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Thread: Cancer sucks

  1. #76
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    ^hope things went well with the biopsy report?

    Men more likely to die from cancer: U.S. study

    Men are more likely than women to die of most types of cancer, according to a new US study.

    The report published Tuesday in the journal "Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention," analyzed the survival rate at five years for 36 different types of cancer.

    It found the greatest gender gap in deaths from mouth cancer, with 5.51 men dying for every woman, followed by cancer of the larynx, at 5.37, cancer of the hypopharynx at 4.47 and esophageal cancer at 4.08.

    The same trend was observed for cancers with the highest mortality rates, including lung cancer, which kills 2.31 men for every woman, and colorectal cancer, which kills 1.42 men for every woman.

    Pancreatic cancer kills 1.37 men for every woman, leukemia 1.75 and liver cancer 2.23, the study said.

    The researchers said it was difficult to say what caused the gender gap, but cited the different behavior of tumors as well as differences in the regularity of medical examinations.

    The report noted, for example, that American men are more likely than women to present advanced cancer at the time of diagnosis.

    Guys (women too), get regular check-ups! : Men more likely to die from cancer: U.S. study | The Raw Story
    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

  2. #77
    sabaii sabaii
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    Someone PM this to DD

  3. #78
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    Modified killer T-cells wipe out leukemia: U.S. study

    A breakthrough therapy to modify patients' T-cells into potent tumor-killing agents has helped three leukemia sufferers stay cancer-free for a year, US researchers said Wednesday.

    The findings are the first to show how gene transfer therapy can create specialized T-cells, which guard the body from infection, that attack cancerous tumors in advanced cases of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

    The technique helped patients who had little hope of survival fend off their cancer and stay in remission, said the research published simultaneously in the New England Journal of Medicine and Science Translational Medicine.

    Further studies are needed, but the advances offer hope to people who suffer from similar cancer types such as ovarian, lung, myeloma and melanoma.

    "Within three weeks, the tumors had been blown away, in a way that was much more violent than we ever expected," said senior author Carl June of the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania.

    "It worked much better than we thought it would."

    Scientists removed a sample of the patients' T-cells and genetically modified them to attack all cells that express a certain kind of protein, CD19, which includes tumor cells.

    They also engineered the T-cells to start triggering other T-cells to multiply as soon as they attached to a cancer cell, bringing on a faster death for the tumor but avoiding the side-effects of cancer drugs.

    "We saw at least a 1,000-fold increase in the number of modified T-cells in each of the patients. Drugs don't do that," said June, describing the infused T-cells as "serial killers."

    "On average, each infused T-cell led to the killing of thousands of tumor cells -- and overall, destroyed at least two pounds of tumor in each patient."

    One patient's case, described in the New England Journal of Medicine, involved a 64-year-old man whose blood and marrow were "replete with tumor cells."

    He saw little change for the first two weeks after treatment, but then started experiencing nausea, chills and fever. Test showed he was undergoing a huge rise in T-cell count. By day 28, his blood showed no evidence of leukemia.

    "Most of what I do is treat patients with no other options, with a very, very risky therapy with the intent to cure them," said co-principal investigator David Porter.

    "This approach has the potential to do the same thing, but in a safer manner."

    Bone marrow transplants are typically the only treatment for leukemia patients, but they carry a 20 percent risk of dying from the procedure and cure rates hover at around 50 percent.

    It remains unknown how long the treatment may keep cancer at bay.

    "The doctors have found evidence that months after infusion, the new cells had multiplied and were capable of continuing their seek-and-destroy mission against cancerous cells throughout the patients' bodies," said the study.

    Chronic lymphocytic leukemia is the second most common type of adult leukemia after chronic myeloid leukemia, according to the National Cancer Institute.

    The researchers intend to study similar approaches in children whose leukemia has resisted standard treatment.

    They also want to see if the approach could target non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and acute lymphocytic leukemia, mesothelioma cancer cells, ovarian and pancreatic cancer cells.

