Shrinks Lung Cancer Tumors
(RRC - RI) -- Compound in marihuana, THC, cut lung tumor growth in half in lab animals
and helped prevent metastasis in others, says Harvard researcher, Preet. THC
anti-inflam-matory properties of endocannabinoids found on
lung cancer cells.
After injections of THC mouse tumors shrank about 50 percent in
three weeks compared to untreated tumors.
Other research suggests THC also could help fight brain, prostate, and
New Pancreatic Vaccine
(RRC, RI) -- Doctors at Johns Hopkins are giving a
select group of patients a new pancreatic cancer vaccine after surgery and again after chemo and radiation.
The results appear to be dramatic.
Pancreatic cancer kills 30,000 Americans annually.
Surviving more five years with it is rare.
Ron Windle, diagnosed with pancreatic cancer three years ago, never imagined he'd be
alive and still walking hand-in-hand with his wife three years later.
afraid," Windle says. "I still have many things to do in life."
After surgery, chemo and radiation, he had only a 20-percent chance of
surviving five years...but then he enrolled in a clinical trial to test the
Daniel Laheru, M.D., an oncologist at Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer
Center at Johns Hopkins said that the vaccine uses a form of genetically altered cells
to create a molecule that lures immune cells and then retrains them to
recognize the tumor as cancer and fight it!
According to Dr. Laheru, "Essentially, the vaccine teaches the immune system to recognize
pancreas cancer cells as being foreign and attack them, leaving
healthy cells alone."
So far, he says results have been encouraging, with 76
percent of patients still alive after two years, compared to only 42 percent
of patients who received just chemo and radiation.
Windle, however, is completely cancer-free!
"I'm sure the vaccine is why I'm here today. I've
had many MRIs and cat scans, and there's no sign of cancer. None," he says.
The vaccine is injected eight weeks after surgery and again after chemo
Another study to
refine the vaccine's targets will start in RI. If the results are
positive, John Hopins will immediately apply for FDA approval.
Pancreatic Cancer Survival Rates Enchanced
(RRC, RI) A multi-center
now confirms, beyond doubt, that combining chemo-therapy with radiation after surgical removal of pancreatic cancer significantly improves survival rates.
Patients with pancreatic cancer, a
notoriously difficult-to-treat cancer with poor survival rates, have good
reason to be encouraged.
The study, conducted
at the Comprehensive Cancer Center of Wake Forest
University Baptist Medical Center and the Centre Hospitalier Lyon Sud in
published in the August issue of the British Journal of Cancer.
"This study built on previous research that showed that the use of a
particular chem-therapy agent (gemcitabine) plus radiation therapy might
improve survival rates for patients with this devastating cancer," said A.
William Blackstock, M.D., associate professor of radiation oncology at Wake
Forest Baptist and lead investigator.
The study evaluated a combination of six weeks of daily radiation therapy,
concurrent with twice-weekly doses of gemcitabine, followed by two cycles of
maintenance doses of gemcitabine alone.
Between June 1999 and October 2003, 46 patients were evaluated. The majority (70%) had advanced pancreatic cancer (known as
T-3/ T-4) with involvement of the lymph nodes.
The median survival for all the patients in the study was 18.3 months,
compared to a national average of only 11 months for patients having surgery
alone. Twenty-four percent (24%) of the study participants were still alive
at three years and 69% at one year.
"The results are promising because they may reflect not only
longer survival of these patients, but also an improved local-regional
control of the disease. In addition, because lower doses of gemcitabine were
used, it proved to be a less toxic approach to treatment," said Blackstock.
Better Catheter Option For Male Cancer Patients
(RRC - RI) -- So-called "indwelling catheters" are painful and
dangerous for male patients who don't need them -- causing numerous infections,
some of which are deadly, a recent study shows.
A new study reveals, however, that tight-fitting "condom catheters" reduce
infection by 80 percent, are more comfortable, less likely to fall off than
older types, and much less likely to result in death.
Since 25 percent of hospitalized patients are catheterized, the study
conclusions could have striking implications for hospital patients as well as
those in nursing homes and other settings, according to study leader, Sanjay
Saint, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Patient Safety Enhancement Program and an
associate professor of general medicine at the U-M Medical School.
Saint says UTIs (Urinary Tract Infections) are a common hospital problem
that lead to fevers, prolonged stays and needless deaths.
The first-ever randomized controlled trial comparing so-called "in-dwelling"
to "condom" catheters, showed striking declines in infection and death rates
among men who didn’t have dementia and didn’t need indwelling catheterization.
(See: July Journal of the American Geriatrics Society).
The study’s authors are Samuel R. Kaufman, M.A. and Mary A.M. Rogers, Ph.D.,
of U-M and the Ann Arbor VA, and Paul D. Baker, ARNP, and Kathleen Ossenkop,
ARNP, of the VA Puget Sound. The study was funded by the Department of Veterans
Affairs, the VA/U-M Patient Safety Enhancement Program (PSEP), Mentor Corp., and
the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program.
The screen, developed by Sara Sukumar, Ph.D.
and Mary Jo Fackler, Ph.D., first separates cells from
fluid, then sifts through their DNA for chemical tags on
genes associated with cancer.
Pancreatic Cancer Vaccine Gives Patients New Hope
(RRC - RI) --
Pancreatic cancer kills 30,000 American cancer
patients every year. Another 30,000 are newly diagnosed every year.
