A Tobacco That Fights Cancer

1 decade 10 months 1 week ago Thursday, August 09 2007 Aug 9, 2007 Thursday, August 09, 2007 4:30:41 PM CDT August 09, 2007 in News
Tobacco Could Help Prevent Cancer

Researchers are continuing ground breaking research using tobacco plants to prevent cervical cancer, and what's being done could have an immediate impact halfway around the world.

Kentucky has long been known for its tobacco farming and high rate of lung cancer from smoking. Now researchers have found that the plant that's linked to causing cancer could be used to fight it.

"Our hope is that we will not only make a more cost effective vaccine by producing it in tobacco plants but also produce one that has a broader reactivity against other human papilloma virus types," researcher Dr. Kenneth Palmer said.

Palmer is with the Cancer Research Center in Owensboro, and has been working on a new vaccination for the human papilloma virus.

Gardasil, an HPV vaccine that's already on the market, costs $360 for three doses. The same amount of Palmer's vaccination would only cost $3.

"There is a need, a greater need for an HPV vaccine that will prevent cervical cancer in the poorer areas of the world which is ironic, because we now have a cervical cancer vaccine that works extremely well but which is very, very expensive," Palmer said. 

Palmer said places like India, where medical care isn't always available, is where a low cost drug is needed most.

"A lot of women, because they don't have access to routine gynecological care, present with advance stage cervical cancer which is in many cases sadly beyond treatment," he said. 

The new drug is cheaper because doctors use tobacco plants to incubate it. But how long would it take to develop?

"It's not very easy to predict, since we're pretty early in the development stage. That all depends on money, and the results of clinical trials," Palmer said. 

If aggressively researched, it could be seven to 10 years before the new drug is available on the market. This drug would only prevent cervical cancer. It would not help those who already have the disease.

Tooth Stress

We know that stress can cause health problems.Now new studies show stress can affect your mouth.

Analysts in brazil found a link between stress and periodontal disease. Researchers suspect the hormone cortisol may play a role in dental health. Experts say high levels of the stress hormone can cause gum and bone decay. Plus, people under a lot of stress could be more apt to smoke, drink or use drugs -- which can damage their teeth and gums.

School Bullies Pay A Price

New research confirms long-lasting mental consequences... For both school bullies and victims.A finnish study looked at a group of more than 25-hundred eight year old boys.Researchers questioned them about their bully experiences. Researchers found boys who were habitual bullies were more likely to be diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder as young men.Boys who were victims had a higher risk of developing anxiety disorders later in life.

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