If you want to look at the enemy of all mankind, take your attention away from politics for a second. With the elections over, it’s time to focus on the battles that all of us have a stake in regardless of our affiliations. To a lot of people, the enemy of our well-being is clear. Cancer diagnoses continue to rise in 2016, but cancer deaths are dropping. That’s down to the fight against cancer that has been going on for years. With your help, that fight can be fought even harder.
Cancer research is the trenches where the fight for a healthier future is being fought every day. We’re seeing breakthrough after breakthrough. Inching us ever closer to more effective treatments and even cures. For example, news from HeraBioLabs.com shows an advancement against malignant brain tumors. New and rising methods like toxicology using mouse xenografts are proving our most valuable tools in fighting cancer. Yet many parts of the medical research industry still face a lot of flak from lobbyist groups and government opponents. If you want a cause to rally around, make sure that the provision for medical research and methods is one of your causes. Without it, we’re taking swings in the dark when it comes to the fight against cancer.
Support the cause
The fight against cancer is a lot more than just the science behind it, of course. It’s also the everyday work that is done with people who suffer with it. People who have beaten it. People who have lost someone to it. There are movements and organizations all over the country and the world doing their bit. They provide care, treatment, counselling and resources. They make the lives of those suffering from cancer just a bit easier. Places like the Cancersupportcommunity.org help patients and families alike. If you have spare time, take it to help the organizations in your area. Reach out to those in need of help and provide it. Not everyone has the support structures they need in their life. They could use that help.
Support the person
You also need to learn how to take the fight against cancer to the personal level. Nearly 1-in-2 people will diagnosed with some form of cancer in their lifetime. Learn how to help them cope and address the issue by being aware in advance. Be an advocate for prevention as well. Learn not only how to self-examine yourself, but teach it to other people, as well. Be a voice for healthy living, cutting out cancer risks like over-exposure to the sun, smoking and eating processed meat. Get educated and help educate your friends. Talk about the risks and the effects with those you care about. Keep the conversation on cancer going. Especially when things like awareness days provide the platform.
Every now and then, we need to take a reality check. All of mankind faces the suffering and death toll that the existence of cancer brings. Keep supporting it however you can and make sure no-one is left unaware.
Michael Buble’s three-year-old son Noah has been diagnosed with cancer, the singer has revealed in a Facebook post.
The Canadian star said he and his wife, Luisana Lopilato, are “devastated” by the news
Michael Buble did not give any details about the type of cancer.
Image source Wikimedia
He said he and Luisana Lopilato, a model and actress, were giving up work commitments to concentrate on “helping Noah get well”.
Michael Buble has appeared on TV and radio in recent days to promote his new album.
The singer’s statement said: “We are devastated about the recent cancer diagnosis of our oldest son Noah who is currently undergoing treatment in the US.
“We have always been very vocal about the importance of family and the love we have for our children. Luisana and I have put our careers on hold in order to devote all our time and attention to helping Noah get well.
“At this difficult time, we ask only for your prayers and respect for our privacy.
“We have a long journey in front of us and hope that with the support of family, friends and fans around the world, we will win this battle, God willing.”
Michael Buble and Luisana Lopilato have another son, nine-month-old Elias.
Nivolumab, an immunotherapy drug, has been described as a potential “game-changer” in promising results presented at the European Cancer Congress.
In a study of head and neck cancer, more patients taking the drug survived for longer compared with those who were treated with chemotherapy.
In another study, combining nivolumab with another drug shrank tumors in advanced kidney cancer patients.
Immunotherapy works by harnessing the immune system to destroy cancer cells.
Advanced head and neck cancer has very poor survival rates.
In a trial of more than 350 patients, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, 36% treated with nivolumab (Opdivo) were alive after one year compared with 17% who received chemotherapy.
Patients also experienced fewer side effects from immunotherapy.
The benefits were more pronounced in patients whose tumors had tested positive for HPV (human papillomavirus). These patients survived an average of 9.1 months with nivolumab and 4.4 months with chemotherapy.
Normally, this group of patients are expected to live less than six months.
Early data from a study of 94 patients with advanced kidney cancer showed that the double hit of nivolumab and ipilimumab resulted in a significant reduction in the size of tumors in 40% of patients.
Of these patients, one in 10 had no sign of cancer remaining.
This compares with 5% of patients showing tumor reduction after standard therapy.
