London, March 12, 2017: Walking or jogging either three times a week for 50 minutes or five times a week for 30 minutes may help patients with advanced gastrointestinal cancer to cope better with the side effects of chemotherapy, a study has showed.
Side effects of the chemotherapy may include loss of sensation, weakness, exhaustion, infections or severe diarrhoea, which often causes patients to reduce or even discontinue the programme.
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The findings showed that as a result of the exercise, muscle mass improved as did functional properties, such as balance, walking speed and leg strength.
Further, the toxicity of the chemotherapy could be reduced through moderate activity.
“This is important because it is especially due to severe toxic effects that patients with gastrointestinal cancer often have to reduce the dose or even discontinue the chemotherapy altogether,” Katrin Stucher, doctoral student at the Goethe University Frankfurt in Germany, said in a statement.
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Patients, who were engaged in exercise along with chemotherapy could tolerate the therapy better and experience less disease recurrence (relapses) later on.
“We believe that it will make sense in future to offer patients opportunities for physical exercise during chemotherapy. To eliminate adversities through the weather, exercise rooms could be set up in hospitals,” Stucher added. (IANS)
Researchers have discovered that Melatonin may help treat blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma
Melatonin’s involvement in regulation of circadian rhythms may help in coordination and synchronization of internal body functions
Anti-cancer actions of melatonin are expected to be helpful in facilitating basic research
Washington D.C. [USA], September 3, 2017: Researchers have discovered that blood cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma may be treated with a hormone produced by a small gland in the brain.
Melatonin, a hormone produced by a small gland in the brain may be able to treat blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma, according to the researchers.
The findings suggest that melatonin performs a number of tasks such as boosting the immune response against cancer cells, inhibiting the growth of cancer cells and even protecting the healthy cells from chemotherapy’s toxic effects.
Melatonin’s involvement in regulation of circadian rhythms may help in the coordination and synchronization of internal body functions. The timings of he melatonin treatment may be grave in regard to their anti-cancer effects.
Senior author Yang Yang hopes that this information would prove helpful in the design of studies concerned with the therapeutic efficiency of melatonin in blood cancers.
Approximately 11,000 people died in the Ebola outbreak that hit West Africa from 2014 to 2016
Many battled vision problems and headaches that lasted for months
They show some quite distinct scarring patterns
Sierra Leone, West Africa, August 25, 2017: Patients who survive infection with the Ebola virus often continue to face numerous health problems. New research finds 80 percent of Ebola survivors suffer disabilities one year after being discharged from the hospital.
Approximately 11,000 people died in the Ebola outbreak that hit West Africa from 2014 to 2016; tens of thousands more who were infected survived.
Of those survivors, many battled vision problems and headaches that lasted for months.
Researchers at the University of Liverpool, the UK and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, UK are studying what’s called post-Ebola syndrome. One of the senior authors of the study, Dr. Janet Scott, says researchers are unsure why survivors experience such disabilities.
“I’m not sure we’ve quite gotten to the bottom of it yet,” Scott said. “The idea that you go through something as horrific as Ebola and just walk away from that unscathed was always a bit of a vain hope. So, it could be the inflammatory response. It could be damage to the muscles, and it could be the persistence of the virus in some cases. It could be all of those things.”
Scott says problems found in Ebola survivors’ eyes may provide clues to what is happening elsewhere in the body.
“They show some quite distinct scarring patterns,” she said. “There’s definitely scar tissue there. We can see it in the eyes. We can’t see it in the rest of the body, but I’m sure it’s in the rest of the body because the patients are coming in with this huge range of problems.”
The disabilities were reported in past cases of Ebola outbreak, as well. However, because past outbreaks were smaller and there were few survivors, researchers were not able to do major, long-term studies on the after effects.
This time, said Scott, “There are 5,000 survivors or thereabouts in Sierra Leone, and more in Guinea and Liberia. So, it’s an opportunity from a research point of view to find out the full spectrum of sequelae … the things that happen after an acute illness.”
