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Colorectal cancer

UA researchers discover component of cinnamon prevents colorectal cancer in mice

Cancer • • Colorectal cancer • • Food & NutritionJun 15 15

UA researchers discover component of cinnamon prevents colorectal cancer in mice

Research conducted at the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy and the UA Cancer Center indicates that a compound derived from cinnamon is a potent inhibitor of colorectal cancer.

Georg Wondrak, Ph.D., associate professor, and Donna Zhang, Ph.D., professor, both of the UA College of Pharmacy Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, recently completed a study in which they proved that adding cinnamaldehyde, the compound that gives cinnamon its distinctive flavor and smell, to the diet of mice protected the mice against colorectal cancer. In response to cinnamaldehyde, the animals’ cells had acquired the ability to protect themselves against exposure to a carcinogen through detoxification and repair.

This is a significant finding,’ says Zhang, who, along with Wondrak, is a member of the UA Cancer Center. ‘Because colorectal cancer is aggressive and associated with poor prognoses, there is an urgent need to develop more effective strategies against this disease.’

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Germline TP53 mutations in patients with early-onset colorectal cancer

Cancer • • Colorectal cancerMar 12 15

Germline TP53 mutations in patients with early-onset colorectal cancer

In a group of patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer at 40 or younger, 1.3 percent of the patients carried germline TP53 gene mutations, although none of the patients met the clinical criteria for an inherited cancer syndrome associated with higher lifetime risks of multiple cancers, according to a study published online by JAMA Oncology.

Li-Fraumeni syndrome is an inherited cancer syndrome usually characterized by germline TP53 mutations in which patients can develop early-onset cancers and have an increased risk for a wide array of other cancers including colorectal. The gene’s contribution to hereditary and early-onset colorectal cancer is needed for clinicians to counsel patients undergoing TP53 testing as part of a multigene risk assessment, according to the study background.

Sapna Syngal, M.D., M.P.H., of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, and coauthors estimated the proportion of patients with early-onset colorectal cancer who carry germline TP53 mutations. Participants were recruited from the Colon Cancer Family Registry from 1998 through 2007 and were those individuals who were diagnosed with colorectal cancer at 40 or younger and lacked a known hereditary cancer syndrome.

Among 457 eligible patients, six (1.3 percent) of them carried germline missense TP53 alterations and none of the patients met the clinical criteria for Li-Fraumeni syndrome, according to the results.

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U.S. advisers back DNA-based colon cancer test

Cancer • • Colorectal cancerMar 28 14

U.S. advisers back DNA-based cOlon cancer test

A colon cancer screening method that analyzes DNA from stool samples won the unanimous backing of a U.S. advisory panel on Thursday, paving the way for potential regulatory approval of the non-invasive test.

A panel of outside experts advising the Food and Drug Administration voted 10-0 to recommend approval of the Cologuard screening test made by Exact Sciences Corp.

The company said a large clinical trial found that its test detected 92.3 percent of colorectal cancers in average-risk patients based on a combination of DNA and hemoglobin markers.

While a colonoscopy is considered the most accurate method of detecting colon cancer and polyps, many people avoid the test, which involves inserting a flexible tube into the colon.

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Diabetes again linked to colon cancer risk

Cancer • • Colorectal cancer • • DiabetesSep 29 11

A new research review confirms that people with diabetes have a somewhat increased risk of colon cancer—but the reasons for the connection, and what should be done about it, remain unclear.

Combining the results of 14 international studies, researchers found that overall, people with diabetes were 38 percent more likely to be diagnosed with colon cancer than those who were diabetes-free.

There was also a 20 percent increase in the risk of rectal cancer, though that appeared to be confined to men.

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New process that may save lives of cancer patients is effective and significantly less costly

Cancer • • Colorectal cancerAug 16 11

People who are at risk for a certain form of colon and other types of cancer may soon have a better chance at surviving or even avoiding the diseases, thanks to a new study done by the Intermountain Clinical Genetics Institute at LDS Hospital.