    Link: Modified killer T-cells wipe out leukemia: U.S. study | The Raw Story

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    It would be great news if this option comes to fruition because you would be using the patient's own cells. If it could be proven to work with leukemia, then it could most likely work with other types of cancer. I wonder if they could combine this with stem cell treatment. Finally some good news regarding cancer treatment.

  5. #80
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    it's a long article/story but might be worth a read if you know someone with bladder cancer,....................

    A new hope: UM doctor develops bladder cancer drug

    Robert Chambers and his wife of 43 years, Alice, were ready to say their final goodbyes.

    Robert's bladder cancer had spread throughout his body, causing great pain and significant weight loss. Worse, he wasn't responding to chemotherapy.

    "I was ready to let him go," Alice said. "We were to that point."

    Then, in the spring, he found out about a proposed clinical trial at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. A new drug, developed by the university's Dr. Andrew Schally, a Nobel Prize-winner, was ready for its Phase I/II testing.

    Chambers, 64, a one-time entertainment director for a series of Atlantic City casinos, was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2007. He would be the first patient to try the new drug.

    There would be six appointments spread three weeks apart to intravenously dispense the drug into his arm.

    "When you enter a clinical trial you don't think of curing yourself," Chambers said Tuesday from a bed at Sylvester with his wife by his side. A Kindle rested at his feet loaded with Siddhartha Mukherjee's 2011 Pulitzer-winning novel, The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer.

    "This particular trial is for people who are at their end game, so you're at that point mentally resigned to whatever's going to happen," he said. "If it's something that can be beneficial to other people down the road, I think it's a good thing to do."

    Of course, Chambers allows that he harbored thoughts of curing himself but, "being the first one, with no track record, it's rolling the dice, really."

    Call him a winner so far.

    Doctors are excited with the results of the trial. His pain was gone three weeks after his first treatment in May. His cancerous growths have been reduced by 70 percent after five treatments.

    "After the second infusion, I was feeling a lot better and palpable things were changing," Chambers said. "I could feel a tumor in the lymph node of my neck. After the second treatment, it was gone. That was my first indication that this thing was actually working."

    At first, after so many setbacks, Chambers, a former smoker, was afraid to believe he might finally be on top of the cancer, his wife said.

    "He'd been through so much that didn't work,'' she said. "This had to work."

    Tuesday, he sat for his sixth and final infusion.

    "When he came here, he had failed chemotherapy," said UM oncologist Dr. Gustavo Fernandez, who is leading the trial and treating Chambers. "There was no hope. No other options. Literally, he was dying of cancer."

    Today, "his quality of life has changed dramatically. The cancer is shrinking and we are very happy about that," Fernandez said.

    The dual-action drug works by targeting the cancer cells and acting like a missile to destroy them, Fernandez explained.

    "The drug has two components, a protein part and a chemotherapy part. The protein portion binds to the cancer cell's receptors and gets internalized inside the cells. When the drug is internalized, then the chemo part gets inside the cell and destroys the cancer cells."

    Side effects are greatly reduced as compared to traditional chemotherapy which can lead to severe nausea and hair loss.

    Chambers suffers from urothelial carcinoma, the most common type of bladder cancer in the United States, affecting about 70,000 people annually. The cancerous cells attack the innermost lining of the bladder wall. In a majority of these cases, when caught early, the cancer doesn't metastasize in other parts of the body and it can be removed by surgery or less-invasive approaches. But Chambers' cancer had metastasized and proved resistant to traditional treatment. "When chemo fails, we don't have any other option to offer patients. That is the reason for the clinical trial of the new drug," Fernandez said.

    The FDA approved the Phase I/II clinical trial for six infusions only.

    "If we can continue this treatment, we will do it. If not, we'll watch the patient closely. We know the cancer is shrinking. We may have to do another CAT scan to see how the cancer has decreased from last time," Fernandez said.

    Schally, chief of the UM's Endocrine, Polypeptide and Cancer Institute, began his work on the drug two decades ago while working in New Orleans. He won a Nobel Prize in 1977 for his discovery that the brain produces luteinizing hormone-releasing protein. Then he combined this protein with a chemotherapy agent to form a drug, AEZS-108, against bladder cancer.

    "It took him eight years to figure out how to connect the two pieces," said Dr. Norman Block, a UM professor of pathology, urology, oncology and biomedical engineering.

    After Hurricane Katrina displaced Schally six years ago, Block convinced his pal to work at the UM.

    Block represented Schally at the hospital Tuesday because his 84-year-old colleague was on his honeymoon in Bora-Bora.

    "He's on his third wife and third honeymoon and third vacation trip. He never takes vacation except to get married," Block teased.

    But Block said Schally is thrilled with the results of his drug at this stage.

    So are the Chambers, who live in West Palm Beach. The couple have two grandchildren.

    Friday, Chambers turns 65. His birthday present?

    His wife points to the intravenous bag above his bed, the one dispensing his life-altering AEZS-108.

    "He got it right there in that bottle. That's the birthday present."


    link: Bladder cancer drug developed - South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com

  6. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobR View Post
    The extra few months of low quality life that the torment of chemo and radiation therapy seems to buy you do not seem worth it.
    My Dad had an amputation (leg below the knee) and about a year of chemo.

    Watching someone you love suffer in torment (not pain, but torment) is a devastating, life-changing experience. I'll never look at life (or the vampire-like Medical profession) the same way again.

    Watching him go out like that in agony was probably the biggest driver in my decision to come to Thailand.

  7. #82
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    Bexar, sorry to hear about your dad. That sounds awful.

    Quote Originally Posted by S Landreth
    "The drug has two components, a protein part and a chemotherapy part. The protein portion binds to the cancer cell's receptors and gets internalized inside the cells. When the drug is internalized, then the chemo part gets inside the cell and destroys the cancer cells."
    The fact that they're using the protein receptors is a huge jump. Several types of cancer, inclusing breast cancer are hormone receptive, bit it's the protein mollecules that latch on to normal cells and make them cancerous, or on to cancerous cells and make them reproduce like crazy.

    To keep things simple, it's as though the cancereous cells are 'female' shaped and the proteins are 'male' shaped. The drugs that combat this, remove the male shape and therefore it cannot attach to the female cancer cells.

    It's a little more complicated than that, but that's the basic idea. For hormone receptive breast cancer, there is a drug called Herceptin that does this job. It also reduces production of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone, putting the patient into menopause.

    Quote Originally Posted by S Landreth
    He won a Nobel Prize in 1977 for his discovery that the brain produces luteinizing hormone-releasing protein. Then he combined this protein with a chemotherapy agent to form a drug, AEZS-108, against bladder cancer.
    Great find! I would highly recommend that people read up on this when they have time.

    Quote Originally Posted by S Landreth
    Side effects are greatly reduced as compared to traditional chemotherapy which can lead to severe nausea and hair loss.
    And countless other nasty side effects. It can take up to 5 years or more to get your system back into shape.

    Quote Originally Posted by S Landreth
    Block represented Schally at the hospital Tuesday because his 84-year-old colleague was on his honeymoon in Bora-Bora.
    Good for him!!! :applause:

  8. #83
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    'Anti-cancer virus' shows promise

    An engineered virus, injected into the blood, can selectively target cancer cells throughout the body in what researchers have labelled a medical first.

    The virus attacked only tumours, leaving the healthy tissue alone, in a small trial on 23 patients, according to the journal Nature.

    Researchers said the findings could one day "truly transform" therapies.

    Cancer specialists said using viruses showed "real promise".

    Using viruses to attack cancers is not a new concept, but they have needed to be injected directly into tumours in order to evade the immune system.

    Smallpox to cancer

    Scientists modified the vaccinia virus, which is more famous for being used to develop a smallpox vaccine.

    The virus, named JX-594, is dependent upon a chemical pathway, common in some cancers, in order to replicate.

    It was injected at different doses into the blood of 23 patients with cancers which had spread to multiple organs in the body.

    In the eight patients receiving the highest dose, seven had the virus replicating in their tumours, but not in healthy tissue.

    Prof John Bell, lead researcher and from the University of Ottawa, said: "We are very excited because this is the first time in medical history that a viral therapy has been shown to consistently and selectively replicate in cancer tissue after intravenous infusion in humans.

    "Intravenous delivery is crucial for cancer treatment because it allows us to target tumours throughout the body as opposed to just those that we can directly inject."

    Infection prevented further tumour growth in six patients for a time. However, the virus did not cure cancer. Patients were given only one dose of the virus as the trial was designed to test the safety of the virus.

    It is thought that the virus could be used to deliver treatments directly to cancerous cells in high concentrations.

    Prof Bell acknowledges that the research is still in the very early stages, but he said: "I believe that some day, viruses and other biological therapies could truly transform our approach for treating cancer."

    Cancer Research UK's Prof Nick Lemoine, also director of Barts Cancer Institute, said: "Viruses that multiply in just tumour cells - avoiding healthy cells - are showing real promise as a new biological approach to target hard-to-treat cancers.

    "This new study is important because it shows that a virus previously used safely to vaccinate against smallpox in millions of people can now be modified to reach cancers through the bloodstream - even after cancer has spread widely through the patient's body.

    "It is particularly encouraging that responses were seen even in tumours like mesothelioma, a cancer which can be particularly hard to treat."

    Link: BBC News - 'Anti-cancer virus' shows promise

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    S Landreth, where do you find these articles? I get tons of health newsletters e-mailed to me, many of which talk about cancer, but for most of your posts, this is the first time I'm seeing them.

    If you can recommend some sites, I'd love to go on them too.

  10. #85
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    ^Natalie, I view (sometimes read) a lot of different sites and some things stand out (cancer articles being one of them) while I am overlooking them.

    No particular sites. Just lucky enough to see them and post them here.

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    Ah, thanks for that. I just got an e-mail from Mercola.com and this article talks about dogs being able to smell lung cancer. I remember on many of those TV shows about the unexplained or 'miracles' that this came up a few times.

    Here's the link with 2 videos: Dogs Can Detect Lung Cancer on Your Breath

    And some of the article (very short)

    Lung cancer is really hard to detect early. But a new study done in Germany, reported by Gizmodo.com, has found that dogs can be taught to sniff out 71 out of 100 cancer patients. They also were able to pick out 372 out of 400 who did NOT have the disease.
    "Not only that, but they could tell the difference between lung cancer and COPD. And it didn’t matter what medications they were on, whether they had recently been smoking, or what they had recently eaten," Gizmodo reports.

  12. #87
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    Scientists discover virus that kills all types of breast cancer ‘within seven days’

    Scientists at the Penn State College of Medicine said this week they have discovered a virus that is capable of killing all types of breast cancer "within seven days" of first introduction in a laboratory setting.

    The virus, known as adeno-associated virus type 2 (AAV2), is naturally occurring and carried by up to 80 percent of humans, but it does not cause any disease.

    Researchers learned of its cancer-killing properties in 2005, after Penn State scientists observed it killing cervical cancer cells. They also found that women who carried the AAV2 virus and human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes cervical cancer, had a lower propensity to develop cervical cancer.

    When combined in a lab recently, AAV2 eradicated all the breast cancer cells "within seven days," according to researchers. Better still, it proved capable of wiping out cancer cells at multiple stages, negating the need for differing treatments used today.

    "If we can determine which viral genes are being used, we may be able to introduce those genes into a [therapy]," explained Penn State research associate Samina Alam.

    "If we can determine which pathways the virus is triggering, we can then screen new drugs that target those pathways. Or we may simply be able to use the virus itself."

    The Center for Disease Control says that breast cancer is the most common type of cancer affecting American women, causing more deaths than any other form of the disease.

    The American Cancer Society estimates that up to 39,520 women in the U.S. will die from cancer just this year, out of about 230,480 new cases discovered by doctors.

    Link: News - Penn State Hershey Medical Group - State College

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    there are lots of drug trials going on for many types of cancer

    I heard on the BBC today that a drug trial has been finished early because it was so successful; they are jumping to the next stage

    sorry, no link, I missed the details

    but the future for cancer patients is improving all the time
    I have reported your post

  14. #89
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    ^ This one perhaps Andy


    Alpha radiation treats prostate cancers




    A trial of a new cancer drug, which accurately targets tumours, has been so successful it has been stopped early.

    Doctors at London's Royal Marsden Hospital gave prostate cancer patients a powerful alpha radiation drug and found that they lived longer, and experienced less pain and side effects.

    The medics then stopped the trial of 922 people, saying it was unethical not to offer all of them the treatment.

    Lead researcher Dr Chris Parker said it was "a significant step forward".

    Cancer Research UK said it was a very important and promising discovery.

    Radiation has been used to treat tumours for more than a century. It damages the genetic code inside cancerous cells.

    Alpha particles are the big, bulky, bruisers of the radiation world. It is a barrage of helium nuclei, which are far bigger than beta radiation, a stream of electrons, or gamma waves.

    Dr Parker told the BBC: "It's more damaging. It takes one, two, three hits to kill a cancer cell compared with thousands of hits for beta particles."

    Alpha particles also do less damage to surrounding tissue. He added: "They have such a tiny range, a few millionths of a metre. So we can be sure that the damage is being done where it should be."

    www.bbc.co.uk

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    sounds like it, thanks

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    Here's a video that I'm watching now. I got it via e-mail from Dr. Mercola's newsletter today.

    Jim Navarro on the Dangers of Conventional Cancer Treatment

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    Exelixis' thyroid cancer drug may get early approval

    Exelixis Inc's drug to treat a rare form of thyroid cancer met the main goal of a late-stage study, prompting the company to look to an accelerated approval process that could bring the drug to market within a year.

    Shares of San Francisco-based Exelixis were up 18 percent at $7.09 in heavy trading on Monday on Nasdaq. They had touched a high of $7.53 earlier in the day.

    Exelixis said based on the study it was requesting permission to begin a rolling submission of data toward the marketing application of the drug cabozantinib in advanced medullary thyroid cancer (MTC).

    "With the positive data, we expect cabozantinib's filing to be completed in first quarter of 2012, with potential approval in the third quarter," Lazard Capital Markets analysts said in a note.

    The drug significantly improved median progression-free survival (PFS) in patients suffering from MTC to 11.2 months versus 4 months for those on placebo in a trial called EXAM.

    While that was lower than the numbers returned by AstraZeneca Plc's competing Caprelsa, Jefferies analysts said the drugs appeared comparable given that the EXAM trial appears to have enrolled more severe patients.

    About 44,600 new thyroid cancer cases were diagnosed in the United States during 2010, and about 1,690 people died from the disease, according to the National Cancer Institute.

    Cabozantinib, which is also being tested for metastatic ovarian cancer and castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), is an oral drug designed to limit blood supply to tumors and block two segments of a pathway used by cancer cells to grow and spread.

    In June, Exelixis reported data from a clinical trial showing cabozantinib led to significant tumor shrinkage in several different types of solid tumors, including 24 percent of patients with metastatic ovarian cancer, but also caused the deaths of six patients.

    The EXAM trial is being conducted under a special protocol assessment (SPA) agreement, which guarantees that the design and analysis of the trial are adequate to support a marketing application submission to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

    Link: Exelixis' thyroid cancer drug may get early approval | Reuters

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    Is oral contraceptive pill fuelling prostate cancer?

    Scientists say research is needed to ascertain if oral contraceptive pill use could be fuelling rising prostate cancer rates.

    Canadian investigators told the BMJ that they have found a possible link.

    But experts stress this is not proof that one causes the other and it might be a fluke finding.

    The researchers believe oestrogen by-products excreted in the urine of pill-users may have contaminated the food chain and drinking water.

    The hormone is known to feed the growth of certain cancers.

    The latest investigation looked at data from 2007 for individual nations and continents worldwide to see if there was any link.

