January 2009

CANCER WATCH JANUARY 2009

 

Just click on the title to read the item.

 

 LATEST WORLD CANCER NEWS

 

 

 LIFESTYLE AND  NUTRITION

 

 

CHEMICAL WORLD

 

 

LATEST WORLD CANCER NEWS

 

Breast patients ‘risking their lives’ by not taking prescribed Tamoxifen

 

Breast cancer patients are risking their lives by failing to take the tamoxifen they are prescribed, according to a new study published in the British Journal of Cancer.
Half of the women failed to finish a five year course of the drug and one in five regularly forget to take a tablet.
 
Experts already know that taking tamoxifen for five years increases survival chances and the new research reveals that women who miss at least one tablet every five days have a 10 per cent greater risk of dying.
 
The researchers - based at the University of Dundee and funded by the Medical Research Council and Breast Cancer Research (Scotland) - used the prescription records of more than 2000 women to see how many did not complete the standard treatment of a tamoxifen tablet every day and linked this to other health records to see if they were more likely to die.
 
The results show that 10 per cent of women followed for one year stopped taking tamoxifen, 19 per cent of the women followed for at least two years had stopped, 32 per cent of the women followed for three and a half years had stopped and a total of 51 per cent of women followed for five or more years had stopped taking the drug.
 
The study also showed that younger women were more likely to stop taking the medication early but there was no difference in the rich or poorer groups of women.

 

Dr Lesley Walker, Cancer Research UK’s director of information, said: “We know that tamoxifen saves lives, so these results are a real concern. It’s not disastrous if women simply forget to take the occasional tablet but if they forget regularly and don’t complete their treatment we need to know why. We need to make it clear that taking tamoxifen regularly for the full five years gives women the best chance of surviving breast cancer. If women are experiencing problems in taking any medication then we urge them to consult their doctor.”

 

New web site to support patients affected by side effects

 

A new website ‘Having Fun After Cancer’ (www.after-cancer.com) has been set up to help cancer patients worried about the side effects of hormonal drugs, during the five years they are on these pills.  It covers medically-approved products and therapies.  

 

The site is run Verité Reily Collins, a Travel and Medical Writer who would be delighted to hear from you, especially if there is anything you think I could add, or any Support Groups that would like to be kept in touch.
 

 

Under www.after-cancer.com/cancer in the news section appears Cancer Research UK’s new report which says side effects from hormonal drugs such as Tamoxifen  etc. ‘could show they are working’. (Ed: I’ve stopped laughing because this is serious. Don’t side effects just show you are being damaged?)

 

Clinical Trial shows acupuncture better than drug with breast cancer patients

 

A clinical trial, titled “Acupuncture for the Treatment of Vasomotor Symptoms in Breast Cancer Patients Receiving Hormone Suppression Treatment,” examined the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating women coping with the side effects of conventional breast cancer therapies and compared acupuncture treatment specifically to venlafixine therapy for 12 weeks. The trial was randomised to ensure the reliability of experimental results.

 

The research team was led by Eleanor Walker, M.D., a radiation oncologist at the Henry Ford Hospital Department of Radiation Oncology in Detroit, and the results published in the September issue of The International Journal of Radiation Oncology.
Dr. Walker’s study involved 47 patients who received the common breast cancer treatment of Tamoxifen or Arimidex and, as a result, had at least 14 hot flashes per week as well as excessive sweating, night sweats and depression. The 47 women were randomly divided into an acupuncture group (24 patients) and a venlafaxine group (23 patients). The patients were carefully monitored before, during and after the 12 week period.
Both of the groups showed significant improvement in the adverse effects of breast cancer treatment. The study reported “that acupuncture is at least as effective as venlafaxine in reducing vasomotor and other symptoms associated with anti-oestrogen hormonal treatment of breast cancer.”
Although the main symptoms were decreased relatively equally among the two groups, the venlafaxine group reported a host of negative side effects such as nausea, dry mouth, headache, insomnia, dizziness, double vision, increased blood pressure, constipation, fatigue, anxiety, feeling ‘‘spaced out,’’ and body spasms at night. The acupuncture group reported none of these.

 

HRT dangers for Breast Cancer survivors

 

Breast cancer survivors who undergo hormone replacement therapy (HRT) are significantly more likely to have their cancer recur than survivors who do not use HRT, according to a study conducted by researchers from Kings College London and published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. ‘The results ... indicate a substantial risk for a new breast cancer event among breast cancer survivors using hormone-replacement therapy,’ according to the experts who wrote the report.

 

‘It seems that harmful side effects of HRT have finally been clearly demonstrated,’ wrote Kathy Pritchard of Canada’s Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Centre in an accompanying editorial.
We have long warned of HRT treatment, controversially described once by the German Health Minister as equivalent to the new Thalidomide. If Quack Busters, Governments and medical experts are thinking of banning synthetic vitamins which increase risks of death by 10 per cent according to certain studies, why not be consistent and think seriously about banning HRT?

‘Our results ... suggest that hormone therapy not only induces and promotes breast cancer, but may also stimulate the growth of tumour microdeposits in breast cancer survivors,’ the researchers wrote. ‘The risk elevation is in line with the evidence from observational studies and randomized trials that [HRT increases the risk of breast cancer in healthy women’. Enough said – action please.

 

Tamoxifen’s genetic action

 

In a Cancer Research UK Press Release entitled ‘Scientists crack the code to Tamoxifen resistance’ we thought readers would be interested to know that it states that, ‘Previously it was known that tamoxifen worked by blocking oestrogen from causing unchecked cell growth in breast cancer by switching certain genes on but the mechanism by which this occurred was unknown’.

 

This is interesting to thousands of women who have repeatedly been told that Tamoxifen simply blocks oestrogen receptor sites in cells preventing the hormone from accessing them and thus fanning the flames of cancer. However, in a study published in Nature (Dec 2008) scientists have reported that they have finally discovered the molecular basis for Tamoxifen response and why resistance occurs.

‘Researchers at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Research Institute have discovered for the first time the mechanism by which the breast cancer therapy tamoxifen operates. It switches off a breast cancer gene ErbB2 via a protein called Pax2. Pax2 acts as a ‘switch’ to keep ErbB2 switched off. Tamoxifen resistance occurs when ErbB2 remains switched on’.

Lead author, Dr Jason Carroll, said: “We knew that women developed resistance to tamoxifen but previously our understanding of why this occurred could be compared with trying to fix a broken car without knowing how the engine worked. Now we understand how all the engine parts operate and we can try to think about ways to make repairs.

