For decades, governments, charities and pharmaceutical companies have all poured tens of billions of dollars into breast cancer research. Yet each year, some half a million people—mostly women—die from breast cancer.
“In the US, 41,000 women die [of breast cancer] each year,” says Dr Sofia D. Merajver, MD, head of the breast oncology programme at the University of Michigan’s Comprehensive Cancer Center. “That’s three jumbo jets full of women every week, something that you’d think would be a national emergency,” she says. “We’ve made strides, but we still have far to go.”
Helping extend those strides is research in liquid diagnostics, a method aimed at finding early signs of cancer in blood or urine before symptoms arise. The area is so promising that it could become part of a $20bn market for cancer blood tests within five years, according to a JP Morgan analyst.
Just weeks ago, for example, the journal Nature published the development of a blood test for pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest kinds. As exciting as this is for those working to eradicate pancreatic cancer, the test could also prove useful for breast cancer screening: Biomarkers in blood from breast cancer patients also “lit up” during the study.
Meanwhile, researchers at the University of Freiburg, Germany, have developed a breast cancer test that needs only a few millilitres of urine. It detects concentrations of microRNAs that have crossed into the sample from the patient’s blood. MicroRNAs help regulate cell metabolism and are often dysregulated in cancer cells. The test, which involved 48 women, looked for concentrations of these microRNAS and was 91% accurate, according to the researchers. Larger sample sizes will be needed to prove its efficacy, however.
While some liquid tests still need work, others are already delivering results. Scanning a person’s blood for tiny fragments of DNA released by tumours—a field known as theragnostics—can help doctors prescribe tailored drugs that work directly against a specific kind of tumour, for example.
This is giving rise to both the development of target-specific drugs (up to about 50 today from just 15 in 2008) and to theragnostic tests themselves. Guardant Health, Illumina and Sequenom all are dipping toes into these new waters.
Aiding the research into targeted therapies are efforts in cancer genomics. Analysis of the genetic sequence of more than 2,000 breast cancer samples by the Cambridge Cancer Centre, for example, revealed that there are at least ten genetically distinct, different kinds of breast cancer tumour types. To support these genomics efforts, the Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust just launched the “Bracode” Campaign (a play on the word “barcode”) to study 450 volunteer patients at the Cambridge Breast Unit for the next five years.
Understanding the genomics of tumours may aid in the understanding of the third and perhaps most crucial area of breast cancer research: the metastasis of the primary tumour itself. Little is understood about why primary tumours spread to other organs. This is vexing for researchers because metastasis tends to be what kills patients, says Dr Merajver.
Early detection is a significant focus of breast cancer awareness groups. But it is not enough, Dr Merajver emphasises. “Most [US] breast cancers are diagnosed at Stages 1 or 2,” she says. “You don’t have to be a math genius to see that, at one point, most of those who died imagined they had been cured.”
She cautions that cancer is highly complicated and that parsing out the “enormous” number of possible mutations in a bulk tumour is the key to personalised, highly targeted medicine. Understanding the makeup of those mutations and using nanotech platforms to deliver targeted therapies could be key to long-term survival, she says.
The next big leap in the fight against cancer may well happen at the nano level.
This article is published in collaboration with GE Look Ahead. Publication does not imply endorsement of views by the World Economic Forum.
Author: Holly Hickman writes for GE Look Ahead.
Image: “Umbrellas”, the sculpture by Giorgos Zogolopoulos is illuminated in pink light to mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Thessaloniki in northern Greece. REUTERS/Alexandros Avramidis
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Breast Cancer Cure is excited to be bringing back our popular ‘Tees for a Cure’, with a range of 15 new, limited edition designs from New Zealand’s top fashion designers. With 3500 Kiwi’s diagnosed with breast cancer each year, this is an easy way to make a difference and contribute towards Breast Cancer Cure’s ongoing research.
Breast cancer refers to a malicious tumor which has built-up from breast cells. A tumor which extends in the breast reach to the lung otherwise one more body element, it is still referred to as breast cancer otherwise metastatic breast cancer. Researchers have led careful studies focused on how can breast cancer be cured.In this write- up we will discuss how can breast cancer be cured.
There is two common group of breast cancer: non-invasive, anywhere the cancer cells are limited to the milk passages plus persistent, where the cancer cells have busted down throughout the channel into the near full of fat plus connective tissues. Inside these categories, there is some unique cancer types, different disturbing components of the breast.
Can Breast Cancer be cured?
Yes, the breast cancer is curable; we have suggested some successful treatments and therapies for breast cancer.
Top 4 Stages Of Breast Cancer Along With Treatments:
The treatment depends upon the dimension of a tumor, and also whether a tumor has extended to any other element of the body (metastasis) otherwise, the cancer cells have spread into the nearby. This article will guide you through the stages of breast cancer and its treatments which depend on the stages of the breast cancer.