Chances of living more than five years with pancreatic cancer are low, but researchers
are changing that. Ron Windle, for instance, was diagnosed with pancreatic
cancer three years ago. Doctors operated, treated him with the usual rounds
of chemo and radiation, and told him he had a 20 percent chance of
surviving five years. He thought he'd be dead or, at the very least,
incapacitated by now. Instead, he's walking hand in hand with his wife,
and is still very much alive!
Why? Johns Hopkins University doctors
gave him a pancreatic cancer vaccine. Daniel Laheru, M.D., of Johns
Hopkins University, says the vaccine "taught" Ron's immune system to recognize
and attack pancreatic cancer cells ...leaving healthy cells alone.
Seventy-six percent of similarly vaccinated patients are still alive after
two years, compared to 42 percent of those traditionally treated.
Halting Breast Cancer Spread
(RRC - RI) -- New York researchers say drugs targeting
four genes may stop breast cancer from spreading to the lungs. The
troublesome genes -- the EREG gene, the Cox-2 gene, the MMP1 gene
and the MMP2 gene -- may be necessary for cancer to spread.
Scientists at Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Cancer
Biology and Genetics Program at New York's Memorial Sloan Kettering
Cancer Center used three drugs, the cancer drug Erbitux, the
anti-inflammatory drug Celebrex, and an experimental
anti-inflammatory drug to target the four genes in mice, which had
been injected with breast cancer cells.
Cancer cells where all four genes were inactivated had
difficulty growing new blood vessels and this stopped cancer from
spreading into the lungs. However, in mice where only one of the
genes was inactivated, the cancer had no trouble spreading.
Clinical trials of the drug combination are being discussed. You
can find trials that you may be ale to participate in by using the
TrialsFinder link on this web page.
Reducing Pancreatic Cancer Deaths by 50%
(RRC, RI) -- A study
of 2,000 people for ten years
reports eating certain foods reduces the risk of getting pancreatic cancer by 50 percent and helps fight
the nation's fourth most deadly disease, if you do get it. The fruits and vegetables that play the biggest roles:
3. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli.
4. Dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale or romaine
lettuce (not "iceberg").
People who ate five or more servings of these daily had the
lowest incidence of pancreatic cancer by far.
Meanwhile, diets high in processed meat (sausages, luncheon
meats, etc.) may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer by 70
percent, according to a major study of 180,000 individuals published in the Journal of
the National Cancer Institute. People who ate the most processed
meat suffered double the rate of pancreatic cancer as those who ate
Those who ate even non-processed red meats, including pork, beef,
and other red meats, had a 50-percent higher risk of pancreatic
cancer compared to those who ate the least.
The culprit might not be the meat, but nitrate-based
preservatives and the cooking method, like charcoal-grilling.
Common Herb Hinders
(RRC, RI) -- Triphala,
one of the most popular herbal preparations in the world, is used to
treat intestinal disorders and is typically taken with water to
promote appetite and digestion and to increase red blood cells.
Now, however, a study at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer
Institute suggests another use: It also helps prevent or slow
the growth of pancreatic cancer tumors!
Triphala, found in dried
and powdered fruits of three plants, causes pancreatic cancer cell
death in mice by enhancing apoptosis -- the body's normal method of
disposing of damaged cells.
Reports presented at the annual meeting of the American Assn.
for Cancer Research reveal that, “Triphala fed orally to mice with human pancreatic tumors was an
extremely effective inhibitor of the cancer process."
Sanjay K. Srivastava, Ph.D., lead researcher and assistant professor,
Pharmacology Dept., Univ. of Pittsburgh School of
Medicine, stated, "Triphala triggered the cancerous cells to die off and
significantly reduced the size of the tumors without causing toxic
Mice he grafted with human pancreatic tumors
were fed 1 to 2 milligrams of triphala five days a week and then
their tumor size and levels of apoptotic proteins in the tumors were
compared to those of a control group of mice that had not received
Researchers found that mice that received triphala had increased
proteins associated with apoptosis and smaller tumors.
Compared to control group specimens, triphala-treated
tumors were half the size of those in untreated mice.
it turns out, activated tumor-suppressor genes, resulting in the
generation of proteins that support apoptosis, but that did not
negatively affect normal pancreatic cells.
"Our results demonstrate that triphala has strong anticancer
properties given its ability to induce apoptosis in pancreatic
cancer cells without damaging normal pancreatic cells," said Dr.
Srivastava. "With follow-up studies, we hope to demonstrate its
potential use as a novel agent for the prevention and treatment of
Excerpted from: The Definitive Guide to
Cancer: An Integrative Approach
The world of dietary supplements can be overwhelming. The vast variety of products available and conflicting information
make the supplement seas hard to navigate. To help you chart your
course, we've done a lot of research and have compiled our findings
in the "Integrative Cancer Care Supplement Guide". Because different
types of cancer require different supplement programs, we'll provide
details about specific supplements in each of the cancer overviews.
There is no question that some herbs and nutrients can stimulate
strong and directed immune activity, influence hormones, help
balance blood sugar levels, and reduce inflammation.
also be used to support optimal digestion, detoxification, and
elimination. Some specific herbs and nutrients even have direct
anticancer effects. And finally, for those undergoing conventional
cancer treatments, certain supplements can help offset side effects.
Here are some general guidelines to follow when using dietary
Herbs and nutrients can interact
with other drugs, so be sure to consult with a qualified
integrative health-care practitioner such as a naturopathic
physician or pharmacist about potential interactions and contra
Always tell your physicians which
herbs and nutrients you are taking; even if they aren't familiar
with your supplements, they need to know that you're taking
The quality of supplements is
variable; consult with a knowledgeable integrative health-care
provider such as a naturopathic physician or pharmacist about
how to obtain high-quality supplements. Also look for
independent, third-party validation of quality.
