Recently in Cancer Category

U of M & Mayo Clinic have their sights set on myelodysplastic syndrome

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Earlier this week, ABC's Robin Roberts announced she is battling myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a disease of the blood and bone marrow. In patients with MDS, the bone marrow keeps trying to make more blood cells to make up for a deficit, but many of these cells die before they make it into the blood stream. The condition is often treated with chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants.

MDS can be a scary condition for patients. More than 10,000 patients are diagnosed with the condition each year and 30 percent of those cases progress into acute leukemia. The condition can occur seemingly at random with few known causes.

For reasons still unknown, Minnesota owns the country's highest incidence rate of MDS. As a result, both the University of Minnesota and the Mayo Clinic have made MDS research a priority, which spells good news for MDS patients across the country.

Together, the two institutions are taking the lead on the development of new tools to both diagnose and treat the condition.

Recently, U of M and Mayo researchers were awarded $1.35 million by the Minnesota Partnership to combat the disease. That grant comes on the heels of a five-year, $2.5 million grant awarded last year to U of M epidemiologist Julie Ross, Ph.D., and pediatric hematologist-oncologist Erica Warlick, M.D., to conduct the nation's first large scale epidemiologic study of MDS.

"There aren't many studies where we look at newly-diagnosed patients and follow them over time, so we've never truly investigated why people get MDS," said Ross. "Therefore we can't definitively say which patients will see their disease progress into leukemia. We want to take the speculation and shift it into fact, giving patients a better chance against the disease."

KSTP recently caught up with Warlick to learn more about MDS. You can watch that video here. For more on University of Minnesota research into MDS, visit cancer.umn.edu.

U of M researchers hope to raise breast cancer screening awareness via cell phone

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Technology has provided a host of ways to get information into the hands of an end user. Specifically, cell phones have opened up new doors for passing along information via text message or specialized alerts.

Now, U of M researchers from the School of Social Work, Masonic Cancer Center and Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women's Health will receive $675,000 over three years from the Susan G. Komen Foundation to develop new ways to use cell phones to promote breast cancer screening to Korean women.

Hee Yun Lee, Ph.D., assistant professor in the School of Social Work and Masonic Cancer Center, will lead the project and Doug Yee, M.D., director of the Masonic Cancer Center, and Rahel Ghebre, M.D., assistant professor in both the Masonic Cancer Center and the Medical School's Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women's Health will act as co-investigators.

Congratulations to the researchers and we'll keep readers updated on the project as it moves forward.

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More women need breasts removed after brachytherapy

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Image: Fox News LogoWomen who got seed radiation as part of their breast cancer treatment were more likely to have an infection or breast pain. Todd Tuttle, Medical School, Masonic Cancer Center and University of Minnesota Physicians, discusses the advantages of Brachytherapy.

Read on FOX News

U of M Expert Perspective: More data needed on brachytherapy for breast cancer

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Many cancer patients are familiar with brachytherapy. The approach delivers a small, targeted dose of radiation to a cancer site via irradiated seeds or pellets, and has been used for nearly 20 years with good results for patients battling prostate cancer.

But now, more and more women are turning to the procedure to treat their breast cancer. And according to new research from M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, women may want to get all the facts before selecting the path that's right for them.

According to the new research, there was no difference in survival rates after breast cancer in women who chose brachytherapy or whole breast irradiation, but women who chose brachytherapy were more likely to undergo a mastectomy within five years of their initial cancer treatment.

The researchers point out, however, that the increase is slight: they estimate that for every 56 women treated with breast brachytherapy, 1 woman was harmed with unnecessary mastectomy.

According to University of Minnesota Masonic Cancer Center cancer surgeon Todd Tuttle, M.D., the research shouldn't necessarily scare women away from brachytherapy, but he stressed that more data may be needed to get the complete picture on the procedure as it relates to breast cancer.

"Although it's very attractive at first because you are potentially treating a lot less of the breast and you're doing it in a much shorter period of time, the benefits may not be there. In fact you may see more patients having long-term complications," he said. "Many surgeons are starting to think twice about this kind of therapy for a lot of women."

