Wednesday, 16 September 2009


Wednesday September 16,2009

this article is very interesting – the part that makes me chuckle is that Victoria Fletcher constantly refers to cancer as 'the disease'…

thanks Aj for pointing it out to me. As always, the Supportive and Genius Husband :o)


Story Image

Developed to combat breast cancer, the drug could be used to treat other forms of the disease.

By Victoria Fletcher

A TWICE-a-day pill designed to fight breast cancer could offer hope to thousands of patients with other forms of the disease, it was announced yesterday.

In a British breakthrough, scientists have shown the drug disables cancers in the womb, prostate, colon and skin that are triggered by genetic mutations.

The discovery, which was immediately hailed as "excellent" and "very convincing" by experts, is particularly good news because the drug has few side-effects. And that means clinical trials could start within months.
Professor Alan Ashworth, director of the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Centre at the Institute of Cancer Research, who led the trial, said: "Our findings are very exciting. As far as a cure for cancer goes, I think this takes us closer."
Many drugs to treat cancer work by intercepting the signals that tell tumours to grow.
But the drug at the centre of this study, called olaparib, works by making cancer cells more vulnerable, attacking their Achilles heel and breaking down their defences.

Many drugs to treat cancer work by intercepting the signals that tell tumours to grow.

Earlier this year there was great enthusiasm when the same British team revealed it could kill breast ­cancer cells in women whose tumours were caused by mutations in their BRCA genes. Around one in 20 cases of breast cancer is attributed to these genes.
The trial, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, showed that tumours stopped growing or shrank in around half of volunteers, all of whom had been told their ­cancer was incurable.
Now, in a separate study, the team has found olaparib may also work in people whose ­cancers are caused by a ­mutation in a different gene, called PTEN.

A far larger number of cancer victims have this genetic mutation so this latest discovery could have implications for the treatment of thousands or even tens of thousands.

Around a third of all breast and colorectal cancers are caused by PTEN mutations, and up to 80 per cent of ­cancers of the uterus. Prostate and skin cancer can also be ­triggered by it.
In tests in the lab, the drug was shown to disable the ­protein wall, called PARP, that cancer cells use to protect their DNA.
Once this protein is inhibited, the cancer cells’ DNA is exposed and the ­cancer cell dies.

However, the drug does not damage healthy cells that manage to protect their DNA with more than a flimsy protein wall. This makes the treatment of great interest to both researchers and doctors.
The results, published in the journal EMBO Molecular Medicine, are so exciting that the team are now setting up a trial on humans to see if what works on cells in the lab will also be effective on patients.
Professor Karol Sikora, a consultant oncologist in ­London and also Director of CancerPartnersUK, said: "This is an excellent paper which shows great promise, potentially extending the use of olaparib in a logical way to a range of PTEN mutant cancers. Ashworth’s team are an excellent group and the study carried out on cancer cells grown in the laboratory is very convincing."

Results of tests of olaparib on humans with PTEN mutations are not expected for two years and it is not yet clear when the drug will be widely available. It is not yet available either on the NHS or privately because it is still waiting to be licensed.

Dr Chris Lord, who led the research with Professor Ashworth said: “This new class of drugs could potentially make a big difference for many thousands of cancer patients, including some with very ­limited treatment options. It shows Breakthrough Breast Cancer’s focus on turning lab research into patient benefit as quickly as possible is having an impact.”

The news comes as a separate study, led by Keele University, discovered two genes which control whether a cell lives or dies and could halve the chance of survival for breast cancer patients.
They have established that patients with a low incidence of the tumour suppressor gene known as Fau, or a lot of the cancer-causing gene MELK, are at risk.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the developed world and is the second leading cause of death after lung cancer.
Despite recent advances, the development of therapy-resistant breast cancer cells is a major cause of death.


  1. It almost doesn't seem like a real article. If they have a pill like that, I'd take it. What do I have to lose at this point?

    My word verification word is 'gritual' which is 'ritual' done with a huge GRIMACE on a person's face.

  2. gritual?? sounds teeth...

    yes, this article does seem a bit surreal. but it is true - so there is hope for a cure. yay for that

    love your new pic - you look amazing! :o)

  3. If cancer was cured, think of all the out of work, scientists, doctors, drug companies, advertisers and more! It's a conspiracy.
    Now that I have that pleasant thought out of the way...bring on the oral drug! I love your blog, girl! x

  4. ee! a conspiracy? - what a hideous thought! ehehe

    glad you like the blog!thanks


If you would like to comment on anything in this blog, or share your own thoughts, feel free, I would love to hear from you.