Be careful of cancer cure claims
associated with some dietary supplements.
The science of herbs and nutrients
to prevent and treat cancer is evolving quickly, so be sure to
consult someone you trust to develop the safest and most
effective supplement program-preferably a naturopathic
physician, an integrative health-care doctor or nurse
practitioner, or someone on the staff of a clinic or a hospital
that consistently uses nutrients and herbs in treatment plans.
Consult with this person regularly, especially whenever your
conventional treatment plan changes, so that you can benefit
from the most up-to-date information and receive the best
Oftentimes, people with cancer hope to find a supplement program
that's both simple and effective -- just one or two supplements they
can add to their treatment plan not only as additional dietary
"insurance" but also as complementary therapy. However, because
there are so very many different supplements available and,
unfortunately, so many different forms of cancer, it's nearly
impossible to provide simple recommendations that apply to all forms
of cancer. Nontheless, there are some shining stars that have been
scientifically shown to have anticancer potential and that are also
generally considered safe.
It can be difficult to get enough nutrients from food due to a
variety of reasons, including poor quality of the food as a result
of soil depletion, food processing and packaging, or food
preparation. Even those with relatively healthy diets may be
deficient in certain nutrients. This issue is compounded for some
people with cancer. As mentioned, cancer commandeers nutrients,
leaving healthy tissues depleted. Plus, many cancer patients
experience loss of appetite or have digestive or absorption issues,
especially when undergoing conventional treatments. Therefore, a
comprehensive multivitamin-multimineral supplement is usually a good
idea. In addition, we recommend the following key nutrients:
Essential fatty acids reduce inflammation,
support apoptosis in cancer cells, help balance hormones, and
support antitumor immune activity. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil -- eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and
docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) -- are especially beneficial.
Green tea interferes with
carcinogenesis in multiple places, supports apoptosis in a wide
variety of cancer types, exerts antiangiogenic actions, supports
detoxification, and has demonstrated anticancer activity in most
Melatonin in high doses (at least
20 mg) supports apoptosis of cancer cells, reduces the signals
for tumor growth, and improves quality of life during active
The majority of cancer patients use conventional medicine
(surgery, drugs, radiation, or a combination of these) to treat
their cancer at some point during their illness. It is vital for
these people to realize that conventional medicine and healthy diet,
positive lifestyle choices, and dietary supplements are not mutually
exclusive (although some care must be taken to ensure that specific
supplements aren't contraindicated). In fact, attention to these
cornerstones of an integrative approach is absolutely critical
before, during, and after conventional treatment.
It is safe to incorporate the
previous diet and lifestyle guidelines with conventional
Some nutrients and herbs should
not be used before surgery, and some should not be used
concurrently with some chemotherapy agents or radiation
treatments. For safety reasons, it is always best to keep all of
your doctors and health-care providers informed about what
supplements you're using .
Scientific studies have
demonstrated that certain herbs, nutrients, and complementary
therapies can help offset side effects of chemotherapy. For
instance, L-glutamine can prevent or reduce nerve damage from
docetaxel and paclitaxel. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) can help protect
the heart from damage from doxorubicin. Ginger can reduce nausea
after surgery. Acupuncture can be helpful for nausea or pain
relief. Mind-body techniques such as mediation, yoga, and guided
imagery have also been shown to be effective in helping people
cope with cancer, its treatments, and treatment side effects.
Conventional medicine has made incredible advances in the fight
against cancer. However, true and deep healing is only possible with
a multifaceted and integrative approach that revolves around the
individual needs of the patient. We must find a way to address the
whole as we consider the sum of our parts. According to Paul Reilly,
ND, L.Ac., of the Seattle Cancer Treatment and Wellness Center, if
we change the internal environment that allowed the cancer to grow,
we can change the outcome. We need to tackle cancer using
integrative and appropriate body-mind-spirit techniques. An
integrative treatment plan requires initiative, cooperation, and
commitment from all parties involved and should always be focused on
High-fat / Low-carb Slows Brain Tumor Growth
(RRC -- RI) -- KetoCal, a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet designed to treat epilepsy in
children, can greatly decrease growth of brain tumors in lab animals.
Professor Tom Seyfried, who over saw the study, said, "While the
tumors did not vanish in mice who received the strict KetoCal diet, they
got significantly smaller and the animals lived significantly longer.
And compared to radiation, chemotherapy and surgery, KetoCal is a
relatively inexpensive treatment option."
Malignant brain cancer is one of the most lethal cancers and is the
second leading cause of cancer death in children. Many current
treatments target tumor cells while also harming the health and vitality
of normal brain cells. The KetoCal diet avoids this by starving brain
tumor cells of the glucose molecules on which they rely for survival
while providing normal brain cells ketones, a class of organic compounds
they can metabolize effectively but the tumor cells cannot.
The KetoCal diet decreased the growth of brain tumors by between 35
percent and 65 percent, researchers reported. Moreover, survival rates
were higher in the mice on the restricted diet.
The findings were based on a study published this week in the online
journal Nutrition & Metabolism.
Pancreatic Cancer: Capsaicin Inhibits
(RRC, RI) -- Researchers at the University of
Pittsburgh Medical Center have discovered an ingredient in red chili
pepper, called capsaicin, prevents or slows the growth of pancreatic cancer tumors implanted in lab animals.
