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

Circulating tumor cells spread ovarian cancer through the bloodstream, homing in on a sheath of abdominal fatty tissue where it can grow and metastasize to other organs, according to a new paper.

The researchers found the circulating tumor cells (CTCs) rely on HER3, a less-famous sibling of the HER2 receptor protein prominent in some breast cancers, to find their way to the omentum, a sheet of tissue that covers and supports abdominal organs. HER3's heavy presence on these cells makes it a biomarker candidate and suggests possible therapeutic options to thwart ovarian cancer progression, the researchers noted.

High expression of HER3 in ovarian cancer tumors is associated with shorter survival, the team found.

Vasectomy is a common form of contraception in the U.S., with about 15% of men having the procedure. Prostate cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death among U.S. men, so identifying risk factors for lethal prostate cancer is important for public health.

A new study by researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health found that vasectomy was associated with a small increased risk of prostate cancer but a stronger risk for advanced or lethal prostate cancer. The association remained even among men who received regular PSA screening, suggesting the increased risk of lethal cancer cannot be explained by diagnostic bias. This was the largest and most comprehensive study to date to look at the link between vasectomy and prostate cancer.

Researchers have revealed the structure of a protein complex,
MATα2 and MATβ,
that bind to each other and promote the reproduction of tumor cells in liver and colon cancers.

Both of these types of cancer are significant. In 2012 alone, liver cancer was responsible for the second highest mortality rate worldwide, with colon cancer appearing third in the list. 

This structural data discovery opens up additional research opportunities into drugs that can act on the binding of these proteins, thereby possibly inhibiting cancer cell growth.

Researchers have found that the loss of a protein called p62 in the cells and tissue surrounding a tumor can enhance the growth and progression of tumors. The study suggests that therapies targeting the tumor micro-envirnonment may be as important as targeting the tumor itself. 

The findings contribute to the increasing acknowledgement that the cells and tissue surrounding a tumor, the stroma, are an integral part of cancer initiation, growth, and expansion. 

After the age of 10, a dog develops cancer almost every second of the day - about 5 percent of the elderly dog population per year. If you have the financial means, a few therapies derived from human medicine are available for dogs but a truly successful form of therapy by which antibodies inhibit tumor growth has not been available for animals so far. 

Scientists at the inter-university Messerli Research Institute of the Vetmeduni Vienna, the Medical University of Vienna, and the University of Vienna have developed, for the first time, antibodies to treat cancer in dogs. As in humans, cancers in dogs have complex causes. The interaction of the environment, food, and genetic disposition are the most well known factors.