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Low Vitamin D May Mean Worse Breast Cancer

May 17, 2008

By Audrey Grayson, ABC NEWS-USA

Vitamin D deficiencies have long been associated with disease, but new research suggests that low levels of vitamin D in women with breast cancer can lead to more aggressive forms of the disease, and even death.Researchers at the University of Toronto studied the correlation between vitamin D levels in the blood, the rate of breast cancer metastases — the incidence of having the cancer spread — and the overall survival rates of 512 women who were diagnosed with breast cancer between 1989 and 1995. The women were followed until 2006.

Researchers found for the first time that women who were vitamin D deficient at the time of their breast cancer diagnosis were 94 percent more likely to have their cancer spread, and 73 percent more likely to die from their cancer, compared with women who were not vitamin D deficient.

Embryonic pathway delivers stem cell traits

May 16, 2008

By Cristin Carr, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Studies of how cancer cells spread have led to a surprising discovery about the creation of cells with adult stem cell characteristics, offering potentially major implications for regenerative medicine and for cancer treatment.

Some cancer cells acquire the ability to migrate through the body by re-activating biological programs that have lain dormant since the embryo stage, as the lab of Whitehead Member Robert Weinberg has helped to demonstrate in recent years. Now scientists in the Weinberg lab have shown that both normal and cancer cells that are induced to follow one of these pathways may gain properties of adult stem cells, including the ability to self-renew

Request for Pre-IDE Determination Meeting with FDA for AdnaGen’s AdnaTest Breast Cancer Device for Detection of Circulating Brea

May 7, 2008

By Business Wire

SAN ANTONIO – OncoVista Innovative Therapies Inc. (OTC BB: OVIT.OB), a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the development and commercialization of targeted cancer therapies, announced the submission of a request to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a pre-IDE determination meeting for its AdnaGen AdnaTest Breast Cancer device for the detection of circulating breast tumor cells. AdnaGen is a subsidiary of OncoVista and focuses on the development of innovative tumor diagnostics by utilizing its proprietary technology for the detection and analysis of rare cells.

OncoVistas Chief Executive Officer, Alexander L. Weis, Ph.D., commented: We are very pleased to have submitted this package to the FDA. The AdnaTest is intended for use as a prognostic test for women with metastatic breast cancer, in whom the presence of circulating tumor cells is associated with decreased progression-free survival and decreased overall survival and as such can be of tremendous benefit in determining those patients who can best benefit from a certain line of chemotherapy treatment

Molecular Profiling Redefines The Nature Of Malignancy And Increases The Adoption Of Targeted Therapeutics

April 21, 2008

By MedicalNewsToday.com

Identification of novel cancer-related targets and pathways is redefining our understanding of the nature of malignancy.

Molecular profiling is prompting new, more detailed classifications of malignancy enabling the development of specific/personalized cancer therapies.

In breast cancer, for example, classification has been extended to include metastatic sites (bone, brain), expression of HEr2, and hormone receptor status.

Standard chemo works better against metastatic BRCA1/2 breast cancer than against sporadic tumors

April 18, 2008

By Emma Mason, European CanCer Organisation (ECCO)

The first study to investigate the effects of chemotherapy on metastatic breast cancer in women with the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation has shown that standard chemotherapy works better in these patients than in women without the BRCA1/2 mutation.

The authors of a study presented at the 6th European Breast Cancer Conference (EBCC-6) in Berlin found that women with BRCA2-associated breast cancer had a significantly higher response rate, a longer time without the disease progressing, and a longer overall survival when treated with anthracycline-based regimens than did women with sporadic breast cancers that were not associated with BRCA1/2.

Women with BRCA1-associated breast cancer also did better than women with sporadic breast cancer, but the rates were not statistically significant.

New type of drug shrinks primary breast cancer tumors significantly in just 6 weeks

April 18, 2008

By Mary Rice, European CanCer Organisation (ECCO)

Research provides leads to a new target in cancer treatment — the cancer stem cell

A drug that targets the cell surface receptors that play an important role in many types of cancer can bring about significant tumour regression in breast cancer after only six weeks of use, a scientist told the 6th European Breast Cancer Conference (EBCC-6).

Core Biopsy Appears to Release Breast Cancer Cells to Distant Organs

April 17, 2008

By Kristina Rebelo, DocGuide.com

Evidence has been found of metastatic dissemination after core needle biopsy in an in vivo model of human tumour metastasis, researchers reported in a poster presented here at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR 2008).

In 2005, the American College of Surgeons Consensus Conference issued an official statement regarding the diagnostic workup of image-detected breast abnormalities, saying that breast cancer treatment should optimised by making a definitive diagnosis prior to entering the operating room. Guidelines include the use of image-guided percutaneous needle biopsy as the gold standard for diagnosing image-detected breast abnormalities.

Several studies have demonstrated tumour cell displacement along needle tracks and into draining lymph nodes following core needle biopsies, but the clinical consequences are a subject of ongoing debate.

First mouse model created mimics cancer spread

April 15, 2008

By UPI.com

U.S. biologists say they have developed the first laboratory mouse model that mimics the spread of cancer through the human body.

Using a novel cell line, the Boston College team discovered one of the body’s primary defensive cells plays a role in cancer’s attack.

Thomas Seyfried, who led the study, said the development of a new animal model — a line of cancer cells injected into a laboratory mouse — displays the full spectrum of systemic metastatic cancer in humans. The finding, he said, removes a “scientific stumbling block” in advancing cancer research and potential treatments.

“What we have developed is the first model in the mouse that replicates all of the hallmarks of metastatic cancer,” said Seyfried. “Now, we have a tool that can be effective in identifying basic mechanisms and new therapies to treat the disease.”

The study is reported in the online version of the International Journal of Cancer and was presented Sunday in San Diego during the annual meeting of the American Association of Cancer Research.

60 Minutes: Novice Inventor Builds Machine that May Cure Cancer

April 14, 2008

By CBS 60 Minutes

What if we told you that a guy with no background in science or medicine-not even a college degree-has come up with what may be one of the most promising breakthroughs in cancer research in years?

Well it’s true, and if you think it sounds improbable, consider this: he did it with his wife’s pie pans and hot dogs.

His name is John Kanzius, and he’s a former businessman and radio technician who built a radio wave machine that has cancer researchers so enthusiastic about its potential they’re pouring money and effort into testing it out.

Here’s the important part: if clinical trials pan out-and there’s still a long way to go-the Kanzius machine will zap cancer cells all through your body without the need for drugs or surgery and without side effects. None at all. At least that’s the idea.

Circulating Tumor Cells Confirmed as Adverse Prognostic Sign in Metastatic Breast Cancer

April 9, 2008

By CancerConsultants.com

Researchers from France have reported that circulating tumor cells in the blood may accurately indicate prognosis and tumor response to treatment for patients with metastatic breast cancer. The details of this study were published in the March 2008 issue of the Annals of Oncology.

In women with localized breast cancer, the presence of tumor cells in the bone marrow has been predictive of a worse outcome, and bone marrow examinations have been suggested as routine staging procedures. A previous multi-center trial determined that women with breast cancer who have five or more circulating tumor cells have shorter progression-free and overall survivals compared with women with fewer than five circulating tumor cells (see related news). 

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