Cancer Research

Although prostate cancer will affect over 23,000 U.S. men next year, the individual genes that initiate prostate cancer formation are poorly understood, but finding an enzyme that regulates this process could provide excellent new prevention approaches for the malignancy.

Sirtuin enzymes have been implicated in neurodegeneration, obesity, heart disease, and cancer and a new paper in The American Journal of Pathology finds that the loss of SIRT1 drives the formation of early prostate cancer (prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia) in mouse models of the disease. 


Mobile Phones - No Link To Cancer

Although some members of the public express concern that mobile phones may cause cancer no credible evidence exists for a causal link between cancer and the weak magnetic fields associated with mobile phones.

A paper published today* by a team from the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology in Interface, a Journal of the Royal Society, following a study of the effects of weak magnetic fields on key human proteins shows that such weak fields have no detectable impact on flavoproteins.

Targeted therapy with radiopharmaceuticals - radioactive compounds used in nuclear medicine for diagnosis or treatment - has a lot of potential to more effectively kill cancer cells that have migrated from primary tumors to lymph nodes and secondary organs such as bone marrow.

Disseminated tumor cells can be difficult to treat with a single targeting agent because there are dramatic differences in the number of targetable receptors in each cell.


Women over the age of 70 with certain early-stage breast cancers don't get much benefit from radiation therapy, according to studies, but they still get it.  The reason is because doctors were able to make decisions that overruled the published evidence and every patient wanted to take no chances.

Now, with government increasingly controlling health care in the United States, the search is one for ways to lessen such "defensive medicine" and cut costs. The problem is that it will be difficult to tell doctors and patients they won't get what was previously considered standard care under a free market system now that more treatments are determined by government panels.



For many men, the down sides of PSA testing outweigh the benefits. Gerald Streiter/Flickr, CC BY-NC

By Ian Haines, Monash University



If you're at high risk of skin cancer, check your skin regularly. Roman Königshofer/Flickr, CC BY-ND

By H. Peter Soyer, The University of Queensland and Anna Finnane, The University of Queensland

Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), in which an injectable or implanted medication is used to disrupt the body's ability to make testosterone, is a common treatment for prostate cancer but should not be used in men whose cancer has not spread beyond the prostate, according to a new study.

The findings are important for men with longer life expectancies because the therapy exposes them to more adverse side effects, and it is associated with increased risk of death and deprives men of the opportunity for a cure by other methods. ADT is already known to have significant side effects such as heart disease, diabetes, increased weight gain and impotence; the new study suggests ADT may also lead to earlier death.  


Portuguese researchers have developed a new method which uses images of a protein in cells to quantify its distribution (how much protein there is, and where it is in the cell) for that population of cells.

The discovery has important medical implications because the cellular location of a protein is directly linked to its function, as proved when the new algorithm identified mutations that had the potential to lead to >human diffuse gastric cancer(HDGC).

In bean sprouts, a collection of amino acids called a protein complex allows them to grow longer in the darkness than in the light. In humans, there is a similar protein complex called CSN, and its subunit CSN6 is now believed to be a cancer-causing gene that impacts activity of another gene (Myc) tied to tumor growth.


Highly-paid environmental lobbyists invoke Frankenstein's monster for everything, apparently never having read the novel. But there is some biology that is a little like Shelley's monster, massive DNA molecules stitched together from other parts of the genome  that appear in some tumors, according to a new study.