Entries in Colon cancer (12)


Plaque, Appendicitis Bacterium Linked to Colon Cancer 

Chad Baker/Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A bacterium that causes appendicitis and gum disease has been detected in colon tumors, according to new research that suggests it may set the stage for colorectal cancer, the second-deadliest malignancy. Only lung cancer kills more people each year.

If the finding can be validated by larger studies, fusobacterium might one day be used to prevent and screen for colorectal cancer, currently detectable through colonoscopy or tests for the presence of blood in the stool.

Fuscobacterium also might play a role in determining the prognosis of colorectal cancers and shaping their treatment, according to two research teams independently reporting a relationship between the rod-shaped microbe and cancers of the lower digestive system.

Fuscobacterium is a known player in disorders characterized by inflammation, such as gum disease and appendicitis. Scientists have tied some strains to two inflammatory bowel diseases, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, both of which elevate the risk of colon cancer. In addition to promoting inflammation, fuscobacterium has other qualities that make it a formidable foe: it invades tissues and is sticky.

A Canadian research team found significantly more fuscobacterium RNA in colon tumors than in healthy tissues from the same people. That surprised the investigators because fuscobacterium is a rare inhabitant of healthy guts.

A U.S. group compared tissues lining cancerous and healthy regions of patients' colons, looking in each for stretches of the microbes' DNA. They theorized that if bacteria and viruses were involved in the development of colorectal cancer, the quantity of the microbes in tumor tissue would differ from the quantity in adjacent healthy tissue. Indeed, looking first at tissues of nine people, and then 95 more, they found a spike in fuscobacterium species in diseased tissue.

Both studies will be published online Tuesday in the international journal Genomic Research.
Researchers say additional studies comparing bacteria in the tissues of cancer patients and healthy people could demonstrate whether there are more fuscobacterium species in the intestines of colon cancer patients than in the intestines of the general population.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


FDA: Cancer Drug Avastin, May Cause Ovarian Failure

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) – According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), treatment with Roche Holding AG’s cancer drug Avastin might have a detrimental effect on fertility in some women.

A new warning detailing the risk of “ovarian failure” was recently added to Avastin’s label, and doctors are now recommended to warn women of child-bearing age of the risk before they start treatment.

Ovarian failure means that there is a possibility that ovaries will stop releasing eggs regularly.

Avastin is most commonly used to treat certain types of lung, brain, kidney, colon and breast cancers, and though it is currently approved to treat each of the aforementioned cancers, the company is currently fighting to keep the FDA’s approval for breast cancer.

The pending decision from the FDA commissioner on whether to take away its approval for breast cancer is separate from the recent announcement about the drug's label revision -- part of routine practice. The FDA often revises drug labels when new data or side affects arise.

In a statement, Roche's Genentech unit said it "takes patient safety very seriously and consistently reports new safety information about our medicines, collected through clinical trials and in the postmarketing setting" to the FDA. The company also added that it is planning to send healthcare professionals a letter that would discuss any new labeling changes.

The updated information regarding ovarian failure came from a clinical trial of a study of 179 women with colon cancer. In addition to being treated with chemotherapy regimen, Folfox, half the women also received Avastin. Of those who received Avastin, 34% experienced ovarian failure compared to 2% of those not taking Avastin.

Ovarian function was restored to about 20% of the women after the Avastin treatment was stopped.

The FDA report also added that "Long-term effects of Avastin exposure on fertility are unknown.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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