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Thread: Cancer sucks

  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmart View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kingwilly View Post
    My father was diagnosed with Prostrate cancer late last year, fortunately they found it very early, and successfully removed it with no sign of it having spread.

    Doubles my chances of getting the same though.
    Prostate cancer can be very benign and passive. My Dad was diagnosed with it a few years ago, and since then it has not spread at all and he lives a very active life.

    Its hereditary like you say though, and I get checked for it every six months because my Mum's father died of it. When you turn 40 yo is a good time to get your prostate checked before problems start.
    A massge girl (the naughty kind) stuck her finger up my arse once, does that count?
    "In my professional assessment as an intelligence officer, Trump has a reflexive, defensive, monumentally narcissistic personality, for whom the facts and national interest are irrelevant, and the only thing that counts is whatever gives personal advantage and directs attention to himself."

  2. #27
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    ^^Is it Friday night already?

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dug
    A massge girl (the naughty kind) stuck her finger up my arse once, does that count?
    Sorry Dug, but

    *just wanted to use that smilie*

  4. #29
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    A very aggressive cancer from which a close friend recently passed on.

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    My aunt died of cancer late last year. Originally it was misdiagnosed as breast cancer, but the docs eventually figured out that it actually had spread from lung to breast and elsewhere. In this case I don't think the misdiagnosis made any real difference. The youngest of four sisters, smoked and drank much more than the others and was the most fun and free-spirited of the group, so naturally she went first, survived by the others who are all three considerably older. As tales of misdiagnoses go not all that significant; she held on very well at first, tried chemo and some other new treatments but finally chose not to prolong her or her family's suffering once she had put her effects in order.
    “You can lead a horticulture but you can’t make her think.” Dorothy Parker

  6. #31
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robuzo View Post
    My aunt,...... finally chose not to prolong her or her family's suffering once she had put her effects in order.

    During my sisters episode (if she had it or not) we learned something about our 74 year old mother and that was that she would not do the chemo. Same thing as your aunt towards the end.

    But I do know good cases where chemo has help. A young one,…a 23 year old woman had a type of cancer that was first showing signs on her chest (lumps/bumps). But it wasn’t breast cancer,.I forget the name of it. She did chemo,.lost her hair, a lot of weight, got sick from the meds, etc. Two years later,.had to do it again (same type of cancer, in the same area),………..same thing,.sick, lost weight, lost her hair. But today,..maybe 6 years has gone by, she’s doing fine, married and raising a baby girl.
    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

  7. #32
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    Cold cuts could cause cancer: study

    WASHINGTON — Red meat is being raked over the coals again.

    Already linked with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and certain cancers, including cancer of the pancreas, red meat was found by a team of US researchers to be a possible cause of bladder cancer, a study published in the journal Cancer said.

    For those who can't do without their bacon-cheeseburger, some good news: scientists found no associations between beef, bacon, hamburger, sausage or steak and bladder cancer.

    But they did observe a "positive nonlinear association for red meat cold cuts" and bladder cancer, they said.

    The culprits in the cold cuts are nitrates and nitrites which are added to meat when it is processed to preserve and enhance color and flavor.

    "Nitrate and nitrite are precursors to N-nitroso compounds (NOCs), which induce tumors in many organs, including the bladder, in multiple animal species," the study says.

    For the study, scientists assessed the intake of nitrates, nitrites and other components found in red meat, in some 300,00 men and women aged 50-71 year, in eight US states, and its relation to cancer.

    The study participants were followed up for up to eight years. During that time, 854 were diagnosed with cancer of the bladder.

    The scientists found that people whose diets were high in nitrites from all sources, not just meats, and people who got a lot of nitrates in their diets from processed meats, like cold cuts, had a 28 to 29 percent greater chance of developing bladder cancer than those who consumed the lowest amount of either compound.

    The scientists also found that people who ate the most red meat were younger, less educated, less physically active, and had lower dietary intake of fruits, vegetable, and vitamins C and E than those consuming the least red meat.

    The researchers, led by Dr Amanda Cross of the National Cancer Institute, also found that the biggest carnivores among us were more likely to be non-Hispanic white, current smokers, to have a higher BMI, and to consume more beverages and total energy daily.

