Thursday August 16, 2018

Meditation Improves Mood, Sleep in Teenagers with Cancer

The mindfulness-based interventions for teenagers with cancer appear as a promising option to lighten psychological inconveniences of living with cancer

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The process focuses on the present moment and the connection between the mind and body. Pixabay
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Daily meditation can help improve mood and sleep in teenagers suffering or recuperating from cancer, a promising research shows.

Mindfulness-based meditation could lessen some symptoms associated with cancer in teenagers, according to the results of a clinical trial intervention led by researchers at University of Montreal and its affiliated CHU Sainte-Justine children’s hospital.

The process focuses on the present moment and the connection between the mind and body.

Adolescents living with cancer face not only the physical symptoms of their condition but also the anxiety and uncertainty related to the progression of the disease and the anticipation of physical and emotional pain related to illness and treatment.

meditation
Daily meditation can help improve mood and sleep in teenagers suffering or recuperating from cancer. Pixabay

The researchers asked 13 adolescents with cancer to complete questionnaires covering mood (positive and negative emotions, anxiety and depression), sleep and quality of life.
The group was divided in two. The first group of eight adolescents were offered eight mindfulness-based meditation sessions and the remaining five adolescents in the control group were put on a wait-list.

After the last meditation session, patients from both groups filled out the same questionnaires a second time.

Also Read: Daily Meditation may keep you attentive in old age

“We found that teenagers that participated in the mindfulness group had lower scores in depression after our eight sessions. Girls from the mindfulness group reported sleeping better. We also noticed that they developed mindfulness skills to a greater extent than boys during the sessions,” explained Catherine Malboeuf-Hurtubise from University of Montreal.

The mindfulness-based interventions for teenagers with cancer appear as a promising option to lighten psychological inconveniences of living with cancer, she added. (IANS)

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Researchers Unveil the Power of Turmeric in Fighting Cancer

Curcumin is also known to exhibit anti-cancer properties, but its poor solubility in water had impeded curcumin's clinical application in cancer

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Cancer
Indian-American researchers unleash turmeric's power to fight cancer. Pixabay

A team of Indian-American researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and at the University of Utah at Salt Lake City, has used an ingenious process to enable curcumin to kill cancer cells.

Curcumin is the active ingredient of turmeric (haldi), the ubiquitous kitchen spice that gives curry its yellow color. Turmeric has been used in India for thousands of years as a spice and medicinal herb because of its powerful anti-inflammatory and strong antioxidant property.

Curcumin is also known to exhibit anti-cancer properties, but its poor solubility in water had impeded curcumin’s clinical application in cancer. A drug needs to be soluble in water as otherwise it will not flow through the bloodstream.

Despite decades of research, the development of efficient strategies that can effectively deliver poorly water-soluble curcumin to cancer cells had remained a challenge.

A team headed by Dipanjan Pan, associate professor of bioengineering at UIUC, has now found a way out.

“Curcumin’s medicinal benefit can be fully appreciated if its solubility issue is resolved,” Pan told this correspondent in an e-mail.

turmeric
Indian-American researchers unleash turmeric’s power to fight cancer. Pixabay

Pan’s laboratory collaborated with Peter Stang at the University of Utah on ways to be able to render curcumin soluble, deliver it to infected tumors and kill the cancer cells.

Because platinum is a commonly used cancer therapeutic agent in the clinic, the researchers decided to experiment with a drug consisting of a combination of platinum and curcumin.

“It is a combination of clever chemistry and nano-precipitation utilising host guest chemistry,” Pan explained. “The sophisticated chemistry leads to self-assembled hierarchical structure that drives the solubility of curcumin and simultaneously delivers an additional anticancer agent, i.e. platinum. The combined therapeutic effect — of curcumin and platinum — is lethal for the cancer cells.”

The team has reported its work in the “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” in the US.

According to their report, the metallocyclic complex created using platinum “not only enabled curcumin’s solubility, but proved to be 100 times more effective in treating various cancer types such as melanoma and breast cancer cells than using curcumin and platinum agents separately”.

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“Our results demonstrate that curcumin works completely in sync with platinum and exerts synergistic effect to show remarkable anticancer properties,” says the report. “The platinum-curcumin combination kills the cells by fragmenting its DNA.”

“Extensive animal studies are in progress in my laboratory, including in rodents and pigs,” Pan said. His team also hopes to prove that this method will be effective in killing cancer stem cells — the birth place of cancer cells — thereby preventing the recurrence of cancer.

Pan’s team included post-doctoral researcher Santosh Misra at UIUC, and Sougata Datta, Manik Lal Saha, Nabajit Lahiri, Janis Louie, and Peter J. Stang from the University of Utah. (IANS)