Monday, 14 April 2008

Cures for Cancer?.............

You may have seen my ‘Make A Wish’ star recently which said:

My mother died from cancer in 1988 and I have lost other members of my family and friends to the disease. You are lucky these days if you don’t know anyone who has suffered or died from one form of cancer or another. However, in recent years great strides have been made in medical research, which have resulted in excellent treatments for cancer, if not cures. I do believe that eventually man will conquer this terrible disease and the scientists, doctors and researchers are making great headway in the fight against it.

Hopefully scientists will find a cure in the not too distant future, here are just a few of the groundbreaking results they’ve had:

Breast Cancer
The most common cause of death from Breast Cancer is the spread of cancerous cells to other parts of the body. Scientists have pinpointed a key gene, SATB1, which controls the behaviour of other genes in tumour cells. US researchers have found that knocking out this gene causes the cancer cells to stop their runaway proliferation. Drugs which interfere with the gene could provide valuable new treatments for the disease.

Ovarian Cancer
Doctors have made the first breakthrough in the treatment of ovarian cancer in 20 years by proving that a common breast cancer drug can significantly cut relapse rates. Tests using an anti-oestrogen drug on a small group of 44 patients extended some of their lives by up to three years and delayed the use of painful chemotherapy for others. If larger trials repeat the findings it will be the first new therapy since the 1980s for a cancer which is often deadly because early diagnosis is so difficult. Apparently the drug Letroxole starves the site of the cancer of Oestrogen which stops tumour growth. Half of ovarian cancers are oestrogen receptive, a similar mechanism to that which works in many breast cancers. Doctors hope to do large scale studies of the drug’s impact earlier in the disease’s progression to see whether it will ‘catch’ it before it reaches the more dire stages.

Testicular Cancer
Scientists have located a gene which increases men's risk of testicular cancer by up to 50 times. Apparently the rogue gene is located on the X chromosome which means it is inherited from the mother. The newly located gene, which has been called TGCT1, makes men who carry it more susceptible to testicular germ cell tumours (TGCT) which make up 95% of all testicular cancer cases. The fact that it has been discovered means scientists are just one step away from identifying the gene itself. They also believe that the discovery will help in the treatment of the disease and other forms of cancer. .

Lung Cancer
Scientists have discovered a genetic change in cells that could take them a step closer to identifying those most at risk from this disease, which means that it could lead to a screening programme as in breast and cervical cancer. Most lung cancer deaths are preventable if it is diagnosed at an early stage. Currently the only way to diagnose it is by taking a sample of flesh or cells from inside the lung for analysis and by the time the diagnosis is made the disease is often untreatable. Scientists are working on a non-invasive test using a nebuliser-inhaler which induces a cough and enables scientists to analyse the sputum.

Nature’s Cure?
Could Mint be a cure for cancer? Scientists at Salford University, Manchester, are working on a possible cure for cancer - from mint leaves. The mint in question is a Chinese variety called ‘Scutellaria Barbata’, discovered hundreds of years ago by Chinese doctors. Apparently it has the ability to kill cancer cells by cutting off their blood supply and it seems only to target cancer cells, because normal healthy cells are not vulnerable. Cancer cells are weak and rely on oxygen and nutrients from the blood which makes them susceptible to this drug. I’ve always thought that ‘what nature creates it can cure’ – maybe this could be the answer?

The most exciting news I’ve read recently is that scientists say that Cancer sufferers could be cured with injections of immune cells from other people within two years.

Dr Zheng Cui, of the Wake Forest University School of Medicine and his colleagues discovered a male mouse that appeared to be completely resistant to virulent cancer cells of several different types in 1999. Since then more than 2000 mice in 15 generations have been bred from the original cancer-free mouse and 40 per cent of the offspring have inherited the immunity. Dr Cui, whose work is highlighted in New Scientist magazine, has previously shown cells from mice found to be immune to cancer can be used to cure ordinary mice with tumours and a single dose of the cells appeared to give many of the mice resistance to cancer for the rest of their lives. US researchers have been given the go-ahead to give patients transfusions of “super strength” cancer-killing cells from donors. Dr Cui is confident patients could benefit from the technique quickly because the technology used to extract granulocytes is the same as that already used by hospitals to obtain other blood components such as plasma or platelets. This research is truly exciting, you can read about Dr Cui’s exciting discovery here.

A vaccine against cancer – what a wonderful thought!


Just when you thought the awards were finished for another season - look what I got

from the lovely Mother Of This Lot (Mother's Pride). She was handing out a whole bunch of awards and kindly included me in her ministrations. Thank you Mother! Can I call you Mother?

I get to pass it on and as you all cheer me up everytime you comment I'd love for all of you who comment on this post to take it and pass it on, if you so wish. Love you all. xxxx


ciara said...

ake-you are so right that it's so rare to NOT know someone who's had a form of this disease. i'm sorry about your mum. my uncle, my dad's adoptive mom's husband, my sil's mom have all passed from it. my sil's younger brother had far he's in remission. it is amazing the breakthroughs they've had so far. i know that someday they'll be some cure for it. the whole cancer-killng cell transfusion is very interesting.

