Get $200 with your 1st order. Same day blood tests, next day results. Google reviews 746

Private MD News - Cancer Detection and Tumor Markers

Home | News | Cancer Detection and Tumor Markers

View Articles by Date

Year: 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009


New testing for lung cancer could improve treatment times
Date: 2013-01-17 00:00:00

There are a number of ways people can develop lung cancer, but regardless of the methodology, catching it early is key to recovery. For some, the process of finding whether the disease is present has been arduous and painful, but doctors are researching new ways to find out if patients have the illness more quickly and effortlessly, while others pioneer better medication and treatment plans for those who do have it.

The BBC reported that clinicians in Northern Ireland are using new technology for cancer detection that makes it a same-day outpatient procedure. In the past, imaging and blood tests were necessary in order to get a full overview of the lung tissues, but the new device is comprised of a flexible telescope, allowing doctors to visually examine all the inner workings of the lung and give a definitive diagnosis. Called a bronchial endoscope, the source stated that the tool can take tissue samples for biopsy and expedite overall treatment. While other testing is still critical for diagnosing the exact kind and stage of cancer present, this procedure lets clinicians know quickly if further trials are necessary.

"The majority of patients that we see for this procedure have suspected lung cancer," said Terence McManus, a respiratory consultant who carries out these procedures. "It's a priority that these patients are investigated as quickly as possible so their treatment can commence."

Getting extra assistance... Full Story

Bladder cancer patients see improved outlook
Date: 2013-01-21 00:00:00

There are some forms of cancer that are more virulent than others, including variants that attack the bladder. The SEER Cancer Institute stated that about 75,000 people contractbladder cancer each year, and of those, about one-fifth will die before the year's end. Scientists are trying to find medicines that will better treat the pain and suffering associated with this illness, as well as seekbetter treatment methods to cure the disease. Carrying out blood testing to look for medication levels and certain genetic markers may make the process easier for patients.

The Colorado Cancer Center revealed recently that research regarding a specific blood protein, Secreted Protein Acidic and Rich in Cysteine (SPARC), was higher in bladder cancer patients whose bodies were fighting tumors more effectively. Blood testing showed that these proteins acted like anti-inflammatory drugs, reducing the swelling in tissues surrounding the growths and impeding the progress of bladder cancer. Those who were unable to create this protein or secreted less SPARC saw more rapid progression of the illness, indicating to researchers that providing patients with these kinds of proteins could help slow or halt tumors and stop them from metastasizing. There was also evidence that SPARC could stop tumors on the move from embedding in new organs, keeping the spread of the disease in check.

Looking for genetic connections... Full Story

Blood test helps identify existence of acute disease
Date: 2013-02-01 00:00:00

There are a number of medical conditions that can be detected by a simple blood test, but as researchers become aware of new markers and signals associated with certain illnesses, lab results grow more instrumental in diagnosing more complex illnesses. Certain fluctuations in various blood levels and protein concentrations can indicate to clinicians that a syndrome is likely to exist, leading to more thorough medical tests based on these basic blood testing samples.

Researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine have identified a series of protein readings in basic blood tests that have been tied to the presence of lymphedema in patients, a condition that occurs when lymphatic tissues are no longer draining fluids correctly. This illness can cause serious infections and other complications, and since it is most often present in cancer patients, the repercussions of fluid buildup could be significant.

The study looked at about 30 patients, both unaffected and those already diagnosed with lymphedema, to isolate common factors in their blood tests. While researchers found that healthy and cancerous tissues showed concerning genetic markers, the concentration of specific proteins was higher among diseased samples than healthier samples. The final panels showed that six proteins were present in high volumes to definitively indicate the presence of blockage and infection, but several of them together could still be a sign that more intensive testing is necessary.

Preventative care measures... Full Story

Eating resistant starch may help stave off colorectal cancer
Date: 2013-02-20 00:00:00

People who have a family history of cancer should regularly get blood tests and lab tests to help make sure they are healthy. These individuals should closely follow any scientific studies that point to simple lifestyle changes they can make to help reduce their risk of developing cancer. For example, researchers from the University of Colorado Cancer Center recently discovered that consuming more resistant starch may help people lower their chances of colorectal cancer.

Resistant starch can't be digested, so it ends up in the bowel in more or less the same form it was in when it is first consumed. Researchers set out to determine if the fact that these foods stay whole in the bowel has an effect on colorectal cancer risk.

Eat more starch ... Full Story

Confidence may help cancer survivors stay fit
Date: 2013-03-11 00:00:00

Following a lab test revealing cancer remission, individuals may feel overjoyed yet still concerned about how to stay healthy moving forward. Recently, a team of scientists discovered that simply staying positive may help survivors maintain well-being.

Researchers from the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center found that endometrial cancer survivors may be more likely to work out for a longer period of time if their daily self-efficacy was high. In this study, self-efficacy is defined by a person's belief in his or her ability to complete tasks and reach goals.

Confidence is the answer... Full Story

Screenings may be the best way to reduce colon cancer risk
Date: 2013-03-06 00:00:00

When it comes to cancer, early detection is key, a fact that underscores the need for regular blood tests and lab tests. Catching cancer early saves lives, especially since many forms of cancer are treatable in their early stages. Recently, researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania confirmed what most medical professionals already believe - colonoscopy screenings significantly reduce an individual's risk of developing end-stage colorectal cancer.

The scientists stated that in the past few years, the colonoscopy has been replacing the sigmoidoscopy, which was a procedure used to detect abnormalities in the rectum and left side of the colon, even though many people questioned the efficacy and high cost of a colonoscopy. Now, researchers are stating that colonoscopy screening does, indeed, help save people from dying of colon cancer.

A serious issue... Full Story

Device alerts people of presence of harmful cigarette residue
Date: 2013-03-22 00:00:00

Everybody needs lab tests to screen for the ill health effects of the environment, including that emitted by tobacco users.The American Cancer Society states that secondhand smoke is a known human carcinogen and contains at least 69 chemicals that cause cancer. In order to reduce the number of non-smokers exposed to this substance each year, Dartmouth researchers have developed a tool that can immediately detect the presence of secondhand smoke and even third-hand smoke.

The goal of this device is to help make sure that people are fully aware when they are in the presence of secondhand and third-hand smoke, which is particularly important for individuals with asthma. Third-hand smoke consists of tobacco chemicals and residue left on indoor surfaces.

Not far enough ... Full Story

Study shines light on vitamin E's ability to fight cancer
Date: 2013-03-14 00:00:00

Over the past few decades, studies have suggested that vitamin E may help fight cancer. However, this research was conducted on animals, and when similar trials were done with humans, results of the lab tests were not the same. Still, scientists have not given up hope that vitamin E may have some cancer-fighting properties. Recently, researchers from Ohio State University have discovered that there may indeed be some benefits to consuming this nutrient when it comes to keeping cancer at bay.

The scientists found that one form of vitamin E prevented the activation of an enzyme that is essential for prostate cancer cells to survive. With this enzyme gone, the cancer cells died and the healthy cells were left unaffected.

"This is the first demonstration of a unique mechanism of how vitamin E can have some benefit in terms of cancer prevention and treatment," said lead author Ching-Shih Chen, professor of medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy at Ohio State University and an investigator in Ohio State's Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Not your average vitamin E ... Full Story

Flame retardant in office furniture may pose health risk
Date: 2013-03-27 00:00:00

Getting regular lab tests to check for a host of diseases isn't just a good idea for people who already feel sick. Everyone should consider getting blood tests to make sure they are in good health, since people might be surprised to know the number of seemingly harmless things in their life that could pose a risk. For example, researchers from Boston University Medical Center have found a flame retardant that was removed from children's pajamas 30 years ago is present in polyurethane foam found in many office environments. Furthermore, this chemical has been named as a possible carcinogen.

Researchers examined 31 adults to come to their conclusions, and discovered that the chemical found in this flame retardant - known as TDCPP - was found in 99 percent of dust samples taken from the homes, vehicles and offices of the participants.

Potentially dangerous ... Full Story

Exercise is key for breast cancer survivors, but few meet guidelines
Date: 2013-04-18 00:00:00

Women who have survived breast cancer often require regular lab tests to detect recurrence, in addition to other healthy lifestyle changes. Recently, researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center found that while female breast cancer survivors can greatly benefit from getting regular exercise, few meet national physical activity guidelines.

According to the scientists, past research has shown a strong association between physical activity and reduced mortality, extended survival and higher quality of life for breast cancer survivors, so it's important to understand what barriers are keeping these women from working out.

Not just aging ... Full Story

Does sleep apnea increase colorectal cancer risk?
Date: 2013-05-01 00:00:00

Thanks to modern technology, lab tests can now detect cancer at earlier stages than ever before. While blood tests allow for doctors to diagnose cancer earlier, it's important for people to not only get regular lab tests, but also do everything they can to avoid developing cancer in the first place. According to recent research from Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital, individuals who are concerned about their colorectal cancer risk may want to monitor their sleeping habits.

The scientists discovered that overweight individuals or those who snored regularly and reported sleeping 9 hours or more each night had an increased risk of colorectal cancer than individuals who slept less.

Is it sleep apnea?... Full Story

Could cholesterol-lowering drugs help men beat cancer?
Date: 2013-05-06 00:00:00

People who get regular blood tests and lab tests may be more likely to catch and treat health problems like high cholesterol or even cancer. While these two conditions may not seem directly related, recent evidence suggests that there may be a strong association between the two. According to scientists from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, men with prostate cancer who took cholesterol-lowering statin drugs were less likely to die of cancer than those who did not take the pills.

To come to their conclusions, the scientists examined 1,000 Seattle-area prostate cancer patients. About 30 percent of the study participants said that they were on statins to help lower their cholesterol. When the researchers followed up with these individuals eight years later, they found that the risk of death was significantly reduced in the men who took the statins.

Help cholesterol and cancer?... Full Story

Tomatoes and soy may be a recipe to help beat prostate cancer
Date: 2013-05-08 00:00:00

People need to order regular blood tests to make sure that they do not miss any of the signs of conditions ranging from heart disease to cancer. This is particularly important for people who have a history of disease in their family, who should not only be getting regular lab tests, but should also be trying to live a lifestyle that will help reduce their risk of developing a health problem. For example, men with a history of prostate cancer in their family should be sure to eat a healthy diet, since this has been shown to lower the chance of this disease.

