Best of Breast: news for week ending 12 December 2014

The latest news in breast cancer and cancer, aggregated from Google Alerts, for the week ending 12 December 2014.

sex-chromosomes

Smoking can erase the Y chromosome (on the right) Image credit: techtimes.com

There’s been a gradual but steady rise in the number of immunotherapy articles, featuring cancer vaccines.

I think what people need to realise is that a cancer vaccine is not like a flu vaccine where a one-off will provide cover for that season’s viruses.  A cancer vaccine has to cope with a myriad of different metabolic factors, the state of the patient’s immune system etc.

Often cancer vaccines require a course of vaccines for as long as the person lives. The nature of the beast is that it is different in everyone and it mutates, presenting different faces to evade and disguise itself from the body’s immune system.  Multiple vaccines has to be administered to adapt to this enemy that wears a thousand masks.  If the person is lucky, the immune system will wake up and do the rest.  But if not … there are no guarantees that cancer vaccines will work for everybody.

I visited Prof Nesslehut, the world’s expert in dendritic cell vaccines and other immunotherapies, and was advised that a course of vaccines would start at one per month for six months, then tapering down to three-month and six-month intervals.  Over a five-year period that would add up to about Euro100,000 depending on the variants used.

So personalised immunotherapy that is affordable is yonks away unless you’re lucky enough to get onto a trial.

It’s the start of the 2014 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium which means loads of research into breast cancer sub-types and treatments, which this week is heavy on TNBC.

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Best of Breast: news for week ending 5 September 2014

The latest medical developments in the world of breast cancer and cancer, from Google Alerts, for the week ending 5 September 2014.

Last week’s Best of Breast (w/e 29 August 2014) covered the controversy over whether cancer is curable or not.  Now, I know there are many people who are in long-term remission, but remission is not a cure.  The current thinking is that cancer is a chronic disease, it may go into latent mode, but it may re-surface years later.

This week seems to be the week of the metastasis – scientists are discovering more ways in which cancer cells cannily inveigle themselves into other parts of the body.  It’s nothing new … there have been similar discoveries every week, every month, every year.  The problem seems to be putting this research into practice and finding ways of blocking the proteins or enzymes or rogue signalling-pathways that cause cancer to metastasise.

Tentacle

Invadopodia … how cancer cells metastasise.

1.  Stopping cancer from forming tentacles stops metastasis

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Best of Breast: news for week ending 20 December 2013

Updated March 2016 – For more information on GcMAF, please join the GcMAF and GcMAF Cancer forums on Facebook – they are closed groups, so you have to wait for your membership to be confirmed.  They contain up-to-date information on sources of GcMAF, and also feedback and contributions  by people who are using GcMAF.

A round-up of this week’s latest medical developments, culled from Google Alerts.  Again, there’s a glut from the 2013 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, which is no bad thing.

At long last, and about time too:  cancer immunotherapy has been voted breakthrough of the year by Science magazine.  I’m looking forward to the day when all cancers can be prevented and cured by immune-boosting treatments, and cancer vaccines, and not surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy

Immunotherapy

image credit:  sciencemagazine.org

Scientists now prove that chemo-brain exists, a fact that people on chemo have known for ages.  Maybe this will mean chemo-brain will be taken seriously and more importantly, some cures will be in the pipeline.

Some interesting research on sugar and its role in cancer – the theory used to be that cancer cells were able to survive without oxygen, by converting sugar directly into energy.  New research has shown that increasing sugar metabolism in cells may be directly responsible for fuelling the growth of cancer cells.

A trial into the use of chemotherapy drug, 5FU (fluorouracil) shows that it did not add to the efficacy of treatment protocols using epirubicin and cyclophosphamide and paclitaxel (FEC +T).  I find this especially relevant because FECT is standard treatment for lymph-node positive breast cancer in the UK.  Does this mean the protocol will change?

Don’t forget to eat your tomatoes – not only is lycopene (the phytochemical contained in them) good for prostate cancer, it has now been shown to have a positive effect on the level of hormones that play a role in regulating fat and sugar metabolism in a trial involving post-menopausal women.

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Hallwang Clinic #12 – trans-arterial chemoembolisation (TACE) with Prof. Vogl

Forest4

Shadow of branches on floor of Black Forest, so much like the network of arteries in the human body

TACE leaflet1

TACE leaftlet 1

TACE leaflet2

TACE leaflet 2

TACE leaflet3

Updated 1 January 2015 re. importance of having a companion with you to make sure that your appointments during TACE run smoothly. There have been reports of patients being left on trolleys in the hospital corridors, the language problem, and patients being overlooked and having to discharge themselves.

Of all the treatments at Hallwang, Trans-arterial chemoembolisation (or TACE) was the one I dreaded the most.

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