On June 7 some of the leading physicians involved in the diagnosis and treatment of pleural mesothelioma will meet at the Sheraton Delfina in Santa Monica, California for the4th Annual International Symposium on Lung-Sparing Therapies for Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma. The symposium will be an all-day affair and begin at 8 am.Worthington & Caron is proud to sponsor this symposium for the fourth consecutive year.Once again, Dr. Robert B. Cameron will lead the symposium. In addition to being the Director of the UCLA Mesothelioma Comprehensive Research Program, Dr. Cameron also is the Chief of Thoracic Surgery at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center and Scientific Advisor at the Pacific Meso Center.Although the seminar is geared toward physicians, it also offers continuing medical education …Read more
Video: Breathing Exercises for Lung Cancer Patients Jean Di Carlo-Wagner is a cancer survivor and certified yoga instructor. Jean createdRead more
Sep. 2, 2013 — The HI virus is feared, not least, because of its great adaptability. If the virus mutates at precisely the point targeted by a drug, it is able to neutralise the attack and the treatment fails. To minimise these viral defence mechanisms, doctors treat patients with modern combination therapies involving the simultaneous administration of several drugs. This approach forces the virus to run through a series of mutations before it becomes immune to the drugs.Share This:Sequential nature of mutations”It is not easy to decide which of the over 30 combination therapies is best suited to a patient,” says Huldrych Günthard from Zurich University Hospital, president of the Swiss HIV Cohort Study. The decision is based on the prospects of success and therefore on the genetic make-up of a particular virus. The established prediction models already consider the genetics of the virus but they neglect that the virus continuously evolves through sequential mutations.Choosing the right therapy for each patientIn cooperation with the Swiss HIV Cohort Study, Niko Beerenwinkel and his team from ETH Zurich have now developed a more accurate prediction model based on a probabilistic method. This model calculates the possible evolutionary paths of the virus and yields a new predictive measure for the development of resistances: the so-called individualised genetic barrier. When applied retrospectively to 2185 patients of the HIV Cohort, the new approach made it possible to predict treatment success more accurately compared to the existing models. “We are now introducing the individualised genetic barrier in a pilot project and hope that it will help us in the future to identify the best therapy for each patient,” says Günthard.The Swiss HIV Cohort StudyEstablished in 1988, the Cohort Study aims to generate knowledge about HIV infection and AIDS as well as to improve the care given to patients. …Read more
Aug. 14, 2013 — Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have discovered a powerful mechanism by which viruses such as influenza, West Nile and Dengue evade the body’s immune response and infect humans with these potentially deadly diseases. The findings may provide scientists with an attractive target for novel antiviral therapies.Published in the August issue of the journal Cell Host and Microbe, the findings describe a novel mechanism that this group of so-called “enveloped viruses” uses to disarm the host’s innate immune response. The mechanism the scientists uncovered is based on these viruses activating a class of molecules, known as TAM receptors, which are located on the outside of certain immune cells.In the immune system, TAM receptors are used by cells, such as macrophages and dendritic cells, to clean up dead cells, and they are also central inhibitors of the body’s innate immune response to bacteria, viruses and other pathogens.The Salk scientists found that a substance called phosphatidylserine (PtdSer), which is found on the surface of enveloped viruses (viruses with an outer wrapping of a lipid membrane), binds to extracellular proteins and activates TAM receptors on immune cells. In dendritic cells, a type of immune cell that interacts with T and B cells to initiate the adaptive immune response, TAM receptor activation turns off a set of genes called interferons that play a key role in antiviral defense.”Our findings suggest a unique way in which TAM receptors contribute to the establishment of viral infection by disabling the interferon response,” says co-lead study author John A.T. Young, a professor in Salk’s Nomis Foundation Laboratories for Immunobiology and Microbial Pathogenesis. “As a consequence, the interferon-stimulated defense genes are not turned on, rendering the target cell more permissive for virus infection.”This is a previously unknown mechanism for enveloped viruses, which are very common, to inhibit the body’s normal antiviral response. Since PtdSer exposure seems to be a