Wearing This Silicon Cooling Cap Reduces Hair Loss During Chemotherapy

While chemotherapy can be an effective way to battle cancer, it’s brutal on the body, and leaves patients with an unwelcome reminder of the ordeal in the form of hair loss. But a company called DigniCap has come up with a clever way to help minimize that side effect.

Source: Wearing This Silicon Cooling Cap Reduces Hair Loss During Chemotherapy

The hair loss is the least of a cancer patient’s worries. But one thing I find awesome is survivors, especially women, ditching the wig and proudly wearing their very short, but growing back, hair with pride. They kicked cancer’s ass, rock that short hair.

Ultrasound Helps Drugs Sneak Past the Blood-Brain Barrier

Here in the S-wing of Toronto’s Sunnybrook Hospital, Mainprize and his research team accomplished on Thursday what no one in the world has ever done before: Using focused ultrasound waves, they have opened the human blood-brain barrier, paving the way for future treatment of an array of currently impossible or hard-to cure-illnesses – from brain cancer to certain forms of depression, stroke, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

Source: Sunnybrook doctor first to perform blood-brain barrier procedure using focused ultrasound waves

I’m not very keen on intentionally tearing even small holes in capillaries. It may work well for tumors, since the goal is to damage that tissue anyway. But using this to deliver drugs to healthy tissue sounds problematic. The Blood-Brain Barrier exists for some very good reasons. If used in healthy tissue this would essentially imitate a small hemorrhagic stroke for 8-12 hours. That’s a lot of time for glutamate toxicity alone, and there are many other substances in systemic circulation that aren’t tolerated well in the brain.

Ruin Your Entire Day by Learning What “Copremesis” Is

I hate to sound like Lemony Snicket, but you really might want to turn back from this entry while you still can. Anyone who clicks will learn how awful copremesis is, and the only slightly less awful thing that causes it.

Last chance.

Source: Ruin Your Entire Day by Learning What “Copremesis” Is

A really bad bowel obstruction can cause it too.

How Brain Tumours Adapt Through Complex Ecosystems

Despite advances in medical technology and a constantly evolving understanding of the mechanisms of cancer progression, researchers and clinicians are faced with a litany of challenges along the road to finding a cure for the most aggressive forms of cancer. This is particularly true of glioblastoma multiforme, the most common and most aggressive form of human brain cancer.

Source: Survival of the fittest: how brain tumours adapt through complex ecosystems

Rabbit Virus Improves Bone Marrow Transplants, Kills Some Cancer Cells

University of Florida Health researchers have discovered that a rabbit virus can deliver a one-two punch, killing some kinds of cancer cells while eliminating a common and dangerous complication of bone marrow transplants.

For patients with blood cancers such as leukemia and multiple myeloma, a bone marrow transplant can be both curative and perilous. It replenishes marrow lost to disease or chemotherapy but raises the risk that newly transplanted white blood cells will attack the recipient’s body.

Now researchers say the myxoma virus, found in rabbits, can do double duty, quelling the unwanted side effects of a bone marrow transplant and destroying cancer cells.

Source: Rabbit virus improves bone marrow transplants, kills some cancer cells

Why is it not a treatment?  This is likely preliminary findings on white blood cells in a petri dish.  It needs a delivery mechanism, dosage calculate and long term study…  It’s like vitamin C – eating high concentrations just gets filtered out, so there’s tests about injection to bypass safeguards.

Doctors Hail ‘Spectacular’ Cancer Breakthrough

The results of new cancer drugs trials have been hailed as spectacular, with one expert claiming the potential for a cure for the disease is “definitely there”.

Immunotherapy, which uses the body’s immune system to attack cancerous cells, proved so effective that in one British-led trial, more than half of patients with advanced melanoma saw tumours shrink or brought under control, according to researchers.

The trials, a number of which have been presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s annual conference in Chicago, could herald a “new era” for cancer treatments.

Source: Doctors Hail ‘Spectacular’ Cancer Breakthrough

Hold your breath for the cost.  Only one of the medications had a price stated in the video – the other I expect is being priced in the wake of new popularity.  I understand that there’s a lot of money going into researching medications – lots aren’t used for their original intention.  And melanoma is not the most common skin cancer, and five year survival rates are very high…

The second part to the news about the medication is the medication does not cure the cancer.  Someone could be on the medication for the rest of their life…

How A Notorious Chemical Weapon Led To The Invention Of Chemotherapy

Mustard gas was, and is, one of the most terrifying weapons of war. It made people break out in blisters, and killed them slowly over weeks. It also inspired one of the first effective forms of cancer therapy. Here’s how.

Source: How A Notorious Chemical Weapon Led To The Invention Of Chemotherapy

Knowing is half the battle.  The other half is violence 😉

Fit Middle-Aged Men: Lower Risk for Some Cancers

Very fit men in their late 40s are less likely to get lung cancer and colorectal cancer than unfit men, a study in JAMA Oncology suggests.

Their high fitness levels also appear to increase their chances of surviving cancer if they are diagnosed later on.

University of Vermont researchers said even small improvements in fitness could help to reduce cancer risk.

Source: Fit middle-aged men ‘at lower risk for some cancers’

Prostate cancer gets a mention that fitness didn’t prevent so much, but in every case there’s a belief that fit men are more likely to be testing often if at all to catch things as early as possible.

It’s well known that people in better shape do better.  What’s “better”?  Low body fat, endurance, and a good diet are the best indicators of being “healthy”.  You can always get a work-up to determine blood pressure, cholesterol, and any vitamin deficiencies. It’s entirely possible to be in good shape physically, and yet be very unhealthy. People in better shape, with stronger immune systems, get higher doses of chemotherapy because they can tolerate the side effects better.  The higher the dose you can tolerate, the better the treatment outcome (generally) because you’re more likely to kill more cancer cells.

FYI: The recommendation for a hereditary history of colon cancer is generally to get a colonoscopy every 1-2 years, starting at 10 years before youngest case in the family.

This Sticker Automatically Injects Meds When a Chemo Patient Can’t

Neulasta (pegfilgrastim) is administered to patients the day after chemotherapy to boost the production of white blood cells that help fight infection. Now a new product from Amgen, the manufacturer of Neulasta, will allow clinicians to stick a patch to a patient’s skin right after chemo that will deliver the full dose of the medication a day later.

Source: Neulasta On-body Injector Makes Sure Drug Administered Following Chemo

Basically, this stick-on injector that allows chemotherapy patients to automatically receive the necessary injection while they’re comfortably recovering at home. It also means there are less patients filling a clinic’s waiting room who are just there for a simple shot.

There’s no more details to know if this could be used for other medications.  I can’t see it being used for blood thinner related medications, because an INR test is required in order to adjust the blood thinner accordingly (Heparin, warfarin/coumadin).

Exactly Why Red Wine Helps Prevent Cancer …in Mice

How many times has your grandmother said the secret to her ripe old age was never missing happy hour? While the key factors to longevity have been debated fiercely, grandma might be on to something.

New research is emerging proving red wine can in fact help to prevent cancer.

The advantages are purely from the consumption of red wine. Scotch, vodka and even white wine do not have these positive effects as they do not contain resveratrol.  And while you may think taking a massive daily supplement of resveratrol would do the trick in preventing you from getting cancer, Robert says there’s been no proof that it helps.

Source: Exactly Why Red Wine Helps Prevent Cancer

The article barely mentions that this was only demonstrated in mice, and they were hoping to see if other lab animals showed similar results.  Meanwhile, red wine sales soar…

Reminder: Alcohol is addictive, laden with empty calories, and socially complex. Be careful™.