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Bioscience Technology This Week #7: Fruit Flies Unlock the Mysteries of Diabetes

August 13, 2014 2:20 pm | Videos | Comments

In this episode of Bioscience Technology This Week, Rob Fee discusses how studying fruit flies could revolutionize diabetes research. Our second story focuses on how venom could form the basis of a new class of cancerfighting drugs.    

New Analysis Reveals Tumor Weaknesses

August 13, 2014 1:47 pm | News | Comments

Scientists have known for decades that cancer can be caused by genetic mutations, but more recently they have discovered that chemical modifications of a gene can also contribute to cancer. These alterations, known as epigenetic modifications, control whether a gene is turned on or off.

Prostate Cancer Diagnosis Improves with MRI Technology

August 13, 2014 11:03 am | Videos | Comments

Oncologists are melding magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology with a traditional ultrasound prostate exam to create a three-dimensional map of the prostate that allows physicians to view growths that were previously undetectable.      

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Scientists Pinpoint Gene Likely to Promote Childhood Cancers

August 12, 2014 2:28 pm | News | Comments

Researchers at the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI) have identified a gene that contributes to the development of several childhood cancers, in a study conducted with mice designed to model the cancers. If the findings prove to be applicable to humans, the research could lead to new strategies for targeting certain childhood cancers at a molecular level.

Synthetic Molecule Makes Cancer Self-Destruct

August 12, 2014 2:21 pm | News | Comments

Researchers from The University of Texas at Austin and five other institutions have created a molecule that can cause cancer cells to self-destruct by ferrying sodium and chloride ions into the cancer cells. These synthetic ion transporters confirm a two-decades-old hypothesis that could point the way to new anticancer drugs while also benefiting patients with cystic fibrosis.

Hijacking the Brain's Blood Supply: Tumor Discovery Could Aid Treatment

August 12, 2014 1:55 pm | News | Comments

Dangerous brain tumors hijack the brain’s existing blood supply throughout their progression, by growing only within narrow potential spaces between and along the brain’s thousands of small blood vessels, new research shows for the first time.

Editing HPV's Genes to Kill Cervical Cancer Cells

August 11, 2014 2:13 pm | News | Comments

Researchers have hijacked a defense system normally used by bacteria to fend off viral infections and redirected it against the human papillomavirus (HPV), the virus that causes cervical, head and neck, and other cancers.Using the genome editing tool known as CRISPR, the Duke University researchers were able to selectively destroy two viral genes responsible for the growth and survival of cervical carcinoma cells.

Scientists Unlock Key to Blood Vessel Formation

August 11, 2014 2:09 pm | News | Comments

Scientists from the University of Leeds have discovered a gene that plays a vital role in blood vessel formation, research which adds to our knowledge of how early life develops. The discovery could also lead to greater understanding of how to treat cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

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Cell Mechanics May Hold Key to How Cancer Spreads and Recurs

August 7, 2014 2:34 pm | News | Comments

Cancer cells that break away from tumors to go looking for a new home may prefer to settle into a soft bed. Some particularly enterprising cancer cells can cause a cancer to spread to other organs, called metastasis, or evade treatment to resurface after a patient is thought to be in remission. A team found that these so-called tumor-repopulating cells may lurk quietly in stiffer cellular environments, but thrive in a softer space.

Largest Cancer Genetic Analysis Reveals New Way of Classifying Cancer

August 7, 2014 2:24 pm | News | Comments

Researchers with The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Research Network have completed the largest, most diverse tumor genetic analysis ever conducted, revealing a new approach to classifying cancers. The work not only revamps traditional ideas of how cancers are diagnosed and treated, but could also have a profound impact on the future landscape of drug development.

New Gene Tied to Breast Cancer Risk

August 6, 2014 5:23 pm | by Marilynn Marchione - AP Chief Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

It's long been known that faulty BRCA genes greatly raise the risk for breast cancer. Now, scientists say a more recently identified, less common gene - called PALB2 - can do the same.                 

New DNA Analysis Technique Promises Speedier Diagnosis

August 5, 2014 2:01 pm | News | Comments

Researchers have achieved a technical breakthrough that should result in speedier diagnosis of cancer and various pre-natal conditions. The key discovery lies in a new tool that allows researchers to load long strands of DNA into a tunable nanoscale imaging chamber in ways that maintain their structural identity and under conditions that are similar to those found in the human body.

