Taking tamoxifen longer may better protect against breast cancer recurrence
(Posted: 12/06/2012) - Taking the breast cancer drug tamoxifen for longer than doctors currently recommend may lead to better protection against the disease coming back, according to new research. Tamoxifen has been used for more than 30 years to treat hormone-receptor positive breast cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute. Most breast cancers are fueled by estrogen, and hormone blockers like tamoxifen are known to cut the risk of recurrence in such cases.
Study Finds Mammograms Lead to Unneeded Treatment
(Posted: 11/22/2012) - Mammograms have done surprisingly little to catch deadly breast cancers before they spread, a big U.S. study finds. At the same time, more than a million women have been treated for cancers that never would have threatened their lives, researchers estimate... "We're coming to learn that some cancers — many cancers, depending on the organ — weren't destined to cause death," said Dr. Barnett Kramer, a National Cancer Institute screening expert. However, "once a woman is diagnosed, it's hard to say treatment is not necessary."
Scientists Find Gene Differences in Nonsmokers With Lung Cancer
(Posted: 11/13/2012) - Three genetic regions associated with increased lung cancer risk in Asian women who have never smoked have been identified by an international team of scientists (led by NCI researchers). They said their findings provide further proof that the risk of lung cancer among people who never smoked, especially Asian women, may be associated with specific genetic characteristics that distinguish it from lung cancer in smokers.
Statins may lower risk of cancer death
Los Angeles Times
(Posted: 11/08/2012) - If you take statins to lower your cholesterol, you may also be lowering your risk of death from cancer, new research suggests. A report published in Thursday's edition of the New England Journal of Medicine is one of a number of recent papers suggesting that statins not only limit the growth of cancer cells but also make them more vulnerable to certain therapies...The National Cancer Institute is wrapping up a clinical trial in the U.S. examining whether statins can help treat melanoma.
Study finds exercise adds to life expectancy, even for obese
Los Angeles Times
(Posted: 11/07/2012) - So, what's it worth to lace up those sneakers and break a sweat for about 30 minutes a day? About 3.5 extra years of life, on average — and about 4.2 additional years for those willing to step up the intensity or put in closer to an hour a day of brisk walking or its equivalent, according to a new study (from NCI)... The results also offer clear evidence that exercise can offset some of the longevity loss that comes with past or continued tobacco use or a history of cancer or heart disease.
When it comes to colon cancer checks, options exist
(Posted: 11/06/2012) - For people who have had a negative colonoscopy, less-invasive screening options may work just fine for follow-up cancer tests, a new analysis suggests... Knudsen's team fed colon cancer screening and survival data into a NCI model, starting with hypothetical study participants that had a negative colonoscopy at age 50.
Cancer Gene Data Casts Doubt on Popular Research Method
(Posted: 11/02/2012) - The online catalog PubMed contains more than 25,000 biology papers about Myc, a gene linked to aggressive cancers, says David Levens, a pathologist at NCI. But most of this work now needs to be reevaluated, according to Levens and a colleague, molecular biologist Richard Young of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts. They argue that Myc’s cancerous effects are much broader than most people have assumed, and that a flawed experimental method may have thrown off a decade’s worth of Myc research
Multivitamins may reduce older men’s cancer risk
(Posted: 10/18/2012) - Results of a large study published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggest that taking a daily multivitamin might reduce older men’s cancer risk — but not their ultimate risk of dying from cancer. A randomized trial following 14,641 men ages 50 and up (at the start of the trial) for an average of 11 years found that those who took a daily multivitamin (Centrum Silver) were 8 percent less likely to be diagnosed with cancer than those who took a placebo. The men were participants in the Physicians’ Health Survey II (PHS II), a long-term study sponsored by Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute.
Bringing new life to failed cancer drugs
Frederick News Post
(Posted: 10/16/2012) - Matt Hansen holds a small rounded flask of bubbling gold chloride solution that turns from yellow to crimson. On a table beside him, a similar solution slowly turns from clear to purplish-black. The vials hold potentially billions of gold nanoparticles -- each one thirty-thousandth the width of a strand of hair -- the building blocks in an emerging science that is allowing cancer researchers to break new ground in how they treat the disease... With nanotechnology, researchers in the lab -- which is part of the National Institutes of Health and run by federal contractor SAIC-Frederick -- are harnessing ways to reduce side effects and improve the efficacy of cancer drugs by giving scientists more control in targeting treatments, said Dr. Scott McNeil, lab director.
The meaning of 'cancer-free'
(Posted: 09/27/2012) - Sixteen years ago, right before her 42nd birthday, Jane Baker Segelken was diagnosed with breast cancer. The tumor was small, and she was told that if the cancer didn't return within five years after treatment, her chances for long-term survival were good... Dr. Catherine Alfano, deputy director of the Office of Cancer Survivorship at the National Cancer Institute, says that of the women diagnosed with breast cancer today, 90 percent will be alive in five years compared with 63 percent in the 1960s. "I think the main point about survival rates being much better now is that more people than ever are living with the effects of cancer for many years after their diagnosis and treatment," she says, "which means that doctors and researchers are turning attention to helping survivors understand what the long-term effects of cancer might be, and how to prevent or minimize those."