(Ed: Better late than never I suppose. But it seems a little worrying that thousands of women have been routinely taking a drug for which we had no idea how it worked).

 

Changes occur in breast HER-2 status with Herceptin

 

When treated with Herceptin® prior to surgery, 50% of women with HER2-positive breast cancer showed no signs of disease at the time of surgery, according to new study findings from MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas. However, of those women who had residual disease, about one-third had tumours that converted from HER2-positive to HER2-negative status — possibly indicating a resistance to the targeted therapy.

 

M. D. Anderson researchers presented the results Sept. 3 2008, in advance of the American Society for Clinical Oncology Breast Cancer Symposium held Sept 5-7 in Washington, D.C.

Approximately 30% of breast cancer cells have an excess amount of the HER2 protein on their surface, which makes the cancer more aggressive. Herceptin is a monoclonal antibody that latches on to these proteins and slows tumour growth. The drug was approved in 1998 for women whose advanced, metastatic breast cancer is HER2-positive. It was approved in 2006 for use in early stage patients.

However, it is known that a percentage of HER2-positive patients develop a resistance to Herceptin during treatment, and there have been several described mechanisms for Herceptin resistance, says Elizabeth Mittendorf, M.D., assistant professor in M. D. Anderson’s Department of Surgical Oncology.

Obviously, this research would suggest that firstly all women on Herceptin (because they were once HER-2 positive) are regularly tested; and, secondly, that those no longer HER-2 positive may as well come off it. 

Mittendorf, however, strongly cautions that more research is needed before women who have a change of HER2 status are taken off their scheduled Herceptin treatments following surgery.

The researchers plan to see if there are any other changes in these tumours that are consistent with what is known about Herceptin resistance, including other mutations and alterations in specific markers, Mittendorf says. If other tumour markers of resistance are found in these patients, it would support the idea that HER-2 status conversion promotes Herceptin resistance.

 

Liverpool University find yet another way to develop cancer

 

We keep telling you that your cancer is as individual as you are. Now Liverpool scientists have found yet another possible way of developing the disease.

 

In a study published in Developmental Cell in December 2008, the scientists attempted to discover why we get the uncontrolled cell growth that is cancer and found (using fruit flies) a protein, the equivalent of which is called Lamellipodin in humans. This protein apparently regulates cell growth but doesn’t in some cancers.
Laboratory head and corresponding author Dr Daimark Bennett, also based at the University of Liverpool said: “We are extremely excited to have unlocked the key to a completely new route to cancer development and hope it will kick start a whole new direction for powerful research projects to block points in this pathway through the development of new drugs.”

The scientists made the connection that a cell signalling molecule called epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), which has already been implicated in driving cancers, sends messages to the Lamellipodin proteins.

 

Prostate Cancer link to IGF-1shows up shortfall in acknowledged causes

 

According to a Cancer Research UK press release, ‘scientists have found that the greater the levels of a protein called Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1), the greater the risk of prostate cancer, according to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. An international team of researchers, led by the University of Oxford, collected and analysed data from 12 previous independent studies on the relationship between blood concentrations of suspected prostate cancer risk factors, and subsequent onset of the disease. IGF-I levels are influenced by lifestyle factors such as diet, so the results of this rigorous analysis could help scientists find ways to reduce men’s risk of developing prostate cancer by tailoring advice to men at high risk.’

 

‘Lead author Dr Andrew Roddam, a Cancer Research UK epidemiologist at the University of Oxford, said: ‘There is a need to identify risk factors for prostate cancer, especially those which can be targeted by therapy and/or lifestyle changes. Now we know this factor is associated with the disease we can start to examine how diet and lifestyle factors can affect its levels and whether changes could reduce a man’s risk’.

 

(Ed: This IGF-1 link is not unsurprising to the majority of people who study the subject – for example, we know that IGF-1 is linked to hormonally driven breast cancer, so one would expect similarities in hormonally driven prostate cancer.

 

What is sad is that Cancer Research seems to think that high IGF-1 levels are your fault because of your lifestyle factors such as diet.

 

From research we have covered in icon, we would suggest that it is a shame in blaming your diets that they didn’t name names. And we would suggest that they refrain from blaming us for the disease, when one of the biggest causes of IGF-1 growth in our bodies is outside of our control.

 

Two of the two biggest ways to increase your IGF-1 levels are via:

 

Diet – too much Cow’s Dairy

Non diet - EMF’s.

 

Indeed, I wrote to Cancer Research and told them that their Press Release was somewhat misleading but the press office didn’t seem to understand. They obviously don’t read icon. We have covered the research into Cow’s Dairy and IGF-1 levels several times. And the effects of EMF’s. Now EMF expert Professor Denis Henshaw of Bristol University and his team have sent us a few more references that Cancer Research don’t appear to know about.

 

Apart from icon covering news that IARC, the International body on cancer in Lyon, are considering dubbing ‘lack of sleep’ a probable carcinogen (because it lowers melatonin levels, and this hormone controls excesses of IGF-1 and oestrogen in the body); and apart from our review of the UK Government appointed committee findings which, using expert opinion with evidence, we told you were inaccurate, we have copious information on our web site about EMF’s and their role in cancer. By contrast Cancer Research has very, very little. But then we adopt a Precautionary Principle – that where there is expert opinion and concern supported by research, it is your right to know so that you can act accordingly.

 

So apart from the usual breast cancer EMF and IGF-1 studies that we seem to cover every issue in icon (try Melatonin, environmental light and breast cancer: Srinivasan, Spence et al BREAST CANCER RESEARCH AND TREATMENT, 2008, 108, 339-350) here are some that specifically relate to prostate cancer risk:

 

Rotating shift work and risk of prostate cancer (Conlon, M, Lightfoot, N, Kreiger, N Epidemology 2007, 18, 182-183);

 

Cohort study of cancer risk among male and female shift workers (Schwartzbaum, J, Ahlbom, A, Feychting, M, SCANDINAVIAN JOURNAL OF WORK ENVIRONMENT & HEALTH, 2007, 33, 336-343);

Light at night, chronodisruption, melatonin suppression, and cancer risk: A review (Reiter, Russel J et al; Critical Reviews in Oncogenesis, 2007, 13, 303-328);

The anti-tumour activity of pineal melatonin and cancer enhancing life styles in industrialized societies (Bartsch, C, Bartsch, H, CANCER CAUSES & CONTROL, 2006, 17, 559-571);

Circadian disruption, shift work and the risk of cancer: A summary of the evidence and studies in Seattle (Davis, S, Mirick, DK, CANCER CAUSES & CONTROL, 2006, 17, 539-545);

Prospective cohort study of the risk of prostate cancer among rotating-shift workers: Findings from the Japan Collaborative Cohort Study (Kubo, T, Ozasa, K et al, AMERICAN JOURNAL OF EPIDEMIOLOGY, 2006, 164, 549-555);

Does incidence of breast cancer and prostate cancer decrease with increasing degree of visual impairment? (Pukkala, E, Ojamo, M et al, CANCER CAUSES & CONTROL, 2006, 17, 573-576);

Intermittent androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer, Rashid, MH, Chaudhary, UB, ONCOLOGIST, 2004,9, 295-301).

