What could be left in children’s psychic after neoplasm?

The oncologically affected children are only 1 % of the whole oncologic patients. Comforting is the fact that up to 80% of the young patients may recover from neoplasm(1), however, it is widely known that the disease will influence their lives. It is worth remembering because these adults will need a slightly different internal medicine care and especially psychological support due to the fact that so serious event in their life leaves not only physical, but also mental trace. The even better development of medicine and oncologic therapy is the reason why more and more medicine practitioners will meet such patients in their work. Read full text »

MicroRNAs in cancer therapy and diagnosis

MicroRNAs are proteins non-coding RNA molecules of about 20-24 nucleotides length. Their function is to control the expression of other genes during transcription or posttranscriptionally. Distinct expression of certain classes of microRNAs in various conditions were detected, including certain types of cancer. MicroRNAs class let-7 has a function in many metabolic pathways, and their goal is the inhibition of cell proliferation. They inhibit the growth of tumors. Reduction of miRNA let-7 class in some types of tumors, such as lung cancer and breast cancer, was detected. Another type of miRNAs that can be used in cancer therapy is the miR-34. The use of miRNAs in cancer diagnosis and therapy is promising but requires further study.

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Photodynamic therapy in oncology

Photodynamic therapy (called also PDT) is a treatment in which cancer cells previously sensitized to light can be destroyed by the radiation. This method is already used in Japan, USA, Canada, Australia and in Western Europe. Read full text »

PD-1 inhibitors in cancer therapy

PD-1 is a receptor which, through a variety of metabolic processes, leads to inactivation of T cells. In the therapy of the cancer, one of the promising new drugs is BMS-936 558, an antibody directed against PD-1 receptor. The effectiveness of the new therapy has been demonstrated in large randomized trials for renal cancer, non-small cell lung cancer and melanoma. Currently, the drug is in the second phase of clinical trials (treatment of renal cell carcinoma). The obtained results are very promising, however the effect of the antibody must be evaluated in the further studies.

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The results of genetic mapping in breast cancer

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in women. Since the 70th, until the 90th twentieth century, a steady increase in the incidence of breast cancer could be observed. A breast cancer is now the cause of more than 450 000 deaths per year. Researchers from The Cancer Genome Atlas mapped genetically over 800 samples from different patients with breast cancer. The results were published in the Nature, 23 September 2012. The study takes into account the type and number of mutations, miRNA correlation with mutations, DNA methylation, and the number and type of amplified genes. Integrated molecular analysis of breast cancer broadens our knowledge of the disease and points to genetic factors affecting the formation and progression of cancer. Read full text »

A vaccine for breast cancer

A new vaccine (Neuvax, nelipepimut-S or E75), which can prevent recurrence of early-stage, HER2 medium or low expression breast cancer, is being tested. Currently, since 2011 the vaccine is in a third phase of clinical trials but the preliminary results will be known in 2015. Vaccine is directed against E75 peptide isolated from the protein receptor HER2/neu. The results of the first and second phase of trials indicate reduced recurrence of the cancer than in the control group, lower mortality rate and the absence of bone metastasis in case of recurrence. In the article the way of action, patients’ criteria selection, results of the first and second phase of clinical trials, toxicity as well as perspective of spreading the vaccine, will be presented. Read full text »

Remission of malignant melanoma is possible

Scientists from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center performed a study on one patient, to assess the role of the immune system in the fight against cancer. The results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine as a brief report. Ipilimumab (CTLA-4 protein blocker) was administered to patient with malignant melanoma. An unusual phenomenon was observed, in which radiation therapy of one cancer site, resulted in disappearance of metastatic tumors within whole body.

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Osteosarcoma in adults

Osteosarcoma is the most common primary bone tumour. It is characterized by the presence of the fusiform cells producing a malignant extracellular osteoid. Both, the malignancy and the ability to create metastasis depend on the histological type. Osteosarcoma is an eighth most common tumour in infants with a peak of incidence between 10 and 14 years. Nevertheless, we should not forget that osteosarcoma is also an adult cancer. In this case it can occur either as an idiopathic or as a secondary disease (e.g. to Paget disease).

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Lung cancer – new opportunities for the introduction of screening tests

Very important conclusions for the early detection of lung cancer have been included in the recent publication summarizing the U.S. National Lung Screening Trial (NLST). This is the first study in which through the use of appropriate diagnostic methods managed to reduce mortality of patients with cancer of the lung. In this analysis supremacy of repeatedly performed low dose computed tomography (LDCT) over the standard chest x-ray was demonstrated. It is the first step, which in the future might allow the introduction of an effective screening program for lung cancer. Read full text »

Colorectal cancer – is there an association between blood coagulability and neoplasms?

Malignant neoplasms change the rheological properties of the blood, leading to a higher risk of thrombosis. Treatment of a cancer also affects the haemostasis. Recent studies carried out in the Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum (Heidelberg) showed that not only the cancer is causing the thrombosis, but the prothrombotic trend may increase the risk of malignant neoplasm occurrence. Read full text »