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Cancer Biologists Link Tumor Suppressor Gene to Stem Cells

March 26, 2014 2:09 pm | News | Comments

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.

Peaches Inhibit Breast Cancer Metastasis in Mice

March 26, 2014 9:54 am | News | Comments

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.

A Key Link Between Tumors and Healthy Tissue Identified

March 24, 2014 2:49 pm | News | Comments

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.

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Potential Lung Cancer Vaccine Shows Renewed Promise

March 21, 2014 12:09 pm | News | Comments

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.

Catching the Early Spread of Breast Cancer

March 20, 2014 1:30 pm | News | Comments

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's Watson to Help in Brain Cancer Research

March 19, 2014 3:18 pm | by Bree Fowler - AP Technology Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

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 Discover the Earliest Complete Example of a Human with Cancer

March 18, 2014 2:10 pm | News | Comments

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.

Cancer Therapy May Be Too Targeted

March 17, 2014 2:01 pm | News | Comments

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.

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Major ‘Third-hand Smoke’ Compound Causes DNA Damage

March 17, 2014 11:43 am | News | Comments

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.              

Gene Family Proven to Suppress Prostate Cancer

March 14, 2014 1:45 pm | News | Comments

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.

New Findings Show Link Between Diabetes and Pancreatic Cancer

March 14, 2014 1:10 pm | News | Comments

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.

How Tumors Escape

March 13, 2014 2:28 pm | News | Comments

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.

Cancer Cells Don’t Engage in ‘Drunken’ Walks as They Spread Through the Body in 3D

March 11, 2014 1:41 pm | Videos | Comments

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.

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UV Light Aids Cancer Cells that Creep Along the Outside of Blood Vessels

March 11, 2014 1:08 pm | News | Comments

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.

A Signal to Spread: Scientists Identify Potent Driver of Metastasis

March 10, 2014 2:03 pm | News | Comments

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. 

Study Links BPA and Breast Cancer Tumor Growth

March 10, 2014 11:58 am | News | Comments

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 Create New Tool to Unravel Mysteries of Metastasis

March 10, 2014 10:26 am | News | Comments

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. 

Bone Turnover Markers Predict Prostate Cancer Outcomes

March 7, 2014 2:16 pm | News | Comments

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.

Cells Appearing Normal May Actually be Harbingers of Lung Cancer

March 7, 2014 1:42 pm | News | Comments

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.

Vitamin D Increases Breast Cancer Patient Survival

March 7, 2014 1:31 pm | News | Comments

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.

In First Moments of Infection, a Division and a Decision

March 7, 2014 1:21 pm | News | Comments

Using technologies and computational modeling that trace the destiny of single cells, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine describe for the first time the earliest stages of fate determination among white blood cells called T lymphocytes, providing new insights that may help drug developers create more effective, longer-lasting vaccines against microbial pathogens or cancer.

Cancer Stem Cell Camps

March 4, 2014 4:51 pm | by Cynthia Fox | Articles | Comments

At least two camps have formed in the “breast cancer stem cell” world. One camp believes most cancers may come from stem cells—or stem-like progenitors—gone awry. Others agree cancers can be most virulent when reaching a stem cell-like state—but believe they may come from both stem cells and mature cells gone awry.

Immune System-based Therapy Produces Lasting Remissions in Melanoma Patients

March 4, 2014 12:59 pm | News | Comments

A drug that unleashes the immune system to attack cancer can produce lasting remissions and hold the disease in check – for more than two years, in some cases – in many patients with advanced melanoma, according to a new study. The study provides the longest-term look so far at how melanoma patients have fared since receiving the drug, nivolumab, in a Phase 1 clinical trial.

Tackling Tumors with Space Station Research

March 4, 2014 11:41 am | News | Comments

In space, things don’t always behave the way we expect them to. In the case of cancer, researchers have found that this is a good thing: some tumors seem to be much less aggressive in the microgravity environment of space compared to their behavior on Earth.

Ancient Chinese Medicine Put Through its Paces for Pancreatic Cancer

March 3, 2014 11:29 am | News | Comments

The bark of the Amur cork tree (Phellodendron amurense) has traveled a centuries-long road with the healing arts. Now it is being put through its paces by science in the fight against pancreatic cancer, with the potential to make inroads against several more.

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