Friday, May 19, 2006


MAY ; The Month of Skin Cancer Prevention

May is National Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month. More than 1 million people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year. While most cases are highly treatable when caught early, the disease is still expected to claim more than 10,000 American lives in 2006.

* Squamous and basal cell cancers make up the majority of the 1 million-plus skin cancer cases diagnosed each year.

* More than 62,000 people will be diagnosed with melanoma in 2006.

* Of the 10,710 skin cancer deaths this year, melanoma is expected to account for nearly 8,000 of them.

* The 5-year relative survival rate for patients with melanoma is 92 percent.

* Skin cancer symptoms include any change on the skin or to a mole; a sore that won't heal; or growing lumps, often with a rough surface.

To stay sun safe, remember to think about:
* Applying a sun block with a rating of SPF 15 or higher
* Reapplying sun block every two hours, and immediately after swimming or heavy perspiration * Providing additional protection by wearing a broad rimmed hat, sunglasses, long-sleeved shirts and pants
* Avoiding excessive exposure to the sun, especially during the peak hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Recognizing changes on the skin is key for early detection and treatment of skin cancers. The American Cancer Society recommends using the ABCD rule to help determine when a skin or mole change should be seen by a physician:

A for asymmetry: one half is differently shaped than the other
B for border irregularity: jagged or blurred edges
C for color: the pigmentation may not be consistent
D for diameter: moles greater than six millimeters (the size of a pencil eraser)
People who experience any of these symptoms should notify their physician immediately.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Burkitt ( Part 4) More on C-MYC

C-Myc influences the transcription of a variety of proteins involved in cell cycle regulation, apoptosis, cell growth, cell adhesion, and differentiation.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Burkitt ( Part 3)

- A defining feature of Burkitt’s lymphoma is the presence of a translocation between the c-myc gene and the IgH gene (found in 80% of cases [t(8;14)]) or between c-myc and the gene for either the kappa or lambda light chain (IgL) in the remaining 20% [t(2;8) or t(8;22), respectively].

- c-myc rearrangement is a pivotal event in lymphomagenesis; it results in a perpetually proliferative state. It has wide ranging effects on progression through the cell cycle, cellular differentiation, apoptosis, and cell adhesion.

Friday, April 21, 2006


Burkitt ( Part Two)

WHO Classification:

- Endemic: African children, usually 4–7 years old, involving the bones of the jaw and other facial bones.EBV is found in nearly all cases

- Sporadic: worldwide, The abdomen, especially the ileocecal area, is the most common site of involvement. Neoplastic cells are EBV+ in 15%–30% of cases.

- Immunodeficiency-associated : shares some pathogenetic features with endemic Burkitt’s lymphoma , often involves lymph nodes, bone marrow, and extranodal sites, most often in the abdomen.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Burkitt ( Part one)

- In the middle of the last century, when Denis Burkitt, a surgeon, was working in central Africa in Kampala, he noted children with grossly distorted faces, with lesions involving one or both sides of the face and upper and lower jaws, sometimes accompanied by proptosis.

- In 1961, Burkitt made the acquaintance of Epstein, an experimental pathologist, and shared samples of the lymphoma with him. Within these lymphomas, Epstein and colleagues identified the virus that has come to be known as Epstein-Barr virus (EBV); this was the first description of a virus involved in the pathogenesis of a tumor in humans.

-In present-day Africa, Burkitt’s lymphoma continues to account for most childhood malignancies

Burkitt’s lymphoma, sporadic, with classical morphology, involving the tonsil of a child. (A): There is a diffuse infiltrate of atypical lymphoid cells with numerous mitoses and a prominent starry-sky pattern because of the presence of multiple tingible body macrophages. (B): High-power magnification shows that the neoplastic cells are medium-sized, round, and uniform, with nuclei that are similar in size to or slightly smaller than the nuclei of the tingible body macrophages.

To Be Continued....

Monday, April 17, 2006


Statins & Cancer Treatment

- Increasing evidence suggests that statins might enhance the antitumor activity of various cytokines and chemotherapeutic agents.

- Synergistic interactions have also been reported between statins and chemotherapeutic agents such as cisplatin, 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), and doxorubicin.

- Lovastatin has also been shown to enhance paclitaxel-induced apoptosis in human leukemia cell lines .

- in addition to increasing the antitumor effect, lovastatin treatment was also associated with a lower risk for doxorubicin-associated cardiotoxicity .


- Pravastatin therapy as a treatment option for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma was not associated with a significantly better overall survival rate.

In terms of High Dose Statin Therapy Safety in Cancer Patients

- In a phase I trial of lovastatin (2–45 mg/kg per day) in patients with solid tumors, no adverse side effects were seen with doses up to 25 mg/kg per day.

- Another phase I/II study also showed that lovastatin (20, 25, or 30 mg/kg for 7 days in cycles repeated monthly) was well tolerated in patients with malignant gliomas

These data suggest that high-dose lovastatin is well tolerated and might have modest anticancer activity, especially in the treatment of brain tumors. In contrast, the antitumor activity of high-dose lovastatin has not been shown in patients with advanced gastric adenocarcinoma .

Questions to be Answered :

- the tumor types most susceptible to statin therapy have yet to be determined.
- it is not known which statins are most effective for cancer prevention and treatment.
- the optimal statin regimen has yet to be defined

In summary, statins may be beneficial for the prevention and treatment of cancer. Now is the time for appropriately designed clinical trials to underpin the promising data of pre-existing studies.

source: Katja Hindlera, Charles S. Cleelandb, Edgardo Riverac, Charles D. Collarda. The Role of Statins in Cancer Therapy . The Oncologist, Vol. 11, No. 3, 306-315, March 2006

Sunday, April 16, 2006


Statins & Cancer

Statin-associated carcinogenicity in most of these studies was limited to dosages much higher than that commonly used to treat hypercholesterolemia in humans.

- simvastatin administered at a dose approximately 250 times higher than the dose normally used to treat hypercholesterolemia caused thyroid hypertrophy and follicular cell adenomas in rat strains
- lovastatin administration at high dosage levels (500 mg/kg per day) was associated with a higher incidence of hepatocellular and pulmonary cancers
- fluvastatin was found to be associated with a higher risk for thyroid neoplasms and forestomach papillomas in rodents

Confusing :

- A cohort study of more than 12,488 men and women ; inverse association between cholesterol level and cancer incidence, including lung, colorectal, pancreatic, and bladder cancers, and leukemia

On the other hand:

- tendency toward a higher number of cancer deaths in participants treated with cholesterol-lowering agents.( Several studies)

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