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  • Cancer ‘the best way to die’? You couldn’t be more wrong if you tried - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    extreme difficulties because of my previous oesophagectomy and had spent 24 weeks in post operative chemotherapy On top of this I was convinced that I had yet again miraculously beaten the big C I felt strong well strong ish and was holding my weight I was planning to return to my high powered job But the moment those liver lesions came up on the CT scan it all got dashed on the rocks So sorry Richard but the psychological impact is way bigger and occurs earlier than you seem to realise I could probably write a whole book on the psychological aspects but I ll leave you with a few clues I have no idea if I ll live two months or two years HUGE problem How on earth am I to plan what I do or how I fund it That drives me mad and is a constant inner battle Remember how actress Linda Bellingham wanted one more Christmas She took the conscious decision to halt her chemo last November so that she could enjoy it and then die shortly after Great plan However a month after she made that plan in September she died anyway The progress of my chemotherapy which is my only weapon for buying time is a constant worry How am I doing Why do the markers shoot up so fast and come down so slowly How soon will the cancer get round the chemo which it certainly will What will it be like when my liver starts shutting down How much pain will I be in How will my dignity be maintained I had my first bowel accident on Saturday night At times I can actually find myself feeling guilt If I manage to survive a number of years how much pain and stress will that cause those around me Crazy but true Physical aspects When you are a terminal cancer patient about the only thing that can be done for you is to place you on palliative chemotherapy in my particular case a very nasty regime called FOLFIRINOX I go into the chemo centre every 14 days The in patient part takes seven hours from start to finish I then return home connected to a chemotherapy pump which runs for another 42 hours A nurse comes to my home on day 3 to disconnect the pump Of each 14 day cycle I lose at least 8 days to nausea clinical fatigue chemo brain neuropathy in my hands and feet sores in my mouth etc With the remaining 6 days I have some time to work through my bucket list These physical aspects are cumulative I built myself a quality of life spreadsheet that allows me to score simple everyday physical and emotional goals like if I m up to having a shower or having visitors Or how positively I m thinking There are over 40 indicators that I score every day For most of the first week my quality of life score is below 25 As time moves on I notice that I am slower the number of symptoms is increasing and the rate of recovery is diminishing So I don t buy the fall off the edge scenario that you suggest In fact this raises an important question At what point is a terminal cancer patient dying My view is that it really starts the moment the doctors tell you that you are terminal Sure you have good and bad days weeks or months but in my experience and talking to others in a similar position it really is an extended period of dying Not a set of phases of which the last is dying I fight hard every day for some more quality time to do the things that are important to me I go to the gym 3 times a week I manage my diet I m sensible about how I use my energy reserves I try and keep my mind active In short I m doing everything I can to enhance the time I have left BUT there is never a single day when I don t reflect on the fact that I m dying Emotional aspects Yes it is great that I ve had time to communicate with all my family friends acquaintances and work colleagues At the same time this process comes with a curse It probably took me eight weeks to be at peace with my situation I am now pretty calm and serene about it I simply want to navigate through with the minimum of stress Yet those same groups of people put a huge strain on me daily They don t want to accept that I m going to die They want me to be the miracle that somehow gets round it They want to use Google to find alternative treatments that will cure me So I spend a HUGE amount of my limited time left dealing with THEIR baggage Now you would have thought that as the central character in this tragedy they would grant me some preferential status rather than expecting me to counsel them But you know what they don t And I have discussed this problem with many other cancer patients and they find themselves in the same position especially with their families I have been with my wife for 31 years I m 59 and she is 52 We are lucky that we are as in love as we ve ever been Unless you were present in our home 24 7 you could have no possible idea what the emotional stress is like for us She has to tend me daily even though to all intents and purposes I m not dying from cancer at the moment But I am dying And the chemotherapy is a big contributory factor at this stage We can never get the subject out of our lives there is always some physical or psychological factor that aggravates our emotional state We laugh we cry we despair She tries to keep the constant barrage of well wishers in their box But when it comes to the family that is a tough call I have