CG said...

It's good to see you chronicle the progress medicine is making; it makes for encouraging reading. A dear friend is fighting breast cancer right now.

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

Congratulations on the award.

Cancer certainly is the bane of out times. I join you in your wish/hope for a cure.

buffalodickdy said...

Gene pools are interesting ponds... Some run to cancer, some to heart disease, etc. I feel they are very close to curing a number of diseases and conditions, but it all takes research and funding....

Momma said...

You know, cancer has stolen so many people from my family. It's the leading cause of deaths in my relatives. One grandfather died of lung cancer and heart disease. The other died young of either prostate cancer or colon cancer (it was a long time ago, and no one seems to clearly remember). The aunt for whom I was named died of ovarian cancer. Dad died of lung cancer. He had siblings who died of lung cancer. My cousin recently died of kidney and liver cancer.

It's sad, and I think that part of the problem in finding a cure is that there are so many different types (and sub-types) that one cure would not be enough. We need many kinds of cures. We're getting there, but in the meantime, it's still a terrible diagnosis to get and terrible suffering.

I will hope with you. Maybe within our lifetime, they'll get it right.

Peace - d

CrazyCath said...

That's a really good rundown of where science is up to now. And very encouraging. You are right - I don't know anyone who has not been touched by cancer somewhere. My grandfather died of prostrate cancer and I have never seen such a great strong man reduced so quickly to nothing and death. Heartbreaking. And friends who have been touched with various cancers. Thanks for posting this hope.

Congratulations on the award.

Raven said...

This was interesting and informative - I especially find the thing about that Chinese mint to be fascinating. A cure/preventative that also tastes good... how awesome would/WILL that be!

Congrats on your award.

la bellina mammina said...

Amen Akela... it will be the 10th year anniversary of my husband's death (from leukemia) this year, and see how far we've come in discovering new medications.

Congrats on your award - I've yet to put up the other award I've grabbed off you!!

Akelamalu said...

It's such a terrible disease Ciara with so many branches. I am sorry for your losses my dear. x

Breast cancer is not the killer it once was if caught early enough CG, my prayers are with your friend. x

Thank you Nick xx

Ah yes, research and funding Buffalo, if only there was an unlimited amount of money.

We live in hope Momma but I truly believe that one day a cure will be found. :)

CathI think that's the worst thing about cancer - how it reduces people to nothingness. So sad. x

It would be wonderful wouldn't it Raven if something as simple and good as Mint were to be the answer! :)

10 years Bella, how time flies. As you say though science has come a long way since, too late for you but others have benefitted. x

Flowerpot said...

interesting post Ak. My husband has prostate cancer and we need much better screening for that to improve survival rates.

Dave said...

Just the other day a friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer. Thanks for the encouragement. I shall pass this post along to her. :-)

Dave said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
storyteller said...

I loved your 'wish' about a cure for cancer when I first saw it ... and appreciate the information you've shared in today's post. My dad died from cancer in 1976 ... directly related to work conditions ... long before any such 'connections' were being made.

Congratulations on your award and thanks for passing it along. I'll happily add it to my growing collection of 'bling' and pass it along to others with gratitude.
Hugs and blessings,

girl with the mask said...

A very thought-provoking post. By extension, I think you have reminded me once again that sometimes you just never know what is going to happen. We have to grab life by the horns and treasure every second.


Akelamalu said...

Better screening for all types of cancer would be a good idea Flowerpot.

Such a scary time Dave, I pray it will give her some hope.

They are making many connections to the causes of cancer now, it can only improve things Storyteller. You're welcome on the award honey.

You got it in one GIM X

Nea said...

I think the idea of immunity, will be the only way they can actually "cure" cancer. so far all they have been able to do is shrink, cut,poison, freeze or burn cancer away. By no means a real "cure." My Mother has been fighting one type of cancer or another since I was 14 and she was 47. She is now 92, still has stomach cancer, but seems to have gotten rid of the Non-Hodgdkins Lymphoma. She has also had breast cancer, (removed) and a lump in her chin, also removed. She certainly must have the genetic predisposition towards cancer. Which made the Dr.'s look at me with a weird eye when I said I didn't want a mammogram. Yes, I got one, I was just scared.

However, since they say that cancer are virus's, I serioualy doubt they will ever find a cure. But if they can find a preventative by giving us a shot of immunity from someone who has already had cancer. Although, they will probably cause a few cancers this way also.......

Flu shots often give you the flu.

headless chicken said...

Great post,full of interesting info. The fact that Kev lost his 36year old Mum to breast cancer when he was so young(6yrs)is a constant reminder for us not to take things for granted. We, like so many others have lost family members and friends to this awful disease.