The Intermountain Heathcare group of scientists used sophisticated computer modeling to develop a reliable and cost-effective way to identify patients who may have Lynch syndrome, an inherited cancer syndrome that occurs in people who carry a genetic mutation in one of the DNA mismatch repair genes. The mismatch repair (MMR) genes usually help to repair DNA damage that happens to all of us as a part of daily life. But patients who have genetic mutations in these genes have a substantially increased risk of developing colon, uterine, pancreatic and urologic cancers. For some patients, the lifetime risk approaches 80 percent.

“Being able to identify people who carry a gene change is profoundly important because earlier and more frequent screening - not just for colon cancer, but also for other cancers — could save their lives. It could also save the lives of relatives who have no idea that they may share the increased risk for cancer,” says Marc S. Williams, MD, director of the Clinical Genetics Institute at LDS Hospital, and a member of the team that conducted the study, which is published in the August edition of the American Journal of Managed Care.

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New treatment regimen shows clinical benefit in advanced colon cancer

Cancer • • Colorectal cancerMay 19 11

A new treatment regimen for patients with metastatic colon cancer appears to offer clinical benefit even when used after multiple other treatments have failed, say research physicians at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, a part of Georgetown University Medical Center.

The research team found that combining a PARP inhibitor with chemotherapy (temozolomide) offers significant benefit in patients who had no further treatment options. However, the study is small, and does not include a comparison arm, so further investigation is needed, they add. The study will be presented in an oral session on Saturday, June 4th, at the 2011 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago.

PARP, short for “poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase” is a key part of a cell’s DNA repair apparatus, and is important for protecting our normal cells against DNA damage. However, cancer cells become resistant to chemotherapy in part by increasing PARP expression and thus rapidly repairing DNA damage intentionally caused by chemotherapy. PARP inhibitors are designed to overcome a cancer cell’s ability to repair the damaged DNA. (They are showing promise in both breast and ovarian cancers, and are being studied in a variety of other cancer types).

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Colorectal Cancer Screening Rates on Rise Among Medicare Beneficiaries Due to Expansion of Coverage

Cancer • • Colorectal cancerMay 03 11

Colorectal cancer screening rates increased for Medicare beneficiaries when coverage was expanded to average-risk individuals, but racial disparities still exist, according to researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).

“Despite the expansion of Medicare coverage for colorectal cancer screening, disparities persisted among the ethnic groups we examined,” said Arica White, Ph.D., M.P.H., former doctoral student at The University of Texas School of Public Health, part of UTHealth. In 1998, Medicare began covering fecal occult blood test (FOBT) annually and sigmoidoscopy coverage every 4 years for average-risk beneficiaries and in July 2001 coverage was expanded to include colonoscopy for average-risk beneficiaries every 10 years.

The research is published in the May issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.

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AACR Colorectal Cancer Conference to Focus on Screening, New Treatments

Cancer • • Colorectal cancerOct 21 10

The American Association for Cancer Research will hosts its first special conference on Colorectal Cancer: Biology to Therapy from Oct. 27-30, 2010, at the Loews Hotel, Philadelphia.

Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer in men and women. While screening has brought mortality rates down, much work remains to be done.

“Colorectal cancer is still one of the deadliest cancers, and our current screening methods are not yet always efficient or complete,” said Anil Rustgi, M.D., chief of gastroenterology, T. Grier Miller Professor of Medicine and Genetics, and American Cancer Society Professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and a program chairperson of the AACR special conference.

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Obesity tied to poorer colon cancer survival

Cancer • • Colorectal cancer • • ObesityMar 24 10

Obese people are known to have a higher risk of colon cancer. Now, a new study suggests they may have poorer long-term survival odds than their thinner counterparts if they do develop the disease.

The latest findings, reported in the journal Clinical Cancer Research, suggest that excess weight may particularly affect male survivors’ long-term prognosis.

In a study of nearly 4,400 U.S. adults treated for colon cancer, researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester found that obese patients were one-quarter to one-third more likely to die over the next eight years than their normal-weight counterparts.

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Obesity and Colon Cancer a Deadly Combination

Cancer • • Colorectal cancer • • ObesityMar 11 10

Obese patients with colon cancer may have a greater chance of dying from the disease compared to those at a normal weight.

