LATEST NEWS ABOUT OVARIAN CANCER
The latest information and news about ovarian cancer treatments and research is shown below.
Just click on the title to read the article
HPV vaccine withdrawn in Spain
No one can have failed to notice the massive PR campaign in the Western World to get girls (and boys) vaccinated, against HPV and cervical cancer.
Now Spanish Health Authorities have withdrawn a batch (NH52670) of almost 76,000 doses of the Merck brand Gardasil from the market after two girls who had just been vaccinated were hospitalised. (AFP, February 10). In the UK the vaccine used is from GSK.
To date, just in the USA, over 10,000 adverse reactions, including 29 deaths, have been reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) in relation to Gardasil.
Merck, which manufactures Gardasil, has said it expects sales this year to be lower than expected. However, now it has filed for FDA approval for use with adolescent males, even though no long-term research is available on its benefits or safety.
Ovarian cancer symptoms not so silent
According to Dr Judith Wolf, associate professor in the Gynecologic Oncology Center at M. D. Anderson, the so called silent killer is not so silent if you pay attention to your body. Its true
symptoms can be tricky, but the issue is to notice changes and new symptoms.
New US guidelines on symptoms include:
Pain in the:
Trouble eating or a feeling of getting full quickly
Urinary symptoms (increased urgency, frequency)
Pain during intercourse
Unusual menstrual changes
Bleeding after menopause
The symptoms are non specific, and most women experience a lot of them as their hormones fluctuate," Wolf says. "Women are used to experiencing unusual symptoms and just chalking
them up to hormonal changes." But these symptoms may indicate ovarian cancer if they are new symptoms; last more than a few weeks; and/or occur more than 12 times a month.
Ovarian Cancer Chlamydia poses risk for both sexes
Chlamydia, the sexually transmitted disease that affects one in ten sexually active British Adults, has been shown to be capable of making men, not just women, infertile, according to scientists in Mexico and Spain. Chlamydia cases have increased by over 200 per cent in the last 10 years.
Antibiotics can help the condition. There is also some increased risk in cases of ovarian cancer from the bacteria.
This latest research comes at a time when the Government is scaling back screening due to lack of funds. Doctors argue more screening should take place and it should include males.
Ovarian and womb cancer: Women who eat crisps or chips every day may double their risk
Dutch scientists reported on the eating habits of 120,000 people found that women who ate crisps and chips regularly appeared more at risk of cancer. The rogue element is acrylamide, a chemical produced when you fry, grill, bake or roast foods to a high temperature. We have reported on
this chemical several times before in icon.
About 5 years ago Swedish studies caused a panic with fingers pointed at all manner of foods from crisps to biscuits. A European team of scientists was briefed to make recommendations the problem is that acrylamide is produced by most cooking methods if high temperatures are involved. The EU safe level is zero, so dangerous is the chemical .
Now the University of Maastricht study, published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, finds a link between acrylamides in the diet and cancer risk.
An EU spokesman said: "General advice, resulting from this project, is to avoid overcooking when baking, frying or toasting carbohydrate-rich foods.
Ovarian Cancer Survival little to do with orthodox treatment?
Younger women diagnosed with ovarian cancer have a greater chance of surviving the disease for five years or more, according to new research published in the British Journal of Cancer. (Chan et al: British Journal of Cancer Vol 95 Issue 10).
Researchers at Stanford University, California looked at the records of more than 28,000 American women diagnosed with epithelial ovarian cancer between 1988 and 2001. They found that women diagnosed under the age of 60 were more likely to survive for at least five years than women over 60. Women diagnosed under 30 generally had even better survival rates, although the disease is rare in this age group.
The researchers admitted that ovarian cancer can be difficult to treat unless it is detected early, and the disease is very hard to detect. Worse, while treatment for the disease has advanced over the last 20 years, long term survival rates have shown only moderate improvement in that time.
The study also found there was no significant difference in survival for women aged between 16 and 40 i.e. of childbearing age treated with uterine-sparing surgery and for those who underwent standard surgery, which includes removing the womb and therefore leaves the patient unable to have children. (CRUK)
Topotecan no extra benefit in ovarian cancer
The Journal Nat. Clin Inst 2006 988 1036-45 carries research results of a randomised phase II trial where topotecan was used in addition to carborplatin and paclitaxel.
