Month: December 2003

Top 5 Cancers

Female: All Races (total cases = 1,657,563)

1. Breast – 30.7%
2. Lung – 12.5%
3. Colon and Rectum – 12.2%
4. Corpus and Uterus – 5.9%
5. Ovary – 3.9%

Male: All Races (total cases = 1,715,377)

1. Prostate – 28.6%
2. Lung – 16.3%
3. Colon and Rectum – 11.7%
4. Bladder – 6.6%
5. Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma – 4.2%

For the complete listing of findings, including cancer prevalence by race, please visit:

http://www.naaccr.org/Stats/Cancer.html

Source: North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR)

I can’t sleep

I can’t sleep lately. I know I need to sleep, but it eludes me. It’s unusual for me not to sleep a solid 8 hours each night, and I’m not sure why this is happening!

IMF Patient/Family Seminar

I want to go to the IMF Patient/Family Seminar in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in January. I’ve made the reservation for the hotel and the seminar. I just have to decide how to get there. I’ll either drive or fly. Flying will be much, much faster. If you’re going to be there, drop me a line!

Tips to avoid and reduce SPAM

I don’t think there’s anyone who likes getting junk e-mail. I can’t stand it, and I tend to think very little of the class of people we call spammers. I was overjoyed to learn about the arrests of two of this country’s most notorious spammers this month in Virginia (they’re both from North Carolina). If you’re already getting a lot of junk mail and you want to stop it, the best option is to start fresh with a new e-mail address. The following tips will keep you from getting more!

Avoid posting your e-mail address online. This is especially true when posting to chat rooms or newsgroups, displaying your e-mail on auction and sales sites. Spammers often scavenge these sites to find e-mail addresses to add to their lists.

Don’t list your e-mail address directly on a Web page, even your own-as a “contact us” or “click to e-mail” name. Instead use an alias or secondary account, such as info or sales, that you can delete later if necessary.

Don’t use e-mail addresses that are easy to guess like a first name of Jim@mycompany.com. This can also increase your chances of receiving spam.

Never respond to spam even if you are asking to be deleted. Responding will most likely increase the quantity of unwanted mail you receive simply because the spammer knows your address is active.

Block unwanted e-mails from a specific spammer using filters inside your e-mail program. This feature is available in most standard e-mail programs, simply type “filters” into the help section for instructions for your program.

Read fine print when filling out online forms. Be careful! You usually are asked if you wish to receive further information. Usually the box is checked by default.

Your ISP should be providing junk mail and virus filtering for you. If they aren’t, there’s really not any excuse. Please stick with your local ISP, rather than a huge national ISP. Let’s not contribute to the disappearance of the independent ISP. Local ISPs can do everything the big ones can, and the people who are doing it live in your communities.

If you’re using a local ISP, and have talked to them about mail filtering, and they have not responded by implementing anything, maybe they’re concerned about cost. In any case, feel free to have them get in touch with me. There are ways! It doesn’t have to cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars!

News Release

LITTLE ROCK, Ark., Dec. 24 /PRNewswire/ — Scientists at the Universityof Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) have discovered the mechanism that destroys bone in the deadly cancer multiple myeloma and are developing a drug to stop or reverse the process.

John Shaughnessy, Jr., Ph.D., and his research team in the Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy at UAMS report in the New England Journal of Medicine today that they have identified a gene, called DKK1, which causes bone lesions in multiple myeloma, leading to debilitating and intractable bone pain and a higher risk of bone fractures, spinal cord compression, and life- threatening levels of calcium in the blood.

Shaughnessy is developing a drug that will act like a sponge in the bloodstream to absorb DKK1, potentially arresting and reversing the bone destruction that is the primary effect of multiple myeloma. Almost always fatal, multiple myeloma strikes about 15,000 people in the United States each year.

“We can do it. We have the strategy. The soluble receptor should stop DKK1 from binding to bone cells,” Shaughnessy said. The potential UAMS treatments include soluble receptor therapy or monoclonal antibody therapy. Pharmaceutical companies have developed similar approaches to treat leukemias and breast cancer.