Lead investigator Sanjay K. Srivastava said,
"Capsaicin fed orally to mice with human pancreatic tumors was
an extremely effective inhibitor of the cancer process, inducing
apoptosis (cell death). Capsaicin triggered cancerous cells to
die off and significantly reduced the size of the tumors."
Mice grafted with human pancreatic tumors were fed different
amounts of Capsaicin for five days per week or three days per week
according to their weight, then researchers compared tumor size and
levels of apoptotic proteins in the tumors to a control group of
mice that received no capsican.
Mice that ingested Capsaicin had increased levels of proteins
associated with apoptosis and significantly smaller tumor sizes than
the control group. In fact, tumors were half the size of tumors in
non-treated mice, the researchers say.
disrupted the mitochondrial function of cancer cells, which resulted
in the release of several apoptotic proteins. The good news
is, capsican did not negatively affect normal pancreatic cells.
" Our results demonstrate that Capsaicin is a potent anticancer
agent, induces apoptosis in cancer cells, and produces no
significant damage to normal pancreatic cells, indicating its
potential use as a novel agent for the prevention and treatment of
pancreatic cancer," said Srivastava.
Source: Univ. Pittsburgh Medical Ctr, 2006
Gene treatment for chemo-resistant metastatic pancreatic, breast, colon, melanoma cancers
FDA GRANTS "ORPHAN" STATUS
APPROVE IMMEDIATE USE
(RobertsReview, RI, USA) -- Human clinical
results reported in the Internt'l Journal of Oncology reveal 83% of patients with chemo-resistant metastatic
pancreatic cancer tumors who received Rexin-G, a new gene therapy, showed
impressive tumor reduction or tumor death!
In a second study, 64% tumor
response was observed in patients with metastatic breast cancer as
well as colon cancer,
uterine cancer, muscle and vocal cord cancers, as well as malignant
melanoma. In a third study, where optimally
adjusted doses of Rexin-G were administered to three patients, tumor
reduction and/or necrosis was achieved in all three patients.
The dramatic functionality of this, the world's first cancer
targeted gene delivery system is profound. The treatment
appears to offer broad spectrum activity in many treatment-resistant
tumor types, and, equally important, the treatment appears to be
exceptionally safe and easily tolerated by patients.
Lack of toxicity, dramatic tumor reduction, and the enhanced
quality-of-life experienced by patients receiving Rexin-G during
Phase I/II FDA approved trials, constitute meaningful clinical
benefits that underscore the need for expediting development and
testing of Rexin-G for pancreatic cancer patients, and, potentially,
for all solid tumor patients. The FDA has already taken note
of these first human test results and has moved to speed the process
of testing and marketing.
Dr. Frederick L. Hall, President and CEO of Epeius
Biotechnologies, helped develop the remarkable mew treatment said,
"Whereas logistics had previously stymied delivery of genetic
medicine to target lesions (tumors) within the body, intravenous
infusions of Rexin-G (succeeded and) has stymied intractable cancers
without collateral damage to normal organs."
The results compiled in these pioneering early studies,
already have convinced the U.S. FDA to grant Rexin-G "orphan drug"
status for treatment of pancreatic cancer, and subsequently, to
provide federal support to speed up and continue clinical trials
using Rexin-G in the United States. Other countires aren't
Based on the dramatic new results,
the Philippine Bureau of Food and Drugs aren't waiting. They
already have granted Rexin-G approval for use in treating all
chemo-resistant tumor types in the Phillipines.
NEW CANCER TREATMENTS AND BREAKTHROUGHS...
Potential Cure Discovered?
CANCER IN GENERAL
COLON CANCER -- COLORECTAL CANCER
MELANOMA - SKIN CANCER
CANCER CURE DISCOVERED?
Leukocyte InFusion 100% Effective!
Now Being Tried on
(RobertsReview, RI, USA) -- Scientists are
about to embark on a precedent-setting human trial to
determine whether a new cancer treatment called Leukocyte InFusion Therapy (LIFT) will be as effective in humans as it
has proven to be in mice.
Researchers at Wake Forest University's Baptist Medical
Centertransfuse specific white blood cells, called
granulocytes, from select donors, into patients with
advanced cancers. A treatment using the same type cells from
cancer-resistant mice has cured 100 percent of lab mice with
advanced malignancies, according to Zheng Cui, Ph.D., lead
researcher and associate professor of pathology.
mice, we've been able to eradicate even highly aggressive
forms of malignancy with extremely large tumors," Cui said.
"Hopefully, we will see the same results in humans. Our
laboratory studies indicate that this cancer-fighting
ability (of granulocytes) is even stronger in healthy
FDA-approved human trails will use white blood
cells from healthy young people whose immune systems produce
cells with the highest levels of cancer-fighting activity.
The anti-tumor response primarily involves granulocytes of
the innate human immune system, a system known for its
powerful ability to fight off infections.
account for up to 60 percent of total white blood cells in
healthy humans, researchers say, and people can donate
granulocytes through a process called apheresis. It
separates granulocytes and returns other blood components
back to donors, whose systems quickly remanufacture
For the study, 500 potential
local donors are being recruited who are 50 years old or
younger and in good health. The 100 donors with the highest
cancer-killing activity in their cells will be asked to
donate white blood cells for the study. Twenty-two cancer
patients with solid tumors that don't respond to
conventional therapies will receive the donated cells.
To find out more:
Forest University Medical Center.
