Recent quotes:

Study links exposure to nighttime artificial lights with elevated thyroid cancer risk -- ScienceDaily

Among 464,371 participants who were followed for an average of 12.8 years, 856 cases of thyroid cancer were diagnosed (384 in men and 472 in women). When compared with the lowest quintile of light at night, the highest quintile was associated with a 55 percent higher risk of developing thyroid cancer.

Working outdoors linked to lower risk of breast cancer among older women: Outdoor workers are able to make more vitamin D which may be protective, say researchers -- ScienceDaily

In these women occupational exposure for 20 or more years was associated with 17% lower odds of a breast cancer diagnosis while the highest level of cumulative exposure was associated with 11% reduced odds.

Effect of time of day of recreational and household physical activity on prostate and breast cancer risk (MCC‐Spain study) - Weitzer - - International Journal of Cancer - Wiley Online Library

We examined in a population‐based case‐control study (MCC‐Spain) if the time‐of‐day when physical activity is done affects prostate and breast cancer risk. Lifetime recreational and household physical activity was assessed by in‐person interviews. Information on time‐of‐day of activity (assessed approximately 3 years after the assessment of lifetime physical activity and confounders) was available for 781 breast cancer cases, 865 population female controls, 504 prostate cases and 645 population male controls from 10 Spanish regions, 2008‐2013. We estimated odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) for different activity timings compared to inactive subjects using unconditional logistic regression adjusting for confounders. Early morning (8‐10 am) activity was associated with a protective effect compared to no physical activity for both breast (OR = 0.74, 95% CI = 0.48‐1.15) and prostate cancer (OR = 0.73, 95% CI = 0.44‐1.20); meta‐OR for the two cancers combined 0.74 (95%CI = 0.53‐1.02).

How exercise stalls cancer growth through the immune system -- ScienceDaily

They divided mice with cancer into two groups and let one group exercise regularly in a spinning wheel while the other remained inactive. The result showed that cancer growth slowed and mortality decreased in the trained animals compared with the untrained. Next, the researchers examined the importance of cytotoxic T cells by injecting antibodies that remove these T cells in both trained and untrained mice. The antibodies knocked out the positive effect of exercise on both cancer growth and survival, which according to the researchers demonstrates the significance of these T cells for exercise-induced suppression of cancer.

Why cancer screening has never been shown to “save lives”—and what we can do about it | The BMJ

Discrepancies between disease specific and overall mortality were found in direction or magnitude in seven of 12 randomised trials of cancer screening.8 Despite reductions in disease specific mortality in the majority of studies, overall mortality was unchanged or increased. In cases where both mortality rates were reduced the improvement was larger in overall mortality than in disease specific mortality. This suggests an imbalance in non-disease specific deaths, which warrants examination and explanation.

Association of Dietary Fiber and Yogurt Consumption With Lung Cancer Risk: A Pooled Analysis | Lifestyle Behaviors | JAMA Oncology | JAMA Network

The analytic sample included 627 988 men, with a mean (SD) age of 57.9 (9.0) years, and 817 862 women, with a mean (SD) age of 54.8 (9.7) years. During a median follow-up of 8.6 years, 18 822 incident lung cancer cases were documented. Both fiber and yogurt intakes were inversely associated with lung cancer risk after adjustment for status and pack-years of smoking and other lung cancer risk factors: hazard ratio, 0.83 (95% CI, 0.76-0.91) for the highest vs lowest quintile of fiber intake; and hazard ratio, 0.81 (95% CI, 0.76-0.87) for high vs no yogurt consumption. The fiber or yogurt associations with lung cancer were significant in never smokers and were consistently observed across sex, race/ethnicity, and tumor histologic type. When considered jointly, high yogurt consumption with the highest quintile of fiber intake showed more than 30% reduced risk of lung cancer than nonyogurt consumption with the lowest quintile of fiber intake (hazard ratio, 0.67 [95% CI, 0.61-0.73] in total study populations; hazard ratio 0.69 [95% CI, 0.54-0.89] in never smokers), suggesting potential synergism.

