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  1. ARTICLE http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/279993.php VIDEO A team of researchers may have found a promising new route to fighting one of the world's deadliest cancers. They have discovered a gene that plays a role in metastasis or cancer spread of a common lung cancer. The gene helps cancer cells pull up their anchors in the primary tumor and move easily to new sites where they form new tumors. The team, from the Salk Institute in La Jolla, CA, reports its findings in the journal Molecular Cell. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths among Americans. According to the National Cancer Institute, nearly 160,000 people will die of lung cancer in the US in 2014, and the nation spends more than $12 billion on treatments for the disease. Yet despite this massive amount of spending, lung cancer has an appalling survival rate. Within 5 years of diagnosis, 4 out of every 5 patients die - usually because the cancer spreads quickly to the rest of the body. Metastasis relies on cells losing adhesion by 'lifting their anchors' Researchers have so far established that for cancer to become mobile, cells in the primary tumor manage to overcome the normal cell's ability to keep itself rooted to where it belongs. Normal cells do not travel. Previous studies have shown that, in around a fifth of lung cancer cases, the patient is missing an anti-cancer gene known as LKB1. Cancer cells become mobile because they have the ability to manipulate focal adhesion complexes - molecular protrusions that behave like anchors. In normal cells, the focal adhesion complexes keep them anchored in their proper locations in the tissue where they belong. But cancer cells have the ability to "lift" their cellular anchors, leaving them free to travel via the bloodstream to other organs in the body and establish new tumors. Previous studies have shown that various cancers have the ability to manipulate these anchors. They have also shown that in around a fifth of lung cancer cases, the patient is missing an anti-cancer gene known as LKB1 - that is also called STK11. When the LKB1 gene is missing, the cancer is usually aggressive and spreads quickly to other organs. But, before this new study, nobody had linked LKB1 to focal adhesions. Study is first to find link between anti-cancer gene LKB1 and adhesion of cells The link was established with the help of another gene called DIXDC1. The team discovered that LKB1 communicates with DIXDC1, instructing it to change the size and number of the focal adhesions or anchors. They found that when DIXDC1 is active, around half a dozen focal adhesions grow large and sticky and anchor their cells to the spot. When DIXDC1 is inactive or blocked, the large focal adhesions shrink and become hundreds of tiny "hands" that pull the cell forward in response to other signals. It is in this latter state that the cell is then free to travel to other sites. First author and graduate student Jonathan Goodwin, says the "communication between LKB1 and DIXDC1 is responsible for a "stay-put" signal in cells. DIXDC1, which no one knew much about, turns out to be inhibited in cancer and metastasis." He and his colleagues found two ways to turn off the stay put signal - perhaps the cancer cell uses one of them. One way was to block DIXDC1 directly, and the other was to delete LKB1, which then fails to send the instruction to DIXDC1 to move to the focal adhesions and anchor the cell. Reactivating DIXDC1 in cancer cells slowed ability to travel After showing these two methods the team then wondered if reactivating DIXDC1 could stop metastasis. They found it could. They took cancer cells that were spreading - so-called metastatic cells - found they had low levels of DIXDC1, and then overexpressed the gene. The result was that switching DIXDC1 back on in metastatic cells did slow their ability to travel. They showed this in cultured cells and also in animal models.
  2. http://www.doctortipster.com/23106-new- ... ancer.html Small cell lung cancer is a deadly cancer, but it has only few treatment options. One of the existing treatment options is chemotherapy. Using drug carboplatin, chemotherapy is provided, but it works for a few months is and then it doesn’t work anymore. Another treatment option, radiation may not be safe for people who has cancer on both the lungs. That is why, there is need of new and better treatment methods for small cell lung cancer. Two new studies are suggesting that the wait may be over and more effective and less destructive medicines and treatment options may soon be available. Drug candidate. And new drug candidate may help in slowing the tumour growth in case of small cell lung cancer. It’s a drug by AstraZeneca, the British pharmaceutical giant. The drug works on the hard-to-reach cells. A recent study done at the University of Manchester found that it is capable of working those hard to reach cells and slow down the growth of the tumour. The results of the city were published in the Clinical Cancer Research. Small cell lung cancer spreads pretty fast and the new drug known as AZD3965 may be able to stop it. The cancer cells burn glucose and produce lactate in the form of waste product. The medicine is expected to alter the cells’ ability and as a result may help in getting rid of the waste created by the cancer cells. Some of the cancer cells have a backup mechanism called MCT4. The new medicine works on the cancer cells without the backup mechanism for clearing the waste lactate. The study also found that one fifth of patients are found with tumours without the backup mechanism. Small cell lung cancer is a deadly disease which has an overall survival rate of 5% five years after diagnosis. Safer radiation treatment Radiation treatment may also damage healthy tissue surrounding the cancer cells. Researchers have been trying to find a solution to make radiation safer for the patients. For patients suffering from lung cancer, the procedure is very tricky. Patients who undergo radiation treatment for lung cancer may have scarring on the lungs, which may create problems with the normal lung functions. A new method of radiation treatment is being tested. It is known as FLASH. In this method, short bursts of radiation are used in a cycling on and off method, which is thousand times faster than the normal radiation method. A recent study published in the Science Translational Medicine journal found that FLASH is equally effective as conventional X-ray radiation. However, the method causes less damage to healthy tissues and does not produce scarring or fibrosis. It is better than conventional radiation because it results in less genetic damage to the surrounding healthy tissues. FLASH is considered as an alternative to another existing and new radiation method known as proton radiation. Proton radiation is already used in case of human patients. Studies are going on to find the effectiveness of proton radiation in case of lung cancer. However, there will be a problem limited availability of the new radiation methods. The new methods cannot be used with the existing linear electron accelerators which are used in the present radiotherapy and new methods will need huge technological improvements and so it may not be available in different places immediately for treatment of small cell lung cancer. The development the new drug and the new radiation method implies that the researchers and doctors are working on finding new solutions for difficult to treat cancer problems like small cell lung cancer.
