Tag Archives: cancer treatment

Advances in LeioMyoSarcoma Surgery

Advances in LeioMmyoSarcoma surgery was addressed briefly Oct. 8 at the National Leiomyosarcoma Foundation patient symposium in St. Louis, Mo.  This was one of several cancer treatment topics that I am reporting about during the coming weeks.

Jeffrey Moley, associate director of the Siteman Cancer Center, said LMS can occur anywhere in the body and has a 50 percent mortality rate. It most commonly is found in the extremities of the body. Nineteen percent of sarcomas are LMS. High-grade LMS has a greater than 50 percent chance of metastasizing; low-grade has a less than 15 percent chance.

Sarcomas are the only cancers that are graded.

During surgery, the doctors always try to get a negative margin. To avoid amputation, one good option is to do limb-sparing surgery followed by radiation. This decreases the chance of a local recurrence by 30 percent.

MRIs and CT scans give pretty much the same information to the doctors.

The definitive treatment is complete surgical resection.

For abdominal and retroperitoneal tumors, sometimes repeat operations can be very effective, especially for low-grade sarcomas.

Surgical Management of Uterine Smooth-muscle Tumors

Surgical management of uterine smooth-muscle tumors was addressed briefly Oct. 8 at the National Leiomyosarcoma Foundation patient symposium in St. Louis, Mo.  This was one of several cancer treatment topics that I am reporting about during the coming weeks.

Matthew Anderson, associate professor and director of research (gynecology) at Baylor University, said “Uterine leiomyosarcoma is a unique disease.” As many as 80 percent of women are impacted by a uterine smooth muscle tumor. About 200,000 hysterectomies are performed every year, which costs $3 to $5 billion.

“The only way to know if it’s malignant is to surgically remove it,” he said, because there are no diagnostic markers and no blood tests that can be used to determine malignancy.

Leiomyomas can arise in unusual locations. If they are morcellated, they can create other problems down the road. These myomas tend to respond to hormonal therapy.

They generally don’t tend to respond to chemotherapy or radiation.

About 70 percent of uterine LMS are discovered as isolated uterine masses. Recurrence rates are 40 to 70 percent.

With surgical debulking, doctors can increase progression-free survival from 6.8 months to 14.2 months.

Resection of pulmonary metastases can improve disease-free survival by as long as 24 months. This can include extensive resections while preserving good functional lung status.

Surgery by itself is not the answer. Unseen cells can come back. Ultimately patients have to rely on chemotherapy.

On April 17, 2014, the US FDA issued a safety communication regarding the use of power morcellation for performing hysterectomies or myomectomies. This led manufacturers to withdraw the devices and hospitals generally are not using this method.

Impact: 99 percent of the time, the uterine tumor is not cancer. Yet demand from patients for minimally invasive hysterectomies continues.

There is one case of ULMS in every 1,960 cases.

Short-term, the risk of ULMS should be discussed thoroughly with each patient.

The long-term goal is to develop a diagnostic test that can be used to determine malignancy.

Beyond Immunotherapy: Metabolic Treatment for Cancer a Possible Future Option

Cancer metabolism was addressed briefly Oct. 8 at the National Leiomyosarcoma Foundation patient symposium in St. Louis, Mo.  This was one of several cancer treatment topics that I am reporting about during the coming weeks.

Dr. Brian Van Tine, sarcoma program director at the Siteman Cancer Center in St. Louis, spoke on “Understanding Your Cancer’s Metabolism.”

Some cancer therapies currently in use involve attempts to change metabolism through diet to alter the course of cancer.

Van Tine, however, said, “There is little you can do with your diet to alter the course of your tumor outcome. Metabolism is tricky. It’s like a wonderfully orchestrated watch.”

If you try to put a halt in the system, the body will try to go another way to accomplish the same task, he said.

When cancer cells are born, they have a different metabolism from the rest of the body. The purpose of cancer is to grow. In the metabolic process, nine out of ten cancer patients don’t have a urea cycle (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK27982/ )  and don’t express ASS1 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/gene/445) in their tumors.

These two conditions make Leiomyosarcoma patients prime candidates for a metabolic-based therapy. Dr. Van Tine is studying possible future treatments for cancer / sarcoma patients using metabolic therapy. Click here for an explanation of his research.