Tuttle notes that the medical community needs more data on the therapy before it should be considered alongside other types of therapy. Tuttle advises women to talk to their doctor before selecting the treatment approach that is right for them.

Read the full story from Reuters Health.

New carcinogen in smokeless tobacco identified

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Image: AHC LogoU of M researchers have identified a specific oral cancer-causing chemical in smokeless tobacco products, for the first time. Silvia Balbo, Masonic Cancer Center, explains some of the findings in her study.

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Dr. Hallberg: Cancer, sleep disorders and spring allergies

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Image: MPR LogoOn his weekly segment Jon Hallberg, Medical School and University of Minnesota Physicians, talks about correlations between obesity and cancer, as well as a connection between depression and sleep disorders.

Listen on MPR

Study: Mammograms Increase Cancer Diagnoses, Unneeded Treatment

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Image: FOX 9 LogoA new study shows that tumors found by mammograms would not have caused any problems during a woman's lifetime, but treated anyway. Douglas Yee, Medical School, Masonic Cancer Center and University of Minnesota Physicians, explains that deciding which tumors are dangerous and those that are not life-threatening is impossible.

Watch on FOX 9

Director of Masonic Cancer Center: New study is no cause to abandon mammography

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Researchers in Norway recently published new research demonstrating that women today undergo unneeded treatment as a result of additional mammograms and an increase in cancer diagnoses.

The new study estimates 15 to 25 percent of breast cancers found by mammograms wouldn't cause problems during a woman's lifetime, but the tumors were treated anyway.

But do the numbers tell the whole story? University of Minnesota Physician Doug Yee, M.D., director of the University of Minnesota's Masonic Cancer Center isn't so sure. In an interview with Fox 9, Yee said studies like this shouldn't be cause to abandon mammography.

"The bottom line is that mammograms were useful for most women who received the test," he said, "and it was very clear that they had fewer breast cancer deaths because women were participating in mammogram screening programs."

Watch the entire Fox 9 story.

Brooklyn Park girl hopes for successful bone marrow transplant

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Image: AHC LogoAfter entering remission for leukemia, a Brooklyn Park girl is hoping her bone marrow transplant will help. Troy Lund, Medical School and University of Minnesota Physicians, explains that donor bone marrow cells can help recreate the immune system, which occurs several days after chemotherapy.

Read on 12 News

New skin cancer study highlights U of M tanning bed research

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Researchers at the Mayo Clinic have found melanoma rates among young women are eight-times higher than they were 40 years ago. Though the study didn't look at what caused the melanoma, researchers suggested indoor tanning as the main factor.

Citing a University of Minnesota study that found a strong correlation between tanning-device use and melanoma, the Mayo Clinic researchers said they are sure that ultra-violet radiation is linked to cancer in a big way, especially tanning bed exposure.

In 2010, researchers at the U of M's School of Public Health and Masonic Cancer Center found that people who use any type of tanning bed for any amount of time are 74 percent more likely to develop melanoma.

"We found that it didn't matter the type of tanning device used; there was no safe tanning device," said DeAnn Lazovich, Ph.D., at the time of her study's release. "We also found - and this is new data - that the risk of getting melanoma is associated more with how much a person tans and not the age at which a person starts using tanning devices. Risk rises with frequency of use, regardless of age, gender, or device,"

Click here to see an interview with Dr. Lazovich.

Cancer-causing chemical found in smokeless tobacco

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Image: AHC LogoA chemical in smokeless tobacco products has been found to cause cancer, according to a new study in animals. Silvia Balbo, Masonic Cancer Center, explains that the findings are an affirmation that any tobacco product should be avoided.

Read on FOX News, Medical Xpress, The Scientist, RTT News and Daily RX

Skin cancer rates rising rapidly among young adults

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Image: AHC LogoMelanoma rates among young women are eight-times higher than they were 40 years ago. Research from the U of M School of Public Health explains that people who use any type of tanning device, for any amount of time, are 74 percent more likely to develop a melanoma.