I could go on. Perhaps Cancer Research staff could start with these and then visit our web site for more information. And perhaps in future the Press Department will reconsider implying that heightened levels of IGF-1 are a result of your poor lifestyles and diets, and nothing else.)

 

MD Anderson to test HIFU with prostate cancer

 

M. D. Anderson is participating in the American national Phase II/III trial of HIFU, a non-invasive procedure that heats and destroys the prostate tumour but does not harm surrounding tissue.

 

“HIFU is another possible treatment approach for men who have small tumours and want to be proactive,” says John Ward, M.D., assistant professor in M. D. Anderson’s Department of Urology and the lead investigator at the cancer center. “This therapy has been used in Europe to treat 17,000 men with various stages of prostate cancer, and from that experience it appears to be a promising balance between effective cancer treatment and few long-term side effects.”

 

Researchers hope HIFU will provide some men with a treatment that doesn’t require an incision and poses less chance of damage to healthy tissue around the tumour.

 

Although HIFU is not yet approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in America, it is widely practiced in Europe, Latin America, China, Japan and Canada. Ward says many men from the United States travel to other countries for the procedure. This experience is quite common for men with prostate cancer in the UK too where the treatment seems a new and similarly untested option.

 

“Physicians around the world have safely and effectively used HIFU for many years,” Ward says. “However, we need this domestic trial to demonstrate HIFU’s place among many other effective and proven treatment options.”

 

At MD Anderson, the study will compare HIFU, which uses heat, to cryosurgery, which uses freezing, to determine if they are equally effective in killing prostate tumours.

 

The HIFU procedure, which uses robotic technology, takes two to three hours to complete.

 

A dual-action ultrasound wand is inserted into the rectum next to the prostate. First, the ultrasound waves locate the prostate and divide it into precise treatment zones. Then waves are focused on the treatment area. They heat tissue to between 80 degrees and 100 degrees Celsius, resulting in its destruction.

 

Prostate Cancer – is it more than one disease?

 

A mega-study in the February 2008 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, using data from 18 different studies of naturally occurring sex hormone levels in men found no significant link between blood levels of any one ‘endogenous’ hormone and prostate cancer.

 

Basically the conclusion was – that there are no conclusions. Overall levels of prostate cancer do not seem to be linked to any ‘endogenous’ hormone.

 

This is quite possible. At CANCERactive we have been telling you that your cancer is as individual as you are – some cancers are driven by oestrogen, some are driven by poor diet – and too much salt or hormones in cow’s dairy, some cancers are driven by changes to stem cells. And some cancers are driven by chemicals. The breast cancer scientists know this is true. They have developed a variety of treatments for the different types of breast cancer. But sadly with prostate cancer treatment is typically ‘one size fits all’. But it doesn’t.

 

The research did not look at hormones arising outside the body – typically chemicals that mimic the action of oestrogen. We have previously covered expert research in icon that detailed chemicals that were linked to prostate cancer, and how some men have genetic characteristics that make them more susceptible. The most potent are xenoestrogens arising from pesticides, herbicides, phthalates, BPA (now banned in Canada) and so on.  

 

In our view, for this reason this mega-study is flawed.  We also think another reason [it is flawed is that it only looked at levels of hormones in the blood. Saliva testing is much more accurate. Dr. David Zava of ZRT Lab, who has run thousands of saliva and blood spot hormone tests for men and tracks results in a database, consistently finds that men with prostate cancer have low testosterone, low DHEAS, and elevated oestradiol, the aggressive form of oestrogen.

 

Meanwhile, conventional medical treatment is limited. But don’t just take my word for it: According to a recently released report from the American Government’s Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) – it reviewed 592 published articles and compared eight commonly used prostate cancer treatments – ‘Not enough scientific evidence exists to identify any prostate cancer treatment as most effective for all men, especially those whose cancers were found by PSA testing."

 

Prostate cancer is usually (95 per cent of cases) slow growing and at CANCERactive we argued for ‘active surveillance’ as the norm for two years before the Royal Marsden started to recommend it. We have argued for HIFU ultrasound if the cancer is confined to the prostate, and for alternative treatments such as Professor Ben Pfeiffer’s Natural compound therapy to be properly evaluated. More can be found on our web site in our overview – described by two American oncology experts as the best review on any charity web site.
People often ask me what I do in the hope of avoiding prostate cancer. So here goes:

 


  • I try to avoid pesticides, herbicides and other xenoestrogens in toiletries, and personal care products.

  • I take fish oils daily

  • I take Aloe Vera daily

  • I take curcumin, resveratrol, garlic, chlorella and melatonin/asphalia daily

  • I take vitamin D daily if I’m not in Thailand where I live

  • I take 15 mgs of zinc and 200 micrograms of selenium daily

  • And I stay below 82 kgs for my 5 feet 11 inches, and exercise regularly

  • I avoid fried food, eat lots of vegetables and fruit, and for breakfast I eat home-made muesli (nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, oats, sprinkled with soya lecithin and linseeds) – the flaxseed oil, vitamin E and lignans are all supposedly protective.

  • Once every three months I take a course of Astragalus, Echinacea and Cat’s Claw to boost my immune system.

 

Brain tumour radiation may damage learning and memory

 

According to the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas, when patients with cancer that has metastasised (spread) to the brain are treated with whole-brain radiation therapy (WBRT), their risk of developing learning and memory problems increases dramatically.

 

A Phase III study showed that pairing WBRT with stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), a type of targeted radiation therapy, doubles the risk of learning and memory problems compared to treatment with SRS alone.

Results of the study were presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology.

Many cancer patients experience metastases to the brain from common primary cancers such as breast, colorectal, kidney and lung, according to the American Cancer Society.

