Sunday July 22, 2018

Cancer patients can be treated with virus therapy, proves study

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Scientists at the NHS Royal Marsden Hospital and the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) have confirmed that an advanced way of treating cancer, using modified herpes virus, had improved the survival of cancer patients. By using genetically modified viruses to attack tumor cells, the melanoma skin cancer patients can be benefitted extensively.

This is the world’s first study, which proves that cancer can be treated with virus therapy.

Published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, this study was conducted with 436 patients, all of whom had aggressive, inoperable malignant melanoma.

The patients treated with the virus therapy – known as T-VEC – at an earlier stage survived on average 20 months longer than patients given an alternative.

The study represents a landmark: it is the first, large, randomised trial of a so-called oncolytic virus to show success.

The Independent reported that the cancer scientists have predicted that the study has added a new weapon to the arsenal of cancer treatments.

According to the report, the method – known as viral immunotherapy – functions by launching a “two-pronged attack” on cancer cells. The virus is genetically modified so that it cannot replicate in healthy cells.

It multiplies vigorously inside the cancer cells, bursting them from within. At the same time, other genetic modifications to the virus stimulate the body’s own immune response to attack and destroy tumours.

This virus therapy is being considered for use against advanced head and neck cancers, bladder cancers and liver cancers.

Kevin Harrington, UK trial leader and professor of biological cancer therapies at the ICR and an honorary consultant at the Royal Marsden told The Independent, “I hope having worked for two decades in this field, that it really is the start of something really exciting.”

“We hope this is the first of a wave of indications for these sorts of [cancer fighting] agents that we will see coming through in the next decade or so,” he added.

Speaking to The Independent, Dr Hayley Frend, science information manager at Cancer Research UK said the potential for viruses in future cancer treatments was “exciting.”

“Previous studies have shown T-VEC could benefit some people with advanced skin cancer but this is the first study to prove an increase in survival. The next step will be to understand why only some patients respond to T-VEC, in order to help better identify which patients might benefit from it,” she said.

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Diabetic Women at Greater Risk of Developing Cancer Than Men, According to a New Study

Overall, it was calculated that women with diabetes were six per cent more likely to develop any form of cancer than men with diabetes

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The researchers found that women with diabetes were 27 per cent more likely to develop cancer than women without diabetes but for men the risk was 19 per cent higher.
The researchers found that women with diabetes were 27 per cent more likely to develop cancer than women without diabetes but for men the risk was 19 per cent higher. Pixabay

Women suffering from diabetes may be at a higher risk of developing cancer than men, a new study has found.

The findings suggested that among the study participants, women with diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2) were at higher risks for developing kidney cancer (11 per cent), oral cancer (13 per cent), stomach cancer (14 per cent) and leukaemia (15 per cent) compared to men with the similar condition.

Diabetes affects more than 415 million people worldwide, with five million deaths every year.

According to the researchers, it is believed that heightened blood glucose may have cancer-causing effects by leading to DNA damage.

“The link between diabetes and the risk of developing cancer is now firmly established,” said lead author Toshiaki Ohkuma from The George Institute for Global Health in Australia.

They also found that diabetes was a risk factor for the majority of cancers of specific parts of the body for both men and women.
They also found that diabetes was a risk factor for the majority of cancers of specific parts of the body for both men and women. Pixabay

“The number of people with diabetes has doubled globally in the last 30 years but we still have much to learn about the condition,” Ohkuma added.

For the study, published in the journal Diabetologia, the researchers examined data on all-site cancer events (incident or fatal only) from 121 cohorts that included 19,239,302 individuals.

The researchers found that women with diabetes were 27 per cent more likely to develop cancer than women without diabetes but for men the risk was 19 per cent higher.

Also Read: Eating Dinner Early May Lower Risk of Breast, Prostate Cancer

They also found that diabetes was a risk factor for the majority of cancers of specific parts of the body for both men and women.

Overall, it was calculated that women with diabetes were six per cent more likely to develop any form of cancer than men with diabetes.

“It’s vital that we undertake more research into discovering what is driving this, and for both people with diabetes and the medical community to be aware of the heightened cancer risk for women and men with diabetes,” Ohkuma noted. (IANS)