Recently, researchers from the University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences found that one thing that men who are concerned about prostate cancer may want to do is consume a meal that consists of tomato and soy products. According to the scientists, eating these two foods together may more effectively help prevent prostate cancer than eating them separately.

Better when eaten together... Full Story

Women in their 40s ignore mammogram recommendations
Date: 2013-05-17 00:00:00

People who have a family history of cancer should get regular lab tests done to make sure that they are healthy. Early detection is the key to successful cancer treatment, which is why people need to get screened for it and other diseases often.

However, while requesting confidential lab tests is something that anyone who is concerned about their cancer risk can do, some cancer screening procedures are not always necessary. For example, researchers from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have found that women in their 40s continue to get regular mammograms, despite new national guidelines.

According to the researchers, in 2009, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force looked through a number of studies and determined that while women between the ages of 50 and 74 should get mammograms every two years, women who are in their 40s may not need them so regularly. However, despite these revised recommendations, women in their 40s appear to be getting mammograms at the same rate as they always have.

Mixed results ... Full Story

CT scans in childhood may increase cancer risk
Date: 2013-05-22 00:00:00

While anyone could benefit from regular blood tests that can help detect cancer markers, people who underwent CT scans at a young age may want to get screened for cancer often. According to a recent study conducted by researchers from the University of Melbourne in Australia, individuals who underwent CT scans before the age of 20 may have a slightly increased risk of developing cancer, compared to those who did not get CT scans at a young age.

Despite these findings, the researchers stress that CT scans are an important part of medicine. People should not avoid getting them if a doctor recommends it, since they can detect important medical information.

Still get CTs, but be cautious... Full Story

Study finds cancer survivors affected by anxiety
Date: 2013-06-05 00:00:00

Individuals who are impacted by medical conditions may opt to undergo a lab test outside of a doctor's office to help take command of their own health. While blood testing is one of many medical processes people can engage in without a healthcare provider's interference, for some issues like cancer, people may seek solace from a doctor.

For those who are treated and survive cancer, anxiety may develop, according to the findings of a recent study published in The Lancet Oncology.

Researchers learned that people who have recovered from cancer are increasingly more likely to struggle with nervousness than those who have not been affected by the condition, as are their loved ones, HealthDay News reported.

"Our results suggest that, after a cancer diagnosis, increased rates of anxiety tend to persist in both patients and their relatives," said lead author Alex Mitchell, MBBS, Of Leicester General Hospital in England. "When patients are discharged from hospital care they usually receive only periodic check-ups from their medical teams and this autonomy in the post-acute period can be anxiety-provoking."

Data extracted from 27 publications containing 43 comparison studies revealed cancer survivors were nearly 30 percent more likely to be affected by anxiety two years or more after a diagnosis than individuals never impacted by cancer.

Over the course of 10 years, 50 percent of these individuals were likely to report feelings of nervous tension or stress.

Surprisingly, the partners of cancer survivors were also inclined toward feelings of anxiety over the span of two to 10 years after recovery from the condition. The rates of depression among survivors and their partners were comparable, according to the researchers.

According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, approximately 12 million individuals in the U.S. have a history of cancer. About 60 percent of adults who are cancer survivors are over the age of 65, and 14 percent recovered more than 20 years ago.

... Full Story

Are cancer patients reluctant to talk about the costs of treatment?
Date: 2013-06-06 00:00:00

Cancer treatments can be costly, which is why many individuals prefer to take lab tests outside of a traditional healthcare setting. Doing so can ensure that people gain results and greater insight into their own health and wellness.

However, many individuals are unaware of the benefits of undergoing a FSH test or other related procedure outside of a clinical environment. These patients may continue to get assistance solely from doctors, but may be hesitant to ask about the costs of treatment up front, according to a recent study by the Duke Cancer Institute.

According to researchers, some people express fears that discussing their financial reservations about treatment will compromise the quality of care that they receive from healthcare providers. However, bringing these concerns up may be beneficial in more ways than one.

"Even my patients with insurance were asking for less expensive medications and less frequent visits [since they couldn't afford the travel costs]," said study lead author Yousuf Zafar, M.D., an assistant professor at the Duke Cancer Institute. "There's this undercurrent of expenses that patients are facing that often goes unseen."

Researchers recruited about 300 patients who were being treated at clinics in North Carolina, as well as Duke Health. They learned that more than half of the individuals taking part in the study wanted to discuss the costs of treatment options with medical staff, but less than 20 percent actually did so.

Surprisingly, 57 percent of participants who did discuss their financial reservations with healthcare professionals found that doing so helped them find more economical alternatives for treatment. This suggests more people should be forthright about their concerns.

According to the American Cancer Society, the overall expenses of cancer treatment can be hefty, but for those who plan ahead and have health insurance, the impact may be less substantial.

Individuals being treated for cancer typically undergo office visits, lab tests, imaging tests, procedures for treatment or diagnosis, medication costs and lengthy home care. Speaking with a healthcare professional about financial planning can be beneficial for relieving some of the financial strain of this life event.

... Full Story

Men with prostate cancer may want to say 'yes' to vegetable fat
Date: 2013-06-11 00:00:00

Nearly 30,000 men die of prostate cancer in the U.S. each year, according to the National Cancer Institute. This is one of the many reasons why men - especially those who are middle-aged - should get regular blood tests to make sure that they are healthy. Obesity is one of the main risk factors for developing this disease, so men need to make sure they eat healthy foods if they want to reduce their chances of having prostate cancer.

Recently, researchers the University of California, San Francisco, found that one change men who are either concerned about prostate cancer or already have the disease may want to make to their diets is to replace carbohydrates and animal fat with vegetable fat. The scientists found that doing this may help reduce the risk of death in men with non​-metastatic prostate cancer.

Vegetable fat is superior ... Full Story

Colorectal screenings could save lives, study finds
Date: 2013-06-25 00:00:00

A new study published in the journal JAMA Surgery has demonstrated that routine colonoscopies can have a significant impact on the health of individuals, and may help extend one's life.

"Compliance to screening colonoscopy guidelines can play an important role in prolonging longevity, improving quality of life, and reducing healthcare costs through early detection of colon cancer," wrote the study's researchers, from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, respectively.

Close to 1,100 patients who were treated for colon cancer were examined in the report, with their medical outcomes factored into the overall results. In 217 cases, colorectal screenings helped individuals gain a diagnosis of the condition.

Those who did not undergo screenings were almost double as likely to have an invasive tumor than those did have them done, HealthDay News reported.

There are a few tests that can be taken to determine whether an individual is affected by colorectal cancer, including a fecal occult blood test, sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy and a barium enema. In addition, the National Cancer Institute notes that individuals can take a DNA stool test and virtual colonoscopy.

As of 2009 - the most recent year statistics were taken - the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that 136,717 people in the U.S. were diagnosed and affected by colorectal cancer, of whom 70,223 were men and 66,494 were women.

This is an important finding that suggests that individuals who monitor potential health conditions may be poised to enjoy better overall wellness if they take preventative steps early on.

The first move that people can make to gain control of their health is to have a lab test done today. With a lab test online, individuals can enhance their understanding of their bodies and gain a better idea of how their health is shaping up.

... Full Story

Information regarding immune cells revealed
Date: 2013-07-24 00:00:00

New research conducted by the University of Manchester has uncovered more information on how white blood immune cells fight tumors and viral infections. University scientists revealed how the cells alter the construction of surface molecules in response to proteins that are carried by tumor or viral-infected cells.

The report expressed hope that these findings will lead to better treatments for chronic diseases. Researchers specifically discovered that the protein found on viral-infected or tumor cells is not evenly spaced, but instead can be found in clusters. The study likens the pattern to how stars appear in the galaxy.

"This is the first time scientists have looked at how theses immune cells work at such a high resolution," said Daniel Davis, lead investigator. "The surprising thing was that these new pictures revealed that immune cell surfaces alter at [the nano scale] which could perhaps change their ability to be activated in a subsequent encounter with a diseased cell."

Researchers used high quality fluorescence microscopy with super-resolution to examine samples taken from blood tests and to learn more about the white blood immune cells. Previously, light microscopy has been unable to look at the cells at such an extreme scale.

Davis noted that being able to look at the cells in such great detail enabled the researchers to better understand the function of the immune system.

What do white blood cells do?... Full Story

Researchers find new method of detecting bladder cancer
Date: 2013-07-24 00:00:00

A recent study conducted by Virginia Commonwealth University has uncovered a novel gene target that may help doctors to detect and treat bladder cancer. The gene is known as melanoma differentiation associated gene-9/syntenin (mda-9/syntenin), and researchers have expressed hope that it might be used as a means of destroying bladder cancer cells, diagnose the cancer non-invasively and prevent metastasis.

"Currently, there are no biomarkers that can accurately predict bladder cancer metastasis, or monitor its progression," said Paul Fisher, coauthor of the study. "Our findings could assist in the development of innovative ways to detect, monitor and treat bladder cancer."

The report used lab tests of cell cultures and mouse models of the bladder cancer found in humans to determine that mda-9/syntenin helps to regulate the growth and metastasis of bladder cancer cells. Researchers also experimented with increasing the gene's expression, and they found that it was linked to disease progression. When they suppressed the expression, the cancer cells grew at a significantly slower rate, and they were less able to divide.

Mda-9/syntenin controls the progression of bladder cancer by affecting epidermal growth factor receptor signals. EGFR contributes to cell proliferation, cell migration, resistance to cell suicide and the growth of new blood vessels. It can be found on the surface of bladder cancer cells.

Current bladder cancer treatment... Full Story

Researchers find link between throat cancer and HPV
Date: 2013-07-28 00:00:00

A recent study from the University of New South Wales in Australia found that a human papillomavirus infection may increase the risk of throat cancer by as much as threefold.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HPV is linked to cervical cancer, genital cancers and oropharyngeal cancer, which originates in the back of the throat.

University researchers examined the rate of HPV patients diagnosed with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, or throat cancer, through lab tests. The disease's most common causes are smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol or extremely hot liquids, eating a diet rich in red meat and possibly consuming a certain amount of toxins.

"This is an important new finding which resolves a previous uncertainty," said Raina MacIntyre, senior author of the study. "Given that the most common two cervical-cancer-causing HPVs are now preventable by early vaccination, this may be significant in countries where [esophageal squamous cell carcinoma] is frequently found."

