Sunday, 4 May 2008

Viruses suspected to cause lung cancer

Source: Science Daily

Hello Everyone, this is a very interesting news that I picked. Scientists at the University of Louisville,Kentucky have found out instances of HPV(Human Pappiloma Virus) in samples of non-small-cell lung cancer cells.

Now we already know about the HPV and its role in Cervical cancer. Researchers tested about 23 samples of the lung cancer cells and found that 5 of them tested positive for the virus indicating that the HPV could possibly act as a co-carcinogen for lung cancer, the main cause as we all know being smoking.

If this could be considered as a coincidence, then this is even more interesting. Israeli researchers have also found out the role of measles virus in some lung cancers. In the tests that they conducted, they found occurence of measles virus in the cancerous cell samples indicating a similar phenomenon as described earlier. The Israeli scientists feel that these viruses could actually be boosting the function of the actual carcinogens instead of them directly acting as one.

Saturday, 3 May 2008

Sunflower protein may help cancer patients

Source: Science Daily

Hello Everyone, I have got an interesting news that I wanted to share it with you. Here we go:

Researchers at the Queensland University of Technology have found a mini protein in Sunflower which they feel could prevent the spread of prostate cancer. The researchers feel that it is because of the spreading of cancer that most of the problems arise. So they are trying to tackle this by using this protein.

We know that proteases play a very important role in the spreading of cancer. The researchers say that the mini protein that they have discovered is actually a protease inhibitor which prevents this enzyme from functioning thereby preventing the spread of cancer.

But the problem they faced was that the protease enzyme also played roles in the development of the body. Hence they modified the protein in such a way that it could affect only those proteases that are involved with the protate cancer cells.

Now the researchers have got grants to pursue with the project. They say that they would start the mouse trials and if it comes out well, they would rope in Pharmaceutical companies for manufacturing Drugs.

Saturday, 12 April 2008

New Cancer stem cell Therapies

Source:Science Daily
Hello everyone!!! It has been a long time since I posted something on my blog. Now I have got the right topic to start off with. Ok. I got this one from . Scientists from the University of Michigan have found out an interesting way of blocking the cancer stem cells from proliferation.
The theme of the research is to combine chemotherapy with a drug that woudl block the notch signalling pathway.
Let me throw some light on the notch signalling pathway. This is basically a pathway which helps in the proliferation of stem cells. It keeps the stem cells in teh proliferative state so that it can replenish the dead cells. What happens in cancer cells is that this notch pathway is disturbed resulting in continued proliferation.
In the current research, the scientists aim to use notch inhibitors to disrupt the growth of the cancer stem cells.
The issue that arises now is whether this treatment would also affect the normal stem cells. But this fear was allayed by the scientists by doing a research on mice in which they experimentally blocked the notch signalling pathway and the mice still survived.
The scientists feel that this method of targetting the cancer stem cells could be very efficient since that's what drives the cancer malignant growth.
The method theya re using here is a 2 step process. First they would use notch inhibitors and make the cancer stem cells sensitive to chemotherapy after which they would use the same to knock the cells out.

Monday, 9 July 2007

Cancer fighting virus shows promise in patients.

Source: Science Daily

Researchers have designed a virus called NV1020 which has the ability to replicate in cancer cells but not in normal cells. This is really a breakthrough in cancer research folks since chemotherapy has a lot of side effects.

This novel method of treatment was tested on patients suffering from colorectal cancer whose cancer has spread to the liver. This spreading of cancer is called metastasis for your info. I had already mentioned about it in my previous posts.

They injected doses of this virus into patients who failed to respond to chemotherapy and also subjected them to cycles of chemotherapy.

After six months, they found that the liver masses had completely disappeared. Not only this, the patients survived for about 12 months after the treatment.

The treatment is still in the early stages but is showing good promise for treating cancer.

Monday, 2 July 2007

Smoking at workplace increases cancer risk


Researchers have found out that non-smoking workers at indoor workplaces like restaurants are at a higher risk of developing cancer. Research has shown that the level of the Tobacco carcinogen NNK was found in the blood stream of non-smoking workers compared to those who worked in smoking-free environments.

