Monday, September 03, 2007

Aluminum In Breast Tissue: A Possible Factor In The Cause Of Breast Cancer

A new study has identified a regionally-specific distribution of aluminium in breast tissue which may have implications for the cause of breast cancer. Scientists have found that the aluminium content of breast tissue and breast tissue fat was significantly higher in the outer regions of the breast, in close proximity to the area where there would be the highest density of antiperspirant. Recent research has linked breast cancer with the use of aluminium-based, underarm antiperspirants. The known, but unaccounted for, higher incidence of tumours in the upper outer quadrant of the breast seemed to support such a contention. However, the identification of a mechanism of antiperspirant-induced breast cancer has remained elusive. --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

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Cause of Hormone-Breast Cancer Link Found

AUSTRALIAN researchers have discovered why high levels of the female sex hormone estrogen can lead to breast cancer. Scientists at the University of Queensland studied a gene called MYB, known to promote cancer growth, and its reaction to high levels of estrogen. The study confirmed MYB becomes active when exposed to high estrogen levels, results in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences show. --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

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6 must-see breast cancer websites

Boost your breast cancer awareness by visiting sites that deliver trusted information on symptoms, research, treatment, prevention and more. --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

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Night Shift Work Not Linked To Increased Risk Of Cancer

Working the night shift doesn't appear to increase the risk of developing cancer, suggests the findings of a new study of Swedish workers. Recent studies – and corresponding news headlines – have found that regularly working the night shift may increase the risk of developing breast, prostate and colon cancers. Some researchers say that the connection could be due to a decrease in the production of the hormone melatonin, as some animal experiments suggest that the hormone may have anti-cancer properties. Our bodies produce their highest levels of melatonin at night, during sleep, but exposure to light at night suppresses melatonin production, said Judith Schwartzbaum, the study's lead author and an associate professor of epidemiology at Ohio State University. --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

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Breast cancer vaccine looks safe, study shows

A therapeutic vaccine designed for breast cancer appears to be safe in women with advanced disease and shows signs of actually slowing down tumor growth, U.S. researchers reported on Friday. Dendreon Corporation, maker of the Provenge prostate cancer vaccine, calls the new vaccine Neuvenge. It targets a type of breast cancer called her2/neu-positive breast cancer, which affects between 20 percent and 30 percent of breast cancer patients. Like Provenge, Neuvenge is made using immune cells from the cancer patient, so it is a tailor-made vaccine. --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

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Dense Breasts, Hormone Levels Are Two Separate, Independent Risk Factors For Breast Cancer

The density of a woman’s breast tissue and her level of sex hormones are two strong and independent risk factors for breast cancer, according to a team of researchers from Harvard and Georgetown universities. The finding dispels the common belief that the risk associated with dense breasts merely reflects the same risk associated with high levels of circulating sex hormones, they say. --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

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Sunday, September 02, 2007

Breastfeeding Decreases Possibilities of Having Breast Cancer

Breastfeeding is not only necessary for newborns to be nurtured, it also plays a role in reducing the chances of getting breast cancer. According to the Sprecher Institute for Comparative Cancer Research in New York, breastfeeding reduces the risk of having breast cancer 10 percent to 64 percent compared to women who don’t breastfeed. Statistics may vary depending on the pattern of breastfeeding, how often the baby is fed and the reasons for stopping it afterward. “There is no clear scientific explanation for that, although the information is correct according to studies. Breastfeeding decreases the possibility of having the disease,” said Dr. Mahmoud Al-Ahwal, consultant and associate professor of internal medicine and medical oncology at King Abdul Aziz University Hospital and a member of Al-Eman Cancer Society’s executive committee. “While breastfeeding, breast cells are doing the natural job that God created them for,” he said. --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

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Dendreon breast cancer drug Neuvenge effective in trial

Dendreon Corp., the developer of a treatment to stimulate the immune system against prostate cancer, said a small study suggests the same technique may help women with breast cancer.
A clinical trial of Neuvenge showed that four of 18 patients taking the treatment, or 22 percent, had their tumors shrink or stabilize, according to results published in the Aug. 20 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology. The Seattle-based company, which has no marketed products, lost almost $1 billion of its market value May 9, when its leading drug candidate, Provenge, was delayed by a request from U.S. regulators for more proof that it works. Dendreon presented early results for Neuvenge, its only other drug in human testing, at a scientific meeting in March 2004. The company hasn't invested since in any large clinical trials needed for approval. --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

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New breast-cancer drug Exemestane