    Link: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gnfHEvH-LcyvXpCTEIWEbcP72sVQ

    The study is published in the journal Cancer (Wiley InterScience :: Session Cookies, h t t p://link.reuters.com/kem82n), but I can not get it to open.



    Last edited by S Landreth; 03-08-2010 at 09:08 AM.

  8. #33
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    ^Nitrate-free bacon sucks, so this is really bad news, because nitrate-free bacon doesn't suck as much as bladder cancer.

  9. #34
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    An experimental therapy that targets the protein that feeds certain types of advanced skin cancer has successfully shrunk tumors in up to 80 percent of test patients, a study has indicated.

    The orally-administered medication, called PLX4032, "shuts off" tumors by neutralizing a mutated gene called "BRAF" that feeds the cancerous growths.

    "We have never seen an 80 percent response rate in melanoma, or in any other solid tumor for that matter, so this is remarkable," said Paul Chapman, senior author of the study and a doctor at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

    "Metastatic melanoma has a devastating prognosis and is one of the top causes of cancer death in young patients," said Keith Flaherty of the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and a lead author.

    "Until now, available therapies were few and unreliable, so these findings can really change the outlook for patients whose tumors are fueled by this mutation."
    The study, published in the August 26 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, grew out of the discovery that BRAF mutations, which occur in roughly half of patients with melanomas, effectively feed and grow the tumors.

    PLX4032 blocks the BRAF protein at the cellular level, allowing researchers to test whether starving the melanomas of the gene would shrink patients' tumors.

    The research is potentially exciting news for the treatment of patients with advanced skin cancer. Early-stage melanomas can usually be successfully removed surgically, but few treatment options currently exist once the cancer has spread.

    The only two drugs currently available on the US market help only between 10 to 20 percent of patients, and for those with advanced melanomas, the prognosis for survival is usually nine months or less.

    The study released this week documents the results of two phases of tests involving PLX4032, the first to determine the optimum dose and the second to examine the drug's effectiveness.

    During the first phase, 55 patients received gradually escalating doses that allowed scientists to determine that a twice-daily dose of 960 milligrams would be optimal.

    The second stage involved 32 patients with BRAF-mutated melanomas, 26 of whom saw their tumors shrink more than 30 percent, including two whose tumors disappeared altogether.

    The drug proved capable of shrinking metastatic tumors in the liver, small bowel, bone and thyroid and produced minor side-effects, the researchers said.
    "One of the things that make these results truly remarkable is that this drug works so reliably," Flaherty said.

    "And patients who have been experiencing symptoms like pain and fatigue begin to feel better within a week of starting treatment, giving them a much better quality of life."

    The study acknowledged that many patients eventually developed a resistance to the therapy, with tumor suppression lasting anywhere from three months to two years.

    They said they would examine long-term prospects for the therapy, including how it might be combined with other drugs to extend its capabilities against tumors, during a final, phase III trial.

    "We don't know if treatment really improves overall survival of melanoma patients," said Chapman.

    "That is what we are trying to find out in the ongoing phase III trial. In the future, we hope to combine PLX4032 with other anti-melanoma drugs currently being developed.”

    Link: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/0825/drug-shrinks-skin-cancers/

  10. #35
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    Nope. You gonna die anyway if it gets that bad.

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by S Landreth
    Red meat is being raked over the coals again
    is that a joke

  12. #37
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    'Magic mushrooms' can improve the lives of cancer patients

    A psychedelic "magic mushroom" drug can be used to safely improve the lives of patients with advanced cancer, a study shows.

    Published: 7:30AM BST 07 Sep 2010


    Just one dose of the mushroom improved mood and reduced anxiety in the patient group for up to six months Photo: REX


    Controversial research in America showed that one session with the drug, psilocybin, improved mood and reduced anxiety in the patient group for up to six months.

