The pain killer celecoxib (Celebrex) may interfere with the cardioprotective benefit of low-dose aspirin, researchers found." The researchers reported online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that celecoxib "tightly binds to one form of Cox-1 that prevents aspirin from reaching its antiplatelet target." In addition, the researchers "confirmed that celecoxib and aspirin given together did not prevent clotting to the same degree as aspirin alone in an animal model."
Cancer drug may also benefit asthma patients.
A drug being tested to treat cancer could also help patients suffering from asthma." It's well understood that "too many uncontrolled eosinophils can damage other cells that line the lung, contributing to inflammatory conditions such as asthma." But, scientists at Edinburgh University discovered that the drug, R-Roscovitine, "caused the eosinophil cells to undergo a form of cell death known as apoptosis, a natural process where unwanted cells are removed from the body." The discovery, investigators say, "could lead to an alternative way to treat asthma in patients who are resistant to steroid treatments."
Herceptin during chemotherapy may boost survival in some patients with breast cancer.
New research suggests that certain breast cancer patients who take the drug Herceptin [trastuzumab] during chemotherapy, instead of taking it afterward, fare better." In a study presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, researchers examined "outcomes for hundreds of women who underwent different treatment regimens" for "HER2-positive breast cancer."
Patients "had 25 percent better disease-free survival rates at five years when trastuzumab was started concurrently with chemotherapy, rather than sequentially." But, "the trial was complicated by temporary closure of the concurrent trastuzumab arm early in the study for analysis of potentially adverse cardiac events. But, because the study showed that "the five-year survival rate increased to 84 percent among women taking the drugs concurrently versus 80 percent among those taking the drugs sequentially,the researchers concluded that concurrent use is the best way" to "decrease the risk of cancer recurrence.
Anthracyclines with Herceptin may be linked to heart damage in HER2-positive breast cancer patients.
According to findings reported at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, anthracyclines, a class of chemotherapy drugs, may be linked to heart damage when used in combination with Roche Holding AG's Herceptin [trastuzumab] in women with HER2-positive breast cancer. Although the study showed that "women who got anthracyclines and Herceptin were less likely to have recurrences of their cancer and to die," researchers also found that two percent of patients receiving the combination treatment "developed heart failure, 0.7 percent died of leukemia, and 19 percent had changes in their heart function that might lead to heart failure in the future." Meanwhile, "among those who got Herceptin without anthracyclines, 0.4 percent developed heart failure and nine percent had worsened heart function."
The researchers concluded that "eliminating the anthracycline from chemotherapy when using trastuzumab (Herceptin) may be just as effective long term. They noted that "a nonanthracycline based regimen with trastuzumab was not associated with significantly more breast cancer recurrences or deaths."
Herceptin plus Tykerb may improve survival in patients with HER2-positive breast cancer.
According to research presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium,a combination of two drugs that more precisely target tumors significantly extended the lives of women who had stopped responding to other treatments. The study of 300 patients showed that women receiving Herceptin [trastuzumab] and Tykerb [lapatinib] "lived 20 weeks longer than those given Tykerb alone.
Experimental drug may stop stem cell growth in patients with breast cancer.
According to research reported at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, researchers "have an experimental drug that seems to stop" stem cells "in breast cancers." For the study, the researchers "first identified a vulnerable target on the breast stem cells called the Notch receptor and used an experimental drug, gamma-secretase inhibitor, along with a common anticancer drug, docetaxel -- first on mice grafted with human tumors, and later in a few women with advanced breast cancer”.
Research confirms benefit of intensive approach to lipid-lowering.
Reports published in MedPage Today stated "post-hoc analyses of two landmark statin trials -- PROVE-IT and IDEAL -- affirm the value of an intensive versus moderate approach to lipid-lowering." In fact, "staying the course with intensive lipid-lowering -- in this case 80 mg atorvastatin (Lipitor) versus either 40 mg pravastatin (Pravachol) or 20-40 mg of simvastatin (Zocor) -- actually 'reduces events by about 50% over time,' Christopher Cannon, MD," said. MedPage Today added, "This is 'an even more dramatic reduction in events' than the benefit seen at the primary endpoint of 30 days.
Tamoxifen plus anthracycline-based chemotherapy may boost breast cancer survival.
According to a study reported at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium and online" in The Lancet, "anthracycline-based chemotherapy added to tamoxifen continues to offer a survival advantage for postmenopausal breast cancer, In a study of 1,477 patients, researchers found that "women treated with chemotherapy and then tamoxifen had a 24 percent improvement in disease-free survival, compared with women treated with tamoxifen alone." The study "also showed a trend toward better survival when the chemotherapy and tamoxifen were given sequentially rather than concurrently."