A tiny genetic molecule known as a microRNA plays a central role in bowel cancer and could be key to developing new treatments for the disease, a new study concludes. Scientists found that the molecule, called microRNA 135b, is a vital ‘worker’ employed by several important cancer genes to drive the growth of bowel cancers.
Researchers have found a major piece of genetic evidence that confirms the role of a group of virus-fighting genes in cancer development. The APOBEC family of genes control enzymes that are believed to have evolved in humans to fight off viral infections. Scientists have speculated that these enzymes are responsible for a very distinct signature of mutations that is present in approximately half of all cancer types.
A tumor-suppressing protein acts as a dimmer switch to dial down gene expression. It does this by reading a chemical message attached to another protein that’s tightly intertwined with DNA, a team led by scientists at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center reports. The findings provide evidence in support of the “histone code" hypothesis.
In the last decade, hundreds of studies have been conducted looking for polymorphisms associated with a greater propensity to suffer some of the most frequent human tumors. These tests, called GWAS, have found a common problem: many times the tiny genetic change observed appears to have no activity or function to explain because it is associated with more cancer.
UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have demonstrated in both cancer cell lines and in mice that blocking critical DNA repair mechanisms could improve the effectiveness of radiation therapy for highly fatal brain tumors called glioblastomas.
Scientists at the Salk Institute have uncovered details into a surprising—and crucial—link between brain development and a gene whose mutation is tied to breast and ovarian cancer. Aside from better understanding neurological damage associated in a small percentage of people susceptible to breast cancers, the new work also helps to better understand the evolution of the brain.
Comprehensive genomic analysis of low-grade brain tumors sorts them into three categories, one of which has the molecular hallmarks and shortened survival of glioblastoma multiforme, the most lethal of brain tumors, researchers reported at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2014.
The push and pull of physical force can cause profound changes in the behavior of a cell. Two studies from researchers working at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center reveal how cells respond to mechanical manipulation, a key factor in addressing the underlying causes of cancer and other diseases.
The more cups of coffee a person drank, the lower the risk for developing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common type of liver cancer, according to new research.
Subpopulations of breast cancer cells sometimes cooperate to aid tumor growth, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers, who believe that understanding the relationship between cancer subpopulations could lead to new targets for cancer treatment.
Researchers have devised a way to quickly bring to the clinic the technique of using blood samples to diagnose many types of solid cancers, or to monitor the amount of cancer in a patient’s body and responses to treatment.
Scientists may have discovered a new way to treat a type of childhood brain tumor that has proved incurable up until now, according to a recent study.
Under stress from chemotherapy or radiation, some cancer cells dodge death by consuming a bit of themselves, allowing them to essentially sleep through treatment and later awaken as tougher, resistant disease. Interfering with a single cancer-promoting protein and its receptor can turn this resistance mechanism into lethal, runaway self-cannibalization.
In successful research, any one path can quickly lead to new paths of even more promising results. This branching out of a research project couldn’t be more true than for a team of researchers at the UCSD’s Jacobs School of Engineering. UCSD researchers have developed “nanosponges” that were initially designed as a platform for cancer drug delivery and now are being developed to soak up the dangerous pore-forming toxin produced by MRSA.
Using magnetically controlled nanoparticles to force tumor cells to ‘self-destruct’ sounds like science fiction, but could be a future part of cancer treatment, according to research from Lund University in Sweden. The new technique is much more targeted than trying to kill cancer cells with techniques such as chemotherapy.
New research has implicated a poorly understood protein called PLAC8 in the spread of colon cancer. While elevated PLAC8 levels were known to be associated with colon cancer, the researchers now have shown that the protein plays an active role in shifting normal cells lining the colon into a state that encourages metastasis.
A new understanding of proteins at the nexus of a cell’s decision to survive or die has implications for researchers who study cancer and age-related diseases, according to biophysicists at the Rice University-based Center for Theoretical Biological Physics (CTBP). Experiments and computer analysis of two key proteins revealed a previously unknown binding interface that could be addressed by medication.
Scientists at Plant & Food Research, working together with researchers at The University of Auckland and the National Cancer Institute of The Netherlands, have discovered specific plant compounds able to inhibit transport mechanisms in the body that select what compounds are absorbed into the body,and eventually into cells. These same transport mechanisms are known to interfere with cancer chemotherapy treatment.
In a series of studies researchers have used specialized 3-D MRI scans to precisely measure living and dying tumor tissue to quickly show whether highly toxic chemotherapy is working.
Just as archeologists try to decipher ancient tablets to discern their meaning, UT Southwestern Medical Center cancer biologists are working to decode the purpose of an ancient gene considered one of the most important in cancer research. The p53 gene appears to be involved in signaling other cells instrumental in stopping tumor development. But the p53 gene predates cancer, so scientists are uncertain what its original function is.
Lab tests at Texas A&M AgriLife Research have shown that treatments with peach extract inhibit breast cancer metastasis in mice. AgriLife Research scientists say that the mixture of phenolic compounds present in the peach extract are responsible for the inhibition of metastasis, according to the study.
The delicate balance between development of normal tissue and tumors depends in part upon a key molecular switch within cells, Yale School of Medicine researchers report. Their findings reveal a potential mechanism used by cancer cells to recruit healthy cells to promote tumor growth and suggest new strategies to generate healthy tissue.
Researchers at UC Davis have found that the investigational cancer vaccine tecemotide, when administered with the chemotherapeutic cisplatin, boosted immune response and reduced the number of tumors in mice with lung cancer. The study also found that radiation treatments did not significantly impair the immune response.
When cancer spreads from one part of the body to another, it becomes even more deadly. It moves with stealth and can go undetected for months or years. But a new technology that uses “nano-flares” has the potential to catch these lurking, mobilized tumor cells early on. Scientists presented the latest advances in nano-flare technology as it applies to the detection of metastatic breast cancer cells.
IBM is teaming up with the New York Genome Center to help fight brain cancer. The company said that its Watson cloud computing system will be used in partnership with a New York-based genetic research center to help develop treatments for glioblastoma, the most common type of brain cancer in U.S. adults.