Cancer Causes

There is not possible a single cause of any disease. Cancer is a group of 200 diseases in which the cells of body become abnormal and being out of control. Before describing the main causes of the cancer I am first defining in short the various types of cancer.

Types of cancer :

  • Breast Cancer
  • Brain Tumor
  • Bone Cancer
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Anal Cancer
  • Appendix Cancer
  • Gastrointestinal Cancer
  • Head & Neck Cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Lung Cancer
  • Lymphoma
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Skin Cancer
  • Soft Tissue Sarcoma
  • Causes of cancer :

  • Tobacco
  • Tobacco is the main cause of cancer. Cigarette smoking also comes in this category.

    Smoking can cause cancers of the lungs mouth, throat, bladder, kidneys and several other organs. According to the records smoking causes 30% of all cancer deaths in the U.S.

  • Drinking of alcohol
  • Drinking a lot of alcohol also been increase a person’s chance of getting cancer of the mouth cavity, throat, and some other organs.

  • Sun Exposure
  • Ultra Violet rays are the main cause of skin cancer. Sun burn and UV rays can damage your skin and this damage can lead the skin cancer.

  • Genetics
  • If your family belongs to any kind of cancer history, it means you need to extra precautions because genetics plays very important role for many hereditary cancers,

    And their may a grate chance of them to develop in your body. Breast cancer genes The BRCA1 and BRCA2 are examples of genetic predisposition.

  • Infectious diseases
  • Viruses are also cause of some cancers. The main viruses which affect the human cancer are hepatitis B, hepatitis C and human papillae virus.

  • Environmental Factors:
  • Today’s environment is so stressful that most people are affected by a depressed immune system. Various immune problems you can face such as allergies, asthma, yeast infection, frequent cold and flu etc which may cause of cancer of various categories.

  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Harmonic imbalance is also a big cause of cancer. Hormone imbalance is a type of allergic reaction which promotes the “endometrial” cancer.

  • Unsafe Sex:
  • Unsafe sex can increase your risk for human papillae virus infection. If one has more the one sex partners then the possibilities of cancer in the uterus increases. Researchers also think during the oral sex the same case can be drawn to tonsil cancer.

  • Age Factor
  • Various types of cancer become when a person get older. That’s cause is the changes that cause a cell to become cancerous in the first place take a long time to develop. There have to be a number of changes to the genes within a cell before it turns into a cancer cell. The changes can happen by accident when the cell is dividing. Or they can happen because the cell has been damaged by carcinogens and the damage is then passed on to future ‘daughter’ cells when that cell divides.

    Tumor-Treating Fields Extend Survival in Glioblastoma

    brain cancer

    Adding tumor-treating fields (TTFields) to temozolomide (Temodar) resulted in improved progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) for patients with glioblastoma (GBM), according to a final analysis of results from the EF-14 trial.

    The median PFS was 6.7 months for patients randomly assigned to the TTFields/temozolomide group compared with 4.0 months in the temozolomide-alone group (HR, 0.63; 95% CI, 0.52-0.76; P <.001). The median OS was 20.9 months in the experimental group compared with 16.0 months for those assigned to temozolomide-alone (HR, 0.63; 95% CI, 0.53-0.76; P <.001).

    Median follow-up was 40 months and minimum follow-up was 24 months.

    TTFields (Optune, Novocure) is an antimitotic treatment modality that interferes with glioblastoma cell division and organelle assembly by delivering low-intensity alternating electric fields to the tumor. Investigators delivered TTFields treatment through 4 transducer arrays with 9 insulated electrodes each placed on the shaved scalp and connected to a portable device set to generate 200-kHz electric fields within the brain.

    The EF-14 trial enrolled patients from July 2009 to December 2014. The data cutoff was December 28, 2016.

    Based on results from EF-14, the FDA approved a second-generation, lighter version of the device in July 2016. The new version weighs 2.7 lbs, about half the size and weight of the original. The first-generation of Optune was most recently approved in 2015 for use in combination with adjuvant temozolomide as a treatment for patients with newly diagnosed GBM following surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Optune was initially approved in 2011 for the treatment of recurrent GBM after other surgical and radiation options were exhausted.

