10/31/2004 Chicago, IL Lindsey Tanner FortWayne.com (Journal Gazette) Beyond the tired clichés and sperm-and-egg basics taught in grade-school science class, researchers are discovering that men and women are even more different than anyone realized. It turns out that major illnesses like heart disease and lung cancer are influenced by gender and that perhaps treatments for women ought to be slightly different from the approach used for men. These discoveries are part of a quiet but revolutionary change infiltrating U.S. medicine as a growing number of scientists realize there’s more to women’s health than just the anatomy that makes them female, and that the same diseases often affect men and women in different ways. “Women are different than men, not only psychologically (but) physiologically, and I think we need to understand those differences,” says Dr. Catherine DeAngelis, editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association. DeAngelis, who became the journal’s first female editor in 1999, says she has made it a mission to publish only research in which data are broken down by sex unless it involves a disease that affects just men or women. And this fall, the office of Surgeon General will issue its first-ever report on osteoporosis. The crippling bone-thinning disease disproportionately affects women, who lose the bone-protecting effects of estrogen at menopause. The report will emphasize prevention – and that it’s not just a woman’s disease – 20 percent of patients are men, said Wanda Jones, director of the Office on Women’s Health at the U.S. [...]
10/31/2004 Ivanhoe Newswire The Traingle & Fayetteville Headlines Combining radiation and chemotherapy to kill cancer cells is often very difficult on patients because of the side effects, but new research shows the results may be worth it. Days like this with her family make it all worthwhile for Ruth Toseland. Three years ago, she was diagnosed with tongue cancer. A portion of her tongue was removed, but the cancer came back. After two more surgeries, she opted for an extreme treatment, radiation combined with chemotherapy. Oncologist Julie A. Kish, M.D., of Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla., was involved in a national study that may change the treatment of choice for patients at high risk for recurrence. "At two years, the recurrence rate was lower in patients that had the combined treatment as opposed to radiation alone," she said. But the treatment is very hard on the patient. Researchers say four of the 228 patients in the study died as a result of the combined therapy. Still, Dr. Kish says, for some, the tough approach is worth it. "If you can prolong the time until the cancer comes back, which potentially, at some point in time, it may not come back, which we never say because we can't predict that, it's worth going through it." Ruth finished her treatment two and half years ago. So far, the cancer has not returned. Her husband, Michael, said, "We've got a lot to be thankful for. It was touch and go for a [...]
10/31/2004 Ralph W. Moss, Ph.D. Weekly CancerDecisions.com Herb-derived Drug Fights Head and Neck Cancer South Carolina doctors have announced that a drug called M4N shrinks inoperable tumors of the head and neck region. Researchers injected M4N directly into the tumors of eight such patients who were not eligible for surgery. According to press releases, they saw evidence that the agent killed the tumors in these patients, all of whom had advanced, otherwise untreatable forms of the disease. "This study revealed that M4N was generally well-tolerated without direct toxicity," Terry A. Day, MD, told colleagues at the 6th International Conference on Head and Neck Cancer in Washington, DC, August 10, 2004. Dr. Day is Associate Professor and Director of the Division of Head and Neck Oncology Surgery at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). He is the author of over 150 scientific publications and is president of the Yul Brynner Head & Neck Cancer Foundation. The meeting was sponsored by the American Head and Neck Society (http://www.sic2004.org/). Dr. Day and his colleagues now plan a larger, Phase II study aimed at showing whether, and at what dosage, the drug really works in this intractable kind of cancer. American Society of Clinical Oncology Study Dr. Day's report followed a related one presented a few months earlier at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) convention in New Orleans. At this June 2004 meeting, Frank R. Dunphy, MD, and colleagues from the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center, Durham, NC (one of the top [...]
10/27/2004 Toronto, Ontario, Canada Press Release Pharmalive.com Viventia Biotech Inc. today announced the results of the first Phase I clinical study completed with its lead product candidate Proxinium™ for the treatment of advanced, recurrent head and neck cancer. The results, which demonstrate documented tumour responses in several patients, were announced at the Rodman & Renshaw Techvest 6th Annual Healthcare Conference in New York. The study, which completed enrollment in 8 months, was primarily designed to assess the safety and tolerability of Proxinium™ monotherapy over an escalating dose range. Patients enrolled in this study had advanced head and neck cancer and continuing disease progression, and the majority had failed previous courses of chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy. Preliminary clinical data from the study strongly support the safety profile of Proxinium™, with the observation of mostly mild treatment-related side effects, such as injection site pain. In addition to positive safety outcomes, Proxinium™ treatment also resulted in several independently verified clinical responses. Of the 24 patients that were dosed in the study, 17 patients expressed the therapeutic target for Proxinium™, from which 14 patients were evaluated for their response to treatment. Of those 14 patients, two patients experienced significant tumour regressions of their treated lesions and four other patients experienced minor tumour regressions, yielding an objective response rate of 43%. Four other patients had stable disease following Proxinium™ treatment. Tumour growth control (objective responses plus stable disease) was therefore achieved in 71% of treated lesions. The historical survival rate for advanced, recurrent head and neck [...]
