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Cancer News: EGCG And Childhood Cancer

Neuroblastoma is the number one cancer in infants and the third most common cancer in children under age 10 (ACS). This malignant cancer occurs in the developing nervous system in children.

A new study has combined the flavonoid antioxidant EGCG from green tea with retinoids (phytonutrient chemicals related to Vitamin A) and tested them together in human cancer neuroblastoma cell lines. They also tested the flavonoid genistein GST from soy.

After 7 days exposure to retinoids, the cancer cells showed increased differentiation. Then with 24 hours exposure to the flavonoid, there was increased cancer cell death or apoptosis.

EGCG increased cancer cell death with activated caspase-8, using a receptor-mediated pathway to kill the cancer cells.

The researchers conclude that the retinoids and flavonoids combined to work synergistically to control malignancy in the neuroblastoma cancer cells (Das A, Retinoids induce differentiation and downregulate telomerase activity and N-Myc to increase sensitivity to flavonoids for apoptosis in human malignant neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells, International Journal Oncology, March 2009).

This is a preliminary study and has not been tested with humans yet.

Here's more news on cancer studies

Cancer News: Green Tea And Chemotherapy Interactions

There is strong evidence of green tea reducing the risk of several cancers. There is also evidence of green tea increasing the effectiveness of some cancer drugs as well as reducing chemotherapy side effects.

However, a new study has found that EGCG from green tea may stop the effectiveness of bortezomib, a cancer drug for multiple myeloma.

EGCG prevented tumor cell death only when used with boronic acid based proteasome inhibitors (bortezomib), but did not interfere with other drugs that were non-boronic acid based inhibitors (Golden EB, Green tea polyphenols block the anticancer effects of bortezomib and other boronic acid-based proteasome inhibitors, Blood, February 2009).

This study is considered preliminary. However, it is good to keep in mind that green tea contains many complex chemicals that may interact positively or negatively with new prescription drug therapies.

It is also good to remember that healthy people have been drinking green tea daily for thousands of years.

Cancer News: Microwaves For Liver Cancer

Treatments for liver cancer may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or the destruction of liver tumors with radio waves, high frequency ultrasound, or freezing.

Now, using microwaves may remove the tumor more quickly, more efficiently and with lower risk to the patient. This new technique may also be suitable for patients who are not candidates for liver transplant.

The procedure involves guiding the thin microwave antenna to the tumor by ultrasound or CT where microwaves heat the water molecules in the tumor to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. This causes cellular destruction, usually within 10 minutes.

Liver cancer has increased over the last 20 years with increasing hepatitis infections, and is most common in people over age 45.

This new technology may also be useful for bone cancer, kidney cancer, and lung cancer.

It is currently available at University of California San Diego Medical Center, among other facilities.

Cancer News: Fighting Brain Cancer

Brain cancers called gliomas develop in the supporting cells of the brain.

Some of these cancers develop resistance to TRAIL or tumor necrosis factor–related apoptosis-inducing ligand which kills the brain cancer cells.

A new cell study with three TRAIL-resistant glioma cell lines has found that EGCG from green tea increased the effectiveness of TRAIL against the TRAIL-resistant brain cancer cells, creating rapid death of the cancer cells (Siegelin M, Epigalocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) downregulates PEA15 and thereby augments TRAIL-mediated apoptosis in malignant glioma, Neuroscience Letters, October 2008).

This is a preliminary study and more research is needed to learn if humans could benefit.

Cancer News: Dogs Detect Early Cancer

The uniquely powerful canine sense of smell is used for disaster rescue operations, bomb sniffing security, and can detect cancer in human exhaled air.

Early studies showed that dogs could identify lung cancer patients with 99% accuracy and breast cancer patients with over 88% accuracy (McCulloch M, Diagnostic accuracy of canine scent detection in early- and late-stage lung and breast cancers, Integrative Cancer Therapies, March 2006).

Scientists have followed up on that initial study by researching the chemicals in the exhaled breath of cancer patients.

Now they are developing sensors to detect the same chemicals that the dogs can identify. Current technology utilizes high-resolution liquid-nitrogen-free mid-infrared tunable diode laser absorption spectroscopy. Nanotechnology is expected to help improve laser performance and offer miniaturization that could be battery powered.

These researchers (Patrick McCann, University of Oklahoma) expect to develop low-cost devices that can accurately detect "cancer breath" within 5 to 10 years.

