Cancer Research

Imagine being able to tone down appetite and promote weight loss, while improving the body’s ability to handle blood sugar levels.

That’s just what Tony Means, PhD, and his team at the Duke University Medical Center were able to do when they blocked a brain enzyme, CaMKK2, in mice.

“We believe we have identified an important drug development target that could potentially turn into a metabolic triple play: appetite control, weight loss and blood sugar management,“ said Means, who is the Nanaline H. Duke Professor and Chairman of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology.

What causes us to lose muscle strength as we age and how exercise can prevent it from happening has never been thoroughly understood, but McMaster University researchers have discovered a key protein required to maintain muscle mass and muscle strength during aging.

This important finding means new and existing drugs targeting the protein may potentially be used to preserve muscle function during aging.

"We found that the body's fuel gauge, AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), is vital to slow muscle wasting with aging," said Gregory Steinberg, the study's senior author and professor of medicine at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine. He is also co-director of MAC-Obesity, the Metabolism and Childhood Obesity Research Program at McMaster.

Regular consumption of caffeinated coffee may help prevent the return of colon cancer after treatment and improve the chances of a cure, according to a new study.

The patients, all of them treated with surgery and chemotherapy for stage III colon cancer, had the greatest benefit from consuming four or more cups of coffee a day (about 460 milligrams of caffeine), according to the study. These patients were 42 percent less likely to have their cancer return than non-coffee drinkers, and were 33 percent less likely to die from cancer or any other cause.

n findings never before seen in melanoma, a novel combination therapy was found to be highly effective at treating patients with skin metastases, new research has shown. 

The research found that Interleukin (IL)-2 combined with imiquimod and topical retinoid therapy in patients with so-called "in-transit metastases" is a promising therapeutic option. 
The authors note that the study has limitations in that the records of only 11 patients were analyzed, and there were no experiments conducted to determine the effects of the therapeutic regimen on the systemic immune response.

Cancer survival in England remains lower than countries with similar healthcare systems, according to a new study. Cancer survival in England has steadily improved but the gap in survival remains.

The research, from the London School of Hygiene&Tropical Medicine, compared survival for colon, breast, lung, ovarian, rectal and stomach cancers in England, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway and Sweden between 1995 and 2009, and survival trends in England up to 2012. It included more than 1.9 million cancer patients in England and another 1.9 million cancer patients from the other five countries. The report analyzed data from Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway and Sweden between 1995 and 2009 and data from England between 1995 and 2012.

Ovarian CancerIn America this year, over 21,000 new cases of ovarian cancer are expected, and over 14,000 deaths.

Once ovarian cancer has spread within the peritoneal cavity or to other organs, long-range survival is rare. However, shorter-term benefits can be obtained via several different chemotherapy regimens and one, essentially abdominal chemotherapy, has been very promising.

So why isn't it used more?

Cancer cells in neuroblastoma contain a molecule that breaks down a key energy source for the body's immune cells, leaving them too physically drained to fight the disease, according to new research.

Scientists have discovered that the cells in neuroblastoma - a rare type of childhood cancer that affects nerve cells - produce a molecule that breaks down arginine, one of the building blocks of proteins and an essential energy source for immune cells. 
Around 90 cases of neuroblastoma are diagnosed each year in the UK, mostly in children under five years old.

How much does diet affect the cancer patient? Do "antioxidants" really play an important role in health - or are they causing more cancers than they cure? And what exactly is the relationship between obesity and cancer?

The latest Special Issue in ecancermedicalscience collects four original articles from experts in cancer and metabolism, addressing the hottest areas of research in this rapidly developing field.

"In our clinical practice, cancer patients often ask 'Doctor, is there something specific I should eat or avoid eating?'" says Guest Editor of this Special Issue, Dr Luca Mazzarella of the European Institute of Oncology, Milan, Italy.

Cancer can be caused solely by protein imbalances within cells, a study of ovarian cancer has found. The discovery is a major breakthrough because genetic aberrations have been seen as the main cause of almost all cancer. 

A new study by researchers at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP), the National Cancer Institute, and the Chulabhorn Research Institute has found that blocking the activity of a key immune receptor, the lymphotoxin-beta receptor (LTβR), reduces the progression of liver cancer. The results, published today in the online edition of Gut, could provide new treatment strategies for the disease, which is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide.