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New Tamoxifen Skin Gel Fights Breast Cancer Without Blood Clot Risk

A gel form of tamoxifen applied to the breasts of women with noninvasive breast cancer reduced the growth of cancer cells to the same degree as the drug taken in oral form but with fewer side effects that deter some women from taking it, according to new Northwestern Medicine research.

Tamoxifen is an oral drug that is used for breast cancer prevention and as therapy for non-invasive breast cancer and invasive cancer.

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New Research Reveals How Cannabis Compound Could Slow Tumor Growth

Scientists at the University of East Anglia have shown how the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis could reduce tumor growth in cancer patients.

Research published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry reveals the existence of previously unknown signaling platforms which are responsible for the drug’s success in shrinking tumors. It is hoped that the findings could help develop a synthetic equivalent with anti-cancer properties.

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How Antioxidants Can Accelerate Cancers, And Why They Don’t Protect Against Them

For decades, health-conscious people around the globe have taken antioxidant supplements and eaten foods rich in antioxidants, figuring this was one of the paths to good health and a long life.

Yet clinical trials of antioxidant supplements have repeatedly dashed the hopes of consumers who take them hoping to reduce their cancer risk. Virtually all such trials have failed to show any protective effect against cancer. In fact, in several trials antioxidant supplementation has been linked with increased rates of certain cancers. In one trial, smokers taking extra beta carotene had higher, not lower, rates of lung cancer.

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Cultured Circulating Tumor Cells Reveal Genetic Profile, Potential Drug Susceptibility of Breast Cancer Cells

Circulating tumor cells captured with a microchip-based device developed at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Center for Engineering in Medicine and the MGH Cancer Center can be cultured to establish cell lines for genetic analysis and drug testing. Writing in the journal Science, an MGH research team reports that the cultured cells accurately reflect a tumor's genetic mutation over time and changing susceptibility to therapeutic drugs.

"We now can culture cells from the blood that represent those present in metastatic deposits, which allows testing for drug susceptibility as the tumor evolves and acquires new mutations," says Shyamala Maheswaran, PhD, of the MGH Cancer Center, co-senior author of the Science paper. "We need to improve culture techniques before this is ready for clinical use, and we are working on doing that right now."

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Researchers Recommend Updating the ‘Staging Criteria’ for Breast Cancer Diagnoses

New findings from Fox Chase Cancer Center paint a relatively optimistic picture of women’s chances of surviving a subset of breast cancers that have spread to the chest wall or skin, but not beyond.

Tumors that grow into the skin, regardless of size and whether they have involved lymph nodes, are automatically classified as stage III – and called “locally advanced” tumors, suggesting that they are a relatively serious form of cancer, often with poor survival. Locally advanced breast cancers of this and other types account for five to ten percent of new breast cancer diagnoses in the United States, and sixty to seventy percent of cases worldwide. Now, Fox Chase scientists cast doubt on that standard classification, by showing that women with breast cancers involving the skin have widely varied survival rates which differ by tumor size and nodal involvement.

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