No improvement in overall response, or progression-free or overall survival was noted. Median progression-free survival changed from 18.5 to 18.2 months, but overall survival was reduced from 44.5 months to 43.1 months. (University Hospital, Mannheim, Germany).
Beth Kaplan of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles feels that this merely shows topotecan, whilst not being a cure (sic) for women with advanced stages of ovarian, is still a good agent for recurrent ovarian cancer. She suggests that researchers might now consider more targeted treatments such as angiogenesis inhibitors or tyrosine-kinase inhibitors.
Ovarian Cancer - Be On Your Guard Against This Silent Assassin
Five thousand women die in this country every year from ovarian cancer. Treatment of the disease has advanced over the past ten years but UK survival rates are still amongst the lowest in the developed world. In 1997, only 25 per cent of those with cancer of the ovaries survived for five years.
Ovarian Cancer Action believe that, if early diagnosis could be improved, 90 per cent of patients would survive. The search is on to find a marker in the blood that will reveal the tumour. Meanwhile the best tactic is to increase our awareness of the early symptoms of ovarian cancer. In most cases a benign explanation will be found. Woman should look out for a constant feeling of being bloated and an increase in abdominal girth without any evidence of extra weight elsewhere.
The first symptom of some ovarian cancers is urinary urgency: the need to rush to the toilet. Unaccountable indigestion or nausea needs looking in to, especially in someone who usually has a cast iron digestion. Changes in bowel habits also need discussion, as does backache or abdominal pain.
Another symptom is increasing and extreme tiredness. Between 5 and 10 per cent of ovarian cancers are related to a faulty inherited gene. Having two close relatives with the disease, whether on the mother´s or father´s side (especially if the cancer has developed before the age of fifty) is a warning. (Times 15.5.06).
Ovarian Cancer - New Diagnostic Tests
Yale Medical School has developed a new test, which is 95 per cent accurate and measures four key proteins - leptin, prolactin, osteopontin and insulin-like growth factor II. All are associated with ovarian cancer.
Yale found that although each protein had been previously associated with the disease, using any single one as a marker simply was not accurate enough. Lead researcher is Dr Gil Mor.
Ovarian Cancer Test
Dr Veenstra of Frederick in the USA has started using high-resolution mass spectrometry to spot cancer proteins from normal proteins and make a real step forward in ovarian cancer prediction. CRUK said it was still early days but the potential for screening all women was enormous. Ovarian cancer has been linked to chlamydia, synthetic oestrogen and synthetic progesterone and even talcum powder as risk factors.
Stress hormones may help spread ovarian cancer
MD Anderson Cancer Centre researchers have shown how norepinephrine and epinephrine (that´s stress hormones to you and me) can cause ovarian cancer cells to proliferate in vitro laboratory experiments. Doctor Anil Sood presented his paper at the American Psychosomatic Society in March. Research has previously shown that "stress" hormone can affect the immune systems of cancer patients and link to cancer progression in some. However no link has ever previously been established at the cellular level.
Sood and his team have shown that stress hormones increase levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). This is important in driving cancer growth. A number of other cancers have been found to have large numbers of ´stress receptor´ sites - Sood says, "cancer cells will do whatever works to their advantage". In an earlier study, Sood and his team found women with greater distress and less social support have higher levels of VEGF.
Second Ovarian drug
The UK´s National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has added PLDH to the approved topotecan, as a second line drug for use with advanced ovarian cancers.
NICE have suggested that PLDH has a simpler administration schedule.
Evista link to ovarian cancer?
In October of last year Professor Samuel Epstein and The Cancer Prevention Coalition in the USA warned women about Evista (raloxifene), marketed by Eli Lilly since 1997. The CPC looked at an 8% increased risk of ovarian cancer in white female users over 65 years of age between 1997 and 1999.