Sandy said...

Wonderful post. Oh to find a cure. That would be so wonderful.

Richard said...

60 minutes had a fellow on last night who has produced a promising invention using radio waves and nano technology to kill microscopic cancer cells everywhere in your body. There are two separate research labs working on making it happen. The bad news is that his gentleman will most likely not survive to see his invention cure the first patient.


Travis said...

Even before my own battle with Hodgkins, I contributed dollars any time I could to cancer research.

There are so many cancers that can be survived now, and I know that research will continue to overcome even more cancers in the future.

the mother of this lot said...

I hope the mint research works out.

CrazyCath said...

Akela - can I shorten your name to this? I get the e's and the a's mixed up and it takes me ages to write it! On a slightly lighter note, I have tagged you for a meme. Pop over mine when you've a mo and see what I have for you.

Jeff B said...

It used to be as soon as the word cancer was uttered people imagined an iminent death sentence. Today that isn't necessarily the case. Let's hope the doctors and scientists can continue their research to find cures for all types of this desease.

Great info here.

Miss Understood said...

I need more fingers to count the number of people I've known who have suffered with or died from cancer. I think this would be my greatest wish find a cure or to prevent it. It touches far too many people's lives.

Marianne said...

Thank you for this. You're right it affects most people in some way or another these days. Godspeed to the people working on a way to help. M

Akelamalu said...

If they could develop the vaccine it would be wonderful for sure Nea - fingers crossed.

How sad for Kev to lose his mum at such a young age, it's bad enough when you get older HC :(

Yes it would Sandy :)

That sounds like a fabulous invention Richard.

I too make donations for cancer research Trav I always think 'there but for the grace of God...'

I hope any of the research works out MOTL! :)

You can call me anything you like Cath. :) I'll pop over shortly.

Yes it was always thought of as a death sentence wasn't it Jeff but as you say that ain't necessarily so!

You're right Miss U too many people, too often. :(

Hear, Hear, Marianne :)

CrystalChick said...

Good information.
Both my parents, and others, passed from cancer and I'm hopeful someday there will be better treatment, more research and eventual cures.

I am visiting your lovely blog by way of 'Vent' a blog that I am very new to, but already love alot!
I'm sure that I'd like to come by here again too sometime soon and read more. With all those terrific awards you are very blessed to have some nice friends here.
Peace, Mary

david mcmahon said...

In the early 80s, Interferon was called ``the IF drug for cancer'' on the cover of Time magazine ....

Odat said...

Thanks for the informative post!!!
Congrats on the well deserved do cheer me up!!! ;-)

Anonymous said...

It'll be a good day when we find a cure for cancer. I'm sure we will one day!

G-Man said...

I lost my mother to cancer in 1977..
Great Post...xox

Elween said...

cancer comes easily but doesn't leave easily. i have seen people going thru chemo and it was really heartache to see them suffered and died even after all kinds of treatment...thanks for the info of various kind of cancers/ take care!

bindhiya said...

Dear Akelamalu,
Just now i was talking to my friend and she was talking about cancer..she have to do some more tests...
how wonderful to have a cure for cancer!
congrats on your award! and thank you for saying we all cheer you up"...
have a good day!
♥ & ((hugs))

Jo Beaufoix said...

Brilliant post Akela. I lost my wonderful Gran to bowel cancer when I was 11 and she was just 65. It took her so quickly and I wasn't ready for her to go. I pray that cure comes soon.

Akelamalu said...

Welcome Crystalchick I'm happy you found your way here from Ron's blog (he is lovely isn't he!). I think we all share the same wish as far as a cure for cancer is concerned.

In the 80's I worked for a pharmaceutical supply company David and remember Interferon as being THE new wonder drug as far as cancer was concerned.

Thanks Odat, you cheer me too honey. x

It certainly will Josh, let's hope that day isn't too far away. x

Sorry to hear that g-man it's such a terrible disease. xx

Watching someone suffer from cancer is a terrible thing Elween, I hope it wasn't anyone close to you my dear. x

My prayers are with your friend Bindi. x

Such a sad loss for you Jo at such a tender age. Please God a cure will be found soon.

Misty Dawn said...

Oh yes, a cure for cancer is a wonderful thought. I've lost too many loved ones to this dreaded disease.

Akelamalu said...

Hopefully, one day, Misty x

Sandi McBride said...

I lost my grandmother to lung cancer in 1989 and my mother to ovarian cancer in 2001. Here's to the cure in our lifetime!

Akelamalu said...

Hear hear Sandi

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

very interesting post! i am a bit cynical though because there is SO much money in cancer. i hope you are right. i am currently a survivor of both breast cancer and lung cancer as you know and only because BOTH were found very early. but i no longer am in good health. the medications i have to take to prevent it from returning have major side effects. but then again, every day vertical is a good day! ha ha

smiles, bee

Anonymous said...