News

Wait, So Cell Phones Cause Brain Cancer After All?

December 28, 2015

It’s baaaaaack: the idea that cell phones may boost your risk of brain cancer. But who knows, maybe this time it’s true?

A new study in Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine links long-term exposure to radiation from cell phones to a higher risk of specific brain cancers, particularly when the phone is held against the ear.

The mega-study—a statistical analysis of hundreds of studies on low-intensity radio frequency radiation (LIRF) and cell phone use—was conducted by scientists in Kiev and “revealed consistent patterns not seen in single studies,” says team leader Igor Yakymenko.

“We saw that ‘heavy users’ were at three to five times higher risk for brain cancer and tumors of the acoustic nerve,” he says. The study defined “heavy user” as someone who uses a cell more than 20 minutes a day for five to 10 years—so, like, everybody. Yet, Yakymenko conceded, the incidence of brain cancer in adults is just 6.4 per 100,000.

Even so, “the less exposure the better,” he warns. “Reduce call times, go hands-free when possible, and consider your landline”—those must still be big in Ukraine—“as an alternative.”

Source: http://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/wait-so-cell-phones-cause-brain-cancer-after-all/ar-BBnZNip?li=BBnba9O

Watch ‘VICE’ on HBO’s Special Report: ‘Killing Cancer’

March 2, 2015

by VICE Staff

Original article can be found at: http://www.vice.com/read/watch-vice-on-hbos-special-report-on-killing-cancer-217

Cancer has been such a scourge of humanity for so long that the very word inspires a deep dread in anyone who hears it—it’s a two-syllable gut punch, a hole that suddenly opens up beneath you. Similarly, a “cure for cancer” has been a holy grail of modern medical research the way getting to the moon used to inspire space programs. All told, the world has spent decades and billions of dollars trying to cure cancer, or cure some kinds of it, or simply make some of them less awful and deadly—and VICE is going to give viewers an inside look at the most cutting-edge cancer treatments in the world.

The third season of our Emmy-winning HBO show doesn’t start until March 6, but you can watch VICE Special Report: Killing Cancer online now. It’s an hour-long in-depth documentary that focuses on therapies that go far, far beyond chemo. We’ll be taking a look at how doctors use HIV, measles, and genetically-engineered cold viruses to strengthen patients’ immune systems and wipe out cancer cells without damaging their bodies the way chemo normally does.

While experimental, these techniques are already saving lives, like that of Emily Whitehead, who was dying of aggressive leukemia before doctors used re-engineered HIV cells to seemingly destroy the cancer eating her body.

“My life, like most people’s, has been negatively affected by cancer, and the thought of my young children living in an age where this is no longer humanity’s number-one health fear was simply overpowering,” said Shane Smith in a statement. “My first thought was, ‘How soon? How soon can we get these types of therapies to market and helping people?'”

VICE Special Report: Killing Cancer can be watched above, and to find out more visitkillingcancer.vice.com.

Shane Smith has also started a gift-matching campaign to help the Mayo Clinic continue their amazing work. You can donate here.

TOPICS: vice on hbo, vice, hbo, cancer, news, shane smith, alternative cancer cures, curing cancer, cancer cures

Researchers Find Salicylates, a Class of Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (Nsaids), Stop Growth of Vestibular Schwannomas

Findings described online in Translational Research

Released: 5-Feb-2015 10:15 AM EST
Source Newsroom: Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary

Researchers Find Salicylates, a Class of Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (Nsaids), Stop Growth of Vestibular Schwannomas

Findings described online in Translational Research

Released: 5-Feb-2015 10:15 AM EST
Source Newsroom: Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary

Newswise — (BOSTON) Feb. 5, 2015 — Researchers from Massachusetts Eye and Ear and the Harvard Medical School/ Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Program in Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology have demonstrated that salicylates, a class of non-steroidal inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), reduced the proliferation and viability of cultured vestibular schwannoma cells that cause a sometimes lethal intracranial tumor that typically causes hearing loss and tinnitus.

The research is described in “Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Medications are Cytostatic Against Human Vestibular Schwannomas” online in Translational Research.
“These pre-clinical data based on cultured primary vestibular schwannoma cells, combined with our previously published work on aspirin intake correlating with halted growth of vestibular schwannomas (also known as acoustic neuroma), motivate a future prospective clinical trial,” said Konstantina Stankovic, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.S., principal investigator at the Eaton-Peabody Laboratories at Mass. Eye and Ear who led the research. Dr. Stankovic is also an assistant professor of Otology and Laryngology at Harvard Medical School. Other authors are her trainees, Drs. Sonam Dilwali, Shyan-Yuan Kao, Takeshi Fujita and Lukas D. Landegger.