Listen on MPR

Read on Chicago Tribune

Dong to lead cancer prevention session, other Hormel Institute scientists to present

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Image: Post Bulletin LogoZigang Dong, Masonic Cancer Center, will help lead a session focused on new approaches to cancer prevention at an upcoming national conference in Chicago. The session will touch on work in various areas, including skin, colon, breast, lung and prostate cancer.

Read on Post Bulletin

Fridley's cancer 'cluster' draws celebrity crusader

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Image: Star Tribune Logo1,537 cancers were reported in Fridley from 2000 to 2009, compared with the "expected" number of 1,402 for a city that size. Brad Carlin, School of Public Health, discusses the potential of "cancer clusters" in Minnesota.

Read on Star Tribune

Racial, Geographic Factors Influence Melanoma Treatment

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Image: Medscape LogoPatients from racial and ethnic minorities are half as likely to receive recommended excision of melanoma in situ than white patients. Maria Hordinsky, Medical School and University of Minnesota Physicians, explains that the ethnic disparity findings "completely shocking."

Read on Medscape

Breast Cancer Margins

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Image: AHC LogoDespite current treatment and technology many U.S. surgeons re-operate to get a breast cancer-free margin. There was recent debate about the surgical margins and School of Public Health researchers explained that surgeons should aim or "margins as wide as possible."

Read on ABC News, Cancer Network and Daily RX

Studies Say Aspirin Reduces Cancer Risk by 25 Percent

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Image: FOX 9 LogoTwo new studies published this week say taking aspirin daily can significantly reduce the risk of cancer and prevent tumors from spreading. Barbara Bowers, Medical School and University of Minnesota Physicians, talks about the findings of her research.

Watch on FOX 9

Getting Psyched Up for A Clinical Trial

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Image: AHC LogoA recent study suggests a cancer diagnosis coupled with clinical trial participation can have psychological effects on patients. William Robiner, Medical School, Masonic Cancer Center and University of Minnesota Physicians, discusses how the stress alleviates as the trial progresses.

Read on EmpowHER

Eating red meat associated with higher risk of death

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Image: MinnPost LogoEating red meat is associated with a greater risk of death. Kristin Anderson, School of Public Health and Masonic Cancer Center, discusses a study that showedan association between the consumption of barbecued and grilled meat and pancreatic cancer.

Read on MinnPost

Cord Blood Treatment May Fulfill Baseballer's Dreams

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Image: WCCO LogoAmplatz Children's Hosptial will be conducting the first ever cord blood transplant soon. John Wagner, Medical School, Masonic Cancer Center, Stem Cell Institute and University of Minnesota Physicians, explains the transfer could cure the patients leukemia.

Watch on WCCO

Researchers report progress in cancer immunotherapy

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Image: AHC LogoMaking cancer immunotherapy more effective, researchers report they have succeeded in halting the progress of aggressive melanoma in its tracks. Jeff Miller, Medical School and Masonic Cancer Center, discusses the importance of cell-based therapy.

Read on LA Times and Boston Herald

U of M, Mayo receive grant to study blood cancer

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Image: MPR LogoResearchers at the U of M and Mayo Clinic have received a $1.35 million grant to study a form of blood cancer. Julie Ross, Medical School and Masonic Cancer Center, explains that there isn't much known about myelodysplastic syndrome, other than it can lead to leukemia.

Read on MPR

Study: Sleeping pills could cause earlier death

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Image: AHC LogoA new study found people who took prescription strength sleep aids were nearly four times more likely to die earlier, or get cancer. Michael Howell, Medical School and University of Minnesota Physicians, explains that the study will reinforce that these meds need to be prescribed with caution.

Watch on KARE 11 and 11 Alive

Dr. Jon Hallberg: Study confirms colon tests effectively reduce cancer deaths

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Image: MPR LogoOn his weekly segment Jon Hallberg, Medical School and University of Minnesota Physicians, discusses a new study, which confirms that standard tests like colonoscopies and removal of precancerous polyps can be effective in reducing colon cancer deaths.