    The researchers found a significant association between contraceptive pill use in the population as a whole with both the number of new cases of, and deaths from, prostate cancer.

    This link was irrespective of the nation's wealth, suggesting it might not be down to better disease detection in more affluent countries that also tend to have higher rates of oral contraceptive use.

    And it was strongest in Europe.

    Additionally, they found no link between prostate cancer and other forms of contraception, like the coil, suggesting it is not something that is sexually transmitted or associated with intercourse itself.

    'Thought-provoking'
    Drs David Margel and Neil Fleshner, from Toronto University, fear that contamination of the food chain with hormones originating from the pill are the likely culprit.

    Continue reading the main story

    Start Quote

    Comparing the rates of two apparently unrelated issues across countries is a notoriously unreliable way of establishing whether they are truly linked”

    Jessica Harris
    Cancer Research UK
    They stress that their work merely suggests a link and is not proof.

    "It must be considered hypothesis generating and thought-provoking," they say in their BMJ Open report.

    They said more investigations are needed and recommend close monitoring of environmental levels of oral contraceptive by-products or endocrine disruptive compounds (EDCs).

    Dr Kate Holmes, of The Prostate Cancer Charity, agreed that more research was warranted.

    "While this study raises some interesting questions about the presence of EDCs in the environment, it does not contribute to our overall understanding of the development of prostate cancer."

    Jessica Harris, of Cancer Research UK, said uncertainty about the disease remained.

    "Comparing the rates of two apparently unrelated issues across countries is a notoriously unreliable way of establishing whether they are truly linked, because so many things vary between different countries that it's impossible to say whether one thing is causing the other.

    "It has been difficult to identify factors that affect the risk of prostate cancer, but we know that men are at higher risk as they get older, or if they have a strong family history of breast or prostate cancer. The disease is also more common in black men than white or Asian men."

    link: BBC News - Is oral contraceptive pill fuelling prostate cancer?

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    Big promise is seen in 2 new breast cancer drugs

    SAN ANTONIO

    Breast cancer experts are cheering what could be some of the biggest advances in more than a decade: two new medicines that significantly delay the time until women with very advanced cases get worse.

    In a large international study, an experimental drug from Genentech called pertuzumab held cancer at bay for a median of 18 months when given with standard treatment, versus 12 months for others given only the usual treatment. It also strongly appears to be improving survival, and follow-up is continuing to see if it does.

    "You don't see that very often. ... It's a spectacular result," said one study leader, Dr. Sandra Swain, medical director of Washington Hospital Center's cancer institute.

    In a second study, another drug long used in organ transplants but not tried against breast cancer -- everolimus, sold as Afinitor by Novartis AG -- kept cancer in check for a median of 7 months in women whose disease was worsening despite treatment with hormone-blocking drugs. A comparison group that received only hormonal medicine had just a 3-month delay in disease progression.

    Afinitor works in a novel way, seems "unusually effective" and sets a new standard of care, said Dr. Peter Ravdin, breast cancer chief at the UT Health Science Center in San Antonio. He has no role in the work or ties to drugmakers. Most patients have tumors like those in this study -- their growth is fueled by estrogen.

    Results were released Wednesday at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium and some were published online by the New England Journal of Medicine. They come a few weeks after federal approval was revoked for another Genentech drug, Avastin, that did not meaningfully help breast cancer patients. It still is sold for other tumor types.

    The new drugs are some of the first major developments since Herceptin came out in 1998. It has become standard treatment for a certain type of breast cancer.

    "These are powerful advances ... an important step forward," said Dr. Harold Burstein, a breast expert at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston who had no role in the studies.

    A reality check: The new drugs are likely to be very expensive -- up to $10,000 a month -- and so far have not proved to be cures. Doctors hope they might be when given to women with early-stage cancers when cure is possible, rather than the very advanced cases treated in these studies.

    Even short of a cure, about 40,000 U.S. women each year have cancer that spreads beyond the breast, and treatment can make a big difference in their lives.

