Reprogramming Cancer Cells to Undergo Cellular Death

  Colorectal cancer is the second most common cancer. New treatments tend to be in high demand because current treatment options offer limited efficacy and can be ineffective in up to 70% of patients, in part due to genetic variation, rendering personalized medicine to be increasingly important. Argonaut Therapeutics plans to reboot the cancer cell so that it undergoes the body’s natural cell death process, known as apoptosis. Essentially, their therapies will target a “switch” that p...
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New Colonoscopy Study

According to a study published in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, a team of researchers led by Bas Oldenburg, MD, PhD, University Medical Center Utrecht, analyzed data on 1,273 IBD patients (34% Crohn’s disease, 63% ulcerative colitis, and 3% unclassified) who had experienced a total of 4,327 surveillance colonoscopies between January 1, 2000 and January 1, 2014. Surveillance is recommended for patients with long-term inflammatory bowel disease because they have an incre...
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Simple test identifies lung cancer patients with best chemotherapy response.

A new study shows that a certain type of protein can be used to determine if a lung cancer patient will respond positively to chemotherapy. While prognosis for the most common form, adenocarcinoma, has remained poor, new research has shown a link between the absence of a specific protein and improved patient outcomes. Scientists at Lawson Health Research Institute have found that patients who undergo chemotherapy and surgery experience significantly improved survival rates when their tumor is la...
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New method developed to predict response to nanotherapeutics

Many nanotherapeutics are currently being tested in clinical trials and several have already been clinically approved to treat cancers. But the ability to predict which patients will be most responsive to these treatments has remained elusive. Now, a collaboration between investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) has led to a new approach that uses an FDA-approved, magnetic nanoparticle and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to identify tumors mos...
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More than 11 moles on your arm could indicate higher risk of melanoma.

People who have more than 11 moles on their right arm could have a higher risk of skin cancer. Researchers at King’s College London have investigated a new method that could be used by GPs to quickly determine the number of moles on the entire body by counting the number found on a smaller ‘proxy’ body area, such as an arm. Naevus (mole) count is one of the most important markers of risk for skin cancer despite only 20 to 40 per cent of melanoma arising from pre-existing moles. The risk is thoug...
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Wasp’s Venom could be a powerful weapon against Cancer

A toxin in Polybia paulista's sting reportedly kills tumor cells without harming healthy ones. It seems like an oxymoron, but scientists say the venom of Polybia paulista, a wasp native to Brazil, fits that description. According to a study published in the Biophysical Journal this week, the wasp’s venom contains a toxin, named MP1, that selectively destroys tumor cells without harming normal ones. The BBC called the venom a potentially powerful “weapon against cancer.” In lab tests, MP1 was ...
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Peptide drugs with longer lifespan open new doors for treating diseases.

A research led by scientists from the University of the Pacific holds new possibilities for the treatment of cancer and other diseases using peptide drugs. The researchers concocted a technique to considerably enhance the lifespan of peptides such that they could be used more efficiently. Peptides are small chains of amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. Treating diseases like cancer by using peptides is thought to be effective because they can be more potent, and safer to use than large...
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New Technology to Monitor Cancer Cells

Deborah Kelly, a biologist at Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, has developed a "microchip-based toolkit" to watch the breast cancer affiliated BRCA1 gene act inside a human breast cancer cell. This new technology allows scientists to watch cancer cells in action at unprecedented resolution. They can now peer closely into the world of cells and molecules within a native, liquid environment. Kelly and colleagues have developed a way to isolate biological specimens in a flowing, liquid en...
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Scientists discover how to trap cancer cells before they spread.

Researchers at the Francis Crick Institute and the University of Copenhagen have discovered a new way to 'fence in' a tumor and help stop cancer cells from spreading. Tumors cause cells called fibroblasts to stiffen the surrounding tissue so that cancer cells can grip it, allowing them to tunnel through to the blood stream and spread around the body. They showed that adding experimental drugs, reprogrammed fibroblasts helped in stopping them from 'stiffening' the tissue around tumors. This he...
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Scientists produce clearest-ever images of enzyme that plays key roles in aging, cancer.

An enzyme called telomerase plays a significant role in aging and most cancers, but until recently many aspects of the enzyme’s structure could not be clearly seen. Scientists from UCLA and UC Berkeley have produced images of telomerase in much higher resolution than ever before, giving them major new insights about the enzyme. Their findings, could ultimately lead to new directions for treating cancer and preventing premature aging. “Many details we could only guess at before, we can now see...
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Predictive technique could help determine breast cancer therapies

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a predictive model that can provide doctors with an "invasiveness index" for cancer based on blood samples from individual patients, according to a new study. The test is based on chemical expression by specific cells in the body that help cancer move from the breast to other parts of the body. We want women to have more information to make a personal decision beyond the averages calculated for an entire population," said Manu ...
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Malaria protein may hold key for cancer cure.