(RobertsReview, RI, USA) -- Immune cells in some
cancer patient recognize, attack, and kill cancer cells,
leading to full patient recovery.
Recently Steven Rosenberg at the National Cancer Institute
isolated these cancer kiling T cells (tumor-infiltrating
lymphocytes) in a patient who had successfully beaten
melanoma. He then introduced genetic information
from them via a harmless retrovirus into the T cells of
patients suffering from active cases of potentially deadly
The result? One month
after treatment the new killer T cells made up between 9 and
56 percent of the T cell population in 15 of 17 patients
Better yet, 18 months
after treatment, 2 of the 17 cured themselves of skin-cancer
and continued to show high levels of the cancer killing
cells in their systems.
(RobertsReview, RI, USA) -- Scientists at Katholieke
Universiteit Leuven in Belgium, in collaboration with the
Flemish biotech company, Thrombo-Genics, report the
anti-cancer agent "anti-PLGF" not only treats
tumors for which other therapies fail, but also enhances
effectiveness of existing forms of chemotherapy -- all without side
effects! The findings were published in the
prestigious medical journal, CELL.
How it works
All living tissue is supplied with oxygen
and nutrients via blood vessels. But tumors grow much more
quickly than normal tissue and have greater need for
nutrients. This causes tumor cells
produce growth factors that stimulate formation of
additional blood vessels (called angiogenesis) to feed the
When formation of blood vessels that feed
tumor cells is blocked, the tumor starves to death due to
the lack of oxygen and nutrients. Existing
anti-angiogenesis drugs eliminate the most common
angiogenesis growth factor but cause serious side effects.
In addition the cancer compensates by producing other growth
factors, so that the drugs lose their effect.
For several years now, researchers have
been experimenting with a new angiogenetic growth factor:
the placental growth factor, or PLGF. PLGF only stimulates
blood vessel formation in cancer and other diseases.
Researcher Christian Fischer and his
colleagues − under the direction of Peter Carmeliet and in
close collaboration with the biotech company ThromboGenics
directed by Désiré Collen − have been studying the
therapeutic possibilities of anti-PLGF, which retards the
action of PLGF. Anti-PLGF not only increases the
effectiveness of chemotherapy and the current
anti-angiogenesis therapy, but also inhibits growth
and metastasis of tumors resistant to existing drugs. In
contrast to current therapies, anti-PLGF does not trigger a
‘rescue operation’ in which other growth factors are
produced as compensation.
Favorable evaluation of anti-PLGF as a
potential cancer treatment raises hope for a more effective
cancer therapy with fewer side effects − which can be used
with children and pregnant women, too. First clinical
tests of the new treatment are expected to begin shortly.
you can find a 3D animation which clearly shows the
Patients, researchers, and physicians may
submit questions concerning this research via:
The research report appears in the
journal, Cell (Fischer et al., Anti-PlGF inhibits
growth of VEGF(R)- inhibitor resistant tumors without
affecting healthy vessels).
New Lymphoma Treatment
Delivers 8+ Yr Survival Rate
are not getting it!
(RobertsReview, RI, USA) -- Researchers
9 of 10 cancer patients given a relatively new combinative
radiation/cancer-killing antibodies treatment are still
alive eight years later.
Half with previously untreated follicular
lymphoma suffered no relapses after
treatment. Follicular lymphoma (a cancer of the lymph
tissue, an important part of the immune system.) is a common
form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma accounting for about 15% of
Treatment stimulates the body's immune system
to kill cancer by combining the antibody (tositumomab) with
radioactive iodine administered through infusion.
“The advantage is that Bexxar (the treatment)
is given in one week, with very little toxicity,” says Mark
Kaminski, MD, professor of internal medicine at the
University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center in Ann
Traditional chemotherapy requires several
months of therapy and is associated with a variety of
toxicities and side effects which can include nausea, hair
loss, and infections.
86% Still Alive at 8 Years
This is the first study to use Bexxar in
untreated patients. (FDA approved Bexxar in
2003 for treatment only of follicular non-Hodgkin's
lymphoma in patients non-responsive to therapy with Rituxan who relapsed following chemotherapy.)
Seventy-six people with advanced follicular
lymphoma (stage III & IV) who had not yet been
treated for their disease participated in the eight year
study. Results showed 95% responded positively. 75%
had a complete disappearance of any sign of cancer. Overall
survival was 86%. Fifty percent (50%) continued to show no
signs of cancer. Of the 57 patients who had complete
remission, two-thirds remained in remission.
When injected, Bexxar acts like a homing
missile, traveling through the bloodstream it zeroes in on a
protein "target" found on the surface of cancer cells. Its
radiation kills these cells while generally sparing healthy
Why are 90% of patients
getting this treatment?
“Fewer than 10% of patients
who could benefit are getting it,” according to Dr.
Why? Most are initially seen by
so-called "medical oncologists" who can easily deliver
chemotherapy right in their offices. Bexxar treatment,
however, requires coordination between the medical
oncologist, the radiation oncologist, the radiopharmacy, and
Bottom line: If patients WANT this
highle-effective treatment, they FIRST must know about its
existence...and then they have to DEMAND it from their
doctors who, more often than not...take the "easier, faster,
more profitable approach" to treating the patient.
Chemo Combo Extends
Cancer Patient Survival
(RobertsReview, RI, USA) -- Mesothelioma
attacks the lungs, heart and abdomen and is associated with exposure
to asbestors. Although there is no known cure, a new study shows
patients given pemetrexed and cisplatin -- along with the vitamin
supplements folic acid and B12 live longer...and better..