an 85 year old mother who doesn t know how to come to terms with the fact that she ll have to bury her son At the same time she sees herself as the victim in this tragedy not me So hopefully when you ve reviewed some of the evidence I ve put forward and investigated its validity across a wider sample of terminal cancer patients you ll realise that cancer isn t actually the best way to die And in taking these thoughts on board I d like you to also know that I m by no means at the worst end of the spectrum I m still doing relatively well compared to many cancer patients whose ordeals greatly outweigh my current problems More research is needed Now to conclude this response I will briefly touch on the outrageous idea that we should stop wasting billions trying to cure cancer I noted in your follow up article that you tried to reframe that But since I have not seen one national media pick up on this I must respond directly to the words you first wrote I m privileged to have many friends in the medical world who specialise in cancer I have also had a very long and productive association with Cancer Research UK across a range of varied and in my view significant activities Let me tell you what I ve learnt Their research activities have completely changed the survivorship of some of the most common cancers It wasn t long ago that most breast cancer patients died within 10 years Now more than three quarters survive 10 years Those women used to suffer a long traumatic futile death Now they can have hope that they ll survive it and return to lead full and active lives Try telling their families that we should stop doing the research We must not stop till we can save them all In contrast just 1 in every hundred pancreatic cancer patients survive 10 years And sadly little has changed that over the recent decades Sure it s too late for me but you know what Richard It gladdens my heart to know that Cancer Research is looking deeply and holistically into how they can change that for the future Without their unstinting dedication and ingenuity supported by the generous pockets of the UK public we d have no hope Until my health completely fails me I will continue to work and support research into lifestyle prevention early diagnosis and cure And so must you People die of cancer because it gets spotted too late In my own experience I was locally advanced stage 3 for both my cancers Like so many cancers there are no symptoms until it too late Those involved in spending the money know that they must achieve early diagnosis and also look to lifestyle changes where appropriate I would commend you to read Cancer Research UK s Research Strategy I have seen many wonderful initiatives in these efforts that will save millions of people in time because they are so diligent at figuring out ways to cost effectively identify those at risk You ll know as I do that routine mass screening is simply not viable commercially nor clinically no matter how big the pot But ingenious tests that can identify those who should be sent for investigation are coming thick and fast I run a patient support group for gastro oesophageal cancers at Charing Cross Hospital in association with Maggie s Centres So I ve had hundreds of patients through my hands over the last 7 years Despite what the statistics might suggest a significant proportion of those patients probably 25 30 per cent are young By that I mean under 40 It breaks my heart every time I meet a 20 or 30 year old with cancer I felt cheated at 50 and to a certain extent feel cheated at 59 But that pales into insignificance compared to watching a 32 year old single mother die of oesophageal cancer when the system tells you that we should focus on men over 50 with alarm symptoms Richard you really can t believe in those words you wrote According to the latest figures 2 5 million people in the UK are living with and beyond a cancer diagnosis It is absolutely vital that we continue to research the prevention and treatment of the disease In conclusion the one thing we would probably agree on if you were brave enough to meet me is that as a society we should get our s t together on assisted dying I still don t get why we are able to do it for animals but refuse it for humans But as I face the inevitable outcome of my terminal diagnosis the one thing I REALLY want above all else is the opportunity to say I ve had enough it s time to put me to sleep Larry Cancer Research UK s Information Nurses are available 9am 5pm Monday to Friday on Freephone 0808 800 4040 We also have a discussion forum Cancer Chat for people affected by cancer and there s a section on our website that discusses death and dying Share this article More on this topic Tags Cancer controversies Cancer in the news Oesophageal cancer Pancreatic cancer Quality of life Treatment Comments Click here to cancel reply jude broad February 22 2015 I lost my Dad to oesophageal cancer when he was only 52 years old Doctors asked him for permission to try some procedures regarding his condition Thanks to his bravery his treatment and feedback has assisted in the process of advancing a cure so think on J guest February 22 2015 Larry you are right in every word you say and a truly brave inspiring person My mum had an aggressive breast cancer eight years ago had numerous treatments and is still here today However my dad wasn t so lucky firstly got bowel cancer