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Latest cancer news and updates

Money Matters - Simplified


Vitamin B fails to cut risk of heart disease, stroke--study

Supplementation of vitamin B to break down the levels of homocysteine, a naturally occurring amino acid linked to a higher risk of coronary heart disease and stroke, does not have beneficial effects on vascular outcomes, finds a new study.

Cancer drug removed from U.S. market

Washington -- Pfizer Inc. announced Monday it is withdrawing its cancer drug Mylotarg for use by U.S. patients with acute myeloid leukemia -- a bone marrow cancer.

The pharmaceutical company said it took the action at the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration after a clinical trial raised new concerns about the product's safety and the drug's failure to demonstrate clinical benefit to patients enrolled in trials.

AIDS gene therapy may help cancer, HIV

Duarte, Calif. -- U.S. medical researchers say they have demonstrated the first successful gene therapy in patients with AIDS-related lymphoma.

City of Hope researchers in California said their study showed the long-term persistence of anti-HIV genes in patients with the AIDS-related cancer.

In the investigational therapy, patients underwent autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation in which their own blood stem cells were harvested, genetically engineered with three ribonucleic acids that block the human immunodeficiency virus from infecting new cells and then returned to them.

Kidney surgery blood flow studied

Rochester, Minn. -- U.S. scientists at the Mayo and Cleveland clinics say they've found blood flow interruption during kidney cancer surgery can lead to chronic kidney disease.

The researchers said their retrospective study found interrupting the blood flow for more than 20- to 25 minutes during kidney cancer surgery involving warm ischemia leads to a greater risk for patients developing chronic kidney disease.

Drug trial shows promise in ovarian cancer

Indianapolis -- U.S. cancer investigators say they've found combining two drugs -- decitabine and carboplatin -- appears to help women who have late-stage ovarian cancer.

The Indiana University researchers said four of 10 patients who participated in a phase I clinical trial had no disease progression after six months of treatment with the drugs and one patient experienced complete resolution of tumor tissue for a period of time.

Advanced ovarian cancer is often diagnosed too late for treatment to be effective. Patients are often told they have virtually no chance of recovery and only months to live.

The trial was designed to increase the patients' sensitivity to the commonly prescribed ovarian cancer drug, platinum-based carboplatin.

New therapy found for erectile dysfunction

Chicago -- U.S. researchers say they've discovered a therapy that might be able to preserve erectile function following prostate cancer surgery.

Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine scientists say up to 80 percent of men undergoing the procedure will lose the ability to have an erection because of damage to a critical nerve that runs along the prostate. But the new study suggests the damaged nerve can be regenerated more quickly with a protein called sonic hedgehog, delivered via a nanofiber gel.

Genetic markers linked to prostate cancer

Ann Arbor, Mich. -- U.S. researchers say they've identified specific genetic markers linked to prostate cancer that might allow the cancer to be predicted in younger men.

Scientists at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center note prostate cancer has become more common in younger men, and it's often more aggressive in that group. But now the scientists say they've found a series of genetic mutations that could help detect such early onset.

Digger Phelps has cancer surgery

Seattle -- Digger Phelps, the former highly successful Notre Dame basketball coach and television basketball analyst, is recovering from prostate cancer surgery.

Phelps, who was diagnosed with the disease in late April, had the procedure Tuesday at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer and Research Center at the University of Washington Medical Center.

"Thanks to early discovery of the cancer during a routine physical, Dad is doing great and is on the road to recovery," Phelps's daughter Karen Moyer said.

Major discovery made in prostate cancer

Paris -- A French-led international team of scientists says it has discovered how polyphenols in red wine and green tea inhibit prostate cancer growth.

The scientists -- who say their finding might lead to a major advance in the treatment of prostate cancer -- said they discovered antioxidants in red wine and green tea disrupt an important cell-signaling pathway necessary for prostate cancer growth.

The researchers, led by the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research in Paris, said their findings that appear in the early online edition of The FASEB Journal, might lead to the development of drugs that could stop or slow cancer progression, or improve current treatments.

Success with ovarian cancer drug

Chicago -- Long-term use of Avastin, a drug used to treat lung, colorectal and breast cancers, appears to help women with advanced ovarian tumors, a new study shows.

In a study presented Sunday at the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Robert Burger of the Gynecologic Oncology Group said in a study of 1,873 patients, the use of Avastin over the long term kept women's cancers in check for an average of 14 months, about four months longer than in women who only received chemotherapy, USA Today reported.

A short course of the drug did not appear to have any benefit, Burger said.