"Determining how to achieve the best outcomes with the smallest cost to the quality of life is a treatment decision every radiation oncologist faces," says Eric Chang, M.D., associate professor in the Division of Radiation Oncology at M. D. Anderson.

 

"While WBRT and SRS are both in full use and equally acceptable, data from this trial suggest that oncologists should offer SRS alone as the upfront, initial therapy for patients with up to three brain metastases,” he says.

 

Brain Tumours – low intensity electrical field improves drug effect

 

A pilot clinical trial, which was presented during the Society of Neuro-Oncology (SNO) annual meeting in Las Vegas, NV, November 24th 2008, showed that a new combination therapy prolonged time to disease progression by nearly 31 months and increased survival by more than 25 months compared to historical results of patients receiving standard chemotherapy alone.

 

NovoCure Ltd. presented results evaluating the Novo-TTF, a non-invasive medical device that uses low intensity alternating electric fields to destroy cancer cells.

 

Results from the in vitro study and a pilot clinical trial showed the device enhanced the efficacy of standard chemotherapy (temozolomide) treatment in newly-diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) patients. Patients in the study did not experience any device-related, systemic, adverse events.

 

The Novo-TTF device disrupts cancer cell proliferation and tumour growth by generating low intensity, intermediate frequency, alternating electric fields within a tumour.  These electric fields exert forces on polar structures within the dividing cancer cells that prevent tumour growth. 

 

First gene for child brain tumour identified

 

Researchers, funded by Cancer Research UK and the Samantha Dickson Brain Tumour Trust, have pinpointed a rearrangement of DNA that causes around two-thirds of all cases of pilocytic astrocytoma – the most common brain tumour in five to 19 year-olds. “The resulting DNA sequence includes a portion of a gene called BRAF that is also known to be mutated in a number of other cancers, and which we think may trigger this disease,” said lead author Professor Peter Collins at the University of Cambridge.

 

Brain tumours are the second most common type of childhood cancer

 

This rearrangement creates a fusion gene, whereby part of the BRAF gene is fused to another, previously uncharacterised gene. The fusion leads to activation of the part of BRAF that is involved in stimulating cell growth. This is the first time this type of fusion activity has been associated with a brain tumour.
Professor Collins added: “If we can diagnose exactly which type of brain tumour a child has as early as possible, the tumour is more likely to be treated successfully. We also hope the findings will mean it is possible to create therapies in the future that block the activity of the fusion gene and halt the growth of tumour cells.”

 


Some pancreatic cancer may be caused by virus

 

Researchers at the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Texas have published (Oct. 1 the Journal of Clinical Oncology) dramatic new findings about Pancreatic cancer risk as a result of a unique study, the first of its kind.

 

Firstly, they have found that exposure to the hepatitis B virus (HBV) may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer. But secondly, they found that chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer may reactivate dormant HBV and might make matters worse.

 

Are tricyclic antidepressants linked to Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancer risk?

 

People who take tricyclic antidepressants are at increased risk for a rare group of blood cancers known as non-Hodgkin lymphoma, according to study conducted by researchers from the Institute of Cancer Epidemiology at the Danish Cancer Society, and published in the journal Epidemiology.
"Our results indicate an increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma specifically among long-term users of tricyclic antidepressant medications," the researchers wrote. "Given the high prevalence of antidepressant use, this finding warrants additional studies."

 

This follows a previous study by the same researchers where long-term users of tricyclic drugs had a two and a half times higher risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma than those who took none. No increase in risk was found among those taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. "Our study, however, raises the hypothesis of a serious long-term side effect from tricyclic antidepressants, and this needs further research," lead researcher Susanne Oksbjerg Dalton said.
The rates of non-Hodgkin lymphoma have more than doubled in Denmark since the 1970s. (Source: www.medscape.com) (Ed: Of course it could just be that depressed people simply get more cancers. We know that depression is linked to lower blood oxygen levels and that this is a factor in cancer generation. The fact that no increase in risk was found Serotonin inhibitors seems to negate this argument a little though.)

 


Anal cancer – are death rates bottoming out?

 

A Cancer Research UK trial has shown anal cancer patients who received chemo and radiotherapy were a third less likely to die in the long term from anal cancer than those who just had the current standard - radiotherapy (CRT) alone.

 

Researchers from the Cancer Research UK and UCL (University College London) cancer trials centre undertook a six -year trial of 577 patients with anal cancer – who were then monitored for an average of 13 years.

 

Twelve years after the trial had finished 34 per cent of patients treated with chemo-radiation suffered a relapse of the anal cancer compared with 59 per cent of the group who received radiotherapy alone (a difference of 25 per cent).

 

This long term follow-up data confirms the earlier trial results published in 1996 and overall they now show a 33 per cent reduction in anal cancer deaths and a 54 per cent reduction in cases of the cancer returning to the same area, in the group which received CRT.

 

Child Kidney cancer – genetic factors as a cause

 

Scientists have discovered that defects in certain genes that control growth cause a significant proportion of Wilms Tumour; the most common childhood kidney cancer, according to a study published in the journal Nature Genetics, and undertaken by researchers at The Institute of Cancer Research and partly funded by Cancer Research UK.

 

The study demonstrates for the first time that defects in growth genes can cause Wilms Tumour in otherwise healthy children.

 

Lead investigator Professor Nazneen Rahman, Professor of Human Genetics at The Institute of Cancer Research said, "This discovery represented a significant step forward in understanding the causes of Wilms Tumour. Children with the growth gene abnormalities face about a 20 per cent risk of developing Wilms Tumour and it is also more likely for these children to develop cancer in both kidneys. Wilms Tumour is very treatable and most children can be cured.’

 

Researchers have also helped to develop a molecular test for the abnormalities.

 

In some rare cases, the growth gene abnormality can be inherited. In these families, testing siblings of the child with Wilms tumour can identify those who are carriers of the abnormality who can be offered screening to detect a Wilms tumour early.

 

How accurate are colonoscopies really?

 

A Canadian report from the University of Toronto and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in December 2008, is causing serious concerns, after it concluded that colonoscopies missed just about every cancer starting in the right side of the colon and about one third of cancers starting in the left side. ‘This is a really dramatic result. It makes you step back and worry; what do we really know?’ said David Ransohoff, a gastroenterologist at the University of North Carolina, and reported in The New York Times. The lead Toronto researcher, Nancy Baxter, described the results as ‘a shock’ and even asked the team to rerun the tests! 

 

This study follows a previous one in Spring 2008 where colonoscopies were found to miss a flat lesion or inverted polyp that develops against the colon wall.

