Posts Tagged cancer

[WEB SITE] Brain Tumors: Could You Have One? Symptoms, Warning Signs & Diagnosis – WebMD

No one knows what causes brain tumors; there are only a few known risk factors that have been established by research. Children who receive radiation to the head have a higher risk of developing a brain tumor as adults, as do people who have certain rare genetic conditions such as neurofibromatosis or Li-Fraumeni syndrome. But those cases represent a fraction of the approximately 28,000 new primary brain tumors diagnosed each year in the United States. Age is also a risk factor. People between the ages of 65 and 79 make up the population most likely to be diagnosed with a brain tumor.

A primary brain tumor is one that originates in the brain, and not all primary brain tumors are cancerous; benign tumors are not aggressive and normally do not spread to surrounding tissues, although they can be serious and even life threatening.

 

What Is a Tumor?

A tumor is a mass of tissue that’s formed by an accumulation of abnormal cells. Normally, the cells in your body age, die, and are replaced by new cells. With cancer and other tumors, something disrupts this cycle. Tumor cells grow, even though the body does not need them, and unlike normal old cells, they don’t die. As this process goes on, the tumor continues to grow as more and more cells are added to the mass.

Primary brain tumors emerge from the various cells that make up the brainand central nervous system and are named for the kind of cell in which they first form. The most common types of adult brain tumors are gliomas as in astrocytic tumors. These tumors form from astrocytes and other types of glial cells, which are cells that help keep nerves healthy.

The second most common type of adult brain tumors are meningeal tumors. These form in the meninges, the thin layer of tissue that covers the brain and spinal cord.

What’s the Difference Between Benign and Malignant Brain Tumors?

Benign brain tumors are noncancerous. Malignant primary brain tumors are cancers that originate in the brain, typically grow faster than benign tumors, and aggressively invade surrounding tissue. Although brain cancer rarely spreads to other organs, it can spread to other parts of the brain and central nervous system.

Benign brain tumors usually have clearly defined borders and usually are not deeply rooted in brain tissue. This makes them easier to surgically remove, assuming they are in an area of the brain that can be safely operated on. But even after they’ve been removed, they can still come back, although benign tumors are less likely to recur than malignant ones.

Although benign tumors in other parts of the body can cause problems, they are not generally considered to be a major health problem or to be life-threatening. But even a benign brain tumor can be a serious health problem. Brain tumors can damage the cells around them by causing inflammation and putting increased pressure on the tissue under and around it as well as inside the skull.

What Are the Symptoms of a Brain Tumor in Adults?

Symptoms of brain tumors vary according to the type of tumor and the location. Because different areas of the brain control different functions of the body, where the tumor lies affects the way symptoms are manifested.

Some tumors have no symptoms until they are quite large and then cause a serious, rapid decline in health. Other tumors may have symptoms that develop slowly.

A common initial symptom of a brain tumor is headaches. Often, they don’t respond to the usual headache remedies. Keep in mind that most headachesare unrelated to brain tumors.

Other symptoms include:

  • Seizures
  • Changes in speech or hearing
  • Changes in vision
  • Balance problems
  • Problems with walking
  • Numbness or tingling in the arms or legs
  • Problems with memory
  • Personality changes
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Weakness in one part of the body

It’s important to keep in mind that these symptoms can be caused by a number of different conditions. Don’t assume you have a brain tumor just because you experience some of them. Check with your doctor.

How Are Brain Tumors Diagnosed?

To diagnose a brain tumor, the doctor starts by asking questions about your symptoms and taking a personal and family health history. Then he or she performs a physical exam, including a neurological exam. If there’s reason to suspect a brain tumor, the doctor may request one or more of the following tests:

  • Imaging studies such as a CT(CAT) scan or MRI to see detailed images of the brain
  • Angiogram or MRA, which involve the use of dye and X-rays of blood vessels in the brain to look for signs of a tumor or abnormal blood vessels

The doctor may also ask for a biopsy to determine whether or not the tumor is cancer. A tissue sample is removed from the brain either during surgery to remove the tumor or with a needle inserted through a small hole drilled into the skull before treatment is started. The sample is then sent to a lab for testing.

How Are Brain Tumors Treated?

Surgery to remove the tumor is typically the first option once a brain tumor has been diagnosed. However, some tumors can’t be surgically removed because of their location in the brain. In those cases, chemotherapy and radiation therapy may be options for killing and shrinking the tumor. Sometimes, chemotherapy or radiation is also used after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells. Tumors that are deep in the brain or in areas that are difficult to reach may be treated with Gamma Knife therapy, which is a form of highly focused radiation therapy.