MacIntyre went on to note that this type of cancer is responsible for a large number of deaths in China, so having a proven preventative measure, such as an HPV vaccine, may be of particular interest to their health authorities.

The report noted that while the team established a link between HPV and throat cancer, further research is required to determine whether HPV is the actual cause.

HPV and medical complications... Full Story

What is the culprit behind inflammation-related pancreatic cancer?
Date: 2013-08-05 00:00:00

Chronic inflammation is known to lead to pancreatic cancer, but until now the reasoning has been unclear. A team from the Mayo Clinic in Florida has discovered the origin of inflammation-driven pancreatic cancer, a finding that may help physicians diagnose people at high risk for the disease.

The report revealed how inflammation forces cells that produce digestive enzymes, known as acinar cells, into the pancreas to form duct-like cells. Through lab testing, researchers were able to see that while the cells are transforming, they sometimes become mutated and further progress to become pancreatic cancer.

"We don't know why these cells reprogram themselves, but it may be because producing enzymes in an organ that is injured due to inflammation may cause more damage," said Peter Storz, senior author of the study. "The good news, however, is that this process is reversible, and we identified a number of molecules involved in this pathway that might be targeted to help push these new duct-like cells back into acinar cells, thus eliminating the risk of cancer development."

The team is now looking into existing medications to reverse the process and is testing the effects that they have on the cellular transformation.

Smoking and pancreatic cancer ... Full Story

Coffee may help fight prostate cancer
Date: 2013-09-03 00:00:00

Data from a new study shows evidence that drinking several cups of coffee a day may help to fight the recurrence and spread of prostate cancer. While the results of the study are not conclusive, the evidence still encourages further study into the subject and may offer hope to those with this type of cancer.

Coffee drinking... Full Story

Immune cells may increase breast cancer risk
Date: 2013-09-19 00:00:00

Lab tests have revealed that certain immune system cells in women may actually increase the risk for breast cancer. The results of a study from Adelaide University in Australia found that certain cells behave differently during the menstrual cycles of mice, and this change may be the same for women.

Immune cells and cancer correlation... Full Story

Walks may help prevent cancer in women
Date: 2013-10-06 00:00:00

Taking a walk or getting another form of exercise may significantly reduce the risk of cancer in older women, according to a study from the American Cancer Association. The results show that an active lifestyle can help reduce the risk of breast cancer, so those who may be at risk should consider adding an exercise regimen to their lives.

Exercise and cancer... Full Story

Breast cancer vaccine may prevent reoccurring cases
Date: 2013-10-15 00:00:00

New advances may have created a vaccine that could help reduce the rates of breast cancer recurrences, which are often deadly for women diagnosed with the disease. According to lab tests, the vaccine has been successful, so testing in human patients can now begin.

Breast cancer vaccine developments... Full Story

HPV antibodies may be linked to throat cancer
Date: 2013-10-17 00:00:00

Antibodies from the human papillomavirus may be linked to cases of throat cancer, according to a new study. Blood tests revealed that those with throat cancer are much more likely to have HPV antibodies than the normal population. The study was conducted by the National Cancer Institute and the International Agency for Research on Cancer and published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Link between HPV antibodies and throat cancer... Full Story

Sitting may increase risk of colon cancer
Date: 2013-10-28 00:00:00

A new study has found that sitting for a large part of the day as part of a sedentary lifestyle may increase the risk of getting colon cancer later in life. The study found that, even with exercise, those who spend an extended amount of time sitting each day may be more likely to get colon cancer, so those who sit often may want to consider getting lab tests to check their status.

Sitting and colon cancer... Full Story

Researchers may have found why certain drugs are ineffective against colorectal cancer
Date: 2013-10-29 00:00:00

For many diagnosed with colorectal cancer through lab tests, bevacizumab is a commonly prescribed medication. However, this medication can sometimes be ineffective at stopping tumor growth, and a group of researchers from the University of Colorado Cancer Center may have come a few steps closer to understanding why.

How the medication works... Full Story

Drinking coffee may fight liver disease
Date: 2013-11-06 00:00:00

A new review of 16 studies has found that drinking coffee daily may greatly reduce the risk of liver cancer. According to the review, those who regularly drink coffee may have rates of liver cancer that are up to 40 percent lower than the rest of the population, while those who drink more coffee have an even lower risk.

Coffee and liver cancer... Full Story

Dietary changes could reduce risk of breast cancer
Date: 2013-12-03 00:00:00

Following research conducted in lab tests at the Duke Cancer Institute in Durham, NC, new studies have found a link between high cholesterol and breast cancer in post-menopausal women. The presence of a molecule that imitates estrogen activity could be traced to tumor development in breast cancer tissue.

"What we have now found is a molecule - not cholesterol itself, but an abundant metabolite of cholesterol - called 27HC that mimics the hormone estrogen and can independently drive the growth of breast cancer," stated Donald McDonnell, M.D., senior author of the report and chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology at Duke.

The lab test, conducted using mice that exhibit similar reactions to humans, concluded that 27HC had immediate association with tumor growth and expansion to other organs in the body. However, the researchers discovered that the introduction of antiestrogen medications such as statins substantially diminished the effects of 27HC. Almost three-quarters of breast cancers are fueled by estrogen, and with the discovery of 27HC, McDonnell and his team have identified a mechanism that attributes high levels of cholesterol to the risks of breast cancer.