Cancer News: New Test For Early Detection Of Ovarian Cancer

Currently 75% of women are not diagnosed with ovarian cancer until they are in the later stages. By that time, it has become difficult to treat and more women die.

New research has found that combining a simple four-question screening questionnaire with the CA 125 ovarian cancer blood test can increase early detection to 80% and later stage ovarian cancer to 95%.

These early detection rates are approximately 30% higher than each procedure (questionnaire and blood test) used separately (Andersen MR, Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center, Cancer online, June 2008).

Early detection of cancers is the most powerful way to increase the efficacy of treatments. For more information about cancer screening, please consult with your personal physician.

Learn how green tea reduces risk of ovarian cancer.

Cancer News: Tea Chemicals Reduce Lung Cancer In Smokers

Smoking and second-hand smoke significantly increase the risk of lung cancer. The Center for Disease Control states that 90% of lung cancer deaths in men and 80% of lung cancer deaths in women of the United States are due to smoking.

While the best prevention is to stop smoking, now a new study has shown that a high intake of flavonoid chemicals found in tea, fruits, and vegetables also substantially reduces the risk of lung cancer in smokers.

In a case-control study of 558 lung cancer patients and 837 controls in Los Angeles, California, researchers analyzed dietary intake.

After adjusting for other influences, they found that higher consumption of flavonoid catechins, epicatechins, quercetins, and kaempferols reduced the risk of lung cancer in smokers from 32% to 56%. Other flavonoids including thearubigins, hesperetin, naringenin, and myricetin showed no association.

Catechins and epicatechins are high in green tea, while quercetin and kaempferol are found in apples, onions, Brussels sprouts, and beans.

The scientists plan more studies to determine optimal intake of these flavonoids (Cui Y, Dietary flavonoid intake and lung cancer--a population-based case-control study, Cancer, May 2008).

Cancer News: Will Nano = Less Chemo?

Chemotherapy for cancer involves the application of very strong drugs, inevitably to the whole body.

Researchers have been seeking ways to reduce the toxic burden of chemotherapy for many years.

Now nanotechnology, the use of incredibly tiny particles, may help target cancer cells so that the overall dosage of chemotherapy may be reduced.

In a preliminary animal study, researchers found significantly effective results using 1000 times less chemotherapy drug when it was formulated into nanoparticles.

Using fumagillin chemotherapy to reduce the blood vessel growth of adenocarcinoma tumors, they found that a targeted nanotechnology preparation prevented the growth of the tumor better than controls. Control groups included no treatment, the same chemotherapy alone, and non-targeted nanoparticle chemotherapy.

One very important finding was that the animals receiving the targeted nanotechnology chemotherapy had no adverse side effects (Winter, PM, Minute dosages of {alpha}{nu}{beta}3-targeted fumagillin nanoparticles impair Vx-2 tumor angiogenesis and development in rabbits, FASEB March 2008).

After this highly successful beginning, researchers plan to expand testing of other drugs and medical situations using nanotechnology.

Cancer News: Detect Cancer Earlier

Finding cancer earlier can save your life.

If cancer is detected in the earliest stages, survival rates can stay close to 100%. If it is detected in the last stages, survival drops to below 20% or may be incurable.

Now there is new technology being developed at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway, that can find cancerous tissue earlier than current diagnostic techniques.

This new technology is called SURF imaging or Second Order Ultrasound Field imaging.

Using ultrasound for diagnostic procedures has helped medicine reduce the amount of exploratory surgery needed. But detailed images have been blurred at times because of multiple echo reverberations. So the technology has been limited for early detection of smaller tumors or tissue changes.

The new SURF imaging helps resolve this problem and should help with detection of smaller tumors in breast cancer, prostate cancer, and thyroid cancer, as well as enhance information using contrast agents. It can also be used with cardiovascular diseases such as aneurysms or arteriosclerosis.

Professor Angelsen in Trondheim believes the technology should be ready for use within a year (Norwegian University of Science and Technology, 2008).

You can learn more about breast cancer and prostate cancer here, including information on cancer prevention.

Cancer News: Light Coffin Nails?

If you're a light smoker and you've started thinking about New Year's resolutions for 2008, you may want to consider cold turkey.

That's right. Choosing to stop smoking completely may be a health-promoting choice for you.

A previous study from the British Medical Journal found that even one to four cigarettes daily almost tripled the risk of dying of heart disease or lung cancer for men.