They have also found out that apart from NNK, workers were exposed to atleast 50 more carcinogens leading to lung cancer, heart diseases, etc...

Hence the researchers are insisting that smoking be banned at indoor work places where the risk is very high giving respect to the non-smokers.

Bacteria may help study about cancer


Hello everybody, so I'm back after a month with some more interesting news. Researchers have found out a new way to unravell the mechanisms of cancer by studying about a particular bacterium Listeria monocytogenes.

Let me tell you something about this bacterium. Listeria is a gram positive bacterium and it causes a host of diseases including septicemia, mengitis, fatal food poisoning (transmitted through improperly cooked food). Basically, this bacterium enters the body by stimulating the cells which inturn "swallow" the pathogen inside. This stimulation is known to be caused due to the presence of the protein Crk II.

So where does the cancer part come? Here we go...

This bacterium has the capacity to bring about internalisation and degradation of the receptor Met known to play a role in cancer. This is done in the presence of the protein InlB which is a Listeria protein. The most important thing to be noted is that this protein is assisted by a human protein Cbl. Hence studying about Cbl could throw light on how to design drugs to control Met related cancers.

Friday, 1 June 2007

Wine and cancer

Source: Science Daily

Hello there. I'm back with some more interesting news. I have already posted an article connecting drinking and cancer. Now, to buttress this post, I have found another one.

Researchers have found that regular intake of a limited amount of wine was found to reduce the risk of prostate cancer. This was conducted on persons aged between 40 and 64.

And that is not all folks. They have obtained these results on both red wine and white wine. Red wine was found to be more effective.

The exact reason for these effects is currently not known to the scientists but they speculate that it could be because of flavonoids and resveratrol found in wine. These compounds were apparently missing in the other alcoholic beverages like whisky, etc...

The thing to be noted here is that this research is not yet fully complete and this is one reason why the researchers are not recommending people to consume wine.

Thursday, 24 May 2007

An apple a day keeps cancer away

Source: Science Daily

Remember what our elders used to say? "Don't peel your apples. The nutrition content is there in the skin". Well...this statement has got more strength now from the recent discovery of anti-cancer properties in the apple skin.

Previously, It was thought that the skin was only rich in dietary fibre. But now, researchers have found out substances in the peel that could prevent cancer.

The experiment was conducted on Red Delicious Apples and the peels were analysed for compounds that could have anti-cancer properties. They found out that the compound Triterpenoid has anti-proliferative properties and could prove to a useful anti-cancer compound.

The test was conducted on cultures of human liver, breast and colon cancer cells.

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Drinking reduces the risk of renal cancer

Source: Science Daily

This is sweet news for those who drink. Researchers have found out that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol reduces the risk of renal cancer. This has been found from tests conducted on 12 people.

The test conducted revealed that alcohol consumption reduced the risk by about 30 percent and that it didn't vary between the type of alcohol comsumed e.g. wine, whisky and beer.

But then the researchers also warned that this is not the way to keep renal cancer at bay since alcohol consumption increases the risk of oesophagal cancer, liver, colon and rectum. So the best way to keep cancer at bay is to lead a healthy life style and abstain from smoking. This also reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

High risk for cancer patients taking multiple medications

Source: Science Daily

Cancer patients are usually administered a number of medications not only for treating cancer but also for other secondary illnesses. But researchers have found out that the interactions between the various drugs could prove disastrous for the patient and in some cases may lead to death as well.

The research was actually a survey conducted by Dr.Riechelmann of the Princess Margaret Hospital. He analysed the reports of the various drugs submitted by a number of cancer patients. He then made an analysis of the various potential drug interactions and concluded that the patients underwent atleast one type of drug interaction.

It was also found that the combination of drugs even affected the anti-cancer drugs in some cases. Hence the researchers say that it is necessary to monitor the cancer patients regularly for potential drug interactions and alter the doses or change the medications altogether.