Posts Tagged ‘survival’

A common Prostate Cancer Treatment Reduces Survival in Older Men.

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014


A new study published in European Urology concluded that a common prostate cancer therapy known as ADT should not be used in men whose cancer has not spread beyond the prostate  Researchers found that the therapy exposed them to more adverse side effects and was associat3d with increased risk of death and deprived the men of the opportunity for a cure by other methods.

ADT or androgen deprivation therapy involves injecting or implanting medication that disrupts the bodies ability to make testosterone and has significant side effects such as heart disease, diabetes, increased weight gain and impotence and potential earlier death.

According to the authors  the treatment has become a mainstay for prostate cancer that has metastasized or spread beyond the prostate gland. and others used it with radiation therapy. However, the authors say there is no evidence for use of ADT for low risk or localized prostate cancer despite its use in these patients. This misuse of ADT therapy lead to changes in Medicare reimbursement policires for ADT in 2004 with a resulting 40 per cent drop in reimkbursement and a reduction in inappraopriate uise of ADT from 38.7 percent to 25.7 percentfor newly diagnosed localized prostate cancers. The current study  study ” hypothesuized that adverse effects of ADT might be more pronounced in men with longer life expectencies since they would likely be treated with ADT for a longer period and be exposed to more treatment-related side effects. ” Of a  population of 46,376 men diagnosed with localized prostate cancer who did not undergo radical prostectomy or radiation therapy for prostate cancer diagnosed between 1992 and 2009 thirty eight and a half percent were treated with ADT and the hypothesis was confirmed. Findings showed that primary ADT was associated with decreased survival in men with localized prostate cancer relative to men who received noa ctive treatment. Thus, ADT should not be used as a primary treatment for men with prosatate cancer that has not spread beyond the prostate or men with moderate or high disease undergoing radiation therapy.

Can a Simple Handshake Identify Cancer Survivors?

Friday, March 7th, 2014

logo1267406_mdA new study published in Support Care Cancer confirmed a link between handgrip strength and survival rates of patients. In the study 203 patients with advanced stage cancers squeezed a device known as a dynamometer with their dominant hand, The instrument then measured peak grip strength. “This measure is one of several to categorize patients according to the severity of their disease. It can help determine interventions they may need, whether clinical, nutritional., or functional” according to the researcher. It is one of the tests that include self reporting or decreased body weight that evaluate patient progress or decline. Classifying patients by grip strength in percentiles would show those in the bottom 10 percentile to be most serious while those in the 25 percentile are somewhat stronger. This measurement allows clinicians to slow patient decline by starting exercise, nutritional or other programs that may yield physical and mental results.

Can Breast Cancer Implants Adversely Affect Survival in Women who Develop Breast Cancer?

Friday, May 10th, 2013

logo1267406_mdAlthough cosmetic breast implants have become popular, some studies have suggested that implants can make it more difficult to detect breast cancer at an early stage because they create a shadow on mammograms that can obscure some breast tissue. Thus, researchers evaluated whether the stage at which breast cancer is diagnosed and post diagnosis survival differed between women with and without cosmetic breast implants. First, the results of 12 observational studies published after 1993 in the U.S., northern Europe and Canada were analyzed. Results showed that women with cosmetic implants had a 26% increase risk of being diagnosed at a later stage of breast cancer than women without implants. This group of studies were followed by an analysis of 5 additional ones that found that women with cosmetic breast implants had a 38% greater risk of death from breast cancer than women without implants.  The authors warned that the findings should be “interpreted with caution as some studies included in the meta-analysis on survival did not adjust for potential confounders.”  However, despite the limitations they said “the accumulating evidence suggests that women with cosmetic breast implants who develop breast cancer have an increased risk of being diagnosed as having non-localized breast tumors more frequently than do women with breast cancer who do not have implants.”  They further said that despite the need for further research current evidence suggests that cosmetic breast implants “adversely affect breast cancer specific survival following the diagnosis of such disease.”

Does Soy Intake Influence Lung Cancer Survival?

Friday, April 5th, 2013

logo1267406_mdA new study published online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology concluded that Chinese women who consumed more soy before being diagnosed with lung cancer lived longer compared with those who consumed less soy. The researchers said “To our knowledge, this is the first study to suggest an association between high soy consumption before lung cancer diagnosis and better overall survival.” “Although the findings are very promising, it’s too early to give any dietary recommendations for the general public on the basis of this single study.”

