Overnight Fasting Could Lower Breast Cancer Risk for Women

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA – SAN DIEGO – A decrease in the amount of time spent eating and an increase in overnight fasting reduces glucose levels and may reduce the risk of breast cancer among women, report University of California, San Diego School of Medicine researchers in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

The findings were presented recently the American Association of Cancer Research’s annual meeting in Philadelphia.

“Increasing the duration of overnight fasting could be a novel strategy to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer,” said Catherine Marinac, UC San Diego doctoral candidate and first author on the paper. “This is a simple dietary change that we believe most women can understand and adopt. It may have a big impact on public health without requiring complicated counting of calories or nutrients.”

University of California - San Diego

Women who fasted for longer periods of time overnight had significantly better control over blood glucose concentrations. The data shows that each three hour increase in nighttime fasting was associated with a 4 percent lower postprandial glucose level, regardless of how much women ate.

“The dietary advice for cancer prevention usually focuses on limiting consumption of red meat, alcohol and refined grains while increasing plant-based foods,” said co-author Ruth Patterson, PhD, UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center associate director for population sciences and program leader of the cancer prevention program. “New evidence suggests that when and how often people eat can also play a role in cancer risk.”

Women in the study reported eating five times per day with a mean nighttime fasting of 12 hours. Those who reported longer fast durations also indicated they consumed fewer calories per day, ate fewer calories after 10 p.m. and had fewer eating episodes.

Researchers recommend large-scale clinical trials to confirm that nighttime fasting results in favorable changes to biomarkers of glycemic control and breast cancer risk.

- MFP News Serives
- 5/24/15

Cancer drug Might Be a Possible Cure for Hepatitis B

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – Scientists have found a potential cure for hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections, with a promising new treatment proving 100 per cent successful in eliminating the infection in preclinical models.

Australian patients are now the first in the world to have access to the potential treatment – a combination of an antiviral drug and an anti-cancer drug – which is in phase 1/2a clinical trials in Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide.

Walter and Eliza Hall Institute

Scientists from Melbourne’s Walter and Eliza Hall Institute developed the combination treatment using birinapant, a drug developed by US biotech company TetraLogic Pharmaceuticals for treating cancer. Hepatitis B is a chronic viral disease that is currently incurable.

Dr Marc Pellegrini, Dr Greg Ebert and colleagues at the institute used their studies of the behaviour of hepatitis B virus in infected cells as a basis for the treatment. The research was published today in two papers in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Dr Pellegrini said the treatment was successful in curing infections in preclinical models, leading to a human trial that began in December 2014. “We were 100 per cent successful in curing HBV infection in hundreds of tests in preclinical models,” Dr Pellegrini said.

“Birinapant enabled the destruction of hepatitis B-infected liver cells while leaving normal cells unharmed. Excitingly, when birinapant was administered in combination with current antiviral drug entecavir, the infection was cleared twice as fast compared with birinapant alone. We are hopeful these promising results will be as successful in human clinical trials, which are currently underway in Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide.”

The combination treatment, developed in collaboration with TetraLogic Pharmaceuticals based in Malvern, Pennsylvania, US, targets the cell signalling pathways that the hepatitis B virus uses to keep host liver cells alive.

Chronic infectious diseases such as HBV live within the host’s cells, enabling them to persist within the body for many months or years, Dr Pellegrini said.

“Normally, liver cells would respond to infection by switching on a signal that tells the cell to destroy itself ‘for the greater good’, preventing further infection,” he said. “However our research showed that the virus commandeers the liver cells’ internal communications, telling the cells to ignore the infection and stay alive. Birinapant flips the cell survival ‘switch’ used by the virus, causing the infected cell to die.”

More than two billion people worldwide are infected with hepatitis B and approximately 400 million have a chronic HBV infection. The virus infects liver cells and can lead to complications including cirrhosis and liver cancer, resulting in more than 780,000 deaths annually.

Treatments that enable the host cell to rid itself of the virus, rather than targeting the virus itself, may prevent drug-resistant strains of HBV emerging, Dr Pellegrini said. “It is relatively easy for an organism to adapt to a drug, but it is very difficult to adapt to a change in the host cell,” he said. “The virus relies on the survival mechanisms of the host, so if it can’t exploit them, it dies. Such a monumental change in the virus’ environment may be too big a hurdle for it to adapt to.”

Dr Pellegrini and colleagues will now investigate if the same strategy could be applied to other chronic infectious diseases. “Pathogens that infect and reside inside host cells, including viral diseases such as HIV, herpes simplex and dengue fever, and bacterial infections such as tuberculosis, could all potentially be cured in a similar way,” he said.

Patients are currently being recruited for the clinical trial in Melbourne by Nucleus Network, situated at the Alfred Hospital; in Perth by Linear Clinical Research, located at Sir Charles Gardiner Hospital; and in Adelaide by IDT CMAX, situated at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

- MFP News Services
- 5/22/15

Gestational Diabetes Maybe Associated With Greater Risk of Autism in Children

PASADENA, Calif., — Children whose mothers developed gestational diabetes by the 26th week of pregnancy were at increased risk of developing autism later in life, according to a new Kaiser Permanente study published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Researchers examined the electronic health records of more than 322,000 ethnically diverse children born between 28 and 44 weeks at Kaiser Permanente Southern California medical centers between January 1995 and December 2009. They followed the children for an average of 5.5 years and found that those exposed to gestational diabetes by the 26th week of pregnancy had a 63 percent increased risk of being diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder than children who were not exposed. After taking into account maternal age, education, race and ethnicity, household income and other factors, the increased risk of autism associated with gestational diabetes was 42 percent.

Kaiser Permanente - Division of Research

“The exposure of fetuses to maternal hyperglycemia may have long-lasting effects on organ development and function, but whether this can disrupt fetal brain development and heighten risk for neurobehavioral developmental disorders in offspring is less clear,” said study lead author Anny H. Xiang, PhD, of the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research & Evaluation. “Future studies should address whether early diagnosis and treatment of gestational diabetes can reduce the risk of autism.” She noted that this was an observational study, therefore the findings reveal associations between gestational diabetes and risk of a child developing autism rather than proving a cause and effect relationship.

The study also found that children whose mothers developed gestational diabetes after 26 weeks of pregnancy had no more risk of autism spectrum disorder than children whose mothers did not have preexisting diabetes or gestational diabetes.

“If the findings of this study reflect a cause and effect relationship, then they add another factor to a growing list of risks associated with gestational diabetes,” said study co-author Edward S. Curry, MD, pediatric learning and behavior specialist, Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center. “Our study findings also suggest that early screening for autism in children of women with gestational diabetes diagnosed by 26 weeks gestation may be warranted.”

Autism spectrum disorder is a group of developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People with autism spectrum disorders may communicate, interact, behave and learn in ways that are different from other people and can range from gifted to severely challenged. About 1 in 68 children have been identified with autism spectrum disorder, according to estimates from CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network.

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that develops or is first recognized during pregnancy. While the true prevalence of gestational diabetes is unknown and varies based on diagnostic criteria used, a recent study from the CDC indicated that rates could be as high as 9.2 percent. Gestational diabetes can also lead to additional health problems for the mother, including an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and a greater likelihood of delivering a large baby.

- MFP News Services
- 5/13/15