Diagnosis & Disease Information

Moderate Doses of Radiation Therapy to Unaffected Breast May Prevent Second Breast Cancers

Moderate Doses of Radiation Therapy to Unaffected Breast May Prevent Second Breast Cancers

Moderate radiation doses can kill premalignant cells in the unaffected breast

Survivors of breast cancer have a one in six chance of developing breast cancer in the other breast. But a study conducted in mice suggests that survivors can dramatically reduce that risk through treatment with moderate doses of radiation to the unaffected breast at the same time that they receive radiation therapy to their affected breast. The treatment, if it works as well in humans as in mice, could prevent tens of thousands of second breast cancers. The study, conducted by researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC), was published on December 20 in the online journal PLoS One.

Experts Say Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals Pose Global Health Threat

Experts Say Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals Pose Global Health Threat

In an editorial published in Endocrinology, a journal of The Endocrine Society, endocrine experts agreed that endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) pose a threat to human health and to the ecosystems of the earth. The editorial comes in response to a commentary (Dietrich et al. Chem Biol Interact) signed by a number of editors of toxicology journals that dismisses the state-of-the-science on EDCs and argues for the status quo in the regulation of these hazardous substances.

The Radium Girls

The Radium Girls

Around the turn of the 20th century, scientific advancements occurred at a record pace. From Maxwell’s theory of electromagnetic waves to Einstein’s theories of relativity, long-standing mysteries of the universe were revealed. Medical discoveries also progressed feverishly. Countless lives were saved because of the practice of using antiseptics during surgery. The theory of germs gave us a greater understanding into the transmission of disease. Vaccines for cholera, anthrax, rabies, tetanus, diphtheria, typhoid fever, pertussis, tuberculosis, the plague, and many others were developed. In 1901, the ABO system of blood typing was successfully used for safer transfusions. Felix Hoffman developed aspirin from willow tree bark. The discovery of X-rays revolutionized diagnostic medicine, and the theory of radioactivity was proposed by Marie and Pierre Curie. An optimistic future lay ahead, but instead of cautiously navigating through this new field of radioactivity, arrogance and greed blazed the trail. Such is the story of the Radium Girls.

Study Finds That Carbon Monoxide Can Help Shrink Tumors and Amplify Effectiveness of Chemotherapy

Study Finds That Carbon Monoxide Can Help Shrink Tumors and Amplify Effectiveness of Chemotherapy

Therapeutic benefits of this poisonous gas appear linked to cell’s energy status; CO, used in combination with chemo helps spare healthy tissue

In recent years, research has suggested that carbon monoxide, the highly toxic gas emitted from auto exhausts and faulty heating systems, can be used to treat certain inflammatory medical conditions. Now a study led by a research team at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) shows for the first time that carbon monoxide may also have a role to play in treating cancer.

Low Vitamin D Causes Damage to Brain

New Study Suggests Low Vitamin D Causes Damage to Brain

A new study led by University of Kentucky researchers suggests that a diet low in vitamin D causes damage to the brain.

In addition to being essential for maintaining bone health, newer evidence shows that vitamin D serves important roles in other organs and tissue, including the brain. Published in Free Radical Biology and Medicine, the UK study showed that middle-aged rats that were fed a diet low in vitamin D for several months developed free radical damage to the brain, and many different brain proteins were damaged as identified by redox proteomics. These rats also showed a significant decrease in cognitive performance on tests of learning and memory.

Mayo Clinic Researchers Find Shape-Shifting Stops Migrating Cancer Cells

Mayo Clinic Researchers Find Shape-Shifting Stops Migrating Cancer Cells

Like a car with a front and back end, a steering mechanism and an engine to push it forward, cancer cells propel themselves through normal tissues and organs to spread cancer throughout the body. Researchers at Mayo Clinic in Florida, however, have managed to turn these cells into shapes like a round fried egg and an exaggerated starfish that sticks out in many directions — both of which cannot now move.

In research published in the December issue of Molecular and Cellular Biology, investigators reveal how interplay of molecules keeps cancer cells moving forward, and how disturbing the balance of these proteins pushes their shape to change, stopping them in their tracks.

Children with High-Risk Leukemia

Drug Offers Promising Approach to Improve Outcome for Children with High-Risk Leukemia

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital leads study showing that a drug withdrawn from the market in 2010 may enhance the effectiveness of bone marrow transplants for select pediatric leukemia patients

Combining the drug gemtuzumab ozogamicin (GO) with conventional chemotherapy may improve the outcome of bone marrow transplantation for some children battling high-risk acute myeloid leukemia (AML), according to a study led by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The results appear in the current edition of the journal Cancer.

Not All Medulloblastomas Are Alike

“Not All Medulloblastomas Alike”; Variations in Treatment Approaches Urged

Medulloblastoma, a rapidly growing brain tumor, can be categorized as four genetically and clinically distinct subtypes. Traditionally, increased extent of resection (EOR) has been linked to an improved prognosis in some medulloblastomas. A global team of more than 40 researchers at 20 institutions studied more than 500 medulloblastomas to determine the clinical importance of EOR and metastatic stage.

Experts Clarify Conflicting Criteria for Diagnosing Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Experts Clarify Conflicting Criteria for Diagnosing Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

The Endocrine Society today issued a Clinical Practice Guideline (CPG) for the diagnosis and treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome, the most common hormone disorder in women of reproductive age and a leading cause of infertility.

The CPG, entitled “Diagnosis and Treatment of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: An Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline” will appear in the December 2013 issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (JCEM), a publication of The Endocrine Society.

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