News from the cancer victim
Jade Goody funeral to be a public affair
The reality show celebrity Jade Goody lost the battle against cervical cancer last weekend. The funeral of the 27-year old TV star is scheduled in early April.
News from the academia
U-M launches new embryonic stem cell research consortium
The University of Maryland in Ann announced earlier this month the formation of a consortium on embryonic stem cell research. The recent lifting of the ban on this field of research has provided motivation to American research institutes to push forward in the search for cures and treatments using this biotechnology. The A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute Consortium for Stem Cell Therapies is the first major embryonic stem cell research program launched in Michigan since the Nov. 4 passage of a state constitutional amendment allowing scientists to create new stem cell lines using surplus embryos from fertility clinics. According to university researchers “we believe stem cell research offers one of our best hopes for finding new treatments and cures for a wide variety of diseases.”
News from the geneticists
Pilgrims’ progress: Genetic data from 1630s backs health benefits of cancer screening
A gene mutation that increased the likelihood of colon cancer has been traced back to about 370 years ago to pioneers who arrived in the US in the 1630s. The researchers used “cancer records and massive genealogic archive known as the Utah Population Database (UPDB) to trace the genetic condition to a Utah pioneer family and their 7,000 descendents.” The mutation causes attenuated familial adenomatous polyposis (AFAP), a condition which in turn causes the growth of colorectal polyps which can potentially become cancerous. The AFAP mutation can be used as a genetic marker for individuals with predisposition to colon cancer.
News from the nutritionists
Soy May Help Shield Asian-American Girls From Breast Cancer
Can soya consumption protect you from breast cancer? A US National Cancer Institute study revealed that high amounts of soya in the diet of Asian-American women during childhood may reduce the risk for breast cancer. The results of the study have been published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.
News from predictive medicine
Research studies report that it will soon be possible to predict which breast cancer tumors will metastasize and which ones will stay localized. This is good news for breast cancer patients who, even after a successful treatment, still have to worry about the possibility that the cancer may have already spread to other body organs. One study appears in the journal Clinical Cancer Research, the other in Nature Reviews Cancer.
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