in 2012 had curative surgery and a colostomy bag fitted for life this took some adjustment big time physically and mentally Then early 2013 struggled to swallow at first food then fluids which later turned out to be osophageal cancer which was evil to say the least and also terminal Me and my step mum dealt with the ever changing dad which was the worst thing ever to witness your own parent going down hill like this So to agree with Larry again cancer is most definitely not the best way to die in lots of ways from my experience just witnessing it let alone the patient Gill February 22 2015 Thank you so much for this impressive letter I know what it is like to go through this as my husband passed away in 2013 aged just 53 from bowel cancer I very much hope you can enjoy your time left with your family doing what you want to do Zarqaf Fatima February 22 2015 Every word of this artical is true and basis on facts which no one can denia how ever Saying cancer is best way to die but reality telling us other story Larry I salute you for your courage and bravery and how well you wrote this artical for those who don t know and understand the fact of cancer and it s effect on the person and people around the patient DOREEN WILKES February 22 2015 I totally agree we should continue research I had Breast Cancer 11yrs ago and luckily still clear christine fraser February 21 2015 What a stupid man that doctor is he has obviously not had a close relative or very good friend waiting to die in the most horrific way knowing the sentence that awaits WE NEED MORE RESEARCH INTO CANCER TREATMENT AND CURE NOT LESS Julie February 21 2015 You are an absolutely amazing person with a valid and in my view correct opinion I watched my mother fight her cancer tooth and nail The shock when she could fight no more is still in my memory The Doctor in my opinion has got this completely wrong A sudden death is a shock for the family but if I had a choice I certainly would be happier going that way and certainly not from cancer My affairs would be easy to sort and insurance covers everything anyway Michelle croft February 21 2015 My mother passed away with pancreatic cancer she was 62 so so young the consultant gave her 6 months to live she lasted 18 months and should of never been alive she went through shear he ll at the end she was in agony and anybody who says cancer is the best way to die should be ashamed of what they have said Kerry Brown February 21 2015 Larry you are a very brave courageous man I lost my dad to bowl cancer 4 year s in January And had to watch has he suffered the pain and the anguise the family went through We supported my dad the best way we could with the dignity he deserved that this evil cancer was robbing from him I wish you and your family well And hope that you get to spend has much time as possible an do the things you want to do with your family an friends God bless you tracy falconer February 21 2015 I don t think it s the best way my mum was termanil cancer conditions were not good it all has 2 change I struggle now each day 2 live with what I had 2 deal with even tho she was my wonderful mum same with my dad a couple months apart in 2012 dad didn t get his own room and wee had 2 fight 2 have mum in her own room both worked run there own business payed there tax it s all wrong I believe it s government is left me just 2 cope each day its very seen how we re treated in hospitals and it s not the staff they are just doing what they have been told two do Phil G February 21 2015 Larry you are an amazing person My thoughts go out to you and your family I like you and so many others hope that some day this dreadful illness will be obliterated Try to remain strong Larry Take care and good luck Maria Lyszyk February 21 2015 So sorry my love Lost my husband to cancer after a liver transplant for Primary Schlerosing Cholangitis You are right cancer is not an easy death as you have foreknowledge of your own demise which is so hard to deal with Yes you can put your affairs in order but again that doesn t take long It did give us just enough time to say goodbye but we still wanted more The anger if a life stopped is what I will always remember You are brave to share your real thoughts with the world bravo My thoughts and prayers to you x kath February 21 2015 I take my hat off to you sir So well written Bless you Unbelievable for Richard Smith to be so insensitive and i humane to make such a statement It s Hell He clearly does not comprehend the impact of a terminal illness beyond the science shockingly wrong Kind regards Donald C Rogers February 21 2015 Larry there is not a lot I can say except my thoughts are with you with Gods help science we will conquer it one day I have dreaded being told I have cancer because my wife went though what your wife is going through over 30 Years ago with the same thing with her first husband good luck old son Kathy February

