New research showcases an innovative method of delivering vaccines straight to our white blood cells, strengthening the immune system against cancer and serious infections.
Immunotherapy, which is a widely used form of treatment against cancer, boosts the body’s immune system in the fight against tumors.
Immunotherapy works primarily with T cells, which are a type of white blood cell, or lymphocyte.Largely, our immune systems rely on B lymphocytes, which are active in a variety of infections, and T lymphocytes which must be activated when combating cancer or more serious infections such as tuberculosis.
When cisplatin was first used to treat cancer in the late 70s, it made a big impact.
“It was the most extraordinary breakthrough treatment,” says Dr Penelope Brock, paediatric consultant at Great Ormond Street Hospital. “It started as a treatment for testicular cancer, but it wasn’t long before we started using it to treat children’s cancers as well.”
Unfortunately, as well as killing cancer cells, the chemotherapy also killed cells in the inner ear. This left over 60% of children with hearing loss after treatment.
The unexpected side effect has been a focus of Brock’s research since it was first discovered. And now, almost 40 years later, a solution may have arrived.
New research, funded by Cancer Research UK and published in the New England Journal of Medicine, shows a drug called sodium thiosulphate can protect against hearing loss after cisplatin treatment.
“With sodium thiosulphate, we have a real opportunity to make children’s cancer treatment safer. The results have been a long time coming, and I’m so glad they’re finally here.”
The World Health Organisation (WHO) Independent High-Level Commission on NCDs’ new report, Time to Deliver, called for urgent action against chronic diseases and mental disorders, the globe’s leading cause of death and ill-health, but failed to include a recommendation on taxing sugary beverages.
Sugar and in particular sugar sweetened beverages are “leading drivers of the obesity epidemic”, said chief executive officer of the global advocacy group the NCD Alliance Katie Dain.
Obesity significantly raises the risk of developing many non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and, said Dain, alone, “is estimated to claim at least four million lives each year”.
The report on NCDs, which are chronic non-infectious conditions including cancer, diabetes and mental disorders, aims to galvanise action to stem the death and disease-toll caused by the rise in these diseases. The WHO Independent High-level Commission on NCDs, which produced the report, was convened in 2017 to advise WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on the action needed to accelerate progress in the fight against NCDs.
While the following article refers more to lifestyle diseases such as HIV Aids, diabetes, hypertension and obesity, eating well and ensuring that you and your Child with Cancer eat sufficient fresh, whole-foods and staying away from processed food as much as possible is critical for your good health.
It is important that we all learn to change our bad eating habits to include healthy eating solutions inspired by traditional southern African foods which contain more Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Antioxidants, Fibre, Calcium, Carbohydrates and Protein than what most of us are eating on a daily basis.
Please read this article carefully and take the important information contained therein to heart, but also remember to discuss any changes in eating habits with your child’s oncologist before embarking thereon.
Remember, this is not meant to take the place of any current medication, but as an additional help to build up the immune system.
Switching from cans of soup or casseroles to fresh, real ingredients can be a fun challenge, and right now is the perfect time to swop processed crackers and snacks for fruit, homemade smoothies and yoghurts.
Not only will you ALL all feel better; your blood sugar will stop plummeting daily, you will all be more regular, and you may even lose a few pounds – your children will also learn to be adventurous eaters, and be SO MUCH HEALTHIER for it!
When your Little Fighter craves comfort-food, have childhood favourites “real-foodified” at the ready and in your freezer. When they have no appetite, make sure you have nutrient-dense soups and smoothies for them to sip all day. Even a Peanut Butter Sandwich with jam or honey is very beneficial.
Make overnight slow-cooker broth, muffins and quick breads, smoothies, and homemade coffee creamer to treat yourself as tired parents/caregivers….
While they may have cupcakes and sweets from friends as well as other “fun food” at numerous parties when they can go back to school – it is what is fed at home that makes the biggest difference in your child’s attitude toward nutrition and that way they won’t be robbed of the learning experiences that come with eating “sometimes foods.”
Our modern germ-free life is the cause of the most common type of cancer in children, according to one of Britain’s most eminent scientists.
Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) affects one in 2,000 children.
Prof Mel Greaves, from the Institute of Cancer Research, has amassed 30 years of evidence to show the immune system can become cancerous if it does not “see” enough bugs early in life.
It means it may be possible to prevent the disease.
The type of blood cancer is more common in advanced, affluent societies, suggesting something about our modern lives might be causing the disease.
There have been wild claims linking power cables, electromagnetic waves and chemicals to the cancer.
That has been dismissed in this work published in Nature Reviews Cancer.
Instead, Prof Greaves – who has collaborated with researchers around the world – says there are three stages to the disease.
The first is a seemingly unstoppable genetic mutation that happens inside the womb. Then a lack of exposure to microbes in the first year of life fails to teach the immune system to deal with threats correctly.
This sets the stage for an infection to come along in childhood, cause an immune malfunction and leukaemia.
The Little Fighters Cancer Trust focuses on helping the Child with Cancer and the whole Family in a Holistic manner because we realise that the whole family is affected when a child has cancer.
Added to this, there are many vastly different belief paradigms in play as South Africa is such a diverse nation and thus it is important to treat every family according to its individual unique set-up, belief system, knowledge about childhood cancer, accessibility to the internet or other sources of information, accessibility to support, etc.
Many of our Little Fighters come from rural areas and when they get diagnosed with cancer, are immediately transferred to a hospital in a urban area where there is a Paediatric Oncology Ward – most of the time without even being able to go back home to collect any clothing or other basic necessities.
Many of the mothers end up sitting in the hospital beside their child’s bed without a change of clothing, toiletries, food, accommodation, or any kind of support base.
Below is an extract from a study conducted in 2016, most of which still remains relevant today – THIS IS WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO!!! THIS is why we need ongoing funding….
On Saturday night Lizelma and I were privileged to attend the Little Miss & Mr Winelands 2018 Competition as the Little Fighters Cancer Trust was the beneficiary on the night, and what a wonderful, sparkling, professional, fun evening it was.
Young ladies and gentlemen from all over the Winelands took part and strutted their stuff on the stage – we were just very pleased that we were not asked to be judges as they had an enormous task ahead of them – but they acquitted themselves very well.
It was such fun to watch the little ones, the young ladies were all decked out in their finest gowns and the gentlemen were decked out in their fines too, bow ties and all [ Lizelma wanted to take one or two home with her…. 😉 ]
A risk-factor is anything that affects a person’s chance of getting a disease such as brain cancer.
Different types of cancer have different risk factors, and this article only deals with the potential risk-factors for brain cancer.
Lifestyle-related risk-factors such as diet, body weight, physical activity, and tobacco use play a major role in many adult cancers, but these factors usually take many years to influence cancer risk, therefore logic says that they do not have much of a role in childhood cancers, including brain tumours.
Very few risk factors have been found for brain and spinal cord tumours. There is no clear cause for most of these tumours.