Handheld device to diagnose skin cancer -- ScienceDaily

The team's technology uses millimeter-wave radiation -- the same shortwave rays used in cellphones and airport security scanners. Millimeter-wave rays penetrate certain materials and bounce off others, which is how airport security knows if you leave your keys in your pocket as you walk through a scanner. Just as metal reflects more energy than your body, so cancerous tumors reflect more calibrated energy than healthy skin, making it possible to identify diseased tissue by looking for reflectivity hotspots. The latest tests were conducted on biopsies collected by surgeons from Hackensack University Medical Center. Tavassolian and Mirbeik-Sabzevari custom built antennae to generate high-resolution images of this biopsied tissue, and found they could map the tiny tumors as accurately as lab-based testing. Cancerous cells reflected around 40 percent more calibrated energy than healthy tissue, showing that millimeter-wave reflectivity is a reliable marker for cancerous tissue.

Cancer drugs don't always work as intended, researchers warn -- ScienceDaily

In a new paper recently published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, a team of researchers led by Sheltzer and researchers Ann Lin and Chris Giuliano, detail how the "mechanism of action" of the 10 drugs were mischaracterized, just like MELK. "The idea for many of these drugs is that they block the function of a certain protein in cancer cells. And what we showed is that most of these drugs don't work by blocking the function of the protein that they were reported to block," Sheltzer explained. "So that's what I mean when I talk about mechanism of action." All 10 of the drugs are currently being tested in clinical trials and involve about 1000 human cancer patients. And while they do appear capable of killing cancer cells, it's just not in the way researchers had thought. So how can this be? "In some sense, this is a story of this generation's technology," Sheltzer said.

Promising new pancreatic cancer treatment moves forward -- ScienceDaily

"We were able to observe that the combination of these two drugs -- which, when used individually, don't have much of an impact on the disease -- appears to have a very potent impact on the growth of pancreatic cancer," says McMahon. "We have observed this in the lab in petri dishes, then in mouse models, and now in a pancreatic cancer patient on a compassionate use basis. Indeed, we proceeded from a petri dish to a patient in less than two years -- a timeline that is rarely seen in medical science."

Genomics could better match treatments to pancreatic cancer patients -- ScienceDaily

"Every pancreatic cancer is different, and performing molecular profiling of each patient's tumor could help determine the best treatment options," said lead author Aatur Singhi, M.D., Ph.D., surgical pathologist at UPMC and assistant professor of pathology at Pitt. "Rather than blindly giving patients the same chemotherapy, we want to tailor a patient's chemo to their tumor type. A one-size-fits-all approach isn't going to work. Therefore, we would like to make molecular profiling standard-of-care for patients with pancreatic cancer."

Worldwide estimates suggest that nearly 1 in 2 children with cancer are left undiagnosed and untreated -- ScienceDaily

"Our model suggests that nearly one in two children with cancer are never diagnosed and may die untreated," says study author Zachary Ward from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, USA. "Accurate estimates of childhood cancer incidence are critical for policy makers to help them set healthcare priorities and to plan for effective diagnosis and treatment of all children with cancer. While under-diagnosis has been acknowledged as a problem, this model provides specific estimates that have been lacking."

Could we soon be able to detect cancer in 10 minutes? | Science | The Guardian

Looking for ctDNA has become a viable proposition in recent years because of improvements in DNA sequencing technologies that make it possible to scan fragments and find those few with alterations that may indicate cancer. While other blood-based biomarkers are being investigated, the advantage of ctDNA is that, because it has a direct link to the tumour, it can be very specific at identifying cancer. For that reason, ctDNA is also showing promise as a way to profile and monitor advanced stage cancers, a “liquid biopsy”. Early detection is a harder problem. Early on, when the tumour is small, there is not as much ctDNA to detect. The women Illumina identified as having cancer were all late, not early stage.

Forget the Blood of Teens. Metformin Promises to Extend Life for a Nickel a Pill | WIRED

He was confident that metformin was good enough for the job. He has maintained this confidence ever since he read a 2014 study that reviewed the fate of 90,400 type 2 diabetics taking either metformin or another medication. The metformin patients in the study not only outlived the diabetics taking the other drug—a not especially surprising result if metformin is a superior treatment—but also outlived the nondiabetics studied as a comparison.