  3. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns- ... full.story Women who don't smoke can still get lung cancer RICK MONTGOMERY Kansas City Star 8:40 AM CDT, May 5, 2012 A pesky cough, that's all. The last thing on Michaelle Gall's mind was late-stage lung cancer. She had just turned 41. She was a physically fit mom and nonsmoker, except for the rare social occasions when some friends might light up. What created the Lenexa woman's tumors is a mystery. It's that way each year for tens of thousands of Americans, mostly women, who defy the conventional profile of a lung cancer patient. With smoking rates plummeting and U.S. deaths to lung cancer dropping, research shows that roughly one in five women now diagnosed seldom, if ever, put a cigarette to their lips. The same is thought to be true for about one in 10 men. Only in recent years have scientists begun to explore why. For Gall, the coughing that arose around Christmas led to a doctor visit in January. "I turned 41 that month and less than a month later, I find out I'm a lung cancer survivor." Added Gall, upbeat in manner but still adjusting to the shock: "I say 'survivor' because a nurse told me that now I know I have it, I should consider myself a survivor." Her treatment is just beginning, and doctors are hopeful she'll benefit from a new drug that targets a genetic abnormality found in Gall and a small percentage of other cancer patients. The larger question, yet to be answered, is why lung cancer not linked to a history of smoking appears more apt to strike women than men. The peripheral hazards would seem just as dangerous to men: exposure to radon gas in the basement, or to asbestos, or to secondhand smoke. Genetics and air pollutants can also trigger the disease, as can unventilated cooking oil fumes, which in some parts of the world is related to women's work. And there's this question: In an age of anti-smoking campaigns proving so successful in cutting lung cancer deaths, how should society deal with the others -- those patients rocked by the news that they have an often deadly condition through no fault of their own? "The nonsmokers who survive lung cancer are some of our best advocates for awareness," said Regina Vidaver of the National Lung Cancer Partnership, which advocates for increased federal funding of research. "They're free from that stigma that society places, I'd say unjustly, on smokers who get sick." The group is not tiny. Of the 200,000 or so Americans diagnosed yearly with lung cancer, about 15 percent -- or 30,000 -- are nonsmokers, studies suggest. Even if we took away all of the smokers and ex-smokers from the pool of patients, lung cancer would rank seventh among the leading types of cancer afflicting the U.S. public. Two-thirds of nonsmokers now battling the disease are women. That could be a function of statistical probability, some researchers say. Women in the general population smoke less than men and would probably represent the majority of any group of nonsmokers, including those with cancer. Still, some studies raise the possibility that women may actually be more susceptible. Stanford University oncologist Heather A. Wakelee headed up a 2007 study that found lung cancer rates among "never smokers" ranged from 4.8 to 13.7 per 100,000 men in a year, and 14.4 to 20.8 per 100,000 women. "Those of us who treat the disease get a sense that these incidence rates for nonsmokers are increasing," Wakelee said in a telephone interview. "But getting firm numbers is tricky" because the national cancer registry does not collect data on patients' smoking habits. On the positive side, emerging research leads doctors to believe that nonsmoking women -- those who have smoked fewer than 100 cigarettes in their lifetime -- tend to respond better to treatment than nonsmoking men do. "What is causing these cancers in people who don't smoke? We don't know, and I doubt we'll ever find a particular cause," said oncologist Ramaswamy Govindan at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. "It could be genetic, or a combination of factors. ... It's mostly bad luck. A random thing." Never smoked Montessa Lee was 28 when she was diagnosed. The Maryland schoolteacher had classic symptoms of lung cancer -- shortness of breath, stabbing pains in the chest, discomfort in her back and neck. But because she had never smoked, Lee and her doctors assumed she was asthmatic or had come down with bronchitis. Antibiotics were prescribed. Months passed and the symptoms worsened. Maybe a heart problem, the doctors thought. By the time they zeroed in on the possibility of lung cancer, Lee had developed a tumor 15 centimeters wide. "I became angry because back then -- in 2006 -- there wasn't much research on younger nonsmokers who got cancer. It was all about smoking," she said. "I wound up turning my anger into advocacy. I had a lot of faith and family support, and I knew this was going to become a healing testimony." Lee withstood a regimen of chemotherapy and radiation treatments and has been cancer-free for five years. "Because science has turned more attention to people like me, now there's hope," she said. Public awareness of lung cancer afflicting nonsmoking women rose with the 2006 death of Dana Reeve, the 44-year-old widow of actor Christopher Reeve. Reports the following year in the Journal of Clinical Oncology estimated "that 15 percent of men and 53 percent of all women with lung cancer worldwide are never smokers," though researchers were stumped about the reasons. In Asia, high rates of women diagnosed with lung cancer were linked to heavy exposure to unventilated smoke of cooking oils used in Asian dishes, a problem not thought to be serious in the United States. In recent years, scientists have been examining the role of estrogen in the spread of lung cancer and its potential treatment. Joan Schiller, deputy director of the Simmons Cancer Center in Texas, told the American Society of Clinical Oncologists in a 2010 interview: "This is such a relatively new field, we're just beginning to explore all the options. ... Perhaps estrogen is driving lung cancer in some people, just as estrogen drives breast cancer in some people." If so, estrogen receptors could be targeted in therapy to drive the cancer out, she said. In Gall's case, a drug approved for lung cancer patients just last summer could be a lifesaver. Crizotinib, developed by Pfizer under the brand name Xalkori, has been found to shrink or stabilize tumors in patients carrying a gene mutation known as ALK, or anaplastic lymphoma kinase. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration sped up approval of the oral drug for some patients diagnosed with non-small-cell lung cancer after weighing the drug's success in attacking other kinds of cancer. Gall is one of about 9,000 Americans diagnosed annually whose cancer appears driven by the ALK mutation. "The timing of this drug's approval was very fortunate for her," said her oncologist, Chao Huang, who works for the University of Kansas and VA hospitals. Gall said she hopes the medication will keep her from having to undergo chemotherapy. As for the emotional toll of hearing she has lung cancer -- and being clueless to how she got it -- Gall resists thoughts that might distract from her goal to get well. "I try not to dwell on the why because it just takes you down a rabbit hole, and that's not good," she said. "I try to look forward and not backward." Husband Kurt bought a radon detection kit to check their home's levels of the odorless, ground-emitting gas. The test confirmed all was safe. Back pain For Judy Stephens, the symptoms began with back pain that would migrate to her upper right leg. "It was the classic picture of, say, a pinched nerve," said her son, Thad Stephens, an emergency room physician in Johnson County. He arranged for a CT scan, then a full body scan. The discovery of a tailbone tumor that had spread from the lungs stunned the family. "I was bitter, thinking of these little old ladies who smoked all their lives and never got cancer," Thad Stephens said. "Mom never did anything to hurt herself." Having not once smoked, Judy Stephens at age 71 was told her lung cancer would claim her in three to six months. She battled bravely for 16 months, aided by an experimental drug called Tarceva, which has been found to help some female cancer patients in their post-menopause years. Her death last October happened to coincide with new recommendations issued by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a professional medical group. The network for the first time called for lung cancer screening using low-dose CT -- but only for older, heavy smokers. Judy Stephens' family could not help but wonder how she got sick. Suspicion turned to the basement of her Shawnee home, where she spent time at the sewing machine stitching dresses for her doll collection. Could she have absorbed too much radon over the years? Did ceramic dust that would accumulate when she made and repaired dolls drift into her lungs? Was it secondhand smoke from her husband's habit, which he gave up more than 30 years ago? All speculation. No answers. "We've done such a good job with smoking cessation messages, people think it's the only way of developing lung cancer -- and that's a dangerous assumption," said Vidaver of the National Lung Cancer Partnership. "You need to listen to your body." Gall did just that, and her primary care physician reacted quickly in scheduling a chest X-ray that revealed suspicious shadows. Experts caution that chest X-rays and CT scans shouldn't be relied upon routinely and their ability to detect lung cancer is far from foolproof. Your cough in most cases is just a cough, but one that persists for weeks should be brought to a physician's attention, whether you smoke or not. "Whatever I can put forward to raise awareness and help prevention, maybe that's what I've been chosen to do," said Gall, who works for the Community Blood Center. She noted that her profession is to help people in life-threatening situations. And suddenly, out of the blue, those people include her. To reach Rick Montgomery, call 816-234-4410 or send email to [email protected]
  4. http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/80s/conte ... ies-age-63 Donna Summer, the Queen of Disco in the '70s and '80s, died Thursday morning after a battle with cancer, TMZ is reporting. She was 63. Summer was reportedly in Florida at the time of her death. She had been trying to keep word of her illness secret as she finished up a new album. TMZ reports Summer suffered from lung cancer, believed to be contracted by "inhaling toxic particles after the 9/11 attack in New York City." Her family has released a statement saying they "are at peace celebrating her extraordinary life and her continue legacy." The 5-time Grammy winner (12-time nominee) scored iconic hits including Last Dance, Hot Stuff and Bad Girls. In the '80s, she scored mega-hits with On The Radio, She Works Hard for the Money, This Time I Know It's For Real and The Wanderer. She was also a formally trained painter who had made at least $1 million selling her original artwork. "As a young girl, I didn’t know what fame was," she once told an interviewer. "I just thought fame was people knowing you. It's an end unto itself, which it should not be." She is survived by her husband, three daughters, and four grandchildren, according to USA Today.
  5. There once was a woman who woke up one morning, looked in the mirror and noticed she had only three hairs on her head. 'Well,' she said, 'I think I'll braid my hair today.' So she did, and she had a wonderful day. The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and saw that she had only two hairs on her head. 'H-M-M,' she said, 'I think I'll part my hair down the middle today.' So she did, and she had a grand day. The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed she had only one hair on her head. 'Well,' she said, 'today I'm going to wear my hair in a ponytail.’ So she did, and she had a fun, fun day. The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror, and noticed that there wasn't a single hair on her head. 'YAY!' she exclaimed. 'I don't have to fix my hair today!' Attitude is Everything!
  6. http://sify.com/news/new-protein-analys ... bjaif.html SomaLogic researchers have described a new approach that may help in early detection of lung cancer. "Personalized medicine has to be more than prediction of risk for disease, it has to be actionable; what is the person's state of health at this moment? To determine that you have to understand what proteins are being made, and at what concentrations, even at very low levels," said Larry Gold, Founder, Chairman and CEO of SomaLogic. "This has proven to be a difficult task, but we believe we have succeeded at finding a way to entirely transform protein-based diagnostics and help drive the realization of personalized medicine in this decade." SomaLogic's proteomic technology is built on two decades of painstaking work to corral aptamers - short stretches of nucleic acids that form protein-binding three-dimensional structures - into performing exquisitely specific recognition and binding of proteins. Through a series of chemical modifications of the nucleic acids that make up the aptamer, SomaLogic scientists were able to develop a next generation of aptamers - renamed "SOMAmers" to reflect their increased abilities-that together can bind proteins of widely diverse types and concentrations. And because SOMAmers are essentially small bits of DNA, current DNA measurement technologies like microarrays can be used to measure them and provide a readout of protein or biomarker types and concentrations in a fast and simple analysis. This powerful combination - specific binding to individual proteins and DNA-based quantification - allows the researchers to accurately detect and measure literally a thousand proteins in as little as a few drops of blood in a single experiment. "Today, single protein biomarkers are the foundation of clinical diagnostics: but both normal and disease biology is far more complex than a single measurement can capture: We need to look at multiple biomarkers, or a 'signature' of proteins, that is truly revealing about health and disease at that moment," said Steve Williams, Chief Medical Officer of SomaLogic. SomaLogic researchers also described the application of SOMAmers at large scale, uncovering a panel of biomarkers that announce the presence of lung cancer. "By being able to detect lung cancer early, we finally have a tool to reduce the morbidity and mortality of this deadly disease with successful surgical intervention," said William Rom, of the New York University. "In addition, we can avoid unnecessary treatments in patients who have a lung nodule on CT scan, but which is actually not cancer as revealed by this test," said Rom The findings appeared in the PLoS One paper. (ANI)
  7. http://www.internalmedicinenews.com/new ... d6a0c.html VANCOUVER, B.C. – Small cell lung cancer presentation varies by sex and race, according to a retrospective analysis of U.S. national data spanning a 32-year period. Women were more likely than men to have limited disease at diagnosis and had better survival, Dr. Shagun Arora reported at the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians. African Americans were younger than whites at diagnosis, and the small cell type made up a smaller proportion of all lung cancers in African American patients than in white patients. Possible explanations include differences in patterns of smoking and susceptibility to the deleterious effects of tobacco smoke, as well as hormonal factors, according to Dr. Arora, an internist at McLaren Regional Medical Center in Flint, Mich. Using histologic codes, the investigators identified all cases of small cell lung cancer in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database among white and African American patients between the years 1973 and 2005. Analyses were based on 70,886 patients with small cell lung cancer. About 91% were white and 55% were male. During the study period, the male-to-female ratio in the proportion of all lung cancers that were of small cell type fell from 2.6 to 0.9, which mainly reflected a rise among women, Dr. Aurora said. Age at presentation did not differ by sex. But women were more likely to have disease that was limited in stage (that is, confined to one hemithorax) at diagnosis than were men (35% vs. 30%). And although cancer-specific survival improved for both sexes over time, it was consistently longer for women than for men. At the end of the study period, 2-year survival was approximately 20% among women, vs. 15% among men. "We all know that small cell lung cancer is very closely related to smoking," Dr. Arora commented. Hence, differences between the sexes in smoking patterns may explain some of these findings. "Females began smoking 20 years after males," she noted, and their smoking rates have been slower to decline. In addition, "females are more prone to tobacco effects: They are 1.5 times more likely to develop lung cancer than males with the same smoking habits." The study did not use multivariate or stage-stratified analysis, Dr. Arora said; hence, the less-extensive disease of women at presentation may have contributed to their better survival. Nonetheless, this finding "begs the question of a possible hormonal factor." Study results for race showed that the proportion of all lung cancers that were of small cell type was consistently lower among African American patients than among white patients throughout the study period. As of 2005, the value was 9% compared with 12% for white patients. Age at presentation was younger among African American patients than among white patients. For example, roughly 50% of African American patients received their cancer diagnosis before age 64, compared with 40% of white patients. But the two racial groups did not differ with respect to the stage at diagnosis or cancer-specific survival. Here, again, smoking patterns and susceptibility may explain some of the observed differences, according to Dr. Arora. On the one hand, African American smokers smoke fewer cigarettes daily than do their white peers and start smoking later in life, she said. But "because of their lower quit rates, their prevalence of smoking is higher." Also, they smoke more menthol cigarettes, which have higher levels of tar than the nonmentholated kind. "On top of that, there is a race effect," Dr. Arora noted. "African Americans are 1.8 times more susceptible than whites to developing small cell lung cancer with the same amount of smoking."
  8. http://www.people.com/people/article/0, ... eedfetcher Last December, Bryant Gumbel shocked a live television audience when he revealed he recently had surgery to remove a malignant tumor and part of his lung. A year later, Gumbel, 62, tells PEOPLE his prognosis is excellent. "I'm still doing well," he said at the UNICEF Snowflake Ball Tuesday in New York City. "Doctors tell me I'm free and clear, so I hope for better times." Gumbel revealed his health crisis last year while filling in for Regis Philbin on Live with Regis and Kelly. "They opened up my chest, they took out a malignant tumor, they took out part of my lung and they took out some other goodies," he said at the time. The surgery took place two months before he revealed it on Live, and Gumbel said he kept it quiet at the time, not even revealing it to the staff of his HBO show Real Sports. On Tuesday, Gumbel looked thin but wore a big smile as he walked the red carpet with his wife, Hilary Gumbel, who served on the event's gala committee. "I've got very little to complain about," he told PEOPLE about life now. "I'm doing well."
