Research shows how lemon and lavender ease stress by acting on the immune system and gene expression. In colon cancer, patients with lots of immune-system cells in their tumors have better survival, and men and younger people risk more severe Erbitux rash.
In other headlines, FDA warns about toxic chemicals in electronic cigarettes. Save August 29th to walk across the Big Dam in Little Rock, Arkansas with the Colon Club.
- Lavender and other soothing aromas change stress-related blood chemistry and gene expression in experimental rats under stress. Inhaling linalool, an ingredient in lavender, mango, and lemon oils reduced stress-related immune-system blood cells to normal. Expression of over 100 genes that are also increased by stress fell, as well. Akio Nakamura’s research was published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry in May. Science Daily has more details about the study.
- Measuring levels of white blood cells — neutrophils and leucocytes — associated with inflammation (inflammatory infiltrate) in stage II colorectal tumors can help with prognosis. Tumors with low-grade inflammatory infiltrate are three times as likely to be deadly. The presence of high-grade infiltrate is probably associated with an immune response in the tumor improving survival. Campbell S.D. Roxburgh and a team of surgeons and pathologists at the University of Glasgow published their studies in the August 2009 issue of the European Journal of Cancer.
- Men and patients under 70 are more likely to have a severe skin rash from Erbitux® (cetuximab) than women or older people. Reviewing more than 900 patients in a trial combining FOLFOX and Erbitux for stage III colon cancer, 5 percent of all patients had a severe grade 3 rash. However, men were more than twice as likely as women to have severe rash (7 percent vs. 3 percent.) People under 70 had a much higher risk than older patients (6 percent vs. 1 percent). Aminah Jato and colleagues at the Mayo Clinic published their study in Oncology.
- The FDA has found toxic chemicals and carcinogens in so-called electronic or e-cigarettes. The devices, which carry no tobacco warnings, are battery-operated and convert nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals into a vapor that can be inhaled. Among dangerous chemicals, the FDA identified diethylene glycol, a highly toxic ingredient in antifreeze. Because of chocolate and mint flavors and easy availability on the Internet and in shopping malls, e-cigarettes are especially dangerous for children.
- Save the Date: August 29, 2009 at 9 a.m. the Colon Club is sponsoring a walk across the Big Dam Bridge in Little Rock, Arkansas. Colorectal Cancer: It’s A Big Dam Problem! will raise awareness of colorectal cancer in Arkansas.