Cancer Research

If you're at high risk of skin cancer, check your skin regularly. Roman Königshofer/Flickr, CC BY-ND

By H. Peter Soyer, The University of Queensland and Anna Finnane, The University of Queensland

Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), in which an injectable or implanted medication is used to disrupt the body's ability to make testosterone, is a common treatment for prostate cancer but should not be used in men whose cancer has not spread beyond the prostate, according to a new study.

The findings are important for men with longer life expectancies because the therapy exposes them to more adverse side effects, and it is associated with increased risk of death and deprives men of the opportunity for a cure by other methods. ADT is already known to have significant side effects such as heart disease, diabetes, increased weight gain and impotence; the new study suggests ADT may also lead to earlier death.  

Portuguese researchers have developed a new method which uses images of a protein in cells to quantify its distribution (how much protein there is, and where it is in the cell) for that population of cells.

The discovery has important medical implications because the cellular location of a protein is directly linked to its function, as proved when the new algorithm identified mutations that had the potential to lead to >human diffuse gastric cancer(HDGC).

In bean sprouts, a collection of amino acids called a protein complex allows them to grow longer in the darkness than in the light. In humans, there is a similar protein complex called CSN, and its subunit CSN6 is now believed to be a cancer-causing gene that impacts activity of another gene (Myc) tied to tumor growth.

Highly-paid environmental lobbyists invoke Frankenstein's monster for everything, apparently never having read the novel. But there is some biology that is a little like Shelley's monster, massive DNA molecules stitched together from other parts of the genome  that appear in some tumors, according to a new study.

The location of oral cancers differ in smokers and nonsmokers and nonsmokers have a higher proportion of cancers occur on the edge of the tongue, according to a new paper in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head&Neck Surgery.

By 2030, nearly 10 percent of colon cancers and nearly 25 percent of rectal cancers will be diagnosed in patients younger than the traditional screening age. This growing public health problem is underscored by data trends among 20- to 34-year-olds in the U.S., among whom the incidence of colon and rectal cancer (CRC) is expected to increase by 90% and 124.2%, respectively, by 2030.

Nearly 137,000 people will be diagnosed with
colon and rectal cancer
in the U.S. this year, and more than 50,000 will die of the disease.
colon and rectal cancer
is the third most common cancer among men and women, and the third leading cause of cancer death.

A research team has produced a detailed working image of an enzyme in the Polycomb Repressive Complex 1 (PRC1) related to the BRCA1 breast-cancer protein. PRC1 regulates cell development and is associated with many types of cancer because enzymes like PRC1 turn on or turn off the activity of genes in a cell by manipulating individual chromosome units called nucleosomes. 

Men who have had sex with more than 20 women have a 28% lower risk of getting prostate cancer than those who have had only one partner  - but males having more than 20 male partners face a 100% higher risk of getting prostate cancer than those who have never slept with a man. 

The results were obtained as part of the Montreal study PROtEuS (Prostate Cancer&Environment Study), in which 3,208 men responded to a questionnaire on, amongst other things, their sex lives. Of these men, 1,590 were diagnosed with prostate cancer between September 2005 and August 2009, while 1,618 men were part of the control group.

Risk Associated with Number of Partners

By sequencing the genomes of tumor cells, thousands of genetic mutations have been linked with cancer.

Sifting through this deluge of information to figure out which of these mutations actually drive cancer growth has proven to be a tedious, time-consuming process but MIT researchers have now developed a new way to model the effects of these genetic mutations in mice. Their approach, based on the genome-editing technique clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) is much faster than existing strategies, which require genetically engineering mice that carry the cancerous mutations.