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Scientists have discovered the active ingredient, delta-9-tetrahydrocannibol can block the spread of gamma herpes viruses.
The viruses are linked to an increased risk of the cancers Kaposis sarcoma, Burkitts lymphoma and Hodgkins disease.
Gamma herpes viruses are different from the herpes simplex viruses responsible for cold sores and genital herpes.
The Vanderbilt University team hopes a drug that blocks this switch, which has been developed in France, could have the same effect in humans.
The scientists told Cancer Cell journal they planned to test this drug in mice. Cancer Research UK said it was a long way from human therapy.
Pauline has cancer of the vulva. But she has found that many women do not know they could be at risk of cancer of the vulva and indeed do not even know what it is.
She decided to talk about her case to as part of Macmillan Cancer Relief's gynaecological cancer awareness week, organised to draw attention to some of the less publicised women's cancers.
The vulva is the skin between a woman's legs and made up of all the external genitalia, and some women are embarrassed about discussing a cancer in such an intimate place.
In their mice research, the Dutch scientists found a low dose of the synthetic lycopene slowed the growth of human prostate tumours implanted in the mice by over 50% by day 42 of the study, compared to mice who had not had the treatment.
It is now the most common form of the disease in men, affecting around 21,300 men in Britain annually.
Around 10,000 men a year die from the disease.
The research was presented at a meeting of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology.
The study also showed that breast cancer was more likely to spread to other parts of the body if the patient was obese.
Of the 2,010 patients, 452 were classed as of normal weight, 857 were overweight and 701 were obese.
DNA Sequence Controls Expression Of Gene Involved In Cancer
Bethesda, MD - Scientists have discovered a DNA sequence that causes the destabilization, and hence decay, of the protooncogene bcl-2 (B-cell lymphoma/leukemia-2). Because the overexpression of bcl-2 is associated with cancer, this discovery may lead to new therapeutic strategies for treating the disease.
Myc controls cell division. Unlike the normal version of the gene, the modified version stayed permanently switched on, meaning cells were constantly dividing and some became cancerous.
The Stanford scientists studied mice whose liver cells had been altered to carry a modified Myc gene known to cause cancer.
Mice remained cancer free for as long as they took the drug. When it was stopped they developed liver cancer, the Stanford University team found.