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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.

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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.

Researchers X-Ray Living Cancer Cells

February 28, 2014 1:40 pm | News | Comments

Scientist have carried out the first studies of living biological cells using high-energy X-rays. The new method shows clear differences in the internal cellular structure between living and dead, chemically fixed cells that are often analyzed.

Researchers Discover Unusual Genetic Mutation Linked to Adolescent Liver Cancer

February 28, 2014 1:27 pm | News | Comments

A collaboration of researchers found an unusual mutation has been found that is strongly linked to one such disease: a rare liver cancer that affects teens and young adults. The results suggest that the mutation plays a key role in the development of the disease, called fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma, and may also underlie more common cancers as well.

Breast Cancer Cells Less Likely to Spread When One Gene is Turned Off

February 27, 2014 2:17 pm | News | Comments

New research suggests that a protein only recently linked to cancer has a significant effect on the risk that breast cancer will spread, and that lowering the protein’s level in cell cultures and mice reduces chances for the disease to extend beyond the initial tumor.

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Experimental Treatment Eradicates Acute Leukemia in Mice

February 27, 2014 1:49 pm | News | Comments

A team of scientists from UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center has developed an experimental treatment that eradicates an acute type of leukemia in mice without any detectable toxic side effects. The drug works by blocking two important metabolic pathways that the leukemia cells need to grow and spread.

Can a Simple Handshake Predict Cancer Survival Rates?

February 27, 2014 1:35 pm | News | Comments

New acquaintances are often judged by their handshake. Research has now recognized the simple squeeze as an important diagnostic tool in assessing strength and quality of life among critical care patients. In a recent study, Concordia professor Robert Kilgour and his colleagues at the McGill Nutrition and Performance Laboratory confirmed a link between handgrip strength and survival rates.

Cancer Vaccine Could Use Immune System to Fight Tumors

February 27, 2014 1:22 pm | News | Comments

Cincinnati Cancer Center (CCC) and UC Cancer Institute researchers have found that a vaccine, targeting tumors that produce a certain protein and receptor responsible for communication between cells and the body’s immune system, could initiate the immune response to fight cancer.

Finding a Few Foes Among Billions of Friends

February 26, 2014 2:40 pm | News | Comments

A team of chemists is reporting a new way to detect just a few lurking tumor cells, which can be outnumbered a billion to one in the bloodstream by healthy cells. The researchers have constructed an ultrasensitive nanoprobe that can electrochemically sense as few as four circulating tumor cells, and it doesn’t require any enzymes to produce a detectable signal.

Nanoparticles and Magnetic Fields Train Immune Cells to Fight Cancer in Mice

February 26, 2014 2:21 pm | News | Comments

Using tiny particles designed to target cancer-fighting immune cells, Johns Hopkins researchers have trained the immune systems of mice to fight melanoma, a deadly skin cancer. The experiments represent a significant step toward using nanoparticles and magnetism to treat a variety of conditions, the researchers say.

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Nuclear Stiffness Keeps Stem Cells and Cancer Cells in Place

February 26, 2014 1:50 pm | News | Comments

Adult stem cells and cancer cells have many things in common, including an ability to migrate through tiny gaps in tissue. Both types of cells also experience a trade-off when it comes to this ability; having a flexible nucleus makes migration easier but is worse at protecting the nucleus’ DNA compared to a stiffer nucleus.

A Paper Diagnostic for Cancer

February 25, 2014 2:16 pm | News | Comments

MIT engineers have developed a simple, cheap, paper test that could improve diagnosis rates and help people get treated earlier. The diagnostic, which works much like a pregnancy test, could reveal within minutes, based on a urine sample, whether a person has cancer.

Building a Better Mouse (Model) to Study Pancreatic Cancer

February 25, 2014 2:09 pm | News | Comments

Researchers report two breakthroughs in understanding lesions in the pancreas and its ducts and their role in pancreatic cancer: the development of the first mouse model that simulates a precursor lesion called intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasia (IPMN), and the identification of an enzyme, Brg1, that appears to help cause the formation of IPMN lesions while also suppressing another precursor lesion.

Researchers Devise a Fast and Effective Mechanism to Combat Ovarian Cancer

February 24, 2014 12:37 pm | News | Comments

Ovarian cancer accounts for more deaths of American women than any other cancer of the female reproductive system. A researcher has proposed a new strategy to tackle an aggressive subtype of ovarian cancer using a new nanoscale drug-delivery system designed to target specific cancer cells.

Dismantling Pancreas Cancer’s Armor

February 21, 2014 12:07 pm | News | Comments

Pancreas cancer is notoriously impervious to treatment and resists both chemotherapy and radiotherapy. It has also been thought to provide few targets for immune cells, allowing tumors to grow unchecked. But new research shows that pancreas cancer “veils” itself from the immune system by recruiting specialized immune suppressor cells.

Thyroid Cancer Cases Soar; Is It Overdiagnosed?

February 20, 2014 4:08 pm | by Lindsey Tanner - AP Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

A dramatic rise in thyroid cancer has resulted from overdiagnosis and treatment of tumors too small to ever cause harm, according to a study that found cases nearly tripled since 1975. The study is the latest to question whether all cancers need aggressive treatment.

Gene Sequencing Project Discovers Common Driver of a Childhood Brain Tumor

February 20, 2014 1:28 pm | News | Comments

The St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital-Washington University Pediatric Cancer Genome Project has identified the most common genetic alteration ever reported in the brain tumor ependymoma and evidence that the alteration drives tumor development. The results provide a foundation for new research to improve diagnosis and treatment of ependymoma, the third most common brain tumor in children.

Cell Behavior in Low Oxygen Conditions Mapped

February 20, 2014 12:09 pm | News | Comments

Research at the University of Liverpool has explained how cells behave when placed in a low oxygen environment, a development that could have implications for cancer patients and other serious illnesses. The research opens up the possibility of controlling the signals that keep cells alive, preventing the damages caused by ischemia—a restriction of blood supply to tissues. It could also work to help destroy cancer cells.

Scientists Develop Gene Test to Accurately Classify Brain Tumors

February 19, 2014 1:21 pm | News | Comments

Scientists at The Wistar Institute have developed a mathematical method for classifying forms of glioblastoma, an aggressive and deadly type of brain cancer, through variations in the way these tumor cells “read” genes. Their system was capable of predicting the subclasses of glioblastoma tumors with 92 percent accuracy. With further testing, this could enable physicians to predict which forms of therapy would most benefit their patients.

Epigenetic Regulation Required to Ensure Correct Number of Chromosomes

February 18, 2014 1:31 pm | News | Comments

Abnormal number of chromosomes is often associated with cancer development. In a new study, researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have shown that a subtle epigenetic change plays an important role in the correct segregation of chromosomes.

Grape Seed Promise in Fight Against Bowel Cancer

February 14, 2014 1:09 pm | News | Comments

University of Adelaide research has shown for the first time that grape seed can aid the effectiveness of chemotherapy in killing colon cancer cells as well as reducing the chemotherapy's side effects. The researchers say that combining grape seed extracts with chemotherapy has potential as a new approach for bowel cancer treatment - to both reduce intestinal damage commonly caused by cancer chemotherapy and to enhance its effect.

A Microchip for Metastasis

February 7, 2014 11:32 am | News | Comments

In an attempt to learn how and why certain cancers spread to specific organs, researchers have developed a three-dimensional microfluidic platform that mimics the spread of breast cancer cells into a bonelike environment.         

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