10/26/2004 Federation of European Cancer Societies EurekAlert.org Combination treatment using the monoclonal antibody cetuximab, along with high dose radiotherapy in the treatment of patients with loco-regionally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck results in significant improvements in both loco-regional control and overall survival, according to Dr. Jordi Giralt of Val d'Hebron University Hospital, Barcelona, Spain, speaking here today (Tuesday 26th October) at the 23rd Meeting of the European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology. Head and neck cancers (e.g. oropharynx, hypopharynx and larynx) account for around 5% of all cancers and are responsible for around 200,000 deaths globally each year. The development of head and neck cancers is strongly linked to tobacco use. Squamous cell carcinoma accounts for nearly 95% of all head and neck cancers and the majority of these express the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) that is associated with aggressive tumour growth and poor clinical outcome. Head and neck cancer is normally treated with high dose radiotherapy in combination with surgery. These phase III results were based on data from 424 patients (recruited from April 1999 - March 2002) with a median follow-up of 38 months. Patients with loco-regionally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx, hypopharynx or larynx were randomised to receive either high-dose radiation alone for 6-7 weeks, or high-dose radiation plus weekly cetuximab. Cetuximab is a monoclonal antibody raised against EGFR. It is thought to work by binding to the EGFR so that epidermal growth factors cannot bind and stimulate the [...]
10/26/2004 Salt Lake City, UT Press Release BSD Medical Corporation BSD Medical Corp. today announced that New York University Clinical Cancer Center has installed a new BSD-500 hyperthermia system produced by BSD Medical, Corp. The recently opened Center, which occupies 85,000 square feet between Lexington and Third Avenues in New York City, includes several multidisciplinary specialties for treatment of such cancers as breast and other female cancers, digestive tract, prostate, brain, lung, blood, head and neck, and skin (melanoma). Many of these cancers are applicable for treatment with the BSD-500. BSD Medical expects more and more leading cancer treatment centers to include hyperthermia therapy as an important component of their treatments for cancer. Clinical trials have shown a significant boost in both tumor control and long-term survival when hyperthermia therapy is combined with radiation therapy. In phase III clinical trials where hyperthermia therapy was added to ionizing radiation treatments, hyperthermia improved local relapse-free survival for head and neck cancer from 24% to 68%, 2-year local control of melanoma from 28% to 46%, complete response for recurrent breast cancer from 38% to 60%, 2-year survival for glioblastoma (brain cancer) from 15% to 31% and 3-year survival for advanced cervical cancer from 27% to 51%, as compared to the use of ionizing radiation therapy alone. NYU Clinical Cancer Center addresses a growing demand for comprehensive outpatient care, with 85-90 percent of cancer patients treated in an outpatient setting. Dr. Silvia Formenti, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology at the [...]
10/26/2004 Haiming Ding et al. Int J Cancer, October 21, 2004 Celecoxib derivatives induce apoptosis via the disruption of mitochondrial membrane potential and activation of caspase 9. Celecoxib is a potent nonsteroid antiinflammatory drug (NSAID) that has shown great promise in cancer chemoprevention and treatment. The tumor suppression activity of celecoxib and other NSAIDs have been related to the induction of apoptosis in many cancer cell lines and animal models. While celecoxib is a specific inhibitor of cyclooxygenase (COX)-2, recent data indicate that its apoptotic properties may also be mediated through COX-independent pathways. In our study, we evaluated second generation celecoxib derivatives, lacking COX-2 inhibitory activity, in a premalignant and malignant human oral cell culture model to determine their potential anticancer effect and mechanisms responsible for the COX-independent apoptotic activity. Celecoxib and its derivatives delayed the progression of cells through the G(2)/M phase and induced apoptosis. The derivatives with apolar substituents at the terminal phenyl moiety of celecoxib greatly enhanced apoptosis and cell cycle delay. Apoptosis and cell cycle arrest appeared to be independent of derivative induced inhibition of PDK1 and phosphorylation of Akt and Erk1/2. Derivatives induced apoptosis was mediated by the cleavage and activation of caspase-9 and caspase-3, but not caspase 8, implicating the mitochondrial pathway for apoptosis induction. Inhibitors of caspase-3 and caspase-9 and cyclosporin A, a mitochondrial membrane potential stabilizer, attenuated derivative induced apoptosis. Inhibition of caspase-3 prevented the activation of caspase 8, while the inhibition of caspase-9 inhibitor blocked activation of both caspase 3 and [...]
