Category Archives: Cancer

Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Treatment

Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) is a type of cancer in which the bone marrow makes too many immature lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell). Therefore, Childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (also called ALL or acute lymphocytic leukemia) is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. Unfortunately, ALL is the most common type of cancer in children, and it usually gets worse quickly if it is not treated.

Anatomy of the bone; drawing shows spongy bone, red marrow, and yellow marrow. A cross section of the bone shows compact bone and blood vessels in the bone marrow. Also shown are red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and a blood stem cell.

Anatomy of the bone. The bone is made up of compact bone, spongy bone, and bone marrow. Compact bone makes up the outer layer of the bone. Spongy bone is found mostly at the ends of bones and contains red marrow. Bone marrow is found in the center of most bones and has many blood vessels. There are two types of bone marrow: red and yellow. Red marrow contains blood stem cells that can become red blood cells, white blood cells, or platelets. Yellow marrow is made mostly of fat. Continue reading

TCGA Study identifies Genomic features of Cervical Cancer

Investigators with The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Research Network have identified novel genomic and molecular characteristics of cervical cancer that will aid in the sub-classification of the disease and may help target therapies that are most appropriate for each patient. The new study, a comprehensive analysis of the genomes of 178 primary cervical cancers, found that over 70 percent of the tumors had genomic alterations in either one or both of two important cell signaling pathways. The researchers also found, unexpectedly, that a subset of tumors did not show evidence of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. The study included authors from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), both parts of the National Institutes of Health, and appeared January 23, 2017, in Nature.

Cervical cancer accounts for more than 500,000 new cases of cancer and more than 250,000 deaths each year worldwide. “The vast majority of cases of cervical cancer are caused by persistent infection with oncogenic types of HPV. Effective preventive vaccines against the most oncogenic forms of HPV have been available for a number of years, with vaccination having the long-term potential to reduce the number of cases of cervical cancer,” said NCI Acting Director Douglas Lowy, M.D.

“However, most women who will develop cervical cancer in the next couple of decades are already beyond the recommended age for vaccination and will not be protected by the vaccine,” noted Dr. Lowy. “Therefore, cervical cancer is still a disease in need of effective therapies, and this latest TCGA analysis could help advance efforts to find drugs that target important elements of cervical cancer genomes in addition to the HPV genes.” Continue reading

Cellular Immunotherapy targets a common Human Cancer mutation

In a study of an immune therapy for colorectal cancer that involved a single patient, a team of researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) identified a method for targeting the cancer-causing protein produced by a mutant form of the KRAS gene. This targeted immunotherapy led to cancer regression in the patient in the study. The finding appeared Dec. 8, 2016, in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study was led by Steven A. Rosenberg, M.D., Ph.D., chief of the Surgery Branch at NCI’s Center for Cancer Research, and was conducted at the NIH Clinical Center. NCI is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

More than 30 percent of all human cancers are driven by mutations in a family of genes known collectively as RAS, which has three members: KRAS, NRAS, and HRAS. Mutations in the KRAS gene are thought to drive 95 percent of all pancreatic cancers and 45 percent of all colorectal cancers. A mutation called G12D is the most common KRAS mutation and is estimated to occur in more than 50,000 new cases of cancer in the United States each year. Because of their importance in cancer causation, worldwide efforts to successfully target mutant RAS genes are being pursued. Such efforts have met with limited success to date.

In attempting to develop more effective approaches to targeting RAS, Rosenberg’s team isolated tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) that targeted the KRAS G12D mutation from tumor nodules in the patient’s lungs that developed after colorectal cancer cells had spread to the lungs. TILs are white blood cells that migrate from the bloodstream into a tumor. Continue reading

Prostate Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment

Prostate Cancer is becoming increasingly common in men above 50 years age, and therefore men in this age group must remain very alert possible occurence of Prostate Cancer, and its diagnosis and treatment. It is the 4th most common cause of death from malignant diseases in males.

The Prostate is a glandular organ present only in males. It surrounds the neck of bladder and the first part of urethra and condributes a secretion to the semen. The gland is conical in shape and measures 3 cm in vertical diameter and 4 cm in transverse diameter. It has five lobes: anterior, posterior,two lateral and a median lobe. Since the first part of the male urethra passses through the prostate, any lesion in the prostate will produce difficulty in passing urine.

Diseases of the prostate gland:
1) Prostatitis: This is the inflamation of the prostate gland due to bacterial infection.
2) Benign enlargement of the prostate:  This is a non cancerous tumour of the prostate seen after the age of 50.
3) Prostate Cancer: Cancer of the prostate is directly linked with the male sex hormones (androgens). If the levels of sex hormone increases the growth rate of cancer also increases. It is found that after the removel of testes there is marked reduction in the size of tumor. Continue reading

BRD7 Protein Can Supress Breast Cancer

Scientists at the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam, have identified the protein, BRD7, a discovery which may pave the way for potential new treatments to combat breast cancer that affects millions of women worldwide.

According to the scientists, the protein activates an anti-cancer gene, P53, which is already known to combat breast and other tumours.

In their research, the scientists, led by Professor Reuven Agami, found that the protein BRD7 activates P53 gene and could suppress the development of breast cancer, the Daily Express reported.

Without the protein, the gene cannot function to stop tumours spreading. The tumour suppressor P53 gene, which is present in all people, is implicated in up to half of all tumours.