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Winter 2013

A Lifeline in Hard Times

Donor-supported resources help patients focus on healing

When Aracelli and Miguel Martinez left Mexico City for Michigan 30 years ago, health insurance was the last thing on their minds as the healthy couple and their two children began new lives in the Midwest. Fast forward to May 2009: their children grown, Aracelli worked as a caregiver to the elderly, Miguel managed the grounds and home of a family with a large property. The couple had lived in their Auburn Hills home for a decade.

Anti-aging gene identified as tumor suppressor

A new study sheds more light on how an anti-aging gene suppresses cancer growth, joint University of Michigan Health System and Harvard Medical School research shows.

Loss of the SIRT6 protein in mice increases the number, size and aggressiveness of tumors, according to the new research published in the scientific journal Cell. The study also suggests that the loss of SIRT6 promotes tumor growth in human colon and pancreatic cancers.

Drug shows promise in prostate cancer spread to bone

Tumors were reduced on bone scans, bone pain decreased after patients received cabozantinib

A new drug demonstrated dramatic and rapid effects on prostate cancer that had spread to the bone, according to a study reported by University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers.

Cognitive problems may be present before 'chemobrain' in women with breast cancer

Women undergoing chemotherapy who experience cognitive problems, commonly referred to as "chemobrain," displayed alterations in neurocognitive responses prior to undergoing treatment, according to data presented at the 2012 CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, which was held December.

New drug cuts risk of deadly transplant side effect in half

A new class of drugs reduced the risk of patients contracting a serious and often deadly side effect of lifesaving bone marrow transplant treatments, according to a study from researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The study, the first to test this treatment in people, combined the drug vorinostat with standard medications given after transplant, resulting in 21% of patients developing graft-vs.-host disease compared to 42% of patients who typically develop this condition with standard medications alone.

A Message From Our Director

Welcome to the winter edition of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center's electronic newsletter. I'm pleased to be able to share with you some of the interesting and exciting ways that the UMCCC continues to make great strides in understanding, diagnosing, preventing and treating cancer.