Additionally, the researchers deduced that the elevated levels of 27HC also combat the effects of antiestrogen remedies like tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors.

"Human breast tumors, because they express this enzyme to make 27HC, are making an estrogen-like molecule that can promote the growth of the tumor. In essence, the tumors have developed a mechanism to use a different source of fuel," said McDonnell.

These results suggest that the simple method of cholesterol testing, and staying on a healthy diet could help prevent the risk of breast cancer.

Reducing breast cancer risk... Full Story

New method of measuring breast density could improve screening processes
Date: 2013-12-04 00:00:00

According to a study revealed at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, lab tests show that changes in the density of women's breasts as they age have strong ties to the risk of breast cancer. Utilizing a new method of measurement and a focus group comprised of breast cancer patients and healthy women, the report was able to determine that women without cancer experienced a steady decline in breast density as they aged compared to those with cancer.

"Women under age 50 are most at risk from density-associated breast cancer, and breast cancer in younger women is frequently of a more aggressive type, with larger tumors and a higher risk of reoccurrence," stated Nicholas Perry, M.B.B.S., senior author of the study and director at the London Breast Institute in England.

The American Cancer Society recommended that women should get an MRI in addition to a full mammogram if they are at risk of breast cancer, as mammograms sometimes do not detect cancer given the density of a patient's breast. Even then, MRIs are only suggested for those at high risk of developing cancer.

Perry and his collaborators worked with nearly 600 participants, split evenly between women with cases of breast cancer and healthy patients. The women went through full mammograms, while the breast density was measured using a new system designed by the team at LBI.

"In general, we refer to breast density as being determined by mammographic appearance, and that has, by and large, in the past been done by visual estimation by the radiologist - in other words, subjective and qualitative," Perry explained.

Using a new system of density measurement, the researchers employed an algorithm that made breast density more assessable than it has been in the past. The updated formula could prove to be extremely beneficial in later screenings for breast cancer.

The future of testing for cancer... Full Story

Lab tests with magnetic fields cure cancer in mice
Date: 2013-12-06 00:00:00

Scientific researchers at Nanoprobes, Inc. have been working with magnetic nanoparticles in a quest to cure cancer. The study, published in the International Journal of Nanomedicine, is one of the biggest breakthroughs in cancer research to date.

Senior scientist James Hainfeld, Ph.D., and his team have been working on a cure for cancer through magnetic nanoparticles for almost six years. Originally, it was hypothesized that by injecting iron particles into a cancerous tumor, the abnormality would cook itself and be destroyed. It was dangerous, as toxic levels of iron were needed to overload the tumors and it was harmful to the rest of the body. Hainfeld set out to make a nontoxic form of the particles in order to solve the problem. Working with fellow researcher Hui Huang, they were able to put a biocompatible shell on the outside of the nanoparticle, rendering it capable of safely traveling through the body.

Newly formed blood vessels on tumors tend to leak anything of a certain size into the blood. Knowing this through lab tests, Hainfeld sized his nanoparticles to slip from the blood vessels and attack the tumors.

Through blood testing, they found that the tumors developed a concentration of iron 16 times higher than the surrounding healthy tissue. Their next step was placing the mice inside an alternating magnetic field, with the hope of overheating and subsequently liquefying the tumors. Watching through an infrared camera, they saw the newly injected tumors spike to lethal temperatures while the rest of the body remained unharmed.

After an injection of the magnetic nanoparticles and a three-minute stint in a magnetic field, 80 percent of the cancer-laden mice were completely cured.

Good news for combination therapy... Full Story

Hope for treating childhood tumor found through gene sequencing
Date: 2013-12-10 00:00:00

A cancer that is most commonly found in the muscle and soft tissues of children may have a new treatment available after gene sequencing lab test results were released this month. The findings, published in the scientific journal Cancer Cell, bring fresh hope to those with the rare and fast-spreading tumor.

Members of the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital-Washington University Pediatric Cancer Genome Project found that by using drugs that intensify a process called oxidative stress, the cells of rhabdomyosarcoma died off. Additionally, the drugs could fortify the efficacy of chemotherapy against the tumors from the soft tissue cancer.

Oxidative stress is caused by an imbalance between the production of reactive oxygen and the body's ability to repair the damage. This study offers the first insight into the benefits of using drugs already on the market to treat cancer cells. Following gene sequencing of the rhabdomyosarcoma tumor, the team was also able to provide new clues as to why tumors come back even after treatment.

"Overall, survival for patients with recurrent rhabdomyosarcoma is just 17 percent, and until now nothing was known about how tumors evolve in response to therapy," said Michael Dyer, Ph.D., corresponding author of the study and a member of the St. Jude Department of Developmental Neurobiology.

Using their results, the researchers plan to expand their biopsies to rhabdomyosarcoma tumors that recur in patients.

"Studies like the current one involving rhabdomyosarcoma are giving us a close-up look at the way cancer evolves in response to treatment," explained fellow study author Richard Wilson, Ph.D., director of The Genome Institute at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Based on the blood testing and drug screening of tumor samples from patients, this study could lead to new options in therapies and cancer treatments.

