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[ Melanoma - Gene Research Should Pave Way To Targeted Treatment ]

Melanoma - Gene Research Should Pave Way To Targeted Treatment

A study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), reveals that elevated expression of a gene in the deadly skin cancer melanoma can raise the mortality risk from the tumor, making it a potentially new target for treating melanomas that express high levels of this gene. The study, entitled "Pleckstrin Homology Domain-Interacting Protein (PHIP) as a Marker and Mediator of Melanoma Metastasis", was conducted by researchers at California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute (CPMCRI), part of the Sutter Health network. The researchers highlight that this is the first time the role of PHIP (pleckstrin homology domain-interacting protein), has been reported in any cancer. Mohammed Kashani-Sabet, M.D., director of the Center for Melanoma Research and Treatment at Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation, a senior scientist at CPMCRI, and lead author of the study, explained: "We've shown that this gene is a marker of increased risk of spread and of death due to melanoma.

Chronic Stress Found To Increase Cancer Severity In Mouse Model

Worrywarts, fidgety folk and the naturally nervy may have a real cause for concern: accelerated cancer. In a new study led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine, anxiety-prone mice developed more severe cancer then their calm counterparts. The study, published online in PLoS ONE, found that after hairless mice were dosed with ultraviolet rays, the nervous ones - with a penchant for reticence and risk aversion - developed more tumors and invasive cancer. Consistent anxiety also came with sensitivity to chronic stress and a dampened immune system. Though other researchers have already linked chronic stress to higher risks for cancer and other maladies, the study is the first to biologically connect the personality trait of high anxiety to greater cancer threats.

Beware Of Dietary Supplements For Cancer Prevention

Government regulators and the scientific community should work to ensure that they give clear guidance to the public about dietary supplements and cancer risk, according to a commentary published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Evidence from animal, in vitro and observational studies has suggested that taking dietary supplements may lower cancer risk. However, the small number of randomized controlled studies, the gold standard in evidence-based medicine, has not confirmed this - and some studies have actually shown that supplements may increase cancer risk. Still, the supplement industry is booming, with estimated annual sales at $30 billion in the U.S. To examine the potential role of dietary supplements and cancer risk, Maria Elena Martinez, Ph.D., of the University of California San Diego Moores Cancer Center and colleagues, looked at observational studies of several supplements, including anti-oxidants, folic acid, vitamin D, and calcium.

Precancerous Condition Associated With Reflux Disease Triggered By Bile - Not Acid

For many people with gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD, acid reflux drugs are the answer to their woes, curbing the chronic heartburn and regurgitation of food or sour liquid characteristic of the disorder. But when it comes to Barrett's esophagus, a condition commonly found in people with GERD, acid control may be less important than beating back another bodily fluid - bile. A new study published in the Annals of Surgery shows that bile - a digestive fluid that leaks backwards from the stomach into the esophagus along with acid in patients with GERD - plays a critical and previously unrecognized role in the development of Barrett's esophagus. Study authors say the findings provide new avenues for the prevention and treatment of the condition, which is the only known cause of a rare but often deadly type of cancer called esophageal adenocarcinoma.

70-Fold Elevated Risk Of Hepatocellular Carcinoma In Those With Family History And Hepatitis B Or C Markers

A family history of liver cancer is reported to increase risk of developing hepatocellular carcinomas (HCC), independent of hepatitis according to findings published in the May issue of Hepatology, a journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. The study also shows 70-fold elevated risk of HCC in those with liver cancer in the family and markers for hepatitis B (HBV) or hepatitis C (HCV). Liver cancer ranks sixth in incidence and the third cause of mortality worldwide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) liver cancer was responsible for 700, 000 deaths in 2008, with HBV and HCV accounting for 78% of all cases of HCC. A vaccine for HBV has been available since 1982; however prior studies have shown familial clustering of HCC in East Asia where HBV is common.

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