Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Test for inherited risk...

Men with advanced prostate cancer could be checked for high-risk family genes because they are fairly common, affect treatment and can be passed on to their children, say experts.

According to the international researchers, more than one in every 10 men with the advanced disease carries a faulty gene, inherited from a parent. 
One of the genes is BRCA1 - already linked to breast and ovarian cancer. 
The study, in the journal NEJM, is the largest of its kind to date.
It included nearly 700 patients with aggressive prostate cancer and found that a "significant proportion" of these men are born with mutant DNA.
Men with these genes may benefit from newer drug treatments that exploit the damaged genetic code to locate and kill off cancer cells. 

Inherited risk

One in eight men will get prostate cancer in their lifetime - that is 47,000 men diagnosed with the disease every year in the UK. 
Some prostate tumours are very slow growing and may never cause any symptoms or harm. Others - about a third - are faster growing and can be lethal. 
Researchers have been looking for ways to better recognise which cancers will be more problematic and they believe looking at a person's genes could help. 
Prof Johann de Bono, from London's Institute of Cancer Research, and colleagues used a saliva test to check the DNA of the 692 men with advanced prostate cancer who took part in their study. 
About 12% of the men were found to have inherited DNA mutations that the experts say could be the root cause of their cancer.

DNAImage copyrightTHINKSTOCK

Prof de Bono believes identifying patients in this way could improve treatment. 
"We could offer these men drugs such as PARP inhibitors, which are effective in patients with certain DNA repair mutations and are showing important anti-tumour activity in ongoing clinical trials."
He said it was too early to recommend screening whole families for the mutations, but that might be sensible in the future. 
"As doctors, we all know patients who say their father and grandfather had this cancer. 
"We need to do trials to evaluate this risk. Then we could look at preventive strategies."
He said if the risk was high then maybe the men at greatest risk could consider having their prostate removed as a precaution.
He pointed out that doctors already do similar preventive surgery for breast and ovarian cancer linked to the BRCA genes. 
But he cautioned that it was still early days - more studies are needed to assess this.
Dr Iain Frame of Prostate Cancer UK agreed, saying: "In future testing all men with advanced disease for these mutations might help select the most effective treatments for them. 
"However, there's still a lot of work to do to see how this could be done in a routine clinical setting, and to consider the consequences for men and their families."
Dr Imran Ahmad from Cancer Research UK said: "As the cost falls, the cancer sequencing approach used in this study will become more and more relevant, making it possible to routinely examine all men with advanced prostate cancer for inherited mutations."

Do we like other European Nationals?

Our Meet-Up group in Bangkok now has over 600 members, and I couldn’t begin to count the different nationalities contained in the group. It’s like being at a UN meeting when we have our weekly lunches, and what a pleasure to be with some of the friendliest, most lovely people I've ever met.

When the UK voted by a majority to leave the European Union, many of our group saw it as a signal that people in the UK must dislike people in other parts of Europe. 
This couldn’t be further from the truth, and I’d like to explain...

For a long time now, there has been a growing resentment of our own ruling class. They listen to the wealthy, the banks and big business, but increasingly show a marked disrespect, even contempt for ordinary people. Whichever of the two main parties are in power, Labour or Conservative, it's made no difference, because whoever is in power, the same people are permanently in control at the very top. We do not live in a real democracy, just a carefully contrived system that gives an illusion of democracy. The BBC and other media are used as tools to ensure this ‘status quo’ is never broken, and for decades have been successful.

At last, the majority of people see through this, as they do right across Europe, and we are about to see massive change. So when we voted against Europe, it was a vote against this ‘ruling class’ who run everything for their own benefit. We wanted 'change' and would have voted for Mickey Mouse rather than these wealthy bureaucrats and their paymasters. They wanted us to stay in the EU, the only way we could reject them, was to vote ‘out’.  My guess is that the same scenario is developing in the USA, where so many people hate the current system, they will soon vote in Donald Trump as President. They just want ‘change’, at any cost, not more of the same.

The UK media are currently absorbed in destroying the reputation of Jeremy Corbyn, a great man of sound morals, not on the side of the banks and big business, but a man of the people who is standing his ground. If they succeed, then nothing will change and we'll go on with the same corrupt system, delivering to the rich while taking from the rest.

Everyone I know in the UK and Ireland, love the people of Europe and indeed, people of the World. We are a multicultural tolerant society who welcome people from around the World, and the UK is a special place to live because of that. Please don't judge us by our politicians and our broken system, we are trying to fix it. 

This man puts it far better than I ever could....