Immunotherapy as a cancer treatment

Immunotherapy as a cancer treatment was addressed briefly Oct. 8 at the National Leiomyosarcoma Foundation patient symposium in St. Louis, Mo.  This was one of several cancer treatment topics that I am reporting about during the coming weeks.

Dr. Mohammed Milhelm, Holden Chair of Experimental Therapeutics at the University of Iowa, said “Sarcoma doctors aren’t happy with the current treatments available. I’m trying to move immunotherapy into sarcoma treatment.”

Historically, immunotherapy is used to stimulate the immune system, yet if our immune systems are always accelerated, we would not live. “We have a good brake system in our bodies,” he said.

Immunotherapy is using the body to target the tumors. “A lot of people are thinking about immunotherapy in combination with other treatments,” he said. “We are still trying to understand how the immune system works. It’s tricky and complicated.”

A lot of questions are coming up about how to do immunotherapy. Sometimes imaging months after treatment ends might show significant improvements. Combining immunotherapy with radiation might help the immune drug work better.

Newer, more powerful drugs are on the horizon. “We’re learning a lot from the melanoma world and trying to transfer it to other cancers. There haven’t been enough immunotherapy treatments with LMS to know if it is effective.”

Swelling can be a big problem, especially in the bones and the brain, and is a concern researchers still don’t know how to address.

There is a lot of promise right now, but researchers don’t yet know how to translate it into treatments for LMS.

Chemotherapy Clinical Trials

Chemotherapy clinical trials for leiomyosarcoma (LMS) were discussed briefly Oct. 8 at the National Leiomyosarcoma Foundation patient symposium in St. Louis, Mo.  This was one of several cancer treatment topics that I am reporting about during the coming weeks.

There are 70 different types of sarcoma, and treatment is moving toward individual types of sarcoma using genetically specific molecular therapy, said Dr. Scott Okuno, Chief Medical Officer in Sarcoma Alliance for Research Through Collaboration, a non-profit research cooperative,  and professor of oncology at Mayo Clinic.

“As we get deeper into LMS, we find molecular subtypes of LMS,” he said.

He explained that adjuvant treatment is preventative. Typically a tumor is removed and the patient is given additional treatment to eradicate microscopic metastatic cells.

Neoadjuvant treatment is given prior to removal/ablation of a tumor, and is used to shrink the tumor and eradicate any microscopic metastatic cells.

In determining which path to follow, the physician will look at outcomes. For neoadjuvant treatment, for example, perhaps 33 percent (about three of 10 patients) will have a recurrence.

With adjuvant treatment, there might be another 33 percent reduction in recurrence—which means instead of three out of 10 patients with recurrence, there will be two out of ten patients with recurrence.

Chemotherapy is given when a tumor cannot be surgically removed.

In clinical trials, a tumor has to decrease in size by 30 percent to be considered a partial response.

Progression has to be a greater than a 20 percent increase for the treatment to be considered no longer working.

Sometimes the lump might get bigger but the tumor is dying, so the percent increase in size is allowed. One needs a sarcoma specialist to determine if the growth is from dying cells or from a growing tumor.

Dr. Mohammed Milhelm, director of the Melanoma Program at the University of Iowa, added, “We really don’t know what’s going on inside the tumor.”

Dr. Okuno said Gemzar and Taxotere together aren’t showing much difference beyond just what Gemzar can do. Dacarbazine alone doesn’t make much difference. Yet when Gemzar and dacarbazine are combined, patients tend to have better outcomes. A difference in outcomes also was found in the rate of infusion—for example, infusing the same amount of chemotherapy over a longer period of time can result in better outcomes.

Clinical Trials and Leiomyosarcoma

nlmsf-logo

Clinical trials for leiomyosarcoma (LMS) were discussed briefly Oct. 8 at the National Leiomyosarcoma Foundation patient symposium in St. Louis, Mo.  This was one of several cancer treatment topics that I will be reporting about during the coming weeks.

Dr. Peter Oppeli, assistant professor of medicine at the Washington University School of Medicine, said LMS is one of the more common types of soft-tissue sarcoma. It is found in smooth muscle cells that naturally occur in the intestines, blood vessels, and the uterus, all of which are in charge of involuntary action in the body. For pregnant women, these muscles play a key role in labor and delivery.

