C3 Advocate Verna Cox was featured in the Philadelphia Daily News yesterday, and there’s a link to her story as well as links to the winning entries in the Get Screened Video Contest.
This week, we also report research showing that the elderly benefit from irinotecan chemotherapy treatments, a potential vaccine for travelers diarrhea, and no link between coffee drinking and colorectal cancer.
- In a large randomized trial comparing various combinations of irinotecan, 5-FU, or Xeloda (capecitabine), elderly colorectal cancer patients treated with irinotecan-based chemotherapy had no more serious side effects than younger patients. Patients over 70 also benefitted equally from treatment with similar rates of tumor shrinkage, time until cancer got worse, and overall survival time. Nadine A. Jackson, MD, MPH, from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston published the results of her team’s analysis in Cancer online April 20, 2009.
- A vaccine against traveler’s diarrhea (Campylobacter jejuni) may be possible based on research in mice and monkeys. Vaccinated against C. jejuni, mice developed strong immune responses and had significantly fewer symptoms when exposed to the bacteria. Monkeys who were also exposed were completely protected from developing diarrhea. Besides traveler’s diarrhea, C. jejuni can cause irritable bowel syndrome. Dr. Patricia Guerry, from the Naval Medical Research Center in Maryland, says that a vaccine for humans is “very feasible.” Her colleagues’ research was published in the March, 2009 issue of Infection and Immunity.
- Reviewing 12 studies prospective studies that followed almost 647,000 people, researchers found no connection between drinking coffee and colorectal cancer. There was a small decrease in risk for women and colon cancer, particularly for Japanese women. Youjin Je and colleagues at the Harvard School of Public Health report their analysis in the April 1, 2009 International Journal of Cancer.
- Winning videos from the Get Screened Video Contest sponsored by EndColonCancerNow.Org at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center are now online. Zach Smith of Spokane, WA was the grand-prize winner, awarded $2,500 for Your Choice. Watch Zack’s video and those from the four runner-ups. You can also see entries from the 15 finalists.
- C3 advocate Verna Cox’s story was featured in the Philadelphia Daily News and on Philly.com on April 23, 2009. Verna discusses her diagnosis and treatment very frankly and what pushed her to become an advocate to prevent others from getting colorectal cancer. She says, “My strategy is — and it’s spiritual — if I can help somebody as I travel on, then my living will not be in vain.” Her story is part of the ongoing Beating Cancer section in the Philadelphia newspapers.