Posts Tagged prostate cancer
In the most recent health news: Cancer drug tests in the U.K. were recently stopped early because of the impressive success of tests for a new prostate cancer drug. This drug trial was stopped because the drug was so successful at targeting cancer tumours that it was deemed unfair not to offer all the 922 people involved in the drug testing the use of this new cancer drug. This is exciting health news for suffers of prostate cancer (and potentially other cancers) which an estimated 913,000 men worldwide are diagnosed with each year. This cancer drug is called an alpha radiation drug which targets the tumors, relieves pain, and patients are found to be living longer. Scientists are excited with this health news. This health news first appeared on the BBC news site.
Alpha radiation treats prostate cancers
A trial of a new cancer drug, which accurately targets tumours, has been so successful it has been stopped early.
Doctors at London’s Royal Marsden Hospital gave prostate cancer patients a powerful alpha radiation drug and found that they lived longer, and experienced less pain and side effects.
The medics then stopped the trial of 922 people, saying it was unethical not to offer all of them the treatment.
Lead researcher Dr Chris Parker said it was “a significant step forward”.
Cancer Research UK said it was a very important and promising discovery.
Radiation has been used to treat tumours for more than a century. It damages the genetic code inside cancerous cells.
Alpha particles are the big, bulky, bruisers of the radiation world. It is a barrage of helium nuclei, which are far bigger than beta radiation, a stream of electrons, or gamma waves. Dr Parker said: “It’s more damaging. It takes one, two, three hits to kill a cancer cell compared with thousands of hits for beta particles.”
Alpha particles also do less damage to surrounding tissue.
He added: “They have such a tiny range, a few millionths of a metre. So we can be sure that the damage is being done where it should be.”
In 90% of patients with advanced prostate cancer, the tumour will have spread to the bone. At this stage there are no treatments which affect survival.
The study looked at patients with these secondary cancers, as the source of radiation – radium-223 chloride – acts like calcium and sticks to bone.
Half were given the radium-223 chloride drug alongside traditional chemotherapy, while the other patients received chemotherapy and a dummy pill.
The death rate was 30% lower in the group taking radium-223. Those patients survived for 14 months on average compared to 11 months in the dummy group.
The trial was abandoned as “it would have been unethical not to offer the active treatment to those taking placebo”, said Dr Parker. “I think it will be a significant step forward for cancer patients”.
Researchers also said the treatment was safe. Curiously there were fewer side-effects in the group taking the treatment than those taking the dummy medicine.
The findings are being presented at the European Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress but they have not yet been peer-reviewed by other academics.
Prof Gillies McKenna, Cancer Research UK’s radiotherapy expert and director of the Gray Institute for Radiation Oncology and Biology, said: “This appears to be an important study using a highly targeted form of radiation to treat prostate cancer that has spread to the bones.
“This research looks very promising and could be an important addition to approaches available to treat secondary tumours – and should be investigated further.”
It is commonly known that men ignore their health symptoms and often don’t go to the doctor before it’s almost too late. Many men, in the past, even avoided going to the doctor at all. There are early warning signs for many diseases that men should become acquainted with and learn all the facts about their health.
This story about men’s health from the Times of India follows:
Dr. Harvey Simon, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, called this “the ostrich phenomenon”, warning that doing so could lead to worsening conditions and also cause severe illness.
“I call it the ostrich phenomenon. Guys are very prone to sticking their head in the sand. It’s a very bad idea,” the Daily Express quoted him as saying.
Friends Provident, in a study to mark the launch of Men’s Health Week, reported nearly 18 million overlooked aches and pains despite knowing about its potential dangers.
While 44 per cent did not check for cancerous signs like lumps and moles, more than 34 per cent confessed not knowing how to check for testicular cancer.
Just a quarter said that they recognised the signs of breast and prostate cancer.”
Source: Times of India
The ingredient which makes jalapeno peppers hot also makes prostate cancer cells commit suicide, a study suggests.
Tests showed that capsaicin triggered 80% of the cells to start the process leading to cell death.
The US research in the journal Cancer Research also found tumours treated with capsaicin were smaller.
UK prostate experts say capsaicin could be the basis of a future drug but warned eating too many hot peppers has been linked to stomach cancer.
We caution men with prostate cancer in the UK against upping their weekly intake of the hottest known chillies
Chris Hiley, The Prostate Cancer Charity
In the study, researchers from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center studied mice who had been genetically modified to have human prostate cancer cells.
They were given a dose of pepper extract equivalent to a man of 200 pounds (90.7kg) taking 400 milligrams of capsaicin three times a week.
That would be the same as having between three and eight fresh habanero peppers – the highest rated peppers for capsaicin content.
Normal cells go through a constant process where millions die every second – a process called apoptosis – while millions more are made, to keep the numbers the same.
But cancer cells avoid that process and “dodge” apoptosis by mutating or deregulating the genes that participate in programmed cell suicide.
Capsaicin was seen to increase the amount of certain proteins involved in the apoptosis process.
Capsaicin also reduced the amount of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a protein whch is often produced in high quantities by prostate tumours.
Dr Soren Lehmann, who led the study, said: “Capsaicin had a profound anti-proliferative effect on human prostate cancer cells in culture.
“It also dramatically slowed the development of prostate tumours.”
Chris Hiley, head of policy and research at The Prostate Cancer Charity, said: “This is interesting laboratory-based work on cells but we don’t yet know how, if at all, it might help men with prostate cancer.
“Eventually, it may be possible to extract the capsaicin and make it available as a drug treatment.
“In the meantime we caution men with prostate cancer in the UK against upping their weekly intake of the hottest known chillies – high intake of hot chillies has been linked with stomach cancers in the populations of India and Mexico.
“For now, if men with prostate cancer want to improve their diet they should avoid fatty foods, eat less red and processed meat, increase their fish intake and enjoy a wide and plentiful range of fruit and vegetables every day.”
News Source: BBC NEWS