    Psilocybin is the active ingredient in ''magic mushrooms'', and classified as an illegal Class A drug in the UK.
    The drug has mind-altering effects that can include the enhancement of colours and visual hallucinations.
    Professor Charles Grob, from the LA BioMed research institute in Los Angeles, California, said: ''We are working with a patient population that often does not respond well to conventional treatments.
    ''Following their treatments with psilocybin, the patients and their families reported benefit from the use of this hallucinogen in reducing their anxiety.
    ''This study shows psilocybin can be administered safely, and that further investigation of hallucinogens should be pursued to determine their potential benefits.''
    The pilot study involving 12 volunteers aged 36 to 58 builds on work in the 1950s and 1960s which found that psychedelic drugs could benefit advanced-stage cancer patients, reducing anxiety and the need for pain medication.
    The early research was abandoned in the 1970s after a legal clampdown on the recreational use of hallucinogenic drugs such as LSD.
    ''Political and cultural pressures forced an end to these studies in the 1970s,'' said Prof Grob. ''We were able to revive this research under strict federal supervision and demonstrate that this is a field of study with great promise for alleviating anxiety and other psychiatric symptoms.''
    All of the study volunteers had advanced cancers and were suffering from anxiety.
    Participants were given either a moderate psilocybin dose of 0.2 milligrams per kilogram of body weight, or an inactive ''dummy'' placebo during two experimental sessions several weeks apart.
    On each occasion, neither patients nor the researchers knew at the time if the active drug or the placebo had been administered.
    Volunteers were encouraged to lie in bed wearing eye shades and listening to music during the first few hours after their treatment.
    Their progress was monitored over the next six months using standard screening tests for measuring anxiety and depression.
    The researchers wrote in the journal Archives of General Psychiatry: ''Safe physiological and psychological responses were documented during treatment sessions. We also observed no adverse psychological effects from the treatment.
    ''All subjects tolerated the treatment sessions well, with no indication of severe anxiety or a 'bad trip'. In addition, anxiety scores improved at one and three months after treatment and a depression inventory revealed an improvement of mood that began two weeks after treatment and reached significance at six months.''

    'Magic mushrooms' can improve the lives of cancer patients - Telegraph

  13. #38
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    bloke i work withs dad has just been dignosed with bowel cancer, must hit hard as he is so quiet nowadays, tough few years ahead i guess.........

  14. #39
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    ^Awful, how fast cancer can travel through your body.



    Quote Originally Posted by Bangyai View Post
    anxiety scores improved at one and three months after treatment and a depression inventory revealed an improvement of mood that began two weeks after treatment and reached significance at six months.''


    Thanks for the add/information. I knew two men that went through hell during their last days here with cancer. Anything, I think would be helpful, beside just morphine as the two men I’m speaking of received.

  15. #40
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    Is this cancer's 'penicillin moment'? Gene targeting drug could herald 'end game' for disease


    Scientists today hailed the 'end game' in the battle to understand the causes of cancer and how to treat it.

    In a dramatic breakthrough compared to the discovery of penicillin, doctors have successfully trialled a drug that uses genetic data to target specific tumours.

    Professor Mark Stratton, the head of the Cancer Genome Project, today said that researchers had reached a 'remarkable moment' in the fight against the disease.

    Researchers hope that new gene-targeting drugs like PLX4032, which treats skin cancer tumours, will result in far more effective treatments.


    'We have the potential to sequence cancer genomes in their thousands and tens of thousands to find all the mutations within them,' he told Radio 4's Today programme.

    'We have entered an end game in which we will complete our understanding of what causes cancers.'

    Professor Stratton, who is director of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, was speaking after doctors confirmed the successful trial of one of the first gene-targeting drugs.

    PLX4032 was found to reduce skin cancer tumours by 80 per cent in patients presenting with the mutated BRAF gene.

    All cancers are the result of mutations in individual genes, but the process of finding the faulty DNA has taken a leap forward over the past few years thanks to new gene sequencing technologies.

    The advantage of gene targeting drugs is that they only interfere with cells with the mutation and leave healthy tissue alone.

    The advance has been compared to the discovery of penicillin, the first antibiotic which revolutionised the treatment of infectious disease.

    Doctors believe using genetic data will optimise the effectiveness of treatments in individual patients.

    Dr Paul Chapman, from the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre in New York, said: 'This is the beginning of personalised medicine in melanoma.'

    However, scientists still face a colossal task of unravelling every genetic mutation for every form of cancer.

    The International Cancer Genome Consortium was set up to tackle this huge challenge by pooling information and resources from cancer institutes from all over the world.

    It is one of most ambitious biomedical research efforts since the Human Genome Project.

    The aim is to generate a catalogue of genetic abnormalities in tumours from 50 different cancer types, and to make the information available to the international scientific community.