Because treatment for cancer also can damage healthy tissue, it’s important to discuss possible side and long-term effects of whatever treatment is being used with your doctor. The doctor can explain the risk and the possibility of losing certain faculties. The doctor can also explain the importance of planning for rehabilitation following treatment. Rehabilitation could involve working with several different therapists, such as:

  • Physical therapist to regain strength and balance
  • Speech therapist to address problems with speaking, expressing thoughts, or swallowing
  • Occupational therapist to help manage daily activities such as using the bathroom, bathing, and dressing

 

via Brain Tumors: Could You Have One? Symptoms, Warning Signs & Diagnosis

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[WEB SITE] FDA approves marijuana based medication for epilepsy treatment

 

An advisory panel from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recommended the approval of a novel epilepsy drug that is made up of ingredients from marijuana. The agency normally follows the recommendations of the advisory panels regarding approvals and rejections of applications of new drugs. The recommendation statement came yesterday (19th April 2018).

If this drug gets a green light, it is expected to become the first cannabis-derived prescription medicine to be available in the US. The drug is named Epidiolex and is made by GW Pharmaceuticals from Britain. It contains cannabidiol or CBD that is derived from cannabis. However the drug is not seen to cause any intoxication among the users.

Marijuana plant flowering outdoors. Image Credit: Yarygin / Shutterstock

Marijuana plant flowering outdoors. Image Credit: Yarygin / Shutterstock

The use of only one of the components of cannabis also makes it different from medical marijuana that is approved for pain management and other conditions around the world and in the United States. Synthetic forms of chemicals in the cannabis plant are also used to treat nausea among cancer patients and in AIDS patients to prevent weight loss.

Dr. Igor Grant, director of the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research at the University of California San Diego welcomed this new recommendation from the panel saying, “This is a very good development, and it basically underscores that there are medicinal properties to some of the cannabinoids… I think there could well be other cannabinoids that are of therapeutic use, but there is just not enough research on them to say.”

As of now the panel has recommended the use of this new drug for two types of epilepsy only – Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. These are notoriously difficult to treat and most people continue to have seizures despite treatment. Multiple seizures may occur in a day and this makes the children with these conditions vulnerable for developmental and intellectual disabilities. Lennox-Gastaut syndrome can appear in toddlers at around ages 3 to 5 and Dravet syndrome is usually diagnosed earlier. Nearly 30,000 children and adults suffer from Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and similar numbers of people are diagnosed with Dravet syndrome. Due to the small population of diagnosed patients Epidiolex was filed and classified under orphan drug status.

An orphan drug is one that is developed for a relatively rare disease condition. The FDA provides special subsidies and support for development of orphan drugs and often speed tracks their approval process.

The recommendation from the advisory panel is based on the results of three randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials that included patients of both these disease conditions. The agency statement says, “The statistically significant and clinically meaningful results from these three studies provide substantial evidence of the effectiveness of CBD for the treatment of seizures associated with LGS and DS.” They drug causes liver damage but the report says that this could be managed effectively.

The FDA will conduct a final vote for approval of this drug in June. Oral solution of the drug for a small group of patients with these conditions would be allowed.

Reference: https://www.fda.gov/downloads/AdvisoryCommittees/CommitteesMeetingMaterials/Drugs/PeripheralandCentralNervousSystemDrugsAdvisoryCommittee/UCM604736.pdf

 

via FDA approves marijuana based medication for epilepsy treatment

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[ARTICLE] Effect of Whole Brain Radiation Therapy on Cognitive Function – Full Text

Brain metastases (BM) are common and can be detrimental in patients with primary cancers. Lung cancer accounts for over 40% of BM cases and breast cancer is responsible for 10% to 20% of BM. Typically, patients present with oligometastatic disease—1 to 3 intracranial metastases. Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is often used to good effect in treating these tumors. To investigate intracranial tumor progression control, researchers have conducted randomized clinical trials (RCTs) in which whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT) was added to the clinical regimen following SRS. RCTs demonstrated that WBRT did in fact show improvement in intracranial tumor control; however, WBRT does not confer a survival advantage. In fact, previous RCTs have suggested that WBRT may cause deterioration of cognitive function and quality of life (QOL).13

