Cancer in the News



CANCER HEADLINE NEWS:

Traditional Medicine: Identifying Potential Cancer Treatments of Herbal Origin (Science Daily March 5, 2008)

Arsenic Aids Tumor Imaging When Joined to Cancer-honing Drug, Researchers Find (Science Daily March5, 2008)

Breast Cancer Risk Lingered Years After Women Discontinued Estrogen-Progestin Therapy, Stanford Researchers Says

(Business Wire March 5, 2008

Gemcitabine plus chemoradiation of small benefit for resected pancreatic cancer (Oncolink.com March 4, 2008)

Shared Care Improves Long-term Follow-up for Childhood Cancer Survivors (CancerConsultants.com March 4, 2008)

Flat colon Growths more likely to Harbor Cancer … (msnbc.msn.com March 4, 2008)

Newly Identified Genetic Variations May Affect Breast Cancer Risk (National Cancer Institute March 3, 2008)

Lights at Night Are Linked to Breast Cancer (The Washington Post February 20, 2008)

CANCER ENTERTAINMENT NEWS:

Dubious Prognosis for Canada Cancer Comedy (Reuters March 4, 2008)

Garth Brooks has made a commitment to join in the promise to end breast cancer forever. Susan G. Komen: For the Cure.

CANCER BOOK AND MOVIE NEWS:

Cancer on 5$ a Day (chemo not included) Robert Schimmel (DeCapo Life Long Books, February 2008) Memoir

The Middle Place Kelly Corrigan (Hyperion, January 2008) Memoir

If Only In My Dreams Wendy Markham (Signet Eclipse October 2007) Fiction

Crazy Sexy Cancer (March 4, 200)NOW ON DVD!

Healing Cancer from Inside Out (January, 2008) DVD

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Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing this information, Gregory.

  2. Gregory D. Pawelski says:

    Chinese Herbal Remedies

    Sometimes, extracts from natural substances can “chemosensitize” cancerous tumors. Specifically enhancing the sensitivity of cancer cells to killing by chemotherapy drugs has been a focal point of a number of research scientists.

    Boosting the drug sensitivity of tumor cells might make it possible to give lower doses of a chemotherapy agent while still achieving an effective response and minimizing side effects.

    The first large-scale “computer screenings” of Chinese herbal remedies – commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine – has revealed a wide variety of compounds with potential for use in treating HIV/AIDS, cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, arthritis and other diseases, according to scientists in London.

    An article in the ACS’ Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling, a bi-monthly publication, David J. Barlow and colleagues noted that such “in silico” research is becoming increasingly effective in identifying promising compounds that could be candidates for drug development.

    In silico (“in silicon”) means research done on computers or via computer simulation and has joined the in vivo and in vitro experiments traditionally used in the life sciences.

    The researchers screened a database of chemical structures of Chinese herbal constituents from 240 species of plants for possible activity against various diseases. About 62 percent of the species were found to contain chemicals with characteristics required for activity against at least one disease and 53 percent against two or more diseases.

    The study also describes corroborative evidence from the scientific literature that supported many of the computer predictions. In a companion article in the journal, the researchers describe the herbal databases.

    There was one “in vitro” experiment in an ovarian patient who never responded to anything. The patient got every ovarian drug on the market. So she went to a Chinese herbalist, who treated her with some Chinese herbal medicine. She had sort of a mushy, mixed response. Some “softening” of subcutaneous tumors, with progression intraabdominally.

    The patient had one of the SQ masses biopsied and sent for “in vitro” testing. Strangely, it was quite “sensitive” in the tests to several drugs, two of which had utterly failed the patient previously. Refractory ovarian cancers are generally very refractory. Never really sensitive. False positive?

    The physician went ahead and treated the patient with two drugs active in the assay. A short time later, complete response. No tumor left in a patient who’d previously had a massive tumor burden and no good prior reponse to anything.

    Now, the herbal medicine probably didn’t do all that much, by itself. But what it seemed to do was to “chemosensitize” her tumor. Hope springs eternal for the elusive cancer treatment breakthrough, when cancer scientists think outside the box!

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