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.
Archaeologists have found the oldest complete example in the world of a human with metastatic cancer in a 3,000 year-old skeleton. The skeleton of the young adult male was found by a Durham University PhD student in a tomb in modern Sudan in 2013 and dates back to 1200BC.
Researchers have identified two novel cancer genes that are associated with the development of a rare, highly aggressive, cancer of blood vessels. These genes may now act as markers for future treatments and explain why narrowly targeted therapies that are directed at just one target fail.
Scientists are reporting that one compound from “third-hand smoke,” which forms when second-hand smoke reacts with indoor air, damages DNA and sticks to it in a way that could potentially cause cancer.
Cornell researchers report they have discovered direct genetic evidence that a family of genes, called MicroRNA-34 (miR-34), are bona fide tumor suppressors. Previous research has shown that another gene, called p53, acts to positively regulate miR-34. Mutations of p53 have been implicated in half of all cancers. miR-34 is also frequently silenced by mechanisms other than p53 in many cancers, including those with p53 mutations.
Researchers from the University of Melbourne have shown that there is an association between pancreatic cancer and diabetes. In a new study, clinicians worked with mathematicians to review data from 1973 to 2013 to conclude there was a time-dependent link between being diagnosed with diabetes and pancreatic cancer.
About 90 percent of cancer deaths are caused by tumors that have spread from their original locations. This process, known as metastasis, requires cancer cells to break loose from their neighbors and from the supportive scaffold that gives tissues their structure. Cancer biologists have now discovered that certain proteins in this structure, known as the extracellular matrix, help cancer cells make their escape.
Because of results seen in flat lab dishes, biologists have believed that cancers cells move through the body in a slow, aimless fashion, resembling an intoxicated person who cannot walk in a straight line. This pattern, called a random walk, may hold true for cells traveling across two-dimensional lab containers, but researchers have discovered that for cells moving through 3-D spaces within the body, the “drunken” model doesn’t hold true.
A new study by adds further proof to earlier findings that deadly melanoma cells can spread through the body by creeping like tiny spiders along the outside of blood vessels without ever entering the bloodstream. In addition, the new research demonstrates that this process is accelerated when the skin cancer cells are exposed to ultraviolet light.
An international team of researchers led by scientists at The Wistar Institute have discovered and defined LIMD2, a protein that can drive metastasis, the process where tumors spread throughout the body. Their study defines the structure of LIMD2 and correlates the protein in metastatic bladder, melanoma, breast, and thyroid tumors.
UT Arlington biochemists say their newly published study brings researchers a step closer to understanding how the commonly used synthetic compound bisphenol-A (BPA) may promote breast cancer growth. The researchers found that when breast cancer and mammary gland cells were exposed to BPA in lab tests, the BPA worked together with naturally present molecules, including estrogen, to create abnormal amounts of HOTAIR expression.
Researchers at the UNC School of Medicine have devised a new biochemical technique that will allow them and other scientists to delve much deeper than ever before into the specific cellular circuitry that keeps us healthy or causes disease. The method helps researchers study how specific proteins called kinases interact to trigger a specific cellular behavior, such as how a cell moves.
Biomarkers for bone formation and resorption predict outcomes for men with castration-resistant prostate cancer, a team of researchers have found. Their study also found that the markers identified a small group of patients who responded to the investigational drug atrasentan. The markers’ predictive ability could help clinicians match treatments with individual patients, track their effectiveness and affect clinical trial design.
Seemingly healthy cells may hide clues that lung cancer will later develop, according to a study led by researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Examination of gene expression in patients with non-small cell lung cancer showed the area adjacent to tumors is rich with cancer markers. In addition, researchers discovered the previously unknown role of a cancer-promoting gene in the airways of smokers with lung cancer.
Breast cancer patients with high levels of vitamin D in their blood are twice as likely to survive the disease as women with low levels of this nutrient. Previous studies showed that low vitamin D levels were linked to a high risk of premenopausal breast cancer. That finding prompted research that questioned the relationship between 25-hydroxyvitamin D and breast cancer survival rates.