Brown et al1 conducted the largest, multi-institutional study utilizing a plethora of cognitive and QOL assessments to determine the effects of WBRT. They enrolled 213 randomized participants with 1 to 3 BM at 34 participating institutions. One group underwent SRS alone and the second group had SRS plus WBRT that began within 14 days of SRS. The WBRT dose regimen was 30 Gy in 12 fractions and the SRS dose was 18 to 22 Gy in the SRS plus WBRT group, and 20 to 24 Gy in SRS alone. Baseline evaluations were made starting at week 6 and subsequently at months 3, 6, 9, and eventually, at month 60. QOL was assessed using the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Brain. Scores ranged between 0 and 200 where higher scores signified better QOL. The Barthel Index of Activities of Daily Living (ADL Index) was used to determine functional independence where a score of 100 indicated complete independence and a lower score demonstrated the need for supervision and assistance. Seven other assessments were used to evaluate immediate memory, fine motor control, delayed memory, and other cognitive abilities. The primary endpoint was deemed to be cognitive deterioration at 3 months after SRS defined as a decline in any of the cognitive tests. Secondary endpoints included time to intracranial failure, overall survival, QOL, as well as other parameters.

Brown et al1 showed that there was significantly more cognitive deterioration at the 3-month evaluation mark in the SRS plus WBRT group. Additionally, this group showed to have decline in immediate memory, delayed memory, and verbal fluency when compared to the SRS alone group. The SRS alone group demonstrated a significantly better QOL and functional well-being; however, time to intracranial tumor progression was significantly shorter for SRS alone vs SRS plus WBRT. Intracranial tumor control rates at 3 months were higher (93.7%) in SRS plus WBRT vs (75.3%) SRS alone. The 6- and 12-month control rates were also significantly higher in SRS plus WBRT vs SRS alone (32.4% vs 7.8%, respectively). For long-term survivors—defined as evaluable patients who survived past 12 months—the intracranial tumor control rate at 12 months in SRS plus WBRT vs SRS alone was 89.5% vs 20.0%, respectively. Cognitive deterioration, however, occurred more often in the SRS plus WBRT group. Decline in intermediate memory was most pronounced at 3 months; deterioration in fine motor control was most pronounced at 6 months.

The study by Brown et al1 gives some insight into the controversial issue of WBRT. Although the SRS plus WBRT group had a higher intracranial tumor control rate, patients experienced significant cognitive decline and no improvement in survival occurred. Chang et al2 (Figure) conducted a randomized controlled trial similar to Brown et al,1 where the study was forced to be halted due to the high probability (96%) that patients randomly assigned to receive SRS plus WBRT (n = 28), vs patients in the SRS alone group (n = 30), were likely to show a significant decline in learning and memory function at 4 months. Aoyama et al3 on the other hand believes that WBRT should be considered for patients’ BMs from nonsmall-cell lung cancer and has a favorable prognosis. Studies have been done to avoid the hippocampal neural stem-cell area during WBRT to preserve memory and cognitive functions. Gondi et al4 demonstrated that the mean relative decline in the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test–Revised Delayed Recall at 4 months was significantly lower when avoiding the hippocampal compartment, but QOL did not change.

Figure. A, Actuarial time to death (all causes). SRS: stereotactic radiosurgery; WBRT: whole brain radiotherapy. B, Actuarial freedom from local tumor progression. SRS: stereotactic radiosurgery; WBRT: whole brain radiotherapy. Reprinted from Lancet Oncology,2 Copyright (2009), with permission from Elsevier.

Figure. A, Actuarial time to death (all causes). SRS: stereotactic radiosurgery; WBRT: whole brain radiotherapy. B, Actuarial freedom from local tumor progression. SRS: stereotactic radiosurgery; WBRT: whole brain radiotherapy. Reprinted from Lancet Oncology,2 Copyright (2009), with permission from Elsevier.

The study by Brown et al1 lends more emphasis to the necessity to balance the need for tumor control and potential cognitive decline when deciding to administer WBRT. New, promising research in radiosensitizer drugs may allow for lower doses of radiation to normal brain while improving tumor control.5 Refinements in neuroimaging and increasing use of SRS in treating multiple metastases may offer benefit as well.6 Indeed, in patients with cancer, cognitive dysfunction can greatly lower patients’ abilities to carry out basic activities of daily living, increase strain on families and other support systems, and decrease eligibility in potentially effective clinical trials. These various treatment strategies should be carefully evaluated when considering SRS plus WBRT.

Julia R. Schneider, BS

Shamik Chakraborty, MD

John A. Boockvar, MD

Department of Neurosurgery Lenox Hill Hospital and Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine New York, New York

Source: Science Times | Neurosurgery | Oxford Academic

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[WEB SITE] First-ever neuroscience conference to explore ultra-personal approach to brain health

For three days this week, Roanoke, Virginia, is the capital of the precision neuroscience world.