Listen on MPR

For first time, colonoscopy proven to be a lifesaver

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Image: AHC LogoA major study shows that colon screening can cut death rate from colorectal cancer by 53 percent. David Rothenberger, Medical School, Masonic Cancer Center and University of Minnesota Physicians, explains that this changes how doctors look at earlier research.

Read on Star Tribune, New York Times, TIME, Huffington Post, Washington Post and Boston Globe

Study: Soft Drinks May Double Your Risk for Pancreatic Cancer

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Image: AHC LogoThe U of M School of Public Health found drinking two or more regular soft drinks per week may almost double your risk of pancreatic cancer. Research published this week speculates the sugar overload from regular soda triggers insulin production that fuels cancer cell growth.

Watch on KSTP

Read on ABC 6

Mesothelioma Clinical Trial to Study Effectiveness of Measles in Fighting the Deadly Cancer

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Image: AHC LogoResearcher from the U of M and Mayo Clinic are running a clinical trial to see if the measles virus can fight cancer. Robert Kratzke, Medical School, Masonic Cancer Center and University of Minnesota Physicians, discusses how measles have been used to fight other cancers.

Read on Mesothelioma Help

Health beat: U asks why race matters in cancer

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Image: Star Tribune LogoJean Forster, School of Public Health and Masonic Cancer Center, explains how three doctoral students and three post-graduates to study new ways to combat cancer-related health disparities with the money from a $2.2 million federal grant that was recently won.

Read on Star Tribune

Cancer trial participants may have misconceptions

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Image: AHC LogoPeople enrolled in early stage trials for possible cancer treatments may underestimate the risks involved and overestimate the potential benefits. Mary Faith Marshall, Medical School and Center for Bioethics, discusses ways to improve the informed consent process.

Read on Reuters, Chicago Tribune and FOX News

More evidence that routine PSA screening doesn't reduce cancer deaths

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Image: MinnPost LogoTimothy Wilt, Medical School, and Timothy Church, School of Public Health and Masonic Cancer Center, discuss that annual screening for prostate cancer with the PSA (prostate-specific antigen) blood test doesn't reduce men's risk of dying from the disease.

Read on MinnPost

A life of its own

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Image: AHC LogoEvery year, communities come together in Lyle to raise money and fight cancer at places like the Mayo Clinic, the Hormel Institute and the University of Minnesota's Masonic Cancer Center.

Read on Austin Daily Herald

Key Phase II-B Clinical Trial Results for Important Smoking Cessation Program

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Image: AHC LogoResearch from Dorothy Hatsukami, Medical School and Masonic Cancer Center, was presented in discussing recent studies that focus on smoking cessation.

Read on Benzinga, Small Cap Network and Proactive Investors

Indoor tanning operators say they're getting burned by tax

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Image: Star Tribune LogoMany tanning salons have had to close since the federal government imposed a tax on them, in July of 2010. DeAnn Lazovich, School of Public Health and Masonic Cancer Center, talks about how many salons are putting profit over people's health.

Read on Star Tribune

Tanning beds tied to second type of skin cancer

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Image: AHC LogoTanning beds have already been linked skin cancer and now new research shows they can also raise the odds of developing the most common form of the disease. Research from DeAnn Lazovich, School of Public Health and Masonic Cancer Center, explains the increase in developing melanoma.

Read on MSNBC, Reuters and Yahoo!

Researchers target lung cancer in nonsmokers | mndaily.com - Serving the University of Minnesota Community Since 1900

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Image: MN Daily LogoJonathan D'Cunha and Naomi Fujioka, Medical School and University of Minnesota Physicians, and Joel McCauley, Medical School, discuss how lung cancer in people who have never smoked has a higher death rate than several other types of cancer.

Read on MN Daily

Panel: 'Watchful Wait' OK For Many Prostate Cancers

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Image: AHC LogoA government-sponsored expert panel says most cases of early prostate cancer shouldn't be called cancer at all. Timothy Wilt, Medical School, discusses a study he lead, which demonstrated a very low risk of dying from prostate cancer over 15 years.

