Tag Archives: Oncology

The tapeworm that turned into a tumour

Bizarre case study reports how cancerous cells came from a tapeworm infection. A tapeworm that infected a Colombian man deposited malignant cells inside his body that spread much like an aggressive cancer, researchers have reported in a bizarre, but not unprecedented, case. “We have a situation where a foreign organism is developing as a tumour […]

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How glucose regulation enables malignant tumor growth

A new study led by researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center. The researchers identified a critical molecule in that pathway that, if blocked, might cripple lipid production by cancer cells and slow tumor growth. This approach would be a new strategy for treating a lethal type of brain cancer called glioblastoma multiforme, […]

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Cancer-fighting viruses win approval

US regulators clear a viral melanoma therapy, paving the way for a promising field with a chequered past. An engineered herpesvirus that provokes an immune response against cancer has become the first treatment of its kind to be approved for use in the United States, paving the way for a long-awaited class of therapies. On […]

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Immunotherapy for pancreatic cancer boosts survival by more than 75 percent in mice

A new study in mice by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has found that a specialized type of immunotherapy — even when used without chemotherapy or radiation — can boost survival from pancreatic cancer, a nearly almost-lethal disease, by more than 75 percent. The findings are so promising, human clinical trials are planned […]

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* Why elephants rarely get cancer

Why elephants rarely get cancer is a mystery that has stumped scientists for decades. A study led by researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah and Arizona State University, and including researchers from the Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant Conservation, may have found the answer. According to the results, published in […]

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Novel compound turns off mutant cancer gene in animals with leukemia

A compound discovered and developed by a team of Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers that halts cancer in animals with Ewing sarcoma and prostate cancer appears to work against some forms of leukemia, too. That finding and the team’s latest work was published online Oct. 8 in Oncotarget. The compound is YK-4-279, the first […]

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Two-drug combination shows promise against one type of pancreatic cancer

One form of pancreatic cancer has a new enemy: a two-drug combination discovered by UF Health researchers that inhibits tumors and kills cancer cells in mouse models. For the first time, researchers have shown that a certain protein becomes overabundant in pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors, allowing them to thrive. They also found that pairing a synthetic […]

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Blood vessel cells help tumors evade the immune system

A study by researchers at Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet is the first to suggest that cells in the tumour blood vessels contribute to a local environment that protects the cancer cells from tumour-killing immune cells. The results, which are being published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, can contribute to the development of better […]

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Discovery of new code makes reprogramming of cancer cells possible

Cancer researchers dream of the day they can force tumor cells to morph back to the normal cells they once were. Now, researchers on Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus have discovered a way to potentially reprogram cancer cells back to normalcy. The finding, published in Nature Cell Biology, represents “an unexpected new biology that provides the […]

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* High use of alternative medicine in senior oncology patients

Alternative medicines are widely thought to be at least harmless and very often helpful for a wide range of discomforts and illnesses. However, although they’re marketed as “natural,” they often contain active ingredients that can react chemically and biologically with other therapies. Researchers performed a comprehensive review of all of the medications taken by senior […]

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Pediatric brain tumors can be classified noninvasively at diagnosis

Medulloblastoma subgroups can be identified using imaging techniques, allowing early intervention. Medulloblastoma, the most commonly occurring malignant brain tumor in children, can be classified into four subgroups–each with a different risk profile requiring subgroup-specific therapy. Currently, subgroup determination is done after surgical removal of the tumor. Investigators at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles have now discovered […]

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Epigenetic driver of glioblastoma provides new therapeutic target

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Enzyme turns off genes required for maintaining cancer stem cell properties. Cancer’s ability to grow unchecked is often attributed to cancer stem cells, a small fraction of cancer cells that have the capacity to grow and multiply indefinitely. How cancer stem cells retain this property while the bulk of a tumor’s cells do not remains […]

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* Cell structure discovery advances understanding of cancer development

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University of Warwick researchers have discovered a cell structure which could help scientists understand why some cancers develop. For the first time a structure called ‘the mesh’ has been identified which helps to hold together cells. This discovery, which has been published in the online journal eLife, changes our understanding of the cell’s internal scaffolding. […]

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Gene therapy advance thwarts brain cancer in rats

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A nanoparticle gene delivery system has been developed by scientists that destroys brain gliomas in a rat model, significantly extending the lives of the treated animals. The nanoparticles are filled with genes for an enzyme that converts a prodrug called ganciclovir into a potent destroyer of the glioma cells. The nanoparticles are filled with genes […]

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New class of compounds shrinks pancreatic cancer tumors, prevents regrowth

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A chemical compound that has reduced the growth of pancreatic cancer tumors by 80 percent in treated mice has been developed by researchers. The compound, called MM41, was designed to block faulty genes. It appears to do this by targeting little knots in their DNA, called quadruplexes, which are very different from normal DNA and […]

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* Single gene turns colorectal cancer cells back into normal tissue in mice

