Cervical Cancer News and Research

Cervical Cancer News and Research

The latest cancer research, facts, information and cancer news about cervical cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment is shown below. All of this comes from our monthly cancer research review Cancer Watch, with cancer news from all around the world on everything from new cancer treatments, to alternative cancer treatment and new drugs.

Contents

Just click on the title to read the article.

2010

January

2009

2007

2006

2005

2004

Cervical Cancer - Boys targeted in HPV business plan

Not content with trying to persuade the British Government that all young girls should be vaccinated against HPV, fans of the new Merck and Glaxo vaccines (which cost around 300 pounds per jab)
have found a new leading voice in Dr Anne Szarewaki of Queen Marys and Cancer Research UK, who wants all boys vaccinated too.

As we commented in the last issue, Merck have now actually stopped lobbying for the same blanket
vaccination programme on girls in the USA. There were simply too many objections on a variety of grounds. However, the UK Government is in the process of agreeing to vaccinations for every 12-13 year old girl as a norm.

Whilst we can understand the logic of trying to treat boys who can be silent carriers of HIV we observe the following:


  • Not all cervical cancer is caused by HPV .

  • The vaccines are only effective against certain strains thought to cause about 70 per cent of HPV based cervical cancer

  • As Jackie Fletcher of JABS, the anti-vaccination campaign, points out there have been concerns expressed already on the inadequacy of the safety trials to date. And the vaccines

    have been tested with adult women. Who knows accurately about effectiveness, or safety in young girls and boys? We have already reported cases of hospitalisation in young girls

    in the USA and Australia, post vaccintion .

  • The vaccination is not a one-off and may well need repeating every 5 years

Cervical cancer now kills around 1,000 women per year in the UK. At least one in ten under-aged girls is infected with HPV, and this rises to 40 per cent by age 24. Boys carry the virus but often
without obvious signs (although genital warts are caused by an HPV strain).

Jackie Fletcher argues that it would make more sense to offer the smear test to girls at a younger age. Again the Government would have a financial problem. But we have previously reported the greater accuracy and reduced cost of the vinegar and light method adopted in other countries, which is constantly ignored in the UK.

Harpal Kumar, Cancer Research UKs chief executive, confirms this view: The cervical screening programme is very effective. For women between 25 and 49, three yearly screening prevents 84
cervical cancers out of every 100 that would develop without screening. He further added, The vaccine approval is an exciting step towards preventing cervical cancer in the UK. However,
while the vaccine has the potential to prevent many cases of the disease, the impact of a vaccination programme wont be felt for many years

In icon, we have also reported on the benefits of elagic acid, which in four separate US research studies showed inhibition of HPV and cervical cancer. The tests involved feeding women half
a cup of raspberries each day!

If every girl were vaccinated just once at age 12 this would make the vaccines into a 100 million pound business in the UK alone. But if boys were vaccinated and the vaccinations on both sexes
were repeated every 5 years the business could easily be worth 2 billion pounds to the two drug makers.

Cervical Cancer Vinegar Screening Tests save lives

Researchers from the International Centre for Research on Cancer, in Lyon, France have stopped a ten-year trial after seven years because it has been such a success. Instead of using expensive Pap smears, they have followed the screening of tens of thousands of women in India using acetic acid (vinegar) and a hand held light. As we have previously reported on several occasions in icon, this test has an almost 100 per cent accuracy, and is cheap to use. Women who were screened were 25 per cent less likely to develop cervical cancer and 35 per cent less likely to die from the disease. Researchers believe this could bring significant benefits to poorer countries. (Ed but no doubt the NHS will continue to use the less accurate, expensive tests)

Growing US Controversy over HPV Vaccine and cervical cancer prevention

We have covered the development of HPV vaccines in icon before. Merck & Glaxo each have vaccines developed, which can (it is claimed) prevent certain strains of HPV infecting females. These strains lead to approximately 70 per cent of cervical cancers. As we warned you, the companies are lobbying the Government and the Press in the hope that all girls aged 9 or so will be vaccinated before their first sexual experience-as HPV is sexually transmitted.

