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DNA Forensics Tracks Dual Genomes in Melanoma

July 16, 2013 10:24 am | News | Comments

A new study reports the first proof of cancer’s ability to fuse with blood, giving cancer the ability to travel and seeding sites of metastasis around the body. The work used DNA fingerprinting of a bone marrow transplant patient with cancer, along with DNA fingerprinting of the patient’s bone marrow donor, to show that metastatic cancer cells carried parts of both genomes, fused together into a hybrid cancer cell.

Cancer-causing DNA Flaw More Common in Diabetes Patients

July 15, 2013 10:40 am | News | Comments

A type of genetic abnormality linked to cancer is more common in people with type 2 diabetes than the rest of the population, a new study has found. People with type 2 diabetes are already known to have a higher risk of cancers, especially blood cancers like lymphoma and leukemia. The new study suggests that mutations called clonal mosaic events (CMEs) may partly explain why this is.

Uncovering Cancer's Evolutionary Roots

July 12, 2013 8:32 pm | by Arizona State University | News | Comments

ASU's Paul Davies has proposed a new way to look at cancer, by tracing its deep evolutionary roots to the dawn of multicellularity more than a billion years ago. If this theory is correct, it promises to transform the approach to cancer therapy, and to link the origin of cancer to the origin of life and the developmental processes of embryos.

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Malignant Cells Boosted by Irregular Protein Signaling

July 12, 2013 11:24 am | News | Comments

A pair of studies by a team of researchers sheds light on a biological process that is activated across a vast range of malignancies. Wnt proteins are a large family of proteins that activate signaling pathways (a set of biological reactions in a cell) to control several vital steps in embryonic development.

Cell Cycle Pathway Disruption Leads to Cancer Development

July 12, 2013 11:09 am | News | Comments

A team of scientists has identified why disruption of a vital pathway in cell cycle control leads to the proliferation of cancer cells. Their findings on telomeres, the stretches of DNA at the ends of chromosomes that protect our genetic code and make it possible for cells to divide, suggest a potential target for preventive measures against cancer, aging and other diseases.

Nerves Play Key Role in Prostate Cancer

July 12, 2013 10:08 am | Videos | Comments

Researchers have found that nerves play a critical role in both the development and spread of prostate tumors. Their findings, using both a mouse model and human prostate tissue, may lead to new ways to predict the aggressiveness of prostate cancer and to novel therapies for preventing and treating the disease.

MicroRNAs Implicated in Breast, Blood Cancers

July 10, 2013 10:31 am | News | Comments

A mere 25 years ago, noncoding RNAs were considered nothing more than “background noise” in the overall genomic landscape. Now, two new studies reveal that one of these tiny noncoding molecules—microRNA-22—plays an outsized role in two types of cancer.

Tumor-suppressing Protein Aided by Phosphates

July 10, 2013 10:22 am | News | Comments

Genetic mutations aren’t the only thing that can keep a protein called PTEN from doing its tumor-suppressing job. Researchers have now discovered that four small chemical tags attached (reversibly) to the protein’s tail can have the same effect, and they say their finding may offer a novel path for drug design to keep PTEN working.

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Potential Cancer Diagnosis Biomarker Identified

July 9, 2013 10:29 am | Videos | Comments

Micronuclei, erratic, small extra nuclei, which contain fragments, or whole chromosomes that were not incorporated into daughter cells after cell division, are associated with specific forms of cancer and are predictive of poorer prognosis. In a new study, a team of scientists found that disrupted micronuclei might play an even more active role in carcinogenesis than previously thought.

Sugar Makes Cancer Glow in MRI

July 8, 2013 9:58 am | News | Comments

A new technique for detecting cancer by imaging the consumption of sugar with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been unveiled by scientists. The breakthrough could provide a safer and simpler alternative to standard radioactive techniques and enable radiologists to image tumors in greater detail.

Murine Study Predicts Cancer Drug Responsiveness in Human Tumors

July 1, 2013 4:37 pm | News | Comments

It’s a GEMM of a system. Genetically engineered mouse models that is. Using them allows scientists to study cancer in a way that more naturally mimics how human tumors exist within the complex environment of the body. UNC scientists used GEMMs to develop biomarkers for challenging molecular subtypes of human breast cancer, those for which there are fewer targets and therapies. 

Telomere Length Influences Cancer Cell Differentiation

June 28, 2013 1:05 pm | News | Comments

Researchers from the Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research in Tokyo have discovered that forced elongation of telomeres (extensions on the end of chromosomes) promotes the differentiation of cancer cells, probably reducing malignancy, which is strongly associated with a loss of cell differentiation.

Paper Offers Insights into How Cancer Cells Avoid Cell Death

June 24, 2013 11:35 am | News | Comments

A new study by a team of researchers from the University of Notre Dame provides an important new insight into how cancer cells are able to avoid the cell death process. The findings may reveal a novel chemotherapeutic approach to prevent the spread of cancers.

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Lab Confirms Thirdhand Smoke Causes DNA Damage

June 21, 2013 10:35 am | News | Comments

A study led by researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has found for the first time that thirdhand smoke—the noxious residue that clings to virtually all surfaces long after the secondhand smoke from a cigarette has cleared out—causes significant genetic damage in human cells.

Protein Essential for Normal Heart Function

June 19, 2013 11:15 am | News | Comments

A new study shows that a protein called MCL-1, which promotes cell survival, is essential for normal heart function. The study found that deletion of the gene encoding MCL-1 in adult mouse hearts led to rapid heart failure within two weeks, and death within a month.

Aspirin Fights Cancer by Slowing DNA Damage

June 19, 2013 11:00 am | News | Comments

Aspirin is known to lower risk for some cancers, and a new study points to a possible explanation, with the discovery that aspirin slows the accumulation of DNA mutations in abnormal cells in at least one pre-cancerous condition. In the study, researchers analyzed biopsy samples from 13 patients with a pre-cancerous condition called Barrett’s esophagus who were tracked for six to 19 years.

DNA Confirmation of Cervical Cancer Test Specimen

June 18, 2013 1:21 pm | Product Releases | Comments

Strand Diagnostics and Manhattan Labs announced the availability of the myPAP test. Developed to complement a Papanicolaou (Pap) test by confirming a patient’s identity and helping physicians to proceed confidently with treatment recommendations, the myPAP test compares the DNA profiles of the Pap specimen with a reference DNA sample taken via cheek swab at the time of the Pap test.

'Chase and Run' Mechanism Explains Cancer Metastasis

June 18, 2013 10:35 am | News | Comments

A mechanism that cells use to group together and move around the body– called "chase and run"- has been described for the first time by scientists. The new study focuses on the process that occurs when cancer cells interact with healthy cells in order to migrate around the body during metastasis.

Melanoma Tumors 'Eradicated' in Mice

June 17, 2013 11:10 am | News | Comments

Researchers eradicated most melanoma tumors by exposing them to a fast-acting virus, according to a report in the Journal of Virology. Melanoma is the deadliest type of skin cancer and can spread throughout the body and even into the brain.

Bringing Out the Cancer Genomics Suspects

June 16, 2013 12:22 pm | by Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard | News | Comments

As cancer genomics scales up, more and more mutations can be detected. But in order for critical patterns and potential drug targets to emerge, researchers need to be able to eliminate the red herrings from their results and identify the genetic changes driving different cancer types. To do so, researchers have surveyed the genetic landscape of cancer to better understand the spectrum of mutations within and across cancer types.

Blood-forming Stem Cells Produced in Lab

June 14, 2013 9:51 am | News | Comments

By transferring four genes into mouse fibroblast cells, researchers have produced cells that resemble hematopoietic stem cells, which produce millions of new blood cells in the human body every day. These findings provide a platform for future development of patient-specific stem/progenitor cells, and more differentiated blood products, for cell-replacement therapy.

Developmental Protein Regulates Cancer Spread

June 14, 2013 9:43 am | News | Comments

A protein used by embryo cells during early development, and recently found in many different types of cancer, apparently serves as a switch regulating the spread of cancer, known as metastasis, new research reports. Metastasis is responsible for 90 percent of cancer-related deaths.

Mass Spec Technique Maps Metabolites

June 13, 2013 9:49 am | News | Comments

A team of researchers has developed a mass spectrometry imaging technique that not only maps the whereabouts of individual metabolites in a biological sample, but how new the metabolites are too. That’s a big milestone, because metabolites are constantly in flux.

The Collaborative RNA Dream

June 12, 2013 2:28 pm | by Christina Smith | Articles | Comments

Yesterday, the RNA Institute at New York’s State University at Albany opened its doors to reveal a space that has been four years in the making: a newly expanded facility totaling 25,000 square feet, equipped with millions of dollars of laboratory equipment and constructed with a novel goal in mind – to foster collaboration on RNA research among researchers across the nation.

Proteomics Nails Metastasis Mystery

June 12, 2013 10:33 am | News | Comments

Malignant cells can escape from primary tumors and colonize new sites in other tissues. In a new study, researchers show how the transcription factor AP4 promotes the development of such metastatic tumors. With the aid of genome-wide characterization of AP4’s target genes and direct functional tests, researchers uncovered processes relevant to tumorigenesis and cancer progression that are triggered by the protein.

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