What we're reading ... January 29, 2010

Each week the staff of CURE shares some of what they've been reading the past week with our readers. Please let us know what you think and what you've been reading, too!Radiation Therapy

This series in The New York Times addresses mistakes made with new radiation technology. It's hard to read, but patients need to be aware of such issues and advocate for their own care at facilities that understand the latest technology. I do need to point out that radiation has proven to be a great treatment for many cancer patients. You can read the first of the series at Radiation Offers New Cures, and Ways to Do Harm.

Kathy LaTour

Editor-at-Large & cancer survivorOvarian Cancer

Controversy has plagued a consensus statement issued in 2007 that identified a handful of symptoms that were meant to help diagnose ovarian cancer earlier. Now, research published online January 28 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that these symptoms result in a diagnosis only 1 percent of the time. An editorial, which accompanied the study, offers perspective on the research findings and the utility of the specific symptoms: Ovarian Cancer Symptoms Speak Out--But What Are They Really Saying?

Melissa Weber

Managing Editor, CURE Prostate CancerIf you haven't had a chance to read Dana Jennings' columns in The New York Times on life with prostate cancer, go back and read every one of them. Jennings' columns are eloquent, powerful, and thoughtful, and he writes from the heart about the impact cancer has on the patient, family, and friends. Here is his latest: Feeling Like Myself Again After Cancer.

Lena Huang

Fitness & Nutrition Editor Cancer Research

Although it's rather technical, but along the lines of my research interest, an interesting journal article in The Journal of Clinical Investigation explores tumor heterogeneity, or differences between the cells within a tumor. We used to think of cancer cells as all identical to each other, or clones of each other, but now we are seeing them more as an ecosystem in evolution--with evolution that may have implications in metastasis and drug resistance.

The article abstract is at Cellular and genetic diversity in the progression of in situ human breast carcinomas to an invasive phenotype, but you can read a news article on the subject at Genetic Variability in a Tumor as an Indicator of Patient Risk.

Debu Tripathy, MD

Editor-in-ChiefChildhood Cancer

While I think cancer at any age is horrible, it seems especially sad for childhood patients. While I'm sure the project talked about in "Project seeks genetic basis of childhood cancer," is a long way from having decisive answers and results, it's nice to know that something is being done to provide better treatment (and maybe some day, definite prevention) for these cancer patients. (This also made me think of the CURE article "No Child Left Behind" and how pharmacuetical companies, and research in general, kind of tend to overlook the child patient.)

Bunmi Ishola

Editorial AssistantRisk Factors

"Warning: Your Cell Phone May Be Hazardous to Your Health" ... I know we've all seen a sensational headline like this at some point in the last few years, but hear me out. While I don't think I'll be going cold turkey and completely cutting off my cell phone use any time soon, the article takes a very interesting look at the history leading up to the cell phone (and microwave)/cancer topic. Again, I know this is a controversial subject that has many sides and theories, but I thought this particular article was very interesting and provided a lot of information. I also thought it was worth reading the National Cancer Institute's information on the subject (Cellular Telephone Use and Cancer Risk).

Alexandra Hurd

Marketing and PR specialist