All this is a long way from the clamour developing in America. There, Merck has been lobbying to make its HPV vaccine Gardasil - a mandatory vaccine throughout the USA.

But, Merck has now ended its lobbying campaign. The American Academy of Paediatrics, originally supportative, have recently cooled; state legislatives were supportive but ran into Parental Groups arguing that such laws would contravene Human Rights, and thirdly worrying side effects have now started to emerge, including fainting and dizziness.

You may recall Merck made the killer drug Vioxx. Unkind US campaigners dubbed HPV Gardasil Help Pay for Vioxx litigation.

The drug in the US was to sell for $150-$200 for one dose and insurers had refused to pay.

The New England Journal of Medicine found that the use of condoms reduced incidence of HPV by 70 per cent. And, according to the US CDC, although 6 million American women contract HPV annually, for the majority their immune systems take care of it. By contrast, HPV linked cervical cancer causes 3700 deaths each year in the USA; critics argue that this is hardly worth the expense and the infringement of human rights.

And now in Australia come reports of early-vaccinated girls suffering from nausea, dizziness and fainting with several hospitalised. And in the USA a Human Rights group went to court with the FDA to gain access to the test results for the vaccine and won using the freedom of information act finding that in the 1000 or so test subjects there were high levels of discomfort and illness and even three deaths amongst young girls.

Perhaps everyone should just heed the head of the Thai FDA, who reminded people in July that, The vaccine only rules out two types of the virus, which account for 70 per cent of the disease, has to be given every 5 years, and does have side effects

(Mercola, USA Today Feb 21st, Yahoo News, Alliance for Human Research Protection, Bangkok Post).

Hyperthermia aids cervical cancer survival

Peter Wust (Charite Universitatsmedizin, Berlin) and his team have been pioneering the use of hyperthermia with radio and chemotherapy to improve survival rates via surgery in advanced cervical cancer. (Int.J. Radiat.Onc Biol Phys 2006; 66: 1159-67).

All women in the trial had late stage cervical cancers, but tumours that could not be removed. By including hyperthermia in the treatment programme, where radio-frequency induced temperatures of 41 degrees for 60 minutes, 14 patients were subsequently able to have surgery and this allowed a 93 per cent 3 year survival. In the group who had hyperthermia but did not wish to receive surgery, the 3-year survival was still 79 per cent.

The researchers are now continuing with a Phase III trial. No hyperthermia side effects were reported (one women reported a slight burn). Future trials may even drop the radio and chemotherapy in favour of hyperthermia.

(Ed: As regular readers know, icon has been reporting on hyperthermia for over three years. This alternative therapy, which has had one of its pioneers - John Holt in Australia - virtually blacklisted by authorities, is gaining momentum. We encourage readers to read more on our website, especially on the benefits ofHIFU instead of prostate surgery . It is still early days.)

Chlamydia screening programme at risk

Chlamydia is a bacterium that has links to increased cervical and ovarian cancer risk, amongst several other dangers. Now the UK Department of Health has admitted that the Governments flagship National Chlamydia Screening Programme is being hit by NHS cuts. This is at a time when sexual diseases continue to increase markedly (source: Pulse, Jan 2007).

Smear tests - women dont know their benefits

Two thirds of Bristol women do not know the cervical smear test is designed to prevent cancer; and while 90 per cent of women know about breast screening less than 56 per cent know of the National Cervical Screen Programme. Between 1967 and 1987 cervical cancer death rates in Britain trebled.

Cervical screening and vinegar

We have covered the effectiveness (and cheapness) of gool ol acetic acid with cervical cancer before in these pages. It was interesting to see it covered by the Lancet Oncology Vol 7, Issue 8, page 627. Using acetic acid allows simple visual screening and is almost 100 per cent accurate. In a trial across 142,701 women in India of whom 72-74 per cent were screened, various groups reported between 7 per cent and 14 per cent detection of cervical cancer and HPV.

Is chemotherapy an advantage for advanced cervical cancer?