    A total of 695 patients with grade IV GBM who had completed standard treatment involving surgery, temozolomide, and radiation were randomized within 7 weeks of their last radiation dose to either temozolomide with TTFields (n = 466) or temozolomide alone (n = 229). To be included in the study, participants had a Karnofsky performance score ≥70, histologically proven WHO Grade IV astrocytoma (glioblastoma, GBM), supratentorial tumor location, and nonprogressive disease. Patients were excluded if they demonstrated progressive disease per Macdonald criteria, infratentorial tumor location, and evidence of increased intracranial pressure.

    Patient characteristics were similar between the 2 arms: median age in the 2 groups was approximately 56.5 years, and most patients were male (68.5%). The trial’s primary endpoint was PFS based on blinded central radiology review, with OS as the secondary endpoint.

    In exploratory analyses, 43% (95% CI, 39-48) of patients were alive at 2 years from randomization, 26% (95% CI, 22-31) at 3 years, and 13% (95% CI, 9-18) 5 years in the TTFields plus temozolomide group. For the temozolomide-only group, 31% (95% CI, 25-38; P <.001) were alive at 2 years, 16% (95% CI, 12-23; P = .009) at 3 years, and 5% (95% CI, 2-11; P = .004) at 5 years.

    PFS was 56% (95% CI, 51-61) at 6 months for the TTFields plus temozolomide arm and 37% (95% CI, 30-44) for the temozolomide only arm (P <.001).

    An exploratory Cox proportional hazards model adjusting for Karnofsky performance score, MGMT promotor methylation status, geographic region, age, tumor location, and extent of resection was consistent with the findings of the PFS and OS analyses. TTFields plus temozolomide treatment (HR, 0.63; 95% CI, 0.53-0.76; P <.001) was associated with OS as were, female sex (HR, 0.76, 95% CI, 0.63-0.92; P = .005), methylated MGMT promoter (HR, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.41-0.62; P <.001), younger age (HR, 0.978 per year; 95% CI, 0.969-0.985; P <.001) and higher Karnofsky performance score (P <.001). Patients with frontal tumors also had nonsignificantly longer survival (HR, 0.82, CI 0.67-1.01; P = .061).

    Investigators found that the addition of TTFields did not lead to a significant increase in rates of systemic adverse events (AEs) compared with temozolomide monotherapy (48% vs 44%; P = .58). Overall incidence, distribution, and severity of AEs were not statistically different in patients in the 2 treatment groups. Investigators observed a higher number of some AEs in the TTFields plus temozolomide group, but concluded that was “a reflection of the longer duration of temozolomide treatment in this group due to delayed occurrence of progression.”

    Stupp R, Tailibert S, Kanner A, et al. Effect of tumor-treating fields plus maintenance temozolomide vs maintenance temozolomide alone on survival in patients with glioblastoma: A randomized clinical trial. JAMA. 2017;318:2306-2316. doi: 10.1001/jama.2017.18718.

    Published Data Demonstrate Avelumab Activity in Platinum-Refractory Bladder Cancer

    Andrea Apolo, MD
    Andrea Apolo, MD

    The PD-L1 inhibitor avelumab (Bavencio) induced an overall response rate of 17% in patients with platinum-refractory metastatic urothelial carcinoma, according to results from the phase I JAVELIN Solid Tumor study now published in the Lancet Oncology.

    The 17% (95% CI, 11-24) ORR occurred among 161 patients who had been followed for at least 6 months. Nine patients (6%) had a complete response (CR) and 18 (11%) had partial responses according to independent review. The disease control rate was 40% per independent review, including 37 patients who had stable disease as their best response. Twenty-two percent (n = 35) had tumor size reduction of 30% or more from baseline.

    The findings from the JAVELIN Solid Tumor study previously supported the FDA’s May 2017 accelerated approval of avelumab for the treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma with disease progression during or following platinum-containing chemotherapy, or within 12 months of neoadjuvant or adjuvant platinum-containing chemotherapy.

    “Overall, our findings suggest that avelumab is generally well tolerated and shows promising antitumor activity in patients with platinum-refractory metastatic urothelial carcinoma,” wrote corresponding author Andrea Apolo, MD, a medical oncologist at the National Cancer Institute and chief of the bladder cancer section of the Genitourinary Malignancies Branch.