    Rachel Midgett is an example. The 39-year-old Houston woman has breast cancer that spread to multiple parts of her liver, yet she ran a half-marathon in Las Vegas on Sunday. She has had three scans since starting on Afinitor nine months ago, and "every time, my liver lesions keep shrinking," she said.

    "My quality of life has been wonderful. It's amazing. I have my hair. ... If you saw me you wouldn't even know I have cancer."

    Genentech, part of the Switzerland-based Roche Group, applied Tuesday to the federal Food and Drug Administration for permission to sell pertuzumab (per-TOO-zoo-mab) as initial treatment for women like those in the study.

    The drug targets cells that make too much of a protein called HER2 -- about one of every four or five breast cancer cases. Herceptin attacks the same target but in a different way, and the two medicines complement each other.

    The study tested the combination in 808 women from Europe, North and South America and Asia and found a 6-month advantage in how long the cancer stayed stable. All women also received a chemotherapy drug, docetaxel.

    "That's a huge improvement" in such advanced cases, said study leader Dr. Jose Baselga, associate director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center. He is a paid consultant for Roche.

    So far, 165 deaths have occurred -- 96 among the 406 women given Herceptin and chemo alone, and only 69 among the 402 women also given pertuzumab. Doctors won't know whether the drug affects survival until there are more deaths.

    The most common side effects were diarrhea, rash and low white blood cell counts, which often occur with cancer treatment. The dual treatment did not cause more heart problems -- an issue with other Herceptin combinations.

    "We're really pleased that there were no new safety signals" and that pertuzumab is so promising, said Dr. Sandra Horning, Genentech's global development chief of cancer drugs.

    Another study is testing pertuzumab in 3,800 women with early breast cancer. Genentech says it has not set a price for pertuzumab, but sells Herceptin for $4,500 a month to doctors, who mark it up and add fees to infuse it. Herceptin's U.S. patent expires in 2019, so combination treatment might be more affordable once generic Herceptin is available.

    "Pertuzumab is a winner" and should win government approval, said Dr. Eric Winer of the Dana-Farber cancer center.

    Dr. Gary Lyman, a treatment effectiveness researcher at Duke University, called the results "quite impressive," unlike what turned out to be the case for Avastin. He was on an FDA panel that recommended accelerated approval for Avastin as well as the recent panel that urged revoking its use for breast cancer because later studies did not bear out its early promise.

    Winer and Lyman have no role in the new studies or financial ties to any drug companies.

    The other study tested Novartis AG's Afinitor, which has long been sold for preventing organ rejection after transplants and to treat a few less common cancers including the type of pancreatic tumor that killed Apple founder Steve Jobs. It blocks one pathway cancer uses to spread. A one-month supply costs $11,000.

    The 724 women in the study were worsening despite treatment with hormone-blocking medicines. They all were given one they had not taken before, and some also got Afinitor.

    After about a year of follow-up, cancer progression was delayed 7 months in the group getting Afinitor and 3 months in the others.

    "The two together have a much greater effect than you would expect from either alone," said study leader Dr. Gabriel Hortobagyi, breast cancer research chief at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. "They snip two wires that are critical" for growth signals to continue, he said.

    However, the combo led to more side effects -- mouth sores, anemia, shortness of breath, high blood sugar, fatigue and lung inflammation.

    "I have patients who tell me how long they live is not as important as the quality of the remainder of their life, where other patients will do just about anything and will tolerate any toxic levels or side effects," Hortobagyi said. "This is clearly one additional option for patients."

    The cancer conference is sponsored by the American Association for Cancer Research, Baylor College of Medicine and the UT Health Science Center.

    link: Big promise is seen in 2 new breast cancer drugs - BusinessWeek

  20. #95
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    I am sounding like a cynic, I know. And I do understand patients and families that go for it, but:

    So this is a new drug that extends the life span of cancer patients by 6 months at a cost of 60.000,00 $ but does nothing to cure.

    No wonder the health care cost is exploding.

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    ^Agreed, Takeovers. I was diagnosed with stage 2 hormone receptive breast cancer in February of 2009. Exactly 2 years later I was declared in complete remission. Most of the drugs used in cancer treatment, and especially the chemo drugs are very toxic to the body and even cause cancer themselves.