Lilly´s own study specifically designed to prove the drug´s safety found that the drug was shown to induce ovarian cancer in rats and, at doses well below the therapeutic level, in mice. The study admitted, "The clinical relevance of these tumour findings is not known". The Cancer Prevention Coalition state that this conclusion violates the strong scientific consensus that the induction of cancer in well-designed studies in two species creates the strong presumption of human risk.
A study by University of Southern California researchers, presented at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology July 2001 annual meeting, has provided further evidence of Evista´s cancer risk.
It showed that Evista increases the growth rate of ovarian cancer cells in laboratory studies, and may increase risks of recurrence of ovarian cancer.
These warnings were first raised by Dr. Epstein in a 1/12/98 Jim Lehrer TV Newshour programme. This prompted two women to contact the Coalition saying that they had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer following Evista treatment. The first was a 68-year old Florida woman, following two years of treatment to prevent worsening of her osteoporosis. The second was a 53-year old Chicago woman, treated with Evista for over three years to prevent osteoporosis, and recurrence of her previously treated breast cancer.
Dr. Epstein describes the inaction of the FDA and the NCI in the light of all this research as "reckless".
Ovarian cancer: 15 per cent of women at higher risk
Scientists have located a region of DNA which when altered can increase the risk of ovarian cancer according to research published in Nature. 2 August 2009. (Honglin Song et al.)
An international research group led by scientists based at the Cancer Research UK Genetic Epidemiology Unit, at the University of Cambridge and University College London searched through the genomes of 1,810 women with ovarian cancer and 2,535 women without the disease from across the UK.
The scientists identified the genetic letters- called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) - which when spelt slightly differently increase ovarian cancer risk in some women. This is the first time scientists have found a SNP linked uniquely to risk of ovarian cancer and is the result of eight years of investigations
The region of risk DNA is located on chromosome nine there are 23 pairs of each chromosome in humans, one of each pair inherited from each parent. The scientists estimate that there is a 40 per cent increase in lifetime risk for women carrying the DNA variation on both copies of chromosome nine compared with someone who doesnt carry it on either chromosome.
Approximately 15 per cent of women in the UK population carry two copies of the variant DNA. Approximately 40 per cent of women in the UK carry one copy.
Detecting ovarian cancer - Ultrasound outperforms symptom analysis
The silent killer may have a new enemy. Ultrasound. Doctors at the University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center-Markey Cancer Center compared symptom analysis to ultrasound in predicting ovarian cancer amongst 31,748 women. Ultrasound outperformed symptom analysis for cancer, but the results were reversed if the problem was benign. The researchers added that informative symptoms were absent in 80 percent of ovarian malignancies, hence the Silent killer term given.
Insulin resistence/intolerance found to increase cancer risk
A while ago, at CANCERactive we told you all about Insulin Resistance. Do you have trouble losing weight? This is a common sign, as are low levels of HDL, high triglycerides, high blood glucose levels and more. And while you are not a true diabetic, the principles seem the same for an estimate of up to 70 per cent of the population, who (frankly) just eat badly. We have also given you a number of research studies showing glucose drives cancer.
Not surprisingly, insulin resistance is a step along the road to diabetes and heart disease. Now it has been shown to be a step along the road to cancer too.
New research published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, concluded that there is a strong link between insulin resistance and the risk of developing postmenopausal breast cancer. Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York have concluded that the elevated insulin levels linked to insulin resistance result in post-menopausal women having a higher risk of breast cancer.
The researchers also found that elevated blood glucose and triglyceride levels raised the risk of breast cancer by 1.7 times. Increased diastolic blood pressure (the second number when you have your blood pressure measured ) raised the risk of breast cancer 2.4 times.
Two factors are important here:
Although this research was conducted looking at breast cancer, you can bet this is true for many cancers, male and female.
Yet again it highlights the point we consistently make about the daft sugar-laden diets given to cancer patients in UK Hospitals.
We have complained that the NHS booklet on a diet for chemotherapy shows little drawings of cheese burgers, milk shakes and sticky doughnuts on every page. My daughter was given ice cream and Ribena endlessly in her oncology unit.
Of course the good news for everyone preventers and people with cancer - is that insulin resistance and blood sugar levels are controllable and reverse-able. Just change your diet!!!