  9. Published on the LUNGevity website: http://blog.lungevity.org/2010/10/12/th ... nate-cycle October 12th, 2010 - by Katie Brown My entry into the world of cancer began when my own father was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2002. I became a caregiver and later a patient advocate. Over time I became educated about the disease, learned the lingo and acronyms, could recite the disease statistics and felt confident to talk to medical professionals and ask those really hard questions. I believe all of those things are essential in being successful in the fight against lung cancer but my family and I couldn’t have gotten thru the difficult emotional roller coaster had it not been for the support of those who had walked the path before us; the patients, survivors and co-survivors who had experienced it all before and came back to walk the walk with us and make our journey a little smoother. That’s what you’ll find at our lung cancer support community. Our online network is full of people ready to welcome newcomers and share their experiences and advice on talking to medical professionals, questions to ask, treatment options and managing side effects. There’s a compassionate cycle that repeats itself over several months, with survivors and families who have been affected by lung cancer wanting to “give back” in some way after having been supported by others thru their most difficult times. They “give back” by being online to help others, but they also do other things to feel like they are making a difference in the fight against lung cancer. Some unique examples of alternative giving: • Andrea Scheff has produced three cookbooks with recipes from people affected by lung cancer and donates proceeds to LUNGevity. • Debi Wills Gemmell is giving back by donating a one-week stay at her bed-and-breakfast to the incredible caregiver who wins the LUNGevity Caregiver Contest. • The founders of Life-Links, Michael and Linda Moore, are donating portion of all sales from now until the end of November to LUNGevity. • Our incredible event coordinators and their dedicated committee members and volunteers give months of their time and talent to make our walks, runs and other fundraising events so successful. This enormous community of supporters and friends who “give back” in such incredible ways make LUNGevity the dynamic organization it is. All of you are making a difference in the fight against lung cancer and in the lives of those affected by lung cancer each and every day!
  10. January, 2010 Generally, after traditional open-chest surgery for lung cancer, patients may experience a significant amount of pain and spend up to a week in the hospital followed by months recovering. George Krzesinski, 58, of Lisle, experienced practically none of those post-operative difficulties after surgeons at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood utilized minimally invasive robotic technology to remove a cancerous growth and later a large segment of his left lung in September 2009. "I had my first surgery Wednesday night and by Saturday I was home. I was ready to go home Friday but they kept me another day as a precaution," said Krzesinski, who underwent his first surgery on Sept. 9, 2009, to remove a cancerous growth from his lung. "I can't say I had a lot of pain. That was very surprising." Two weeks later, Krzesinski underwent a second surgery to remove the left lower lobe of his lung, and again his experience was the same. He has surgery late Friday and was back home Sunday morning. "They used the same incisions," Krzesinski said. "The only time I took pain medication was at night in case I rolled over onto the incisions." Each year, more Americans die from lung cancer than from any other cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. This year, more than 160,000 Americans are expected to die from lung cancer and 200,000 new cases will be diagnosed. Surgery still continues to offers patients the best chance for long-term survival and a cure, depending on the type, location and the stage of the tumor. Unlike a traditional lobectomy, which requires a large incision and division of the muscles of the chest and spreading the ribs, the robotic procedure using the Da Vinci ™ Surgical System allows surgeons to perform the same surgical procedure through four small incisions, resulting in less pain and reduced loss of blood. "It's the least invasive way to perform that surgery," said thoracic surgeon Dr. Robert Love, who performed Krzesinski's operation along with thoracic surgeon Dr. Christopher Wigfield. "More and more patients with lung cancer are going to be treated this way." Robotic surgery for lung cancer is done thoracoscopically, in which a tiny camera is inserted through a small incision in order to give surgeons a three-dimensional view of the inside of the chest, which is very rigid and harder to operate on using traditional surgery. Working through three additional, small incisions, the surgeon controls every move of the robotic arms from a computer console at the patient's bedside. The robot's arms are fully articulated, allowing it to turn and grasp with more agility and precision than the human hand. "The total injury to the chest wall is far less with smaller and separated incisions. We're able to remove cancerous tissues and lymph nodes for further examination from any location in the lungs," Love said. "The chest wall returns to its normal flexibility faster and the function of the remaining lung recovers more quickly." Love said the removal of the lymph nodes allows physicians to determine how much the tumor has spread from its original source. "Proper staging is important in determining treatment and prognosis," Love said. "It tells us how to treat them afterwards and what to expect for treatment planning for the next five years until they are cured." Traditional surgery for lung cancer generally requires a five to seven day stay in the hospital after the procedure. Recovery can take between eight to 12 weeks. The hospital stay after a robotic procedure is usually three to four days. Also, although most robotic procedures take about the same amount of time as traditional surgery, recovery is closer to three to four weeks since patients don't have to care for a large, incision. "Patients can definitely recover more quickly and get on with further therapy quicker when necessary," Wigfield said. Always a very active person, Krzesinski said he was up and walking about in only a few days after his surgery. "We have a pond across the street with a path of about a third of a mile around. I was walking around that two, three days later," Krzesinski said. "I've been going to the health club. I've been biking. I've been going on the treadmill and incline. The robot is great. If you have to do it, that's the way to do it." Source Loyola University Health System -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Article URL: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/176484.php