    Professor Mike Stratton, said: 'Generating comprehensive catalogues of human cancer mutations will require a tremendous amount of work and collaboration over the coming years.

    'By sharing ideas, resources and data across scientific and clinical disciplines, we will be able to translate advances in knowledge into real benefits for future generations of patients.'

    Cancer Research UK has recently signed up to sequence the genetic blueprint for prostate cancer and adenocarcinoma of the oesophagus (throat cancer).

    The charity pointed out that prostate cancer often clusters in families and up to 10 per cent of all prostate cancers may have a substantial inherited component.

    Dr Fiona Hemsley from Cancer Research UK, told the BBC: 'Our hope is by doing this project we will find out more about the biology of the disease, how it arises and then the drug developers we fund will be able to find pathways they can target with drugs for treatments of the disease.'

    Worldwide, more than 7.5 million people died of cancer and more than 12 million new cases of cancer were diagnosed in 2007 - the last year to be recorded.

    Unless progress is made in understanding and controlling cancer, those numbers are expected to rise to 17.5 million deaths and 27 million new cases by 2050.



    Link: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1312201/Cancers-penicillin-moment-Gene-targeting-drug-herald-end-game-disease.html?ITO=1490#ixzz0zdZlO8hM

  16. #41
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    Just something I found interesting about the cost of some cancer drugs.


    How much is a life worth? $93,000 cancer drug pushes boundaries, and patients feel the pinch.

    Cancer patients, brace yourselves. Many new drug treatments cost nearly $100,000 a year, sparking fresh debate about how much a few months more of life is worth.

    The latest is Provenge, a first-of-a-kind therapy approved in April. It costs $93,000 and adds four months' survival, on average, for men with incurable prostate tumors. Bob Svensson is honest about why he got it: insurance paid.

    "I would not spend that money," because the benefit doesn't seem worth it, says Svensson, 80, a former corporate finance officer from Bedford, Mass.

    His supplemental Medicare plan is paying while the government decides whether basic Medicare will cover Provenge and for whom. The tab for taxpayers could be huge — prostate is the most common cancer in American men. Most of those who have it will be eligible for Medicare, and Provenge will be an option for many late-stage cases. A meeting to consider Medicare coverage is set for Nov. 17.

    "I don't know how they're going to deal with that kind of issue," said Svensson, who was treated at the Lahey Clinic Medical Center in suburban Boston. "I feel very lucky."

    For the last decade, new cancer-fighting drugs have been topping $5,000 a month. Only a few of these keep cancer in remission so long that they are, in effect, cures. For most people, the drugs may buy a few months or years. Insurers usually pay if Medicare pays. But some people have lifetime caps and more people are uninsured because of job layoffs in the recession. The nation's new health care law eliminates these lifetime limits for plans that were issued or renewed on Sept. 23 or later.

    Celgene Corp.'s Revlimid pill for multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer, can run as much as $10,000 a month; so can Genentech's Avastin for certain cancers. Now Dendreon Corp.'s Provenge rockets price into a new orbit.

    Unlike drugs that people can try for a month or two and keep using only if they keep responding, Provenge is an all-or-nothing $93,000 gamble. It's a one-time treatment to train the immune system to fight prostate tumors, the first so-called "cancer vaccine." Part of why it costs so much is that it's not a pill cranked out in a lab, but a treatment that is individually prepared, using each patient's cells and a protein found on most prostate cancer cells. It is expensive and time-consuming to make.

    It's also in short supply, forcing the first rationing of a cancer drug since Taxol and Taxotere were approved 15 years ago. At the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, doctors plan a modified lottery to decide which of its 150 or so eligible patients will be among the two a month it can treat with Provenge. An insurance pre-check is part of the process to ensure they financially qualify for treatment.

    "I'm fearful that this will become a drug for people with more resources and less available for people with less resources," said M.D. Anderson's prostate cancer research chief, Dr. Christopher Logothetis.

    For other patients on other drugs, money already is affecting care:

    _Job losses have led some people to stop taking Gleevec, a $4,500-a-month drug by Novartis AG that keeps certain leukemias and stomach cancers in remission. Three such cases were recently described in the New England Journal of Medicine, and all those patients suffered relapses.