general feature of enveloped viruses, the researchers say many different viruses may use the mechanism to counteract the cellular antiviral response in cells with TAM receptors.Understanding this mechanism allows researchers to work on developing broad-spectrum antiviral drugs that prevent viruses from shutting down the interferon response in cells by blocking TAM receptor activation. In their study, the Salk scientists tested a small-molecule drug called BMS-777607, initially developed for anti-cancer therapy, that does just that.”With this small molecule, viruses can’t activate TAM receptors, so they can’t shut down the interferon response,” says co-lead author Greg Lemke, a professor in Salk’s Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory and the Françoise Gilot-Salk Chair, in whose laboratory TAM receptors were discovered.With other scientists around the country, the Salk researchers are testing a variety of small molecule drugs in series of different viruses, including West Nile, Dengue, influenza, Ebola, Marburg, and hepatitis B. These drugs work, in large part, by blocking the virus’ ability to activate TAM receptors, thereby leaving the interferon-mediated antiviral response intact.”This is a completely novel approach,” says Young, who holds the Nomis Foundation Chair at Salk. …Read more
July 22, 2013 — Researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center and Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital in China have discovered a gene expression signature that may lead to new immune therapies for lung cancer patients. They found that NF-κB, a protein complex known to promote tumor growth, may also have the ability to boost the immune system to eliminate cancerous cells before they harm, as well as promote antitumor responses.The study appeared in the June 3 issue of The Journal of Clinical Investigation.NF-κB is a protein complex that controls gene expression. The regulation of NF-κB also plays an important role in regulating the body’s immune response to infection. Incorrect regulation of NF-kB has been linked to cancer, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, septic shock, viral infection, and improper immune development.”New insight into how tumor pathways regulate the anti-tumor immune response may help us to devise new ways for improving immune therapy,” said study lead author Amer Beg, Ph.D., senior member of Moffitt’s Immunology Program. “Studies are now underway to start a clinical trial to determine whether the novel gene expression signature described in this work may help initiate new and better immunotherapy treatments.”According to Beg, NF-κB proteins regulate key genes involved in immune response, inflammation, cell death and cell growth. Work in his lab is aimed at a better understanding of how NF-κB regulates immune response and how the consequences of impaired regulation of responses are related to disease.The researchers analyzed the role of NF-κB in lung cancer cells that were used to develop the NF-κB gene signature. Key studies in mice showed that NF-κB can mediate immune rejection of tumors. The studies were then extended to human tumor specimens. “In this study we found that NF-κB activity is strongly associated with immune system T-cell infiltration in lung cancer,” explained study co-author Dung-Tsa Chen, Ph.D., member of the Biostatistics Department at Moffitt. “Multiple genes, capable of enhancing T-cell responses, were found in the NF-κB signature. …Read more
July 11, 2013 — A University of Southampton Professor, in collaboration with colleagues at the BC Cancer Agency Research Centre, have discovered a novel way of killing cancer cells. The research, recently published in the journal Cell, has found a new potential treatment for cancer, which leaves the body’s healthy cells undamaged, unlike traditional therapies such as radiotherapy.Share This:Chris Proud, Professor of Cellular Regulation in Biological Sciences at the University of Southampton says: “Cancer cells grow and divide much more rapidly than normal cells, meaning they have a much higher demand for and are often starved of, nutrients and oxygen. We have discovered that a cellular component, eEF2K, plays a critical role in allowing cancer cells to survive nutrient starvation, whilst normal, healthy cells do not usually require eEF2K in order to survive. Therefore, by blocking the function of eEF2K, we should be able to kill cancer cells, without harming normal, healthy cells in the process.”Almost all cells in the human body contain the same basic components, meaning that to attack one of them in a cancer cell, that component will also be affected in normal cells. This study has identified a specific protein that is not necessary in normal cells but seems to be important to the survival of cancerous cells. A treatment that could block this protein could represent a significant breakthrough in the future of cancer treatment.Traditional chemotherapy and radiotherapy cause damage to healthy cells, and other more targeted treatments are usually only effective for individual types of cancer. Contrastingly, this new development does not damage healthy cells and could also be used to treat a wide variety of different cancers. Professor Proud and the team are now working with other labs, including pharmaceutical companies, to develop and test drugs that block eEF2K, which could potentially be used to treat cancer in the future.Professor Proud is also researching the origins of cancer. He says: “Protein synthesis — the creation of proteins within cells -is a fundamental process that enables cells to grow, divide and function. If it goes wrong, it can contribute to the development of cancer. …Read more
