Cancer Research

Aspirin has been linked to a decreased risk of colorectal cancer but the risk of side effects, including in some cases severe gastrointestinal bleeding, make it necessary to better understand the mechanisms by which aspirin acts before recommending it as a preventative. 

If a tumor is like a seed, the soil around it plays a significant role in its growth, according to a study which finds that the microenvironment of a tumor cell has significant impact on cancer metastasis. This discovery by Siyuan Zhang at the University of Notre Dame and a team at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center has focused attention on fighting cancer in the tumor cell's microenvironment.

Cetuximab, marketed as Erbitux, is one of the key therapies for metastatic colorectal cancer, yet the cancer still returns in some patients, shortening overall survival. A new study may help explain why. Key proteins, known as epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFR), are regulated, leading to resistance.

"Our study investigated the role of extracellular methylation in EGFR signaling, and unexpectedly discovered new information about how EGFR renders cancer cells resistant to cetuximab antibody therapy," said Mien Chie Hung, Ph.D., chair of Molecular and Cellular Oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

New and better drugs to treat diseases such as advanced breast cancer will have little effect on improving patient outcomes if a country does not have good healthcare structures in place, Professor Richard Sullivan told the Advanced Breast Cancer Third International Consensus Conference.

Without good systems, Prof Sullivan, of the Institute of Cancer Policy, King's Health Partners Comprehensive Cancer Centre, King's College London (UK), said there was little point in even discussing whether breast cancer drugs were affordable or not. "As things stand, I think many of the new molecular targeted agents are not affordable to many European countries, and this is only going to get worse."

Genetic sequencing of a single tumor reveals far greater genetic diversity among cancer cells than anticipated. Researchers from the University of Chicago and the Beijing Institute of Genomics estimate that the tumor, about 3.5 centimeters in diameter, contained more than 100 million distinct mutations within the coding regions of its genes--thousands of times more than expected. 

Colorectal cancer cells with certain mutations "handle" vitamin C differently than other cells, and this difference ultimately kills them, finds a new study.

The idea that vitamin C could be an effective therapy for human cancer holds great appeal, but its track record in this arena has been more claim than data, with most clinical studies finding no evidence. Several ongoing clinical studies are exploring whether a therapeutic effect may require a high plasma level of vitamin C that can be achieved only by intravenous, not oral, administration.

In the meantime, the molecular mechanism by which vitamin C might selectively kill cancer cells remains unclear.

Having more children or having her fallopian tubes cut changes risk of different types of ovarian cancer to different levels, according to new research presented at the 2015 National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Cancer Conference.

Data was collected from more than 8,000 women with ovarian cancer as part of the UK Million Women Study. Researchers then examined the risk of the four most common types of ovarian cancer - serous, mucinous, endometrioid and clear cell tumors - in women with different childbearing patterns.

A team of scientists recently developed a new strategy to determine monocyte subsets involved in diseases. The results could help facilitating the diagnosis of sarcoidosis and may improve the respective patient management.

Monocytes are white blood cells that are crucial to human immune defense. They are precursor cells of macrophages and dendritic cells and are circulating in the blood until they invade their respective target tissue where they defend the body against exogenous structures. So far, scientist categorized subtypes of monocytes only with regards to the surface markers CD14 and CD16 - however, this might change in the future.

Gastric cancer - stomach cancer - does not respond well to existing treatments and is currently the third leading cause of cancer death in the world, after lung and liver cancer.

Researchers have discovered that certain drugs, currently used to treat breast, ovarian and pancreatic cancers, could also be used to treat certain gastric cancers with a particular pattern of mutations, their genomic molecular fingerprint. 

Researchers have found that a long-known tumor suppressor, whose mechanism of holding cell growth in check has remained murky for over 40 years, works in part by keeping the cell's energy metabolism behaving in grown-up fashion.

Tumor suppressors are protein molecules that serve as natural "brakes" on cell proliferation to prevent the formation of malignant tumors. Understanding how these protective proteins work may be a key to developing targeted cancer treatments.