Cancer Research

A team of researchers made a seminal breakthrough in understanding the molecular basis of fibroadenoma, one of the most common breast tumors diagnosed in women. Led by Professors Teh Bin Tean, Patrick Tan, Tan Puay Hoon and Steve Rozen, the team used advanced DNA sequencing technologies to identify a critical gene called MED12 that was repeatedly disrupted in nearly 60% of fibroadenoma cases. 


The human papilloma virus (HPV) is common in humans but it can lead to infection and even cancer so there have been calls to get people vaccinated. 4,000 women will die each year from cervical cancer, which is linked to HPV, and HPV can also cause genital warts and more rare forms of cancer. The two vaccines in use, made by GlaxoSmithKline and Merck, prevent about 70 percent of cervical cancer cases and the CDC estimates that 7,000 HPV-associated cancers might be prevented each year with HPV vaccines but uptake has been limited because medical professionals don't like that there have been tens of thousands of adverse reaction reports.

A new study finds that the HPV test alone may be valuable. A study


Circulating tumor cells spread ovarian cancer through the bloodstream, homing in on a sheath of abdominal fatty tissue where it can grow and metastasize to other organs, according to a new paper.

The researchers found the circulating tumor cells (CTCs) rely on HER3, a less-famous sibling of the HER2 receptor protein prominent in some breast cancers, to find their way to the omentum, a sheet of tissue that covers and supports abdominal organs. HER3's heavy presence on these cells makes it a biomarker candidate and suggests possible therapeutic options to thwart ovarian cancer progression, the researchers noted.

High expression of HER3 in ovarian cancer tumors is associated with shorter survival, the team found.


Vasectomy is a common form of contraception in the U.S., with about 15% of men having the procedure. Prostate cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death among U.S. men, so identifying risk factors for lethal prostate cancer is important for public health.

A new study by researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health found that vasectomy was associated with a small increased risk of prostate cancer but a stronger risk for advanced or lethal prostate cancer. The association remained even among men who received regular PSA screening, suggesting the increased risk of lethal cancer cannot be explained by diagnostic bias. This was the largest and most comprehensive study to date to look at the link between vasectomy and prostate cancer.


Researchers have revealed the structure of a protein complex,
MATα2 and MATβ,
that bind to each other and promote the reproduction of tumor cells in liver and colon cancers.

Both of these types of cancer are significant. In 2012 alone, liver cancer was responsible for the second highest mortality rate worldwide, with colon cancer appearing third in the list. 

This structural data discovery opens up additional research opportunities into drugs that can act on the binding of these proteins, thereby possibly inhibiting cancer cell growth.


Researchers have found that the loss of a protein called p62 in the cells and tissue surrounding a tumor can enhance the growth and progression of tumors. The study suggests that therapies targeting the tumor micro-envirnonment may be as important as targeting the tumor itself. 

The findings contribute to the increasing acknowledgement that the cells and tissue surrounding a tumor, the stroma, are an integral part of cancer initiation, growth, and expansion. 


After the age of 10, a dog develops cancer almost every second of the day - about 5 percent of the elderly dog population per year. If you have the financial means, a few therapies derived from human medicine are available for dogs but a truly successful form of therapy by which antibodies inhibit tumor growth has not been available for animals so far. 

Scientists at the inter-university Messerli Research Institute of the Vetmeduni Vienna, the Medical University of Vienna, and the University of Vienna have developed, for the first time, antibodies to treat cancer in dogs. As in humans, cancers in dogs have complex causes. The interaction of the environment, food, and genetic disposition are the most well known factors.

Researchers have identified a biomarker that predicts whether glioblastoma – the most common form of primary brain cancer – will respond to chemotherapy.  

"Every patient diagnosed with glioblastoma is treated with a chemotherapy called temozolomide. About 15 percent of these patients derive long-lasting benefit," said Clark C. Chen, MD, PhD, vice-chairman of Academic Affairs, Division of Neurosurgery, UC San Diego School of Medicine and the study's principal investigator. "We need to identify which patients benefit from temozolomide and which another type of treatment. All therapies involve risk and the possibility of side-effects. Patients should not undergo therapies if there's no likelihood of benefit."


Recently findings could help to reduce health care charges while also protecting childhood cancer survivors from heart ailments caused by drug therapy. 

The paper reviewed data from patient histories to show that current standard medical guidelines for protecting childhood cancer survivors from drug treatment-related heart disease and heart failure later in life through periodic heart scans (echocardiographs) are overly cautious.

According to the data, the frequency of such post-cancer screenings can be safely reduced for low-risk patients – with large cost-savings and little reduction in overall quality of patient care.


The gene Metadherin - MTDH - which is implicated in promoting the spread of breast cancer tumors, only stimulates tumor growth when the protein made by the gene interacts with a second protein known as SND1, according to a paper in Cancer Cell.

Invasive breast cancer strikes 1 in 8 women and causes roughly 40,000 deaths each year in the United States. About 20 percent of women with breast cancer go on to develop tumors that spread throughout body, are resistant to chemotherapy, and are often fatal.