I will list here for everyones benefit some of the tips from my book The Rainbow Diet and how it can help you beat cancer:
Eat six small meals a day, not one or two big ones
Eat whole foods and whole grains (never refined, processed or fast foods)
Avoid alcohol, fizzy soft drinks, sweets, cakes, white bread, white pasta, biscuits, chocolate. Diet drinks are especially bad! As are smoothies and purchased fruit juices; even many so-called health drinks.
Eat raw most days, on an empty stomach if possible
Eat your fruit first thing in the morning on an empty stomach
Eat steamed or grilled never fried
Avoid Dairy (lactose is a sugar)
Take probiotics in several strains
Ensure you have no yeast excesses in your body (take cinnamon, oregano, Pau DArco and wormwood).
And eat fresh raw garlic.
Remember, research from North Western shows that if you lose excess weight you reduce risk and even improve survival times.
The book contains far more detailed advice.
Being overweight increases cancer risk fact
Cancer Research UK have just researched 4,000 people and come up with the staggering fact that 97 per cent of people have no idea that being overweight is a significant cancer risk. Of course, had they read our report on the research we conducted 4 years ago they would have known that people havent much a clue what does cause cancer anyway. Indeed we went into all the key issues in our 2004 Cancer Prevention Conference, which was poorly attended by the major charities.
As we have been telling people for seven years, it all depends which report you read, and how much overweight you are, but to be just 7 kgs overweight knocks over 5 years off your life expectancy, and a whopping 13 years if you smoke as well. .All this is well documented in my book, Everything you need to know to help you beat cancer indeed it has been there since the first edition some 7 years ago.
All this comes in parallel with new Swedish research showing overweight women tend to be diagnosed with higher grade cancers than ladies who have restrained their weight.
One of the real issues is that many overweight people are in denial. We have had ladies write to us with breast cancer and they are 13 kgs over normal weight for their height. One described herself as cuddly, another as being a bit chunky.
In our original 2004 prevention research, people stated that giving up smoking was important, as was avoiding excess alcohol, and staying out of the sun. As we pointed out at the time, Burning is bad, sunshine is sensible. 4 years ago there was too much bad science coming from cancer charities suggesting sunshine was carcinogenic. In fact there is actually a great deal of research that suggests that a daily dose of sun shine promotes vitamin D synthesis in the body, and reduces cancer risk. A few people also knew that exercise was a risk reducer. But, in all, few people knew any information about preventing cancer (unlike Heart disease or AIDS) and blame for this lack of information can only be laid at the doors of the Government and the cancer charities. It was in response to this research finding that CANCERactive decided to adopt the Precautionary Principle (that where there is expert research expressing concern, we will pass on that research information so that the people of Britain can make more informed choices). As a result just compare the volume of Prevention Topics we cover against those listed on the major charities web sites. Pesticides? EMFs? Melatonin? Toxic Chemicals, from dioxins to oestrogen mimics in plastic bottles and preservatives?
Anyone who is unsure of the factors that may increase cancer risk should go to the prevention part of our web site where they will find more information on more possible causes than on any other UK charity web site. As you will see, we have given some weight to the issue of cancer prevention!
Men more likely to get cancer the issue is why?
Men are almost 40 per cent more likely than women to die from cancer, reveals a report published by the National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN).
And they are 16 per cent more likely to develop the disease in the first place.
After excluding breast cancer and cancers specific to one or other sex from the analysis, the difference is even greater with men being almost 70 per cent more likely to die from cancer and over 60 per cent more likely to develop the disease.
The researchers then looked at the figures, excluding lung cancer as well, because the disease and its main risk factor, smoking, is known to be more common in men.They expected to see that, across the broad range of remaining cancer types, men and women were just as likely as each other to die from and get the disease. But they found that for all of these cancers combined, men were still 70 per cent more likely than women to die from cancer and 60 per cent more likely to get cancer.
Experts suggest that a possible explanation for the differences seen for some types of cancer could be down to stereotypical male behaviour like down-playing important early symptoms and having an unhealthy lifestyle.
