Navigation Links
Steve Jobs Faces Uphill Battle Against Cancer: Experts

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- One of the hallmarks of Steve Jobs' tenure as CEO of Apple Inc. was the secrecy that shrouded products he was about to unveil -- from the iPod to the iPhone to the iPad -- creating tremendous consumer interest.

Jobs' announcement Wednesday night that he was stepping down as the head of the hugely successful technology company he co-founded in a northern California garage 35 years ago was similarly thin on details, although speculation immediately turned to his ongoing health problems.

In a letter to Apple's board, the 56-year-old Jobs said he "always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple's CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come."

This much is known about the health of Jobs, a legendarily private man: Since 2004, he has been fighting a rare form of pancreatic cancer called neuroendocrine cancer. In January, he took his second medical leave from Apple after undergoing a liver transplant for tumors that had spread to that organ.

Pancreatic cancer expert Dr. Craig Devoe, from the department of medicine at North Shore-LIJ Health System in New Hyde Park, N.Y., said that "neuroendocrine tumors are uncommon, with only a few thousand cases a year."

For those that affect the pancreas, the numbers are even lower with fewer than 1,000 cases a year in the United States. In contrast, there are around 40,000 cases of other pancreatic cancers a year, Devoe said.

Dr. David M. Levi, a professor of clinical surgery, liver and GI transplantation at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, said neuroendocrine cancer "is an unusual tumor. It can arise in a number of places, including the pancreas." Such tumors can also start in the lungs.

It's one of the few tumors that can benefit -- to some extent -- from a transplant, Levi said. Jobs' cancer started in the pancreas and then spread to the liver, making the liver transplant an option, Levi said, adding he has treated patients with this type of cancer and done liver transplants.

While the prognosis for neuroendocrine cancer is often better than for the more common type of pancreatic cancer, in which patients generally live less than a year after diagnosis, neuroendocrine cancer "can also be bad," Levi said.

Neuroendocrine cancer can return after treatment, Levi explained. And while a liver transplant can be effective, "it is not as great a picture as we first thought," he said. "A lot of these patients who have transplants eventually do recur."

"The vast majority of patients that have recurrent disease will die of their disease. One of the problems with the [liver] transplant is that now you are on immunosuppressant drugs, and while they keep you from rejection or destroying the liver, the immune system also would have helped deal with tumors," he said.

Devoe said a liver transplant is a treatment when "your back's against the wall," and isn't expected to cure neuroendocrine cancer, so very few are done. "There is still likely disease in lungs or bone or other places," he said.

"The fact that the disease came back is not surprising," he said. There are still some treatment options, including chemotherapy and radiation, he added.

These treatments won't cure the disease, but they may slow its progression, Devoe said. "It may extend the life of patients. But at this point, your best treatments are behind you and survival may be under a year or two," he said. "It's clearly incurable."

Doctors don't really know what causes neuroendocrine tumors. In the past year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved two new drugs for neuroendocrine tumors -- sunitinib and everolimus.

In a commencement address in 2005 to Stanford University graduates, Jobs said: "No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it."

More information

To learn more about neuroendocrine pancreatic tumors, visit Stanford University School of Medicine.

SOURCES: David M. Levi, M.D., professor, clinical surgery, liver and GI transplantation, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine; Craig Devoe, M.D., department of medicine, North Shore-LIJ Health System, New Hyde Park, N.Y.

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Football Legend Steve Young Urges Kids, Parents to Play It Safe
2. Stevens Dr. A. K. Ganguly receives Topliss Award Lecture from University of Michigan
3. Steve Waugh To Launch Inaugural Men's Health Screening Event In Wollongong
4. Steven Zoernack and The Bullion Fund Deploy Equity Long/Short Strategy with Apple (AAPL) and Research in Motion (RIMM)
5. Recommended Dental Care for Chemotherapy Patients -- Advice from Steven McConnell, DDS
6. Ingenious Med Founder, Steven Liu, Earns Senior Fellow in Hospital Medicine Designation
7. Stevens Hospital One Step Closer to Affiliation with Swedish
8. Scrutinizing Faces Might Catch Liars, Study Finds
9. Genes May Control How Long You Look at Happy Faces
10. Used Football Faceshields May Break on Impact
11. Carnegie Mellon researchers uncover how the brain processes faces
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Steve Jobs Faces Uphill Battle Against Cancer: Experts
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... June 19, ... the dangers associated with chronic pain and the benefits of holistic treatments, Serenity ... who are suffering with Sickle Cell Disease. , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... The Pulmonary Hypertension ... that it will receive two significant new grants to support its work to ... its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists for their work ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Dr. ... accelerated orthodontic treatment. Dr. Cheng has extensive experience with all areas of orthodontics, ... and accelerated osteogenic orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is a revolutionary adjunct to orthodontic ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin and MyPainAway Pain Relief Products, join The ‘Business ... to $12 an hour by 2020 and then adjusting it yearly to increase at the ... minimum wage, assure the wage floor does not erode again, and make future increases more ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Norcross, Georgia (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 ... ... Year” awards today at the Clinical Decision Making in Emergency Medicine conference in ... who have authored journal articles published in Emergency Medicine Practice and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016   Pulmatrix, Inc ., (NASDAQ: ... drugs, announced today that it was added to the ... its comprehensive set of U.S. and global equity indexes ... important milestone for Pulmatrix," said Chief Executive Officer ... our progress in developing drugs for crucial unmet medical ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Any dentist who has made an ... current process. Many of them do not even offer this ... and high laboratory costs involved. And those who ARE able ... such a high cost that the majority of today,s patients ... Parsa Zadeh , founder of Dental Evolutions Inc. and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... CAPR ), a biotechnology company focused on ... today announced that patient enrollment in its ongoing ... Duchenne) has exceeded 50% of its 24-patient target. ... in the third quarter of 2016, and to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: