Studies In The Fight Against Cancer

by Feeds of Today

As many know, cancer is a disease caused by an uncontrolled division of abnormal cells in a part of the body. It’s a malignant growth or tumor resulting from such a division of cells. While there are treatments for cancer, not all types of cancer are curable.

Luckily, “new research shows a sharp escalation in the weapons race against cancer, with several high-tech approaches long dreamed of but not possible or successful until now.

At a weekend conference of more than 30,000 cancer specialists, scientists reported: -New “smart” drugs that deliver powerful poisons directly to cancer cells while leaving healthy ones alone.

Doctors have successfully dropped the first “smart bomb” on breast cancer, using a drug to deliver a toxic payload to tumor cells while leaving healthy ones alone.

In a key test involving nearly 1,000 women with very advanced disease, the experimental treatment extended by several months the time women lived without their cancer getting worse, doctors planned to report Sunday at a cancer conference in Chicago.

More importantly, the treatment seems likely to improve survival; it will take more time to know for sure. After two years, 65 percent of women who received it were still alive versus 47 percent of those in a comparison group given two standard cancer drugs.

That margin fell just short of the very strict criteria researchers set for stopping the study and declaring the new treatment a winner, and they hope the benefit becomes more clear with time. In fact, so many women on the new treatment are still alive that researchers cannot yet determine average survival for the group.

“The absolute difference is greater than one year in how long these people live,” said the study’s leader, Dr. Kimberly Blackwell of Duke University. “This is a major step forward.”

A warning to hopeful patients: the drug is still experimental, so not available yet. Its backers hope it can reach the market within a year.” [For specifics please read the article “Study: ‘Smart Bomb Drug Affects Breast Cancer“]

Furthermore, “an experimental cancer drug successfully shrank tumors in patients with different kinds of cancer, including typically hard-to-treat lung cancers, according to a new study. Oncologists said the research was encouraging, but more study was needed to know whether the drug would prolong life for cancer patients.

The study, led by Dr. Suzanne Topalian, was presented Friday at the Super Bowl of cancer professionals, a meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

In a small, early phase study, researchers used a drug targeting a portion of the body’s immune system, a pathway called PD-1, which usually works to stop the body from fighting cancerous tumors. By shutting down the pathway, the drug stokes the body’s immune system to fight tumor cells.

Researchers gave the drug to nearly 240 patients with advanced melanoma, colorectal, prostate, kidney and lung cancers. All the patients had tried up to five other treatments, which failed. After up to two years on the drug, tumors shrank in 26 of 94 patients with melanoma, nine of 33 patients with kidney cancer and 14 of 76 patients with lung cancer.

The drug was not without side effects. About 14 percent of patients in the trial reported conditions such as skin rashes, diarrhea or breathing problems.” [For specifics, please read the source article, “Study: Experimental Drug Shrinks Cancer Tumors“]

While these studies are proving to fight against cancer, we here at NewsFeed of Today sincerely hope the public will be informed of better and clear progress in the future. Overall, we wish good luck to all in the fight against cancer.

Sources:

Study: ‘Smart Bomb Drug Affects Breast Cancer” (MSNBC.com)

Study: Experimental Drug Shrinks Cancer Tumors” (Yahoo!)

New Therapies Aiding In The Fight Against Cancer” (ABC)

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