Five Cutting Edge Treatments Coming onto the Cancer Treatment Scene
No one wants to hear about the possibility “the Big C” when talking to their doctor, however new cancer treatment options are being discovered and studied every day.
Immunotherapy and Neuroblastoma
Neuroblastoma is a cancer that forms in developing nerve cells and is most often diagnosed in children under the age of five years, according to an article from The Dana Foundation. It is extremely difficult to treat, even with aggressive therapies and has a high relapse rate. A new treatment in study at the University of California, San Diego Medical School consists of a monoclonal antibody and two hormones that help shore up the immune system binds to a lipid on these cancer cells and causes immune system cells to attack. Alice Yu, the treatment study’s leader, says that patients who received this treatment were 20% more likely to be disease free after two years.
Destroying Blood Vessels to Fight Kidney, Colo-rectal and GI Cancers
Without a blood supply cancer cannot grow. By stopping angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels, Dr. William Li, head of the Angiogenesis Foundation, believes that many cancers (and possibly even obesity can be stopped). The body has it’s own system of adding and removing blood vessels as needed, but diseases such as cancer can disrupt these cycles. Currently, there are 12 anti-angiogenic drugs treating 11 different cancers, with more in the works. Studies show that is a 70 to 100 percent increase in survival in patients with kidney, gastrointestinal and colo-rectal cancers. Dr. Li also posits in an article at Wired.com that eating foods naturally high in anti-angeogenic compounds such as red grapes, berries, dark chocolate and green tea among many others could also help “starve” cancer cells of their blood supply.
Chemoprevention for Breast Cancer
According to the American Cancer Society web site, new treatment options include giving women with certain breast cancer risk factors tamoxifen or raloxifene maybe reduce breast cancer risk. There are side effects, however, that many women do not wish to contend with. Other studies are looking at aromatase inhibitors for reducing the cancer risk in post-menopausal women.
A One-Two Knockout for Leukemia
Dr. Christopher Cogle of the University of Florida is involved in a study, recently approved by the FDA to enter phase 1 clinical trials in humans, in which Oxi4503 is used to poison cancer cells while simultaneously destroying the surrounding blood cells reports The Gainesville Sun. He adds that the trial will not see if the treatment works, since it has already shown promising results in mouse studies, but to determine the maximum dosage level of this “double barreled” cancer therapy.
“Smart Bomb” for Pancreatic Cancer
Without a doubt pancreatic cancer is one of the most deadly and difficult to treat forms of cancer. According to a Medical News Today article, pancreatic cancer cells are protected by a layer of specialized cells from the effects of chemotherapy.
A new treatment, using tumor-penetrating micro particles (TPM), presented by Dr. Jessie L.S. Au, Pharm.D, Ph.D, at the Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) Annual Meeting in Los Angeles is better able to deliver the cancer killing drugs to the tumor, slowly releasing over several weeks to target rapid and slow growing tumors. The TPM are designed to move about without being removed by the lymphatic system so they will affected the cancer infected organ longer than traditional treatments. Dr. Au believes that this is a safer option because one dose lasts several weeks, and may be especially helpful to people with the later end stages of pancreatic cancer. This treatment should receive FDA approval for a human clinical trial this year.
Jen Uscher, Immunotherapy Improves Cure Rate for Children with Neuroblastoma. The Dana Foundation.
Kim Zetter, TED 2010: Halting Blood Vessels Key to New Cancer Treatment; Possibly Obesity. Wired.
What’s New in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment? American Cancer Society.
Diane Chun, UF Researchers to Test New Leukemia Treatment. The Gainesville Sun
Rosalind D’Eugenio, Discovery Offers Potential New Pancreatic Cancer Treatment. Medical News Today.