Will your grandmother’s diet increase your risk of colon cancer?

Will a multi-generational exposure to a western type diet increase offspring’s chance of developing colon cancer? Will cancer-fighting agents, like green tea, help combat that increased risk?Those are the two questions Abby Benninghoff, an assistant professor in Utah State University’s College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences, will attempt to answer thanks to a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.”Simply put, if your grandmother ate a poor diet, will green tea be beneficial for you or not,” Benninghoff said.Benninghoff and her two collaborators, Korry Hintze and Robert Ward, both associate professors of nutrition, dietetics and food sciences, have developed a diet that mimics typical U.S. nutrition for studies of human cancer using animal models. In this case, rodents with cancer will be studied, which will allow Benninghoff to look at the effects of the diet on multiple generations in a short period of time.Benninghoff, predicts that green tea will have a greater benefit to those mice that are exposed to the western diet than those on a healthy diet. She also believes that the more generations exposed to the western diet, the greater the risk of colon cancer in the offspring.”In the end, what we’re hoping is to be able to determine if there are certain populations that would benefit from a diet modification, an increase consumption of green tea,” Benninghoff said. She also hopes the consequences of this diet will be better understood for the benefit of future generations.Story Source:The above story is based on materials provided by Utah State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

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New therapy shown to improve progression-free survival and shrink tumors in rare cancer for the first time

June 1, 2013 — The experimental drug selumetinib is the first targeted therapy to demonstrate significant clinical benefit for patients with metastatic uveal melanoma, according to new Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center research presented on Saturday, June 1, at the 49th annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).The findings are potentially practice-changing for a historically “untreatable disease.” Though uveal melanoma is rare — there are only 2,500 cases diagnosed in the United States each year — about half of patients will develop metastatic disease, and survival for patients with advanced disease has held steady at nine months to a year for decades.Researchers found that progression-free survival (PFS) in patients receiving selumetinib was nearly 16 weeks and 50 percent of these patients experienced tumor shrinkage, with 15 percent achieving major shrinkage. Patients receiving temozolomide, the current standard chemotherapy, had seven weeks of PFS and no tumor shrinkage. Selumetinib also lengthened overall survival to 10.8 months versus 9.4 months with temozolomide, and side effects were manageable.”This is the first study to show that a systemic therapy provides significant clinical benefit in a randomized fashion to advanced uveal melanoma patients, who have very limited treatment options,” said Richard D. Carvajal, MD, a medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering and lead author on the study. “This clinical benefit has never been demonstrated with other conventional or investigational agents, which is all we have been able to offer patients for decades.”Dr. Carvajal and his team decided to test selumetinib because it blocks the MEK protein, a key component of the tumor-driving MAPK pathway. This pathway is activated by mutations in the Gnaq and Gna11 genes, which occur in more than 85 percent of uveal melanoma patients; 84 percent of patients in this trial had one of the mutations.Uveal melanoma does not respond to the drugs given to patients with melanoma on the skin; and, in fact, there is no drug approved specifically for treatment of the disease. Patients with uveal melanoma receive surgery to remove the tumor — and in some advanced cases, the entire eye — as well as radiation therapy or chemotherapy.In the trial, researchers randomized 98 patients with metastatic uveal melanoma and administered selumetinib to 47, of which 81 percent had a Gnaq or Gna11 mutation. Of the 49 patients who received temozolomide, 86 percent had a mutation. Two patients were not treated. …

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Botox injections associated with only modest benefit for chronic migraine and daily headaches

Apr. 24, 2012 — Although botulinum toxin A (“Botox”) injections are U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved for preventive treatment for chronic migraines, a review and analysis of previous studies finds a small to modest benefit for patients with chronic migraine headaches and chronic daily headaches, although botox injections were not associated with greater benefit than placebo for preventing episodic migraine or chronic tension-type headaches, according to an article in the April 25 issue of JAMA.

“Migraine and tension-type headaches are common. Although up to 42 percent of adults experience tension-type headaches sometime in their life, most do not seek medical advice. Migraines are less common, with a worldwide prevalence between 8 percent and 18 percent, but are associated with greater disability. Migraine headaches are responsible for $1 billion in medical costs and $16 billion in lost productivity per year in the United States alone,” according to background information in the article. Botulinum toxin A injections were first proposed as headache treatment when it was observed that patients with chronic headaches receiving cosmetic botulinum injections experienced headache improvement, prompting several case series that suggested benefit. However, the medical literature on botulinum effectiveness for headaches has been mixed.

Jeffrey L. Jackson, M.D., M.P.H., of the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and colleagues performed a review and meta-analysis to assess the association of botulinum toxin A with reducing headache frequency when used for preventive treatment of migraine, tension, or chronic daily headaches in adults. For the study, headaches were categorized as episodic (less than 15 headaches per month) or chronic (15 or more headaches per month) migraine and episodic or chronic daily or tension headaches. The researchers identified 27 randomized placebo-controlled trials that included 5,313 study participants and 4 randomized comparisons with other medications that met study inclusion criteria.

Pooled analyses of the data suggested that botulinum toxin A was associated with fewer headaches per month among patients with chronic daily headaches (1,115 patients, -2.06 headaches per month) and among patients with chronic migraine headaches (1,508 patients, -2.30 headaches per month). There was no significant association between use of botulinum toxin A and reduction in the number of episodic migraine (1,838 patients, 0.05 headaches per month) or chronic tension-type headaches (675 patients, -1.43 headaches per month).

Compared with placebo, botulinum toxin A was associated with a greater frequency of blepharoptosis (drooping of the upper eyelid), skin tightness, paresthesias (a prickly, tingling sensation), neck stiffness, muscle weakness, and neck pain.

In the 4 trials that compared botulinum toxin A with other treatment modalities, botulinum toxin A was not associated with reduction in headache frequency compared with topiramate (1.4 headaches per month) or amitriptyline (2.1 headaches per month) for prophylaxis against chronic migraine headaches. “Botulinum toxin A was not associated with a reduction in headache frequency vs. valproate in a study of patients with chronic and episodic migraines (0.84 headaches per month) or in a study of patients with episodic migraines (0.3 headaches per month). Botulinum toxin A was associated with a greater reduction in average headache severity than methylprednisolone in a single trial among patients experiencing chronic tension-type headaches (-2.5 headaches per month),” the authors write.

“Our analyses suggest that botulinum toxin A may be associated with improvement in the frequency of chronic migraine and chronic daily headaches, but not with improvement in the frequency of episodic migraine, chronic tension-type headaches, or episodic tension-type headaches. However, the association of botulinum toxin A with clinical benefit was small. Botulinum toxin A was associated with a reduction in the number of headaches per month from 19.5 to 17.2 for chronic migraine and from 17.5 to 15.4 for chronic daily headaches.”

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