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:
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.
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.
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. .
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.
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