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New treatment for glioblastoma

Scientists from Bonn University from Germany, along with their colleagues from Switzerland, have shown that by combining two drugs the treatment of glioblastoma, the brain tumor, becomes extremely successful.

Glioblastoma is a deadly type of brain cancer, which caused death within a couple of weeks if it’s not treated. The researchers from Germany and Switzerland performed the research on 40 patients with their new therapy, and ended up with amazing results. The patients survived over 2 years. They then compared those results with the ones when regular treatment was used, and came to a conclusion that this therapy doubled the survival time (from 1 to 2 years, on average).

“This unusually manifest extension of the survival time has surprised even us. Our results offer the opportunity to improve our grip on this aggressive form of cancer. Now, further investigations involving a larger number of patients are needed to optimise this therapy. Planning for this is already in hand in Bonn,” said Dr. Ulrich Herrlinger, one of the researchers.

Glioblastoma was treated with both radio- and chemotherapy (agent temozolomide). What scientists did in this research is add lomustine to chemotherapy, and continued to use radiotherapy.

The details are published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Adopted from materials provided by uni-bonn.de

New drug might stop melanoma

Researchers from the Pennsylvania State University have found again that vegetables contain compounds which could benefit melanoma patients. Certain compounds, extracted from broccoli and cabbage and combined with selenium, could target tumors way more effectively than the therapies currently used. The experiments on mice were successful.
“There are currently no drugs to target the proteins that trigger melanoma,” said Gavin Robertson, one of the researchers. “We have developed drugs from naturally occurring compounds that can inhibit the growth of tumors in mice by 50 to 60 percent with a very low dose.”

The whole process is based on stopping the Akt3 protein. Compounds that can block it are called isothiocyanates. They can be found in vegetables, especially broccoli. Scientists have combined them with selenium, and ended up having a drug that can be distributed intravenously.
“Cancer patients are known to have selenium deficiency, including those diagnosed with metastatic melanoma,” said Robertson. “Besides, selenium is known to destabilize Akt proteins in prostate cancer cells.”

The study was performed on mice. Scientists first injected ten million cancer cells, and after six days tumors developed. They then took half of the mice and treated them with vegetable compounds, and the other half with vegetable compounds combined with selenium.
“We found that the selenium-enhanced compounds significantly reduced the production of Akt3 protein and shut down its signaling network,” said Robertson.

The human trials are expected to begin in a couple of years, and the Penn State researchers hope that the final drug will be delivered intravenously or through sunscreen lotions in order to prevent melanoma.

The details are published in Clinical Cancer Research.

Adopted from materials found at psu.edu

How nanomedicine treats cancer

Regular cancer treatments (i.e. chemotherapy) have countless side effects, and they don’t really cure the patient. The drugs that patients consume get lost in the bloodstream before they reach their target, thus indirectly “helping” the cancer to grow. However, nanomedicine can change it all. Targeted drug delivery does wonders, and the video below explains it.

New threatment method for prostate cancer

Scientists from the UmeƄ University in Sweden have performed a thorough research, where they tested two groups of 500 hundred men and their reaction to two types of treatment. The first group was treated with hormone therapy only (flutamide), while the second group was treated with hormone therapy and radiation. The latter method was way more successful.

“The study will change practice in the treatment of locally advanced or local aggressive prostate cancer,” said Professor Anders Widmark, MD, scientist who led the research. “These patients should be offered the addition of local radiation treatment.”

However, although the second method (hormone therapy + radiation) offered better results, men who were treated reported mostly urinary and sexual problems after 5 years.

The details were published in The Lancet.

Source: cancer.gov