June 5, 2013 — A combination of nontoxic dietary and hyperbaric oxygen therapies effectively increased survival time in a mouse model of aggressive metastatic cancer, a research team from the Hyperbaric Biomedical Research Laboratory at the University of South Florida has found.The study, “The Ketogenic Diet and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Prolong Survival in Mice with Systemic Metastatic Cancer,” was published online today in PLOS ONE.Led by Dominic D’Agostino, PhD, principal investigator in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, the research shows the effects of combining two nontoxic adjuvant cancer therapies, the ketogenic diet and hyperbaric oxygen therapy, in a mouse model of late-stage, metastatic cancer.”Our study demonstrates the potential of these cost-effective, nontoxic therapies to contribute to current cancer treatment regimens and significantly improve the outcome of patients with advanced metastatic cancer,” D’Agostino said.Metastasis, the spreading of cancer from the primary tumor to distant spots, is responsible for over 90 percent of cancer-related deaths in humans. A lack of available therapies effective against metastatic disease remains the largest obstacle in finding a cure for cancer.In the study, mice with advanced metastatic cancer were fed either a standard high carbohydrate diet or carbohydrate-restricted ketogenic diet. Mice on both diets also received hyperbaric oxygen therapy, which uses a special chamber to increase the amount of oxygen in the tissues.The ketogenic diet forces a physiological shift in substrate utilization from glucose to fatty acids and ketone bodies for energy. Normal healthy cells readily adapt to using ketone bodies for fuel, but cancer cells lack this metabolic flexibility, and thus become selectively vulnerable to reduced glucose availability. Solid tumors also have areas of low oxygen, which promotes tumor growth and metastatic spread.Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves breathing 100 percent oxygen at elevated barometric pressure, saturating the tumors with oxygen. When administered properly, both the ketogenic diet and hyperbaric oxygen therapy are non-toxic and may even protect healthy tissues while simultaneously damaging cancer cells, D’Agostino said.While both therapies slowed disease progression independently, animals receiving the combined ketogenic diet and hyperbaric oxygen therapy lived 78 percent longer than mice fed a standard high-carbohydrate diet.The research, funded by a charitable donation from Scivation, was inspired by the research of Professor Thomas Seyfried of Boston College. Dr. Seyfried has advanced the theory that cancer is a metabolic disease, inspiring the development of metabolic strategies to treat and prevent cancer.Read more
Aug. 15, 2011 — A study of seven patients examined use of a pressure device worn overnight to supplement other therapy for auricular keloids (scar tissue buildup of the ear), as reported in an article published Online First by Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.
Keloids are a type of scar tissue that develops after skin trauma in people with a genetic predisposition, according to background information in the article. The tissue extends beyond the original wound’s boundaries and encroaches upon healthy skin, sometimes causing pain, itch, functional impairment, restricted movement, possible uncontrolled growth, cosmetic nuisance and adverse psychological effects. Therapies may include wound dressings, compression, steroid injections, surgery, radiation, interferon and medicated cream. The authors explain that often treatments are used together to reduce the risk of recurrence. “Treatment of auricular keloids is a unique challenge owing to the complex anatomy of the auricle [ear], from a cartilaginous [connective tissue] skeleton underneath a delicate layer of skin to a fat pad enveloped in thicker skin that forms the earlobe,” the authors explain. Because auricular keloids may invade the cartilage and make surgical removal of the scar tissue difficult, treatment with steroids is frequently used. The authors examined use of a new pressure device as potential treatment for this condition.
