Cheap drug hope for breast cancer

Via the BBC: /

A combination of two inexpensive existing drugs may offer a new way to treat breast cancer, according to UK and Finnish researchers.

The common chemotherapy drug and a brittle bone medicine almost completely stopped the growth of tumours in mice.

The Journal of the National Cancer Institute said the combination cost a twentieth of Herceptin, given to breast cancer patients by the NHS.

Specialists said the results of human trials now under way would be crucial.

In the UK, almost 46,000 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed each year.

Although modern treatments mean that cases caught sufficiently early, some via breast screening programmes, have an excellent chance of being successfully treated.

The study was a joint project between researchers at the University of Sheffield and the Kuopio University in Finland.

Its findings could offer an even more effective way to help some patients.

It used a dose of the drug doxorubicin, a common component of chemotherapy regimes, followed 24 hours later by zoledronic acid, currently given to osteoporosis patients.

In the mice, this stopped 99.99% of new cancer cell growth in tumours. Continue reading


Exercise and Cancer

I’ve been cleared by my doctors and physical therapist to have my first meeting with a personal trainer.  It’s scheduled for Monday.  Articles like this one are the reason why.

As the group of women trickled into the aerobics studio at the Bendheim Integrative Medicine Center in Manhattan on a recent Thursday morning, there were subtle signs that this was no ordinary fitness class.

One woman told the instructor that she had missed a string of previous classes because she was grappling with fatigue, a side effect of her new cancer medication. Others wore colorful wraps on their arms, containment sleeves meant to protect against lymphedema, a painful swelling of the arm stemming from breast cancer surgery.

The journal DUH!

My husband and I will occasionally steal this line from an old Saturday Night Live sketch.  “This month in the journal DUH! researchers have reported….”  Well this one seems like it is definitely from that journal.  Not to mention that a quarter of a million people living with anything should get things moving. Approximately 25 kids a year die from plastic bags, kids can get their Halloween candy x-rayed (has anyone ever found anything in these things), hell one old lady at McDonalds was enough to get their coffee relabeled.  But 250,000 women under the age of 40 living with breast cancer is considered rare.  Although this is probably a press release more than anything else here it is.

Young Women May Be Underrepresented In Breast Cancer Research Studies & Treatment

While the incidence of breast cancer in young women in the U.S. is relatively rare, there are more than 250,000 women under the age of forty that are living with the disease and 11,000 will be diagnosed in the next year.

Methadone may Break Resistance In Untreatable Forms Of Leukemia

Researchers in Germany have discovered that methadone, an agent used to break addiction to opioid drugs, has surprising killing power against leukemia cells, including treatment resistant forms of the cancer.

Their laboratory study, published in the August 1 issue of Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, suggests that methadone holds promise as a new therapy for leukemia, especially in patients whose cancer no longer responds to chemotherapy and radiation.   Continue reading

CSI cookies

Now me, I’m a Law and Order junkie so now I’m wondering. Do I need Weight Watchers or Will and Grace? I’m not normally one to file lawsuits but does this mean I can sue Dick Wolf?

In a paper published in the Journal of Consumer Research, “The Sweet Escape: Effects of Mortality Salience on Consumption Quantities for High- and Low-Self-Esteem Consumers”, Dirk Smeesters and co-author Naomi Mandel (Arizona State University) reveal that “consumers, especially those with a lower self-esteem, might be more susceptible to over-consumption when faced with images of death during the news or their favorite crime-scene investigation shows.”

National Cancer Institute Updates

The Journal of the National Cancer Institute has some updated research that effects those of us with sisters or daughters. As someone with both I’ll just pass this on.

  • “Sisters of women diagnosed with breast cancer still have an increased risk of breast cancer 20 years after diagnosis of the sister, suggesting that women live with the burden of familial breast cancer for their lifetime,” the authors write.

Traditional medicine treats pancreatic cancer

As a cancer survivor I have to say that pancreatic cancer is terrifying because it generally presents so late in the disease process. I am thrilled to pass along any good news in its treatment. Researchers at the Kimmel Cancer at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia have found that thymoquinone, an extract of nigella sativa seed oil, blocked pancreatic cancer cell growth and killed the cells by enhancing the process of programmed cell death. This herb has been part of Middle Eastern Traditional medicine for many years.