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2015/01/19/cancer-the-best-way-to-die-you-couldnt-be-more-wrong-if-you-tried/comment-page-12/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Why are oesophageal cancer rates going up in men? - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    to raise awareness of oesophageal cancer and to raise money to fund our ICGC genetics project We ll be following their progress over the coming months but here s the first instalment of their story The Cancer Marathon which also follows their patients as they go through treatment for oesophageal cancer This is something surgeon Tim Underwood one of the runners often describes as like running a marathon without any training Watch this video on YouTube You can keep up with their progress on their blog www thecancermarathon org or follow research surgeron Tim Underwood on Twitter at timthesurgeon And if you want to support their marathon effort you can do so over at JustGiving where their page is www justgiving com thecancermarathon They re trying to raise 100k so every donation will count no matter how small Henry Share this article More on this topic Tags Body weight and obesity Cancer in the news Diet Early detection Oesophageal cancer Statistics Comments Click here to cancel reply Carol July 11 2013 So sorry to hear this Dennis One good thing is you should get lots of support through Macmillan and your local nursing team I wish you all the best Richard Myers July 11 2013 I had flu over Christmas 12 years ago and at the time was being seen by a specialist for enlarged prostate I had an appointment with him early in January and he asked about my general health I said I had had the flu but was having difficulty in swallowing afterwards he sent me straight away to another consultant who referred me to St Thomas s in London to the oncology department where I met Mr R Mason He immediately booked me in for the removal of the oesophagous but also sent me for scans tests etc to see how far it had spread fortunately it hadn t so they went ahead with the operation and I m still around eleven years later St Thomas s saw me every six months to check on progress however after five years they said I had beaten the cancer and didn t need to return for further check ups Because I had been diagnosed early on I am able to fulfill a normal life although I can t eat as much as I used to all thanks to Mr Mason Ray Wilson July 11 2013 Teresa Reading peoples comments on here I do realize how lucky I was I moved to a different part of the country a few years ago and when registering with the new GP practice and discussing my history the nurse couldn t believe I was referred for investigation without trying me with some kind of medicine first At the time I had asked the Dr why he acted so quickly he said when someone of my age suddenly develops indigestion then it deserves thorough investigation One point I should have made in my previous comment was that in my Dad s life then he had virtually no chance of survival and in fact lasted about 2 weeks after diagnosis With myself and advances in technology i e endoscopic investigations brought earlier diagnosis but still I had to have THAT operation Hopefully the next generation should benefit from the new method they are working with where one swallows a sponge which is then analyzed for pre cancerous cells and then a much less invasive treatment used Teresa Andrews July 11 2013 I so agree with Carol what I did not say above was my Wonderful husband had indigestion suffered terrible reflux popped rennies like sweets since a very early age always was mentioned if he went to the Doctors If he was screened earlier would he have been saved I don t know but others should be given the chance So let s do something about this let the public know through the media papers it might save someones life Ray what a wonderful Doctor you had you are still with us which just goes to prove screening will save lives Dennis Brouilette July 11 2013 I agree with Carol it s about time these cancer facts are spread to the majority Until I was diagnosed with this disease I had never heard of Oesophageal cancer Why doesn t the government and Cancer Research spend some of the vast amounts of money they have and spend it on notifying the public on what to look out for It s a disease with a poor survival rate because by the time the individual goes to his doctor for help it is usually to late I know as I m one of those people Carol July 11 2013 I totally agree its a disgrace that a screening program has not been set up already The government needs to rethink these program s lives can be saved and extended My fathers last few months were utter misery I work in the nhs I see quite clearly money being wasted eg Chlamydia screening program where this disease is easy treated by antibiotics Julie Patten July 11 2013 I couldn t agree more with the comments made regarding acid reflux My lovely mum died of this disease and it was certainly the acid reflux that caused her cancer It is clear to me now that she should have received regular screening for cancer because of this but of course this was never offered to her or mentioned by her GP m stephenson July 10 2013 My father died of this dreadful disease in 2010 he had heartburn and a stomach ulcer He had trouble swallowing but we found out to late as he didn t confide in anyone His cancer was untreatable and after having a stent fitted which really didn t help him He passed away 7 weeks after his diagnosis He had been to the doctors several times and was told not to worry his heartburn would pass with medication I am so grateful to CR for

