New Cancer Initiative Set for Launch

Stand Up to Cancer, a charity that will provide funding for cancer research is set to launch this summer through a collaboration with major television networks, entertainers and prominent cancer researchers.

The initiative will support cancer research by providing money for cancer studies including high-risk high-impact research proposals often not supported by conventional funding sources. Research projects will be proposed to the American Association for Cancer Research which will review and administer funding for studies with the guidance of the Scientific Advisory Committee. In addition the charity will form an advisory council composed of leaders from 25 cancer related organizations.

On average cancer claims one life every minute in the United States and cancer killed more than 7.5 million people in 2005. However, continued progress in cancer treatments and therapies have saved or extended countless lives with 10 million cancer survivors currently in the United States.

The charity will air a special 1-hour fundraiser on ABC, CBS and NBC on September 5, 2008 at 8pm EDT and PDT. For more information visit their website Stand Up to Cancer

Exercise beneficial for cancer patients, study concludes

British researchers conducted a literature review and meta-analysis of medical studies and found that physical exercise can help improve quality of life during treatment and afterwards. One big complaint of most cancer patients is fatigue. The researchers found “statistically significant improvements in fatigue were identified following an exercise programme.” Story here.

Data Supports Further Investigation of Mesothelioma Virotherapy

Oncolytics Biotech presented data that indicates malignant mesothelioma cells are sensitive to certain viruses. Their presentation titled “Combination Immunotherapy and Oncolytics Virotherapy for the Treatment of Malignant Mesothelioma” discussed in vitro data showing mesothelioma cells could be suitable targets for reoviruses which could then attack and compromise them.

The company currently has 7 ongoing phase I and phase II trials though none are currently for mesothelioma patients. Reoviruses, which the company is investigating, are generally gastrointestinal infections with the most common form being the rotavirus.

The goal of virotherapy is to isolate and reprogram viruses to only attack cancerous cells. It is still a relatively undeveloped field within cancer research but progress is being made.