    _Retirements are being delayed to preserve insurance coverage of cancer drugs. Holly Reid, 58, an accountant in Novato, Calif., hoped to retire early until she tried cutting back on Gleevec and her cancer recurred. "I'm convinced now I have to take this drug for the rest of my life" and will have to work until eligible for Medicare, she said.

    _Lifetime caps on insurance benefits are hitting many patients, and laws are being pushed in dozens of states to get wider coverage of cancer drugs. In Quincy, Mass., 30-year-old grad student Thea Showstack testified for one such law after pharmacists said her first cancer prescription exceeded her student insurance limit. "They said 'OK, that will be $1,900,'" she said. "I was absolutely panicked." The federal health care law forbids such caps on plans issued or renewed Sept. 23 or later.

    _Tens of thousands of people are seeking help from drug companies and charities that provide free medicines or cover copays for low-income patients. Genentech's aid to patients has risen in each of the last three years and the company says nearly 85 percent of Americans earn less than $100,000, making them potentially eligible for help if no other programs like Medicaid will pay.

    _Doctors and insurers increasingly are doing the cruel math that many cancer patients want to avoid, and questioning how much small improvements in survival are worth. A recent editorial in a medical journal asked whether the extra 11 weeks that Genentech's Herceptin buys for stomach cancer patients justified the $21,500 cost.

    Doctors also have questioned the value of Genentech's Tarceva for pancreatic cancer. The $4,000-a-month drug won approval by boosting median survival by a mere 12 days. Here's how to think about this cost: People who added Tarceva to standard chemotherapy lived nearly 6 1/2 months, versus 6 months for those on chemo alone. So the Tarceva folks spent more than $24,000 to get those extra 12 days.

    When is a drug considered cost-effective?

    The most widely quoted figure is $50,000 for a year of life, "though it has been that for decades — never really adjusted — and not written in stone," said Dr. Harlan Krumholz, a Yale University expert on health care costs.

    Many cancer drugs are way over that mark. Estimates of the cost of a year of life gained for lung cancer patients on Erbitux range from $300,000 to as much as $800,000, said Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, the American Cancer Society's deputy chief medical officer.
    Higher costs seem to be more accepted for cancer treatment than for other illnesses, but there's no rule on how much is too much, he said.

    Insurers usually are the ones to decide, and they typically pay if Medicare pays. Medicare usually pays if the federal Food and Drug Administration has approved the use.

    "Insurance sort of isolates you from the cost of health care," and if people lose coverage, they often discover they can't afford their medicines, said Dr. Alan Venook, a cancer specialist at the University of California, San Francisco. He wrote in the New England Journal in August about three of his patients who stopped taking or cut back on Gleevec because of economic hardship.

    Two of the three now are getting the drug from its maker, Novartis AG, which like most pharmaceutical companies has a program for low-income patients. About 5,000 patients got help for Gleevec last year, said Novartis spokesman Geoffrey Cook.
    "We have seen a steady increase in requests over the past few years" as the economy worsened, he said.

    Showstack, whose leukemia was diagnosed last year, gets Gleevec from Novartis. The dose she's on now would cost $50,000 a year.

    "I'm not actually sure that I know anyone who could afford it," she said.

    Gleevec's cost is easier to justify, many say, because it keeps people alive indefinitely — a virtual cure. About 2,300 Americans died each year of Showstack's form of leukemia before Gleevec came on the market; only 470 did last year.

    "I don't think we quibble with a drug that buys people magical quality of life for years," Venook said.

    It's unclear whether Provenge will ever do that — it needs to be tested in men with earlier stages of prostate cancer, doctors say. So far, it has only been tried and approved for men with incurable disease who have stopped responding to hormone therapy. On average, it gave them four months more, though for some it extended survival by a year or more.

    Until it shows wider promise, enthusiasm will be tepid, said Dr. Elizabeth Plimack a prostate specialist at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia.

    "I've not had any patient ask for it," she said. "They ask about it. Based on the information, they think the cost is tremendous, and they think the benefit is very small."

    Logothetis, at M.D. Anderson, said Provenge and other experimental cancer vaccines in development need "a national investment" to sort out their potential, starting with Medicare coverage.

    "It's no longer a fringe science. This is working," he said. "We need to get it in the door so we can evolve it."