Body clock researchers prevent liver cancer growth in mice -- ScienceDaily

The body's clock, called the circadian clock, is an intrinsic, 24-hour timekeeping system that operates in all cells of the body and regulates sleep, metabolism and other vital body functions. "We were able to inhibit the growth of liver cancer in a mouse model by manipulating the circadian clock at the cellular level," said Kristin Eckel-Mahan, Ph.D., the study's senior author and an assistant professor with the Center for Metabolic and Degenerative Diseases at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth.

Melanoma death rates are rising in men but static or falling in women -- ScienceDaily

In all countries, the rates were higher in men than in women. Overall, the highest three-year average death rates for 2013 to 2015 were found in Australia (5.72 per 100,000 men and 2.53 per 100,000 in women) and Slovenia (3.86 in men and 2.58 in women), with the lowest in Japan (0.24 in men and 0.18 in women). The Czech Republic was the only country where the researchers found a decrease in men's melanoma death rate, where there was as estimated annual percentage decrease of 0.7% between 1985 and 2015. Israel and the Czech Republic experienced the largest decreases in mortality rates in women, 23.4% and 15.5% respectively.

Glutamine metabolism affects T cell signaling and function -- ScienceDaily

In the current work, they turned their attention to another major fuel: glutamine, which has primarily been studied in the context of cancer cell metabolism. Several companies are developing drugs that inhibit glutamine metabolism to reduce cancer cell growth and proliferation. The investigators expected that inhibiting glutamine metabolism -- like blocking glucose metabolism -- would prevent T cell activation and function. They used a drug that inhibits the first step in glutamine metabolism, an enzyme called glutaminase. They also studied mice with targeted genetic deletion of the glutaminase gene. The researchers were surprised to find that certain T cells -- those that mediate antiviral and anticancer responses -- performed better in the absence of glutaminase activity. Other T cells involved in inflammatory and autoimmune diseases performed worse. "We were intrigued that one metabolic perturbation could have a very different impact on the function of subsets of T cells," said Marc Johnson, a graduate student who led the studies.

Living close to urban green spaces is associated with a decreased risk of breast cancer: Residential proximity to agricultural areas is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, study shows -- ScienceDaily

"found a linear correlation between distance from green spaces and breast cancer risk. In other words, the risk of breast cancer in the population declines, the closer their residence is to an urban green space. These findings highlight the importance of natural spaces for our health and show why green spaces are an essential component of our urban environment, not just in the form of isolated areas but as a connective network linking the whole urban area and benefitting all its inhabitants."

Stress hormone is key factor in failure of immune system to prevent leukemia -- ScienceDaily

They do this by using cortisol to force the release of a protein, latrophilin 1. This in turn causes the secretion of another protein, galectin-9, which suppresses the body's natural anti-cancer immune mechanism. Dr Sumbayev's team, working with researchers from two German universities and the UK's Diamond Light Source facility, found that although healthy human white blood cells are not affected by cortisol they become capable of releasing latrophilin 1 when malignant transformation takes place. Malignant AML cells then use cortisol to increase the release of latrophilin 1 so that they can use it to avoid the immune system. The study concluded that galectin-9, as well as a natural binding partner of latrophilin 1 -- known as FLRT3 -- which are both present in human blood plasma, are the most promising targets for future anti-AML immune therapy.

Study links night exposure to blue light with breast and prostate cancer: Researchers used images taken by astronauts to evaluate outdoor lighting in Madrid and Barcelona -- ScienceDaily

Results obtained for both cities show that participants exposed to higher levels of blue light had a 1.5 and 2-fold higher risk of developing breast and prostate cancer, respectively, as compared to the less-exposed population.

How not to say the wrong thing - latimes

Draw a circle. This is the center ring. In it, put the name of the person at the center of the current trauma. For Katie's aneurysm, that's Katie. Now draw a larger circle around the first one. In that ring put the name of the person next closest to the trauma. In the case of Katie's aneurysm, that was Katie's husband, Pat. Repeat the process as many times as you need to. In each larger ring put the next closest people. Parents and children before more distant relatives. Intimate friends in smaller rings, less intimate friends in larger ones. When you are done you have a Kvetching Order. One of Susan's patients found it useful to tape it to her refrigerator. Here are the rules. The person in the center ring can say anything she wants to anyone, anywhere. She can kvetch and complain and whine and moan and curse the heavens and say, "Life is unfair" and "Why me?" That's the one payoff for being in the center ring. Everyone else can say those things too, but only to people in larger rings. When you are talking to a person in a ring smaller than yours, someone closer to the center of the crisis, the goal is to help. Listening is often more helpful than talking. But if you're going to open your mouth, ask yourself if what you are about to say is likely to provide comfort and support. If it isn't, don't say it. Don't, for example, give advice. People who are suffering from trauma don't need advice. They need comfort and support. So say, "I'm sorry" or "This must really be hard for you" or "Can I bring you a pot roast?" Don't say, "You should hear what happened to me" or "Here's what I would do if I were you." And don't say, "This is really bringing me down."