Military Hospital 34 in Freetown, Sierra Leone, also took part in the study, helping to recruit 27 Ebola survivors and 54 close contacts who were not infected. About 80 percent of survivors reported disabilities compared to 11 percent of close contacts.
“The problems we’re seeing in Ebola survivors, this is not due just to the tough life in Sierra Leone. This is more than likely down to their experience in Ebola,” Scott said.
The research was led by Dr. Soushieta Jagadesh, who said: “a year following acute disease, survivors of West Africa Ebola Virus Disease continue to have a higher chance of disability in mobility, cognition, and vision.”
“Issues such as anxiety and depression persist in survivors and must not be neglected,” she added.
Scott hopes the findings can be used to provide better care in the event of another Ebola outbreak, no matter where it is. In the West Africa outbreak, the first goal was to contain the epidemic, followed by reducing the death rate.
“If I was treating an Ebola patient again, it has to be more than just surviving,” Scott said. “You have to try to make people survive well. Surviving with half your body paralyzed or with your vision impaired and being unable to care for your family or earn a living isn’t really enough. So, what I would like to do is to focus on that aspect to make people survive better and survive well.” (VOA)
Research by the National Human Genome Research Institute showed that social interaction between cancer patients may improve their response to treatment
Survival chances are likely to be increased by 2 percent when the patients are interactive during chemotherapy
People model behavior based on what’s around them
New Delhi, July 27, 2017: The recuperation of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy is affected by their social interaction with other patients during treatment, according to a new study by researchers at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the National Institutes of Health, and the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.
Cancer patients were a little more likely to survive for five years or more after chemotherapy if they interacted during chemotherapy with other patients who also survived for five years or more. The findings were published online July 12, 2017, in the journal Network Science.
“People model behavior based on what’s around them,” Jeff Lienert, lead author in NHGRI’s Social and Behavioral Research Branch and a National Institutes of Health Oxford-Cambridge Scholars Program fellow. “For example, you will often eat more when you’re dining with friends, even if you can’t see what they’re eating. When you’re bicycling, you will often perform better when you’re cycling with others, regardless of their performance.”
Researchers examined the data from electronic medical records from 2000 to 2009 from two major hospitals in the United Kingdom’s National Health Service. They also reviewed the room formation to confirm that the patients were positioned to interact.
“We had information on when patients checked in and out of the chemotherapy ward, a small intimate space where people could see and interact for a long period of time,” Lienert said. “We used ‘time spent getting chemotherapy in a room with others as a proxy for social connection.”
According to the ANI report, when patients were around those during chemotherapy who died in less than five years following chemotherapy, they had a 72 percent chance of dying within five years following their chemotherapy. The best outcome was when patients interacted with someone who survived for five years or longer: they had a 68 percent chance of dying within five years. The researchers’ model also predicted that if patients were isolated from other patients, they would have a 69.5 percent chance of dying within five years.
“A two percent difference in survival – between being isolated during treatment and being with other patients – might not sound like a lot, but it’s pretty substantial,” Lienert said. “If you saw 5,000 patients in nine years, that 2 percent improvement would affect 100 people.”
The researchers didn’t study why the difference occurred, but hypothesize that it may be related to stress response. “When you’re stressed, stress hormones such as adrenaline are released, resulting in a fight or flight response,” Lienert said. “If you are then unable to fight or fly, such as in chemotherapy, these hormones can build up.”
While the researchers also didn’t investigate the impact of visitors on cancer patients undergoing therapy, the effect would likely be similar, he said.
“Positive social support during the exact moments of greatest stress is crucial,” Lienert said. “If you have a friend with cancer, keeping him or her company during chemotherapy probably will help reduce their stress. The impact is likely to be as effective, and possibly more effective than cancer patients interacting with other cancer patients.”
The findings are published online in the journal Network Science.
-Prepared by Nivedita Motwani. Twitter @Mind_Makeup
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