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“Vicious cycle” shields, spreads cancer cells

September 17, 2013 8:16 am | News | Comments

A “vicious cycle” produces mucus that protects uterine and pancreatic cancer cells and promotes their proliferation, according to researchers at Rice Univ. The researchers offer hope for a therapeutic solution. They found that protein receptors on the surface of cancer cells go into overdrive to stimulate the production of MUC1, which covers the exposed tips of the elongated epithelial cells that coat internal organs to prevent infection.

FDA panel backs drug for early-stage breast cancer

September 12, 2013 2:52 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Government cancer experts say a drug from Roche has shown effectiveness as a new option to treat breast cancer before tumor-removing surgery. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration panel voted 13-0, with one abstention, that the benefits of Perjeta as an initial treatment for breast cancer outweigh its risks.

Cancer vaccine begins Phase 1 clinical trails

September 10, 2013 8:10 am | News | Comments

A cross-disciplinary team of scientists, engineers and clinicians announced that they have begun a Phase 1 clinical trial of an implantable vaccine to treat melanoma, the most lethal form of skin cancer. The effort is the fruit of a new model of translational research being pursued at Harvard Univ. that integrates the latest cancer research with bio-inspired technology development.

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FDA approves Celgene drug for pancreatic cancer

September 6, 2013 7:07 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Federal regulators have approved Celgene Inc.'s drug Abraxane to treat late-stage pancreatic cancer. In experimental trials, the drug extended the lives of patients by a little less than two months more than those treated with the current standard drug.

Blind mole-rats are resistant to chemically induced cancers

September 4, 2013 8:35 am | News | Comments

Like naked mole-rats, blind mole-rats live underground in low-oxygen environments, are long-lived and resistant to cancer. A new study demonstrates just how cancer-resistant they are, and suggests that the adaptations that help these rodents survive in low-oxygen environments also play a role in their longevity and cancer resistance.

NEETs are prime suspects in breast cancer proliferation

August 21, 2013 8:19 am | News | Comments

Two proteins have been identified as prime suspects in the proliferation of breast cancer in a study by an international consortium of researchers. The research may offer a path to therapies that could slow or stop tumors from developing. The research found that reducing the expression of a pair of proteins known as NEETs significantly reduced cancer cell proliferation and breast cancer tumor size.

Biophysicists zoom in on pore-forming toxin

August 15, 2013 7:43 am | News | Comments

A new study by Rice Univ. biophysicists offers the most comprehensive picture yet of the molecular-level action of melittin, the principal toxin in bee venom. The research could aid in the development of new drugs that use a similar mechanism as melittin’s to attack cancer and bacteria.

Researchers use nanoparticles to fight cancer

August 15, 2013 7:30 am | News | Comments

Researchers at the Univ. of Georgia are developing a new treatment technique that uses nanoparticles to reprogram immune cells so they are able to recognize and attack cancer. The human body operates under a constant state of martial law. Chief among the enforcers charged with maintaining order is the immune system. The immune system is good at its job, but it's not perfect.

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Innovation could improve personalized cancer-care outcomes

August 14, 2013 5:21 pm | News | Comments

A recent invention at Purdue Univ. could improve therapy selection for personalized cancer care. Researchers have created a technique called BioDynamic Imaging that measures the activity inside cancer biopsies, or samples of cells. It allows technicians to assess the efficacy of drug combinations, called regimens, on personal cancers.

Immunomedics reports positive study of cancer drug

August 14, 2013 12:23 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Shares of Immunomedics jumped Wednesday after announcing that its treatment for a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma helped to extend the lives of patients that used it in combination with another drug. The company said patients with newly diagnosed follicular lymphoma responded well to a combination of its epratuzumab and Roche's drug, Rituxan.

Cancer: Unraveling a mechanism behind cellular proliferation

August 14, 2013 9:58 am | News | Comments

A hallmark of cancer is uncontrolled and sustained cell division. One particular overactive protein, STAT3, is implicated in this malfunction. Scientists have recently discovered a complex mechanism that regulates this protein’s activity in healthy cells.

New evidence that cancer cells change while moving throughout body

August 13, 2013 8:04 am | News | Comments

For cancer patients, it’s not the primary tumor that is deadly, but the spread or “metastasis” of cancer cells from the primary tumor to secondary locations throughout the body that is the problem. That’s why a major focus of contemporary cancer research is how to stop or fight metastasis. Studies suggest that metastasizing cancer cells undergo a major molecular change when they leave the primary tumor—a process called EMT.

Feds, family reach deal on use of DNA information

August 9, 2013 8:13 am | by Malcolm Ritter, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

Some 60 years ago, a doctor in Baltimore removed cancer cells from a poor black patient named Henrietta Lacks without her knowledge or consent. Those cells eventually helped lead to a multitude of medical treatments and lay the groundwork for the multibillion-dollar biotech industry. Now, for the first time, the Lacks family has been given a say over at least some research involving her cells.

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Gold nanoprobes hold the key to treating killer diseases

August 7, 2013 12:14 pm | News | Comments

Stem cell therapy is in its infancy, but has the potential to change the way we treat cancer and other diseases by replacing damaged or diseased cells with healthy ones. Identifying the right cells to use is the challenge, and scientists in the U.K. have found a way to use gold nanoprobes with surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy to differentiate the nearly identical cells.

Catching cancer early by chasing it

August 1, 2013 4:18 pm | News | Comments

Reaching a clinic in time to receive an early diagnosis for cancer—when the disease is most treatable—is a global problem. And now a team of Chinese researchers proposes a global solution: have a user-friendly diagnostic device travel to the patient, anywhere in the world.

Nanofiber mesh fights cancerous tumors

July 3, 2013 9:20 am | News | Comments

A research team at the National Institute for Materials Science in Japan has developed a new nanofiber mesh which is capable of simultaneously performing thermotherapy and chemotherapy of tumors. Using this new mesh, the team succeeded in efficiently inducing natural death of epithelial cancer cells.

Cancerous traffic jams

July 2, 2013 8:41 am | News | Comments

Evidence is mounting that the development and spread of cancer, long attributed to gene expression and chemical signaling gone awry, involves a biomechanical component as well. Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have added to this body of evidence by demonstrating that the malignant activity of a critical cellular protein system can arise from what essentially are protein traffic jams.

Shape-shifting nanoparticles flip from sphere to net in response to tumor signal

May 29, 2013 8:10 am | News | Comments

Scientists at the University of California, San Diego have designed tiny spherical particles to float easily through the bloodstream after injection, then assemble into a durable scaffold within diseased tissue. An enzyme produced by a specific type of tumor can trigger the transformation of the spheres into net-like structures that accumulate at the site of a cancer.

Researchers develop radioactive nanoparticles that target cancer cells

May 22, 2013 9:09 am | News | Comments

Scientists in Missouri have successfully created nanoparticles made of a radioactive form of the element lutetium. By covering these particles with gold shells and attaching targeting agents, they have a tool that can seek out dangerous secondary lymphoma tumors. They recently demonstrated the nanoparticles can find the tumors without attaching to or damaging healthy cells.

Protected data cloud to analyze cancer data

May 20, 2013 9:16 am | News | Comments

The University of Chicago has recently  launched the first secure cloud-based computing system that enables researchers to access and analyze human genomic cancer information, such as the The Cancer Genome Atlas, without the costly and cumbersome infrastructure normally needed to download and store massive amounts of data.

United Tech donates $3M for Yale cancer research

May 15, 2013 1:20 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Aerospace conglomerate United Technologies Corp. says it's donated $3 million to establish an endowed professorship at the Yale Cancer Center in New Haven. Lieping Chen will be the first United Technologies Corp. Professor in Cancer Research and is known for research leading to clinical trials of new cancer drugs that harness the body's immune system to fight cancer.

Study identifies key protein for cell death

May 14, 2013 10:49 am | by Anne Trafton, MIT News Office | News | Comments

When cells suffer too much DNA damage, they are usually forced to undergo programmed cell death, or apoptosis. However, cancer cells often ignore these signals, flourishing even after chemotherapy drugs have ravaged their DNA. A new finding may offer a way to overcome that resistance: A team has identified a key protein involved in an alternative death pathway known as programmed necrosis.

Huge drug cost disparities seen in health overhaul

May 13, 2013 3:11 am | by RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR - Associated Press - Associated Press | News | Comments

Cancer patients could face high costs for medications under President Barack Obama's health care law, industry analysts and advocates warn. Where you live could make a huge difference in what you'll pay. To try to keep premiums low, some states are allowing insurers to charge patients a hefty share of the cost for expensive medications used to treat cancer, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other life-altering chronic diseases.

Eli Lilly ends development of lymphoma drug

May 10, 2013 1:06 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Eli Lilly and Co. said Friday it will stop development of an experimental cancer drug after it failed in a late-stage clinical trial. The company was studying enzastaurin as a treatment for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, a cancer that affects a type of white blood cell. Lilly said patients who were treated with enzastaurin did not survive longer than patients treated with a placebo.

Turn out the light: Switch determines cancer cell fate

May 3, 2013 8:10 am | by Anne Ju, Cornell University | News | Comments

Like picking a career or a movie, cells have to make decisions—and cancer results from cells making wrong decisions. At the cellular level, wrong decisions can be made right. A team has discovered that colon cancer stem cells, a particularly malignant population of cancer cells, are able to switch between the decision to proliferate or to remain constant—and this “switch” is controlled by a little-studied molecule called microRNA.

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