Nivolumab and ipilimumab both work by interrupting the chemical signals that cancers use to convince the immune system they are healthy tissue.
Holly Woodlawn has died of cancer at the age of 69.
The Puerto-Rico born transgender actress inspired Lou Reed’s Walk on the Wild Side and appeared in Andy Warhol’s 70s movies Trash and Women in Revolt.
Lou Reed’s opening lyrics read: “Holly came from Miami, F-L-A / Hitchhiked her way across the USA / Plucked her eyebrows on the way / Shaved her legs, and then he was a she.”
Holly Woodlawn died on December 6 in Los Angeles, her friend Mariela Huerta said.
A memorial service is expected to be held in the city.
Holly Woodlawn, born Haroldo Santiago Franceschi Rodriguez Danhakl, took on her new name after leaving home aged 15 and hitchhiking to New York City.
She told the Guardian in 2007 of her brief fame after appearing in Warhol’s films: “I was very happy when I gradually became a Warhol superstar. I felt like Elizabeth Taylor!
“Little did I realize that not only would there be no money, but that your star would flicker for two seconds and that was it. But it was worth it, the drugs, the parties, it was fabulous.”
Holly Woodlawn also explained that she did not get to know Lou Reed properly until after the song’s 1972 release.
Despite receiving critical acclaim for her film work, she did not find mainstream success.
Holly Woodlawn also appeared in 90s independent movies Twin Falls Idaho and Billy’s Hollywood Screen Kiss, as well as the Golden Globe-winning series Transparent, about the father of an LA family who comes out as transgender.
Joe Dallesandro, who starred in Trash, tweeted on December 6: “Holly Woodlawn was in Room 306 when I arrived to see her today. At 3:06pm LA time, she passed away.”
He also said on Facebook that he had visited in her in a hospice, adding: “I was next to her talking and telling her all the love that was being sent her way from everyone. It was like she knew I was there.”
They played a couple in Trash, produced by Andy Warhol and directed by Paul Morrissey, living in the fringes of New York’s East Village, scrounging for food and drugs.
According to Mariela Huerta, Holly Woodlawn, who had been battling brain and liver cancer, had no surviving relatives.
Swedish author Henning Mankell, best known for a series of mystery novels starring his most famous creation, Inspector Kurt Wallander, has died at the age of 67.
The crime writer revealed he had cancer in a newspaper column in 2014.
Henning Mankell dealt with the experience in his most recent book Quicksand: What It Means To Be A Human Being.
His best-selling mystery novels, which follow policeman Kurt Wallander through Sweden and Mozambique, were turned into a TV drama starring Kenneth Branagh.
The original, Swedish version of the drama starred Krister Henriksson in the title role.
Born in February 1948, Henning Mankell wrote dozens of plays, novels, children’s books and screenplays. But it was for his Wallander series that he was most renowned.
The rumpled and gloomy detective got his name when Henning Mankell ran his finger through a telephone directory, but went on to sell more than 40 million books.
Kurt Wallander first appeared in 1989’s Faceless Killers, investigating a murder in which the only clue is that the perpetrators appear to have been foreigners. When that information was leaked to the public, it triggered a series of racially-motivated attacks in Sweden.
At first, the author was unaware he had created a recurring character, “but then I realized after two or three novels that I had this… instrument who could be useful”.
Henning Mankell divided his time between Sweden and Mozambique, where he ran a theatre company and devoted time to the fight against AIDS.
He was active in the “memory books” project, which encourages parents with HIV to record their stories, not just for their children but for future generations.
Shortly after New Year 2014, Henning Mankell went to see an orthopedic surgeon in Stockholm with what he assumed was a slipped disc. But tests revealed a tumor in his lung, another in his neck, and evidence the cancer had spread throughout his body.
“It was a catastrophe for me. Everything that was normal to me up to that point was gone all of a sudden. No one had died of cancer in my family. I had always assumed I’d die of something else.” He told NPR in 2014
Henning Mankell leaves behind his wife of 17 years, Eva Bergman, the daughter of Ingmar Bergman’s second wife, the dancer Ellen Lundstrom.
Nintendo has announced its president and CEO Satoru Iwata has died of cancer at the age of 55.
Satoru Iwata underwent surgery in 2014 and had resumed his duties after a brief period of recovery.
A highly revered figure in the Japanese gaming scene, Satoru Iwata was considered the leading figure behind some of Nintendo’s most popular devices since he joined the company in 2000.
