Posts Tagged ‘breast cancer’

Joseph Baar selected as Komen Pink Tie Guy 2010

May 25, 2010

Congratulations to Dr Joseph Baar on being selected as one of the 2010 Komen Northeast Ohio Pink Tie Guys. This special initiative was developed to get more men involved in the breast cancer movement. Men are often the people supporting breast cancer survivors through diagnosis, treatment and beyond. In addition, over 2000 men are diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States each year.

The eight prominent businessmen and celebrities are selected to be Pink Tie Guys represent the one in eight women who will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. At Komen, we realize the smallest act can make a powerful impact. By simply wearing a pink tie, you may prompt a conversation that could literally save a life! Whether it be at a board meeting, social affair, or sporting event, this symbolic yet eye catching accessory may help others become proactive in learning the risk factors and how early detection is the best defense against breast cancer.

Read about “Direct detection and quantification of abasic sites for in vivo studies of DNA damage & repair”

March 30, 2010

Use of chemotherapeutic agents to induce cytotoxic DNA damage and programmed cell death is a key strategy in cancer treatments. However, the efficacy of DNA-targeted agents such as temozolomide is often compromised by intrinsic cellular responses such as DNA base excision repair (BER). Previous studies have shown that BER pathway resulted in formation of abasic or apurinic/apyrimidinic (AP) sites, and blockage of AP sites led to a significant enhancement of drug sensitivity due to reduction of DNA base excision repair. Since a number of chemotherapeutic agents also induce formation of AP sites, monitoring of these sites as a clinical correlate of drug effect will provide a useful tool in the development of DNA-targeted chemotherapies aimed at blocking abasic sites from repair. Here we report an imaging technique based on positron emission tomography (PET) that allows for direct quantification of AP sites in vivo. For this purpose, positron-emitting carbon-11 has been incorporated into methoxyamine ([(11)C]MX) that binds covalently to AP sites with high specificity. The binding specificity of [(11)C]MX for AP sites was demonstrated by in vivo blocking experiments. Using [(11)C]MX as a radiotracer, animal PET studies have been conducted in melanoma and glioma xenografts for quantification of AP sites. Following induction of AP sites by temozolomide, both tumor models showed significant increase of [(11)C]MX uptake in tumor regions in terms of radioactivity concentration as a function of time, which correlates well with conventional aldehyde reactive probe (ARP)-based bioassays for AP sites.

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Read about “Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in the elderly”

March 30, 2010

The expansion of older population segments and the continuous increase in the incidence of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) makes this group of neoplasms an important and growing problem. Older NHL patients have increased risk of therapy-related toxicity as a result of age-related physiological changes and frequent co-morbidities. A functional assessment of the elderly patient is necessary to determine the likelihood of tolerating and responding to therapy. The comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) is one multidisciplinary tool that has been applied successfully to older cancer patients and aids in identification of subjects who will or will not benefit from anti-neoplastic treatment. Although indolent lymphomas present more frequently at advanced stage, randomized trials do not show better outcomes with early therapy, supporting close observation until specific therapeutic indications arise. Use of the monoclonal antibody rituximab as a single agent or in combination with chemotherapy improves survival and has become the standard of care in first-line treatment. Radioimmunoconjugates, bendamustine, and other monoclonal antibodies as well as novel targeted agents also are active against indolent lymphomas. Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma is an aggressive but potentially curable disease. Several trials performed exclusively in elderly patients have demonstrated improved response rates and survival with the addition of rituximab to CHOP (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin [adriamycin], vincristine, prednisone) chemotherapy in the front-line setting. Salvage chemotherapy followed by autologous haematopoietic cell transplant (autoHCT) has been shown to have better failure-free and overall survival in randomized trials involving younger patients. Highly selected individuals up to age 70 years may attain long-term survival benefit from autoHCT, although transplant-related mortality is higher than in younger patients.

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Dr. Afshin Dowlati discusses a new way to predict effectiveness of chemotherapy

March 29, 2010

Doctors often have trouble knowing who might respond to certain cancer treatments. “We kind of give chemotherapy and wish for a good result,” says Dr. Afshin Dowlati. That could change.

Dowlati led a study that revealed lung cancer patients with low levels of a molecule that controls cellular interaction have twice the chance of responding to chemotherapy than those with high levels. Those levels can also predict how likely a patient is to live a year after diagnosis. The difference could help patients decide whether to try chemotherapy, drugs or pursue alternative therapies, Dowlati says.

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CWRUmedicine’s Marvin T. Nieman, Ph.D. awarded The American Society of Hematology 2010 Scholar Award

March 5, 2010

The program is designed to support hematologists who have chosen a career in research by providing partial salary or other support during that critical period required for completion of training and achievement of status as an independent investigator.

The awards are for two years at $50,000 per year for fellows and $75,000 per year for junior faculty.


Study shows soy is not only safe for breast cancer survivors, it may also be beneficial

March 5, 2010

Cleveland Plain Dealer – Despite soy’s healthy profile, many women who have had breast cancer are reluctant to eat soy foods. And many cancer doctors caution their patients against doing so.

The concern stems from substances in soy called isoflavones, which behave like weak estrogen in the body. Estrogen, a hormone that controls the menstrual cycle, has been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer in women.

Here’s how: Estrogen stimulates cells to divide. Cancer arises from DNA mutations in cells — errors that occasionally happen during cell division. If one of these spontaneous mutations occurs in a gene that controls cell growth and division, it could lead to the development of cancer.

Another worry is the interaction between isoflavones and tamoxifen, a breast cancer drug that blocks estrogen from cells.

But a study published in the December issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association may set those fears aside.

The study, by researchers at Vanderbilt University, says soy foods are safe — and possibly beneficial — for breast cancer survivors. They looked at 5,042 women in China who were breast cancer survivors and divided them into four groups based on how much soy they ate. Women who ate low amounts of soy consumed an average of about a half-cup of soy milk a day, while the high-soy-consumption group had about three cups a day.

After four years, 10.3 percent of those who consumed the least soy died, compared with 7.4 percent of those who had the most, leading researchers to theorize that soy did not increase breast cancer occurrence and may have had some protective effect.

CWRUmedicine’s breast cancer specialist, Dr. Paula Silverman, often gets questions from her patients about whether it’s safe to eat soy. Her answer: Go ahead and enjoy.

“I don’t think there was good data about that, ever,” says Silverman, medical director of the Breast Cancer Program at University Hospitals Case Medical Center. “I’ve always felt that soy was probably safe.” Some years ago, Silverman heard a lecture by a physician who made a compelling argument that plant estrogens and human estrogens are not the same. Silverman thinks the weak estrogens in soy may act more like tamoxifen than like human estrogen. “The bottom line is dietary soy is safe for breast cancer survivors,” Silverman says.

The National Institutes of Health says it remains unclear what role dietary soy or soy isoflavone might play in cancer risk. While several large population studies have reported that higher soy intake is associated with a decreased risk of developing various types of cancers, including breast, prostate and colon cancer, other research suggests soy does not have this effect.

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