sábado, 23 de abril de 2011

News in pediatric oncology - new treatment for relapsed ALL and more

In the few past months important new discoveries from clinical trials in pediatric hemato-oncology were published. We list some of the most outstanding:
1. Mitoxantrone for relapsed ALL - UK Children's Cancer Group reported in Lancet last December that children with relapsed ALL (a disease with poor prognosis, in contrast with primary ALL which is highly curable) benefited from treatment with the drug mitoxantrone, when compared with the standard therapy with idarubicin. Survival in children with relapsed ALL was 69% (overall) and 65% (progression-free), whereas the standard treatment yielded 36-45% survival. Link here.
2. Second-look surgery for RMS - Children's Oncology Group reported last November in the Journal of Pediatric Surgery that children with rhabdomyosarcoma may benefit from second-look surgical procedures in order to check local control rates. Image-proven complete remissions were reliable in this study, but 41% of patients with residual disease by image had no viable tumor in second-look procedure. Patients with no viable disease had a better failure-free survival in this study. Link here.
3. Beta-2 adrenergic receptor and ALL - French researchers reported this December that genetic polymorphisms in the promoter region of the gene encoding the beta-2 adrenergic receptor reliably correlate with relapse and response rate to methotrexate. The beta-2 adrenoceptor, mostly known by its involvement in smooth muscle contraction, is part of a proapoptotic signaling pathway, and thus its expression by cancer can possibly influence drug resistance. Link here.


quinta-feira, 14 de abril de 2011

The inheritance of alzheimer

People with a maternal history of Alzheimer's disease of late onset are twice as likely to suffer a reduction in gray matter volume in vulnerable areas of the brain, compared to those who have a father with the disease or those without family history.

Using voxel morphometry techniques, the authors of an article published in the journal Neurology, have found different brain regions of individuals with paternal and maternal history of Alzheimer's disease. The results show that people with a maternal history of disease have differences in specific areas of the brain that are also affected by Alzheimer's disease and are not affected in individuals with paternal history. Specifically, it was noted that cognitively healthy people, but with a mother with Alzheimer's disease, showed increased atrophy of gray matter around the brain and cerebrospinal fluid expansion. These subjects also had significantly greater atrophy in the precuneus and parahippocampal and hippocampal regions, compared with those with paternal history of disease or no family history, regardless of the presence of APOE4, marital status, sex and age .

Read more here.

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