Cancer Research

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.


Researchers have made a breakthrough in explaining how an incurable type of blood cancer develops from an often symptom-less prior blood disorder. All patients diagnosed with myeloma, a cancer of the blood-producing bone marrow, first develop a relatively benign condition called 'monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance' or 'MGUS'. 

MGUS is fairly common in the older population and only progresses to cancer in approximately one in 100 cases. However, currently there is no way of accurately predicting which patients with MGUS are likely to go on to get myeloma.


Scientists have developed a new test to identify patients who are at risk of suffering a relapse from testicular cancer.

Assessing just three features of a common kind of testicular cancer - called non-seminomatous germ cell tumor - can identify those at most at risk of relapse even where there is no evidence of tumor spread.

The researchers believe the test could be used in the clinic to make decisions about which patients should be given chemotherapy.

Scientists at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, analyzed 177 tumor samples from patients with stage I non-seminomatous tumors enrolled in clinical trials through the Medical Research Council (MRC) Clinical Trials Unit. 


A year of treatment with nicotinamide, a form of vitamin B3, significantly lowered the risk of common, non-melanoma skin cancer in high-risk patients, according to a paper in the New England Journal of Medicine.

All 386 participants in the study had a history of skin cancer, increasing their risk for additional skin cancers. Taken as a twice-daily pill for 12 months, nicotinamide reduced the incidence of new non-melanoma skin cancers by 23 percent relative to placebo controls and cut the incidence of pre-cancerous sun spots by around 15 percent. 


Women with particularly aggressive forms of breast cancer could be identified by a test that predicts whether the disease is likely to spread to the brain.

An analysis of almost 4,000 patients with breast cancer found that testing for high activity in a particular gene called alpha beta (αB)-crystallin could pick out women who were at greater risk of developing secondary brain tumors compared to women who tested negative.

A team including scientists at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, found that women whose breast cancer had begun to spread and who tested positive in the αB-crystallin test were three times more likely to have disease that spread to the brain than those who tested negative.


Cervical cancer is an "enormous burden" for Latin American society, and the third leading cause of cancer deaths among women in the region, say Drs. María Correnti and María Eugenia Cavazza of the Central University of Venezuela, Caracas, Venezuela. 

"In contrast to other types of cancer, cervical cancer is a preventable and curable disease if it is diagnosed and treated early," say Drs Correnti and Cavazza in an accompanying editorial.

"But the absence of an effective prevention strategy leads to delayed diagnosis, and turns it into one of the leading causes of death among young women."