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Anti-cancer strategies generally involve killing off tumor cells. However, cancer cells may instead be coaxed to turn back into normal tissue simply by reactivating a single gene. Researchers found that restoring normal levels of a human colorectal cancer gene in mice stopped tumor growth and re-established normal intestinal function within only four days. Anti-cancer strategies […]

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* Diagnosing cancer with lumninescent bacteria: Engineered probiotics detect tumors in liver

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Engineers have devised a new way to detect cancer that has spread to the liver, by enlisting help from probiotics — beneficial bacteria similar to those found in yogurt. Using a harmless strain of E. coli that colonizes the liver, the researchers programmed the bacteria to produce a luminescent signal that can be detected with […]

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New combination treatment strategy to ‘checkmate’ glioblastoma

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Therapies that specifically target mutations in a person’s cancer have been much-heralded in recent years, yet cancer cells often find a way around them. To address this, researchers identified a promising combinatorial approach to treating glioblastomas, the most common form of primary brain cancer. Therapies that specifically target mutations in a person’s cancer have been […]

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* Cancer mutations often misidentified in the clinic

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Many cancer patients in clinics across the United States might be getting inaccurate information from DNA analyses that are intended to match them with the most effective therapy. Examining normal tissue as well as tumours gives physicians a better shot at choosing effective therapies. Some institutions have already begun to sequence both normal and tumour […]

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Cancer: The Ras renaissance

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Thirty years of pursuit have failed to yield a drug to take on one of the deadliest families of cancer-causing proteins. Now some researchers are taking another shot. When Stephen Fesik left the pharmaceutical industry to launch an academic drug-discovery laboratory, he drew up a wanted list of five of the most important cancer-causing proteins […]

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Tumour mutations harnessed to build cancer vaccine

Personalized vaccines could provide new options to treat cancers driven by multiple genetic mutations. Vaccines made from mutated proteins found in tumours have bolstered immune responses to cancer in a small clinical trial. The results, published on 2 April in Science, are the latest from mounting efforts to generate personalized cancer therapies. In this case, […]

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Potential prognostic marker for recurrence of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma

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HNSCC is the sixth most common cancer worldwide and has a high rate of recurrence and early metastatic disease, resulting in approximately 350,000 deaths each year. “Our findings suggest that MED15 may serve as a prognostic marker for HNSCC recurrence and as a therapeutic target in HNSCC patients suffering from recurrences,” said lead investigator Sven […]

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* New colon cancer culprit found by vet researchers

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Christopher Lengner, an assistant professor in the Department of Animal Biology in Penn’s School of Veterinary Medicine, was the senior author on the work. Collaborators from Penn Vet included co-lead authors Shan Wang and Ning Li as well as Maryam Yousefi, Angela Nakauka-Ddamba and Kimberly Parada. Lengner’s research has long focused on how stem cells […]

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Therapeutic cancer vaccine survives biotech bust

The first therapeutic cancer vaccine to be approved in the United States will stay on the market despite the financial collapse of the trailblazing biotechnology company that developed it. The vaccine, Provenge (sipuleucel-T), was purchased on 23 February by Valeant Pharmaceuticals of Laval, Canada, which paid US$415 million for the prostate-cancer treatment and other assets […]

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How pancreatic cancer cells sidestep chemotherapy

Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest forms of the disease. The American Cancer Society’s most recent estimates for 2014 show that over 46,000 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and more than 39,000 will die from it. Now, research led by Timothy J. Yen, PhD, Professor at Fox Chase Cancer Center, reveals that […]

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Human stem cells repair damage caused by radiation therapy for brain cancer in rats

For patients with brain cancer, radiation is a powerful and potentially life-saving treatment, but it can also cause considerable and even permanent injury to the brain. Now, through preclinical experiments conducted in rats, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center researchers have developed a method to turn human stem cells into cells that are instructed to repair […]

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* Cancer biopsies do not promote cancer spread, research finds

A study of more than 2,000 patients by researchers at Mayo Clinic’s campus in Jacksonville, Florida, has dispelled the myth that cancer biopsies cause cancer to spread. In the Jan. 9 online issue of Gut, they show that patients who received a biopsy had a better outcome and longer survival than patients who did not […]

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Coupling head and neck cancer screening, lung cancer scans could improve survival

In an analysis published in the journal Cancer and funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the team provides a rationale for a national clinical trial to assess the effectiveness of adding examination of the head and neck to lung cancer screening programs. People most at risk for lung cancer are also those most […]

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Breast cancer vaccine shows promise in small clinical trial

A breast cancer vaccine developed at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis is safe in patients with metastatic breast cancer, results of an early clinical trial indicate. Preliminary evidence also suggests that the vaccine primed the patients’ immune systems to attack tumor cells and helped slow the cancer’s progression. The study appeared Dec. […]

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Novel regulatory mechanism for cell division found

A study, led by Zhimin Lu, M.D., Ph.D., professor of neuro-oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, showcased the non-metabolic abilities of PKM2 (pyruvate kinase M2) in promoting tumor cell proliferation when cells produce more of the enzyme. The study results were published in Nature Communications. Dr. Lu’s group previously demonstrated that […]

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