Most recently, Satoru Iwata led Nintendo into the rapidly growing mobile gaming sector.
The iconic video game maker has been losing market share to top competitors like Sony’s PlayStation and Microsoft’s XBox, with its latest Wii U console third in line.
Nintendo made its first annual operating profit in four years to the year that ended in March.
Satoru Iwata started out as a programmer in a Nintendo subsidiary in the 1980s and became president of Nintendo in 2002.
Under his leadership, Nintendo launched its hugely successful Wii and Nintendo DS consoles and he was considered the crucial driver behind the focus on easy-to-use consoles, a move that allowed the company to tap into a much wider audience beyond the traditional gaming community.
Tributes have been coming in on social media with the team at PlayStation tweeting: “Thank you for everything, Mr. Iwata.”
Satoru Iwata’s death comes as Nintendo expects to double its annual operating profit based on the long-awaited entry in the rapidly growing smartphone gaming sector to counter weakening sales of its traditional consoles.
In March this year, Nintendo announced a deal with mobile gaming company DeNA to start their foray into mobile gaming.
Skin lightening creams have been banned in Ivory Coast due to health concerns, the health ministry says.
The health ministry says “cosmetic lightening and hygiene creams… that de-pigment the skin… are now forbidden”.
Whitening creams have been popular for years among young women – and some men – across Africa, who believe they make them more beautiful.
Medical experts say they may cause cancer, diabetes, severe skin conditions and other diseases.
“The number of people with side-effects caused by these medicines is really high,” Christian Doudouko, a member of Ivory Coast’s pharmaceutical authority, was quoted as saying by the AFP news agency.
However, analysts say the ban may not stop people buying the products.
They are still used in The Gambia despite a ban.
South Africa has the world’s toughest laws against skin lighteners, having prohibited the most active ingredient – hydroquinone, but a University of Cape Town study found that more than a third of South African women still buy them.
The use of whitening creams in Africa is most widespread in Nigeria – where more than 75% of women buy them, according to a 2008 UN Environment Programme study.
According to British experts, more than 4 in 10 cancers could be prevented if people led healthier lives.
Latest figures from Cancer Research UK show smoking is the biggest avoidable risk factor, followed by unhealthy diets.
The charity is urging people to consider their health when making New Year resolutions.
Limiting alcohol intake and doing regular exercise is also good advice.
According to the figures spanning five years from 2007 to 2011, more than 300,000 cases of cancer recorded were linked to smoking.
A further 145,000 were linked to unhealthy diets containing too much processed food.
Obesity contributed to 88,000 cases and alcohol to 62,200.
Sun damage to the skin and physical inactivity were also contributing factors.
Prof Max Parkin, a Cancer Research UK statistician based at Queen Mary University of London, said: “There’s now little doubt that certain lifestyle choices can have a big impact on cancer risk, with research around the world all pointing to the same key risk factors.
“Of course everyone enjoys some extra treats during the Christmas holidays so we don’t want to ban mince pies and wine but it’s a good time to think about taking up some healthy habits for 2015.
“Leading a healthy lifestyle can’t guarantee someone won’t get cancer but we can stack the odds in our favor by taking positive steps now that will help decrease our cancer risk in future.”
Public Health England says a healthy lifestyle can play a vital role in reducing cancer risk.
Google is working on a technology to detect cancer and heart attack.
The technology combines disease-detecting nanoparticles, which would enter a patient’s bloodstream via a swallowed pill, with a wrist-worn sensor.
The idea is to identify slight changes in the person’s biochemistry that could act as an early warning system.
The work is still at an early stage.
Early diagnosis is the key to treating disease. Many cancers, such as pancreatic, are detected only after they have become untreatable and fatal.
There are marked differences between cancerous and healthy tissues.
Google’s ambition is to constantly monitor the blood for the unique traces of cancer, allowing diagnosis long before any physical symptoms appear.
The project is being conducted by the search company’s research unit, Google X, which is dedicated to investigating potentially revolutionary innovations.
It marks the company’s latest shift into the medical sector following its work on glucose-measuring contact lenses for patients with diabetes and the acquisition of a start-up that developed a spoon to counteract the tremors caused by Parkinson’s disease.
Google’s technology combines disease-detecting nanoparticles, which would enter a patient’s bloodstream via a swallowed pill, with a wrist-worn sensor
Google has also bought stakes in Calico, an anti-ageing research company, and 23andMe, which offers personal genetic-testing kits.