    As soon as I was diagnosed, I made the decision to become healthy and back to myself. I think I'm even more healthy now, and more aware of physical or emotional factors that can make someone more prone to cancers (and other health conditions).

    For me, I always had unbalanced hormones. I knew this ever since I had started my periods. Any time I would go to a doctor in Canada, they would either just give me pain pills or birth control pills (neither of which helped), or just tell me to piss off and not bother them.

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    ^So glad to hear you wrestled that bear and won.

    I didn't understand. Were you treated with chemo?
    Last edited by misskit; 08-12-2011 at 03:25 PM.

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    I understand you did not take chemo and tried some other approach. Congratulations it worked out well for you. But it is not the way I would recommend anybody, except as an addition to conventional therapy.

    I had a relative who was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her lifestly had always been one that would reduce the risk of cancer but she got it anyway and decided to try some herbal remedies. Things went downhill for her fast. At a very late stage she decided to try chemotherapy but it was too late and only made her last months even more miserable.

    I believe early chemo would have given her a fighting chance.

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    Thanks misskit. I figured my details would be too much to get to the point of my post, but since you asked, here they are:

    Diagnosed Feb 4, 2009. This was after a biopsy ordered by the third hospital I went to. I wanted to make sure of what was wrong, so I had gone to one hospital in Dubai, then one in Bangkok, then another one in Dubai.

    I was told that I needed chemo, radiation and a mastectomy. This was all in the first 5 minutes of getting the news. As you can imagine, I was in shock.

    I went to the oncology department of American Hospital in Dubai and they had a nurse tell me what was going to happen. Just the thought of chemo horrified me. TBH, it wasn't anywhere near as bad as I had expected.

    OK, back to the schedule:

    Starting the end of February, I had to have 4 sessions of chemo two weeks apart. On May 4th, I had what they called a modified radical mastectomy. This means that the full breast was removed, along with part of the muscle because of cancerous cells attaching themselves, and 11 lymph nodes.

    They tested the lymph nodes, and 4 of them had cancer in them. It is only after surgery that they can test to see which type of cancer you have, whether it's hormone receptive. Mine was receptive to three - estrogen, progesterone and testosterone.

    So, because of this, I had to go on Herceptin, which affects the receptors, for one year. This was combined with another type of chemo after the surgery. This chemo drug is called Taxol and I had to be on this one for 8 sessions, but every three weeks. Taxol was the worst of the chemo drugs because it causes bone pain. I had pain in my bones from my hips down and I felt a dopey tiredness all the time.

    Then later on, I was put on Tamoxifen. This should have been for five years, but it was changed to a stronger drug because I had some metastais on a couple of my bones.

    In September of '09, after the chemo finished, I had to go for radiation. This was five days a week for 4 weeks. Later on, a PET scan had found some metastasis. This is the one I mentioned above.

    Soooo, fo this I was put on another IV drug called Zometa to strenghten the bones. This lasted about a year too, then I was switched to a newer drug which is just a subcutaneous injection.

    During the last year, to prevent any more metastasis, I was also prescribed and implant, every three months, to control the hormones again. This one is called Zoladex. I really didn't feel better from this frug, in fact I felt a bit worse. It had caused me to gain weight and to have amore difficult time taking it off.

    So, last but not least, my good news. I had a PET scan last August and it shows that I am perfectly clear and my oncologist declared me in complete remission. I've stopped all of the medications, and now I'm becoming more loyal to getting to the gym and getting sun and fresh air.

    Thank God I live in a place where I can do this in the winter. I am very fortunate and grateful that I was diagnosed here. I am now working on creating a support centre here for cancer patients and their families. including for children.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Takeovers
    I understand you did not take chemo and tried some other approach.
    We replied at the same time. I DID do the chemo, but I had also used natural therapies and remedies. Fortunately for me, the pharmacist in the oncology department at American Hospital really believes in natural remedies and he gave me some great advice and guidance through all of this.

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