The same issue of Lancet Oncology (Vol. 7, Issue 8, p. 607) reports that Slobodan Cikaric and co-workers from Serbia and Montenegro have found no benefit from the addition of chemotherapy to radiotherapy in the treatment of advanced cervical cancer. Across 184 patients, the radiotherapy group had a 4-year survival of 63 per cent. Adding chemo pushed this up to 66 per cent, a non-significant increase. However, side effects were greatly increased. Relapse rates were identical.

Cervical Cancer Less Likely In Mothers With Asthmatic Sons

According to Swedish researchers (International Journal of Cancer May 23, 2006) this is indeed the case. Having analysed 717,963 Swedish women with at least one son, from military records, the conclusion was clear. Patrick Magnusson (Karolinska Institute) states that both cervical cancer and allergy have strong hereditary components. Allergy in sons is associated with decreased risk of cervical cancer in their mothers, and we believe that is due to genes influencing immunological response.

Cervical Cancer Vaccine A Step Nearer

Four years after receiving Mercks vaccine, 94 per cent of the 755 women tested were protected from the HPV virus that caused most cervical cancers, and none had developed pre-cancerous conditions. US FDA approval will be sought next year.

This study was funded by Merck and led by the University of Washington. A previous study showed that HPV-16 (which accounts for half of all cervical cancers) infections were completely prevented in 768 women who had received the Merck vaccine 18 months earlier. All women were in the 18-23 age group.

A spokesman described the results as extremely important. This would be the second anti-cancer vaccine on the market. The other - the hepatitis B vaccine - has dramatically reduced the number of infections that progress to liver cancer.

The vaccine has also been shown to be effective in preventing genital warts. A large scale study is looking at the effectiveness for men, who can be unsuspecting carriers of HPV.

A new drug for cervical cancer

In a small test study a new drug ZYC101a seems to encourage the immune system to destroy cervical cancer cells, where HPV has played a part. The treatment seems particularly helpful to younger women wishing to avoid surgery. (Francisco Garcia, University of Arizona, Tucson).

Chlamydia link to cervical cancer

Jorma Paavonen (University of Helsinki) in an article in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 2003 has linked chlamydia once again to some cervical cancers. A link between certain HPV strains and cervical cancer is already well established and a link between chlamydia and ovarian cancer has also previously been shown.

This new research measured serum levels of antibodies in women with cervical cancer and Walter Stamm of the University of Washington, Seattle, stated the findings were consistent with the view that chlamydia trachomatis infection may be a co-factor contributing to cervical cancer.

Cervical Cancer - US report links HPV vaccine linked to more adverse events

A US federal report has concluded that the HPV vaccine Gardasil has a 400 percent higher rate of adverse effects than another comparable vaccine, the Menactra anti-meningitis shot.

The two vaccines are given to similar target groups, yet the study concluded that Gardasil was associated with twice as many emergency room visits, four times as many deaths, four times as many heart attacks, seven times as many "disabled" reports and 15 times as many strokes. All reported cases of blood clots and heart attacks associated with Gardasil occurred when the vaccine was given alone, not in conjunction with other drugs.

"It is unusual for there to be such a big discrepancy between two vaccines used in similar populations involving serious and relatively rare life threatening adverse events and autoimmune disorders," the researchers from the federal Vaccine Events Reporting System wrote. (Natural News)

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:


  1. Although this research was conducted looking at breast cancer, you can bet this is true for many cancers, male and female.

  2. 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


  • 5 per cent of scientists have admitted falsifying results

  • One third of scientists admitted observing such bad practice in others

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.

Cervical Cancer - Row breaks out over HPV vaccinated girl who became ill

One year ago Ashleigh Cave had the GSK vaccine Cervarix against HPV, destined for most of the UKs 13 year old girls. She was left partially paralysed and spent nearly a year in hospital. Even though she has been unable to walk since October 2008, Doctors have been unable to find anything wrong with her. Ms Cave has appointed lawyers to fight her daughters case and is being supported by lawyer Peter Todd who is launching a multi-million action on behalf of about a dozen girls.

Cervical cancer - And now a vaccinated girl dies

After a vaccination line of girls at school, one died and several more were unwell. Scientists were quick to point out that until an enquiry proved otherwise it could just be co-incidence that all the girls fell ill within hours of receiving the Cevarix vaccine.

 

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