Posts Tagged ‘pancreatic cancer’

New method for earlier diagnoses of pancreatic cancer?

Friday, March 28th, 2014

logo1267406_mdA new study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute reported a new method that identifies the pancreatic cancer’s visible precursors with 97% certainty and may aid in the early discovery of cancer and minimize the risk of unnecessary surgery in the future. Currently poor prognosis of survival from pancreatic cancer is due to late detection

Researchers have discovered that fluid filled cysts in the pancreas found in about one in every person above age 70 and common in younger people can be discovered with computer tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), However, these techniques cannot determine which cysts are precursors to cancer and surgery is often necessary to look for tumor markers in the fluit of the cysts which are not always accurate. Even removing the cyst by surgery knowing it may be benign may be problematic because the surgery is extensive and presents risks to the patient. . The new method  can predict with 97% accuracy which pancreatic cysts are precursors to cancer by detecting the presence of mucus protein, mucins, in the cystic fluid. In addition, researchers have tested the new method in order to analyze existing tumors and, with about 90% accuracy, have been able to determine which timors have already developed into cancers. Thus, the method, called proteomics,  could also be used to determine which patients require immediate surgery, and when it is instead possible to wait and monitor the development of the cyst,. It should be used in practice within 5 years.


Is a Simple Test for Early Pancreatic Cancer Possible?

Friday, November 1st, 2013

logo1267406_mdA new study from Johns Hopkins University published in Clinical Cancer Research concluded that a simple blood test based upon detecting tiny epigenetic alterations may reveal the earliest possible signs of pancreatic cancer. If confirmed, the results of this small preliminary study could be an important step in reducing mortality from this nearly always fatal cancer that has an overall five-year survival rate of less than 5 percent and has seen few improvements in survival over the last three decades. The researchers said “While far from perfect, we think we have found an early detection marker for pancreatic cancer that may allow us to locate and attack the disease at a much earlier stage than we usually do.”

In their study, the researchers found two genes, BNC1 and ADAMTS1. that were detected together in 81 percent of the blood samples from 42 people with early stage pancreatic cancer, but not in people without the disease or in patients with a history of pancreatitis that is a risk factor for pancreatic cancer. By way of contrast the researchers pointed out the the PSA test only picks up 20 percent of prostate cancers. The researchers hope that further research will refine the test. possibly by adding another gene or two, in order to go over 90 percent in both sensitivity and specificity. The researchers see the test as useful for specific population such as those at risk of developing the disease (those with a family history, a previous case of pancreatiitis, long term smokers or people with the BRCA gene mutation lijked to breast, ovarian and pancreatic cancers) and not for the general public. Those identified with BNC1 and ADAMTS1 in their blood would need further testingto locate the actual cancer such as CT scans and endoscopic  ultrasound.


Is there an Association between a High-Fat, High Caloric Diet and Pancreatic Cancer?

Friday, October 11th, 2013

logo1267406_mdA new study published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research concluded that mice made obese by being given , high-fat, high-calorie diets (HFCD) developed abnormally high numbers of lesions known as pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasies (PaniNs) that are known to be precursors to pancreatic cancer. Thus, being the first study to show a link bewtween obesity and the tisk of pancreatic cancer (one of the most deadly forms of cancer) in an animal model.

Researchers studied diet-induced obesity and the development of pancrea cancer in a set of mice and then compared them to another set of mice that were genetically identical but not given the high-fat, high calorie diet. They also assessed the impact of the effects of the high-fat, high calorie diet on mouse pancrea tissue, such as an increased inflammation and other signs of pancreatic problems. These  indicators were measured to creaste an overall score (pancreatitis-score) to indicate negative effects on the pancreas. They also studied pancreatic tissue to determine how many PaniN precursor leisions had developed.