 

The theory goes that people over 50 can have a colonoscopy every two years to spot pre-cancerous polyps. Remove these and the threat of a cancer diminishes greatly.

 

‘We have to not overpromise’, added Ransohoff who wrote the accompanying editorial to the paper. ‘Colonoscopy is a good test, but it isn’t completely protective’.

 

A less accurate, but less onerous blood stool test is another possibility.

 

Myeloid leukaemia – ten genetic factors could be combining!

 

According to The Times (November 4th 2008) ‘Scientists in America have decoded the DNA of a cancer patient and traced the disease, acute myeloid leukaemia, to its genetic roots. The study identified ten mutated genes that may have led to the blood cell cancer.’

 

Alternative therapy from everyday virus shows great promise

 

A drug, Reolysin, developed from the common ‘reovirus’ is showing great promise in killing cancer cells. The drug, discovered and developed by a Canadian firm, Oncolytics Biotech, based in Calgary, is delivered daily via 40 minute infusions for a week. The patient then waits three weeks before the next course.

 

The reovirus is present in most of the adult population and is harmless to us. However, it can attack a genetic pathway – the ras pathway – which is strongly developed in a cancer cell after the p54 gene suppression in healthy cells switches off. The reovirus then uses the ras pathway to replicate inside the cell and eventually destroys it. American trials on aggressive sarcoma (cancer of the joints or bone) which had progressed to secondary lung cancer showed more than one fifth of patients stabilised or even regressing for four to seventeen months.(University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio)

 

Dr Kevin Harrington of Leeds University has been working with six types of the virus over the last four years and has had very encouraging results in cancers which had ceased to respond to current orthodox treatments. Sometimes a combination of radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy with the virus proves even more effective.

 

Clinical Trials need to be conducted. We have previously covered research using other viruses like the Herpes cold sore virus and strains of the common cold virus. Of course, one concern is whether playing with even harmless viruses could eventually spread out of control causing harm. No five year Clinical Trial could be expected to tell us this. (Ed: It sounds very promising, but also potentially like subject matter for a Will Smith film)

 

NCRI - record investment in cancer research

 

The National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) partners funded £393m worth of research into cancer in 2006 (the latest figures available), an increase of £135m compared to 2002. But it has warned of slower progress in spend for some cancers.

 

An analysis of cancer research spend by the NCRI – a collaboration of government and charity partners – reveals that between 2002 and 2006, its 20 member organisations spent a total of £1.6 billion on cancer research in the UK.
 
During this period, the NCRI witnessed an increase in spend from its members on most types of cancer, and a doubling of investment in cancer prevention work. But its analysis also revealed that some cancers faired better than others. Of particular concern were lung, pancreatic and oesophageal cancers, which remain difficult to treat and research. This is largely due to the fact that symptoms often present late – resulting in the cancer being at a more advanced stage at diagnosis and the difficulties associated with where the tumour is located in the body.

 


We’re beating cancer

 

The chance of dying from cancer before the age of 84 is apparently becoming much smaller for most types of cancer and should continue falling over the next 20 years. At least, this is according to a new study from Cancer Research UK.

 

The study, published today in the British Journal of Cancer, looked at the rates of people dying from 21 of the most common types of cancer. It predicts a decline of 17 per cent in men and 16 per cent in women between 2003 and 2023.

 

The researchers used past trends in death rates between 1970 and 2005 to project what cancer death rates are likely to be in the next 20 years.

 

Breast cancer – the most common cancer in the UK – has had the most significant fall in deaths since 1988 even though the number of people diagnosed has been increasing. The number of men dying from prostate cancer has also seen a drop of one per cent a year, despite the numbers being diagnosed rising by four per cent a year.

 

The researchers believe the reasons for the fall are early detection, better cancer treatments and a drop in the number of people smoking.

 

Professor Peter Sasieni, epidemiologist and study author said: “There are two reasons why we have seen a fall in cancer death rates. Firstly, the chance of developing cancer is getting lower as a result of lifestyle changes such as stopping smoking and better food hygiene. Secondly, more people are surviving cancer because, thanks to research, there are better treatments and more effective national screening programmes. And we’re predicting that the fall in cancer deaths rates will continue in the next twenty years.”

 

“Our study provides a benchmark against which we can measure the effect of new screening programmes and cancer treatments.”

 

The researchers also predicted a rise in a few types of cancers including liver cancer in men.
The authors found that whilst the death rates are going down overall, the ageing population and increasing incidence for some cancers means that overall there will be more cancer deaths in 2025 than there were in 2005. (Ed: What I think they are saying in this PR release is that I am less likely to get cancer because I’ve changed my lifestyle for the good, and I get screened. And if I do get it, they can treat me more successfully that they could in the past. The trouble is there are going to be lots more older people around so actual numbers of cancer deaths will increase.)

 

NICE to double drugs budget – but only for the terminally ill

 

NICE has come under fire over the last couple of years for ‘turning down’ expensive drugs commonly available in other European countries and also for being extremely slow in its drug approval process. NICE has always countered the first point by claiming that its remit was to judge whether or not a drug was ‘worth the money’ relative to other drugs. Some drugs can be very expensive yet only provide a month or so of increased life on average.

 

Now NICE has increased the importance of end of life stages, and has also revalued some of the rarer cancers. Terminally ill patients will now get more funding for drugs. However whether they can have the newer drugs that cost a lot but give a small increment in survival is unclear. Funding for the rarer group of cancers is expected to rise from less than £50 million to over £175 million over the next three years. These new financial proposals did not include increases for the big 4 cancers – breast, prostate, lung and colorectal.

 

NICE has also promised to speed up its decision making process for all drugs. But that will take a year to eighteen months to implement!

 

Scientists discover Protector of Genome

 

Cancer Research UK scientists have discovered a crucial protein called RTEL1 that stops cells from becoming vulnerable to developing cancer. Scientists at the charity’s London Research Institute Clare Hall Laboratories, have for the first time, shown that RTEL1 plays an important role in protecting our cells from DNA rearrangements arising from incorrect DNA repair events, which can lead to the onset of cancer. These findings could result in the protein becoming a target for future cancer treatments.

 

Lead author Dr Simon Bolton, head of the London Research Institute’s DNA damage response laboratory said: “Studies in yeast have previously identified the Srs2 protein as a critical regulator of DNA repair events essential for maintaining chromosome integrity. Despite 30 years of research an equivalent of Srs2 in humans has remained elusive. We used a microscopic worm to identify a protein, RTEL1, which possesses many of the properties of Srs2. We then looked at human RTEL1 and found that it acted in the same way, which is extremely exciting.”