    Link: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/09/93000-cancer-drug-life-worth/

  17. #42
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    Very thougt provoking article and not in a sensationalist way. It just points out some facts. With the aging poulation health insurance just cannot approve even every effective drug in the future or health cost will approach 100% of GDP.

    Edit: Hopefully this kind of designer drug will get cheaper with time as technology advances. See how long it took and how expensive it was to map he human genome and how fast they are now adding new species with full genome maps.

  18. #43
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Takeovers View Post
    Hopefully this kind of designer drug will get cheaper with time as technology advances.
    Just hope after they recover their costs for R&D that they will make the cost affordable to everyone who might benefit from the drug/s.

  19. #44
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    Natural killers' unleashed to search and destroy cancer

    Doctors at the University of Miami are treating liver cancer patients by giving immune-system cells more muscle in the lab to recognize and attack their cancer cells.

    They're called “natural killer cells'' but they're a part of the human immune system that helps save lives. Now doctors from Miami and Japan have developed new ways to pump up the cells to attack cancer even more aggressively.

    Encarnacion Miranda, a 58-year-old car salesman from Key Largo, is counting on the cells -- which exist in healthy livers -- to save his life. He's the first patient in a clinical trial at the University of Miami of 25 liver patients seeking Food and Drug Administration approval of the new treatment.

    “It's scary,'' Miranda said Thursday, during an announcement of the medical trial. “But I feel really good.''

    Miranda's liver had been dogging him since 1979, when he contracted hepatitis C from a blood transfusion. By October 2009, chronic exhaustion forced him to give up his favorite sport, fishing for yellowtail snapper in the Florida Keys. That's when he learned his hepatitis had become liver cancer.

    Doctors gave Miranda a liver transplant. But, knowing that liver cancer recurs in up to 20 percent of cases due to tumor cells left hiding in the body, they went further. Before the transplant, they took blood from the donated liver, extracted the natural killer immune cells from it, then cultured and expanded them in laboratory flasks for four days to increase their power against any remaining cancer cells. They fed them intravenously back into Miranda's new liver.

    Doctors say the killer cells, which recognize cancer cells as alien and try to destroy them, also will help fight any remaining hepatitis C. They aren't sure yet whether their findings on natural killer cell expansion might be broadened to work in other organs and combat other cancers.

    The procedure was studied for four years at the University of Hiroshima. Dr. Masahiro Ohira performed the procedure on 24 patients; 22 survived cancer-free for more than three years. It cut in half the recurrence of cancer.

    “The killer cells act like smart bombs in going after the cancer,'' Ohira said.
    Miranda is grateful to the team at the University of Miami Medical School that worked with him at Jackson Memorial Medical Center.

    “I was up and walking three days after my [Oct. 19] transplant,'' he said. “Yesterday I walked six miles.''

    Treating Miranda was actually far more complicated than his recovery would indicate. When his three liver tumors were found, they were too big to permit a transplant. So the team from UM used several courses of chemotherapy and radio-frequency ablation -- the use of radio-frequency waves to destroy tumor tissue -- to attack them, finally reducing them enough to make possible the transplant.

    When a donor liver became available, the doctors flushed out some of its natural killer cells before transplanting it into Miranda. Ohira put the cells into a laboratory flask and applied an agent known to increase the cells' potency, even though it doesn't increase their number.

    “It increases their activity against cancer and hepatitis C by four times,'' he said.
    The team included Dr. Andreas Tzakis, director of the Liver Transplant Program, Ohira, now a research associate in the UM Department of Surgery and Drs. Seigo Nishida and David Levi, professors of clinical surgery at UM.

    “They're my heroes,'' Miranda said. “They never gave up.''

    Miranda's prognosis?

    “We think it's good,'' Tzakis said. “Of course there are no guarantees.''

    Miranda says he has far more energy now.

    “Last year I was so exhausted I felt like I was passing away. Today I feel like a new person.''

    Miranda's doctors say by next year he and his companion of 14 years, Linda Cozby, can return to catching yellowtail snapper.

    Miranda grinned.

    “Next year is only three weeks away.''

    Link: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/12/09/1966545/natural-killers-unleashed-to-search.html

  20. #45
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    Blood test for cancer gets US boost

    Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson said Monday it is partnering with US doctors to improve a blood test for cancer that could do away with biopsies and transform the field of cancer treatment.