Mice eating the normal diet gained approximately 7.2 grams over 14 momths whereas those who ate the high fat/high calorie diet gained an average of 15.9 grams and mice fed the normal diet had mainly normal pancreas with very few scattered PaniN lesions but the mice fed the high fat.high calorie diet had significantly more PaniN leisions and fewer overall healthy pancreas. The study showed mice on the high fat/high calorie diet gained significantly more weight, had abnrmalities of their metabolism and increased insulin levels, and had marked pasncreatic tissue inflammation and development of PaniN leisions. This  strongly suggest that a diet high in fat and calores leads to weight gain, metabolic disturbances, can cause pancreatic inflammation, and promotes pancreatic leisions that are precursors to cancer according to the researchers.


Is a High-Quality Diet Associated with a Lower Risk for Pancreatic Cancer?

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

logo1267406_mdA new study published in a recent issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute concluded that people who reported a dietary intake consistent with the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans had a lower risk of pancreatic cancer. Researchers studied how closely the diet of 537,218 participants between age 50 and 71 matched the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans as measured by the Healthy Eating Index (HEI-2005)  They then compared their risk of pancreatic cancer by evaluating the group with high and low scores. on the HEI-2005 and taking into account other known pancreatic cancer factors.

There were 2,383 new cases of pancreatic cancer among the study participants. There was a 15% lower risk of pancreatic cancer am0ng participants with the highest HEI-2005 score compared to those with the lowest score. The association was stronger among overweight or obese men compared to men of normal weight, but there was no difference for normal verses overweight or obese women. The authors cautioned that some health factors for pancreatic cancer may not have been controlled and might account for some of the observed differences. More research is needed. —

Can Bitter Melon Prevent Pancreatic Cancer?

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

logo1267406_mdA recent study published in the journal Carcinogenesis concluded that bitter melon juice restricts the ability of pancreatic cancer cells to metabolize glucose, thus, cutting the energy supply to the cells and eventually killing them. This study goes beyond an earlier study in a petri dish that showed the effects of bitter melon on breast cancer cells. while exploring the effect of bitter melon on pancreatic cancer cells the research says they found an “Alterations in metabolic events in pancreatic cancer cells and an activation of the AMP=activated protein kinase, an enzyme that indicates low energy levels in the cells.” In a later study using a mouse model they found that when mice were fed bitter melon juice they were 60% less likely to develop pancreatic cancer than the controls. Researchers said “Many researchers are engineering new drugs to target cancer cells’ ability to supply themselves with energy, and here we have a naturally-occurring compound that may do just that.” Further trials are planned.

Is Excess Sugar Linked to Cancer”

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

logo1267406_mdWhat has long been known by alternative physicians and others who use non-traditional approaches to cancer treatment has not been researched and shown to be true -there is a link between sugar and cancer. In recent research published in Molecular Cell researchers concluded that sustained high levels of sugar, as is found in diabetes, damage our cells and now is shown that it can increase our changes of having cancer.  It was known that in obesity and diabetes the body fails to control, blood sugar levels but less was known about this connection with cancer. But now it is known that the diabetes population has up to double chances to suffer pancreatic or colon cancer risk. This research a key mechanism that links obesity and diabetes with cancer and that is high sugar levels which increase activities of a gene widely implicated in cancer progression.

The researchers were studying how cells in the intestines respondf to sugars and signal the pancreas to release insulin, the key hormone that controls blood sugar levels. Sugars in the intestines trigger cells to release a protein called GIP that enhances insulin release by the pancreas. In this study they showed that the ability of the intestinal cells to secrete GIP is controlled by a protein calledβ-catenin, and its activity is strictly dependent upon sugar levels. The researcher said “We were surprised to realize that changes in our metabolism caused by dietary sugar impact our cancer risk. We are now investigating what other dietary components may influence our cancer risk. Changing diet is one of the easiest strategies that can potentially save a lot of suffering and money.”

Can a High Dietary Antioxidant Intake Cut the Risk of Pancreatic Cancer?

