Cancer Research

Resveratrol, a chemical found in red wine, remains effective at fighting cancer even after the body's metabolism has converted it into other compounds, according to a new paper in Science Translational Medicine.

Resveratrol is metabolized very quickly and it had previously been thought that levels of the extracted chemical drop too quickly to make it usable in clinical trials. The new research shows that the chemical can still be taken into cells after it has been metabolized into resveratrol sulfates. Enzymes within cells are then able to break it down into resveratrol again – meaning that levels of resveratrol in the cells are higher than was previously thought.

While heart disease still edges out cancer among all Americans, cancer is the number one killer among Hispanics in Texas. Yet their prognosis remains superior to Caucasians, a Hispanic paradox that debunks the notion that income and education are key factors in health care.

Screening for colorectal cancer (CRC) in European countries is highly effective in reducing mortality from the disease. Some of the resources currently being devoted to breast and prostate screening programmes, where the evidence of effectiveness is much less clear-cut, should be reallocated to the early detection of CRC, the 2013 European Cancer Congress (ECC2013) [1] will hear today (Sunday).

Proton therapy, an external beam radiotherapy in which protons deliver precision radiation doses to a tumor and therefore help spare healthy organs and tissues, is a cost-effective alternative to standard photon radiation therapy in treating medulloblastomas, fast-growing brain tumors that mainly affect children.

Mayo Clinic researchers have shown that a specific protein pair may be a successful prognostic biomarker for identifying smoking-related lung cancers. The protein — ASCL1 — is associated with increased expression of the RET oncogene, a particular cancer-causing gene called RET. The findings appear in the online issue of the journal Oncogene.

"This is exciting because we've found what we believe to be a 'drugable target' here," says George Vasmatzis, Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic molecular medicine researcher and senior author on the study. "It's a clear biomarker for aggressive adenocarcinomas. These are the fast-growing cancer cells found in smokers' lungs."

A protein called isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH1) is present at high levels in lung cancers and can be detected in the blood, making it a noninvasive diagnostic marker for lung cancers, according to a new study.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in both men and women in the United States and worldwide. To detect lung cancer in blood, currently certain biomarkers including CEA, Cyfra21-1 and CA125 are used, but these markers are not very sensitive, according to He.

Young women with breast cancer often overestimate the odds that cancer will occur in their other, healthy breast, and decide to have the healthy breast surgically removed - a procedure known as a contralateral prophylactic mastectomy, the removal of a nonaffected breast in a woman with unilateral breast cancer -- despite knowing it will be unlikely to improve their chance of survival.

The survey results show a certain disconnect between what many patients know on an abstract, intellectual level -- that CPM has little impact on survival rates for most women -- and the choices they make after receiving the anxiety-inducing diagnosis of breast cancer, the authors say; better safe than sorry.

Reducing the expression of a pair of proteins known as NEETs, NAF-1 and mitoNEET, significantly reduced cancer cell proliferation and breast cancer tumor size, according to a new paper.

NEET proteins transport iron molecules or iron sulfur clusters inside cells. The proteins naturally adhere to the outer surface of the mitochondria, the "power plant" that supplies cells with chemical energy. Mitochondria also play a role in a cell's life cycle, including its death.

The new research stemmed from a recent CTBP study of the shape and functions of one of the proteins, mitoNEET. The other protein, NAF-1, is closely related to mitoNEET.

Heavy use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be leading to unnecessary breast removal in older women with breast cancer, according to a new study. The research team tracked the use of breast MRI and surgical care of 72,461 female Medicare beneficiaries age 67-94 who were diagnosed with breast cancer during 2000 to 2009.

The team found a considerable increase in the use of preoperative breast MRI over the study period from 1% in 2000-2001 to 25% in 2008-2009. The researchers also found that women who received an MRI were more likely to subsequently undergo more aggressive surgical treatment. In women who received mastectomy, 12.5% of those who had MRI received bilateral mastectomy, while only 4.1% of those who did not have MRI had bilateral mastectomy.

Genomic sequencing has shown a mutational signature of upper urinary tract cancers caused by aristolochic acid, a plant compound contained in herbal remedies for arthritis, gout and inflammation.