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KUHF Local News Archive

Advances in Bone Disease Treatment

HOUSTON, TX (January 30, 2004)

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A partnership between MD Anderson Cancer Center and Baylor College of Medicine is hoping to make advances in the treatment of bone disease.

The Bone Disease Program of Texas will focus on two things, osteoporosis and the spread of cancer to bone. Osteoporosis occurs in organ transplant patients and many cancer patients. It is not a condition limited to women. Dr. Robert Gagel heads internal medicine at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and is a professor at Baylor College of Medicine. He says men being treated for prostate cancer are the fasting growing group.

The Bone Disease Program will also study how cancer spreads to bone. Certain cancers, including prostate, breast, kidney, colon and lung cancer are more likely to spread to the bone than other cancers and Gagel says they want to know why so they can prevent it. They want to understand the interaction between cancer cells and bone cells.

Mary Bass is helping to raise the $8 million for the Bone Disease Program. She has a personal interest, having found out she has osteopenia, a condition that leads to osteoporosis. Forty-seven-year-old Bass is physically active, but she is already having to be careful about not falling. Gagel says bone has unique characteristics that make it difficult to study.

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