New Genetic Risk Markers Found in Pancreatic Cancer

August 4, 2014 12:46 pm | News | Comments

A large DNA analysis of people with and without pancreatic cancer has identified several new genetic markers that signal increased risk of developing the highly lethal disease, scientists report.               

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Chili Pepper Chemical May Inhibit Gut Tumors

August 4, 2014 12:35 pm | News | Comments

Researchers report that dietary capsaicin– the active ingredient in chili peppers– produces chronic activation of a receptor on cells lining the intestines of mice, triggering a reaction that ultimately reduces the risk of colorectal tumors.   

Drug Target Identified for Common Childhood Blood Cancer

July 31, 2014 12:00 pm | News | Comments

In what is believed to be the largest genetic analysis of what triggers and propels progression of tumor growth in a common childhood blood cancer, researchers report that they have identified a possible new drug target for treating the disease. 

Same Cancer, Different Time Zone

July 31, 2014 8:30 am | News | Comments

Just as no two people possess the same genetic makeup, a recent study has shown that no two single tumor cells in breast cancer patients have an identical genome.                          

Team Makes Cancer Glow to Improve Surgical Outcomes

July 30, 2014 1:49 pm | News | Comments

The best way to cure most cases of cancer is to surgically remove the tumor. The Achilles heel of this approach, however, is that the surgeon may fail to extract the entire tumor, leading to a local recurrence. With a new technique, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have established a new strategy to help surgeons see the entire tumor in the patient, increasing the likelihood of a positive outcome.

Deadly Melanoma Cases Jump 200%, Report Says

July 30, 2014 8:22 am | by Anne Flaherty - Associated Press - Associated Press | News | Comments

Stop sunbathing and using indoor tanning beds, the acting U.S. surgeon general warned in a report released Tuesday that cites an alarming 200 percent jump in deadly melanoma cases since 1973.                 

Advance in Capturing Elusive Circulating Tumor Cells

July 29, 2014 3:33 pm | by Cynthia Fox | Articles | Comments

When cancers spread into the bloodstream, they often take on different characteristics, requiring different therapies. But it is hard to find these rare blood-borne cells. So, relapsed patients often do not get personalized care. Now, researchers have come up with a solution that zeros in on elusive circulating tumor cells (CTCs).

Cell's Recycling Center Implicated in Division Decisions

July 29, 2014 11:37 am | News | Comments

Researchers have identified a mechanism that overrides the cells’ warning signals, enabling cancers to continue to divide even without a robust blood supply.                           

A New Look at Stomach Cancer

July 28, 2014 11:30 am | News | Comments

In a massive effort to catalog the molecular causes of stomach cancer, scientists have identified four subtypes of tumors based on shared mutations and other molecular abnormalities.                    

Total Darkness During the Night is a Key to Success of Breast Cancer Therapy

July 25, 2014 2:05 pm | News | Comments

Exposure to light at night, which shuts off nighttime production of the hormone melatonin, renders breast cancer completely resistant to tamoxifen, a widely used breast cancer drug, says a new study by Tulane University School of Medicine cancer researchers.

Is Europe Putting Cancer Research at Risk?

July 25, 2014 1:53 pm | News | Comments

The European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) has expressed concern that the proposed EU General Data Protection Regulation could make cancer research impossible and add a significant burden to both doctors and cancer patients.         

Viral Therapy Could Boost Limb-saving Cancer Treatment

July 22, 2014 2:52 pm | News | Comments

Viruses designed to target and kill cancer cells could boost the effectiveness of chemotherapy to the arms and legs and help avoid amputation. Scientists tested the effectiveness of a genetically engineered version of the virus used to vaccinate against smallpox. They found use of the virus alongside isolated limb perfusion chemotherapy was more effective in rats than either treatment on its own.

Metabolic Enzyme Stops Progression of Kidney Cancer

July 21, 2014 1:52 pm | News | Comments

In an analysis of metabolites used by the body to make fuel in normal and cancerous cells in human kidney tissue, a research team identified an enzyme that is key to applying the brakes on tumor growth.              

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