  11. http://www.jewishjournal.com/articles/p ... _20101013/ When you meet Michael Weitz, you immediately notice his friendly demeanor, warm smile and penchant for hugs. Next you learn about his loving wife, Janice, and his three teenage sons, Steven, Robbie and David. And, most likely, you find out that he’s an emergency medical physician and the associate medical director at Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica. As a lung-cancer patient, he doesn’t like to talk about being sick. Instead, the Woodland Hills resident beams with pride about participating in cutting-edge research. Weitz, who never smoked, was diagnosed with late-stage lung cancer more than three years ago. Among those diagnosed with the disease, 74 percent have metastisized lung cancer. The five-year survival rate is about 15 percent, which hasn’t changed in 40 years. After his diagnosis, Weitz turned to Rabbi Edward Feinstein — also a cancer survivor — at his synagogue, Valley Beth Shalom (VBS) in Encino. The rabbi offered Weitz three pieces of advice: First, the constant pit in his stomach would go away; second, many wonderful angels would enter his life. “It reaffirms your faith in humanity in this somewhat cynical world when you have people who continue to give and care and be a part of your life,” Weitz said. The third piece of advice from the rabbi: Good health is a blessing, not an entitlement. This statement, in particular, stuck with Weitz. “We don’t picture the end of the road; we’re just focused on what lies ahead,” he said. Weitz went through myriad lung cancer treatments, including chemotherapy, traditional radiation, removal of his left lung and radiation to his bones and brain. Around the time of his surgery, he started a targeted drug therapy, which aims to wipe out only abnormal cells. He responded to this drug for two years before he built up a resistance. Soon after, Weitz’s mother called him with news about a lung cancer patient who was receiving a targeted treatment based on an ALK gene mutation, which is present in 4 to 5 percent of lung cancer patients. Weitz was soon tested and found to be positive for the mutation. He began a targeted therapy this past January, and after eight weeks he experienced a 60 percent tumor reduction; after 16 weeks, the disease was minimal. As of one month ago, a scan showed no evidence of the disease. “This truly was a game changer in my mind,” he said. Now Weitz is encouraging other lung cancer patients to get tested for the ALK gene mutation. Weitz says very little money is given each year to lung cancer research, primarily because of the stigma that lung cancer is a smoker’s disease. Among the new cases being diagnosed, 45 to 50 percent are former smokers (who quit 10 to 30 years ago) and 15 percent never smoked. Weitz says that having lung cancer has been an education. As a doctor, he says, he is more tuned in to his patients. “I can realize the challenges they’re about to go through and better communicate to them that I’ll be there if they need me,” Weitz said. He continues to fight lung cancer one step at a time. “I don’t expect to be cured,” Weitz said. “My hope is a series of bridges. That one therapy is a bridge that leads me to the next therapy and that more and more are developed.” While some people believe there is nothing less than a cure, Weitz hopes instead that there is a way to manage the disease. He continues to lean on the support of his synagogue. “What lifts people when they’re down is the community, and I found great strength in the Jewish community that we have at VBS and other friends as well,” he said.
  12. http://www.dnaindia.com/health/report_n ... 448459-all ANI / Tuesday, October 19, 2010 21:00 IST Scientists have developed a method to detect early signs of lung cancer by examining cheek cells in humans using pioneering bio-photonics technology. The study has been conducted by researchers from Northwestern University and NorthShore University Health System (NorthShore). "By examining the lining of the cheek with this optical technology, we possess the potential to pre-screen patients at high risk for lung cancer, such as those who smoke, and identify the individuals who would likely benefit from more invasive and expensive tests," said Hemant K Roy, MD, director of gastroenterology research at NorthShore. The optical technique is called partial wave spectroscopic (PWS) microscopy and was developed by Vadim Backman, professor of biomedical engineering at Northwestern's McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science. Backman and Roy earlier used PWS to assess the risk of colon and pancreatic cancer. PWS can detect cell features as small as 20 nanometres, uncovering differences in cells that appear normal using standard microscopy techniques. The PWS-based test makes use of the 'field effect', a biological phenomenon in which cells located some distance from the malignant or pre-malignant tumour undergo molecular and other changes. After testing the technology in a small-scale trial, Roy and Backman focused the study on smokers, since smoking is the major risk factor related to 90% of lung cancer patients. The study included 135 participants — 63 smokers with lung cancer and 37 smokers with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), 13 smokers without COPD, and 22 non-smokers — acting as three control groups. The research was not confounded by the participants' demographic factors such as amount of smoking, age or gender. Importantly, the test was equally sensitive to cancers of all stages, including early curable cancers. The researchers swabbed the inside of patients' mouths, and then the cheek cells were applied to a slide, fixed in ethanol and optically scanned using PWS to measure the disorder strength of cell nano-architecture. Results were markedly elevated (greater than 50%) in patients with lung cancer compared to cancer-free smokers. A further assessment of the performance characteristics of the 'disorder strength' (as a biomarker) showed greater than 80% accuracy in discriminating cancer patients from individuals in the three control groups. The lung cancer findings were published online by the journal Cancer Research.