Danish scientists who were working on ways to fight malaria in pregnant women have accidentally discovered that the malaria protein they were using in their vaccine, when armed with a toxin, could kill cancer cells. The test was conducted on mice, and showed that the malaria protein first attached itself to the carbohydrate of the cancer cell, which later was killed off by the toxin. They hope to be able to begin tests on humans in the next four years. For decades, scientists have been search...
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Coffee lowers risk of Parkinson’s, type 2 Diabetes, Five Cancers, and More

Harvard scientists have had coffee under the microscope for years, and last year announced the discovery of six new human genes that relate to coffee, reconfirming existence of two others previously identified. The long-running Harvard Nurses Health Study has found that coffee has protective qualities against type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and investigators are revisiting a 2001 study finding that it can also protect against Parkinson’s disease. Powell notes that this research at Ha...
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Protein-based sensor detects viral infection, kills cancer cells

A revolutionary discovery that protein-based sensor could detect viral infection or kill cancer cells. MIT biological engineers is that they have developed a modular system of proteins that can detect a particular DNA sequence in a cell and then trigger a specific response, such as cell death. This system can be customized to detect any DNA sequence in a mammalian cell and then trigger a desired response, including killing cancer cells or cells infected with a virus. This technology is ...
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Researchers disguise drugs as platelets to target Cancer

The latest technique that coats anticancer drugs in membranes made from a patient’s own platelets has been discovered. It allows the drugs to last longer in the body and attack both primary cancer tumors and the circulating tumor cells that can cause a cancer to metastasize .The work was tested successfully in an animal model. “There are two key advantages to using platelet membranes to coat anticancer drugs,” says Zhen Gu, corresponding author of a paper on the work and an assistant professor i...
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Synthetic tumor environments add realism to Cancer research

Scientists at the University of Illinois have developed a new technique to create hydrogels, which can realistically and quickly recreate microenvironments found across biology. To illustrate the potential of their method, the Illinois team mixed breast cancer cells and macrophages that signal cancer cells to spread and grow into a tumor. They were able to observe how differently cells act in the three-dimensional, gel-like environment, which is much more like body tissues than the current resea...
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Genetic Mutations Clue to Breast Cancer Relapse

Scientists have discovered a genetic clue to why some breast cancers relapse, which could lead to better treatment. The latest research on breast cancer was presented at the European Cancer Congress (ECC) in Vienna by Rd. Lucy Yates, leader of the team from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute at the University of Cambridge, Xinhua. The research team has found genetic mutations as clues to breast cancer relapse, which could tell whether breast cancer is likely to relapse after treatment. ...
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Combination drug therapy shrinks pancreatic tumors in mice

A combination of two drugs appears to be effective at shrinking pancreatic cancers in laboratory mice Pancreatic cancer is one of the most deadly of all human cancers, and its incidence is increasing. A combination of two drugs, one already approved by the Food and Drug Administration, appears to be effective at shrinking pancreatic cancers in laboratory mice, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. The drugs, which affect the structure and fu...
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Telomere Changes Predict Cancer

A simple blood test may be able to predict cancer years before a diagnosis. A distinct pattern in the changing length of blood telomeres, the protective end caps on our DNA strands, can predict cancer many years before actual diagnosis, according to a new study from Northwestern Medicine in collaboration with Harvard University. "Understanding this pattern of telomere growth may mean it can be a predictive biomarker for cancer," Dr. Lifang Hou, the lead study author and a professor of prev...
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Scientists produce cancer drug from rare plant in lab

Stanford scientists produce cancer drug from rare plant in lab to benefit human health. Elizabeth Sattely, an assistant professor of chemical engineering at Stanford, and her graduate student Warren Lau have isolated the machinery for making a widely used cancer-fighting drug from an endangered plant. Many of the drugs we take today to treat pain, fight cancer or other diseases were originally identified in plants, some of which are endangered or hard to grow. In many cases, those plants a...
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Live imaging reveals how wound healing influences cancer

"See-through" larvae of zebrafish reveal how wound healing leads to skin cancer. Genetically modified larvae of zebrafish were studied by the researchers in the United Kingdom and Denmark   to watch the relationship between wound-associated inflammation and melanoma. The cellular events and changes were observed by live imaging with a special confocal laser-scanning microscope. The experiments showed that neutrophils, the protective inflammatory cells of the body's immune system, gets d...
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