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Breast Cancer


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#1
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A "gang of four" genes is responsible for the lethal spread of breast cancer, according to a study published today that provides new insight into how to treat the disease more effectively.

The gene set comprises EREG, MMP1, MMP2 and Cox2 and the abnormal activation of all four enables the breast cancer to invade the lungs. Although shutting off these genes individually can slow cancer growth and metastasis, the researchers found that turning off all four had a dramatic effect.

Prof Massagué said: "The remarkable thing was that while silencing these genes individually was effective, silencing the quartet nearly completely eliminated tumour growth and spread."

http://www.telegraph...12/ngenes12.xml
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#2
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'Designer babies' to beat cancer risk

Two couples could become the first to beat breast cancer by screening embryos and creating designer babies.

Tests will allow them to select embryos free from the gene which increases the risk of developing the illness.

One of the couples, named only as Matthew and Helen, have lost three generations to breast cancer and 22-year-old Helen has inherited the BRCA1 gene.

Paul Serhal, of University College London Hospital, is believed to be applying to the fertility watchdog the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) to test for the gene and it could be approved within months.

He said: "What we are trying to do here is to prevent this inherited disease from being a possibility in the first place. At least with these people's children, we can annihilate this gene from the family tree."

But the possibility of creating "designer babies" has sparked outrage from some groups.

Josephine Quintavalle, director of embryo rights group Comment on Reproductive Ethics (CORE), said: "It is not a solution to breast cancer and not a cure. It's already leading in the direction of a quest for perfection.

"This is about looking for negatives that do not necessarily develop."

http://uk.news.yahoo...sk-dba1618.html
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#3
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Australian scientists said Friday (11th of May 2007) they have developed a cancer treatment which could deliver lethal doses of drugs to tumours without the usual harmful side-effects such as nausea and hair loss.

Research scientist Jennifer MacDiarmid said the cutting-edge technique uses nanotechnology to create particles which directly attack cancer cells with a "lethal payload" of drugs, without flooding the body with toxic chemicals.

Treatments such as chemotherapy typically involve subjecting the patient's entire body to the powerful drugs in order to kill the cancer, causing debilitating side-effects that the new, targeted technique would eliminate.

"Your hair wouldn't fall out, you wouldn't throw up... some chemotherapy is life-threatening in itself," MacDiarmid told AFP.

MacDiarmid said scientists at Sydney-based biotechnology company EnGeneIC, where she is a managing director, used a bacteria cell stripped of reproductive powers to develop a particle capable of carrying any chemotherapy drug.

The nano-cell, which is about one-fifth the size of a normal cell, is then tagged with antibodies which are attracted to cancerous tumours. Once the cell hits the cancer, the drug is released directly into the malignant growth.

"There is no other system where you can get so much drug concentrated into a little parcel," MacDiarmid said.

The results of animal trials published this week in the US-based journal Cancer Cell show that the technique has reduced tumours in animals without toxic side-effects and by using only a very small amount of drugs.

MacDiarmid said the treatment could potentially be used on any solid tumours including those in the breasts, ovaries, colon and lungs.

In future, the treatment could allow for the creation of customised drug "cocktails" to be used on patients to counter drug resistance and could lower costs as a smaller amount of drugs would be needed, she said.

The team hopes to start human trials by the end of this year.

http://uk.news.yahoo...ia-edb91f1.html
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#4
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Thousands of young lives could be saved every year with a new breast cancer treatment.

Trials show horomone therapy drugs designed for men with prostate cancer are as effective as chemotherapy and will not leave women infertile.

Scientists believe the drugs, known as luteinising-hormone-releasing-hormone (LHRH) agonists, may combat breast cancer by restricting the growth of oestrogen which stimulates breast cancer.

Research published in The Lancet shows that using LHRH agonists on top of normal chemotherapy or tamoxifen to treat women with hormone-sensitive breast cancer can provide an additional benefit.

Recurrence of breast cancer is reduced by almost 13 per cent and death after recurrence by 15 per cent.

However, the combined treatments were only effective in women under 40, who make up a very small proportion of breast cancer sufferers.

http://uk.news.yahoo...gh-dba1618.html
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#5
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Grapefruit 'increases breast cancer risk'

Eating grapefruits can increase the risk of breast cancer by almost a third, according to a study.

Researchers found that consuming as little as a quarter of the fruit a day increases the risk of contracting the disease by 30 per cent in post-menopausal women.

It is understood that grapefruit boosts blood levels of the hormone oestrogen, which is linked with the risk of breast cancer.

Researchers from the universities of Southern California in Los Angeles and Hawaii in Honolulu, studied more than 50,000 post-menopausal women, including 1,657 with breast cancer.

http://www.telegraph...16/ndiab216.xml
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