Life's Roller Coaster

If I'm missing, or not taking messages sorry – I'm more angry about letting my friends down than YOU will ever be at being let down! Unfortunately that is sometimes a side effect of Cancer! Mea Culpa: may I blame being short fused & grumpy on it too! My first symptoms presented in Nov-1998 – Follow The Trail on >DIARY of CANCER< Immediately Below!

A New Class of Cancer Drugs

A New Class of Cancer Drugs

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A New Class of Cancer Drugs May Be Less Toxic

Monica Almeida/The New York Times
Fern Saitowitz of Los Angeles switched to an experimental treatment for her breast cancer, and her side effects diminished.

Fern Saitowitz’s advanced breast cancer was controlled for about a year by the drug Herceptin and a toxic chemotherapy agent. But her hair fell out, her fingernails turned black and she was constantly fatigued.
Bryce Vickmark for The New York Times
John Lambert, executive vice president for research and development at ImmunoGen, worked on the class of drugs for 30 years.
She switched to an experimental treatment, which also consisted of Herceptin and a chemotherapy agent. Only this time, the two drugs were attached to each other, keeping the toxic agent inactive until the Herceptin carried it to the tumor. Side effects, other than temporary nausea and some muscle cramps, vanished.
“I’m able to live a normal life,” said Ms. Saitowitz, 47, a mother of two young children in Los Angeles. “I haven’t lost any of my hair.”
The experimental treatment, called T-DM1, is a harbinger of a new class of cancer drugs that may be more effective and less toxic than many existing treatments. By harnessing antibodies to deliver toxic payloads to cancer cells, while largely sparing healthy cells, the drugs are a step toward the “magic bullets” against cancer first envisioned by Paul Ehrlich, a German Nobel laureate, about 100 years ago.
“It’s almost like we’re masking the chemotherapy,” said Dr. Edith Perez, a breast cancer specialist at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla.
One such drug, Adcetris, developed by Seattle Genetics, was approved last August to treat Hodgkin’s lymphoma and another rare cancer. TDM-1, developed by Genentech, could reach the market next year. Data from a large clinical trial of T-DM1 is expected to attract attention at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology this weekend in Chicago.
Numerous other companies, from pharmaceutical giants to tiny start-ups, are pursuing the treatments, which are known variously as antibody-drug conjugates, armed antibodies or empowered antibodies. “I don’t think there is a major pharma or a midsized pharma with interest in cancer that doesn’t have a program or isn’t scrambling to put one together,” said Stephen Evans-Freke, a managing general partner at Celtic Therapeutics, an investment firm that recently committed $50 million to create a new company, ADC Therapeutics, to develop antibody-drug conjugates.
About 25 such drugs from a variety of companies are in clinical trials, according to Alain Beck, a French pharmaceutical researcher who closely tracks the field. Genentech alone has eight in clinical trials besides T-DM1, and another 17 in earlier stages of development.
Many of the drugs use technology from either Seattle Genetics, based in Bothell, Wash., or ImmunoGen of Waltham, Mass., which supplied the toxin and linker used in T-DM1.
The armed antibodies do not work for all patients and they are not totally free of side effects. T-DM1, for instance, can lower blood platelet levels. The drugs are also likely to be expensive. Adcetris costs more than $100,000 for a typical course of treatment.
Biotechnology drugs called monoclonal antibodies, like Herceptin, Rituxan and Erbitux, are already mainstays of what is called targeted cancer therapy. These laboratory-produced molecules mimic the antibodies made by a person’s immune system to fight infection. But instead of attacking pathogens these antibodies attach to specific proteins on the surface of cancer cells.
But antibodies by themselves have a limited ability to kill tumors. So the antibodies are usually given with more conventional cell-killing chemotherapy drugs, which cause side effects because they can also attack healthy cells.
The new approach chemically attaches a toxin to the antibody, increasing its killing power while reducing the need to give toxic drugs separately. After the antibody binds to a cancer cell, it is taken inside the cell like a Trojan horse, and the toxin is released.
While armed antibodies are sometimes likened to guided missiles with toxic warheads, they actually cannot guide themselves to tumors.
Rather, they float through the bloodstream, bumping against various cells. But they stick only to the cells bearing the target protein.
“These are like floating sea mines,” said K. Dane Wittrup, a professor of chemical and biological engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “But when they end up in a particular harbor, they blow up.” Less than 1 percent of the drug actually makes it to the tumor, he estimated.
The antibody used in Adcetris, which binds to a protein on malignant cells called CD30, had little effect on cancer when tested alone, even at doses 20 times as high as used now. But when linked to a toxin, it shrank tumors in 75 percent of those with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Aimee Blaine, a petroleum engineer from Bakersfield, Calif., who has had Hodgkin’s lymphoma since 2004, was virtually out of options after traditional chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant failed to cure her disease.
But four days after taking Adcetris in a clinical trial, the unbearable itching that accompanied her disease vanished, she said.
Eventually, so did the cancer. Ms. Blaine, 40, has been in remission since her last dose in January 2011 and recently returned to work for the first time in seven years.
Like Herceptin, T-DM1 binds to what is known as the HER2 protein and is meant to treat only the roughly 20 percent of breast cancer cases characterized by an abundance of that protein. 
n one trial involving 137 women, including Ms. Saitowitz, T-DM1 proved both more effective and less toxic than a combination of Herceptin and the chemotherapy drug docetaxel as an initial treatment for metastatic breast cancer.
Those who received T-DM1 went a median of 14.2 months before their disease worsened, compared with 9.2 months for those getting the two-drug combination. Yet only 46 percent of the T-DM1 patients suffered a severe side effect, half the rate of the other group.
At the cancer conference, researchers will present results of a pivotal trial involving nearly 1,000 women. Though armed antibodies are easy to envision, it has taken more than three decades to make them practical, with many failures along the way.
With the first armed antibody to reach the market, Mylotarg, the toxin sometimes fell off the antibody prematurely, causing side effects. Approved in 2000 to treat acute myeloid leukemia, Mylotarg was removed from the market by its manufacturer, Pfizer, in 2010 after new studies showed it did not prolong lives and had safety problems.
Since then, two antibodies linked to radioactive isotopes have been approved to treat non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma — Bexxar from GlaxoSmithKline and Zevalin from Spectrum Pharmaceuticals. These drugs, while effective, are more cumbersome to use than antibodies linked to chemical toxins.
Researchers first tried to use existing chemotherapy drugs as the payloads, but they were simply not toxic enough. That is because less of a drug gets to the tumor when carried on an antibody than when the drug floods the body by itself.
Seattle Genetics and ImmunoGen use toxins that are hundreds of times as potent as typical chemotherapy agents. They are too toxic to be given by themselves.
The linkers have proved even tricker to develop since they must keep the toxin attached to the antibody while in the bloodstream, but then release the toxin inside the cancer cell.
Dr. John Lambert, executive vice president for research and development at ImmunoGen, will be in the audience at the cancer conference as the fruits of 30 years of work are presented.
“To get to this point is an indescribable feeling, actually,” he said. 
To view the original article CLICK HERE
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 Please Be Sure To
My Blogs
To Spread The Facts World Wide To Give Others HOPE
I Have Been Fighting Cancer since 1997 & I’M STILL HERE!
I Have Cancer, Cancer Does NOT Have Me
I just want to say sorry for copping out at times and leaving Lee and friends to cope!
Any help and support YOU can give her will be hugely welcome.
I do make a lousy patient!

.
If YOU want to follow my fight against Cancer from when it started and I first presented with symptoms see The TAB just below the Header of this Blog. called >DIARY of Cancer< just click and it will give you a long list of the main events in chronological order.
.
Thoughts and comments will be in chronological order in the main blog and can be tracked in the >ARCHIVE< in the Right Sidebar. You may find the TABS >MEDICAL LINKS< and also >CANCER LINKS< of help. . YOU are welcome to call me if you believe I can help in ANY way.
.

Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins
tel: 01594 – 528 337
on: http://GregLanceWatkins.Blogspot.com 
TWITTER: Greg_LW
Health/Cancer Blog: http://GregLW.blogspot.com 
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Breast Cancer NO FUN but worse for men!

Breast Cancer NO FUN but worse for men!
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 .Hi,

it is worth noting just how vicious breast cancer can be when men have the disease:

Breast cancer is rare in men, but they fare worse

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CHICAGO (AP) — Men rarely get breast cancer, but those who do often don’t survive as long as women, largely because they don’t even realize they can get it and are slow to recognize the warning signs, researchers say.
On average, women with breast cancer lived two years longer than men in the biggest study yet of the disease in males.
The study found that men’s breast tumors were larger at diagnosis, more advanced and more likely to have spread to other parts of the body. Men were also diagnosed later in life; in the study, they were 63 on average, versus 59 for women.
Many men have no idea that they can get breast cancer, and some doctors are in the dark, too, dismissing symptoms that would be an automatic red flag in women, said study leader Dr. Jon Greif, a breast cancer surgeon in Oakland, Calif.
The American Cancer Society estimates 1 in 1,000 men will get breast cancer, versus 1 in 8 women. By comparison, 1 in 6 men will get prostate cancer, the most common cancer in men.
“It’s not really been on the radar screen to think about breast cancer in men,” said Dr. David Winchester, a breast cancer surgeon in NorthShore University HealthSystem in suburban Chicago who was not involved in the study. Winchester treats only a few men with breast cancer each year, compared with at least 100 women.
The researchers analyzed 10 years of national data on breast cancer cases, from 1998 to 2007. A total of 13,457 male patients diagnosed during those years were included, versus 1.4 million women. The database contains about 75 percent of all U.S. breast cancer cases.
The men who were studied lived an average of about eight years after being diagnosed, compared with more than 10 years for women. The study doesn’t indicate whether patients died of breast cancer or something else.
Greif prepared a summary of his study for presentation Friday at a meeting of American Society of Breast Surgeons in Phoenix.
Dr. Akkamma Ravi, a breast cancer specialist at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, said the research bolsters results in smaller studies and may help raise awareness. Because the disease is so rare in men, research is pretty scant, and doctors are left to treat it the same way they manage the disease in women, she said.
Some doctors said one finding in the study suggests men’s breast tumors might be biologically different from women’s: Men with early-stage disease had worse survival rates than women with early-stage cancer. But men’s older age at diagnosis also might explain that result, Greif said.
The causes of breast cancer in men are not well-studied, but some of the same things that increase women’s chances for developing it also affect men, including older age, cancer-linked gene mutations, a family history of the disease, and heavy drinking.
There are no formal guidelines for detecting breast cancer in men. The American Cancer Society says routine, across-the-board screening of men is unlikely to be beneficial because the disease is so rare.
For men at high risk because of a strong family history or genetic mutations, mammograms and breast exams may be helpful, but men should discuss this with their doctors, the group says.
Men’s breast cancer usually shows up as a lump under or near a nipple. Nipple discharge and breasts that are misshapen or don’t match are also possible signs that should be checked out.
Tom More, 67, of Custer, Wash., was showering when he felt a pea-size lump last year near his right nipple. Because a golfing buddy had breast cancer, More didn’t put off seeing his doctor. The doctor told More that he was his first male breast cancer patient.
Robert Kaitz, a computer business owner in Severna Park, Md., thought the small growth under his left nipple was just a harmless cyst, like ones that had been removed from his back. By the time he had it checked out in 2006, almost two years later, the lump had started to hurt.
The diagnosis was a shock.
“I had no idea in the world that men could even get breast cancer,” Kaitz said. He had a mastectomy, and 25 nearby lymph nodes were removed, some with cancer. Chemotherapy and radiation followed.
Tests showed Kaitz, 52, had a BRCA genetic mutation that has been linked to breast and ovarian cancer in women. He may have gotten the mutation from his mother, who is also a breast cancer survivor. It has also been linked to prostate cancer, which Kaitz was treated for in 2009.
A powerboater and motorcycle buff, Kaitz jokes about being a man with a woman’s disease but said he is not embarrassed and doesn’t mind showing his breast surgery scar.
The one thing he couldn’t tolerate was tamoxifen, a hormone treatment commonly used to help prevent breast cancer from returning in women. It can cause menopausal symptoms, so he stopped taking it.
“It killed me. I tell you what – night sweats, hot flashes, mood swings, depression. I’d be sitting in front of the TV watching a drama and the tears wouldn’t stop pouring,” he said.
Doctors sometimes prescribe antidepressants or other medication to control those symptoms.
Now Kaitz gets mammograms every year. Men need to know that “we’re not immune,” he said. “We have the same plumbing.”