Facts on rhabdomyosarcoma... Full Story

Drug cuts cases of breast cancer in half
Date: 2013-12-12 00:00:00

A study conducted by a team of researchers at Queen Mary University of London showed that breast cancer development in high-risk women decreased by 53 percent when taking the drug anastrozole. These findings could lead to a new option in cancer prevention for postmenopausal women.

Published in the Lancet, the study gathered nearly 4,000 female participants who were postmenopausal and had high risk of developing breast cancer. Half of the women were given a placebo pill, while the rest were given 1 milligram of anastrozole every day. Lab tests were conducted and reviewed for five years, and the researchers reported that 85 women in the placebo group developed breast cancer, compared to only 40 in the anastrozole group.

"This research is an exciting development in breast cancer prevention. We now know anastrozole should be the drug of choice when it comes to reducing the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women with a family history or other risk factors for the disease. This class of drugs is more effective than previous drugs such as tamoxifen and crucially, it has fewer side effects," explained lead researcher Jack Cuzick, Ph.D.

Some side effects from estrogen-depriving drugs include sharp aches and pains, however, they found that the anastrozole group had similar reactions compared to the placebo group. This likely meant that the effects were not drug related and that worries in the past about the possible side effects were overemphasized.

"This landmark study shows that anastrozole could be valuable in helping to prevent breast cancer in women at higher than average risk of disease. We now need accurate tests that will predict which women will most benefit from anastrozole and those who will have the fewest side-effects," affirmed Kate Law, director of clinical research at Cancer Research UK.

The next step for these researchers will be to recommend that anastrozole be added to doctors' lists of drugs for breast cancer prevention.

"By including this drug in their clinical guidelines, more women will benefit from this important advancement in preventive medicine," concluded Cuzick.

Currently, the drug Arimidex is prescribed to patients for breast cancer prevention, as it inhibits estrogen in postmenopausal women. Following the results of this study, the usage of anastrozole as treatment could begin to rise.

Menopause and cancer risk... Full Story

Link found between blood cancer in women and airborne allergens
Date: 2013-12-17 00:00:00

A research team looking into the interaction between cancer and the immune system has discovered a link between blood cancer risk in women and a history of airborne allergies. The lack of an association with men suggested that a possible gender-specific function in chronic stimulation of the immune system might lead to the development of blood-related cancers.

Published in the American Journal of Hematology, the study showed the immune system's probable role in causing cancer and is a central point of scientific interest. Materials for the study were gathered from previous lab tests on voluntary participants.

To get their results, Mazyar Shadman, Ph.D., and his team from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center drew on a large sample of men and women who were part of the VITamins and Lifestyle study, which examined the association between cancer risk and supplement use. The participants, aged 50 to 76 years old, answered a questionnaire that centered on three major factors: diet, health history and cancer risk factors, and medication and supplement use. They also provided personal information such as age, race/ethnicity, diet, medical history and family history of lymphoma.

Finding the link... Full Story

DNA clamp could improve cancer screening methods
Date: 2013-12-19 00:00:00

Lab tests as part of an international research project have helped design a DNA clamp that detects genetic mutations with greater efficiency than ever before. These results could vastly improve quick screening of genetic diseases such as cancer and provide advances in the field of nanotechnology.

"The results of our study have considerable implications in the area of diagnostics and therapeutics because the DNA clamp can be adapted to provide a fluorescent signal in the presence of DNA sequences having mutations with high risk for certain types [of] cancer," explained Francesco Ricci, Ph.D., co-author of the study from the University of Rome Tor Vergata.

A growing number of mutations have been identified as risk factors for the development of serious diseases, including cancer. Previous groups have attempted to design an effective and inexpensive method to quickly detect these malicious mutations, but this DNA clamp is one of the first successful attempts. The clamp designed by Ricci's team distinguishes between both mutated and non-mutated strands of DNA with improved efficiency. This is especially significant because it allows for better specificity for determining what kinds of cancer patients have or are at risk of developing.

Working with a triple-helix... Full Story

New treatment for pancreatic cancer developed by UK researchers
Date: 2013-12-20 00:00:00

Following lab tests that used a drug that erodes the barrier surrounding cancer tumors, researchers have possibly discovered a new method for cancer treatment. Published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Scienes this procedure permits the human body's immune system to attack and destroy pancreatic cancer cells.

The team of scientists from the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute at the University of Cambridge developed a technique that allows cancer-attacking T cells to pass through the tumors' protective barriers and destroy the malicious cells. Initial tests of the treatment, combined with an antibody that blocks a second target, resulted in almost total elimination of cancer cells in only one week. The success of this method is not restricted solely to pancreatic cancer tumors, as it could potentially be used in other types of cancers.

Led by Douglas Fearon, Ph.D., the research team established that the barrier was created by a specific protein that materialized from a connective tissue cell called carcinoma-associated fibroblast, or CAF. The protein coated the cells and acted like a biological shield that drove away T cells. This effect was counteracted by the implementation of the drug, which prevented the T cells from interacting with the protein.

"We observed that T cells were absent from the part of the tumor containing the cancer cells that were coated with chemokine, and the principal source of the chemokine was the CAFs. Interestingly, depleting the CAFs from the pancreatic cancer had a similar effect of allowing immune control of the tumor growth," explained Fearon.

In the past, patients with pancreatic cancer have not responded positively to immunotherapy, even though it is an effective form of treatment for other solid tumors. Much like the animal form of pancreatic cancer that the researchers tested, the tumors in humans also create this barrier.