10/26/2004 H Worthington, O Eden, and J Clarkson Cochrane Database Syst Rev, January 1, 2004; (4): CD003807 Background: Treatment of cancer is increasingly more effective but is associated with short and long term side effects. Oral side effects remain a major source of illness despite the use of a variety of agents to prevent and treat them. One of these side effects is oral candidiasis. Objectives: To assess the effectiveness of interventions (which may include placebo or no treatment) for the prevention of oral candidiasis for patients with cancer receiving chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy. Search Strategy: Electronic databases: Cochrane Oral Health Group's Trials Register, CENTRAL, MEDLINE, MEDLINE Pre-indexed, EMBASE, CINAHL, CANCERLIT, SIGLE and LILACS were searched. Date of the most recent searches April 2004 (CENTRAL Issue 2, 2004). Selection Criteria: Trials were selected if they met the following criteria: design - random allocation of participants; participants - anyone receiving chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatment for cancer; interventions - agents prescribed to prevent oral candidiasis; primary outcome - prevention of oral candidiasis. Data Collection and Analysis: Data were recorded on the following secondary outcomes if present: relief of pain, amount of analgesia, relief of dysphagia, incidence of systemic infection, duration of stay in hospital (days), cost of oral care, patient quality of life, death, use of empirical antifungal treatment, toxicity and compliance.Information regarding methods, participants, interventions, outcome measures and results were independently extracted, in duplicate, by two reviewers (HW & JC). The Cochrane Oral Health Group statistical guidelines were followed and relative risk [...]
10/26/2004 S Stahl, LH Meskin, and LJ Brown J Am Dent Assoc, September 1, 2004; 135(9): 1261-7 Background: The ADA conducted a public service campaign in late 2001 to raise awareness of oral cancer and of the dentist's role in early detection. Methods: To gather information about the impact of this campaign, the ADA undertook two surveys. A telephone survey was conducted among 1,270 adult consumers, and a second survey was mailed to a national sample of 2,500 dentists. Results: The majority of the consumers did not recognize the fact that dentists are responsible for examining their patients for oral cancer and that oral cancer claims more lives than melanoma or cervical cancer. The majority of dentists was aware of the ADA campaign and agreed that it helped raise the public's awareness of oral cancer and the importance of early detection. As a result, more dentists said that they are likely to educate their patients about early detection, adjust their own practice routines to include discussion about the disease, and look more closely for small oral lesions and test them with the brush biopsy test. Conclusions: The results of the survey of dentists demonstrated that the oral cancer awareness initiative sponsored by the ADA resulted in positive behavioral changes targeted toward the early detection of oral cancer. Clinical Implications: Continued efforts to provide health education and health promotion interventions aimed at consumers and dentists invariably will result in the detection of oral cancers at early and curable stages.
10/25/2004 no attribution Forbes.com Pharmaceutical company Oxigene Inc. reported Monday that researchers found one of its cancer drugs significantly reduced blood flow to tumors in lung cancer patients in an early stage clinical trial. The company said researchers found that eight patients with inoperable non-small cell lung cancer had reduced blood flow to their tumors four hours after being treated with the drug candidate Combretastatin A4P, or CA4P. Researchers confirmed that the blood flow to the tumors had not recovered after 72 hours, the company said. Oxigene said that researchers will be enrolling patients with prostate cancer and head and neck cancer in early stage clinical trials to study the effects of CA4P through early next year, with mid-stage clinical trials to follow. CA4P belongs to a class of drugs called vascular targeting agents, which restrict blood flow to solid tumors by attacking the vessels that feed them. The company also is studying the drug in early- and mid-stage clinical trials to treat wet age-related macular degeneration, a condition where abnormal and leaky blood vessels grow in front of the retina and cause blindness.