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Drug Can Target Deadly Breast Cancer

October 4, 2013 1:40 pm | News | Comments

Often deadly “triple-negative” breast cancers might be effectively treated in many cases with a drug that targets a previously unknown vulnerability in the tumors, according to a new study.  Researchers found blocking cystine from entering triple-negative breast cancer cells can significantly inhibited their growth in culture and when the cancer cells were transplanted into mice.

'Junk' DNA Reveals New Disease-causing Mutations

October 4, 2013 12:22 pm | News | Comments

Researchers can now identify DNA regions within non-coding DNA, the major part of the genome that is not translated into a protein, where mutations can cause diseases such as cancer. Their approach reveals many potential genetic variants within non-coding DNA that drive the development of a variety of different cancers.

Walking Can Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

October 4, 2013 11:52 am | News | Comments

Postmenopausal women who were very active or walked for at least seven hours a week had a reduced risk for breast cancer, according to a study. This is the first study to report a lower risk for breast cancer among this demographic associated specifically with walking.


Mini-microscope Detects Cancer Seeds Early

October 1, 2013 12:02 pm | News | Comments

Cancerous tumors can shed cells that travel through the blood stream and create new cancerous growths. These seed cells can be very difficult to detect, but scientists are developing a noninvasive method using a mini-microscope that could find these cells. 

Proteomics Adds New Chapter to ALL Research

September 29, 2013 2:22 pm | by Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard | News | Comments

Researchers have added a new layer of information to the Cancer Cell Line Encyclopedia related to the proteins around which DNA gets wrapped in the cell. This proteomics technique points the way to a potential drug target for pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

On the Hunt for Undiscovered Cancer Genes

September 27, 2013 1:56 pm | by Harvard Medical School | News | Comments

Scanning the DNA of nearly 5,000 tumor samples, a team of scientists has identified 140 regions of scrambled genetic code believed to contain many undiscovered cancer genes. The researchers said the mapping of the abnormal regions gives cancer scientists a starting point from which to search for as-yet undiscovered oncogenes and broken tumor-suppressor genes.

Telomere Length May Matter for Prostate Cancer Prognosis

September 27, 2013 1:16 pm | News | Comments

Like the plastic caps at the end of shoelaces, telomeres protect- in their case- the interior-gene containing parts of chromosomes that carry a cell's instructional material. Cancer cells are known to have short telomeres, but just how short they are from cancer cell to cancer cell may be a determining factor in a prostate cancer patient's prognosis, according to a new study.

New Breast Cancer Imaging Technique Can Minimize False Positives

September 27, 2013 12:46 pm | News | Comments

A joint research team is developing a new breast cancer screening technique that has the potential to reduce false positives, and, possibly, minimize the need for invasive biopsies. The new MRI device could improve both the process and accuracy of breast cancer screening by scanning for sodium levels in the breast.


Study IDs Rules for Cancer Drivers

September 27, 2013 6:22 am | News | Comments

This week, researchers announced that they had identified some rules that apply across cancers for a specific type of genetic mutation– somatic copy number alterations (SCNAs). SCNAs are deletions or duplications of certain regions of the genome, and are some of the most common mutations that occur in cancer.

Eating Peanut Butter May Improve Breast Health Later in Life

September 26, 2013 12:14 pm | News | Comments

Here’s some news worth spreading: Girls who eat more peanut butter could improve their breast health later in life. Research shows that girls ages 9 to 15 who regularly ate peanut butter or nuts were 39 percent less likely to develop benign breast disease by age 30.

Hospital First to Test All Patients for Millions of Tumor Mutations

September 25, 2013 1:13 pm | by Cynthia Fox | Articles | Comments

“Incredibly valuable,” is how Barrett Rollins, Chief Scientific Officer of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, describes his hospital’s unprecedented Profile program. In that program, the largest of its kind, all adult cancer patients at two Boston hospitals—Dana Farber and Brigham Women’s—are offered some of the most extensive, next-generation-sequencing (NGS) testing in existence.

New Cancer Drug Helps Pain in Resistant Prostate Cancer

September 25, 2013 12:13 pm | News | Comments

Abiraterone acetate, a recently FDA-approved drug used to treat men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer and marketed as Zytiga, significantly delays progression of pain and quality of life deterioration when taken in conjunction with prednisone. The design of the study emphasized the importance of patient reported-outcomes in evaluating new treatments.

Proteins That Help Brain Tumors Spread Identified

September 23, 2013 11:53 am | News | Comments

Scientists have identified a molecular pathway that seems to contribute to the ability of malignant glioma cells in a brain tumor to spread and invade previously healthy brain tissue. Researchers says the findings provide new drug-discovery targets to rein in the ability of these cells to move.


