">

Friday, June 22, 2007

 

Cancer Stem Cells Market Report

Piribo Adds Cancer Stem Cells Market Report to its Specialised Catalogue

Piribo, the online destination for business intelligence for the biotech and pharmaceutical industry, has now added a new market report called "Cancer Stem Cells - Emerging Therapeutic, Diagnostic and Market Opportunities".

(PRWEB) June 15, 2007 -- The last decade has seen the emergence of a new paradigm in the therapeutic strategies which may be available to target cancer. This is based on the existence of so called Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs), found in small populations within the bulk of normal proliferating cancer cells, in tumours.

Many scientists believe that CSCs are responsible for the development and spread of cancer and explain why the disease is resistant to many conventional treatments and able to re-establish itself after therapy. Many researchers believe the selective targeting of these cells offers revolutionary advances in the treatment of cancer, by attacking the disease at its source. The unique identity of CSCs and their proposed causal role in the development and progression of cancer potentially make these cells an ideal target for the detection of the disease. A number of CSC-targeting candidate drugs are now in early research, 2 of which have entered Phase I clinical trials.

Key findings of the report
•Research on CSCs is revealing a unified picture on the involvement of these cells in the development and progression of cancer and this has accelerated discovery programmes to selectively target these cells, alongside normal proliferating cancer cells
•The targeting of CSCs is believed to offer revolutionary advances in cancer therapy and diagnosis
•The CSC field is seeing substantial development, investment and new company formation, as specialised groups advance new discovery programmes
•The targeting of CSCs presents several unique challenges, however a number of strategies have been proposed and are being explored.
•It is believed that diagnostic methods based on the detection of CSC's will have the potential to address key limitations of current methods
•The first CSC-targeting drug candidates have entered clinical development

This report provides a comprehensive overview of research on CSCs and the impact this is having on the development of new therapeutic and diagnostic strategies to target cancer. More than 50 academic research teams from 13 different countries have been reviewed, together with leading discoveries in this field. This is driving new research programmes and commercial developments. This report has identified and profiled 17 companies or commercially-focused groups, which now are targeting CSCs, to develop new therapies and diagnostics. The emerging picture on CSCs is creating significant excitement and interest in the cancer field and researchers have proposed a number of drug discovery strategies, which are also reviewed. Many scientists believe that the targeting of CSC's offers important and revolutionary advances in the targeting of cancer. This report gives the reader a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of developments in this exciting field.

Cancer Stem Cells - Emerging Therapeutic, Diagnostic and Market Opportunities" is available in pdf format from Piribo. For more information, go to: http://www.piribo.com/publications/diseases_conditions/cancer/cancer_stem_cells.html

Piribo product ID: VEN001

About Piribo:
Piribo (http:www.piribo.com) is a UK-based independent online store supplying business information on the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. The website now carries over 6,000 English language titles including, market reports, studies and books and is the UK's largest online biopharma information store. Subscribers receive a free monthly newsletter and email alerts on new titles in their areas of interest. The company was established in 2004.

#-##

Press Contact: BRENDT SHEEN
Company Name: PIRIBO LTD
Phone: 0207 060 7474
Website:
http://www.piribo.com/publications/diseases_conditions/cancer/cancer_stem_cells.html


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

 

New Treatment Discovered: Placebos

Skeptics Left Doubting Their Own Skepticism

On June 14th, 2007 at Simon Fraser University, B.C. Skeptics Colloquium sponsored a lecture by Arthur Grollman, M.D., Professor of Pharmacological Sciences at the University of New York Stony Brook. Barry Beyerstein, PhD, a professor of Psychology at S.F.U. and head of the B.C. Skeptics Society, hosted the event entitled "The Pharmacology of Herbal Remedies and the Placebo Effect".

Vancouver, BC (PRWEB) June 20, 2007 -- On June 14th ,2007 at Simon Fraser University, B.C. Skeptics Colloquium sponsored a lecture by Arthur Grollman, M.D., Professor of Pharmacological Sciences at the University of New York Stony Brook. Barry Beyerstein, PhD, a professor of Psychology at S.F.U. and head of the B.C. Skeptics Society, hosted the event entitled "The Pharmacology of Herbal Remedies and the Placebo Effect".

With an audience of about 25 people, mostly students, Grollman presented a lecture and then fielded questions from the audience. He addressed science's growing awareness and validation of the tight mind/body connection, which he referred to as the placebo effect, the most powerful factor in pharmacology, at 30% efficacy. "Placebo is the most interesting and understudied factor," admitted Grollman. When asked specifically how placebo relates to prescription drug trials, he confessed that in prescription drug trials, with placebo being a known 30%, a drug is called "effective" if it demonstrates 31% efficacy. That fact in itself was amazing and made attending this event worth the price of admission: it was free, or at least sponsored by our taxes toward funding Universities in their quest for greater knowledge.

Dr. Grollman then tackled the idea that herbs can interfere with prescription drugs. When asked about prescription drug interactions with other prescription drugs he admitted that this is a concern, but physicians have a manual of drug interactions to handle this possibility. One click on the internet reveals the fact that this manual is not and couldn't possibly be inclusive of every possibility.

Pharmaceutical drug interactions are of particular concern with regard to our increasing population of senior citizens. According to Consumer Reports on Health, "Any new health problem in an older person should be considered drug induced until proven otherwise." Many seniors take several prescription drugs daily and are often given new prescription drugs without thoroughly assessing their other medications. Dangerous interactions and side affects -- some with disastrous consequences -- can result. It is conservatively estimated that 25% of hospital admissions of seniors result from medication problems, including prescription drugs interactions. Grollman failed to address this at all, preferring to comfort himself with the existence of a partial manual in the hands of physicians.

When asked about the efficacy of vitamin D as a cancer preventative supplement, Dr. Grollman voiced his disapproval of it. He was spared further embarrassment as he was stopped mid-sentence by Dr. Beyerstein and others in the group of skeptics. Grollman was quickly informed by the hosts of the event that there was an article published which highlighted significant research proving that vitamin D is the most effective supplement in cancer prevention. The research showed a dramatic 60 percent or greater reduction in cancer risk than those who did not get vitamin D. In fact, the Canadian Cancer Society now recommends that all Canadians take this inexpensive and harmless vitamin on a daily basis.

According to their own website; "The Canadian Cancer Society is recommending a specific amount of Vitamin D supplementation for Canadians to consider taking. This first-time recommendation is based on the growing body of evidence about the link between Vitamin D and reducing risk for colorectal, breast and prostate cancers.

"The evidence is still growing in this area, but we want to give guidance to Canadians about this emerging area of cancer prevention based on what we know now," says Heather Logan, Director, Cancer Control Policy, Canadian Cancer Society. "As we find out more we will update our recommendation."

A red-faced Grollman grumbled that the study must have been a small and insignificant one, suggesting that Canada could not afford to do a large study. With all due respect to Dr. Grollman, the research cited was a large randomized study of 1,179 women over a five-year period conducted at Creighton University School of Medicine in Nebraska. As noted on the Canadian Cancer Society's website: "Research findings announced today (June 8th ,2007) add to the mounting evidence in this area. A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that taking Vitamin D supplements and calcium substantially reduces all cancer risk".

This event was presented by university professors to impressionable students who might be inclined to agree with their views. Grollman stated in his presentation, "I give this lecture to fourth year medical students.' Now that's unfortunate indeed. An entire graduating class of medical doctors feeling pressure to agree with this skewed view of reality should be a call to action for anyone possessing rational thought.

Close-minded skeptics are not reliable leaders of change as they are adverse to modifying their thought patterns. It is beyond shameful that our universities, which should be at the cutting edge of progressive thought, are supporting and endorsing such a biased approach to knowledge and research. Students, intent on their objective of good grades, are faced with the choice of endorsing this dominant opinion or opting out of the system. SFU is one of thousands of institutes of higher learning and skeptics are abound in many, including the university's research centers. Society's authorities, such as universities and medical centers with the biggest investment in traditional thinking on science and medicine, can actually sabotage open-minded science when reacting from a position of perceived threat, as any approach which may jeopardize potential research grants is viewed as threatening.

If Grollman were to broaden his perspective, given his knowledge base in pharmacology, he could help so many people by focusing on prescription drug interactions, a significant problem in morbidity and mortality rates. A university's mandate is to enlighten the medical doctors of the future by updating them about valid research, such as the vitamin D study, rather presenting biased beliefs seemingly based on conflicts of interest and ego considerations. Future doctors are of interest to everyone, and confidence in them is essential to the integrative medical system of our future.

#-##

Press Contact: JOHN MASON
Company Name:
Phone: 604-728-7948
Website:


Sunday, June 17, 2007

 

Mesothelioma Deaths Increase

Increase In Mesothelioma Deaths

10th, May 2007 - New statistics unveiled by the Health and Safety Executive show an increase in the number of people who have died from mesothelioma. The figures released this week show more than 2,000 North East people died from the disease from 1985 to 2004. The figure is increased from 1701 deaths from 1981 to 2000.

Additionally the statistics from the Mesothelioma Register show more women than ever are affected by the disease, with 251 deaths during the period compared to 216.

Ian McFall, head of asbestos policy at Thompsons Solicitors, said: "These figures once again highlight the devastation asbestos has inflicted on people in the North East. Many of those affected worked in shipyards, factories or building sites and were given no protection or warning about the risks of asbestos exposure despite their employers being fully aware of the dangers.

"Although shocking, these figures come as no surprise given the widespread use of asbestos in the past. Sadly, the number of people who will die from this disease will continue to rise until 2020."


The drugs the NHS won't give you

Last Updated: 12/05/2007

Suninitib (Sutent)
For kidney cancer.
Licensed, but the Department of Health has yet to refer it to Nice for a recommendation.

John Quance, 57

The former fireman was told he could not have the drug Sutent because the NHS would not pay for it.

Mr Quance, who has been diagnosed with kidney cancer, cashed in his pension and remortgaged his house to pay for it privately, but fears that he may have to sell his home unless the NHS steps in. Cornwall Primary Care Trust said it was not prepared to pay the £22,000-a-year cost of the drug until it was approved by Nice.

Mr Quance said: "I have worked all my life, I have been in the forces, the prison service and the fire service for 30-odd years and I feel a little bit abandoned.

"The staff and the hospital have been excellent but it is a little disappointing not to get funding when it has been proved [the drug] is working."


Bevacizumab (Avastin)
For bowel cancer.
Licensed for colon cancer in January 2005, but turned down on the grounds of cost-effectiveness in January.

Victoria Otley, 56

Miss Otley was diagnosed with bowel cancer at the end of 2005. She had complained of being in pain but doctors told her that it was nothing to worry about.

By the time her cancer was diagnosed it had spread. She took other drugs and later asked about getting Avastin after her sister read about it on the internet. Yesterday, Miss Otley, a former hairdresser from Dagenham, said: "I asked my consultant but he said it wasn't available on the NHS."

She and her sister paid £15,000 for a course of Avastin and the cancer shrunk, however they cannot afford to pay for any more. "You work all your life and pay your taxes and this is what you get. I think it's disgusting."


Cetuximab (Erbitux)
For bowel cancer.
Licensed in June 2004 and turned down by Nice in January this year.

Ian MacDonald

The former bridge inspector's doctor told him that he would have liked to have prescribed Erbitux, but that he could not because it was not available on the NHS.

Mr Macdonald has tried various drugs and radiotherapy since being diagnosed with bowel cancer in the year 2000.

His wife Catherine, who has given up work to care for him full-time, said yesterday: "My husband has worked all his life in this country and never had a day off sick and yet he is refused a drug that might stabilise or shrink his tumour.

