Diagnosis & Disease Information

Measles Vaccine Cancer Cure

Mayo Clinic Researchers Successfully Cure Cancer Using Measles Vaccine

In an April 2014 press release, a Mayo Clinic hematologist announced that a massive dose of the measles vaccine had eradicated blood cancer in a 49-year-old woman. Stephen Russell, M.D., Ph.D., author of the research paper and co-developer of the therapy, said the woman experienced a complete remission from myeloma, a cancer of plasma cells in the bone marrow, and has been clear of the disease for over 6 months. “This is the first study to establish the feasibility of systemic oncolytic virotherapy for disseminated cancer,” he says. Russell and his team also treated another cancer patient with the measles vaccine, and although this patient did not respond as well, her cancer did show signs of improvement.

Laughter Therapy in Cancer Patients

Laughter Therapy Shown to Boost Immune Function in Cancer Patients

Laughter really is the best medicine

There’s no doubt that laughter is contagious. Who hasn’t experienced breaking out into uncontrollable laughter just by watching someone else laugh, even without having any idea what was so funny? A unique case out of Tanzania details a reported “laughter epidemic” that started with 3 girls, spread throughout their boarding school in Kashasha, and affected 95 of its 159 students. The epidemic lasted 16 days until the school was forced to close, but it didn’t stop there. It further spread to neighboring villages, ultimately lasting 6 to 18 months, closing down 14 schools, and affecting 1000 people in total.

Vitamin C and Cancer Treatment

Vitamin C and Cancer Treatment

A new study suggests that vitamin C, when used as a supplement to cancer treatments, may increase the efficacy of cancer drugs while lessening the side effects of chemotherapy treatments in some cancer patients. Researchers at the University of Kansas Medical Center reported their findings in Science Translational Medicine in February. According to the study, their research yielded positive results in the lab and in a small trial of ovarian cancer patients.

Fragmented Sleep

Sleep Deeply—Or Else

While studies have long connected fragmented sleep with fatigue and irritability, for the first time, a clinical connection between poor sleep and cancer has been found. A recent study has concluded that poor sleep marked by frequent awakenings can speed a cancer tumor’s growth and increase its aggressiveness. For the study, a pediatric pulmonary and sleep expert spent 2 years at the University of Chicago leading a joint team of researchers from that institution and the University of Louisville. According to their findings, over time, interrupted sleep patterns diminish the body’s ability to fight off cancerous cells, contributing to the malignancy of the disease.

The Addition of Bevacizumab to First-Line Treatment for Brain Tumors

The Addition of Bevacizumab to First-Line Treatment for Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma Brain Tumors

Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common primary malignant adult brain tumor and, despite treatment advances in recent years, the average survival of patients enrolled in clinical trials is less than 16 months with few patients living beyond five years. GBM tumors are characterized by angiogenesis — the formation of new blood vessels that support tumor growth stimulated by the GBM-produced vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A). Bevacizumab is a monoclonal antibody that targets VEGF-A production to block the growth of tumor-derived blood vessels. “Clinical trials evaluating the addition of bevacizumab to standard treatment for recurrent glioblastoma demonstrated clinical benefit and led to the drug’s U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for this indication,” says Mark Gilbert, M.D., Radiation Therapy Oncology Group 0825 principal investigator and professor of neuro-oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. “Additionally, compelling preclinical data suggest that anti-angiogenic targeted therapies may normalize the tumor’s rapidly forming and underdeveloped blood vessels, resulting in improved oxygen and chemotherapy delivery to the tumor and potentially enhanced radiotherapy (RT) and chemotherapy treatment,” explains Gilbert. The Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) 0825 study tested this hypothesis.

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.

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.

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.

Study Again Confirms High Cost of Self-Referral with No Patient Benefit

Study Again Confirms High Cost of Self-Referral with No Patient Benefit

According to a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), self-referring urologists dramatically increased their usage of a more expensive, but not necessarily more effective, radiation treatment they own compared to their non-self-referring counterparts where no ownership interest exists. The study adds to the existing mountain of evidence that the in-office ancillary services loophole to the Stark Law costs the Medicare system billions without benefiting patients.

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