    In the JAVELIN Solid Tumor study, 249 patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma received treatment with avelumab for a median of 12 weeks (IQR, 6.0-19.7) and were followed for a median of 9.9 months (range, 4.3-12.1). The median patient age was 68 years (range, 63-76), 72% of patients were male, and 78% were white. The ECOG performance status was 0 and 1 for 35% and 66% of patients, respectively. The median number of prior therapies was 2.

    Avelumab was administered at 10 mg/kg intravenously every 2 weeks until progression or unacceptable toxicity. Prior to each avelumab administration, all patients received an antihistamine and acetaminophen.

    Among the 249 patients, there were 161 patients who had progressed after at least one previous platinum-based chemotherapy and were followed for at least 6 months. In these patients, the median time to response was 11.4 weeks (IQR, 5.9-17.4) in patients with a confirmed response per independent review and median duration of response was not reached by data cutoff (95% CI, 42.1 weeks to not estimable). Responses were observed regardless of PD-L1 expression status.

    Responses were durable and the estimated proportion of responses lasting at least 24 weeks was 96% (95% CI, 75-99). Based on immune-related response criteria, the duration of response was not reached by data cutoff (95% CI, 42.1 weeks to not estimable), and the estimated proportion of responses lasting at least 24 weeks was 96% (95% CI 73-99). Twenty-two (82%) of 27 patients had ongoing responses at data cutoff (range, 6.1-75.6 weeks), including in 8 of 9 patients with a CR.

    The median progression-free survival per independent review was 6.3 weeks (95% CI, 6.0-10.1) and 23% of patients were progression free at 24 weeks (95% CI, 17-30). At the time of analysis, 94 patients had experienced disease progression and 30 had died.

    Nearly all patients (98%) experienced an any-grade adverse event (AE), including in 166 (67%) who had a treatment-related AE. The most frequent (≥10%) all-grade treatment-related AEs were infusion-related reaction (29%) and fatigue (16%). Twenty-one patients (8%) had a grade ≥3 treatment-related AE, most commonly fatigue (2%), and asthenia, elevated lipase, hypophosphatemia, and pneumonitis (1% each).

    The ongoing phase III JAVELIN Bladder 100 trial (NCT02603432) is examining avelumab as a maintenance therapy in patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial cancer whose disease did not progress after completion of first-line platinum-containing chemotherapy.

    Patel MR, Ellerton J, Infante JR, et al. Avelumab in metastatic urothelial carcinoma after platinum failure (JAVELIN Solid Tumor): pooled results from two expansion cohorts of an open-label, phase 1 trial [published online December 7, 2017]. Lancet Oncol. 2018;19(1):51-64. doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(17)30900-2.

    New biodegradable sensors could assist doctors

    A new study featured in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that biodegradable pressure sensors could aid doctors in monitoring conditions such as encephalitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and other chronic conditions.

    Credit: chombosan/

    Engineers at the University of Connecticut (UConn) have developed a biodegradable pressure sensor for use in bone grafts, surgical sutures, and medical implants. The device is a small, flexible sensor made of medically safe materials that have already been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

    It is hoped that the device could replace existing implantable pressure sensors that contain potentially toxic components that cannot be implanted long-term.

    Current sensors must be removed after use, with the removal process subjecting the patient to an additional invasive procedure, thereby extending recovery time and increasing the risk of infection.

    The UConn sensor produces a minute electrical charge when pressure is applied against it, meaning the device could also stimulate tissue regeneration. Other potential applications of the device include the examination of patients with heart disease, glaucoma, and bladder cancer.

    This is the first study to use biocompatible materials in this way, says Thanh Duc Nguyen, the senior author of the paper.

    Medical sensors are often implanted directly into soft tissues and organs. Taking them out can cause additional damage. We knew that if we could develop a sensor that didn’t require surgery to take it out, which would be really significant.”

    Thanh Duc Nguyen, senior author of the paper and assistant professor in the department of mechanical engineering at the University of Connecticut

    A prototype of the sensor developed in Nyugen’s lab comprised a thin polymer film that was 5mm long, 5mm wide, and 200 micrometers thick. The device was implanted in the abdomen of a mouse so as to observe the mouse’s respiratory rate. It produced reliable readings of contractions in the mouse’s diaphragm for four days before its decomposition into individual organic components.