Shaughnessy’s team in the Donna D. and Donald M. Lambert Laboratory of Myeloma Genetics at UAMS found that DKK1 inactivates osteoblasts, the naturally occurring cells that cause bone growth, altering the natural balance of action between osteoblasts and bone-destroying cells called osteoclasts. “The paralysis of the bone-forming cells and the hyperactivation of osteoclasts result in a net loss of bone in patients with myeloma,” Shaughnessy said.

The UAMS research group is one of the first to use gene expression profiling to discover how a disease process works. Other researchers
have shown that mutations in the receptor for DKK1 cause two inherited bone syndromes, but the UAMS team is the first to trace elevated levels of DKK1 to multiple myeloma. Shaughnessy’s team also is exploring whether DKK1 is elevated in women with postmenopausal osteoporosis — a possibility that another UAMS scientist, Stavros Manologas, M.D., Ph.D., first suggested in the journal Science last year — or in other cancers that cause bone loss.

Shaughnessy is an associate professor of medicine in the UAMS College of Medicine and a member of the Arkansas Cancer Research Center (ACRC) at UAMS. Myeloma Institute Director Bart Barlogie, M.D., Ph.D., and researchers Yupo Ma, Ronald Walker, Fenghuang Zhan, and Erming Tian, all of UAMS, and Erik Rasmussem of Cancer Research and Biostatistics in Seattle collaborated on the study that led to identification of DKK1. Shaughnessy and Barlogie have received research funding from the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, and the Fund to Cure Myeloma and the Penninsula Community Foundation.

Shaughnessy linked DKK1 to bone disease using microarray technology, which measures the activity of all 35,000 human genes in each tumor sample in an experiment. In a related project, Shaughnessy is comparing variation in gene expression with variation in response to different drug treatments in patients with myeloma, using a technique he described in the journal Blood earlier this year. Now completing a larger, more definitive study of the technique, Shaughnessy anticipates establishing a method for “personalizing” treatment of multiple myeloma on the basis of individual patients’ gene profiles in 2004.

UAMS has the largest myeloma treatment and research centers in the world. Led by Barlogie, the Myeloma Institute, located in the ACRC at UAMS, has achieved a median survival rate of six to seven years, even though the national median survival rate is roughly 2.5 to three years. Anti-DKK1 therapy may complement or even replace the current standard therapy, called autologous transplantation, which is to remove hematopoietic stem cells from the patient’s bone marrow, treat the patient with high doses of chemotherapy, and then replace the stem cells.

Web site: http://www.uams.edu/

Recipes

I’ve set up an online cookbook to get some of the favorite recipes of MM’ers and our families and friends. Please add your recipe! When it gets well populated, I would like to try to get it printed so we can sell it to raise money for research. Let’s get some good recipes in there!

http://www.mmsupport.net/cookbook

2 Men Facing Felony Spam Charges Surrender In VA

If you’re as sick of spam as I am, this will make you happy!

LEESBURG, Va. — Two men charged with running one of the most prolific spamming operations in the world surrendered Friday to Virginia authorities.

Jeremy Jaynes, of Raleigh, N.C., turned himself in to Loudoun County authorities on Friday, as did Richard Rutkowski of Cary, N.C. Both men had been free on bonds set by North Carolina authorities.

Both men were indicted last week, becoming the first people in the U.S. charged with felonies accusing them of sending unsolicited bulk e-mails. Virginia prosecutors charged them under a tough new state anti-spam law that took effect July 1.

They are accused of sending hundreds of thousands of unsolicited e-mail messages hawking everything from mortgage rates to stock schemes.

More than 50 percent of all Internet traffic across the world passes through Virginia because American Online and 1,300 other service providers or technology companies are located in northern Virginia.

Jaynes posted $125,000 bond and Rutkowski posted $60,000 bond. Both are due back in court Feb. 13.

If convicted, each could get up to 20 years in prison fines as high as $10,000.