Anti-aging protein alpha Klotho's molecular structure revealed -- ScienceDaily

One of the major, paradigm-changing findings revealed by solving the protein complex structure is that the circulating form of soluble a-Klotho can actually serve as a co-receptor for FGF23. Thus, the soluble form of a-Klotho can go to any cell in the body and act as a co-receptor for FGF23, rendering every cell a possible target of FGF23, representing a major paradigm shift. "a-Klotho researchers in cancer, aging, neurologic, cardiovascular, and kidney disease will benefit from this research," Dr. Moe said. "The knowledge of the structure of the protein, along with its molecular binding partners, will enable us to greatly advance the understanding of how a-Klotho works and also how to best design therapeutic strategies and novel agents that can either activate or block FGF23-a-Klotho interaction and signaling as needed."

The happiness project | Science

In 2010, cancer biologist Lei Cao—inspired by a family member who had died of cancer—wondered whether she could combat it by looking beyond drugs or genes. Her team at OSU created a 1-square-meter enclosure filled with so many mazes, running wheels, and bright red, blue, and orange igloos that her daughter dubbed it “Disneyland for Mice.” <img class="fragment-image" src="https://d2ufo47lrtsv5s.cloudfront.net/content/sci/359/6376/624/F3.medium.gif"/> A fish at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor gets to choose between an empty tank and one filled with marbles. PHOTO: AUSTIN THOMASON/MICHIGAN PHOTOGRAPHY When injected with cancer cells, animals housed there developed tumors 80% smaller than those in control mice, or no tumors at all. Cao even discovered a possible mechanism: A stimulating environment seemed to activate the brain's hypothalamus, which regulates hormones that affect everything from mood to cancer proliferation. “We showed that there's a hard science behind enrichment,” she says. “You can't just treat the body—you have to treat the mind.”

Female night shift workers may have increased risk of common cancers -- ScienceDaily

Overall, long-term night shift work among women increased the risk of cancer by 19 percent. When analyzing specific cancers, the researchers found that this population had an increased risk of skin (41 percent), breast (32 percent), and gastrointestinal cancer (18 percent) compared with women who did not perform long-term night shift work. After stratifying the participants by location, Ma found that an increased risk of breast cancer was only found among female night shift workers in North America and Europe. "We were surprised to see the association

Time matters: Does our biological clock keep cancer at bay? -- ScienceDaily

Relógio, whose surname in Portuguese means "clock," says: "Based on our results, it seems to us that the clock is likely to act as a tumour suppressor, and that it is of advantage for cancer cells to circumvent circadian control. One cannot stop wondering whether disrupted circadian timing should be included as a next potential hallmark of cancer."

Outdoor light at night linked with increased breast cancer risk in women | News | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Women exposed to the highest levels of outdoor light at night—those in the top fifth—had an estimated 14% increased risk of breast cancer during the study period, as compared with women in the bottom fifth of exposure, the researchers found. As levels of outdoor light at night increased, so did breast cancer rates.

Study: Psilocybin Mushrooms Can Help Cancer Anxiety - The Atlantic

In the Johns Hopkins study, half of the 51 participants were given a low dose of psilocybin as control, followed by a high dose five weeks later. (For the other half, the order of the doses was reversed.) The results were remarkable: Six months later, 78 percent of the participants were less depressed than they started, as rated by a clinician, and 83 percent were less anxious. Furthermore, 65 percent had almost fully recovered from depression, and 57 percent from their anxiety, after six months. By comparison, in past studies antidepressants have only helped about 40 percent of cancer patients, performing about as well as a placebo.