The diagnostic project is being led by Dr. Andrew Conrad, a molecular biologist who previously developed a cheap HIV test that has become widely used.
Google is designing a suite of nanoparticles which are intended to match markers for different conditions.
They could be tailored to stick to a cancerous cell or a fragment of cancerous DNA.
Or they could find evidence of fatty plaques about to break free from the lining of blood vessels. These can cause a heart attack or stroke if they stop the flow of blood.
Another set would constantly monitor chemicals in the blood.
High levels of potassium are linked to kidney disease. Google believes it will be possible to construct porous nanoparticles that alter color as potassium passes through.
Unattached nanoparticles would move differently in a magnetic field from those clumped around a cancer cell.
In theory, software could then provide a diagnosis by studying their movements.
As part of the project, the researchers have also explored ways of using magnetism to concentrate the nanoparticles temporarily in a single area.
The tech company’s ambition is ultimately to create a wristband that would take readings of the nanoparticles via light and radio waves one or more times a day.
The basic principles are sound and mirror the work already taking place around the world.
Many research groups are looking at bits of cancer floating in the blood as a better way of diagnosing the disease and also to assess which tumors are more aggressive.
A new research suggests that high-dose vitamin C can boost the cancer-killing effect of chemotherapy in the lab and mice.
Given by injection, it could potentially be a safe, effective and low-cost treatment for ovarian and other cancers, scientists at the University of Kansas say.
Reporting in Science Translational Medicine, they call for large-scale government clinical trials.
Pharmaceutical companies are unlikely to run trials, as vitamins cannot be patented.
Vitamin C has long been used as an alternative therapy for cancer.
High-dose vitamin C can boost the cancer-killing effect of chemotherapy in the lab and mice
In the 1970s, chemist Linus Pauling reported that vitamin C given intravenously was effective in treating cancer.
However, clinical trials of vitamin C given by mouth failed to replicate the effect, and research was abandoned.
It is now known that the human body quickly excretes vitamin C when it is taken by mouth.
However, scientists say that when given by injection vitamin C is absorbed into the body, and can kill cancer cells without harming normal ones.
The researchers injected vitamin C into human ovarian cancer cells in the lab, into mice, and into patients with advanced ovarian cancer.
They found ovarian cancer cells were sensitive to vitamin C treatment, but normal cells were unharmed.
The treatment worked in tandem with standard chemotherapy drugs to slow tumor growth in mouse studies. Meanwhile, a small group of patients reported fewer side-effects when given vitamin C alongside chemotherapy.
Co-researcher Dr. Jeanne Drisko said there was growing interest in the use of vitamin C by oncologists.
One potential hurdle is that pharmaceutical companies are unlikely to fund trials of intravenous vitamin C because there is no ability to patent natural products.
Vinnie Jones revealed he has had several lumps removed after being diagnosed with skin cancer.
The 48-year-old actor and footballer noticed a small blemish below his eye in February, thinking it was “a blackhead or a wart”.
A check-up revealed it was melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, which kills 1,300 men and 900 women every year.
Doctors have since found more tumors, but Vinnie Jones told The Sun he would fight it with “everything I’ve got”.
“When the doctor said I had skin cancer, the first thing I thought was <<how long have I got?>>” Vinnie Jones told the newspaper.
“It’s weighing very heavily on me all the time,” he said.
Malignant Melanoma is largely preventable by avoiding strong sunlight and using high-factor sun creams.
Vinnie Jones revealed he has had several lumps removed after being diagnosed with skin cancer
Treatment is more likely to be successful if melanoma is spotted early.
Vinnie Jones said that, subsequent to the removal of the tumor under his eye, doctors had found more cancer in the same area and, two months ago, he had a third operation to remove a tumor from the back of his head.
He blamed his outdoor lifestyle for the cancer – noting that after growing up on the football pitch, he had moved to Los Angeles to pursue a film career.
Now working with the Melanoma Research Foundation, Vinnie Jones urged people to be more aware of exposure to the sun.
“Footballers never put on sunblock and they should all be wearing it,” he said.
“Kids should all be wearing it every time they play sport.”
“If you spot something on your skin that doesn’t feel right… get it checked out immediately.”
Vinnie Jones also revealed his wife Tanya had been fighting skin cancer, a result of drugs she had been taking since having a heart transplant 26 years ago.
