin Derivative With Chemo For Ovarian Cancer
A new study using ovarian cancer cell lines shows promise in treating the deadly disease by combining the chemotherapy drug cisplatin with an aspirin-like compound to make recurrent cancer cells less resistant to the chemotherapy.

The study appears online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

As a first course of treatment, ovarian cancer typically is treated with surgery followed by a regimen of the chemotherapy drug cisplatin. However, cisplatin is not an effective treatment when the ovarian cancer inevitably returns, says Periannan Kuppusamy, a professor of internal medicine at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute.

"Somehow the ovarian cancer cells adapt and become resistant to this drug," said Kuppusamy, lead author of the study. "Once treated with cisplatin, the ovarian cancer cells develop an abundance of thiols, which are a kind of cellular antioxidants that protect the cancer from the chemotherapy".

Kuppusamy wondered whether the abundance of thiols could somehow be used against the ovarian cancer cells. The study found that the nitric oxide released from the aspirin derivative NCX-4016 reacts with the cellular thiols, which causes the cancer cells to stop proliferating. In addition, the nitric oxide depletes the thiols, making the cancer cells more susceptible to the chemotherapy.........

Posted by: Emily      Permalink         Source



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Did you know?
newly identified gene expression profile could help predict how patients with advanced ovary cancer will respond to chemotherapy treatment. Described in a study in the November 1, 2005 issue of The Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO), the new findings further establish an important role for microarray gene profiling as a predictor of clinical outcome in ovary cancer, and could eventually provide physicians with insights into the mechanisms of drug resistance.

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