Researchers led by John Green, M.D., at the Clatterbridge Center
for Oncology in England, studied 448 patients and reported that, "Pemetrexed
used in combination with cisplatin significantly increases the
length of survival, compared with cisplatin alone."
Patients receiving the combo survived nearly three months longer
than patients getting cisplatin alone and reported improved quality
of life in terms of fatigue, loss of appetite, pain and cough.
During early stages of the trial, however, some patients receiving
pemetrexed had serious symptoms of toxicity, including drug-related
death. Other side effects included blood cell abnormalities, nausea
and diarrhea. These decreased in both frequency and severity after
vitamins were added to the treatment.
For more see: Green J, et al. Pemetrexed disodium in combination
with cisplatin vs cytotoxic agents or supportive care for treat-ment of malignant pleural mesothelioma. Cochrane Database
of Systematic Reviews RI, Issue 1.
Advanced Colorectal Cancer Survival
(RobertsReview, RI, USA) -- An effective
treatment option for colorectal cancer patients for whom other
treatment options have been exhausted – cetuximab – was revealed in
research presented at the RI Annual Meeting of the American
Association for Cancer.
Cetuximab, marketed as Erbitux improved survival rates and slowed progression of the disease, according to a study
of 572 colorectal cancer patients conducted by researchers in
Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.
Derek Jonker, M.D., assistant professor at the University of
Ottawa and study co-chair reported, "This is the first time a single
agent biologically targeted therapy has demonstrated a survival
advantage in patients with colorectal cancer, and it is also the
first time an EGFR-targeting drug has achieved this goal."
The study, called CO.17, was a randomized, multi-center, phase
III trial. It compared cetuximab plus best supportive care to best
supportive care alone in patients whose metastatic colorectal cancer
was no longer responding to all available chemotherapy, including
irinotecan, oxaliplatin and fluoropyrimidines.
Patients who received cetuximab were given 400 mg intravenously
at the outset, followed by weekly doses of 250 mg.
Cetuximab, an antibody against the epidermal growth factor
receptor (EGFR), binds to the receptor on the surface of cancer
cells, preventing activation of enzymatic pathways that lead to cell
growth and proliferation. Cetuximab also enlists the body's immune
system by triggering "natural killer cells" to attack the cancer, a
process called antibody dependent cell cytotoxicity.
Jonker says the CO.17 trial showed a 23 percent improvement in
overall survival and a 32 percent reduction in the risk of disease
progression. The survival time of the participants was, on average,
six months for the patients given cetuximab versus four-and-a-half
months for patients who received best supportive care alone.
"Earlier studies demonstrated cetuximab could shrink colon
tumors, both alone and when combined with chemotherapy," Jonker
said. "While some patients receiving cetuximab in the CO.17 study
had significant tumor shrinkage, many more had the cancer growth
arrested, delaying progress of the disease and resulting in patients
Experts Clash On Efficacy of New Brain Cancer
(RobertsReview, RI, USA)
Children with high-risk medulloblastoma have had only a 30-40 percent chance of
surviving to five years. Now, however, a new experimental
treatment that relies on a child's own stem cells
dramatically improves the odds.
"We can now cure 70 percent of children with
high-risk medulloblastoma and more than 80 percent of those
with standard-risk disease with a much shorter chemotherapy
approach," said lead researcher Dr. Amar Gajjar, from St
Jude's Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, TN.
In Sept. 7 online edition of medical journal The
Lancet Oncology doctors described the new treatment in
which radiation therapy is tailored to fit the severity of
the brain cancer. It is then followed by a dramatically reduced
course of chemo. To accomplish the reduction researchers
took stem cells from patients before chemotherapy and
implanted them after each round of chemo. Researchers
report that this allows the chid's body to recover from the
extensive damage caused by chemo.
Use of (chemotherapy drug) cisplatin was reduced from
eight doses to four doses, and the amount of vincristine
from 32 doses to just eight! This alleviated much of
the neurotoxicity associated with the normal chemo dosages.
Gujjar says, "investigators should consider adopting a
similar therapeutic strategy for high-risk patients. This
approach should be feasible in most pediatric oncology units
at academic medical centers, but meticulous staging and
careful attention to detail during radiotherapy planning and
treatment are essential to obtain similar results."
But Dr. Anna J. Janss, co-director of the Neuro-Oncology
Program at the Aflac Cancer Center of Children's Healthcare
of Atlanta -- said the findings won't change her approach to
treating childhood brain cancer.
Dr Janss says the results don't make her say: "Oh, I
want to treat all my patients this way." She said the new
approach is only as good as what has been done before, but
not good enough to make her harvest stem cells from every
child she treats.
Melanoma, Leukemia, Lymphoma, Pancreatic, Prostate Cancer
(RobertsReview, RI, USA) -- When
retired surgeon, Dr. Eugene Overton, 74, was diagnosed with
melanoma, instead of chemotherapy, which causes devastating side
effects, he chose an immune system "booster shot" to fight the often
He receives injections every three weeks that signal the his
immune system to attack malignant cells, much as the body does with
viruses and bacteria...only this time the target is cancer cells.
And it is working!
Overton boasts he's not only had no recurrence of melanoma, but
also no side-effects from the treatment. This is because
immunotherapy doesn't damage healthy tissue the way chemotherapy and
About 160 immunotherapy approved "trials" are under way in the
U.S., some are on the verging of going for FDA approval. Leading the
way is the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, which
three years ago opened a state-of-the-art immunology research
High-profile success is keeping an M.D. Anderson doctor
healthy and thriving nearly 15 months after diagnosis with glioblastoma, a
brain cancer he treats that typically kills
its victims well within that time.