Even rogue cancer DNA repairs itself
CRUK scientists (Nature) have discovered a sensor which exists even in cancer cells. Some drugs try to damage cancer DNA. This sensor system is actually a family of proteins (alkyltransferase-like proteins or ATLs) warns the cell and activates the DNA repair systems and so the drugs lose their effect.
Organic foods are better ignore the UK Food Standards Agency
All over the UK papers comes news of the ruling from the FSA that organic food is no more nutritious than other foods. According to that well known medical journal, the Daily Mail, watchdogs have declared this to be true.
Claiming to be the largest and most comprehensive study of its kind, researchers for the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine trawled through more than 50,000 studies on the value of foods since 1958. The results were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Dr Alan Dangour (a public health nutritionist, no less) who was the lead researcher stated that, Currently there is no research to support the selection of organically produced foods on the basis of nutritional superiority.
Spokesperson Gill Fine from the FSA burbled on about, Ensuring people had accurate information and no evidence of additional health benefits from eating organic foods.
What staggers us at CANCERactive is that in order to resolve this very same question the EU has just spent 12 million of tax payers money conducting as near as can be, the definitive Clinical Trial, growing fields of organic food in parallel with normal pesticide and fertiliser-grown crops and then employing top scientists to give us the results. The FSA, which is after all a Government funded unit, ought to know this and use the data. And be clear, Gill: The accurate information is that there is a considerable difference. And this is just from early assessments. The project will continue for a few more years yet, as that is how long it takes to be sure. Professor Carlo Leifert, one of the CANCERactive patrons, is a lead member of the team.We covered the early conclusions in this very magazine.
The Daily Mail falls into the usual bad science trap too, meandering on about 50 years of research and 50,000 studies. But, the researchers didnt use 50,000 studies, they used, sorry selected, 55 that met their criteria, whatever they were. So one concludes therefore they left out a mere 49,945 studies from their conclusions. Perhaps one was the definitive EU study?
Then there is Dr Alan no evidence to support nutritional superiority Dangour. I quote about 10 - 15 such studies in my book The Rainbow Diet and how it can help you beat cancer. Leifert and his team have a hundred more! What planet do these people live on? Al, old chap, there is rather a lot of scientific evidence actually; I cannot believe you think there is none..
But for the last word we will return to Gill no additional health benefit Fine. All I can conclude is that she finds pesticides tasty and of absolutely harmless. Of course that view would put her directly at odds with the EU, which recently concluded that there were deep concerns and cited health hazards including cancer as a need for more regulation. It is puzzling that Gill ensuring people have accurate information Fine does not seem to be telling you all about research studies showing that farmers using pesticides develop more multiple myeloma, and another that this is due to the pesticide making pre-cancerous MGUS proteins in the blood, or (for example) that some third world suppliers to British retailers still use the banned pesticides of DDT and Lindane, each linked to higher rates of Breast Cancer. (If she is unsure, she could always trawl through back issues of Cancer Watch for more accurate information.)
For the record, there is concern that organic foods grown on depleted soils offer little in additional mineral content over mass-farmed foods. How could they? On basic vitamins there is quite a lot of evidence that organic food is superior, but sometimes not by much. The real advantage seems to come in the area of complex natural compounds (like resveratrol, quercitin, omega 3 or polyphenols) where organic foods score much more highly. For example, the use of fungicide negates the need for grapes to produce fungus fighting resveratrol of their own several studies have measured this. And even 10 years ago researchers didnt know too much about these compounds or their health benefits, and so did not research for them. How many such studies were in the selected group?
Personally I dont think everybody should rush off and buy everything organic we have told you which foods research studies show are more likely to hold their pesticides, and which do not. So in a number of cases there is not a lot to worry about. But red fruits like strawberries and greens like broccoli do need extra caution before using the sprayed versions.
It is all very sad really. I think that the people, and especially the patients who want to beat cancer deserve better than this. But then, thats why we set up CANCERactive.
Need to prevent thousands of older people dying from cancer, prematurely
As many as 15,000 people over 75 could be dying prematurely from cancer each year in the UK, according to research presented today at the National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN) conference.