Human Brain Tumor Cells Erased in Mice

September 23, 2013 11:21 am | News | Comments

Working with mice, researchers have discovered that weeks of treatment with a repurposed FDA-approved drug halted the growth of— and ultimately left no detectable trace of— brain tumor cells taken from adult human patients. The scientists targeted a mutation in the IDH1 gene first identified in human brain tumors called gliomas by a team cancer researchers in 2008.

Dog Food Additive May Prevent Chemo Side Effect

September 20, 2013 12:35 pm | News | Comments

Working with cells in test tubes and in mice, researchers have discovered that a chemical commonly used as a dog food preservative may prevent the kind of painful nerve damage found in the hands and feet of four out of five cancer patients taking the chemotherapy drug Taxol.

Biomarker Can ID Smoking-related Lung Cancer

September 20, 2013 12:29 pm | News | Comments

Researchers have shown that a specific protein pair may be a successful prognostic biomarker for identifying smoking-related lung cancers. The protein— ASCL1— is associated with increased expression of the RET oncogene, a particular cancer-causing gene called RET.

Tumors Caught Bursting Through a Blood Vessel

September 20, 2013 12:05 pm | Videos | Comments

Researchers at MIT have developed a microfluidic device that mimics the process of extravasation, showing the flow of cancer cells through a system of blood vessels. The extravasation process is a crucial step in cancer metastasis that, until now, has been unclear.

Screenings Could Prevent 40% of Colorectal Cancers

September 19, 2013 12:30 pm | News | Comments

According to a large, long-term study, 40 percent of all colorectal cancers might be prevented if people underwent regular colonoscopy screening. The new research also supports existing guidelines that recommend that people with an average risk of colorectal cancer should have a colonoscopy every 10 years.

Possible 'Chemo Brain' Antidote Discovered

September 18, 2013 12:30 pm | News | Comments

A research team has shown scientifically what many women report anecdotally: that the breast cancer drug tamoxifen is toxic to cells of the brain and central nervous system, producing mental fogginess similar to “chemo brain.” The researchers also report they’ve discovered an existing drug compound that appears to counteract or rescue brain cells from the adverse effects of the breast cancer drug.

'Genome Guardian' Used as Immune Booster in Cancer Fight

September 18, 2013 12:17 pm | News | Comments

Researchers have discovered a new mechanism involving p53, the famous tumor suppressor, to fight against aggressive cancers. This strategy works by sabotaging the ability of the cancer cells to hide from the immune system. The research opens a new avenue to improve targeted cancer therapy by harnessing the body’s own immune system to control and eliminate cancer cells. 

Scientists Create Potent, Improved Version of Anticancer Drug

September 17, 2013 11:49 am | News | Comments

Scientists have found a way to make dramatic improvements to the cancer cell-killing power of vinblastine, one of the most successful chemotherapy drugs of the past few decades. The team’s modified versions of vinblastine showed 10 to 200 times greater potency than the clinical drug.

Depleting ‘Traitor’ Immune Cells Slows Cancer Mice

September 17, 2013 11:18 am | News | Comments

Most cancer drugs try to treat the disease by killing fast-growing cells, but another approach called immunotherapy tries to stimulate a person’s own immune system to attack the cancer itself. In a new study, scientists have developed a strategy to slow tumor growth and prolong survival in mice with cancer by targeting and destroying a type of cell that dampens the body’s immune response to cancer.

Specific Sugar Molecule Causes Cancer Cell Growth

September 16, 2013 10:57 am | News | Comments

The process of glycosylation, where sugar molecules are attached to proteins, has long been of interest to scientists, particularly because certain sugar molecules are present in very high numbers in cancer cells. It now turns out that these sugar molecules are not only present, but actually aid the growth of the malignant cells.

Test Could Identify Which Prostate Cancers Require Treatment

September 13, 2013 11:36 am | News | Comments

The level of expression of three genes associated with aging can be used to predict whether seemingly low-risk prostate cancer will remain slow-growing, according to researchers. Using this biomarker could help physicians better determine which men with early prostate cancer should be spared the risks of prostate removal or other invasive treatment.

T-rays Can Potentially Diagnosis Early Melanoma

September 12, 2013 12:25 pm | News | Comments

Terahertz radiation, the technology that peeks underneath clothing at airport security screening check points, has great potential for looking underneath human skin to diagnose cancer at its earliest and most treatable stages, according to new research. 

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