 

LIFESTYLE AND NUTRITION

 

Shock News: MIT and Harvard show acupuncture does work in clinical trial!

 

To all those so called experts who write in the Daily Blurb about ‘no evidence for complementary therapies’ we have some shocking news.

 

According to a recent joint MIT-Harvard Medical School clinical study published in the November 2008 issue of the peer-reviewed science journal Behavioural Brain Research, you are now most definitely wrong! Again.

The study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to indentify changes in neural activity by measuring blood flow in the brain; and positron emission tomography (PET) in conjunction with direnorphine to measure opioid release; and thus examine the overall effects of acupuncture in relieving pain. Opioids have a morphine-like effect in the body.

In China acupuncture has long been used for pain relief, and even to replace anaesthetic during operations, with the result that post surgery, the patients have much stronger immune systems, having needed no drugs.

The randomised study of12 healthy "acupuncture-naive" subjects separated them into a real acupuncture group balanced by a placebo acupuncture group, using a validated sham acupuncture needle (Streitberger placebo) so that the sensation was as close to real acupuncture as possible. (Using a placebo is generally believed to eliminate any psychological effects, such as expectation or belief, which may corrupt a study).
Pain was induced by varying levels of heat. By comparing the two treatments, the study concluded that "the reduction in pre- and post-treatment pain ratings was significantly greater in the acupuncture group when compared to the placebo group" (Dougherty, et. al).
"We found more brain changes during true acupuncture than during placebo acupuncture," commented Darin D. Dougherty, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Director of Neurotherapeutics at Massachusetts General Hospital. "fMRI showed changes in the orbitofrontal cortex, insula, and pons during true acupuncture when compared to placebo acupuncture." The PET scans detected [11Cdiprenorphine binding changes during real acupuncture that were very different than the binding changes that occurred during placebo treatment.
The right orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) was the only brain region that showed a common change in both types of scans. During real acupuncture, the right OFC demonstrated increased activity (as determined by fMRI) and increased opioid release (as determined by PET). There were no common fMRI and PET changes during placebo acupuncture.
When asked whether acupuncture is more than a placebo effect, Dr. Dougherty responded, "Yes, the study does show more changes in the brain during active acupuncture than during placebo acupuncture. Therefore, acupuncture certainly entails more than placebo effect."
This study was funded by The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). The NCCAM is the American Government’s lead agency for scientific research on Complementary and Alternative Therapies (CAM). (Source: Natural Sciences)

 

Stress causes cancer and food fights it

 

According to a study published in the International Journal of Oncology (August, 2008) stress induces precancerous changes via a hormone, Norepinephrine, which was shown to increase proliferation of pancreatic duct cancer cells. And norepinephrine was also shown to increase the interleukin-6 and vascular endothelial growth factor in the cells.
The researchers then looked to see if food consumption had any effect in negating this – and the answer showed that sulforaphane reduced norepinephrine-mediated cell and inhibited a norepinephrine-mediated increase of the interleukin-6 levels of the cells. Sulforaphane is a natural compound typically found in cruciferous vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, raddish and watercress.

 

Stevia makes its appearance – at last

 

Two recent events have paved the way for the wider usage of Stevia, a natural no-calorie sweetener, that seems to have no harmful side-effects, but also has anti-yeast and anti-microbe benefits. We have been arguing its case for 5 years now. Hitherto, powerful forces with financial interests in sugar and aspartame have kept Stevia at arms’ length but now the FDA is set to give the South American natural compound its blessing.

 

Stevia has been used in South America for centuries and even in countries such as Japan. Now Cargill, which makes a Stevia-based sweetener called Truvia, and Merisant, which makes another named Pure Via, both said their products are safe and are applying for FDA approval. International scientists associated with the World Health Organization agreed that these forms of Stevia sweeteners are safe (ABC News 2008 December 2nd)

Stevia is currently available in the United States but only as a nutritional supplement. However, the second event will surpass this all very quickly. Apparently, the mighty Coca Cola company has already made its first Stevia sweetened drinks!

You can find out more about Stevia by clicking here – and you can also buy a tincture by clicking here.  

 

German research confirms selenium helpful with prostate cancer

 

Two recent studies, both on AIDS, (one from UCLA, and another from Penn State, Journal of Biological Chemistry) have confirmed what we have told you before. That Astragalus is better than the anti-viral drugs, without the side effects; and selenium also stops viral replication through the action of selenoproteins. HIV actually targets these special proteins, but taking selenium protects them. Many substances bind to proteins but selenium actually bonds within the protein structure in selenoproteins.

 

Now German scientists from St. Josefs-Hospital in Wiesbaden have stated their research findings on the role of selenium in preventing prostate enlargement and prostate cancer in the Swedish medical publication Acta Oncologica.

The scientists found that whole blood selenium levels were significantly lower in all men tested who had benign prostate hypertrophy or prostate cancer. In a second study published in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, experts suggest selenoproteins have powerful anti-oxidative and  anti-inflammatory effects that could make them important in preventing prostate and colorectal cancers.
Supplementation up to a level of 200 micrograms per day is recommended. Greater amounts can lead to toxicity. Natural sources include whole Brazil nuts in their shell (banned for sale by the EU), whole brown rice, whole grains, organic eggs and nuts like walnuts.

 

Wine drinking – it promotes omega 3 levels in the blood!

 

A major new European study, IMMIDIET, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Jan 2009 concludes that wine drinking seems to bring out the best in omega 3. Several studies have shown that moderate wine consumption reduces heart and cancer risk. This new study shows that it raises the levels of omega 3 in plasma and red blood cells, independent of the level of fish consumption! The study was led by Romina di Giuseppe of the Research Laboratories at Catholic University of Campobasso, Italy.

 

The benefits of the wine could come from the polyphenols such as resveratrol and others. However a smaller benefit was found with beer drinkers so the reasons could simply be due to the presence of alcohol. One glass of wine for women per day, and two for men seemed to give the maximum benefit.

 

Only recently we covered a major study on the benefits to humans of Resveratrol from Harvard and 6 other worldwide medical centres in icon. Our web site, and my book The Rainbow Diet both cover many beneficial natural compounds.

 

High fruit and Vegetable Diet and oesophageal cancer

 

According to a study conducted by researchers from Kaiser Permanente Northern California and published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, a diet high in fruit and vegetables may greatly reduce oesophageal cancer risk.
A precursor to oesophageal cancer is usually Acid Reflux, and this most commonly results in Barrett’s Oesophagus.