The first-ever scientific meeting to explore an ultra-personal approach to brain health — the Virginia-Nordic Precision Neuroscience Conference — opened this week at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute.

“The promise, hope, and opportunity for precision neuroscience is great — with the potential for realizing the brain and mind’s full potential, preventing disorders, and restoring brain health after injury or degenerative disease,” said Virginia Tech President Tim Sands, who welcomed about 200 scientists on behalf of Virginia Tech and Carilion Clinic. “It is also the responsibility of the scientific and medical communities to help define the real possibilities, differentiate hype from reality, and help focus the scientific enterprise and resource allocation on areas where the promise can be realized.”

More than 1,000 disorders of the brain and nervous system result in more hospitalizations than any other disease group, including heart disease and cancer.

“By understanding an individual’s genetics, behavior, education, habits, life experiences such as physical and psychological trauma — all the things that make people who they are — the neuroscientific community may be able to develop individually tailored plans for people to optimize education, health care, diet, exercise, and environments where they are likely to thrive cognitively, socially, and physically,” said Michael J. Friedlander, Virginia Tech’s vice president for health sciences and technology and the founding executive director of the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute.

The collaboration grew from an idea developed by Friedlander and Tor S. Haugstad, a neurologist and neuroscience chair at Sunnaas National Rehabilitation Hospital in Oslo, Norway, worked to develop as the Norway/U.S. Neuroscience Collaboration, initially called NUNC. The effort has grown to include multiple universities in Norway as well as in several other Nordic countries, and universities and foundations throughout Virginia.

People respond to brain injuries differently, which is one of the motivations for further development of the precision neuroscience field.

“We may get two people in our department with very similar brain injuries, and one may be rendered with a low level of consciousness while the other can recover and return home to his family and work life,” said Haugstad, who also chairs the traumatic brain rehabilitation program at Sunnaas National Rehabilitation Hospital. “We need to discover at cellular and molecular levels why people respond so differently, and tailor treatment and rehabilitation to the specific person.”

The meeting, which will continue through Friday, is the first to bring the top minds of precision neuroscience from across the globe together in a think-tank setting to explore the challenges and promise of bringing personalized medicine to brain health and brain disorders.

“One individual’s experience with Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, a traumatic brain injury, or various other neurological or psychiatric disorders will not be exactly like anyone else’s,” Friedlander said.

“From a business and health care point of view, clinical trials may fail because they target generic diseases that manifest very differently in different people,” Friedlander said. “If a drug or treatment doesn’t work in 75 percent of the people, it is considered a failure — but it worked in 25 percent. Should we forget about the 25 percent of people it helped and scrap potentially lifesaving therapies that may have cost hundreds of millions of dollars during a decade of development?”

By targeting groups of patients based on their predicted manifestations of a particular brain disorder, the success rate for finding new treatments will improve and the investment risk can be lessened, according to Friedlander.

“Essentially the pharmaceutical industry and investors de-risk their investments by having more precise, targeted therapies and tests that are more likely to be successful,” Friedlander said. “The treatment may be effective for 10 percent of people with a particular brain disease, but we can learn a lot about why those 10 percent may have benefitted based on their genetic composition and expression patterns and their life experiences. Then, we get back to work on a treatment for the next 10 percent, and the next 10 percent. It may not be one size fits all.”

Researchers will discuss innovations ranging from a Nobel prize-winning imaging system that visualizes the action of molecules within the brain, to the work of physician-scientists who are on the frontlines of health care delivery for brain injury, neurodegenerative diseases of aging, and brain developmental disorders.

In many ways, the conference has special meaning for the partner cities in Virginia and in Europe, Haugstad said.

“Roanoke is a city with a history of rail that, through innovation and spirit, is reinventing itself, and it is leading the way in precision neuroscience,” Haugstad said. “In Norway, a country that depends on oil revenue, the cities are changing much like cities in Virginia, by finding new ways to live and move forward. Together, we are very good partners.”

Source: Virginia Tech

Source: First-ever neuroscience conference to explore ultra-personal approach to brain health

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[WEB SITE] 20 Medical Studies That Show Cannabis Has 34 Cures For Cancer – TNM NEWS

DECEMBER 26, 2015

The hottest issue right now in the canna-sphere has to be the new information released and verified by the Federal Government about how cannabis can cure certain forms of cancer. However, just because the US Gov’t didn’t recognize these effects, doesn’t mean that private science didn’t. Literally hundreds of private studios were conducted and found these results. Why has it taken the Federal Gov’t so long to admit this? and now that they have, why arent they doing anything about it?