"I can't understand why it is not available here but it is in other countries. It's awful."


Erlotinib (Tarceva)
For non-small cell lung cancer.
Licensed in Sept 2005, approved by the Scottish Medicines Consortium in June last year and rejected by Nice in March on the grounds that it was not clinically or cost effective. Manufacturers Roche are appealing against the decision.

Susan Allen, 43

She was told she had ten months to live after being diagnosed with lung cancer in December 2005.

A non-smoker, whose hobbies include cycling and running, the mother-of-one underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy and was prescribed Tarceva by her oncologist in October last year. She had to pay for the daily pills herself initially, at a cost of £70 per day, until her local health authority eventually changed its mind.

She said: "Denying the drug is condemning patients to death."


(Bortezomib) Velcade
For bone marrow cancer patients who have had at least one earlier therapy or are unsuitable for a bone marrow transplant.
Nice has agreed to review its rejection of the drug in March. Patients in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have been able to get it since last year.

George King, 57

Mr King, who is terminally ill with bone marrow cancer was forced to consider moving to Scotland to get access to Velcade in an attempt to prolong his life.

Mr King, an electrical engineer from Teesside, said earlier this year: "People with terminal illnesses shouldn't have to fight for treatment. It's so frustrating. This drug is available not only in Europe, but just a few miles north of where I live. I don't have any option but to move away from my family, friends and the people who have helped me through the cancer until now."


Pemetrexed (Alimta)
For mesothelioma, a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, and small-cell lung cancer.
Patient groups are waiting for the results of an appeal against Nice's rejection of the treatment in February for lung cancer. A decision on funding for mesothelioma is expected in September.

Bernard Hoyland

The retired mechanical fitter spent the last years of his life fighting to make Alimta available for patients in his area.

After he was diagnosed with mesothelioma he was told his primary care trust would not pay for him to receive Alimta because it was too expensive. He launched a legal attempt for compensation against his former employers, began travelling to London every three weeks to receive cancer treatment and joined a campaign to force NHS bosses in Teesside to fund Alimta. Six months after funding was agreed, Nice ruled that it was too costly.

Mr Hoyland, who called the decision "simply unacceptable", died last November.

His son Paul said: "He ended up having to travel to central London after finding he could get the chemotherapy down there. He was a victim of the postcode lottery."


Friday, June 15, 2007

 

Another Mesothelioma Resource Website Launches

Mesothelioma Resource Website Launch

The attorneys at Williams Kherkher discuss recent Asbestos issues in Baltimore and launch resource web site.

Houston, TX (PRWEB) June 15, 2007 -- In reaction to the ever-growing body of news regarding asbestos exposure and the effects it can have on those who come into contact with this harmful substance, the law firm of Williams Kherkher of Houston, Texas has launched a Mesothelioma Legal Resource website, http://www.mesolawsuit.com/. This Web site is intended to be a resource for those who have come into contact with asbestos or been diagnosed with any of the medical conditions linked to asbestos exposure. Williams Bailey is led by Attorneys John Eddy Williams and Steve Kherkerk, and has 26 attorneys and over 120 support staff and has worked in the area of asbestos-related litigation since 1983.

Asbestos is a substance that was used commonly during the 20th Century in buildings and structures, as it was seen as a useful insulation material given its flame-retardant qualities. However, studies began to show that exposure to asbestos lead to serious
medical consequences, including mesothelioma, asbestosis and several forms of cancer.

Traditionally, most patients suffering from asbestos-related diseases were adults, but recent news has shown that children could also be at risk. In a news article published on June 7, 2007 in the Baltimore Sun, it was reported that Violetville Elementary School was shut down after it was discovered that the floor tiles in the 3300 square-foot recreation center near the cafeteria contained asbestos.

The area was closed off and will remain so until the tiles are replaced. Even though officials claimed that these tiles did not pose an immediate health risk, the city of Baltimore has made replacing the tiles a priority.

