News from the cancer side, May 22

May 22, 2009 by  
Filed under CANCER

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newspaper1News from the cancer patients

Arrest ordered for mom of boy, 13, resisting chemo
The 13-year old boy with Hodgkin’s lymphoma who refused to have chemotherapy has been reported to have disappeared together with his mother. The family belongs to a religious group who believes in natural healing and the boy is convinced that the chemotherapy will kill him. The mother and son disappeared after a court order was issued in favour of the doctors who believe the chemotherapy can save the boy’s life. A warrant of arrest for the mother has been issued.

News from the drug regulators

FDA Approves Drug for Treatment of Aggressive Brain Cancer
The US FDA recent approved an extension of Avastatin to treat atyped of brain cancer called glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Avastatin is already approved for the treatment of breast, lung, colorectal cancers. The approval was based on the results of 2 clinical trials which demonstrated that Avastin shrank the tumor size in some patients with GBM. The generic name of Avastin is bevacizumab and is manufactured by Genentech.

News from the stem cell experts

Embryo’s Heartbeat Drives Blood Stem Cell Formation
This research study at the Children’s Hospital Boston discovered that the embryonic heartbeat is what drives the formation of the blood stem cells. The study results “published online by the journals Cell and Nature, respectively, on May 13, together offer clues that may help in treating blood diseases such as leukemia, immune deficiency and sickle cell anemia, suggesting new ways scientists can make the types of blood cells a patient needs. This would help patients who require marrow or cord blood transplants, who do not have a perfect donor match.”

News from the geneticists

Why do people with Down syndrome have less cancer
Researchers have always been intrigued why the incidence of cancer is very low among people with Down’s Syndrome or trisomy 21. American researchers report that the genes in the extra chromosome 21 actually render people with Down’s Syndrome more suppression of cancer formation and tumor growth. The results have been demonstrated in lab mice. According to researcher Dr. Sandra Ryeom “I think there may be four or five genes on chromosome 21 that are necessary for angiogenesis suppression. In huge databases of cancer patients with solid tumors, there are very few with Down syndrome. This suggests that protection from chromosome 21 genes is pretty complete.

Don’t forget

May 22, 2009 is the first “Don’t Fry Day,” Society, jointly sponsored by the American Cancer Society and the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention (NCSCP). Take care of your skin!


Photo credit: stock.xchng

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