    The researchers also implanted the device in the back of a mouse and then observed for responses from mouse’s immune system. The device recorded some minor inflammation following insertion; however, the surrounding tissues returned to normal after four weeks, proving that the sensor was medically safe.

    Obtaining biodegradable piezoelectric material – material that produces electrical charge when subjected to pressure as a result of piezoelectric effect – was one of the project’s biggest challenges. In its usual state, the medically safe polymer used for the sensor; a product known as Poly-L-lactide (PLLA), is and does not produce any electrical charge under pressure.

    Eli Curry, a graduate student in Nguyen’s lab successfully transformed the PLLA into a piezoelectric material by carefully heating it, stretching it, and cutting it at the right angle. This changed its internal molecular structure and induced piezoelectric properties. Curry then connected the sensor to electronic circuits so that the material’s pressure-sensing capabilities could be tested.

    The piezoelectric PLLA film produced minute electrical charges when subjected to even very minute pressures. The small electrical signals are captured and transmitted to another device for review by a doctor.

    The researchers hardwired an implanted sensor to a signal amplifier placed outside of a mouse’s body. The amplifier then transmitted the amplified electrical signals to an oscilloscope to view the sensor’s readings.

    The researchers observed readings from the sensor during testing that were equal to those of existing commercial devices, proving their reliability.

    The new sensor can capture a wide range of physiological pressures, such as those found in the brain, behind the eye, and in the abdomen. The sensitivity of the device could be adjusted by changing the number of layers of PLLA used and other factors.

    There are many applications for this sensor. Let’s say the sensor is implanted in the brain. We can use biodegradable wires and put the accompanying non-degradable electronics far away from the delicate brain tissue, such as under the skin behind the ear, similar to a cochlear implant. Then it would just require a minor treatment to remove the electronics without worrying about the sensor being in direct contact with soft brain tissue.”

    Thanh Duc Nguyen, senior author of the paper and assistant professor in the department of mechanical engineering at the University of Connecticut

    Nguyen’s research team has now begun investigating methods to extend the sensor’s functional lifetime. Their ultimate goal is to develop a biodegradable sensor system that could decompose within the human body. Until then, the new sensor can be utilized in its current form to help patients avoid invasive removal surgery.


    Glioblastoma Multiforme Stage 4 – An Aggressive Form of Brain Cancer

    There may be many different forms of brain cancer that can happen to us. However, most of us are quite unaware of the symptoms of brain cancers. It is a tumor formation that occurs within our brain, mainly in the glial cells. It is often known as Glioma. It is considered to be a primary brain cancer (those originating mainly within the brain). It can happen to almost all ages, primarily within the age-group of 50 -70 years, sometimes in young people too. The prognosis of this disease is very bad in case of those, who are very old due to various factors. By prognosis, I mean people life gets shorter due to the impact of this disease.

    This particular disease is such that it doesn’t spare you much time, in case you have it. No conventional therapy can cure or eradicate this disease from our body. Those having it, can either go for surgery, followed by chemotherapy & radiotherapy. No matter whatever one does, this is an intelligent form of cancer that becomes resistant against all therapy. Some people are fortunate enough to live quite long, depending on their age. Anyway, I am writing this just in case you want to know about brain cancer.

    Typical symptoms are – headache, seizure (fits/convulsion) during sleep, strange behavior, vomiting mainly in the morning. Don’t confuse seizure with stroke. Go for MRI scan or CT scan immediately, if something unusual is found, start taking anti-convulsion medicine. if a tumor is found out, try to know what kind it is. One can do a biopsy in order to see the grade of the tumor- whether benign or malignant, secondly operable or inoperable. One can opt for gamma knife therapy, which is a non-invasive method of removing the tumor. This may be better option than craniotomy, according to me, since this kind of treatment wont be hampering the important regions of the brain. However, one should always consult with 2-3 neurosurgeons in order to understand the impact of each treatment. Also allow the patient to decide, whether he or she would like to be operated or not. It is very unlikely that an operation may help a patient to get rid of this cancer permanently. This is a bitter truth that we all need to accept at this point of time, though various research works on this type of cancer are being conducted in the some of the advanced countries like US, UK, Germany and others. However, a permanent cure has not yet been found out. We can hope that someday, we can get rid of this disease from the lives of several victims of Glioblastoma.