  13. http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases ... 49623.html Advancing proton therapy treatment combines strength and accuracy to improve benefits HOUSTON, Oct. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Pencil beam scanning technology, an even more advanced and targeted form of radiation treatment known as proton therapy, is now being used to treat patients with lung cancer at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Proton therapy derives its advantage over conventional forms of radiation from its ability to deliver radiation doses to a targeted tumor with incredible precision that avoids surrounding tissue. This results in fewer side effects during and after treatment, and greater tumor control. Most proton patients are treated with a technique known as passive scattering, which uses apertures to shape the proton beam and deliver a uniform dose to the tumor. Pencil beam scanning proton therapy delivers a single, narrow proton beam (which may be less than a millimeter in diameter) that is magnetically swept across the tumor, depositing radiation like a painter's brush, without the need to construct beam-shaping devices. This technology continues to build on the patient benefits already offered with proton therapy – more targeted, higher tumor dose, shorter treatment times, reduced side effects and increased treatment options. "The advantage lies in the beam's capacity to approach the tumor from multiple directions, creating a "U" shape around these structures and avoiding them entirely during treatment," said James D. Cox, M.D., professor and head of the Division of Radiation Oncology at MD Anderson. "Pencil beam is more like a very fine airbrush. Instead of needing a brass template to define the shape, the proton beam is made ultra fine to conform to the contours and landscapes of the tumor." MD Anderson's Proton Therapy Center, which began treating patients in May of 2006, is the first in North America and only one of three clinical centers in the world to treat patients with pencil beam scanning technology. Additionally, MD Anderson is the first center in the world to treat lung cancer patients using pencil beam scanning proton therapy. "The unique part about lung cancer is that it's close to the esophagus, aorta and spinal cord, and all of these critical structures are important for the body to function," said Joe Chang, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor in MD Anderson's Department of Radiation Oncology. "The proton beam provides much more conformal radiation, which means higher doses to tumors and lower dosages to critical structures nearby." Another benefit of pencil beam scanning proton therapy is its use in patients with recurrent disease, who have already received full doses of radiation, Chang said. In this case, pencil beam limits or eliminates radiation to these sensitive areas. As the therapy advances, one of the next steps is using imaging tools to predict the movement of tumors, both lung and other cancers, to offer even greater precision. "Four dimensional imaging and treatment planning help us to know how much the lung or tumor moves, so we can adapt the pencil beam," Chang said. "Now, with new technology, we know the pattern of this motion." According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 222,520 new cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed in 2010. Despite advances, the long-term survival rates of lung cancer remain low, reinforcing the need to expand therapies that offer a greater combination of potency and accuracy. Billy Walls, 75, from El Paso, Texas, was the first lung cancer patient to be treated with pencil beam technology at MD Anderson. Originally diagnosed in 2004, Walls underwent a partial surgical resection of his lung, along with chemotherapy and radiation. Four years later, his cancer returned to the same location and he was advised against further surgery and told about proton therapy. "Hope is the main benefit," Walls said of his pencil beam experience. "I don't feel anything during treatment, I haven't lost any weight, I'm not coughing as much, and I still walk in the mornings." For more information about pencil beam scanning proton therapy, visit http://www.mdanderson.org/proton.
  14. Oct 19, 2010 http://www.mesotheliomanews.com/2010/10 ... ng-cancer/ The National Urban League announced its endorsement of the Lung Cancer Mortality Reduction Act by joining the growing number of national organizations and institutions calling for a more comprehensive federal plan to treat, prevent and research lung cancer. Lung cancer takes more lives in the United States than breast, prostate, colon and pancreatic cancers combined. With the National Urban League’s endorsement of the Lung Cancer Mortality Reduction Act, the first-ever federal legislation to fund a thorough, multi-agency plan to target at lung cancer, a future without the threat of lung cancer is looking a little more possible.
  15. http://www.empowher.com/lung-cancer/con ... -your-life By Mamta Singh Created 10/20/2010 - 09:27 If you have been diagnosed with lung cancer, you may wish to ask your physician these four additional questions: 1. What diagnostic tests am I to go through besides the MRI that I have taken? Doctors can run a combination of diagnostic tests to confirm the size, location, malignancy, and spread of the lung tumor. The common diagnostic tests are:  A run through the medical history records followed by a physical examination  A chest radiograph (chest X-ray) to reveal the spread, collapse of lung or consolidation of cancerous mass.  CAT scans (Computerised Axial Tomography) may be performed on the chest, abdomen, and/or brain to examine for both metastatic and lung tumors. This is a high resolution imaging procedure showing organs from different angles to a certain depth.  Spiral CAT scan to help identify small lung cancers in smokers and former smokers.  MRI (Magnetic resonance Imaging) is a non-radiation imaging procedure used to see contrasts and minute details that help decide the aging of the cancerous tumors.  PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scanning. It helps determine whether a tumor tissue is actively growing and determines the type of cells within a tumor.  