Enhancing Chemotherapy and Protecting the Heart

Researchers at the University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry have found a way to increase chemotherapy's effectiveness while shielding the heart from its harmful side effects. Many chemotherapeutic drugs, including anthracyclines such as doxorubicin, are known to cause damage to the heart as a result of the activation of p53. This protein fights cancer by inducing apoptosis—programmed cell death—in tumors. However, it also induces apoptosis in other organs, including the heart, whe...
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Chemotherapy Agents Differ in Long-Term Cardiac Risks

​ Although anthracyclines—chemotherapeutic agents that are extracted from Streptomyces bacterium—can be highly effective in the fight against various pediatric cancers, they carry a long-term risk of cardiovascular disease that continues to impact patients well into their adult lives. While this much is well known, the impact of specific anthracyclines on cardiac risk has not been adequately studied. In a study published in JAMA Oncology , researchers have now identified the relative long-t...
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For Breast Cancer Survivors With Failed Implant-Based Reconstruction, Autologous Reconstruction Is Successful

After a mastectomy for breast cancer, patients have two options for breast reconstructive surgery: implant-based reconstruction or autologous reconstruction, which uses skin, fat, and sometimes muscle from another location in the body to form a breast shape. Although implant-based reconstruction, which is used in around 80% of patients, generally has high satisfaction rates, it sometimes leaves patients with physical pain, a feeling of tightness, or a poor aesthetic result. Other implant-based r...
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How to Help Cancer Patients Quit Smoking

​ After a cancer diagnosis, nearly half of patients who smoke continue to do so, even though continued smoking can negatively impact the outcome of their disease. A team of researchers from Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine and the University of Pennsylvania's Abramson Cancer Center has found that lengthening patients' use of an anti-smoking medication can lead to better smoking cessation outcomes for those who adhere to the treatment. "With the stress cancer patients are und...
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Cancer Quadruples Suicide Risk

A new study by researchers at Penn State College of Medicine has found that the suicide risk for patients with cancer is four times that of the general population. "Even though cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, most cancer patients do not die from cancer; the patients usually die of another cause," commented Nicholas Zaorsky, MD, a radiation oncologist at Penn State Cancer Institute and first author of the study, which was published in Nature Communications . "Th...
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