LMS can originate anywhere smooth muscles are found. In almost half of all new LMS diagnoses, it is found in the uterus. It also occurs in the body’s extremities and in the abdominal cavity, especially in the back part of the abdomen.

There are about 2,000 new diagnoses each year. Compare that to another type of cancer, such as colon, which has about 135,000 new diagnoses each year.

Because LMS is rare, it is more challenging to come up with treatments. Any new drug for a rare disease is cause for a lot of excitement. Trabectadine, for example, was approved by the FDA in October 2015.

New drugs are approved when they show proven benefit from a clinical trial.

Clinical trials are research studies for understanding cancer and how to treat it. Trials can look at new drugs, combinations of drugs, ways to ease side effects, new forms of radiation, and new surgical methods.

A Phase 1 clinical trial is for finding the right dose and finding out the treatment’s side effects.

A Phase 2 trial involves larger groups of patients. In a Phase 3 trial, large number of patients are treated to confirm effectiveness.

The vast majority of clinical trials do not have a placebo-only option. Placebos usually are combined with standard effective treatment, so every patient gets what is determined to be the best treatment.

What is research protocol? It is the rule book for each clinical trial. Each trial will have a unique/specific protocol that describes inclusion and exclusion criteria for potential treatment.

Is a clinical trial going to help a particular patient? “We hope so, but cannot say with certainty that enrolling is going to be beneficial,” Dr. Oppeli said.

Almost every standard treatment has first been proven effective in clinical trials.

After his talk there was a 10-minute time period for questions.

A lot of clinical trials have interim times to see if a trial is helpful or not. Then if not shown effective, the trial is stopped. If the results look promising, the trial continues.

Thriver Soup Ingredient:

For more information on clinical trials, go to www.cancer.net for a large video library.

Using unicorn unction

unicorn horn“ … perfectly conscious of the sanitary virtues which resided in its [the unicorn’s] nasal protruberance, and would dip its horn in the water to purify and sweeten it ere it would drink.”

Graham Everitt, Doctors and Doctors’

 

Medieval literature contains references to the horn of the unicorn being full of healing energy, according to William Jackson in The Use of Unicorn Horn in Medicine. “It was even said that poisoned wounds could be cured merely by holding a piece of the horn close to them,” he writes.

Some European royalty claimed to have unicorn horns, and some ceremonial chalices were made from these rare and exotic treasures because they were believed to neutralize poison. These objects most likely were made from the long, single tusks from narwhals, which are medium-sized Arctic whales.

A tapestry at The Met Cloisters in New York City depicts a unicorn dipping its magical white horn into a poisoned stream to purify the water so onlooking animals could safely drink.

Perhaps a little unicorn unction could be useful for dealing with the side effects of poisonous chemotherapy.

During 2014, a five-year-old said she wanted to ride a unicorn when she finished chemotherapy. Lily Raffray’s wish was granted—a party was thrown for her, complete with a ride on a beautiful white horse sporting a unicorn horn.

That seems like some pretty sweet medicine to me.

Thriver Soup Ingredient:

For fun, add a little unicorn magic to your chemotherapy experience. Place a unicorn on a home altar, wear a unicorn pendant, or cut out a picture of a unicorn and tape it to the chemotherapy infusion bags or your water bottle. Then ask for the blessing of healing unicorn-like unction in your experience to reduce the side effects of the poisons.

Sources:

Everitt G. Doctors and Doctors. London: Swan, Sonnenschein, Lowrey & Co; 1888, as found in “The Use of Unicorn Horn in Medicine,” The Pharmaceutical Journal, 18 Dec. 2004, by William Jackson, referenced Aug. 11, 2016, from http://www.pharmaceutical-journal.com/news-and-analysis/features/the-use-of-unicorn-horn-in-medicine/20013625.article

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unicorn

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/girl-celebrates-end-chemo-magical-unicorn-ride/story?id=26275119

Thriver Soup a #2 best seller on Amazon

lit candles Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.

Buddha, The Dharmapada

By lighting a candle through Thriver Soup and sharing its message of options with others, the light of genuine hope among cancer patients is increasing.

