This month doctors and scientists are applying knowledge learned from cancer patients and research to improve cancer treatment. Doctors must juggle many things when a patient with a chronic illness is diagnosed with cancer. Scientists are learning how forever chemicals encourage the spread of cancer. A new peptide has been designed to inhibit a protein that can stop the growth of 75% of cancerous tumors.
How Do Chronic Diseases Affect Cancer Treatment?
A cancer diagnosis is challenging enough. But having a chronic disease, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, or kidney problems, can affect how doctors treat your cancer reports Everyday Health. Cancer diagnosis can happen to older adults who already have many coexisting conditions that require medications. Drug interactions can occur with cancer medicines and chronic condition medications, causing side effects. Some chronic health problems like diabetes increase the risk of infection, making it harder to recover from some cancer surgeries. Some surgeries to remove cancers can make chronic health problems worse, like lung cancer removal affecting chronic lung disease patients. Chronic health problems can eliminate some cancer patients from qualifying for clinical trials. Physicians have a scoring system tool to use that helps choose appropriate treatments for cancer patients. It is the ECOG, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group scoring system. Doctors can reduce chemotherapy medications doses to avoid complications that can arise from combining chemotherapy with medications for chronic illness. Some cancer patients must prioritize other health issues and treat the cancer when it is safe to do so. It is a careful balance that involves good communication between the patient and the doctor. Click here for the full story.
“Forever Chemicals” Encourage Cancer to Spread Around the Body
In a new study by researchers at the Yale school of public health, two “forever chemicals” spurred cancer cells in the lab to migrate to new positions, an indication that the chemicals could contribute to cancer metastasis in living organisms reports earth.com. These industrial chemicals don’t break down and have toxic effects on the body. The chemicals (PFAS) are found in drinking water, indoor dust, cleaning products, and even interior coatings. Levels of PFAS are showing up in the blood of newborn babies, in sea life, and in bird eggs. Firefighters are having an increased rate of cancer from exposure to PFAS through their jobs. Scientists study the effects of PFAS chemicals using experiments with metabolomics, a tool that studies small molecules. These chemicals are found to cause effects at a cellular level that show metastatic potential. Click here for the full story.
Scientists Succeed in Stopping Cancer Engine Fueling 75% of Tumors
Scientists have developed a peptide that holds promise in controlling the activity of the MYC protein, a key contributor to exacerbating 75% of human cancer cases reports Interesting Engineering. This peptide inhibits the function of a protein MYC; in cancer the MYC’s activity is not regulated properly. MYC helps promote cancer growth when not regulated. When it is regulated, MYC transcribes RNA and DNA. It has a globular shape, making it difficult for drugs to bind to it. This new research has found a peptide that can bind to MYC. Scientists are using nanoparticles to deliver the peptide into cells, connecting to the MYC protein once inside the cells. This knowledge opens possibilities to design new cancer treatments by limiting the proteins activity in cancer cells. Click here for the full story.
Dana Kaiser is a professional writer and a strong patient advocate, learning from experience during her 22-year career as a nurse.