Cancer in the headlines, February 5



Here’s a round up of cancer news for you today.

NIH to Hold Press Telebriefing on February 4 following State-of-the-Science Conference on Colorectal Cancer Screening
American adults are not utilizing available screening methods for colorectal cancer, according to a recent National Institutes of Health (NIH) press statement. An NIH State-of-the-Science Conference on Enhancing Use and Quality of Colorectal Cancer Screening was held on February 2 to 4, 2010. Current guidelines recommend screening for colorectal cancer starting at age 50 but a 2005 statistics indicated that only 50% of those eligible for screening have been screened. Currently available screening methods are as follows:

  • fecal occult blood testing
  • sigmoidoscopy (internal examination of the lower part of the large intestine)
  • colonoscopy (internal examination of the entire large intestine).

Andrew Lloyd Webber urges men to get cancer tests
The renowned British composer Andrew Lloyd Webber is back on track after having been successfully treated for prostate cancer last year. The 61-year old is back, working on new musicals and felt very lucky that his cancer was caught rather early. Webber urges men to undergo prostate cancer screening:

“I say to every red-blooded male, if you do begin to have a problem down under, however embarrassing, go to your GP at once. Even if you don’t have any symptoms, if you are over 50 get regular PSA (prostate specific antigen) tests.”

Mutations Contribute to Type of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
NIH researchers report the discovery of genetic mutations that may contribute to the development of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The study specifically looked at diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is and aggressive and the most common form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, accounting for about 30% of newly diagnosed cases. Studies show the implication of the BCR signalling pathway in the pathogenesis of DLBCL. This current study looked for mutations in genes that encode these signaling pathway components in human DLBCL tumors and identified critical points in the BCR signaling pathway that affect the survival of lymphoma cells.

UPDATE 2-Roche says Xelox cancer drug effective in elderly
Xelox, a cancer drug developed by Roche, extends survival of patients with colorectal cancer, according to recent study results. Xelox is oral Xeloda combined with intravenous oxaliplatin and is given after surgery. The study which included patients older than 65 demonstrated that disease-free survival rate is higher in those treated with Xelox compared to those treated with commonly used chemotherapy regimen 5-fluorouracil/leucovorin

Project seeks genetic basis of childhood cancer
Researchers at the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis are working together to sequence all the genes associated with childhood tumors. It is hoped that with genetic knowledge, treatments can be developed that will work specifically and more effectively in children than chemo- and radiotherapy. According to Dr. Larry Shapiro, dean of Washington University School of Medicine:

“Our belief and our expectation is that pediatric cancer is going to have different genetic alterations than adult cancers.”

The 3-year study is estimated to cost $65 million which will mostly come from private donations.

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.
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