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

New research published in the journal Gut concluded that increasing the dietary intake of the antioxidant vitamin C, E. and selenium can help reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer by up to two-thirds and if the relationship turns out to be causal one in twelve of these cancers might be prevented.

Researchers tracked the health of over 23,500 people between age 40 and 74 between 1993 and 1997.  All participants completed a comprehensive food diary over 7 days detailing the type and amount of all food they ate and the methods they used for preparing it. Each entry in the food diary was matched to one of 11,000 food items and the nutrient values calculated using a special computer program.  Within 10 years of entering the study forty-nine people (55% men) developed pancreatic cancer and by 2010 this number increased to 86 (45% men). On average pancreatic participants survived 6 months after diagnosis.

The nutrient intake of those who were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer within 10 years of entering the study were compared with the nutrient intake of almost 4,000 health people. Analysis showed that a weekly intake of selenium in the top 25% of consumption had almost 1/2 the risk of developing pancreatic cancer compared with those whose intake was in the bottom 25%. And those wit a vitamin C, E. and selenium in the top 25% of consumption were 67% less likely to develop pancreatic cancer than those in the bottom 25% of intake.  The researchers say that if this relationship turns out to be causal that would mean preventing more than one in twelve (8%) cases of pancreatic cancer.

Simple Minimal Invasive Probe May Detect Pancreatic Cancer

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

A new study reported in a news release concluded that by shining a small light within the small intestine, close to the junction with the pancreas, physicians can detect pancreatic cancer 100% of the time in a small study. Physicians at Mayo clinic Campus in Jacksonville, Florida attached a light to a small probe that was ” designed to measure changes in cells and blood vessels in the small intestine produced by a growing cancer in the adjoining pancreas. ”  Researchers said “Although results are still preliminary, the concept of detection field effects of nearby cancers hold great promise for possible early detection of pancreatic cancers.” This small study that was 100% successful will be tested in a larger international clinical trial led by Mayo Clinic Researchers.

Does Lynch Syndrome Increase Your Risk of Breast and Pancreatic Cancers?

Friday, February 24th, 2012

A new prospective study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology concluded that people with Lynch Syndrome face significantly increased risks of breast and pancreatic cancers and the relatives of those individuals who do not have the genetic mutation associated with the condition do not have a higher risk of developing cancer than the general public. You may ask “What is Lynch Syndrome?” It is an inherited disorder caused by mutation in specific DNA repair genes. The researchers claimed “Our study is the first prospective analysis to find a strong association between breast cancer and Lynch syndrome.”
In the study researchers followed 446 carriers of one of four mismatch repair mutations related to Lynch Syndrome and 1,029 of their relatives without the mutation. Study subjects were evaluated every five years. After a median follow-up of five years carriers had a 20-fold greater risk of colorectal cancer, a 30-fold greater risk of uterine cancer, a 10-fold higher risk of pancreatic, stomach, and bladder cancers, a 19-fold higher risk of ovarian cancer, and a four-fold higher risk of breast cancer than the general population. Results also showed that carriers tended to be diagnosed at an earlier age than the general population and family members without the mutation had risks comparable to the general population.

Pancreatic Cancer Risk Lowered with Aspirin Use

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011


A study presented at the American Association of Cancer Research in Florida from April 2 to 6, concluded that there was a significant reduction in pancreatic cancer risk for those individuals using aspirin at least once a month. Although this was a large collaborative study the results are preliminary according to the researcher and widespread use of aspirin without medical consultation is discouraged.
In the study 904 patients with documented pancreatic cancer were compared with 1,224 healthy patients. All were at least 55 years of age and reported their use of aspirin, NSAIDs and acetaminophen by questionaire. Results showed that those who took aspirin at least monthly had a 26% reduced risk of pancreatic cancer compared to those who did not take regular aspirin. The results were also seen for those who took low dose aspirin for heart disease prevention at a 35% reduction. However, no benefits were seen for using non-aspirin NSAIDs or acetaqminophen.

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