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2013/06/18/why-are-oesophageal-cancer-rates-going-up-in-men/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Our new strategy – “a big step towards putting us all out of jobs” - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    chemists to this creative mix This cross fertilisation could help answer some of the really big questions in cancer research How is this strategy going to help people who have cancer now We want to be realistic it s not going to give us cures overnight things just don t happen that way But we re working towards a future where cancer doesn t rip families apart or turn lives upside down and I think this strategy will get us there sooner It s a big step towards putting us all out of jobs wouldn t that be amazing Watch how our strategy will help us beat cancer sooner Read more about our new strategy here Interview conducted by Safia Danovi Share this article More on this topic Tags Brain tumours Cancer Research UK funded research Diagnosing cancer Early detection Lung cancer Oesophageal cancer Pancreatic cancer Research and trials Statistics Comments Click here to cancel reply Steve September 8 2014 I think CRUK should be honest with people and declare this 10 year survival rate is only a prediction and not based on real data as yet Unless the high salaries you pay has attracted the attention of the father son and holy ghost to come and work for You who have clarified your data Half a billion pounds a year to your charity and I see no real supporting data on what difference you have made Baljit Chhina June 17 2014 My 68 year old sister lives in New Zealand has developed Myeloma 5 years ago She was treated successfully and all cleared until December 2013 Even though the cancer came back and she is still fighting but thanks to Cancer research that gave us a hope I have set up a direct Debit to play Cancer Research monthly Great Job MWC May 16 2014 My wife is 35 and we have two small children She had an ultrasound a week ago and is awaiting the results I m terrified truly sick with worry that she has ovarian cancer Most cases are picked up at Stage III and Stage IV and the survival rates are woeful and the UK is pretty much the worst in Europe There needs to be far more done to get at this disease earlier And more needs to be done to find a way to switch if off in the first place I don t know what the future holds for my family but the thought of losing my best friend and my boys of losing their mum makes me shake with fear Dr Danny Connaughton May 10 2014 I strongly echo all comments thus far that CRUK is doing a great job The strategy to do even better is fantastic I think that coordination of all the clever scientists from different disciplines will be key but trust that this will be covered Go get it Katrina ferguson May 10 2014 I think you are all doing brilliantly my son has just finished his exams at the Glasgow university and his subject immunology he wants to get into cancer research He is just waiting now for his exam results His nana had lung cancer and they removed the bottom lobe of her left lung and hopefully after her last check up this year she will be in remission She also has rheumatoid arthritis which he is quite interested in He has climbed Ben Nevis twice now and he said the third time he does it it will be for cancer research charity He has great admiration for yourselves and all that you are achieving My mum and myself have direct debits set up to pay cancer research monthly Thank you for all your hard work and effort you all put in as without it my mum may not be alive today Mrs Jean Bayliss May 5 2014 I have always felt that whilst the word cancer is widely known and feared most people myself included are unaware of the actual symptoms Obviously early recognition of this horrible disease is paramount and I salute the efforts of Cancer Research in trying to bring about earlier diagnosis and treatment Thanks to Cancer Research and my wonderful Professor Peter Johnson and his amazing team I am alive and well today I was diagnosed with large B cell non Hodgkins Lymphoma in the latter part of 2006 After major surgery I was told I was riddled with cancer and had very little hope of survival However when I was transferred to Oncology I was fortunate enough to take part in Professor Johnson s R CHOP trial and the rest as they say is history I will always be eternally grateful to my Prof and since then I have had the privilege of being involved in fundraising projects with Cancer Research UK which has helped all the dedicated work being taken forward and more lives being saved Caroline May 4 2014 Early detection makes such a difference I have fully recovered from early stage breast cancer because of screening tests I and several members of my extended family carry a defective BRCA gene but the vast majority of my family have not been so lucky A screening test for lung oesophageal and pancreatic cancers would make a huge impact on the next generation of my family and undoubtedly save countless others who develop these ruthless cancers I m very glad to see CRUK are making these cancers a research priority David Watson May 3 2014 It is an encouragement to know that though we go through pain there is a fight going on the save others from that same pain If we keep looking for the root of problems then we can find a cure just keep looking please zyta May 3 2014 someone who is devoted to save lives is a hero above all GOD BLESS PROFESSOR NIC JONES AND PETER JOHNSON INCLUDING EVERYONE INVOLVED IN THIS BATTLE AGAINST THIS DEADLY DISEASE YOU ARE MY HEROES AND I