To view the original article CLICK HERE

Do note:

Male breast cancer: http://bit.ly/ayq2S6
Support group: http://www.malebreastcancer.org

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 Please Be Sure To
My Blogs
To Spread The Facts World Wide To Give Others HOPE
I Have Been Fighting Cancer since 1997 & I’M STILL HERE!
I Have Cancer, Cancer Does NOT Have Me

I just want to say sorry for copping out at times and leaving Lee and friends to cope!
Any help and support YOU can give her will be hugely welcome.
I do make a lousy patient!

.
If YOU want to follow my fight against Cancer from when it started and I first presented with symptoms see The TAB just below the Header of this Blog. called >DIARY of Cancer< just click and it will give you a long list of the main events in chronological order.
.
Thoughts and comments will be in chronological order in the main blog and can be tracked in the >ARCHIVE< in the Right Sidebar.

You may find the TABS >MEDICAL LINKS< and also >CANCER LINKS< of help.
.
YOU are welcome to call me if you believe I can help in ANY way.
.

Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins
tel: 01594 – 528 337
on: http://GregLanceWatkins.Blogspot.com 
TWITTER: Greg_LWHealth/Cancer 
Blog: http://GregLW.blogspot.com 
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AVASTIN withdrawn by FDA in Breast Cancer Treatment

AVASTIN withdrawn by FDA in Breast Cancer Treatment
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Breaking News Alert
The New York Times
Friday, November 18, 2011 — 10:46 AM EST
—–

F.D.A. Revokes Approval of Avastin as Breast Cancer Drug

The Food and Drug Administration announced Friday that it was revoking its approval of the drug Avastin for breast cancer after concluding that it “has not been shown to be safe and effective for that use.”

Avastin, made by the pharmaceutical company Roche, will remain an approved treatment for certain types of colon, lung, kidney and brain cancer, the F.D.A. commissioner, Margaret A. Hamburg, announced.

Some women who say the drug has been keeping them alive had pleaded desperately for the approval to be retained.

Read More:
http://www.nytimes.com/?emc=na

 .
 Please Be Sure To
My Blogs
To Spread The Facts World Wide To Give Others HOPE
I Have Been Fighting Cancer since 1997 & I’M STILL HERE!
I Have Cancer, Cancer Does NOT Have Me
I just want to say sorry for copping out at times and leaving Lee and friends to cope!
Any help and support YOU can give her will be hugely welcome.
I do make a lousy patient!

.
If YOU want to follow my fight against Cancer from when it started and I first presented with symptoms see The TAB just below the Header of this Blog. called >DIARY of Cancer< just click and it will give you a long list of the main events in chronological order.
.
Thoughts and comments will be in chronological order in the main blog and can be tracked in the >ARCHIVE< in the Right Sidebar.