These premature deaths could be prevented if cancer mortality rates in the UK dropped to match countries in Europe and America which have the lowest rates.
The researchers from the North West Cancer Intelligence Service (NWCIS) in Manchester compared cancer death rates in the UK with Europe and America.
They found that over the past decade the numbers of people dying from cancer in the under 75s has significantly dropped in the UK. But, little progress has been made in the over 75s and the gap in death rates with other countries is getting wider.
Dr Tony Moran, lead researcher from NWCIS, said Its worrying that so many older people die from cancer in the UK compared with other countries. But, its not clear why this is. Research is urgently needed to understand the reasons for the extra deaths so that steps can be taken to prevent them.
New scientific study reveals flaws, even fraud, in Clinical Trials
Scientific study. Clinical Trial, Gold Standard. Non Sequetor. Well, at least according to Dr Daniele Fanelli at the University of Edinburgh. In a recent study Fanelli lists findings such as
Most clinical results are misleading
Fanellis report states that the misconduct is more prevalent in clinical, medical, and pharmaceutical research. So much for the gold standard; but then he goes on to refer to the high profits at stake where a few word changes can make all the difference, even if its not fraud but presentation.
He also comments on studies that criticise vitamins suggesting that all too often, doses used are too low to have an effect, or the where vitamin tested is known not to have an effect on a particular disease whereas another, untested one, is.
All this coincides with a USA FDA report that reports deficiencies and flaws in up to 20 per cent of US drug clinical trials.
Brain tumours and ovarian cancer first - Anti-cancer, super highway drug on the way
Scientists have developed a drug that reduces the growth of glioblastoma - the most common form of brain tumour - in mice by 98 per cent and decreased the growth of ovarian tumours in mice by 80 per cent. In further separate investigations, scientists also found the drug worked against a number of cell lines derived from other human cancers (Molecular Cancer Therapeutics).
A team from Cancer Research UK´s Centre for Cancer Therapeutics at The Institute of Cancer Research ICR), with the biotechnology company Piramed - now owned by Roche used markers to show how the drug works by targeting the PI3 kinase pathway, which is known to be linked to the growth and spread of many cancers. The drug (GDC-0941) works by blocking this pathway which is often ´hijacked´ in human cancers - enabling them to grow and spread. It corrects faulty genetic signals that cause unrestricted cancer progression, as well as preventing the function of cells in the body that support the tumour by increasing its essential blood supply - a process called angiogenesis.
Lead author of the article describing the pre-clinical lab studies, Professor Paul Workman, director of the Cancer Research UK Centre for Cancer Therapeutics at the ICR said: "We know the PI3 kinase super-highway is hijacked in many cancers. We show here that the drug works in the way it was designed to, inhibiting the PI3 kinase pathway and blocking tumour growth."
Our hope is that that we have created a potent anti-cancer weapon that directly targets the processes which feed the cancer cells while sparing most of the healthy cells. But it´s early days and we still have a lot to learn about the potential of this drug. The next step is to see if the drug targets human cancers as effectively."
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Ovarian Cancer risk and a rising CA-125 score
CA-125 is a protein found in the blood. In the 1980s, Dr Robert Bast Jr. from MD Anderson, discovered CA-125 to be a valuable tool in detecting ovarian cancer recurrence. However, CA-125 may also become elevated for other reasons, leading to false positives in screening.
In a new study the same doctor has found that a rising CA-125 is a much more specific test, particularly when combined with ultrasound.
"CA-125 is shed by only 80% of ovarian cancers," Bast explains. "At present, were planning a second trial that will evaluate a panel with four blood tests including CA-125 to detect the cancers we may otherwise miss with CA-125 alone. The current strategy is not perfect, but it appears to be a promising first step."
Although these findings are not definitive, nor will they immediately alter cancer treatment, the results are encouraging.
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52 gms of cheese a day doubles ovarian cancer risk
Our anti-cows dairy views at CANCERactive have been justified again with research by Belgian and Dutch groups (European Journal of Cancer) stating that eating just 52 gms of cheese a day doubles the risk of ovarian cancer. Last year we published similar research which showed two cups of milk a day had the same sort of effect.
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