Vestibular schwannomas are the most common tumors of the cerebellopontine angle and the fourth most common intracranial tumors. Although vestibular schwannomas are histologically non-malignant, they can lead to substantial morbidity, including sensorineural hearing loss, vestibular dysfunction and facial nerve paralysis. Large vestibular schwannomas can cause additional paralysis of other cranial nerves, brainstem compression and death, the authors write.

Currently, patients with symptomatic or growing vestibular schwannomas can undergo surgical resection or radiotherapy. Both of these procedures can result in serious complications. Effective drug therapies that can limit growth would greatly advance health care for these patients.

Salicylates are attractive therapeutics because they are clinically relevant, well-tolerated and commonly used against pathologies such as pain and arthritis. Furthermore, in some cases, chronic intake of salicylates has led to a significant reduction in the incidence and burden of various tumors, such as colorectal cancer.

“In our study, we focused on salicylates because a mechanism of their action is inhibition of cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2), and a previous study reported that immunohistochemical expression of COX-2 correlated with vestibular schwannoma growth rate. We assessed the efficacy of three different salicylates against vestibular schwannoma: aspirin, sodium salicylate (NaSal) and 5-aminosalicylic acid (5-ASA),” Dr. Stankovic said.

The team found COX-2 to be aberrantly expressed in human vestibular schwannomas and primary human vestibular schwannoma cells in comparison to control human nerve specimens and primary Schwann cells (SCs), respectively. Further, levels of prostaglandin E2, the downstream enzymatic product of COX-2, correlated with primary VS culture proliferation rate. Changes in proliferation, cell death and cell viability were analyzed in primary vestibular schwannoma cultures treated with aspirin, NaSal or 5-ASA. These drugs decreased proliferation and viability of vestibular schwannoma cells without increasing cell death or affecting healthy SCs. The cytostatic effect of aspirin in vitro was in concurrence with Dr. Stankovic’s previous clinical finding that vestibular schwannoma patients taking aspirin demonstrate reduced tumor growth.

”Overall, this work suggests that COX-2 is a key modulator in vestibular schwannoma cell proliferation and survival, and highlights salicylates as promising pharmacotherapies against vestibular schwannoma,” the authors concluded.

This study was supported by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grants T32 DC00038 (S.D., K.M.S.), K08DC010419 (K.M.S.), the Bertarelli Foundation (K.M.S.) and the Department of Defense Grant W81XWH-14-1-0091 (K.M.S.).

About Massachusetts Eye and Ear
Mass. Eye and Ear clinicians and scientists are driven by a mission to find cures for blindness, deafness and diseases of the head and neck. After uniting with Schepens Eye Research Institute Mass. Eye and Ear in Boston became the world’s largest vision and hearing research center, offering hope and healing to patients everywhere through discovery and innovation. Mass. Eye and Ear is a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital and trains future medical leaders in ophthalmology and otolaryngology, through residency as well as clinical and research fellowships. Internationally acclaimed since its founding in 1824, Mass. Eye and Ear employs full-time, board-certified physicians who offer high-quality and affordable specialty care that ranges from the routine to the very complex. U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals Survey” has consistently ranked the Mass. Eye and Ear Departments of Otolaryngology and Ophthalmology as top five in the nation.

Medicare Update

 Medicare Ruling Announcement

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a final ruling that auditory osseointegrated implants (such as BAHA) are not hearing aids and, therefore, will remain a covered benefit. In July they issued a proposal that would have eliminated this coverage. The July proposal is now reversed.

This is great news for many new and existing users for the surgical bone-conduction devices like Baha and Ponto devices in the AN community. With this ruling the Sonitus Medical SoundBite, however, will not be covered by Medicare.

This ruling reflects the success of a concerted effort by patient groups including acoustic neuroma patients, medical professionals, medical organizations, and the bone anchored hearing device providers.

Patient personal stories are referred to in the final ruling. Refer to the link below. The BAHA information starts on page 419.

Thank you for your efforts in getting the proposal ruling reversed. We are confident that ANA played an important part in publishing the information about the proposal and encouraging you to let your voice be heard.

Please refer to our website at www.ANAUSA.org for additional information.

Medicare Ruling

http://www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2014-26182_PI.pdf

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