Although most involved with this situation claim that there is no immediate danger as a result of the exposure, several studies and resources prove that the opposite is potentially true. Many cases of
mesothelioma, asbestosis and cancer of the respiratory system can take years and even decades to fully appear inside a patient's body, and any exposure to this substance creates a potential risk, even in children. Bonnie Vogel, a local mother with four children who attend the school, is rightfully concerned.

"I don't really trust her going back in there," she said. "I'm a little leery sending her to school now because of all the problems they've been having."

###

Press Contact: Joe Devine
Company Name: Williams Kherkher
Phone: 5125734183
Website:
www.mesolawsuit.com


Monday, June 04, 2007

 

Enhanced Effectiveness of Avastin in Cancer Study

Biothera's Imprime PGGT Enhanced Effectiveness of Avastin® in Cancer Study

2007 ASCO Annual Meeting

June 04, 2007 - EAGAN, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Imprime PGGT, an investigational new drug from Biothera that enhances the innate immune system response, increases the effectiveness of Avastin® (bevacizumab) to kill cancer cells, according to new preclinical research presented yesterday at the 2007 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting in Chicago.

Researchers at the Brown Cancer Center, University of Louisville, Kentucky, studied the synergistic effects of Imprime PGG in combination with Avastin in a xenograft mouse model where human ovarian cancer cells were implanted into the mice. In the treatment group receiving both Imprime PGG and Avastin, 86% of the mice survived 100 days compared with only 43% in the group receiving Avastin alone.

"The combination of Imprime PGG and Avastin should be considered as potential treatment approach in patients with VEGF-expressing tumors and needs to be further investigated in clinical trials," said Carolina Salvador, M.D., a clinical instructor at the Brown Cancer Center.

"The results are consistent with previous research demonstrating improved outcomes for both tumor size and long-term survival when Imprime PGG is combined with complement-activating monoclonal antibodies," said Daniel K. Conners, president of Biothera's Pharmaceutical Group. "Our technology has the potential to dramatically enhance both existing and developmental drug treatments for most major types of cancer."

The ASCO poster presentation is entitled, "Cytotoxicity of Bevacizumab is Enhanced by ?-glucan in Tumors Expressing Membrane-Bound VEGF." Dr. Salvador conducted the research in collaboration with Jun Yan, MD, Ph.D., the lead researcher at the Tumor Immunobiology Program at the Brown Cancer Center.

About Imprime PGGT

Imprime PGG is a biological response modifier that enhances specific innate immune cell responses. Biothera has completed two Phase I clinical trials under its cancer Investigational New Drug (IND) application for the use of Imprime PGG in combination with anti-cancer monoclonal antibodies. Under a separate IND, the company also has completed a Phase I/II trial with Imprime PGG in combination with a hematopoietic growth factor.

Biothera plans to initiate multiple Phase Ib and Phase II studies with Imprime PGG in combination with anti-cancer monoclonal antibodies.

About Avastin®

Avastin is the first U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved therapy designed to inhibit angiogenesis, the process by which new blood vessels develop and carry vital nutrients to a tumor. Avastin is approved, in combination with intravenous 5-fluorouracil-based (5-FU) chemotherapy, for first- or second-line treatment of patients with metastatic carcinoma of the colon or rectum and in combination with carboplatin and paclitaxel for the first-line treatment of patients with unresectable, locally advanced, recurrent or metastatic non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Avastin is a product of Genentech.

About Biothera, the Immune Health Company

Biothera is a biotechnology company dedicated to improving immune health. The company's primary focus is developing pharmaceuticals that engage the innate immune system to fight cancer. Other applications include hematopoiesis (production of blood cells) and infectious disease. In addition, Biothera manufactures and markets food-grade ingredients that support healthy immune function to the nutritional supplement, functional food, cosmetic and animal nutrition markets. Website: www.biotherapharma.com.
Contacts

Biothera, the Immune Health Company
David Walsh, 651-256-4606
VP, Communications
dwalsh@biotherapharma.com


Health blogs Health Blogs