    The Circulating Tumor Cell (CTC) microchip technology, which inventors describe as a "liquid biopsy," has been touted as a revolutionary approach to diagnosing cancer since it was first developed several years ago by doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital.

    It works by detecting cancer cells that have detached from a tumor and are circulating at very low levels in the blood.

    But until now, the technology has been unable to do much more than count cells, giving doctors an idea of what is happening with a patient's cancer but not delivering the precision that the latest version can.

    "The new technology allows us to not just count them but to understand the molecular changes that lead to the disease progression that is occurring in the cells," said Nicholas Dracopoli, vice president of Ortho Biotech Oncology Research and Development (ORD), a unit of Johnson & Johnson.

    With just a single blood draw, the new technology can give researchers access to cells from a patient's tumor, without the patient having to undergo invasive and often painful surgical biopsy procedures.

    "And that will then allow us to do sophisticated molecular analysis of those isolated cells so that we can then look and see if there are therapies that are optimally suited to a patient with those particular abnormalities," Dracopoli told AFP.

    The new technique "allows us... to monitor in real time what is happening in the tumor in a way you never could be if you had to do a surgical procedure each time in order to get the samples as we do today."

    In other words, doctors could know a lot sooner whether a therapy for cancer is succeeding or failing, and they could possibly tailor a patient's treatment accordingly.

    The partnership brings together Veridex, the company which brought the earlier version of the test to the US market, together with ORD and clinical researchers to develop an improved version of the current technology.

    "This collaboration is an opportunity to apply our past learning to the advancement of a platform that will ultimately benefit patients with cancer," said lead CTC chip researcher Mehmet Toner in a statement.

    The US Food and Drug Administration approved the earlier generation technology for use in detecting cancer cells in the blood of patients with metastatic, or advanced stage, breast, prostate and colorectal cancer.

    The planned "next-generation system" aims to be used by oncologists "as a diagnostic tool for personalizing patient care, as well as by researchers to accelerate and improve the process of drug discovery and development," said a statement by Veridex.

    Dracopoli said it could be three to five years before FDA clinical trials produce results that show the technique works toward detecting and treating a broader range of cancers.

    "A big part of the collaboration over the next few years will be testing the technology in prospectively defined clinical trials and confirming that this information actually helps guide therapies and improves patient outcomes," he said.

    "We hope this will be a means of significantly improving the way that patients are treated, in the sense that we can get information about how a patient is responding to therapy in a way that we cannot right now."

    Link: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/01/blood-test-cancer-boost/

  21. #46
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    A warning,……..

    U.S. government health officials said Wednesday they are investigating a possible link between breast implants and a very rare form of cancer, raising new questions about the safety of devices which have been scrutinized for decades.

    The cancer, known as anaplastic large cell lymphoma, attacks lymph nodes and skin and has been reported in the scar tissue which grows around an implant. The Food and Drug Administration is asking doctors to report all cases of the cancer so the agency can better understand the association.

    The agency is aware of just 60 cases of the disease worldwide among the estimated 5 million to 10 million women with breast implants. The agency reviewed the scientific literature going back to 1997 along with information provided by international governments and manufacturers.

    Most of the cases were reported after patients sought medical care for pain, lumps, swelling and other problems around the surgical site.
    Because the disease is so rare, FDA researchers suggested the issue may never be completely resolved.

    "A definitive study would need to collect data on hundreds of thousands of women for more than 10 years. Even then, causality may not be conclusively established," the agency said.

    Still, the FDA said it is working with the American Society of Plastic Surgeons to register patients with the cancer and track them over time.

    Breast implants come in both saline and silicone-gel filled formulations and are marketed in the U.S. by Allergan Inc. and Johnson & Johnson's Mentor Corp. Those companies will be required to update the labeling for their products to reflect the cancer cases.

    "Women should monitor their breast implants and contact their doctor if they notice any changes," the agency said in a statement.

    A handful of researchers have published papers on instances of anaplastic large cell lymphoma in breast implant patients. In the last three years, medical reviews of those studies have raised new questions about the link and prompted FDA's review.

