Against cancer, further testing is not always the best option22/11/2011

-Diagnostic screening 
programs are in healthy populations

-In many cases, false positives lead to unnecessary treatment

Mammograms, PSA, scanners ... Today there are many tests used before, during and after the onset of cancer. However, those that are used routinely in a very large population for early detection of tumor have been in the spotlight decades. Acommentary published this week the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, reflects on the usefulness of this screening system, outlines the pros and cons involved and points out the ignorance in relation to them, has the healthy population.

Sometimes, in certain situations beyond our understanding, in expert hands delegatecertain decisions that are directly related to our lives. Are we right? You know whatdoctors really should? ¿They weigh the effects they can cause us some results?According to Edward Michael Stefanek, associate vice president for research officeat the University of Indiana (USA), this attitude is wrong and believes that patients should receive more information about how effective have these tests in detecting cancer, as the breast or prostate cancer, on the false positives they generate, and with them the unnecessary stress on the risk of cancer, and these data in hand should be the patients decide for themselves whether or not these are made evidence.
To Stefanek, should review the messages that different specialists or medical societies sent to the population since, appeared the first guide on screening forbreast cancer by mammography, about 30 years, opts simply recommend such testing to older women without special attention to the information offered on the scientific evidence for effectiveness to detect a tumor.

However, different studies show that "the risks and benefits of screening for breast cancer vary with age. Need to invite more than 1,900 women 40 to 49 years to undergo this test to prevent one death over 11 years of follow-up time in 2000 thathave produced false positive results [indicating that he had cancer when I was not] and two false negative [when the test fails to detect the tumor when it is], which will lead to an excess of misdiagnosis, along with biopsies and unnecessary treatments
Similar situations occur with other screening systems, such as prostate cancer orlung. Regarding the first, a Cochrane review recently concluded that there was insufficient evidence to support or refute the current method of screening for prostate cancer, PSA testing and its use does not decrease the number of deaths from thiscause. As for lung cancer screening, "the damages arising from its use are huge compared to the potential benefits [...] A false positive can lead to unnecessary exposure of radición issued by the scanners that are used to follow-up, lung biopsiesand even, sometimes, surgery. "

Stefanek said that on numerous occasions the specialists and the media emphasizetheir debates on who and when to these tests, rather than to offer a rigorous and comprehensive information about the risks and benefits associated with each ofthese tests of detection. "There is a tendency to emphasize the benefits far moredamage. Women tend to tolerate the possibility of a false positive, but they know little about the carcinoma in situ and the probability of overdiagnosis and overtreatment," said the expert.

Disseminating information

For this reason, the specialist points to a plan of action would be based on strengthening education, instead of persuasion, to the public in general, involve patients in making decisions and working together, patients and doctors in the development of educational tools, while their success is measured in terms of number of people reported more than the number of people who undergo screening."We also need additional support research to identify predictive biomarkers that allow us to know which of the detected lesions are more dangerous."

In short, Stefanek bet a person briefed on the incidence and mortality from cancerand the effectiveness, advantages and disadvantages of certain diagnostic tests.This expert believes that a good education, anyone can make for herself, along with the opinion of the physician, the decision whether to compensate you to take these tests or not.To Stefanek, this is better option than establishing general recommendations aimed at specific population groups compared to those who are assumed to be unable to decide about your health. Because a public health perspective may fail to disregardthe individual factors can play a large role in decision-making: factors such as the person's medical history and family, the anxiety that produces cancer, and individual differences in accepting how much risk is acceptable according to certain health-related behaviors.

Test a new vaccine against two types of cancer10/11/2011

-It may be useful in breast tumors or metastatic ovarian
-A group of 26 patients was increased survival

A still preliminary trial, conducted with a small number of patients has shown promising results in the fight against both ovarian tumors and metastatic breast cancer.

The study, published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research, is the second to be heldwith a new vaccine made from a poxvirus (family composed of DNA virus), and confirmed the safety of the treatment
The researchers started from a poxvirus because his "long genome" allowed the insertion of multiple genes, whose function is to create antigens and molecules thatstimulate the immune response in tumor cells.

Now, will require new and more extensive tests to see if the vaccine really effective.At the moment, according to published researcher James Gulley, National Cancer Institute of the U.S., and his team, the therapy has achieved a statistically significant effect on a group of 26 patients, including 14 with breast cancer and other 12, ovary.

All of them suffered from an advanced stage of disease and most had received three treatments of chemotherapy. In both groups increased in several months the median survival of patients, an encouraging result but is still far from providing a better qualityof life to ordinary patients.

Spain and the United States investigate personalized therapies for cancer15/11/2011

The Cancer Institute of the Vall d'Hebron in Barcelona and the Massachusetts General Hospital (USA) encourage, through an agreement with the BBVA Foundation, the search for personalized therapies for cancer patients through biomarker research, the key study of these diseases, according to Efe.

Biomarkers, which represent the 'finger print' of a tumor in each patient, obtained by crossing the genetic traits of patients with specific disorders that are known cancer through molecular analysis is based on that identification, when seek treatment can be customized.
In this sense, biomarkers can provide prognostic information on disease progression, or predictive, how a certain cancer will respond to a specific treatment.

Initial studies will focus on colon cancer, breast and lung, but is expected to extend to melanoma, prostate cancer and lymphoma.

Health News Channel: Cancer charity halts grants to Planned Parenthood - Yahoo! News

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