Read on NPR

Man's best friend: Key to brain cancer cure?

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Image: AHC LogoLiz Pluhar, College of Veterinary Science, John Ohlfest, Medical School, Masonic Cancer Center and Stem Cell Institute, and Chris Moertel, Medical School and University of Minnesota Physicians, talk about testing vaccine for a deadly form of brain cancer on dogs.

Watch on CBS News

New studies help extend the lives of dogs with cancer

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Image: MN Daily LogoThe College of Veterinary Medicine will begin a new trial aimed at treatment for dogs with osteosarcoma. Catherine St. Hill, College of Veterinary Medicine and Masonic Cancer Center, explains the goal of her research is to discover a way to either prevent or the progression of the disease.

Read on MN Daily

The case for taxing soft drinks

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Image: Star Tribune LogoAn editorial from Roger Feldman, School of Public Health, discusses the need for a tax on soft drinks, which would promote healthful behavior. Mark Pereira, School of Public Health, talks about how people who drink multiple soft drinks a week are twice as likely to develop pancreatic cancer.

Read on Star Tribune

Ask Dr. Hallberg: Avastin and other cancer treatments

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Image: MPR LogoOn his weekly segment Jon Hallberg, Medical School and University of Minnesota Physicians, discusses the Food and Drug Administration's decision to revoke its recommendation of a prominent cancer drug for use against breast cancer.

Listen on MPR

Ask Dr. Hallberg: New studies cast confusion on conventional wisdom

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Image: MPR LogoOn his weekly segment Jon Hallberg, Medical School and University of Minnesota Physicians, discusses recent studies that show flu shots aren't as effective as we used to think and neither is the PSA screening for prostate cancer.

Listen on MPR

Editorial: Don't retreat from war on cancer

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Image: Star Tribune LogoDoug Yee, Medical School, Masonic Cancer Center and University of Minnesota Physicians, was mentioned in an editorial discussing the continuing need for cancer research funding and the potential global impact this research could have.

Read on Star Tribune

A Cancer Gone Viral

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Image: AHC LogoNelson Rhodus, School of Dentistry, and Bevan Yueh, Medical School and Masonic Cancer Center, discuss the increase in the amount of diagnoses of HPV-associated oral cancer.

Read on Minnesota Medicine

Cancer Drug Studies Face Delays From J&J's Doxil Shortage

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Image: AHC LogoMore than 30 cancer clinical trials have either been put on hold or face potential delays as a result of a shortage of cancer drugs. Levi Downs, Medical School, Masonic Cancer Center and University of Minnesota Physicians, talks about the drug shortage problem.

Read on Wall Street Journal (subscription needed) and Fierce Biotech

Minn. doctors happy with Obama action on drug shortage

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Image: MPR LogoMinnesota cancer doctors say they're pleased that President Obama has taken steps to address acute drug shortages. Ed Greeno, Medical School, Masonic Cancer Center and University of Minnesota Physicians, discusses the benefits and challenges of Obama's actions.

Read on MPR

Rate of 'preventive' mastectomy rising

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Image: AHC LogoIn order to retake control of breast cancer, many women are choosing to get preventive mastectomies. Elizabeth Habermann, Medical School, talks about how the number of women choosing this surgery has increased over the years.

Read on Detroit Free Press and Wausau Daily Herald

Hormel Institute, research unit of U of Minn., planning $27 million expansion

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Image: AHC LogoThe University of Minnestoa Hormel Institute is planning a $27 million expansion that will double its size and staff in Austin. The current research focus of the Institute is on cancer prevention and control.

Read on Bemidji Pioneer, The Republic and Albert Lea Tribune

Study Confirms Chest X-Rays Ineffective for Detecting Lung Cancer

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Image: AHC LogoEarly detection of cancer is often a key factor in successful treatment. Recent research from the School of Public Health and the National Cancer Institute showed that an annual chest X-ray is no more likely to turn up evidence of lung cancer than normal visits to the physician.

