Sunday, August 21, 2011

Drinking moderate amounts of coffee can help ward off non-melanoma?

This is another rodent study and to compare mice skin (normally hair-covered) with human skin is absurd

COFFEE has been shown to reduce the risk of skin cancer by helping kill off damaged cells that could otherwise turn into tumours, researchers say. Moderate caffeine drinking, or perhaps even applying coffee to the skin, could be useful in warding off non-melanoma cancer, the most commonly diagnosed of all skin cancers, the study published today shows.

Using mice that had been genetically altered to suppress a protein called ATR, researchers showed the rodents were able to fend off cancer even when exposed to ultraviolet light. The altered mice eventually did develop cancer, but three weeks later than normal mice.

Previous studies have suggested that drinking a cup of caffeinated coffee per day has the effect of suppressing ATR and triggering the die-off of cells harmed by UV rays.

After 19 weeks of ultraviolet light exposure, the engineered mice showed 69 per cent fewer tumours and four times fewer invasive tumours than the control group. However, the protective effects only went so far. After 34 weeks of UV exposure, all the mice developed tumours.

"Eventually, if you treat them long enough, the mice will develop cancer so it is not 100 per cent protection forever," Allan Coffey, one of the study's authors said. "Really, with almost any carcinogen, eventually all the animals will develop tumours."

The team were able to confirm their hypothesis that caffeine - when consumed or applied to the skin - works by inhibiting ATR. Now they say more studies are needed to see how it may work on humans. "We want to see whether caffeine has an effect in people when you give it topically," he said.

Skin cancer is the most prevalent cancer in the United States, with more than one million new cases each year, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Non-melanoma types of skin cancer, including basal cell and squamous cell types, are the most commonly diagnosed and are often treatable if detected early.


Raise a glass to the 'red wine pill' to cure everything from obesity to cancer

The old resveratrol religion again. For a start, this is based on mouse studies; and secondly, the company owning the "miracle" drug has given up on it. Obviously later work has not confirmed the early promise. Ya gotta laugh!

In terms of medical achievements, this has got to be the big one – an all-in-one treatment that works against obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Astoundingly, a drug capable of doing just that could be available within three years.

And it gets better. The new treatment could be a godsend for couch potatoes, allowing them to eat as much as they like without putting on a pound. They could even receive all the benefits of exercise without leaving the sofa.

The excitement surrounds a family of drugs based on resveratrol, the ‘miracle ingredient’ in red wine credited with inhibiting the development of cancer and heart disease.

The drugs would activate a gene called SIRT1 that is key to longevity and energy, and their potency would give them the equivalent health benefits of 8,000 bottles of wine.

Mice given one of the drugs, known as SRT1720, did not gain an ounce of weight despite being fed fatty foods, and blood tests suggested they were protected against diabetes. They also showed improved stamina.

Now a follow-up study, led by the U.S. government’s health research arm, has confirmed the drug’s promise. This time, giving it to ‘middle-aged’ mice allowed them to escape many of the dangers of a bad diet, with those eating fatty foods living almost as long as mice fed normally. At high doses, the drug extended the life of the junk food group by as much as 44 per cent.

In addition, it stopped fat from clogging up their livers and, once again, appeared to protect against diabetes. The journal Scientific Reports also states that the treated animals were more active.

The drugs are being developed by Sirtris, a biotech firm bought by pharmaceutical powerhouse GlaxoSmithKline three years ago.

GSK is no longer pursuing SRT1720 [I wonder why?], but three similar – and potentially even better – drugs are already being tested on people. The first of these could be widely available within three years.

Researcher Rafael de Cabo, of the National Institutes of Health in Baltimore, said the drugs offer the promise of a healthy old age. ‘To me, the most tantalising thing about the findings are the health benefits,’ he said. ‘I don’t care much about living five years longer as long as I live what I am supposed to live completely healthy.’

It is not known who the drugs will be aimed at but, initially, they are likely to be reserved for treating and preventing disease in the severely overweight.


No comments: