sábado, 31 de marzo de 2012

NCI Benchmarks

NCI Benchmarks

Overcoming global cultural and financial disparities to treat children with cancer

African children
Children in resource poor countries are at high risk of dying from cancer
Major advances have been made in the treatment of childhood cancer but this progress predominately benefits patients who live in resource affluent, developed countries. In resource poor, developing nations, where 80 percent of all childhood cancers occur, the majority of youngsters with potentially treatable disease will die from lack of therapy.
Of all of the world’s developing countries, those in sub-Saharan Africa are among the poorest and its children at greatest risk. Read more…

Ovarian Cancer Treatment: Where We Are Now

Shown are surgeons and a nurse performing surgery
Surgeons and a nurse performing surgery
Ovarian cancer has proven to be a very difficult cancer to diagnose at a curable stage and thus treat successfully. Even though it has one of the highest mortality rates of all gynecological cancers in the United States, there are no validated or proven screening tests, making it a challenge to diagnose at an early stage. To date, there is no evidence that any of the various screening tests that are performed, including pelvic examinations, transvaginal ultrasounds and a CA-125 assay (a test that measures the level of CA-125 in the blood to see if it is elevated), leads to a decrease in ovarian cancer deaths. These tests have not been shown to diagnose ovarian cancer early, and the risk of falsely calling a benign mass a cancer when it is not present is unacceptably high. This can lead to unnecessary surgery, treatments, and stress for patients.
Ovarian cancer symptoms are fairly non-specific, therefore only about 19 percent of all cases are detected at an early, localized stage. In the U.S. alone, an estimated 22,000 women will be diagnosed with, and 15,000 women will die from this disease in 2011. Even with all these challenges, researchers have made important clinical advances over the years in chemotherapy regimens, surgery techniques and biologic therapies to find better treatment options for ovarian cancer patients.
Read more…

Measles viruses genetically modified to treat ovarian cancer

Scientists prepare clinical lots of measles virus to use in clinical trials against cancer. Credit:  Mayo Clinic.
Scientists prepare clinical lots of measles virus to use in clinical trials against cancer. Credit: Mayo Clinic.
The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) is undertaking a large-scale review of cancer genes. The most recent study results were published June 30, 2011, in Nature. As part of this work, TCGA investigators searched for existing drugs that might inhibit genes that were suggested to play a role in ovarian cancer. The search identified 68 genes that could be targeted by existing Food and Drug Administration-approved or experimental therapeutic compounds. As a result, investigators found that 50 percent of ovarian cancer tumors might be responsive to drugs that exploit the genetic instability of cancer cells.
But the TCGA results also point out the need to study other approaches to treatment. An example of such is a modified virus that is made by inserting specific genes into the attenuated, or weakened, Edmonston measles vaccine strain. This type of engineered measles virus has emerged as a novel therapeutic agent against ovarian cancer because of its antitumor efficacy and safety record in humans Scientists at the Mayo Clinic, Minn., have developed this therapy to treat women with recurrent ovarian cancer. They engineered the measles virus to attack tumor cells and leave healthy cells unharmed, and then tested the new strain in cancer patients in a phase I clinical trial, which showed the treatment to be safe and well-tolerated. Read more…

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