The star, who has appeared in films including X-Men: The Last Stand and Lock,Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, was previously captain of the Welsh Football Team and played for Wimbledon, Chelsea and QPR, among others.
Vinnie Jones’ revelation comes days after fellow actor Hugh Jackman disclosed he had been treated for skin cancer.
Vast numbers of cells that can attack cancer and HIV have been grown in the lab, and could potentially be used to fight disease.
The cells naturally occur in small numbers, but it is hoped injecting huge quantities back into a patient could turbo-charge the immune system.
The Japanese research is published in the journal Cell Stem Cell.
Experts said the results had exciting potential, but any therapy would need to be shown to be safe.
The researchers concentrated on a type of white blood cell known as a cytotoxic T-cell, which can recognize telltale markings of infection or cancer on the surfaces of cells. If a marking is recognized, it launches an attack.
Teams at the University of Tokyo and the Riken Research Centre for Allergy and Immunology used advances in stem cell technology to make more T-cells.
One group extracted T-cells which targeted a patient’s skin cancer. Another group did the same for HIV.
These T-cells were converted into stem cells, which could dramatically increase in number when grown in the laboratory. These were converted back into T-cells which should also have the ability to target the cancer or HIV.
The groups have proved only that they can make these cells, not that they can be safely put back into patients or that if would make a difference to their disease if they did.
Vast numbers of cells that can attack cancer and HIV have been grown in the lab, and could potentially be used to fight disease
Dr. Hiroshi Kawamoto, who worked on the cancer immune cells at Riken, said: “The next step will be to test whether these T-cells can selectively kill tumor cells, but not other cells in the body.
“If they do, these cells might be directly injected into patients for therapy. This could be realized in the not-so-distant future.”
Dr. Hiromitsu Nakauchi from the University of Tokyo said it was “unclear” whether this technique would help in treating HIV and that other infections and cancer may be a better place to start.
Experts in the field said the findings were encouraging.
Prof. Alan Clarke, the director of the European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute at Cardiff University, said: “This is a potentially very exciting development which extends our capacity to develop novel cell therapies.”
He said it was important that cells could be tailored for each patient so there would be no risk of rejection.
Other experts said the findings were still at an early stage, but were still very promising and represented a strong foundation for future research. However, Cancer Research UK said it was still too early to know if any therapy would be safe.
Prof. Sir John Burn, from the Institute of Genetic Medicine at Newcastle University, said: “This is a very appealing concept and the research team are to be congratulated on demonstrating the feasibility of expanding these killer cells.”
However he added: “Even if these T cells are effective, it could prove very challenging to produce large quantities safely and economically.
“Nevertheless, there is real promise of this becoming an alternative when conventional therapies have failed.”
Q-Cancer, a groundbreaking device that can diagnose cancer in just 20 minutes, is being developed in the UK.
The world’s first tumor profiler, as it is known, will allow doctors, nurses and pharmacists to quickly identify all known types of cancer while the patient waits.
It is hoped the device, which will also gauge the correct drug to
prescribe cancer sufferers, will be used across the NHS within the next three years.
The device has been invented as part of a partnership between private firm QuantuMDx, Newcastle University and Sheffield University.
Scientists say the Q-Cancer device will have a dramatic impact on the rapid and accurate diagnosis of cancer.
Company officials said the device has the potential to prolong the lives of the 12 million newly diagnosed cancer sufferers around the world.
Q-Cancer will allow doctors, nurses and pharmacists to quickly identify all known types of cancer while the patient waits
It will enable surgeons to immediately remove most, if not all of the tumor, and allow cancer specialists to prescribe the correct treatment regime according to the type of cancer developed.
The device makes use of advanced nanotechnology, analyzing submicroscopic amounts of tissue to work out the type of cancer, its genetic make-up and how far it has developed.
Professor Sir John Burn, the Newcastle University academic who is also medical director of QuantuMDx, said: “We have a world leading position to deliver complex DNA tumour testing to the routine pathology lab or even to the operating theatre.
“A low-cost device requiring no technical expertise will extract, amplify and analyze tumor DNA to make sure the patient gets the right treatment first time and without delay.”
Chief executive Elaine Warburton said: “Currently tumor samples are sent away to a centralized sequencing laboratory, which can take several weeks to turnaround results, usually at a very high price which is not routinely affordable to many economies.
“As far as we are aware, QuantuMDx’s current underlying technologies, which can break up a sample and extract the DNA in under five minutes represents a world first for complex molecular diagnostics.”