First mouse model created mimics cancer spread
April 15, 2008
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
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).
Ixabepilone Effective in Metastatic Breast Cancer
April 6, 2008
Researchers involved in a multi-center trial have reported that adding ixabepilone (Ixempra) to Xeloda(capecitabine) improves outcomes of patients with ER/PR/HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer (MBC) resistant to anthracyclines and taxanes. The details of this randomized study were presented at the 2007 meeting of the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS) in December.
Blood Test to Detect Tumor Cells May Predict Outcome in Advanced Breast Cancer
April 4, 2008
Tumor cells in circulating blood may accurately indicate prognosis and tumor response to treatment for patients with metastatic breast cancer, whereas measures of tumors circulating in bone marrow do not. These findings were recently published in the Annals of Oncology.
For breast cancer patients with relapsed or recurrent disease, the presence of circulating tumor cells in the blood is predictive of poor survival. Circulating tumor cells can also be measured in the bone marrow, a method previously used to predict outcome of patients with early-stage breast cancer. The use of bone marrow fluids, however, has not been fully studied among women with more-advanced breast cancer. As well, using bone marrow fluid requires a more-invasive bone marrow aspiration to withdraw blood and fluid for examination.
Molecular Cause of Breast Cancer Metastasis Discovered
April 4, 2008
By Jeffrey Perkel, USNews
Signaling events in tumor pave the way for lung invasion, a new study shows. Certain cancers tend to spread to specific tissues, and now researchers have gained a molecular handle on how that happens.
Working with breast tumors, Joan Massague, chairman of the Cancer Biology and Genetics Program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and his colleagues discovered a signaling “relay” that enables the cancer to molecularly “soften” its target tissue — the lung in this case — allowing circulating breast cancer cells to pass through capillary walls and penetrate the lung.
Scientists hope to put breast cancers ‘to sleep’
March 28, 2008
Scientists have suggested that it may one day be possible to push some breast cancers into a state of ’sleep’ by targeting a gene involved in some aggressive forms of the disease.
Experts at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney and the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) are in the early stages of research into Id1, a gene that is normally only switched on during the growth and development of embryos.
HRT Raises Recurrence Risk Among Breast Cancer Survivors
March 27, 2008
By Amanda Gardner, HealthDay News ABC
Breast cancer survivors who take hormone replacement therapy face a higher risk of a recurrence or a new malignancy.
European researchers report more grim news concerning women and hormone replacement therapy: Not only do healthy women run the risk of developing breast cancer while taking the therapy, breast cancer survivors who do the same face a higher risk of a recurrence or a new malignancy.
“This is the first study where patients with relatively recent breast cancer were randomized to take either hormone therapy or to do alternative therapies,” said Dr. Jennifer Wu, an obstetrician/gynecologist with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. “Really, at this point, there’s no guarantee of the safety of hormone replacement therapy in breast cancer survivors. Some forms of estrogen and progestin and different regimens of those two may be safer, but the risks are pretty clear-cut.”
The study, conducted by researchers from King’s College London and Scandinavia, is published in the March 25 online issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Research Can Begin to Rationalize Complex Process of the Development of Metastases
March 24, 2008
By Barbara Bachtler, Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch
A pioneer in cancer research says research can begin to rationalize complex process of the development of metastases.
“The process of tumor metastasis has until recently been one of bewildering complexity. However, one can now begin to rationalize this complex process in terms of a relatively small number of master control genes which normally operate during normal development and which are appropriated and exploited by cancer cells”, Dr. Robert Weinberg, a pioneer in cancer research from the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Cambridge, USA, said in Berlin.
Scientists Find Possible Cause for ‘Chemobrain’ in Breast Cancer Patients
March 19, 2008
‘Several studies have investigated chemotherapy’s cause and effect on memory problems, but until now scientists had no clue what changes in the brain lead to memory loss,’ Jame Abraham, M.D., director of the Comprehensive Breast Cancer Program at West Virginia University’s Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Centre, said.