Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Cancer is Cancer = Cancer to Cancer..... Mesothelioma (Ugh.)

    I was recently contacted by a gentleman, Cameron St James, who requested I take a moment on behalf of his wife, Heather, (family photo below) who is currently in remission by the way, to discuss another type of cancer:  Mesothelioma.  Of course I agreed to this because after all cancer is cancer!!  Once you are diagnosed, it doesn’t really matter what type you have, you are a cancer patient fighting for your life and your loved ones are right there praying and fighting alongside you that you beat the crap out of it.  So even though I do not know them, I KNOW them and their family, and their battles. Cameron and Heather, this is in honor of your fight and battle won! 
    Mesothelioma is the term used to describe a cancerous tumor which involves the mesothelial cells of an organ, usually the lungs, heart, or abdominal organs. Pleural mesothelioma or cancer of the lung lining is the most common form of mesothelioma cancer. Peritoneal mesothelioma is stomach lining cancer and is the next most common form of mesothelioma. Pericardial mesothelioma is the rarest and accounts for just 10% of annual diagnoses and originates in the heart.
    As I have read, the onset of mesothelioma asbestos lung cancer is slow and symptoms range from chest pain to pain in the lower back to difficulty breathing or coughing.  People may also experience weight loss and fever.  It is critical to seek treatment as soon as possible.  Mesothelioma asbestos lung cancer is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos.

Symptoms for Pleural Mesothelioma:  Chest pain and pain in the lower back, difficulty breathing, coughing, weight loss, fever, muscle weakness and sensory loss, swelling of the face and arms, hoarseness, coughing up blood

Symptoms of Peritoneal Mesothelioma: The abdomen may bloat (fluid accumulation) and there may be nausea and/or vomiting, swelling of the feet, fever or impaired bowel function.
Not so odd, I read words that resembled my breast cancer in that early “signs” of  mesothelioma are often” ignored or mistaken for other minor ailments” because they are not specific to the disease.  (What I have learned more than anything else in the last five years is this: listen to your body!! If something feels off, check it out!!)

    Did you know that this year, several thousand people will be diagnosed with Mesothelioma? L They will be given 10 months to love….. Yes, I said LOVE….. Because you never really live or love until someone tells you that you are going to die (in my opinion).  Help make a difference in living and loving in our cancer to cancer battle!!  Learn about this disease and the signs and symptoms!  I would also encourage you to jump over to Cameron and Heather’s page to read more about 
Mesothelioma and Heather’s amazing - and rare case of- remission at:
For all of us out there dealing with every kind of cancer…however long you are given to love – and live…take it…fight hard.  Pass along as much information and hope as you can to the next person!  Future generations are counting on every one of us to fight for them NOW! 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

As Taken from the "Medical Press" which posted on 6/24/14

Virus kills triple negative breast cancer cells, tumor cells in mice 6/24/14

"A virus not known to cause disease kills triple-negative breast cancer cells and killed tumors grown from these cells in mice, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers. Understanding how the virus kills cancer may lead to new treatments for breast cancer.
Adeno-associated virus type 2 (AAV2) infects humans but is not known to cause sickness. In prior studies, the researchers tested the virus on a variety of breast cancers that represent degrees of aggressiveness and on human papillomavirus-positive cervical cancer cells. The virus initiated apoptosis—natural cell death—in cancer cells without affecting .
"Treatment of breast cancer remains difficult because there are multiple signaling pathways that promote tumor growth and develop resistance to treatment," said Craig Meyers, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Microbiology and Immunology.
Signaling pathways involve molecules in a cell that control cell functions—such as cell division—by cooperation. For example, the first molecule in the process receives a signal to begin. It then tells another molecule to work, and so on.
Treatment of breast cancer differs by patient due to differences in tumors. Some tumors contain protein receptors that are activated by the hormones estrogen or progesterone. Others respond to another protein called human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, or HER2. Each of these is treated differently.
A does not have any of these protein receptors and is typically aggressive.
"There is an urgent and ongoing need for the development of novel therapies which efficiently target triple-negative breast cancers," Meyers said.
In the current study, the researchers tested AAV2 on a cell-line representative of triple-negative breast cancer. The researchers report their results in Cancer Biology & Therapy.
The AAV2 killed 100 percent of the cells in the laboratory by activating proteins called caspases, which are essential for the cell's natural death. In addition, consistent with past studies, AAV2-infected cancer cells produced more Ki-67, an immunity system activating protein and c-Myc, a protein that helps both to increase cell growth and induce apoptosis. The cancer cell growth slowed by day 17 and all cells were dead by day 21. AAV2 mediated cell killing of multiple breast cancer cell lines representing both low and high grades of cancer and targeted the independent of hormone or growth factor classification.
The researchers then injected AAV2 into human cell line-derived tumors in without functioning immune systems. Mice that received AAV2 outlived the untreated mice and did not show signs of being sick, unlike the untreated mice. Tumor sizes decreased in the treated mice, areas of cell death were visible and all AAV2 treated mice survived through the study, a direct contrast to the untreated mice.
"These results are significant, since tumor necrosis—or death—in response to therapy is also used as the measure of an effective chemotherapeutic," Meyers said.   Future studies should look at the use of AAV2 body-wide in mice, which would better model what happens in humans, according to Meyers."

Well, fellow TNBCers - this is promising news!  Let's continue to hang in there and keep the faith.  They are continuing to do the research in hopes of helping us and this is looking good!