Cancer Research

Mutations in a gene named
CTR9 gene
that helps regulate when genes are switched on and off in cells have been found to cause rare cases of Wilms tumor, the most common kidney cancer occurring in children.

Since President Richard Nixon declared a War on Cancer over 40 years ago, survival rates have improved dramatically and cancer rates have even gone down, despite claims that everything from DDT to nuclear energy to genetically modified foods would cause a cancer epidemic.

Yet not all cancer survival has improved. Pancreatic cancer still has  the lowest survival rate of the 21 most common cancers, and in 40 years just over 3 percent of pancreatic cancer patients survive for at least five years, only a fraction more than the 2 percent who survived that long in the early 1970s.

BRCA1/2 genes are the most important breast cancer risks but after that, women with mutations in the PALB2 gene have on average a one in three chance of developing breast cancer by the age of seventy, according to a report in the New England Journal of Medicine.

In a study run through the international PALB2 Interest Group a team of researchers from 17 centres in eight countries led by the University of Cambridge analysed data from 154 families without BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations, which included 362 family members with PALB2 gene mutations. The effort was funded by the European Research Council, Cancer Research UK and multiple other international sources.

A paper in The Journal of Clinical Investigation helps explain why brain tumors occur more often in males and frequently are more harmful than similar tumors in females.

Glioblastomas, the most common malignant brain tumors, are diagnosed twice as often in males, who suffer greater cognitive impairments than females and do not survive as long. The researchers found that retinoblastoma protein (RB), a protein known to reduce cancer risk, is significantly less active in male brain cells than in female brain cells.

Women who recently used birth control pills containing high-dose estrogen and a few other formulations had an increased risk for breast cancer compared to women using some other formulations did not, according to new data published in Cancer Research.

If you go by stories of epigenetics and the microbiome, we are on the verge of curing all disease. There hasn't been this much hype since human embryonic stem cells and the human genome project were going to cure all ailments in 2000.

But behind the hype there is some science, it is just figuring out what is epigenetics, what is genetics and then what is instead epidemiological matching of correlation and causation that is the struggle.

It isn't the tumor that kills up to a third of cancer patients, according to a new study, it's the indirect effects triggered by a process that is heavily studied not to fight cancer, but to fight obesity: the conversion of white fat tissue into brown fat tissue.

Cachexia, also called wasting syndrome, is the name for extreme thinness and weakness due to atrophy. In their paper, researchers argue that if it is possible to reduce the transformation of fat tissue, the symptoms of cachexia will improve, although they do not completely disappear. The authors demonstrate this by blocking mediators of inflammation, a process linked to cachexia, specifically, to the expression of the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-6.

The European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) has expressed concern that the proposed EU General Data Protection Regulation could make cancer research impossible and add a significant burden to both doctors and cancer patients.

The proposed wording of the regulation stipulates 'explicit and specific patient consent', meaning that researchers would have to approach patients every single time research is planned in order to consult their data or use tissue samples stored for research purposes. 

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