And the results were worse for women.

Tracking 43,000 middle-aged people for about 25 years, researchers found that men and women who smoked one to four cigarettes daily had triple the risk of dying of heart disease during the study, even after accounting for other risk factors.

When it came to lung cancer, men who were light smokers had triple the risk of dying of lung cancer, but women who were light smokers had five times the risk of dying of lung cancer.

Light smoking also significantly raised the death rates from all causes. Light smokers were 1.5 times more likely to die from any cause than non-smokers (British Medical Journal Tobacco Control, September, 2005).

Health care professionals generally make two recommendations about smoking:

    Don't start.

    If you do smoke, quit.

Considering this research, you may choose to quit smoking completely.

Cancer News: Stay Aware Of Cancer Signs And Symptoms

Here are general signs and symptoms that might show cancer and should be checked by a physician.

  • unexplained weight loss

  • persistent fever

  • persistent fatigue

  • persistent pain

  • changes in bowel habits, or blood in the stool or urine

  • skin sores that do not heal

  • any unusual bleeding or discharges

  • thickening or lumps anywhere

  • recent changes in warts or moles

  • persistent cough or hoarseness

Any of these common symptoms may be due to some other condition, but should be checked so that cancer can be ruled out.

One of our greatest defenses against cancer is early detection.

Cancer News: New Success In War On Cancer

The American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and North American Association of Central Cancer Registries have issued their annual "Report to The Nation" on cancer.

The death rate from cancer dropped 2.1 percent a year between 2002 and 2004.

By comparison, the death rate from cancer dropped only 1.1 percent between 1993 and 2001.

The improvement is attributed to increased early detection of colon cancer and removal of pre-cancerous colon polyps.

The other major finding showed more improvement for men than women. This was attributed to reduced lung cancer among men because of smoking cessation. As more women stop smoking, this should balance out.

Congratulations Americans! Healthy habits, common sense disease prevention, and early detection always save lives.

Here's more information on breast cancer and prostate cancer.

Cancer News: Obesity Could Increase Esophageal Cancer Risk

Esophageal cancer (also called oesophageal cancer or gullet cancer) will be diagnosed in an estimated 15,560 people and will cause an estimated 13,940 deaths in the United States in 2007.

Internationally, esophageal rates are 10 to 100 times higher in Iran, northern China, India, and southern Africa than in the United States (American Cancer Society, 2007). Increased rates of esophageal cancer in these areas have been partially attributed to the custom of drinking beverages while the water is still boiling hot, burning the mouth and throat.

An increased risk of esophageal cancer has also been associated with acid-reflux, severe heartburn, and gastrointestinal reflux disease (GORD).

Now, a new study has found that obesity alone increased the risk of esophageal cancer six-fold.

Researchers also found that obesity combined with acid-reflux (GORD) increased esophageal cancer risk by sixteen-fold (Whiteman D, Gut, 2007).

Maintaining a normal weight through calorie and exercise management lowers the risk of many life-threatening diseases, including many cancers.

Here's more ideas about weight management.

Cancer News: Skin Cancer Destroyers

Researchers at Rutgers University, New Jersey, compared the effects of caffeine and exercise on skin cancer.

Hairless mice who have high risk of skin cancer, were given caffeine in their drinking water, or access to a running wheel, or both for two weeks along with increased ultra-violet light. The ultra-violet(UV) in sunlight causes more than 90% of skin cancers (Skin Cancer Foundation, 2007).

Normally the body can prevent the development of skin cancer by destroying UV-sunlight damaged cells.

Compared to those natural defenses, caffeine alone increased protection by increasing the number of destroyed precancerous skin cells (apoptotic sunburn cells) by 96%, almost doubling the body's natural defenses. The amount of caffeine the mice drank would be equivalent to about 1 cup of coffee, or 2 cups of black tea, or 4-10 cups of green tea daily for humans.

Running alone increased the destroyed skin cancer cells by 120%.

But the combined effect of drinking caffeine and running destroyed 396% of the sunlight-damaged skin cells (Conney A, Proceedings National Academy of Sciences, 2007).

This study is considered preliminary and this has not been studied with people.

How much caffeine do you get daily?

Skin cancer is diagnosed in over a million Americans each year and about 60,000 of these cases will be melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer.

Skin cancer cases continue to increase with more sunlight from climate change.

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This page last updated by Sharon Jones.

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