Here are 20 studys that show cannabis cures certain forms of cancer.

http://www.collective-evolution.com reports:

 

Cannabis has been making a lot of noise lately. Multiple states across the United States, along with many countries around the world, have successfully legalized medical marijuana, and the Uruguay parliament recently voted to create the world’s first legal marijuana market.

This is good news, as the health benefits of cannabis are vast, with multiple medical and scientific studies to confirm them. But what about the harmful effects? All psychological evaluations from the intake of cannabis are largely based on assumptions, suggestions, and observations (1). When we look at the actual science behind cannabis, it seems negative effects are difficult to confirm.

The Science Behind Cannabis

Let’s take a look at the science behind cannabis and cancer. Although cannabis has been proven to be effective for a wide range of ailments, this article will focus mainly on its effectiveness in the treatment of cancer. Cannabinoids may very well be one of the best disease and cancer fighting treatments out there. Cannabinoids refer to any of a group of related compounds that include cannabinol and the active constituents of cannabis. They activate cannabinoid receptors in the body. The body itself produces compounds called endocannabinoids and they play a role in many processes within the body that help to create a healthy environment. Cannabinoids also play a role in immune system generation and re-generation. The body regenerates best when it’s saturated with Phyto-Cannabinoids.

Continue —>  20 Medical Studies That Show Cannabis Has 34 Cures For Cancer – TNM NEWS

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[ARTICLE] Exercise as medicine – evidence for prescribing exercise as therapy in 26 different chronic diseases – Full Text HTML/PDF

Abstract

Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in SportsThis review provides the reader with the up-to-date evidence-based basis for prescribing exercise as medicine in the treatment of 26 different diseases: psychiatric diseases (depression, anxiety, stress, schizophrenia); neurological diseases (dementia, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis); metabolic diseases (obesity, hyperlipidemia, metabolic syndrome, polycystic ovarian syndrome, type 2 diabetes, type 1 diabetes); cardiovascular diseases (hypertension, coronary heart disease, heart failure, cerebral apoplexy, and claudication intermittent); pulmonary diseases (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, cystic fibrosis); musculo-skeletal disorders (osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, back pain, rheumatoid arthritis); and cancer. The effect of exercise therapy on disease pathogenesis and symptoms are given and the possible mechanisms of action are discussed. We have interpreted the scientific literature and for each disease, we provide the reader with our best advice regarding the optimal type and dose for prescription of exercise.

Introduction

Here we present an update of a previously published review “Evidence for prescribing exercise as therapy in chronic disease” from 2006 (Pedersen & Saltin, 2006). Physical activity represents a cornerstone in the primary prevention of at least 35 chronic conditions (Booth et al., 2012). However, over the past two decades, considerable knowledge has accumulated concerning the significance of exercise as the first-line treatment of several chronic diseases. Of note, today exercise has a role as medicine in diseases that do not primarily manifest as disorders of the locomotive apparatus. When we selected diagnoses to be included in this review, we took into account both the frequency of the diseases and the relative need for exercise therapy. Twenty-six diseases covering various aspects of the medical curriculum are included. These are psychiatric diseases (depression, anxiety, stress, schizophrenia); neurological diseases (dementia, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis); metabolic diseases (adiposity, hyperlipidemia, metabolic syndrome, polycystic ovarian syndrome, type 2 diabetes, type 1 diabetes); cardiovascular diseases (hypertension, coronary heart disease, heart failure, cerebral apoplexy, and intermittent claudication); pulmonary diseases (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, cystic fibrosis); musculo-skeletal disorders (osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, back pain, rheumatoid arthritis); and cancer. We provide the reader with the evidence-based basis for prescribing exercise as medicine for all of these diseases. We than briefly discuss possible mechanisms of action. Finally, regarding type and dose of exercise we suggest specific recommendations, which are based on evidence, experience and common sense.

Methods

A comprehensive literature search was carried out for each diagnosis in the Cochrane Library and MEDLINE databases (search terms: exercise therapy, training, physical fitness, physical activity, rehabilitation and aerobic). In addition, we sought literature by examining reference lists in original articles and reviews. We have primarily identified systematic reviews and meta-analyses and thereafter identified additional controlled trials. We then selected studies in which the intervention was aerobic or strength exercise and have given priority to randomized controlled trials (RCTs).

Continue —> Exercise as medicine – evidence for prescribing exercise as therapy in 26 different chronic diseases – Pedersen – 2015 – Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports – Wiley Online Library

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