Some other tests can be ordered after a confirmatory diagnosis has been made for lung cancer. They are: - Bone scan helps determine if the lung cancer has metastasized to the bone. - Sputum cytology shows the presence or absence of the malignant cancer cells in the sputum of the patient. - Thoracentesis helps removes the pleural fluid from the chest for further testing to detect cancer cells. - Thoracotomy may be performed to remove lymph nodes and other tissues in question. - Bronchoscopy is done with a thin fiber optic probe to obtain samples of the tumor for further tests such as biopsy. It is also used to visualize the tumor. - Fine Needle Aspiration or Needle Biopsy is done in cases where the tumor is located at the peripheries of the lung and not accessible by the bronchoscope. - Blood tests help detect biochemical and metabolic changes in the body that accompany cancer development. - Mediastinoscopy is done to remove lymph nodes and other tissues in question. By making an incision at the top of the breast bone. 2. What are my treatment options? The treatment path will depend squarely on your medical history as well as factors such as symptoms, size of the tumor, malignancy, stage, whether non-small cell lung cancer or otherwise and metastases to multiple lymph nodes etc. However, some popular treatment options which are used in combination are:*  For Non-Small Cell Lung Cancers (NSCLC) the options are: - Stage 1 – Surgery and/or Chemotherapy - Stage 2 – Surgery, Chemotherapy and Radiation - Stage 3A – Combined Chemotherapy and Radiation - Stage 3 B – Chemotherapy and Radiation if necessary - Stage 4 - Chemotherapy, Targeted Drug Therapy, Clinical Trials, Supportive Care  For Small Cell Lung Carcinomas (SCLC) the paths are: - Limited – Combined Chemotherapy and Radiation, Surgery if necessary - Extensive – Chemotherapy, clinical trials and Supportive Care Surgery options include – Thoracotomy, Mediastinoscopy, Wedge (removal a section of a lobe of the lung) or Segmental resection, Lobectomy (removing a lobe of the lung) or Pneumonectomy (removal of one lung). Radiation Therapy – High-energy X-rays are used to kill multiplying cancer cells. The radiation is either delivered externally or internally by placing radioactive substances in sealed containers within the body where the tumor is located. It can either shrink the tumor or halt its growth. Chemotherapy – This achieves similar goals as radiation but is through drug or chemical delivery via pills and/or intravenous infusion. A combination of drugs is given in a series of treatments, called cycles, over a period of weeks with breaks in between cycles. Chemotherapy also kills normally dividing cells in the body, thus causing unpleasant side effects and reducing immunity. Targeted Therapy – It is called so because the drug Erlotinib specifically targets the killing of cancer cells thus not damaging normal cells in the process. It does so by targeting epidermal growth factor receptors which are found in abundance on the surface of some cancer cells. This method is used in cases where chemotherapy is proving ineffective. Sometimes anti-angio-genesis drugs are also used. Photodynamic Therapy – Here a photosynthesizing agent is injected into the person which is rapidly absorbed by the cancer cells. Later a light torch carrying a certain wavelength is shown on the cancer cells which then die as the photosynthesizing agent is activated in them producing toxins. Radiofrequency Ablation – A CT scan aided needle is inserted to the place where cancer cells are located and then radiofrequency of desired magnitude is administered through the needle producing heat and destroying the cancer cells. Clinical Trials or Experimental Therapies – Sometimes new drugs on which trials and experiments as well as research is on are tried on patients where other conventional therapies do not work as last resort and with the permission of the patient. Immunotherapy such as vaccine therapy is one such known therapy that uses the body’s immunity to fight cancer cells. 3. What are the steps to prevention? Prevention is the best way to be free from cancer. This means avoiding exposure to second-hand smoke and quitting smoking if you do. It implies the cessation of any usage of tobacco products. Prevention also includes reducing the usage or all-together eliminating the usage of industrial and domestic carcinogens. Long term usage of Vitamin E increases the risk of lung cancers and need to be monitored by doctors if you have been prescribed such vitamins. Hazards such as inhalation of asbestos fibers, exposure to radon gas etc should be avoided or at least minimized. Usage of alcohol should be minimal to moderate to reduce your chances of getting lung cancer. 4. What is my prognosis? Prognosis for non-small cell lung cancer depends upon the presence of pulmonary symptoms, size of the tumor, malignancy, stage and metastases to multiple lymph nodes, as well as vascular invasion. As per Mountain, CF (1997); "Revisions in the international system for staging lung cancer" (PDF); Chest (American College of Chest Physicians) 111 (6): 1710 –1717doi:10.1378/chest.111.6.1710. PMID 9187198, for non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC), prognosis is generally poor. Following complete surgical resection of stage IA disease, five-year survival is 67 percent. With stage IB disease, five-year survival is 57 percent. As per, "Lung Carcinoma: Tumors of the Lungs"; Merck Manual Professional Edition, Online edition; Retrieved 2007-08-15, the five-year survival rate of patients with stage IV NSCLC is about 1 percent. For small cell lung carcinoma, prognosis is also generally poor. Patients with extensive-stage SCLC have an average five-year survival rate of less than 1 percent. The median survival time for limited-stage disease is 20 months, with a five-year survival rate of 20 percent. *Benefits, side-effects, prior preparations, costs, duration of procedure, stay at the hospital, recovery and resumption of daily activities as well as support issues should be discussed with your doctor for each type of treatment option before starting on your treatment. ALL INFORMATION GIVEN IN THIS ADVOCACY SHEET IS TO BE CHECKED WITH YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE IMPLEMENTING THEM OR TAKING THEM AS STANDARD OR VERIFIED. Mamta Singh is a published author of the books Migraines for the Informed Woman (Publisher: Rupa & Co.), the upcoming Rev Up Your Life! (Publisher: Hay House India) and Mentor Your Mind (Publisher: Sterling Publishers). She is also a seasoned business, creative and academic writer. She is a certified fitness instructor, personal trainer & sports nutritionist through IFA, Florida USA. Mamta is an NCFE-certified Holistic Health Therapist SAC Dip U.K. She is the lead writer and holds Expert Author status in many well-received health, fitness and nutrition sites. She runs her own popular blogs on migraines in women and holistic health. Mamta holds a double Master's Degree in Commerce and Business. She is a registered practitioner with the UN recognised Art of Living Foundation. Link: http://www.migrainingjenny.wordpress.com and http://www.footstrike.wordpress.com
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