Every year in the United States, roughly 150,000 people are diagnosed with colon cancer. A new study involved 4,381 patients with stage II or II colon cancer who were treated with chemotherapy, 20 percent of whom were obese.

“Obesity has long been established as a risk factor for cancer, but our study in colon cancer patients shows that obesity predicts a poorer prognosis after the cancer is surgically removed,” Frank A. Sinicrope, M.D., a professor of medicine and oncology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, N.Y., was quoted as saying.

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Red Meat, Obesity Raise the Risk of Colon Cancer

Cancer • • Colorectal cancer • • ObesityMar 11 10

Two new research studies have added weight to the evidence that both the consumption of red meat and excess weight contribute to the increased risk of developing colon cancer.

A team from the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics at the US National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Rockville MD reviewed data from a cohort of over 300,000 men and women and reviewed the detailed questionnaires by the participants about the types of meat that they consumed and how it was cooked. After seven years of follow-up, there were 2,710 cases of colon cancer in the group.

Those who ate the most red and processed meat showed a significantly higher risk of developing colorectal cancer than those in the bottom quintile who consumed the least amount of meat.

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Cost-savings of colorectal cancer screening as treatment costs increase

Cancer • • Colorectal cancerSep 25 09

Investing in some colorectal cancer screening programs could cut future, more expensive treatment costs in half, according to a new study published online September 24 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The only screening program found not to be cost-saving was colonoscopy.

Governments and insurance companies may invest more in colorectal cancer screening programs—some of which have proven to reduce colorectal cancer mortality—if the cost-savings were known, especially as more expensive cancer drugs continue to hit the market.

Iris Lansdorp-Vogelaar, Ph.D., of the Department of Public Health, Eramus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam in the Netherlands, and colleagues used a microsimulation model, known as the MISCAN-Colon model, to assess whether the increasing use of new, very costly drugs would affect treatment savings of colorectal cancer screening.

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“Virtual colonoscopy” may be an option, study shows

Cancer • • Colorectal cancer • • Emergencies / First AidJun 17 09

So-called virtual colonoscopies—done using souped-up x-rays—detect tumors and precancerous lesions almost as well as standard colonoscopies using a camera threaded through the colon, Italian researchers reported on Tuesday.

The virtual procedure, done using computed tomography scans, might offer an alternative for people who are embarrassed or afraid to have a standard colonoscopy and encourage them to be examined, Dr Daniele Regge of the Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment in Turin, Italy, and colleagues said.

Their study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, adds to a growing body of evidence showing the CT procedures are safe and almost as good as standard colonoscopies.

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Hormone therapy lowers colon cancer risk

Cancer • • Colorectal cancer • • Endocrinology • • Gender: FemaleApr 23 09

Hormone replacement therapy may raise a woman’s risk of breast cancer and heart disease but it lowers her risk of colon cancer, according to two studies released on Wednesday.

The studies presented at a meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research further complicate the debate about HRT, used to relieve the effects of menopause including hot flashes and insomnia.

Millions of women stopped taking HRT when a Women’s Health Initiative study showed in 2002 that the hormones raised the risk of stroke, heart disease and breast cancer. Hardest hit was Wyeth’s Premarin, which is soon to be acquired by Pfizer Inc.

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Natural protein may halt colorectal cancer’s spread

Cancer • • Colorectal cancerApr 21 09

Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Center researchers in Milwaukee have learned that a protein, CXCL12, that normally controls intestinal cell movement, has the potential to halt colorectal cancer spreading. These studies represent a potential mechanism by which CXL12 may slow cancer spreading. Controlling this process could lead to new biological therapies for colorectal cancers.

“Colorectal cancer ranks third in cancer-related deaths in the United States in 2008,” says principal investigator Michael Dwinell, Ph.D., professor of microbiology and molecular genetics. “Finding therapies to prevent its spread to secondary organs would increase patient prognosis considerably.” Luke Drury, a graduate student in the interdisciplinary program for biomedical research at the Medical College, was his research associate. Their abstract will be presented at the American Association for Cancer Research meeting in Denver, April 21.

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