Thursday August 16, 2018

Study Shows Weight Loss Surgery Can Reduce Risk of Skin Cancer

Bariatric surgery, a weight loss operation, is associated with a 61 per cent decrease in the risk of developing malignant skin cancer, according to a study.

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Bariatric surgery, a weight loss operation, is associated with a 61 per cent decrease in the risk of developing malignant skin cancer, according to a study.

Melanoma is a deadly form of skin cancer, most closely associated with excessive sun exposure. Obesity is an established risk factor for cancer and some studies indicate that intentional weight loss sometimes reduces the risk.

However, evidence for a link between obesity, weight loss and malignant melanoma is limited.

The new findings showed that bariatric surgery led to a 42 per cent reduced risk of skin cancer in general compared to controls given usual obesity care.

The study “supports the idea that obesity is a melanoma risk factor and indicates that weight loss in individuals with obesity can reduce the risk of bariatric surgery that has increased steadily in many countries over several decades”, said lead author Magdalena Taube from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden.

Cancer word on newspaper
Cancer. Pixabay

The results were presented at the 2018 European Congress on Obesity in Vienna, Austria.

The protective effect of bariatric surgery on skin cancer was observed in a group of 2,007 obese participants who were then followed for a median of 18 years.

These were compared with a control group consisting of 2,040 individuals who matched with the participants who underwent surgery on sex, age, anthropometric measurements, cardiovascular risk factors, psychosocial variables and personality traits.

Also Read: Study Shows that Humans Are Influencing Cancer in Wild Animals

To analyse malignant melanoma incidence, statistical tests were used to compare time to first melanoma cancer diagnosis between the surgery and control groups.

In additional analyses, risk ratios between the surgery and control groups were compared. (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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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)