Tag Archives: cancer

Cancer and terrorism: the continued aftermath of 9/11

As the eleventh anniversary of the 2001 attacks against the World Trade Center in New York city ticks closer, an additional 58 cancers were added to the list of Federal coverable conditions as a result of exposure to toxins near Ground Zero.  While the visible damage has been replaced by a memorial, for thousands the lasting effects of the situation continue to bear down.  The World Trade Center Health Program provides benefits to numerous people individuals, including first responders, volunteers, survivors of the attacks, and those living near the site.

For additional details about the World Trade Center Health Program and its history, see this CNN news article: http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/10/health/new-york-wtc-cancer/index.html?hpt=hp_t1.


“Sugars” and cancer

Researchers across Emory are participating in numerous projects that examine the different relationships between “sugars” and cancer.

First, Emory was recently awarded two grants totaling $2.5 million dollars over five years from the National Cancer Institute to study the sugary coatings of cancer cells.  Novel diagnostic methods and anticancer treatments  are expected to come from this research.  Read more at: http://news.emory.edu/stories/2012/08/cancer_glycomics_grants/index.html.

Second, Emory researchers continue to investigate cancer cell’s “sugar cravings”.  Cancerous cells use up more glucose than healthy cells, as they turn off the mitochondria which are typically responsible for producing energy and instead rely on glucose.  In the video below, Jing Chen, PhD, associate professor of hematology and medical oncology at Emory University School of Medicine and Winship Cancer Institute, explains how his team is examining whether anticancer therapies can target this mis-appropriation of glucose.  To read more about the research, please visit: http://shared.web.emory.edu/whsc/news/releases/2011/12/enzyme-that-flips-switch-on-cells-sugar-cravings-could-be-anti-cancer-target.html.


Emory University Hospital named best hospital in metro Atlanta and Georgia

In their 2012 guide to “America’s Best Hospitals”, U.S. News & World Report named Emory University Hospital the best hospital in both metro Atlanta and in the entire state of Georgia.  Further, Emory University Hospital was ranked as a national care leader in five specialties: cancer; cardiology and heart surgery; geriatrics; neurology and neurosurgery; and psychiatry.

The full details about Emory University Hospital’s rating is available through the U.S. News & World Report website.

Research points to the early detection of lung cancer through a breathalzyer-like test

A joint study conducted by researchers at the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University and Georgia Institute of Technology demonstrated the possibility of early diagnosis of lung cancer using a breathalyzer-like test.  The team identified 75 unique breath volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) that were different in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) compared to individuals without the condition.

To learn more about the study, as well as other lung cancer research conducted by the joint Emory University-Georgia Tech team, please read this article by the Emory News Center.

How does your county compare in health?

The state of health in America is not identical from region to region or state to state, with even significant differences evident at a county by county level. 

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, an independent global health research center at the University of Washington, has used data visualization methods to integrate global health data with maps to demonstrate regional differences in health status. 

For example, they provide the following comparisons:

Additional visualizations are available on the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation’s website.

Cancer patients cope better with mindfulness meditation

A recent clinical trial led by Susan Bauer-Wu, PhD, RN, FAAN, from the Emory University School of Nursing, found that mindfulness mediation improved the well being of many cancer patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplants.

Cancer patients who participated in the study were visited by health care professionals (primarily nurses) trained in mindfulness meditation twice per week, in addition to receiving a CD on guided meditation to use both at the hospital and after returning home.

More information about the study and mindfulness meditation is available here.


Improving treatment decisions to improve brain tumor outcomes

A National Cancer Institute-funded research team that includes senior investigator Dr. Walter J. Curran, Jr., executive director of Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, announced January 19th that a genetic marker in brain tumors should be evaluated to determine the best treatment plan for patients with a rare type of brain tumor.

In their phase III trial, the team found that anaplastic oligodendroglioma patients that also have a genetic abnormality – the 1p19q co-deletion – survived about twice as long as average (14.7 compared with 7.3 years) when treated initially with both chemotherapy and radiation.  Additionally, tumor patients with the genetic abnormality survived significantly longer (more than 7 years) than those without the co-deletion (2.8 years).

Details of the findings and study design are available here.