Tag Archives: Cancer News

Lymph Node Metastasis Uses Blood Vessel Pathways to Spread Cancer

Metastasis Uses Blood Vessel Pathways
Metastasis Uses Blood Vessel Pathways

Lymph node metastasis can have major implications for immuno oncology treatment. In a recent study, scientists examined the progression of metastatic tumor cells to learn more about how they are disseminated throughout the body.

Is Treatment of Lymph Node Metastases a Priority?

When cancer metastasizes in the lymph nodes, it’s generally a sign of an exceptionally aggressive tumor and a poor prognosis. Scientists differ on the treatment of lymph node metastases, with some experts believing it’s “clinically inconsequential” while others think they should be treated promptly to prevent distant metastases.

Results of clinical testing further complicate the issue. In one trial, removal of anything beyond the first lymph node had no benefit for patients who had received radiation and systemic therapies, while in another, lymph node treatment was found to help a subgroup of patients with breast cancer.

Tracing the Journey of Metastatic Cancer Cells

A team of researchers implanted a group of mice with cancer cells that expressed a photoconvertible protein known as Dendra2. This feature allowed scientists to photoactivate selected metastatic cells in the lymph nodes and follow their path.

Originally, metastatic cells were thought to travel by either blood vessels or the lymphatic system. In studying the affected mice, scientists determined that the metastatic cells followed a hybrid route by invading blood vessels within a lymph node, using it as a means of exit by which the cells could travel to the lungs and other organs.

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Losing Too Much Weight When You Are Over 60 May Signify Cancer

Losing Too Much Weight When You Are Over 60 May Signify Cancer
Losing Too Much Weight When You Are Over 60 May Signify Cancer

As the obesity problem in our society has grown, doctors have recommended programs for their patients to lose weight through healthy eating and moderate exercise. But immuno oncology experts warn that unexplained weight loss in people over the age of 60 can be a sign of cancer.

What Is the Relationship between Unexplained Weight Loss and Cancer?

With cancer survival rates that rank well below those of many comparable countries, Great Britain has been searching for ways to improve early detection and treatment. A research team led by the Universities of Oxford and Exeter set out to quantify the connection between unexplained weight loss and cancer.

The team reviewed 25 studies involving 11.5 million patients. Their major findings include:

– Men over the age of 60 with unexplained weight loss had a 14.2 percent risk of cancer, more than double the 6.7 percent risk of women in the same age group.

– Weight loss is a primary factor in prostate cancer, the most common form occurring in men, which accounts for the gender disparity.

– Unexpected weight loss was found to be the second-highest risk factor in colorectal, lung, renal and pancreatic cancers.

Improving Access to Early Testing

There are currently no guidelines for doctors regarding weight loss and how it pertains to cancer. Dr. Richard Roope of the Royal College of GPs expressed hope that this study will help improve access to more accurate diagnostic tools.

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Gene-Based Urine Tests Used for Bladder Cancer Discovery

Gene-Based Urine Tests Used for Bladder Cancer Discovery
Gene-Based Urine Tests Used for Bladder Cancer Discovery

What if you could determine your need for bladder cancer treatment from a routine urine sample, just like many other medical conditions? Scientists have recently developed a test that could make this a reality.

Using Gene-Based Testing for Early Cancer Detection

A team of researchers at Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center has been studying cancer genes to find more effective methods of early detection. Earlier this year, they announced a new blood test called CancerSEEK, which screens for eight different types of cancer, and PapSEEK, which screens for endometrial and ovarian cancers via cervical fluid samples.

In a study published in March, the team revealed the addition of another test called UroSEEK. Urine samples are analyzed for the presence of gene mutations or abnormal numbers of chromosomes, both of which are associated with bladder cancer and upper tract urothelial cancer (UTUC).

Identifying New Cancer Cases and Recurrences

During clinical studies involving 570 at-risk patients, UroSEEK had an 83 percent success rate identifying those who did develop bladder cancer. When UroSEEK was used in conjunction with cytology, the standard test for bladder cancer, accuracy rose to 95 percent.

According to Dr. David McConkey of the Johns Hopkins Greenburg Bladder Cancer Institute, bladder cancer has a high rate of recurrence. Another benefit of UroSEEK is that it can be used to effectively monitor patients who have already undergone treatment for bladder cancer.