The cancer incidence of 74,941 women in the Shanghai Women’;s Health Study was tracked and information about usual dietary intake of soy foods (soy milk, tofu, fresh and dry soybeans, soy sprouts, and other soy products) was collected in person at study enrollment and two years later. Using the Chinese Food Composition Table the soy food and isoflavones content of various food products was calculated.  Four hundred forty four women were diagnosed with lung cancer during the study period and the median time between the first dietary assessment and cancer diagnosis was 5.8 years. Patients were divided into 3 groups according to soy food intake prior to lung cancer diagnosis for analysis. The highest and lowest leveks were equivalent to approximately 4 ounces or more and 2 ounces or less of tofu daily. Those with the highest soy food intake had markedly better overall survival compared with those with the lowest intake–60% of patients in the highest intake group and 50% in the lowest intake group were alive at twelve months after diagnosis.

The risk of death decreased with increasing soy intake until the intake reached a level equivalent to 4 ounces of tofu daily. No additional survival benefits were found by a higher intake. Factors such as a higher soy food intake, lower prevalence of cigarette smoking, and postmenopausal hormone replacement in this population may influence the results when the methodology is applied to a different population. Further research is planned.

Can a Mushroom-Supplemented soybean Extract Extend the Lifespan of Men with Advanced Prostate Cancer?

Friday, March 1st, 2013

logo1267406_mdA new study published in Endocrine-Related Cancer concluded that a natural nontoxic product called genistein-combined polysaccharide (GCP) that is commercially available in most health food stores could help lengthen the life expectancy of men with certain prostate cancers. Men with prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, who have their own testosterone lowered with drug therapy are most likely to benefit. Lowering of testosterone or androgen-deprivation therapy has been the standard of care for patients with metastatic prostate cancer but life expectancies vary for those using this treatment. This study shows promise for extending the lifespan of  those with low response to androgen-deprivation therapy.

GCP is a proprietary  extract cultured from soybeans and shiitake mushrooms and researchers found that a combination of the compounds genistein and daidzein,  both present in GCP helps block a key mechanism used by prostate cancer cells to survive in the face of testosterone deprivation. They showed that GCP keeps filamin A in the nuclear and as long as this protein remains attached to the androgen receptor, the cancerous cells need androgens to survive and grow.   They die off when starved of androgens, thus prolonging the effects of androgen deprivation, which ultimately prolongs the patients life.                                                                                                                                                                 The team’s hypothesis is that metastatic prostate cancer patients with the weakest response to androgen-deprivation therapy could be given GCP concurrently with androgen deprivation therapy to retain Filamin A in the nucleus, thereby allowing cancer cells to die off. Further research is planned with humans.

Do High-Quality Personal Relationships Increase Breast Cancer Survival?

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

A new study published in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment concluded that the quality of a woman’s social network is as important as the size of her network in predicting breast cancer survival.  This builds on previous research that concluded that the larger a woman’s social network the better her chances of surviving breast cancer.

In this study, 2,264 women diagnosed with early-stage, invasive breast cancer between 1997 and 2000 provided information on their personal relationships and were characterized as socially isolated (few ties), moderately integrated, or socially integrated (many ties) by the researchers. They measured levels of social support from families and friends by using a survey that asked women to rate the quality of their relationships on a 5 point scale within the past week. Examples of question included “My family has accepted my illness” and “I feel distant from my friends”.  Results of these questions lead to ratings of women as high or low social support.

Women in the sample were recruited from cancer registries in two states and were enrolled in the study for between 11 and 39 months after diagnosis. After an average of 11 years post diagnosis 410 women had died from all causes and 215 from breast cancer.

Results showed that women with small social networks had a significantly higher risk of mortality than those with large networks. For example, they found that women who were socially isolated had a 34 percent greater chance of dying from breast cancer or other causes than socially integrated women. Researchers also found that levels of social support within relationships were also important for breast cancer mortality. “Women with small networks and high levels of support were not at greater risk than those with large networks,  but those with small networks and low levels of support were.”  The later group were 61% more likely to die from breast cancer and other causes than those with small networks and high levels of support. The researchers further said “We also found that when family relationships were less supportive , community and religious ties were critical to survival. This suggests that  the quality of relationships. rather than just the size of the network, matters to survival, and that community relationships matter when relationships with friends and family are less supportive.”

The researchers

Will Mushrooms Increase Cancer Survival?

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

A new study published in an open-access article in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative medicine concluded that dogs with hemangiosarcoma treated with a compound derived from the Coriolus versicolor mushroom had the longest survival times ever reported for dogs with the disease providing hope that the compound might one day offer cancer patients a viable alternative treatment to chemotherapy. The mushroom commonly known as Yunzhi mushrooms have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years and is believed to have immune-boosting properties in the compound known as polysaccharopeptine or PSP. Over the past two decades some studies have suggested PSP may also have tumor fighting effects.

To answer the question of whether of not taking PSP increases the life span the researchers studies 15 dogs diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma that were divided into 3 groups of 5. Each group received a different dose of 25, 50, or 100 mg/kg/da of I’m-Yunity, a formulation of PSP that was tested for consistency and good manufacturing processes. Owners were instructed to give their dogs the compound daily and bring them for follow up visits monthly. Blood tests were taken and ultrasound conducted at the visits to determine the extent the tumors developed or grew and spread in the dog’s bodies. Results showed that tumor progression was reduced and life span lengthen. Researchers were shocked and said “Prior to this, the longest reported median survival time of dogs with hemangiosarcoma of the spleen that underwent no further treatment was 86 days. We had dogs that lived beyond a year with nothing other than this mushroom as treatment.”  Although there was no significant differences in the three dose groups longevity the median survival time was highest ion the group receiving 100 mg. at 199 days. Further trials are planned to confirm and extend these findings.

Does Marriage Increase Lung Cancer Survival?

Friday, September 14th, 2012

A new retrospective study presented at the Chicago Multidisciplinary Symposium in Thoracic Oncology last Thursday concluded that married patients with locally advanced lung cancer will likely survive longer after treatment than single patients. One hundred sixty eight patients with Stage III non-small cell lung cancer who were treated over a 10 year period  (January 2000 to December 2010) with chemotherapy and radiation were studied.   Results showed that 33 percent of the married patients were still alive after three years compared to 10 percent of the single patients and women fared better than men. Married women had the best three year survival rates (46%) and single men had the worst (3%) whereas single women and married men had the same survival rate, and  white married patients had a better survival rate than married African American patients. The researcher said “Marital status appears to be an independent predictor of survival in patients with locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer.” “The reason for this is unclear, but our findings suggest the importance of social support in managing and treating our lung cancer patients. Patients may need help with day to day activities, getting to treatment and making sure they receive proper follow-up care.

Experimental Study Shows Increased Survival of Prostate Cancer Patients Using Frozen Immune Cells

Friday, June 10th, 2011


Research presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago on June 4 concluded that metastatic prostate cancer patients who received a vaccine made from their own frozen immune cells lived up to 10 months longer than those who did not receive this intervention. In this exploratory study immune cells (APC8015F) are taken from prostate cancer patients before the disease progresses and frozen. Results showed that following progression, those treated with APC8015F had a median survival rate of 20 months compared to 9.8 months for those not treated with APC8015F. Further research is planned.

Shorter Head and Neck Cancer Patient's Survival Associated with Stress and Depression

Friday, May 6th, 2011


In a study presented at the 32nd Annual Meeting and Scientific Sessions of the Society of Behavioral Medicine last month, researchers found an association between survival in early stage cancer patients and psychosocial function. Following upon research that shows that stress can affect the immune system and weaken the cancer patient’s defenses and also affect the tumors ability to grow and spread the researchers found that poor psychological functioning was associated with greater vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression. This signaling protein stimulates tumor growth and is associated with shorter disease-free survival in head and neck cancer patients.

In their study, 37 newly diagnosed, pre-surgical head and neck cancer patients were evaluated to see if psychological functioning (perceived stress, social support and depression) was associated with VEGF. Subjects were mostly male (70.3%). average of 57 years of age, and with a primary tumor site in the oral cavity (65.9%), larynx (19.9%). and oropharynx (13.5%), and early-stage disease (over 40%).
Subjects were given a psychological questionaire prior to treatment that measured psychological functioning. In addition, VEGF expression in tumor tissue was obtained during surgery and evaluated using a process that helps detect the presence of specific proteins. Results showed that higher levels of perceived stress and depression symptoms were associated with greater VEGF expression in the tumor tissue of these patients and the association between psychological functioning and VEGF were stronger among early-stage subjects. Researchers concluded that “In patients with advanced cancers, psychosocial interventions may have less of an impact since these cancers are inherently more aggressive.”
More research is planned.