By administering the drug along with immunotherapy antibodies, the scientists enhanced the activation of the T cells. This resulted in the size of the tumor and the number of cancer cells decreasing immensely. Within one week, the remaining tumor was left with nothing but premalignant and inflammatory cells.

This new combination treatment of immunotherapy and the drug allows the patient's body to fight cancer with its own immune system. Potentially, it could greatly improve future treatment of solid tumors.

What is immunotherapy?... Full Story

New method could make chemotherapy more effective against pancreatic cancer
Date: 2013-12-24 00:00:00

Researchers from the University of Manchester who conducted numerous lab tests have discovered a potential new method that makes chemotherapy treatments more effective against pancreatic cancer. An aggressive cancer with limited options for treatment, the scientists believe they have found a strategy that kills cancer cells without damaging healthy ones.

Led by Jason Bruce, M.D., from the Physiological Systems and Disease Research Group, the team discovered that cancer cells in the pancreas possibly have their own energy supply that maintains low levels of calcium and keeps the cancer alive. To examine their hypothesis, the researchers used cells from human tumors and blocked the two energy sources that operate within them.

Mitochondria and glycolysis are the two main sources of energy in cells, with the former generating about 90 percent of the cells' energy. However, there is a shift in the cells toward glycolysis as the main source when it comes to pancreatic cancer. In their tests, the team blocked the two sources and made an exciting discovery. The results, published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, showed that when glycolysis was blocked, the calcium pump became inhibited, which caused a toxic overload of calcium and the death of cells.

"It looks like glycolysis is the key process in providing ATP fuel for the calcium pump in pancreatic cancer cells. Although an important strategy for cell survival, it may also be their major weakness. Designing drugs to cut off this supply to the calcium pumps might be an effective strategy for selectively killing cancer cells while sparing normal cells within the pancreas," explained Bruce.

The threat of pancreatic cancer... Full Story

Researchers discover cause of aging that may be reversible
Date: 2013-12-24 00:00:00

Findings published in the December issue of Cell detail the astounding results from lab tests conducted to determine the cause of aging in mammals. Led by David Sinclair, Ph.D, the team was able to restore cell communication pathways that breakdown and essentially discovered a possible method of reversing the aging process.

"The aging process we discovered is like a married couple - when they are young, they communicate well, but over time, living in close quarters for many years, communication breaks down. And just like with a couple, restoring communication solved the problem," explained Sinclair, professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Mass.

Inside cells, mitochondria carry out essential functions for the body by generating chemical energy and communicating with the nucleus. As this cellular conversation breaks down, the process of aging begins to accelerate. This dysfunction of cells is what causes age-related medical conditions such as diabetes and Alzheimer's disease. According to the team, scientists have always been hesitant to believe the effects of getting physically older could be reversed due to the theory that these diseases centered around aging are the result of irreversible mutations at the genetic level.

Working with SIRT1... Full Story

Study finds potential target for rare tissue cancer
Date: 2013-12-26 00:00:00

Research published in the online journal Cell Reports reveals that a team of scientists from the University of Texas-Southwestern Medical Center discovered a new method through lab tests to treat an incurable type of tissue cancer. The researchers found that removing a specific protein may completely eliminate the cancer.

Led by Lu Le, Ph.D., the team discovered that impeding the function of the protein BRD4 resulted in the death of cancer cells in an animal model of malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors, or MPNSTs. These growths are aggressive sarcomas that develop sporadically around the nerves. Half of MPNST cases occur in patients with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), a genetic disorder that affects 1 in 3,500 people. Typically, surgical removal has been the preferred treatment method for MPNST despite its level of difficulty due to the location of the tumors near the nerves. While chemotherapy and radiation therapy are alternative options, their effectiveness is restricted.

Learning about NF1... Full Story

News Categories:

Advanced Lipid Treatment I   Allergy Testing   Anemia and RBC disorders   Autoimmune Diseases   Bariatric Lab Testing   Blood and Blood Diseases   Breast   Cancer Detection and Tumor Markers   Celiac Disease Testing   Chlamydia   Coagulation and blood clotting disorders   Colon   DNA, Paternity and Genetic testing   Diabetes   Drug Screening   Environmental Toxin Testing   Female Specific Tests   Gastrointestinal Diseases   General Health   General Wellness   HIV   HIV monitoring/Treatment/Testing/Post Diagnos   Heart Health and Cholesterol   Herpes   Hormones and Metabolism   Infectious Diseases   Infertility Testing-Male   Infertitlity Hormone Testing   Kidney Diseases   Leukemia and WBC disorders   Liver   Liver Diseases   Lyme Disease   Male Specific Tests   Menopause/Peri-Menopausal Diagnosis   Musculoskeletal Diseases   Nicotine Screening   Organ Specific Testing   Ovarian   Prostate   Prostate   Sexually Transmitted Diseases   Thyroid Diseases   Transgender Hormone Testing-Male to Female   Transgender Hormone Testing-female to male   Vitamin D Deficiency-Diagnosis and Treatment   

Visit the Health News Archive: Click Here

Questions about online blood testing or how to order a lab test?

Speak with our Wellness Team: (877) 283-7882
Back to top