You may find the TABS >MEDICAL LINKS< and also >CANCER LINKS< of help.
.
YOU are welcome to call me if you believe I can help in ANY way.
.

Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins
tel: 01594 – 528 337
on: http://GregLanceWatkins.Blogspot.com  
TWITTER: Greg_LW  
Health/Cancer Blog: http://GregLW.blogspot.com  
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BREAST Cancer Blocker! Well Beta Blocker actually!

BREAST Cancer Blocker! Well Beta Blocker actually!
Early signs of breast cancer.Image via Wikipedia

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Hi,

honest I’m not obsessed with boobs and NO I haven’t got breasts on Google Alert – It is just that obviously breasts are much easier to raise funds for than offal!

Should we start a protest movement under the EHRC for equal status for offal as there is no doubt in my mind that tits get more attention than kidneys, bladders, prostates and colorectal cancers!

How about ‘Better Funding For Livers & Lungs’!

Beta blockers ‘may stop breast cancer spreading’

Breast cancer cell Researchers are trying to find ways to stop breast cancer cells spreading

Related Stories

Cancer experts are to carry out a major study to see if commonly used blood pressure drugs cut the risk of breast cancer spreading.

Data from 800 patients has already shown those previously given beta blockers had half the chance of their cancer spreading as women who had not.

So-called secondary cancers have a high death rate.

The Cancer Research UK backed study will look at about 30,000 patients, and will report next year.
If that too shows benefits from the medication, further research in which breast cancer patients would be treated with beta blockers, would follow.

Doctors cannot move straight to this kind of study because they need to have more evidence there is a beneficial effect of taking beta blockers first.

They say there is no evidence so far that anything else explains the benefits seen – but the large study will look into that even further.

‘Life-saving potential’

Breast cancer spreading to other parts of the body is the biggest cause of death from the disease.
It is thought that about 30% of breast cancers spread, yet these account for up to 90% of all deaths from the disease. 

The early work on beta blockers found that the women who had taken them had a 71% reduced risk of a cancer-related death.

Another study has also identified the biological process whereby beta blockers stop cells moving – and therefore stop cancer from spreading. 

They do this by stopping the action of a molecule on the cell surface called the noradrenergic receptor. If this is blocked, cells cannot move to other parts of the body.

Dr Des Powe, from Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, is working on the research in collaboration with scientists from Belfast and Germany.

He said: “Cancer can be thought of as having two distinct phases – before and after the disease has spread. 

“Many women will be successfully treated for their initial breast tumour but in some, the original tumour leaves a legacy – a daughter of the primary cancer

“It is absolutely crucial to conquer cancer spread if we are to really improve breast cancer survival as this problem causes nearly all deaths from the disease.”

Dr Julie Sharp, senior science information manager at Cancer Research UK, said: “As beta blockers are already a known drug this could be a very interesting development, which has the potential to save a large number of lives.”

To view the original article CLICK HERE

 .
 Please Be Sure To
My Blogs
To Spread The Facts World Wide To Give Others HOPE
I Have Been Fighting Cancer since 1997 & I’M STILL HERE!
I Have Cancer, Cancer Does NOT Have Me
I just want to say sorry for copping out at times and leaving Lee and friends to cope!
Any help and support YOU can give her will be hugely welcome.
I do make a lousy patient!

.
If YOU want to follow my fight against Cancer from when it started and I first presented with symptoms see The TAB just below the Header of this Blog. called >DIARY of Cancer< just click and it will give you a long list of the main events in chronological order.
.
Thoughts and comments will be in chronological order in the main blog and can be tracked in the >ARCHIVE< in the Right Sidebar. You may find the TABS >MEDICAL LINKS< and also >CANCER LINKS< of help.
.
YOU are welcome to call me if you believe I can help in ANY way.
.

Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins
tel: 01291 – 62 65 62
on: http://GregLanceWatkins.Blogspot.com  
TWITTER: Greg_LW
Health/Cancer Blog: http://GregLW.blogspot.com  
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