Even though prostate and brain cancers are being treated
successfully with the approach, the greatest promise involves blood
and microscopic cancers.
"It's the first time I've seen usually jaded oncologists excited
about the prospects with immunotherapy," Dr. Amy Heimberger, an M.D.
Anderson neurosurgeon says. "Suddenly, senior doctors who once
pooh-poohed immunotherapy are referring patients to junior
researchers in the field."
Oddly, the treatment dates back to 1891 when New York doctor
William Coley inoculated cancer patients with live streptococcal
cultures and some experienced remissions.
The shot fell by the
wayside due to inconsistent results and the growing dominance of
surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.
Now, however, researchers have identified "markers" unique to
cancer cells that the immune system can be trained to target.
They've also discovered naturally occurring, immune system-boosting
compounds that can be produced in labs. The result is a new, one-two
punch of drugs that energize the immune system and direct it to go
after specific cancer cells that it had hardly noticed before.
Dr. Jeff Molldrem, an M.D. Anderson professor of blood and
marrow transplantation says, "It's like suddenly having the cancer's
postal address and being able to activate the immune system to
deliver its blow there."
An M.D. Anderson treatment produced complete responses in a
clinical trial for patients with acute leukemia for which no
other intervention had been successful. Another showed
glioblastoma patients survived
much longer than those
treated with chemo and radiation...and with fewer side effects. The
Mary Crowley Medical Research Center in Dallas produced
responses — sometimes years-long remission — in half of
trial participants with a lung cancer that typically kills
in four to six months. At the National Cancer Institute, a
mix of cancer-specific T cells and a booster produced
improvement in patients with advanced melanoma.
Johns Hopkins is working on pancreatic cancer, which kills
31,000 Americans annually. To battle it, JH researchers are
supplementing surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation with a new
vaccine that uses stunted cancer cells that emit a molecule called
GM-CSF. It attracts cells that still have immunity to the tumor and
causes these cells to come in contact with antigens from cells that
have been exposed to radiation. These same cells then travel around
the body and annihilate other cancer cells.
Patients receive the vaccination eight to 10 weeks after surgery
and again after chemotherapy and radiation. Two years into the
study, results are optimistic: Survival rates for the 60 patients in
the study are reported to be 88 percent after one year and 76
percent after two years for the rapidly deadly form of cancer, which
is the fourth leading cause of U.S. death.
Dr. Daniel Laheru, who heads the study, says the only known cure
for pancreatic cancer is surgical removal of the cancer. The
setback, he explains, is that only 15 to 20 of every 100 patients
can have the surgery because this type of cancer is often not
detected early enough. Survival rates, especially in the long-term,
were grim under traditional approaches...until now.
Immunotherapy sometimes works even better when
combined with chemotherapy or radiation, which suppress the immune
system! An M.D. Anderson study found immunotherapy helped fight an
aggressive lymphoma, even
though prior chemotherapy obliterated all the B cells thought
necessary to mount an immune defense!
Nevertheless, lack of randomized trials in support of
the therapy continues to exist. Nevertheless researchers say the
greatest strides are being made against cancers where the immune
system can fight them in manageable stages, such as in the blood or
lymph nodes or in early diagnosis. Late stage tumors, they say, can
be attacked, too, but winning the battle against them is more
Best Natl Cancer Ctrs
by cancer type
Nat'l Cancer Inst.
Participate in new FDA approved "clinical
trials" breakthrough cancer treatments.
Other helpful links
for Cancer Patients
Complementary and Alternative Cancer
Treatment Research Library
...is your doctor deadly?
of Lung Cancer Patients Survive 2 Years Longer with Thermal Ablation
(RRC, RI) --
research in the July issue of the Journal of Vascular and Interventional
Radiology, utilizing imaging and targeted thermal ablation, can heat and
destroy lung tumors, and significantly extend a patients life.
To do it, Interventional Radiologists insert a probe into the tumor.
Energy is then transmitted to the tip of the needle to either "cook" or
"freeze" the tumor, killing it, says study author Damian Dupuy, M.D. of
Rhode Island Hospital, in Providence.
“Only one-third of patients diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer
are eligible for surgery – the rest face the reality of having less than 12
months to live," says Dupuy. “These new outpatient treatments
not only are effective, but allow us to treat patients who historically have
no other options.”
Tumors need a blood supply, which they actively generate to feed
themselves and grow. Interventional radiologists can attack the cancer and
destroy the supply and the tumor from inside the body without medicating or
affecting other parts of the body. These minimally-invasive treatments are
much easier on the patient than chemo or radiation therapy. Thermal ablation
can be given without affecting the patient’s overall health and most people
can resume their usual activities in a few days. The treatment usually does
not require general anesthesia and is typically performed on an outpatient
Radio frequency ablation (RFA) kills the tumor cells with heat, while
sparing healthy lung tissue. Depending on the size of the tumor, RFA can
shrink or kill the tumor, extending the patient’s survival time and greatly
improving their quality of life while living with cancer.
Microwave ablation utilizes electromagnetic microwaves to agitate the
water molecules in the tumor and surrounding tissue, ultimately reversing
the cells’ polarity. This causes friction and heat which kills the cell
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) kills the tumor cells with heat, while
sparing healthy lung tissue. Depending on the size of the tumor, RFA can
shrink or kill the tumor, extending the patient’s survival time and
improving their quality of life.
