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Archive for the ‘ cancer’ Category

What will stop the spread of breast cancer?

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

Christopher E Turner, PhDNicholas Deakin

The protein, paxillin plays an important role in cell movement. What scientists are trying to determine is exactly how paxillin affects the movement of cancer cells away from a primary tumor, into the blood stream and on to colonize distant organs. It’s important to know because “If we can develop ways in which we can limit paxillin’s function, we may be able to block the process of metastasis,” says Christopher Turner, PhD, professor of cell and developmental biology.

 Many of the drugs used to fight breast cancer tumors target microtubules, the proteins that makes up the cytoskeleton that helps cells maintain their shape and internal organization. These drugs create toxic side effects for patients.

“We found that the level of expression of paxillin in tumor cells may actually influence the microtubule cytoskeleton and, therefore, may influence how those drugs actually work in individual patients,” Turner says.

Nicholas Deakin, PhD, research assistant professor of cell and developmental biology, points out that the deaths of 95 percent of the 40,000 American women who die from breast cancer each year are linked to metastasis. “It’s not the tumor in the breast that really is the problem. It’s the ability of the cells to move away from there,” he explains. “If we can detect the tumors early, and if we can then treat them with a drug or know what drug to go with to stop their spread, then that’s going to greatly influence the survival of these patients.”

Turner and Deakin are among dozens of researchers who have received grants from the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund of CNY since 2002.


Can your job give you cancer?

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

Jerrold L Abraham, MDMichael B Lax, MDJerrold Abraham, MD and Michael Lax, MD, talk about occupationally related cancers, and describe the potential risks and strategies for minimizing those risks in the work place. Abraham is professor of Pathology and medical director of Environmental and Occupational Pathology at Upstate Medical University. Lax is professor of Family Medicine at Upstate Medical University and medical director of the Occupational Health Clinical Center (CNY). Dr. Abraham’s lab: Welcome to Particle Analysis in Environmental and Biomedical Samples


A unique surgery built a new bladder to replace one damaged by cancer

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

Gennady Bratslavsky, MDAl SustareUrologist Gennady Bratslavsky, MD is joined by patient Allan Sustare to share the aggressive and dramatic approach used to treat Sustare’s advanced bladder cancer. Bratslavsky is chair of Urology and director of the Prostate Cancer Program at Upstate Medical University.
Watch Sustare’s video: Cancer Survivor Allen Sustare delivers remarks at the Upstate Cancer Center ribbon cutting ceremony on the campus of Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY. July 18, 2014.  Upstate Cancer Center 


Exploring how to better protect bone from radiation therapy during cancer treatment

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

megan oest phd

Targeted radiation therapy can be effective in reducing the size of a tumor, but it can leave bones more susceptible to fractures in the years after cancer.

Studying stem cells for possible solutions are Megan Oest, PhD, assistant professor of orthopedic surgery, and Timothy Damron, MD, professor of orthopedic surgery, cell and developmental biology and neuroscience and physiology. Stem cells have the ability to develop into many different cell types, depending on the body’s needs.

Of the bone cells that are alive at the time of radiation, Oest and Damron have noticed that some die and are never replenished. They are experimenting with chemical or biological methods to prevent damage to these particular cells. Perhaps in the future, patients could receive an injection of a protective substance before undergoing radiotherapy.

 It’s also possible, Oest theorizes, that patients could undergo something like a stem cell transplant after their therapy. Healthy cells could come from a donor, or from elsewhere in the patient’s body. She and Damron have learned that when radiation is applied to one leg, cells from the opposite leg remain undamaged. “In theory, if it worked, you could actually take cells from the healthy side of the patient and put them into the unhealthy side,” she says.

Oest and Damron are among dozens of researchers who have received grants from the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund of CNYsince 2002.


Breast cancer research asks: what is the best way to restrict estrogen?

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

Debashis Ghosh, MSc, PhD

Estrogen is crucial to human life for men and women, but once a woman enters menopause, excess estrogen can lead to breast cancer. Up to 80 percent of the breast cancers detected in women after menopause are triggered and proliferated by estrogen, explains Debashis Ghosh, PhD. 

Ghosh, a professor of pharmacology, collaborates with Juntao Luo, PhD, assistant professor of pharmacology, about ways to deliver new inhibitors of aromatase, the molecule that makes estrogen, to the tumor sites in animal breast cancer models.  Having elucidated the molecular mechanism of how aromatase works, the Ghosh group has designed novel aromatase inhibitors, which are being tested in his lab.        

“Some of our compounds have performed better, much better in breast cancer cells than the current drug, which is known as Aromasin or exemestane,” says Ghosh. The next step would be testing the compounds in laboratory animals. 

Ghosh is one of dozens of Upstate researchers who have received grants from the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund of CNY since 2002.

 


‘Blood in the urine is never normal’ and more details about bladder cancer

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Oncologist Srinivas Vourganti, MD tells what you need to know about bladder cancer, the 4th leading cancer diagnosed in men – how it’s diagnosed, how it’s treated and what preventives and screenings are recommended. Vourganti is assistant professor of Urology at Upstate Medical University.


Expert Advice: How to select the proper sunscreen

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Ramsay-Sami Farah, MDUpstate dermatologist Ramsay Farah, MD, tells us what to look for to be sure we are selecting the proper sunscreen.


Sun protection and efforts to speed up the FDA approval process

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Ramsay Farah, MDDermatologist Ramsay Farah, MD, talks about the importance of sun protection, and the limited sunscreen options available in the U.S.  He discusses recent efforts to speed up U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of several new products that contain more effective ingredients. Farah is an associate professor of Medicine and Pathology, and chief of Dermatology at Upstate Medical University. Watch the video: How much damage does one sunburn do?


Oral Cancer: Are You at Risk?

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Terrence J Thines, DDSOral surgeon Terrence Thines, DDS, explains the risk factors, symptoms and treatment options for oral cancer, which includes cancers of the lips, tongue, cheeks, floor of the mouth, hard and soft palate, sinuses, and pharynx (throat). Thines is professor and chief of service, division of dentistry at Upstate Medical University.


The rise in chronic hepatitis

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

Ajay Jain, MDAjay Jain, MD, associate director of hepatobiliary and pancreatic surgery at Upstate, explains the reasons for the rise in chronic hepatitis and helps us understand the connection between hepatitis B, the hepatitis C virus (HCV) and liver cancer.  


‘Healthy Eats’: Nutritional issues during cancer treatment

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

Maria Erdman, RDUpstate registered dietitian Maria Erdman, RD talks about issues she frequently sees in patients undergoing cancer treatment, and offers advice for dealing with them.


Advanced radiotherapy coming to the new Upstate Cancer Center

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

Jeffrey A Bogart, MDRadiation oncologist Jeffrey Bogart, MD explains the full range of radiotherapy available at the new Upstate Cancer Center, including three new systems – Vero, TrueBeam, and TomoTherapy – that will provide even more precision and accuracy. The goal of radiation therapy is to get a high enough dose of radiation to the tumor while sparing the surrounding healthy tissue from damage. Bogart is professor and chair of Radiation Oncology and professor of Urology at Upstate Medical University.