Individually Created Cancer Treatment for Each Patient

At Issels®, we have been using gene-targeted therapies as one of the components of our integrative cancer treatment programs. Contact us for more information about our non-toxic protocols.

Protein Biomarker Found for Liver Cancer That May Allow for Early Treatment

Protein Biomarker Found for Liver Cancer That May Allow for Early Treatment
Protein Biomarker Found for Liver Cancer That May Allow for Early Treatment

While some cancer rates have dropped, cases of liver cancer have actually tripled since the 1980s, with only 20 percent of patients surviving more than five years after diagnosis. Scientists are hoping to fight this trend with the discovery of a new protein biomarker that can lead to earlier cancer immunotherapy.

Dire Prognosis for Liver Cancer

The grim mortality rate for liver cancer is largely due to the fact that it’s usually diagnosed in late stages, by which point the liver has already sustained too much damage. A study recently published in the journal Nature describes findings that may enable earlier diagnosis.

Using Tumor Suppressors for More Accurate Diagnosis

Anti-cancer proteins known as tumor suppressors have the ability to check the rapid cell growth. Problems arise when the tumor suppressors in cancer cells fail to do their job.

A team at the University of Basel in Switzerland went in search of more effective tumor suppressors by testing a mouse model of liver cancer. The researchers examined more than 4,000 individual proteins in the diseased tissue and compared them to those in healthy tissue.

One protein called histidine phosphatase (LHPP) was found in healthy tissue but not in the tumor cells. Similar results were found when the team focused on LHPP in humans with liver cancer. Scientists are hopeful that LHPP can serve as a biomarker, allowing for earlier diagnosis and treatment.

Cancer Immunotherapy for Late-Stage and Therapy-Resistant Tumors

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Chemicals that Attract Immune Cells May Speed Immunotherapy Response

Chemicals that Attract Immune Cells May Speed Immunotherapy Response
Chemicals that Attract Immune Cells May Speed Immunotherapy Response

It’s said that opposites attract, and scientists are hoping to use that principle to develop more effective immuno oncology treatments. Certain chemicals that are present in tumors might be used to attract cancer-fighting immune cells.

Triggering an Immune Response to Cancer Cells

In a study recently published in Cell, researchers at the Francis Krick Institute found that immune cells known as Natural Killer (NK) cells build up in tumors. These NK cells emit certain chemicals that attract special dendritic cells (cDC1), which are white blood cells that generate an immune response against tumors.

While analyzing data from more than 2,500 patients with skin, breast, lung and neck cancers, the team discovered a correlation between NK cell and cDC1 genes and cancer survival. Similar results occurred with an independent group of breast cancer patients.

Solving a Potential Roadblock

The study also revealed that prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), which is produced by some cancer cells, can suppress NK cell activity, thereby limiting the cDC1 response. One solution may be to use aspirin to block PGE2 and its negative effects.

Professor Karen Vousden of Cancer Research UK acknowledged the benefits of the study in revealing more information about the interaction between cancer and the immune system. Vousden also pointed out the importance of such work for improved immuno oncology treatments.

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New Three-Part Molecule May Decrease Growth of Certain Types of Cancer Tumors

Three-Part Molecule May Decrease Growth of Certain Types of Cancer Tumors
Three-Part Molecule May Decrease Growth of Certain Types of Cancer Tumors

If one is good and two is better, is three the answer? Scientists are hoping that a new three-part molecule could be an answer regarding effective immuno oncology for breast cancer patients.

Stemming the Growth of Breast Cancer Cells

Approximately 20 to 30 percent of breast cancer cases involve over-expression of HER2, which is a growth factor that leads to aggressive multiplication of cancer cells. This acceleration often makes these types of cancer resistant to therapy, resulting in poor prognoses.

Dr. Hongyan Liu, a bioengineer at the Georgia Cancer Center, led a team that developed a chimera, or three-part molecule, to suppress the growth factors. The chimera targets HER2, HER3 and EGFR because one member of the HER “family” can compensate when another one is blocked.

Exploring the Abilities of the Three-Part Molecule

The new molecule is non-toxic, easy to manufacture and relatively cost-effective, making scientists optimistic about its value for immuno oncology. Dr. Liu and her team are currently conducting studies to determine if the chimera can treat cancer that is resistant to Herceptin, a drug that inhibits HER2.

Breast cancer is not the only form that grows due to over-expression of HER receptors. Dr. Liu is hopeful that the chimera will have future applications for lung, head and neck cancers as well.

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