More information at
Cuts Risk of Pancreatic Cancer
(RRC, RI) Northwestern University
and Harvard medical researchers have discovered that taking the recommended US
dose of ten microgrammes a day of vitamin D almost halves the risk
of pancreatic cancer. Results of their survey of 46,711 men and
75,427 women are published in the September issue of Cancer
Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention. They show that simply taking
the minimum U.S. daily allowance of vitamin D reduces the risk of
pancreatic cancer by 43%
Those who consumed less than four microgrammes had a 22 per cent
lower risk, according to an analysis of the health of more than
Vitamin D is present in foods such as oily fish, liver and eggs
and is also produced by the skin when exposed to sunlight. More
research is needed to determine if vitamin D from dietary
sources...or...the sun may be preferable to supplements.
Dr Halcyon Skinner, of Northwestern University, who carried out
the study with Harvard, also said: "Vitamin D has shown strong
potential for preventing and treating prostate cancer, and areas
with greater sunlight exposure have lower incidence and mortality
for prostate, breast and colon cancers, leading us to investigate a
role for vitamin D in pancreatic cancer risk. Few studies have
examined this association, and we did observe a reduced risk for
pancreatic cancer with higher intake of vitamin D."
There is no known cure for pancreatic cancer and surgical
treatments are not often effective. Apart from cigarette smoking, no
environmental factors or dietary practices have been linked to the
Pomegranate Keeps PSA Levels Stable in Prostate Cancer
(RRC, RI) --
An eight ounce glass of pomegranate juice daily quadrupled the
period during which PSA levels in men treated for prostate cancer remained
stable, a three-year UCLA study has found.
Activation of MicroRNA Inhibits Cancer
(RRC, RI) --
In the medical journal "Cancer Cell", scientists report that they
have dramatically reduced cancer-causing genes by activating protective
microRNAs in the cancer cell genome. The breakthrough proves that agents known
to regulate gene expression can impact regulatory RNAs that may function as
tumor suppressors in normal cells.
Drug "Strangles" Metastatic
Prostate Cancer Preventing Spread
(RRC, RI) --
A drug used to treat other cancers also strangles drug-resistant meta-static
prostate cancer by
cutting off its blood supply says a new report in the Journal of the
National Cancer Institute.
Brain Metastases Treatments Compared
Adding whole-brain radiation to focused radiation does
not improve survival,
but may reduce recurrence of brain metastases, according to a new study
in the Journal of the American Medical Association
Doctors Stop Colon Cancer Spread
-- Using the newest, most powerful biomedical
tools available, researchers have blocked spread of human colorectal
cancer using “small interfering RNAs”.
Studies Show Cell Phones
Other Serious Illnesses Also Suspected
DO Cause Cancer
(RRC, RI) -- The cell
phone cancer connection has been hotly debated for years, but now experts
warn mobile phones do, in fact, increase brain cancer,
Parkinson’s, memory loss, Alzheimer’s, acoustic neuromas, vision
impairment, hypertension, and, perhaps, other health problems.
Global research now proves beyond doubt that continuous exposure
to cellphone radiation can lead to many harmful effects according to
Dr S. Pattnaik, head and professor of the ETV Centre,
Electronics and Communication Engineering, National Institute of
Technical Teachers Training & Research (NITTTR), Chandigar,
One study includes a three-year $27 million research program headed by George Carlo, a public health researcher, who now
says radio frequency radiation from cell phone antennae ‘‘appears to
cause genetic damage in human blood.’’
Dr. Pattnaik says his research shows that children are even more
vulnerable than adults to mobile phone radiation and that damage
varies in correlation with head size, age, duration of exposure,
distance of antenna from the body and the user’s posture at the time
of phone use.
Dr. Pattnaik warns cell phone buyers to carefully assess the
Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) when buying. The U.S.
FCC SAR limit for the head is 1.6 watt per kg of body tissue. He
advises: ‘‘Buy a mobile phone with as low an SAR rating as
Do’s and don’ts
* Buy cell phones with low SAR values.
Use landline when possible.
* Frequent users should use
* Use phones which keep antennas farthest from the
* Keep phones away from body as far as possible.
children's use of cell phones
* Do not keep cell phones in shirt
pockets as they may also interfere with heart function.
New Cervical Cancer Treatment Extends Lives
(RRC - RI) -- Combining Glaxo's drug,
Hycamtin, with other drugs better treats severe
cervical cancer when surgery or radiation may no longer work, according to the
When used with the chemotherapy agent cisplatin, Hycamtin patients lived
more than three months longer than those receiving traditional treatments, according to the FDA. Both drugs are already used to
treat other cancers, including ovarian and lung and the newly approved
combination only should be used, the FDA says, after other options are ruled out
when the disease is incurable, recurrent or has spread to other organs.
Hycamtin itself, however, can harm the immune system, lower white blood cell
counts crucial to fighting infection, and spawn a range of other side effects
including decreasing blood platelets, which can lead to excessive bleeding and
Nevertheless, FDA Acting Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach says, "This course
of drug therapy is a potentially life-prolonging option for thousands of women."
Read more about Hycamtin
here. It is a small but positive step in fighting cervical cancer.
Prevention, however, made great strides forward when the FDA
approved Merck's new vaccine, Gardasil, for preventing human papillomavirus(HPV), the leading cause
cancer. Read more about Gardasil