Posts tagged ‘tumors’

A new research study has thrown up startling possibilities as far as lung cancer is concerned. The carcinoma which invades cigarette smokers seems to be quite different from the cancer that affects people who refrain from the intake of nicotine.

The nature of the tumors in lung cancers which develop in smokers and non smokers vary widely discovered the scientists. The non smoker type of lung cancer occurs more commonly in women particularly those hailing from Asia. The tumors that develop within the lungs of the smokers have been found to carry a particular type of mutation while the ones in non smokers carry a completely different type altogether.

The study results also show that the process of developing lung cancer in non smokers is a long drawn path which becomes considerably shorter for the ones habituated to smoking. Researchers also feel that the path for the smokers may deviate considerably from the known way and follow an entirely different route altogether.

The study got underway with Kelsie L. Thu associated with the BC Cancer Research Center, Vancouver, Canada and his colleagues analyzing the genetic  features of people diagnosed with lung cancers. There were 30 participants in the study who had never smoked in their lives while 39 were smokers with 14 other participants belonging to the group of former smokers.

The researchers confirmed that while there had been a number of similarities in the nature of the lung cancers, the genetic  changes differed quite a bit for the two prominent groups comprising of smokers and non smokers.  Thu and associates also discovered the fact that the non smokers had many more genetic changes accumulated in their lungs than the smokers. The ones who had never smoked should be considered as a separate group altogether stated Thu in the news release. The most interesting aspect of the study proved to be the similarity between the lung cancer tumors of non smokers and the tumors of those who had given up smoking.

The results of the study were presented by Kelsie L. Thu at the American Association for Cancer Research’s Frontiers during the Cancer Prevention Research Conference held between Nov. 7-10 at Philadelphia.


Scientists associated with the University of California, Irvine believe that skin cancer can be treated successfully with the aid of light.  The details of the research are likely to be revealed at the 94th annual meeting of the Optical Society (OSA) called Frontiers in Optics (FiO) 2010 to be held on  Oct. 24-28. The Rochester Riverside Convention Center will serve as the venue for the meeting.  Photodynamic Therapy or PDT is a technique based on imaging the cancerous lesions with the help of LEDs.

The procedure for PDT involves injecting photosensitizing chemicals which are known to absorb light into the cancerous tumors. The tumors are then exposed to light thus allowing the chemicals to produce oxygen radicals from light thereby destroying the cancerous cells.  PDT has already been approved by the FDA as a suitable method for treating both esophageal as well as lung cancer.

Rolf Saager and Kristen Kelly, M.D attached to the Anthony Durkin laboratory, Beckman Laser Institute; UC Irvine along with Modulated Imaging Inc thinks that the lack of suitable imaging techniques which can target and monitor the efficacy of PDT might prove to be a hindrance in treating skin cancer effectively by PDT.

The team has now succeeded in creating a new technique based on spatial frequency domain imaging which consists of five differently colored LEDs.  The LEDs make distinct patterns while illuminating the skin revealing the underlying biochemistry of the skin tissues along with the various pigments.

The method was tried on a small group of skin cancer patients who were yet to begin treatment.  The entire procedure was over by 5 to 10 seconds and the results were revealed via 30 micron resolution images.  The details collected from the images showed the various optical properties of the lesions including the oxygenation of the skin tissues along with the distribution of the photosensitizing drug.

Saager and his associates hope that PDT would equip them with an effective way of targeting and optimizing a therapy for basal cell carcinoma, the commonest type of skin cancer.

Source: Public release By Optical Society of America on 18th October 2010.

Seattle Genetics Inc. announced that its two drug therapy system can actually reduce the size of a Hodgkin’s lymphoma by half in about 75% of the patients. Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a carcinoma affecting the  immune system of our body.  The drug had been developed jointly with Takeda Pharmaceutical Co.

Clay Siegall, the CEO and president of Bothell, the Washington based Seattle Genetics, stated that a total of 102 people with advanced lymphoma had been put on trial. None of them had responded to any of the previous methods of treatment for the condition. The benefits of this particular therapy lasted for more than six months however, concluded Siegal.

The drug, known as SGN-35, makes use of an antibody which attacks the cancer cells with a host of cancer killing agents. Seattle Genetics Inc. now plans on applying to the U.S .Food and Drug Administration for approval during the first half of next year. Obtaining an approval would be a watershed in its own way as it would initiate a new era of drugs which combines both antibodies as well as anti carcinogenic agents observed Jason Kantor, an analyst of the RBC capital markets based in San Francisco. The results had exceeded the expectation, Kantor added further.

Brentuximab Vedotin happens to be another name for  the drug which will be designed to recognize the receptors on the surface of an onco cell. The presence of the receptor is minimal in a healthy cell or may be entirely absent all together. A special drug linked with the antibody in question then kills off  the cell by putting a stop to cell division and thereby, growth.

Siegall revealed that the drug would help in eliminating the cancerous cells without having any appreciable effect on the normal and healthy tissue. The side effects of the drug are not severe either, said the Seattle Genetics spokesperson. The rate of side effects was not disclosed by the company. Fatigue, a decrease in WBC count, nausea and peripheral neuropathy have been found to be associated with the use of the drug.