Read on Scientific American and LA Times

MRI Technique 'SWIFT' May Assist In Detecting Spread Of Oral Cancer To The Jawbone

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Image: AHC LogoMagnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology is an extremely important part of a doctors arsenal for looking inside the body. Ayse Tuba Karagulle Kendi, Medical School, discusses the U of M is using SWIFT technology to assist in detecting spread of oral cancer.


Read on Medical News Today

Minnesota Researchers Look to Body's Immune System to Prevent Breast Cancer, with Funding from Susan G. Komen for the Cure(R)

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Image: AHC LogoCarol Lange, Medical School and Masonic Cancer Center, and Gwen Dressing, Masonic Cancer Center, received $180,000 from Susan G. Komen for the Cure for the U of M to study how progesterone receptors are involved in breast cancer development.

Read on Market Watch

Cancer Patient Meets Treatment Test Dog

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Image: FOX 9 LogoNew medical advances made by University of Minnesota scientists aim to cure brain cancer. John Ohlfest, Medical School, Stem Cell Institute and Masonic Cancer Center, explains how the College of Veterinary Medicine is using dogs and humans to find a cure.

Watch the report on FOX 9

Prevention prudent path to avoid lifestyle pathos

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Image: AHC LogoLifestyle changes can significantly lower the risk of being diagnosed with certain cancers. Research from the School of Public Health explains how consuming charred meat increasing the risk of getting pancreatic cancer.

Read on Maine Campus

Minnesota Cancer Survivors Rally To Protect Funding for Research

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Image: AHC LogoLocal cancer survivors will rally at the University of Minnesota today, urging Congress to protect funding for cancer research. The research is vital to learning more about prevention, detection, treatment and, hopefully, a cure, and that would be stifled if funding were cut.

Read on Public News Service

GOP's HPV vaccination debate: Bioethicist Dr. Steven Miles explains vaccine's value

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Image: MinnPost LogoSince coming on the market in 2006, the HPV vaccine has been highly controversial. Steven Miles, Medical School and Center for Bioethics, talks about the possibility of a federally mandated HPV vaccine for women ages 11 and up.

Read on MinnPost

Hormel Institue gets 5-year grant $1.5 million grant to study breast cancer

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Image: Post Bulletin LogoThe Hormel Institute has received a $1.5 million five-year grant to study breast cancer. Margot Cleary, Masonic Cancer Center, received the grant and talks about the coming research the grant will fund.

Read on Rochester Post-Bulletin

Work at University of Minnesota's new cancer-cardio building may set record

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Image: Finance & Commerce LogoThe new cancer and cardiovascular building, 285,000-square-foot, and its energy demands will require one of the largest -- perhaps the largest -- mechanical contracts the Twin Cities has ever seen.

Read on Finance & Commerce

Amplatz Children's Receives Grant For Cancer Research

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Image: WCCO LogoThe University of Minnesota Amplatz Children's Hospital received a nice grant on Thursday morning in the form of $100,000. The money will be used to study how cancer treatments affect children's brains and also track their academic progress.

Read on WCCO

Cancer Study Could be Chemo Alternative

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Image: First Coast News LogoChristopher Moertel, Medical School, Masonic Cancer Center and University of Minnesota Physicians, explains new research about a new brain cancer treatment that could work on humans.

Read on First Coast News

Dogs help researchers better understand bone cancer

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Image: RedOrbit LogoA new University of Minnesota discovery may help bone cancer patients fight their disease more effectively, according to new research published by Jaime Modiano.


Read on Red Orbit

Mammogram schedule should be customized, study finds

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Image: USA Today LogoThe timing and frequency of mammography to detect breast cancer is a decision best customized for each woman, suggests new research by John Schousboe.

Read on USA Today

Donor pool widens for leukemia and lymphoma patients

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Image: Science Daily LogoResearch findings show that nearly all leukemia and lymphoma patients in need of a transplant can find bone marrow donors.

Read on Science Daily

The health beef over barbecued meat

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Image: LA Times LogoGrilling meat at too high of a temperature can increase the risk of developing certain cancers, according to new research.

Read on Los Angeles Times