    The lymphoma is an aggressive form of cancer, and patients' survival varies widely between different varieties of the disease. Chemotherapy is usually the first line of treatment and patients who have complete remission have gone on to live long, healthy lives. Patients who relapse are usually treated with a bone marrow transplant and have a much lower rate of survival.

    Wells Fargo analyst Larry Biegelsen, who covers the medical device industry, said the negative media coverage over the issue could hurt sales, though the FDA's investigation only reviews previously published studies.

    "At this point, we do not expect breast implants to be removed from the market, but sales growth could be negatively impacted by the media coverage," Biegelsen said in a note to investors.

    The FDA pulled silicone breast implants off the market in 1992, saying manufacturers had not provided medical data showing their safety and effectiveness. At the time, there were worries about a connection to a variety of diseases, including cancer and lupus. Alarming cases of ruptures added to the concern.

    But in 2006 the agency returned the implants to the market after most studies failed to find a link between silicone breast implants and disease.

    The approval came with conditions, including a requirement that the companies complete 10-year studies on women who have already received the implants to study leaks, as well conduct new decade-long studies of the safety of the devices in 40,000 women.

    Link: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41274612/ns/health-cancer/

  22. #47
    Valve Master Latindancer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StrontiumDog View Post
    I know that I'm very high risk for colon cancer. Grandfather and father died from it. If I follow the same pattern I will die at approx 70 years old because of it. A comforting thought....
    It runs strongly in my family too. Bowel cancer is probably the most preventable cancer....if you have colonoscopies every 5 years after age 45, no problem. Bowel cancers always start as polyps (small growths) which take about 10 years to develop into full-blown cancer. They can easily be removed by the doctor performing the procedure.
    Colon cancer hit the news years ago as being so preventable when the actress Elizabeth Montgomery (who played Samantha the white witch in the TV series Bewitched) died of it. She only lasted a few months after actual diagnosis.
    Every 5 years I have a pleasant sleep for a couple of hours..... It's only light sedation.....

  23. #48
    Suspended from News & Speakers Corner LooseBowels's Avatar
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    Not really the thread for me to hang around

  24. #49
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    ^Hope things get better

    US approves first 3-D mammogram

    The first three-dimensional mammogram device was approved Friday by the US Food and Drug Administration, in the hopes that the new technology would improve early breast cancer detection.

    A doctor looks at a series of mammograms. The first three-dimensional mammogram device was approved Friday by the US Food and Drug Administration, in the hopes that the new technology would improve early breast cancer detection.

    Currently the only technology on the market produces two-dimensional X-ray images of the breast.

    "Physicians can now access this unique and innovative 3-D technology that could significantly enhance existing diagnosis and treatment approaches," said Jeffrey Shuren, director of the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health.

    A pair of studies reviewed by the FDA showed a seven percent improvement in the ability of radiologists to "distinguish between cancerous and non-cancerous cases as compared to viewing 2-D images alone," the regulatory agency said.

    The new device, called the Selenia Dimensions System, is made by the Massachusetts-based company Hologic and functions as an upgrade to its current 2-D FDA approved system.

    The new technology "produces three-dimensional images which are intended to reveal the inner architecture of the breast, free from the distortion typically caused by tissue shadowing or density," the company said in a statement.

    "The examination, which includes a 3-D tomosynthesis image in combination with a 2-D image, takes only seconds longer than a conventional 2-D digital mammogram at a total exam dose within current FDA guidelines."

    The FDA said the time it takes to capture the 2-D and 3-D images "approximately doubled the radiation dose the patient received" but that any additional risk was believed to be low.

    "There is uncertainty for radiation risk estimates; however, the increase in cancer risk from having both a 2-D and 3-D exam is expected to be less than 1.5 percent compared to the natural cancer incidence, and less than one percent compared to the risk from conventional 2-D mammography," the FDA said.

    The US agency also noted the 3-D approach "improved the accuracy with which radiologists detected cancers, decreasing the number of women recalled for a diagnostic workup."

    The National Cancer Institute recommends that women over 40 get mammograms to screen for breast cancer every one or two years.

    Link: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/02/13/us-approves-first-3-d-mammogram/#

  25. #50
    Member gonetwork's Avatar
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    I sometime wonder why some people get cancer when they are young and others live to old age? My grandma lived to be 92 and never sick. Her immune was quite good.

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