Breast cancer is tremendously curable in most patients. Postponement can be tragic if you be alert to a lump see your doctor right away. Along with current breast cancer treatment is successful; however, women have to complete the whole treatments. Premature breast cancer stage I is the mainly common invasive breast cancer. Stage one breast cancer is slighter than two centimeters and has not spread to the lymph nodes in the armpit.
The stage II breast cancer have primary cancer that moreover engrosses axillary lymph nodes plus is less than 5 centimeters (2 inches) in size, otherwise is greater than 2 centimeters (3/4 inch) in size plus does not engross any axillary lymph nodes. These types of cancers are curable by existing multi-modality treatment consisting of surgery, radiation therapy hormonal therapy and chemotherapy also can have a natural cure for breast cancer.
Cure of stage II breast cancer requires together local plus systemic therapy. Local therapy consists of surgery otherwise radiation plus is concentrating on destroying any cancer cells in or next to the breast. Universal treatment is focused on killing cancer cells throughout the body and may include chemotherapy, under attack therapy, otherwise hormonal treatment. Comprehensive treatment is managed as adjutant therapy that means treatments later than surgery. The breast cancer is rising in stage 2. However, it is still forced into the breast otherwise enlargement has merely comprehensive to the close by lymph nodes.
Stage 3 where a tumor is established in the breast otherwise the tumor might be any size; cancer is built in 4 to 9 axillary lymph nodes or else in the lymph nodes next to the breastbone.
In this stage anywhere tumor is more significant than 5 centimeters; little groups of breast cancer cells (larger than 0.2 millimeters however not larger than 2 millimeters) are set up in the lymph nodes.
It refers to tumors which have a boost from the breast area. In stage 4, cancer cells contain likely to travel throughout the lymph nodes to organs, for example, the lungs, skin, bones, also others. This illness is known as advanced breast cancer otherwise metastatic breast cancer.
Stage 4 is the mainly severe plus critical phase. Most cases of stage 4 breast cancer develop long following a patient has been diagnosed with cancer. In rare instances, women aren’t diagnosing awaiting stage 4. To defeat stage 4 breast cancers is difficult, however, combine advanced treatments might lead to reduction plus broadly enlarge your lifetime as well as your superiority of life.
Briefly, you can say that breast cancer can be curable in all stages of, but stage 4 breast cancer curing is difficult that other stages of breast cancer.
Natural Cure for Breast Cancer:
Have you ever thought that how effective natural cancer treatments can be? The natural cure for breast cancer is available very comfortably in the market and naturally helps cure breast cancer.
Garlic: Are you aware that garlic is one of the best natural cure for breast cancer. It gives specific antibiotic properties which can naturally cure breast cancer. Garlic also plays a vital role in activating the immune cells against cancerous cells.
Broccoli: It is rich in a cancer-fighting compound known as indole-3-carbinol.The linamarase gene, which when present inside cancer cells, can break down into cyanide and is a natural cure for breast cancer.
Spinach: Contains carotenoids and zeaxanthin, which help unstable flush molecules and free radicals out of the system. The most natural and most effective treatment of providing high-quality nutrition is spinach juice which can cure breast cancer naturally.
All said and done, the results depend on which extracts you choose and their concentrations. Focus on your healing process and make self-care a priority. Reach out for help from loved ones and professionals as much as you need. Hope this article will help you to know the best cure for breast cancer.
Susan Love, MD, says we’re making progress in the war on breast cancer
This September marks the 21st annual breast cancer awareness month, so who better to ask about where we are in the war on this disease than Susan Love, MD?
At the forefront of breast cancer research for almost 30 years, Love is the medical director of the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation in Pacific Palisades, Calif., and a clinical professor of surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. She also penned the bible of breast care books, Dr. Susan Love’s Breast Book.
The good news is that we’re making strides, Love says. Big ones. She is confident that researchers will find a cure for the cancer estimated to take the lives of nearly 40,000 women and more than 450 men in 2006.
Here’s why: Doctors used to think of breast cancer as one disease with one treatment. Not anymore. Today, “we are realizing that all breast cancer is not the same, and there are six different types based on the genetic material [DNA] patterns,” she says.
This means a new approach to treatment. “Instead of one-size-fits-all treatment, we will start doing targeted therapies to match the tumor,” Love says. “Breast cancer treatments will be like trying to buy a dress. Everybody doesn’t fit into a size 12, and now we are saying certain-sized dresses are better for certain-sized women.”
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, according to Love. A new genetic test can study genes within a tumor and determine whether the cancer will need chemotherapy.
Earlier detection and prevention are also high on Love’s priority list. She has been spearheading a new procedure called ductal lavage, which can provide an earlier diagnosis of cancerous and precancerous cells in the breast’s milk ducts. All breast cancers start in the milk ducts, so spotting them here may help with earlier detection.
The bottom line, according to Love: “I think we are getting closer to a cure, but we need to focus on prevention and earlier diagnosis.”
SOURCE: Interview, Susan Love, MD, July 2006.