Government drug-buying agency Pharmac has approved funding for a new drug for breast-cancer sufferers. Pharmac medical director Dr Peter Moodie said exemestane would be fully funded under a deal with pharmaceutical company Pfizer. Exemestane, an aromatase inhibitor drug, can help to block the growth of hormone-dependent tumours by lowering the amount of oestrogen hormone in the body. --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

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MRI Detects Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) Better than Mammography

According to an article recently published in The Lancet, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) more accurately detects ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) of the breast than mammography.
Cure rates for breast cancer have been improving; this progress has been attributed to screening practices and new treatment options. The earlier breast cancer is diagnosed, the better the prognosis. On the other hand, cure rates are low for cancer that has spread to distant sites in the body. Therefore, screening to detect breast cancer in its earliest stages will lead to the best chances of a cure. Ductal carcinoma in situ of the breast refers to a small cancer found in one of the ducts of the breast. There has been debate over whether DCIS is a true cancer or a pre-cancerous tumor that has the potential to spread. Overall, researchers have agreed that treatment for DCIS significantly reduces the risk of invasive breast cancer. There is still debate, however, about the best screening measure for DCIS. Researchers from Germany recently conducted a clinical trial to compare mammography and MRI for the detection of DCIS. This trial included 167 women with DICS who underwent both mammography and MRI prior to surgery. 92% of DCIS was detected by MRI compared with only 56% detected with mammography. Of all the high-grade (more aggressive) DCIS, nearly half were missed by mammography but MRI detected 98% --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

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Newly created cancer stem cells could aid breast cancer research

In some ways, certain tumors resemble bee colonies, says pathologist Tan Ince. Each cancer cell in the tumor plays a specific role, and just a fraction of the cells serve as "queens," possessing the unique ability to maintain themselves in an unspecialized state and seed new tumors. These cells can also divide and produce the "worker" cells that form the bulk of the tumor. Pathologist Tan Ince transformed normal cells into these cancerous ones (whose membranes are stained green). The transformed cells retain their sheet-forming capabilities, resembling the tumor cells found in many patients. They also possess enormous potential to create and spread tumors. As many as one in ten is a cancer stem cell. These "queens" are cancer stem cells. Now the lab of Whitehead Member Robert Weinberg has created such cells in a Petri dish by isolating and transforming a particular population of cells from human breast tissue. After being injected with just 100 of these transformed cells, mice developed tumors that metastasized (spread to distant tissues). "The operational definition of a cancer stem cell is the ability to initiate a tumor, so these are cancer stem cells," declares Weinberg, who is also an MIT professor of biology.
Ince didn't set out to engineer these potent cells. As a post-doctoral researcher in the Weinberg lab and gynecologic pathologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital, he was simply trying to create breast cancer models that look like real human tumors under the microscope and behave like those seen in many patients. In more than 90 percent of human breast tumors, cancer cells resemble those lining our body's cavities. A trained pathologist can spot the similarities under a microscope. But the cancer cells previously engineered from normal breast cells for laboratory studies looked different. Ince suspected that researchers were transforming the wrong type of cells. --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

FDA approves first molecular-based lab test to detect metastatic breast cancer

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the first molecular-based laboratory test for detecting whether breast cancer has spread (metastasized) to nearby lymph nodes. The GeneSearch BLN Assay detects molecules that are abundant in breast tissue but scarce in a normal lymph node. The presence or absence of breast cancer cells in underarm lymph nodes is a powerful predictor of whether the cancer has spread and is used to help decide appropriate therapy for a woman with metastatic breast cancer. Lymph nodes are part of the system that helps protect the body against infection. The first lymph node that filters fluid from the breast is called the 'sentinel node,' because that is where breast cancer cells are likely to spread first. During a lumpectomy or mastectomy to remove a breast tumor, surgeons commonly remove the sentinel node for examination under a microscope. Sometimes the sentinel node is examined immediately and if tumor cells are found, additional lymph nodes are removed. A more extensive microscopic examination, requiring one to two days for results, is almost always performed. If tumor cells are only found with the later microscopic examination, the patient may require a second surgery to remove the remaining lymph nodes. --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

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FOXP3 gene suppresses tumor growth, HER-2 expression

Researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center have identified a gene linked to the development of an aggressive form of breast cancer. The researchers found that the gene, FOXP3, suppresses tumor growth. FOXP3 is located on the X chromosome, which means a single mutation can effectively silence the gene. This is unusual, as only one other gene linked to cancer has been found on the X chromosome.When one copy of the FOXP3 gene is silenced, the researchers found in studying mice, 90 percent of the mice spontaneously developed cancerous tumors. The researchers also looked at FOXP3 in human breast tissue cells, comparing cancerous and non-cancerous cells. FOXP3 was found to be either deleted or mutated in a substantial portion of the cancer sample: about 80 percent of the cancer tissues studied did not express the gene at all. --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Hot Flashes May Be Welcome Sign In Women with Breast Cancer