On Saturday, Jessica Brown with the Fox19 Morning Show in Cincinnati shared the camera with me:

http://www.fox19.com/clip/12485852/thrivers-soup

On Sunday, many tips for cancer survival were shared through Bob Salter’s show on the New York City CBS radio station WFAN:

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/audio/bob-salter/  (Click on the June 5 / 7am show; it’s 40 minutes)

By Sunday afternoon, Thriver Soup became a #2 best seller on amazon.com!

Other interviews for National Cancer Survivors’ Day (June 5) included:

  • Dr. Christine Horner with “The Radiant Health Show” (about 30 minutes)
  • Judy Peace with WAIF 88.3 FM, Cincinnati, OH
  • Chad Young, Program Director with WKCT-AM, Bowling Green, KY
  • John Maciel, KW Magazine on 98.5 FM CKWR, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
  • And a prerecorded show with Matt Nie, Community Focus, 89.1 WBSD FM, Burlington, WI, will air this summer.

By sharing the light, we can make it possible for more people to survive beyond a cancer diagnosis. Thank you for sharing the light with me.

Thriver Soup Ingredient:

Sharing these links with others can light even more candles of hope with options. I would love to hear how the tips in Thriver Soup are lighting your way.

Source:

http://www.viewonbuddhism.org/dharma-quotes-quotations-buddhist/joy-happiness.htm

Community Press shares Thriver Soup’s message of hope and healing

“There were times when Heidi Bright prepared to die after being diagnosed with a terminal cancer in July 2009.

“Today Bright delivers a message of hope and healing through her book ‘Thriver Soup’ and speaking to groups. This is the third traditionally published book by the Milford author.”

Please read more at

http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/local/milford/2016/05/17/milford-womans-book-shares-tips-surviving-cancer/84500320/

Hidden Messages in Pain

She realized her chronic shoulder pain came from shouldering too many responsibilities.
She realized her chronic shoulder pain came from shouldering too many responsibilities.

There is no coming to consciousness without pain.

Carl Jung, father of analytical psychology

 

Valuable messages can be hidden in physical pain. If those messages can be discovered, accepted, and examined, rather than avoided, we can gain important insights that can alter our daily lives in positive ways.

This week a woman dealing with the aftermath of cancer chose to return to a practice of approaching her chronic pain with curiosity, living the wisdom expressed by Carl Jung, father of analytical psychology. While Jung probably was referring mainly to psychological pain, cancer patients have physical pain that can be used as a tool for greater personal understanding.

The participant had listened to my guided meditation called “A Conversation with Dis-ease.” During the guided meditation, participants travel inside their bodies to the location of dis-ease in their bodies so they can ask these cells questions for guidance.

She offered the following feedback: “I re-learned that I need to stop throughout my day and go inward. Instead of focusing on avoiding the pain, I attempted to face it and examine it.”

While awareness doesn’t necessarily lead to pain relief, there are times when it can.

For another cancer patient, the chance for relief from chronic shoulder pain revealed itself while she followed the specific guidance of the visualization only one time. She realized her chronic shoulder pain came from shouldering too many responsibilities.

The pain brought her to greater consciousness. She then knew how to change her life to relieve the pain.

Thriver Soup Ingredient:

A few opportunities are approaching for a chance to listen to this guided visualization for your own healing journey. Hope to see you soon!

Saturday, April 9, noon

“Subduing the Dis-ease Dragon: The ABCs of Creating Conditions for Healing”

Victory of Light, Sharonville Convention Center

11355 Chester Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45246

Saturday, April 16, 7 p.m.

“Subduing the Dis-ease Dragon: The ABCs of Creating Conditions for Healing”

Stillpoint Center for Healing Arts

11223 Cornell Park Drive, Ste 302 (behind the brown Jewish Family Services building)

Blue Ash, Ohio  45242

Saturday, July 30, 2 p.m.

“Subduing the Dis-ease Dragon: The ABCs of Creating Conditions for Healing”

Milford Public Library

19 Water St., Milford, Ohio  45150

Thursday, Sept. 13, 7 p.m.

“Subduing the Dis-ease Dragon: The ABCs of Creating Conditions for Healing”

Northside LIIFT

Revelation Spiritual Church (Look for the BIG white sign in front yard of what looks like a house)

4251 Hamilton Ave, Cincinnati 45223

Click here to hear the introduction to “A Conversation with Dis-ease”