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Punarjeevan and Pink Chain take up arms against the deadliest disease, Cancer

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By Ishan Kukreti

In a major endeavor to create awareness about cancer and initiate a constructive dialogue within the society about the same, ‘Pink Chain Cancer Conclave’ was held at the Constitution Club of India on 25th June.

The conclave, which was an initiative by the NGO Punarjeevan, saw discussions on topics relevant to present day ground realities related to the disease and ways to deal with them.

Talking about the causes of cancer, Dr. G.K. Rath, chief of IRCH informed the gathering that while tobacco accounted for 40% of all cancer cases, it is preventable too. If one avoids tobacco in any form, chances of developing cancer drops by 40%.

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                                        Dr. G.K. Rath

 

Throwing light on the issue of tobacco addiction among young adults, Dr. Harit Chaturvedi, Chairman Max Oncology, said that people who start smoking at a young age are at a higher risk of getting addicted. One of the discussions focused on the inclusion of chapters on smoking and its relation to cancer in school books, to sensitize young adults about the ill effects of tobacco.

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Dr. Harit Chaturvedi

 

“The present budget allocations to the healthcare sector in India are abysmally low. Plus, a major chunk of the work in India is toeing the line of western concerns. For example, most of the efforts in cancer healthcare for women is directed towards Breast cancer, because it is a global phenomenon. However, Cervical cancer which to this day claims the highest number female lives remains largely overlooked,” a highly dedicated and equally concerned President of Punarjeevan, Dr. Abhishek Shankar told NewsGram.

Dr. Abhishek Shankar
Dr. Abhishek Shankar

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Researchers Discover Balance of Two Enzymes That May Help Treat Pancreatic Cancer

While still in the earliest stages, Newton hoped this information might one day aid pancreatic diagnostics and treatment

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Cancer
Cancer Ribbon. Pixabay

A new research has set the stage for clinicians to potentially use levels of a pancreatic cancer patient’s PHLPP1 and PKC enzymes as a prognostic and for researchers to develop new therapeutic drugs that change the balance of the two enzymes as a means to treat the disease.

The study, published on Wednesday in Molecular Cell, was led by Alexandra Newton, professor in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, and Timothy Baffi, a graduate student in her lab, Xinhua news agency reported.

The new study built on the team’s work in 2015 that found the enzyme PKC, which was believed in previous studies to promote tumour growth, actually suppressed it.

The latest study took the investigation a step further by uncovering how cells regulate PKC activity and discovered that any time an over-active PKC is inadvertently produced, the PHLPP1 “proofreader” tags it for destruction.

Cancer patient
Cancer patient.

“That means the amount of PHLPP1 in your cells determines your amount of PKC,” Newton said. “And it turns out those enzyme levels are especially important in pancreatic cancer.”

The team observed 105 pancreatic cancer tumours to analyze the enzyme levels in each one. About 50 per cent of patients with low PHLPP1/high PKC lived longer than five-and-a-half years.

Also Read- A Brain Circuit Can Help Reverse Craving for Liquor, Says Study

While still in the earliest stages, Newton hoped this information might one day aid pancreatic diagnostics and treatment.

Pancreatic cancer is caused by the abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells in the pancreas, a large gland in the digestive system. It typically doesn’t show symptoms in the early stages. Sufferers tend to develop signs, such as back pain and jaundice, when it has spread to other organs. (IANS)