Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Pancreatic cancer claims another famous victim: Rest in peace, Sally Ride

This FoxNews.com article is excellent on so many levels. Here' an excerpt:

Sally Ride's death: Why is pancreatic cancer so deadly?

Astronaut Sally Ride, the first U.S. woman in space, died today from pancreatic cancer at the age of 61, according to news reports.

As a group, pancreatic cancers come with a very low survival rate — 75 percent of patients die less than a year after diagnosis, and 94 percent die within five years, according to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PCAN), an organization in Manhattan Beach, Calif., that champions research and patient and family support...

CLICK HERE to read more.

And once you get there, don't forget to click on this link:

What is it about pancreatic cancer that makes it so lethal?

Cancer is so unfair. Guess it doesn't pay attention to whether someone is a celebrity or not...

Feel good and keep smiling! Pat

Monday, July 16, 2012

Former Deep Purple band member, Jon Lord, dies from pancreatic cancer

It sure seems like a lot of celebrities end-up with pancreatic cancer.  Not sure why.  Here is a link to a story about the insidious cancer's latest well known victim... 

Cancer claims co-founding Deep Purple keyboard legend Jon Lord



Friday, July 13, 2012

Breast saving surgery can be as affective as mastectomy - just more difficult to complete

The L.A. Times always does such a great job with these stories.  You will find versions of this throughout mainstream media this weekend:

Breast-conserving cancer surgery often needs to be repeated

One in five women who undergo breast-conserving surgery for cancer instead of a mastectomy require a second operation within three months, British researchers reported this week. The survival rates for breast-conserving surgery combined with radiation and for mastectomy are about the same, but the need for a second operation can introduce extra anxiety for the patient, as well as additional cost. The need for a reoperation was most common for women with ductal carcinoma in situ, a form of cancer whose edges are very difficult to define for removal of the tumor.

Read more by CLICKING HERE.

Feel good and keep smiling!  Pat


Tuesday, July 10, 2012


First Study Targeting Colorectal Cancer Stem Cells to Begin

SCHAUMBURG, Ill., Jul 06, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The Gateway for Cancer Research(SM) (announces an exciting new Gateway-funded phase II study using ADAPT therapy for treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer based on a 2010 AACR presentation by Dr. Lin and his collaborators.

The clinical trial, being led by Dr. Edward Lin, a medical oncologist at the University of Washington, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and an accomplished researcher and expert in gastrointestinal cancers, is the first to specifically target colon cancer stem cells.

The study will use a unique combination drug therapy of Capecitabine (a chemotherapy drug) and Celecoxib (an FDA approved arthritis medication) to "wake up" and to "kill" colon cancer stem cells. The treatment works by activating cancer stem cells that hibernate during chemotherapy--a chief cause of treatment failure--so they can be destroyed. The proper sequence is necessary to consistently kill the dormant cells. The ADAPT concept was proposed by Drs. Lin and Linheng Li, a prominent stem cell biologist.

It is a very powerful drug combination with good preliminary results. Pilot studies have shown significantly increased survival rates compared with conventional therapy. Of 124 treated patients, 40% of those treated with this protocol achieved complete remission or near remission with a median survival of 93.7 months and only 1/3 of the patients had surgical removal of the metastasis.

The average length of survival for stage IV colorectal cancer patients on conventional treatment is about 20-24 months and 46 months for complete responders.

"A lot of patients we didn't expect to see live, are living and thriving," says Dr. Lin. It also allows a good quality of life for patients. "The treatment is offering an immediate benefit to today's cancer patients. 95% of participants are out and about in their daily lives, doing what they need to do without skipping a beat." Thomas Oberdorf, a 5-year colorectal cancer survivor who benefitted from Dr.
Lin's treatment protocol is grateful.

"As a stage IV colorectal cancer patient, I hoped to live another two years to see my daughter through to age 11. Thanks to Dr. Lin's treatment protocol, I am healthy and am hoping for another 50 years," said Oberdorf who did not miss a beat as CFO of a large organization during the course of his treatment.
The drug combination allowed a good quality of life for most patients. An independent randomized phase III study also showed that celecoxib reduced capecitabine induced hand foot syndrome that was observed by Dr. Lin.

Tiffany Heigle, a stage IV colon cancer patient when she first met with Dr. Lin, credits him for 10 years of survival and precious time with her family.

"Because of Dr. Lin's new treatment approach, I can enjoy being a mom to my 18-year-old freshman in college and my 15-year-old freshman in high school," says Heigle." I have been allowed to see them grow up due to this research." Colorectal cancer is the number 3 killer and an estimated 1.2 million people around the globe have the disease. More than 70,000 deaths per year in the US alone are attributed to colorectal cancer and for patients with stage IV disease; five year survival is under 10% with current treatments. Surgery remains the only treatment that yielded long term survival and this may be changed by the current study.

The clinical trial is inclusive and invites a broad range of patients and colorectal cancer stages with the goal to duplicate the success observed in the clinic. If successful, this treatment protocol has the potential to save many lives per year world wide.

Dr. Lin notes that The Gateway and he share the philosophy of putting patients at the center of everything that they do. "It is a privilege and pleasure to work with Gateway," said Dr. Lin. "Everyone on the team is passionate about the cause, keenly aware of issues, and working toward solutions." Dr. Lin is excited at the prospect of further testing the treatment protocol with The Gateway's support and expanding the trial to other tumors and making it available globally. "The Gateway has provided seed funding that will help this study continue and hopefully help the vision expand so the treatment is available to many more patients," continued Lin.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

This isn't good news...

Women's lung cancer deaths up in South and Midwest

June 26, 2012 - Natasja Sheriff - Reuters/Chicago Tribune

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Despite falling lung cancer rates across the U.S. in the past decade, researchers report that deaths from the disease are steady or rising among middle-aged women in southern and Midwestern states.
The findings, published Monday in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, point to a need for more aggressive policies and strategies for reducing smoking by a new generation of men and women, in all U.S. states.

Read more by CLICKING HERE.

The bottom line: I have always heard - and sensed - that there is a direct link between income, education and how likely someone is to smoke.

Head to any nice suburb and the only people that you are likely to see smoking are teenage girls.  Pattie and I moved to Florida a few years back after "stealing" one of the foreclosure homes your read about.  But it is in a more working class neighborhood than I grew up in.

It seems like EVERYONE SMOKES! 

Too bad that those who can least afford it engage in such an unhealthy, expensive habit.

Feel good, keep smiling and please don't smoke!  Pat