Women on tamoxifen therapy who reported having hot flashes were less likely to develop recurrent breast cancer than those who did not report hot flashes, according to a study from the Moores Cancer Center at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Moreover, hot flashes were a stronger predictor of outcome than age, hormone receptor status or even how advanced the breast cancer was at diagnosis.... "This study provides the first evidence that hot flashes may be an indicator of a better prognosis in women with early stage breast cancer," said the study's senior author, John P. Pierce, PhD, director of the Cancer Prevention and Control Program at the Moores UCSD Cancer Center. "Our data support the possibility of a significant association between hot flashes and disease outcome."--Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

4 New Breast Cancer Genes Identified

Scientists have identified four new breast cancer genes and predict that more clues on the genetics of breast cancer await discovery. The findings may ultimately help scientists understand who's at risk for breast cancer and what to do about it. Doctors already know that variations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes make breast cancer and ovarian cancer more likely. But experts have long suspected that other genes also affect breast cancer. Now, researchers say they've found four genes that affect breast cancer risk. But the new findings don't explain all cases of breast cancer. A complex mix of genetic and lifestyle factors likely affect breast cancer risk....Easton's team screened the genes of nearly 4,400 women with breast cancer and 4,300 women without breast cancer. They checked their results in more than 44,400 other women, roughly half of whom had breast cancer. Four genes -- the FGFR2, TNRC9, MAP3K1, and LSP1 genes -- had variations that were more common in women with breast cancer than in women without breast cancer, the study shows. --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

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Saturday, March 03, 2007

Breast Cancer Surgery May Do Harm

Primum non nocere, or “first do no harm,” is an oft-repeated maxim of western medicine. But a paper by a Harvard Medical School (HMS) researcher presents new support for the possibility that breast cancer surgeons may be unintentionally doing just that. The paper, published in the International Journal of Surgery, hypothesizes that African-American women are more likely to die of breast cancer because they are more likely to undergo surgery at a young age to remove cancerous tumors. That surgery may in fact exacerbate the cancer by unleashing agents into the body, inflaming previously dormant tumors elsewhere. “Sometimes surgery to remove a primary tumor can kick-start a dormant disease,” said Lecturer on Surgery Michael W. Retsky, the paper’s chief author. Doctors have long observed an increased likelihood of relapse among breast cancer patients in the two years after a tumor is surgically removed. In a 2005 paper, Retsky and his fellow researchers first proposed that surgery itself might be a cause of the relapse. In that paper, Retsky found that age was the decisive factor: pre-menopausal women were significantly more likely to experience relapses after surgery than post-menopausal women were. His new paper applies this theory to another apparent trend—the high mortality rates among African-American women afflicted with breast cancer. --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

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Gene profiling predicts resistance to breast cancer drug Herceptin

Using gene chips to profile tumors before treatment, researchers at Harvard and Yale Universities found markers that identified breast cancer subtypes resistant to Herceptin, the primary treatment for HER2-positive breast cancer. They say this advance could help further refine therapy for the 25 to 30 percent of breast cancer patients with this class of tumor. --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

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US drug firm to pay $3m in cancer suit

A Pennsylvania jury awarded $3 million on Tuesday to an Ohio woman who claimed a hormone replacement drug made by Wyeth had caused her breast cancer. The woman, Jennie Nelson, 67, of Dayton, was found to have breast cancer in 2001 after taking the drug, prempro, for five years to treat symptoms of menopause. Her lawyers said Wyeth knew for decades the drug could cause breast cancer but had failed to warn patients. More than 5,000 women have sued Wyeth over its hormone drugs Premarin and Prempro. Wyeth has won two cases and lost two cases, which have been heard in Arkansas and Philadelphia. --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

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Saturday, January 06, 2007

Rogue Gene Linked To Breast And Childhood Cancer Risk

Women who inherit one damaged copy of a gene called PALB2 have double the risk of developing breast cancer. And children who inherit two damaged copies have a newly identified serious disorder linked to childhood tumours, according to the findings from two papers published by scientists in Nature Genetics. --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

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Medical Breakthrough -- Radiation Seeds for Breast Cancer

Radiation treatment is often necessary for breast cancer patients to ensure remaining cancer cells don't come back after a lumpectomy. It can be painful, time consuming, and emotionally and physically draining. Tonight's medical breakthrough shows us how a new therapy cuts treatment time from several weeks to one day. --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

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