It has been reported that higher levels of oxidative stress and inflammation play a key role in the progression of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) after surgery. Coenzyme Q10 is an endogenous lipid-soluble antioxidant. To date, no intervention study has investigated coenzyme Q10 supplementation in HCC patients after surgery. The purpose of this study was to investigate oxidative stress, antioxidant enzymes activity, and inflammation levels in HCC patients after surgery following administration of coenzyme Q10 (300 mg/day). This study was designed as a single-blinded, randomized, parallel, placebo-controlled study. Patients who were diagnosed with primary HCC (n = 41) and were randomly assign to a placebo (n = 20) or coenzyme Q10 (300 mg/day, n = 21) group after surgery. The intervention lasted for 12 weeks. Plasma coenzyme Q10, vitamin E, oxidative stress antioxidant enzymes activity and inflammatory markers levels were measured. The oxidative stress (p = 0.04) and inflammatory markers (hs-CRP and IL-6, p < 0.01) levels were significantly decreased, and the antioxidant enzymes activity was significantly increased (p < 0.01) after 12 weeks of coenzyme Q10 supplementation. In addition, the coenzyme Q10 level was significantly negatively correlated with the oxidative stress (p = 0.01), and positively correlated with antioxidant enzymes activity (SOD, p = 0.01; CAT, p < 0.05; GPx, p = 0.04) and vitamin E level (p = 0.01) after supplementation. In conclusion, we demonstrated that a dose of 300 mg/d of coenzyme Q10 supplementation significantly increased the antioxidant capacity and reduced the oxidative stress and inflammation levels in HCC patients after surgery. Clinical Trials.gov Identifier: NCT01964001
Robotic surgery sounds like the stuff of science fiction, but reality is quickly catching up. In particular, a system called the TransOral Robotic Surgery (TORS) was able to help oropharyngeal cancer patients recover from tumor surgery without any incisions.
Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is the sixth common cancer worldwide. These include cancers of the tongue, tonsils, soft palate and pharynx. Each year there are nearly 650,000 new cases and 350,000 deaths.
Conventional surgery techniques for these cancers can often lead to significant pain and disfigurement. By contrast, TORS, part of the da Vinci Surgical system proved to be much less invasive. The robotic system purportedly allows surgeons to get to the tumor via the mouth – no open incision on the face necessary.
By eliminating open wounds for the patients, doctors at the Henry Ford hospital found that patients recovered much quicker, some within mere days after surgery. "Within our study, patients treated with robotic surgery had excellent results and survival, irrespective of their p16 status,” said Tamer Ghanem, director of Head and Neck Oncology and Reconstructive Surgery Division in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery at Henry Ford Hospital, and the study’s lead author.
P16 is a protein marker of the human papilloma virus (HPV). The presence of the HPV type 16 virus is linked to oropharyngeal cancer. This status also appears to influence how well or how poorly a patient responds to treatment
"For non-surgical patients, several studies have shown that p16 positive throat cancers, or HPV- related throat cancers, have better survival and less recurrence than p16 negative throat cancers," said Ghanem.
In their study, the team analyzed a total of 53 patients with oropharyngeal cancer patients. Of this, 81 percent had HPV16+ oropharyngeal cancer.
Despite the p16 status, the study showed that the TORS robotic surgery was directly correlated with high survival and low cancer recurrence. In addition, the outcome appears to also improve when TORS was used in conjunction with chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Furthermore, the success of the surgery enabled lower doses of radiation, which benefited patients by reducing unwanted side effects.
San Diego-based biotech company Organovo has released a statement this last week that it plans to use its 3D bio-printing technology to produce living human liver tissue “patches” that can be ultimately used to treat patients with liver disease.
However as the article goes on to explain, there is a big difference between the bio-printing pf small parcels of liver tissue (as seen in the above image) and the bio-printing of a fully functional human liver. The technology as well as the know how to 3D print a complete human liver is felt to be at least a decade away at this stage.
In addition also in the bioengineering technology front has come the announcement that researchers are looking into developing a bioreactor which could be ultimately used to store human lungs outside of the body (ex-vivo) for up to 24 hours. This story can be viewed via the following link-
Brain tumour patients that have been treated with radiation have as good quality of life as patients that have undergone chemotherapy. This is revealed in an international study published in The Lancet Oncology, to which Uppsala University researchers have contributed.
"Before this study, we thought that chemotherapy meant fewer serious cognitive side-effects than radiotherapy, and that patients treated with chemotherapy would have a higher quality of life than those treated with radiation. We thought radiation dealt a harder blow to the brain's cognivite functions compared to chemotherapy. But the results show that the cognitive ability and quality of life didn't differ between the two groups. This was a very unexpected outcome", says Anja Smits, Professor of Neurology at Uppsala University.
Anja Smit and her research team have together with researchers at several other Swedish universities contributed to the large international study. They investigated how patients with slow-growing brain tumours, so called low-grade glioma, rate their quality of life after chemotherapy with temozolomide (TMZ) in comparison to patients who had received radiotherapy.
The study is unique in that it is the first controlled randomised study of health-related quality of life (HRQL) in patients with low-grade glioma.
Low-grade glioma grow from the brain's supportive cells, also called glial cells. Patients diagnosed with low-grade glioma är generally in their 30s or 40s and previously healthy. Glioma cells' typical growth pattern in the brain, without well-defined boundaries, make it difficult to surgically remove all parts of a tumour. Often they appear in sensitive parts of the brain, such as those handling language, movement or the sensory system.
Despite slow tumour growth in the early stages of the disease, nearly all low-grade glioma transition into high-grade glioma, the most agressive form of glioma, which are fatal.
There is a constant debate in healthcare of whether radiation or chemotherapy is the most effective treatment after surgery, and which point in time is the best. For patients with low-grade brain tumours, who are generally well for several years, this is a difficult balancing act.
The purpose of the study was to compare how temozolomide affects patients' survival and quality of life compared to radiation therapy.
"The conclusion could be that radiation therapy will still be the primary choice. But it is important to know that this study has only looked at the three years following initial treatment. It is known that radiation therapy can give side-effects later on, so we will continue to check up on our patients in a longer study over ten years. But the results could also mean that radiation therapy today doesn't cause side-effects such as memory loss, difficulties concentrating and tiredness to the extent it used to. That it has become more gentle than before", says Anja Smits.
A total of 477 patients in 19 countries, including at the university hospitals in Uppsala, Umeå, Linköping and Lund, have taken part in the study which was led by the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC). The patients were randomly selected for either radiotherapy or chemotherapy. They filled out two standardised surveys.
The first was a generic survey about quality of life. The second was more specific for patients with brain tumours which they filled out before their treatment, and which was followed up on every three months for three years after the initial treatment. They were given questions about how they felt and how they would rate tiredness, difficulties with memory and concentration, and if they had symptoms such as walking difficulties, urinary incontinence or depression.
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