Wednesday March 27, 2019

Risk of Cervical Cancer Highest in Middle-aged Indian Women

" While PAP test is much more likely to miss precancerous cervical disease, HPV testing is more sensitive for detecting localised infection and marginally less sensitive for distant infection," Das noted

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Cancer
Cancer Ribbon. Pixabay

Nearly 50 per cent of middle-aged women in India were found to have positive cases of high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) — the main risk factor for cervical cancer, says a report from SRL Diagnostics.

Human papilloma virus (HPV) is a group of viruses that are extremely common worldwide. There are more than 100 types of HPV, of which at least 14 are cancer-causing (also known as high risk type).

The virus is mainly transmitted through sexual contact and most people are infected with HPV shortly after the onset of sexual activity.

Two HPV types (16 and 18) cause 70 per cent of cervical cancers and precancerous cervical lesions.

Analysis of HPV test reports of 4,500 women pan-India between 2014 and 2018, showed that women aged between 31 and 45 years had the highest percentage of high-risk HPV at 47 per cent.

This was followed by 30 per cent of women aged between 16 and 30 years being affected by the risk.

Cancer survivor, flickr

Cervical cancer accounts for one-third of all global deaths, with 74,000 deaths occurring annually and is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women in India.

However, “cervical cancer is also the only cancer which is preventable if care is taken in the initial stage”, said B.R Das from SRL Diagnostics in a statement issued here on Saturday.

“The high mortality rate from cervical cancer globally could be reduced through a comprehensive approach that includes screening, early diagnosis and treatment programmes,” he added.

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Besides vaccination before girls become sexually active, secondary prevention can be done by regular cervical smear of PAP smear which can pick up any abnormal cells in the cervix before they become cancerous.

“While PAP test is much more likely to miss precancerous cervical disease, HPV testing is more sensitive for detecting localised infection and marginally less sensitive for distant infection,” Das noted. (IANS)

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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.

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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)