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2014/04/29/our-new-strategy-a-big-step-towards-putting-us-all-out-of-jobs/ (2016-02-11)
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  • ASCO 2011 – A year of promise for treating melanoma - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    reports stemmed from research published at the world s largest annual cancer conference ASCO Dr Julie Sharp Cancer Research UK s Senior Science Information Manager was there to hear the talks first hand Skin cancer drug trials hit the headlines this week At this years ASCO conference Dr Antoni Ribas from the University of California in the US gave an uplifting overview of the latest progress in melanoma research He described 2011 as a year that has seen major advances in treatment for this disease after many years with limited options for patients In the USA the FDA have already approved two new melanoma drugs this year ipilimumab and peginterferon the first new drugs for this disease for over 10 years And at the conference this weekend the lecture theatre was buzzing with excitement as two international Phase III trials announced their latest results which have been the subject of international media attention in the past couple of days Boosting the immune system Dr Jedd Wolchok of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre in New York described a phase III trial comparing patients who were given ipilimumab in combination with dacarbazine with patients given the standard dacarbazine treatment alone More than 500 patients from 24 countries took part in the study and all had melanoma that had spread Ipilimumab works by boosting the body s immune system to fight the cancer It interferes with the workings of a protein called CTLA 4 who s normal function is to stop our immune system from attacking ourselves but which also stops it from spotting and attacking cancer Results showed that the drug combination boosts survival after a year 47 3 per cent of ipilimumab patients were still alive compared to 36 per cent for the standard treatment And after three years 20 8 per cent of those given the combined treatment were still alive compared to 12 2 per cent for those on dacarbazine Targeting faults in BRAF In the same session Dr Paul Chapman also from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre presented results of a trial of second drug which we ve covered before on this blog vemurafenib also known as PLX4032 This is an example of a tailored or personalised treatment as the drug only targets cancers which are driven by damage to a gene called BRAF At Cancer Research UK we ve been following this drug s development with keen interest as the link between BRAF and cancer was discovered by our scientists It s now thought that BRAF is faulty in at least 50 per cent of melanomas and a significant proportion of other cancers The latest trial to investigate vemurafenib involved 675 patients from 103 hospitals around the world All had late stage cancer driven by a specific fault in the BRAF gene Half of the patients received vemurafenib while the other half were given the standard dacarbazine treatment The results were striking with 90 per cent of patients responding to vemurafenib After three months this group had

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2011/06/08/asco-2011-%E2%80%93-a-year-of-promise-for-treating-melanoma/ (2016-02-11)
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  • ASCO 2012: Is immunotherapy finally coming of age? - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    by reports of some of the side effects For all their promise immunotherapies can sometimes cause some serious problems because of the way they interfere with the immune system Boosting the immune response against cancer can mean the immune cells start to attack healthy tissues too causing symptoms like skin rashes and diarrhoea It was upsetting to hear that three patients on the trial had died because of severe reactions that affected their lungs The researchers in charge quickly found ways to identify patients most likely to have problems and to treat the early signs of dangerous side effects But the lesson is clear all drugs have risks On the other hand there are hopes that anti PD1 drugs could be less dangerous than some other immunotherapies The protein that the drug targets is only made by cells in areas where there is already inflammation so the drug should have very little effect in healthy tissues And the drug s ability to home in on this protein could also help researchers identify which patients could benefit most from treatment It s possible to measure levels of PDL1 in and around a tumour evidence so far suggests that patients with higher levels are more likely to show a good response to the drug This is a vital clue a new targeted drug can only help specific groups of patients if researchers and doctors have a way to find those people and these results are one step towards that goal Suppressed excitement Overall the mood at the end of the session was one of suppressed excitement The researchers who were in the room know only too well how complex a problem cancer is new treatments fall by the wayside every day But they also know that few immunotherapy treatments have ever looked this promising It was especially moving to hear one melanoma expert joyfully saying that he had never expected to see such progress against this type of cancer in his lifetime Anti PD1 drugs together with the melanoma treatments feted at last year s ASCO conference represent a huge leap forward in treating this dangerous form of skin cancer And because anti PD1 drugs target the immune system and not specific cancer cells they could potentially be used to treat many other cancers too an exciting prospect in this era of highly specialised drugs As the editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine concludes drugs like this may well have a major effect on cancer treatment With new trials already under way we ll know much more in the months and years to come Reference Topalian SL et al 2012 Safety Activity and Immune Correlates of Anti PD 1 Antibody in Cancer The New England Journal of Medicine PMID 22658127 Share this article More on this topic Tags ASCO conference Cancer in the news Immunotherapy Comments Click here to cancel reply Henry Scowcroft November 27 2012 Hi Ruth thanks for your comment We wrote the post above in response to

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2012/06/06/asco-2012-is-immunotherapy-finally-coming-of-age/ (2016-02-11)
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  • A legacy of ground-breaking research - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    term research that s essential if we re going to make progress against cancer And this year legacies raised a staggering 167 million for the charity So who are these thoughtful people that remember Cancer Research UK in their wills And what sort of legacy does their generosity leave behind Thank you Carol and John Sutherland Carol Sutherland and her husband John were a loving couple with a huge network of friends and neighbours in Inverness and later Largs Scotland Like so many other families across the UK their lives were overturned by cancer when John died from oesophageal cancer in 2012 Carol lost her soul mate and life companion Only 18 months later Carol died The couple s friend Bill Kean remembers this sad time Yes there were medical complications at the end But in my mind Carol died of a broken heart Carol and John left behind a legacy to Cancer Research UK a generous gift from two ordinary people who wanted to make an extraordinary difference Ground breaking research Carol and John wanted their legacy to fund research in Scotland and that s where our legacy team stepped in working with Bill their executor to find the right place for their gift to help support world leading science As luck would have it Professor Robert Insall at our Beatson Institute in Glasgow was working on a cutting edge piece of technology to track how cells move around and the cost of the equipment was covered by Carol and John s generous donation Professor Insall explains his work simply Do we understand how cells move around No We don t And if we re going to tackle cancer this is one of the crucial questions we need to answer Professor Insall says the Beatson is leading the way in studying cell movement It s a question that really gets scientists thinking because there s so much we don t know about this complex process And the implications for cancer research are huge If we can understand how and why cells move from their normal positions to places where they shouldn t be we can tackle cancer spread the cause of most deaths from the disease Professor Insall s work made headlines around the world last year when he and his team uncovered a vital clue into how and why melanoma cells are so quick to spread around the body Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer and it s well known for its ability to spread early and spread fast He s justifiably excited by his discovery We discovered that melanoma cells are lured out of the tumour by a trail of chemical signals called LPA They actually provide their own green light to start spreading He likens this to a herd of cows that have finished off all the grass in their field next they ll start to look beyond the confines of their enclosure for more food I was staggered when we filmed the

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2015/09/09/a-legacy-of-ground-breaking-research/ (2016-02-11)
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  • 5 hot research topics our scientists are homing in on - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    cells may be encouraging treatment resistance via a cellular communication molecule called FAK Researchers are also turning to blood samples as a potential new way to gather precious cancer cells to study drug resistance For lung cancer these liquid biopsies are showing great promise as we explored recently when we visited a team of our scientists in Manchester 5 Tackling the toughest research challenges In our ambitious research strategy we laid out plans to tackle lung brain oesophageal and pancreatic cancers which have seen little improvement in survival figures over recent decades This year we ve more than doubled the amount of money we spend on lung cancer research and upped our pancreatic cancer spend from 6m last year to 15m this year We held the world s first international meeting of oesophageal cancer experts and world leading brain cancer researcher Professor Richard Gilbertson joined us from the US as head of the Cambridge Cancer