 

Over 900 people participated in the study, which used a food diary to measure antioxidant intake. Those with the highest intake of vitamin C, beta-carotene and vitamin E had a 52 per cent, 44 per cent and 75 per cent respectively lower risk of developing the disease.

 

And, as we repeatedly tell you, these natural compounds performed better than simply taking the synthetic equivalents.

 

Unfortunately, the research showed that taking these high levels of fruit and vegetables had little effect on those people who had already developed a cancer.

 

Acid Reflux is usually caused by the excess presence of the parasite Helicobacter pylori in the stomach. Goldenseal, wormwood, aloe vera and Neway’s Parafree can significantly help this condition. Or you can take a three drug cocktail. People with acid reflux should avoid taking ant-acids as acid kills off the parasite, and this is a part of the body’s defence system. (Source: www.foodnavigator-usa.com.)

 

Black Raspberries – so many benefits!

 

Black raspberries provide a powerful mix of cancer-inhibiting compounds according to new research from the Ohio State University Cancer Center.

 

Rats injected with oesophageal cancer inducing factors were divided into two groups. The group eating black raspberries after two weeks had 60 per cent less cancers and the researchers concluded that the berries protected the genome from damage.

 

Indeed, the researchers described the results as ‘astonishing’. Having measured the gene activity in the rats, while 50 per cent altered due to the cancer induction in the normal group, 20 per cent less were altered in the group taking the berries.

 

Lead researcher Gary Stoner felt that these results must derive from a number of benefits, not merely one. From a second study and genetic analysis he concluded, ‘What’s emerging from studies in cancer chemoprevention is that using single compounds alone is not enough’. The berries seem to provide several benefits. He advocates eating yet more known beneficial foods at the same time, such as grapes, medicinal mushrooms, broccoli and cruciferous vegetables and flaxseed. Just as I do in my new book The Rainbow Diet – and how it can help you beat cancer.

 

New studies show significant benefits for chlorella

 

At CANCERactive we are great fans of the Japanese algae/food product Chlorella, especially when combined with beneficial bacteria supplementation.

 

Researchers in Kyoto (Journal of Medicinal Food, Sept 2008) gave chlorella over a 16 week period to 17 people at high-risk for lifestyle-related diseases and 17 healthy subjects. They conducted blood biochemical tests and gene profile expression analysis before and after the consumption period and concluded that chlorella significantly controlled gene expression and that this varied with consumption level. Specific results showed that chlorella:

 


  • Increased levels of white cells

  • Boosted various aspects of cellular signalling and reception

  • Reduced body fat

  • Reduced serum cholesterol

  • Reduced blood sugar levels, and glucose uptake through insulin pathway promotion

 

In the same magazine, is another study where rats given cadmium had lower levels of liver damage if also given chlorella, indicating its ability to chelate to/bind to heavy metals and eliminate them from the body. Beneficial bacteria supplementation is a benefit here.

 

In a third study (European Journal of Dermatology; May.June 2008) chlorella was shown to inhibit collagen degradation, mRNA and kinase formation as a result of ultraviolet light exposure.
Readers may recall that we covered another study in icon (Journal of Medicinal Food; March 2007) where researchers in Japan had concluded that pregnant women taking chlorella had reduced levels of dioxin and IGF-1 in their breast milk. Now, in the June 2008 edition of Food Chemistry Toxicology comes a study showing chlorella binds to and removes lead from the body.

 

You can find out more by clicking here, and buy what we believe to be the best source of this green algae developed originally to feed the Japanese after the war by clicking here. It is our ‘Product of Choice’ and full of vitamins, enzymes, essential amino acids and minerals.

 

Want to sleep? Try Tai Chi

 

According to research conducted by the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, elderly adults who practice tai chi sleep better than those who do not.
Researchers took 112 healthy adults who had disturbed sleep and made half practice Tai Chi, while the others went on more orthodox sleeping routes. People in the Tai Chi group showed significant improvement in sleep quality, duration and disturbances in comparison with the control group.
Lead researcher Michael Irwin said, ‘Poor sleeping constitutes one of the most common difficulties facing older adults. Yet in 85 percent of these cases, the problem goes untreated. Those who do receive treatment are usually given sedative drugs, which can have dangerous side effects’. Tai Chi is a form of exercise particularly suited to older people. We have more here  on the web site under complementary therapies.

 

Now Parkinson’s disease is linked to lower levels of vitamin D

 

We’ve told you repeatedly about vitamin D’s anti-cancer and anti-ageing benefits. Now research by Emory University in the Archives of Neurology shows that people with Parkinson’s have lower levels of vitamin D in their blood. Get out in the sunshine, or supplement!

 

At the National Neuroscience conference 2008 in Washington, researchers from John Hopkin’s presented their findings that curcumin can protect brain tissues from all damage including Parkinsons and possibly even cancer.

 

And finally, a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology, (2008; doi: 10.1093/aje/kwn297) concludes that living near a power line can increase your risk of Alzheimer’s and senile dementia.

 

People who live within 54 yards, or 50m, of a power line more than double their risk of a neuro-degenerative disease such as Alzheimer’s compared with people who live at least 600 m from a line.

The time you live near a power line also determines the risk level. Living within close proximity of a line for 15 years or longer doubles your risk compared with someone who has lived close to a power line for less than five years.

These findings are based on a study of 4.7 m people living in Switzerland. (Source: What Doctors don’t tell you)

 

CHEMICAL WORLD

 

FDA, albeit begrudgingly, issues on site warning on mercury

 

According to the new posting on the FDA’s web site "Dental amalgams contain mercury, which may have neurotoxic effects on the nervous systems of developing children and foetuses. Pregnant women and persons who may have a health condition that makes them more sensitive to mercury exposure, including individuals with existing high levels of mercury bioburden, should not avoid seeking dental care, but should discuss options with their health practitioner.

 

The warning was one of the conditions that the American Federal Drugs agency agreed to in settling a lawsuit filed by several consumer health groups.
‘Gone, gone, gone are all of FDA’s claims that no science exists that amalgam is unsafe,’ said Charles Brown, a lawyer for Consumers for Dental Choice, while another plaintiff, Michael Bender of the Mercury Policy Project, added ‘It’s a watershed moment’

Mercury has already been fully identified as a neurotoxin, and can cause developmental problems in the foetus. It increases risk of brain and kidney damage. Mercury amalgams have been used for over 100 years, constitute 30 per cent of all fillings in the developed world. but are now known to release mercury vapour with every bite. France, Sweden and Canada ban them. The UK has not, and the USA did nothing until this court case.

