Women's Health Base

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Posts Tagged ‘cancer’

Changes to cervical cancer surgery

Posted by hannahflynn on June 2, 2009

Changes to the surgical methods used to treat early stage cervical cancer could increase survival rates by up to 20 percent, according to new research published in The Lancet.

German researchers have found a more targeted approach which involves only removing tissue in the areas where tumor is most likely to spread, is more effective at treating cervical cancer than radical hysterectomy, which is the traditional tttreatment.

By removing a more defined, section which includes the fallopian tubes, uterus, and certain parts of the vagina, radiotherapy can also be avoided.

The technique is called mesometrial resection (TMMR), and the study practised the method on 212 patients. In high risk patients the recurrence rate was only 5 percent compared to 28 percent for patients who had received traditional surgery.

The surgery also avoids a lot of potential nerve damage which is a problem experienced by a large number of women who undergo hysterectomy.

Cancer UK agree the technique shows potential and are hoping larger trials will start so the treatment can be offered to more patients.

The news comes not long after results showing the removal of ovaries during hysterectomy had no positive effect on survival rates in women(1).

1.Parker WH, Broder MS, Chang E et al. Ovarian conservation at the time of hysterectomy and long-term health outcomes in the Nurses’ Health Study. Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2009;113:1027-37.

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Gynaecological cancer cells “cannibalise”

Posted by hannahflynn on November 18, 2008

A new discovery about the genetic pathways that affect ovarian cancer may open new doors to cancer treatment.

Cells can ‘eat themselves’ through a process known as autophagy, and a protein known as PEA-15 has been found to speed this up in ovarian tumours. This extends the life-expectancy of people suffering from ovarian cancer.

And many other cancer patients may benefit from the findings. PEA-15 binds to a signalling molecule known as ERK which is responsible for the high rate of growth seen in many cancers. So far no ERK inhibitor has been found, though it has long been considered a likely candidate for cancer treatment.

As ovarian cancer is notoriously hard to detect, but is very responsive to treatment the findings are promising.

Science Daily has provided references to the paper and Discover Magazine has taken a more light hearted approach.

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