Gregor M. Bran, M.D., from the University Hospital of Mannheim, Germany, and colleagues studied the auricular pressure device in seven patients being treated for auricular keloids between December 2007 and March 2009. Four were male and the mean (average) age was 22.6 years. Patients underwent surgical removal of the keloids and injection of corticosteroids. Then they were instructed to wear the pressure device overnight at least five nights per week until the scar level matched the level of the healthy skin surrounding it or after two consecutive adjustments in the device failed to produce improvement. The device, custom-designed for each patient, was made of acrylate (a polymer) in two portions which were held in place by magnets along the rim of the ear.
Patients treated with the device reported no problems wearing it for the prescribed amount of time, and none interrupted or stopped the treatment. After a mean follow-up of 24 months, keloid recurrence was not observed in any patient. All of those treated reported satisfaction with the results and no itch, pain or abnormal sensations.
“Within this study we demonstrated the safety and efficacy of a combination of surgical excision and steroid injection with a newly designed, custom-fitted device for optimized pressure therapy of auricular keloids,” the authors write. They add that while the use of pressure devices in the treatment of keloids of the ear is not new, the device included in this study more adequately meets the requirements of an ideal auricular pressure device. Larger, center-based trials with long-term follow-up would enhance understanding of the role the device could play in the improvement of scar management, the authors conclude.Read more
Apr. 29, 2013 — Research into the complementary therapies evening primrose oil and borage oil shows little, if any, benefit for people with eczema compared with placebo, according to a new systematic review. The authors, who published their review in The Cochrane Library, conclude that further studies on the therapies would be difficult to justify.
Atopic eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is an itchy skin condition with no known cure. Usually emerging in childhood, it affects about 10 to 20% of school age children, who may suffer with tight, red, painful skin, sleepless nights and low self-esteem due to appearance, itching and scratching. For around 60% of people, the disorder will improve or clear up by adulthood. Creams, ointments, bath additives, topical steroids and antihistamines are some of the treatments prescribed to ease the condition. However, people often turn to complementary therapies such as evening primrose oil and borage oil in the belief that they will avoid side effects of conventional eczema treatments. Both evening primrose oil and borage oil contain high quantities of gamma linoleic acid, which was once thought to play a role in reducing skin inflammation in eczema.
The researchers analysed the benefits and side effects associated with evening primrose oil and borage oil in 27 studies involving a total of 1,596 people (adults and children) in 27 countries. Participants took evening primrose oil or borage oil, or a placebo, for between 3-24 weeks. Overall, the researchers found that taking evening primrose or borage oil offered no clear improvement of eczema symptoms over placebos. Commonly used placebos included olive oil and paraffin oil. There was also no improvement in quality of life with the complementary therapies, although only two studies considered this measure.
“There is no evidence that taking either evening primrose or borage oil is of benefit to eczema sufferers,” said lead researcher Joel Bamford of the University of Minnesota Medical School and Essentia Health System in Duluth, Minnesota, US. “Given the strength of the evidence in our review, we think further studies on the use of these complementary therapies to treat eczema would be hard to justify.”
Some participants in the studies experienced mild side effects such as headaches and stomach upsets or diarrhea as they also did while taking placebos. However, none of the selected studies evaluated or mentioned bleeding or anti-clotting effects, which have previously been associated with evening primrose oil. “Consumers need to be warned that oral evening primrose oil is listed as a known cause of increased bleeding for those taking Coumadin or warfarin, a very common medication,” said Bamford.Read more
Download as PDF pdf Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment, Biologics and Companion Diagnostics. There are currently five approved ï¿½biologicï¿½ drug therapies that target tumor necrosis factor (TNF) in rheumatoid arthritis.Read more