Although recommendations by Government Scientists and experts were that mercury amalgams be avoided with pregnant women and children, the FDA did nothing, prompting the lawsuits. And federal judge Ellen Segal Huvelle agreed telling the FDA, ‘This is your classic failure to act.’

As part of the lawsuit settlement, the FDA must reach a final decision on the regulation of amalgam by July 28, 2009.

Your turn Gordon Brown.

 

Now everyday chemicals are linked to lung cancer spread

 

It seems that hardly an issue of Cancer Watch passes without us reporting that some common chemical increases the risks opf a cancer. But mainstream cancer bodies and the UK ‘powers that be’ in cancer just ignore it all, with rarely the slightest mention on their web sites. And never a warning!

 

Now it’s the turn of phosphates, commonly used to raise the water content of hams and other dried meats like bacon and chicken.

 

Expert research from South Korea’s Seoul University has concluded that inorganic phosphates play an important role in the growth of lung cancer tumours.

 

Of course, we all know that we get lung cancer because it is our fault and we smoke. However, as Canadian research covered in icon a year ago showed, more than a third of people with lung cancer have never been near a cigarette, or asbestos.

 

The research, published in the American Journal of Respiratory Research ended with the conclusion that ‘Dietary regulation of inorganic phosphate may be critical for lung cancer treatment as well as prevention’. I’m sure that the UK Food Standards Agency will act on this immediately.

 

Will Obama victory reduce influence of pharmaceutical companies in USA?

 

Any moment now, had George Bush stayed on in power, there was to have been a Supreme Court ruling that ordinary folks could no longer take nice pharmaceutical companies to court if they or their loved ones suffered harm because of problems with the side effects of their excellent wares.

 

The argument runs that because the FDA has done due diligence and approved the drug, that clears the pharmaceutical company of any blame. It’s an argument that has failed a few times before but in February the Supreme Court did rule that makers of FDA approved medical devices were immune from prosecution. ‘What’s the difference?’ say the drug companies.

 

This law, if passed, will help the industry enormously. After all, as we covered in icon previously, taking a cocktail of prescription drugs accounts for almost a third of all hospital admissions in the USA and deaths from prescription drugs have tripled in the last seven years. One agitated American doctor has even provided this drug cocktail disease with a name – polypharmacy. The side effects of chemotherapy drugs, which were supposed to lessen as they became more ‘targeted and sophisticated’ were even questioned by The Lancet who, in late 2007, worried about exposure to dangerous side effects in clinical trials.

 

Only recently, the Seattle Times (Oct 22, 2008) reported that ‘the number of reports of serious reactions to pharmaceutical drugs has reached a new record high in America, In the first three months of the year, 20,745 serious adverse reactions have been reported, which is 38 per cent above the average, and the highest for any quarter. These reports include 4,800 deaths’.

 

Next, a report by the Florida Medical Examiners Commission has concluded that prescription drugs have outstripped illegal drugs as a cause of death. An analysis of 168,900 autopsies conducted in Florida in 2007 found that three times as many people were killed by legal drugs as by cocaine, heroin and all methamphetamines put together. According to state law enforcement officials, this is a sign of a burgeoning prescription drug problem.

 

We wish we could give you accurate figures concerning this problem in the UK, but we can’t seem to find any.

 

The US Supreme Court ruling would absolve Pharmaceutical companies from blame (http://www.naturalnews.com/024688.html). But while the Bush administration supports this blanket immunity, the Obama administration is very unhappy with Big Pharma’s influence over Washington. We’ll see.

 

But what of Britain? Who is in charge of all this? In America, if the FDA absolves Big Pharma Companies from responsibility and the drug harms you, can you sue the FDA? Who could you sue in the UK? Personally I don’t think it is a bad ruling. If the FDA - and in the UK, the Government - approves Thalidomide and then gets sued for millions when it maims people, won’t the approving bodies take a little more care over what they approve? Or, like the last decades of Banks and Mortgage companies irresponsibility, would they just expect that the tax payer to end up funding the damage?

 

Study shows pets in danger from household chemicals

 

According to a study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), high levels of 48 different industrial chemicals were found in the blood streams of household pets.
The group tested 20 dogs and 37 cats and found high levels of chemical toxins - from mercury to formaldehyde to fire-retardants and dichlorobenzene in air fresheners. Pets are felt to be particularly at risk of exposure to toxic household chemicals because they spend their lives on the floor, especially in the kitchen. This finding does not bode well for small children either.

 

Oakland, Calif. veterinarian Gary Richter said that the incidence of diseases linked to these chemicals has been increasing - an increase in cancer in dogs and cats, and an increase in hyperthyroidism in cats," he said. "Household toxins are concerning."

 

German Government bans pesticide for killing Honeybees

 

Clothianidin, a best selling Bayer pesticide, has been temporarily banned in Germany along with its sister chemicals, following huge levels of dead honeybees appearing in certain regions of the country..

 

Researchers, for the state most affected, Baden-Württemberg, at the German Research Centre for Cultivated Plants concluded that nearly 97 per cent of the dead honeybees had a significant build up of the pesticide. The pesticide was used with rape and corn seed along the Rhine Valley. ‘It can unequivocally be concluded that a poisoning of the bees is due to the rub-off of the pesticide ingredient clothianidin,’ said the federal agricultural research agency spokesman Julius Kuehn.

 

Clothianidin is a member of the neonicotinoid family. Like all neonicotinoids, it is a systemic pesticide that is applied to the seeds of plants. France has already banned all seven members of the neonicotinoid family. This German bans is in place until more information can be collected. Since the pesticide is used in many countries, accusations that it is behind the worldwide loss of honeybees are now being taken seriously by many observers.

 

Beware dangerous chemicals when pregnant

 

The first three months of a pregnancy can have a major impact on a baby’s fertility in manhood according to. researchers from  Edinburgh University. Exposure to commonly used chemicals in household, personal care and toiletry products in the first 12 weeks in the womb can affect sperm production in manhood and even result in increased risk of cancers like testicular cancer.

 

Professor. Sharpe, who led the study said, "There are lots of compounds in perfumes that we know in higher concentrations have the potential to have biological effects, so it is just being ultra safe to say that by avoiding using them your baby isn’t at risk.

 

Of course the dangers don’t just come from perfumed products. A number of chemicals like toluene and BPA are oestrogen mimics or xenoestrogens. Many of these can be absorbed simply through the skin.

 

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