Centre And our researchers have already begun making progress in boosting our understanding of these diseases They have redefined pancreatic cancer as at least for different types and begun unravelling the genetic chaos fuelling lung cancer Our scientists in Cambridge have taken the next steps towards developing a new test that could help diagnose oesophageal cancer earlier when treatments are more likely to be successful And researchers have shown how a modified version of a brain cancer drug could help overcome resistance to treatment Each of these discoveries advances our understanding of cancer uncovering potential new ways to diagnose and target these diverse diseases And each discovery is rooted in the generous donations from our supporters For that we say thank you Nick Share this article More on this topic Tags Biomarker research Brain tumours Cancer biology Cancer Research UK funded research Cancer spread metastasis Clinical trials Lung cancer Melanoma Microenvironment Oesophageal cancer Pancreatic cancer Personalised medicine Research and trials Comments Click here to cancel reply Tell us what you think Required Name Email will not be shown Required Website Read our comment policy Submit Comment Hugh Gardenier November 10 2015 How about myelofibrosis Lynn Ebury August 28 2015 My brother Kev died of lung cancer which spread to his brain last february 20 2 14 Had he lived he would have been 58 on 29 3 14 he was only 16 months older than me What a pity this wasn t around before at least there is hope for others KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK Mark Avery August 24 2015 My daughter her friend and her friend s mum recently took part in Race for life in support of Cancer Research UK I was really proud of her Keep up the excellent work and continue the battle But I agree with one of the previous comments the government should contribute more enabling even more research and hopefully becoming closer to the success rates of our European colleagues Jan Hamilton August 22 2015 Very interesting and encouraging to learn of the work being done in

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2015/08/13/5-hot-research-topics-our-scientists-are-homing-in-on/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Can ‘jumping genes’ cause cancer chaos? - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    the RNA into DNA and weaving the invader permanently into the fabric of the genome This cutting and pasting is a risky business Although many transposons will land safely in a stretch of unimportant genomic junk without causing any problems there s a chance that one may hopscotch its way into an important gene or control region affecting its function So given that cancers are driven by faulty genes could hopping L1 elements be responsible for some of this genetic chaos In fact this idea isn t new More than two decades ago scientists in Japan and the US published a paper looking at DNA from 150 bowel tumour samples In one of them they discovered that an L1 transposon had jumped into a gene called APC which normally acts as a brake on tumour growth This presumably caused so much damage that APC could no longer work properly leading to cancer Because every L1 hop is a unique event it s very difficult to detect them in normal cells in the body But tumours grow from individual cells or small groups of cells known as clones So if a transposon jump happens early on during cancer development it will probably be detectable in the DNA of most if not all of the cells in a tumour Thanks to advances in DNA sequencing technology it s now possible to detect these events something that researchers are starting to do in a range of cancer types Jumping genes and oesophageal cancer In the study published today the Cambridge team led by Rebecca Fitzgerald and Paul Edwards analysed the genomes of 43 oesophageal tumour samples gathered as part of an ongoing research project called the International Cancer Genome Consortium Surprisingly they found new L1 insertions in around three quarters of the samples On average there were around 100 jumps per tumour although some had up to 700 And in some cases they had jumped into important driver genes known to be involved in cancer The findings also have relevance for other researchers studying genetic mutations in cancer Due to technical issues with analysing and interpreting genomic data it looks like new L1 insertions are easily mistaken for other types of DNA damage and may be much more widespread than previously thought So what are we to make of this discovery Finding evidence of widespread jumping genes doesn t prove that they re definitely involved in tumour growth although it certainly looks very suspicious and there are a lot of questions still to be answered For a start we need to know more about how L1 jumps affect important genes and whether they re fuelling tumour growth It s also unclear why these elements go on the move in cancer cells in such numbers are they the cause of the genetic chaos or does their mobilisation result from something else going awry as cancer develops for other reasons Looking more widely and given that it seems to be particularly tricky to correctly identify

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2015/07/10/can-jumping-genes-cause-cancer-chaos/ (2016-02-11)
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