Cancer Research

Gastric bypass and similar stomach-shrinking surgeries are a popular option for obese patients looking to lose weight and they have even been linked to a decreased risk in many types of cancers - except colon cancer. A 2013 long-term study of 77,000 obese patients found that colon cancer rates were higher but a new study in mice could explain the association - and raise safety concerns for a new generation of weight-loss drugs. 

Researchers have found that by changing the selectivity of an enzyme, a small molecule could potentially be used to decrease the likelihood of alcohol-related cancers in an at-risk population.

Cancer vaccines turn the body's own immune system specifically against tumor cells and one area of study are vaccines that are directed against neoantigens, proteins that have undergone a genetic mutation in tumor cells and are therefore different than counterparts in healthy cells.
A new study has found that giving acetate supplements sped up the growth and metastasis of tumors in mice.

Acetate is a major compound produced in the gut by host bacteria, which can have beneficial and also potentially harmful effects on human health. Further studies are needed to determine whether restricting acetate production by gut bacteria will affect growth of tumors.
A cancer false alarm could put people off checking out cancer symptoms they develop in the future, according to a review of papers.

More than 80 percent of patients with potential cancer symptoms are given the all-clear after investigations. But according to the new paper, having a false alarm might discourage people from seeking help, even years later, if they notice possible symptoms of the disease again.
Colorectal carcinoma, colon cancer, is the third most common cancer in the United States. 

So-called microsatellite stable colorectal cancer with mutations in the BRAF gene represents a particularly aggressive form. The BRAF gene produces the enzyme B-Raf, which plays a critical role in controlling cell division.

By:  Karin Heineman, Inside Science

(Inside Science TV) – Shelley Tworoger, an epidemiologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital located in Boston, Massachusetts studied ovarian cancer.

"This is one of the largest and oldest cohort studies in the world. We followed over 230,000 women over several decades and every two years they answered questionnaires about their lifestyle and health, in particular we asked them every 4 years to report back to us the kinds of foods that they eat. We used this information to look at what women ate and we followed them up to see who got ovarian cancer and who didn't," said Tworoger.   

Image: Peter Hermes Furian

In 1971 Richard Nixon declared “War on Cancer” with the signing of the National Cancer Act. Significant progress has been made in the intervening 44 years – and Europe has been at the forefront of many of the advances.

But on February 4, World Cancer Day, it is worth asking whether we are winning the war on a disease which affects more than 22m people annually?

First, the good news – more people are surviving cancer than are dying of the disease. The recent European Cancer Registry shows that in Europe there were almost 16m cancer survivors in 2012.

In the last 40 years, health care has improved a great deal and we are living longer than ever. But the downside to longevity is more time for mutations to occur, and that means cancer.

A new forecast in the British Journal of Cancer has an alarming finding - that half of people in the United Kingdom will get cancer - but it makes sense. The good news is that in the last 40 years, cancer survival has doubled and half of cancer survivors now live more than 10 years.
By inserting a specific strain of bacteria into the microenvironment of aggressive ovarian cancer, researchers transformed the behavior of tumor cells from suppression to immunostimulation - they attack themselves.

Tumors protect themselves from attack by the immune system by generating an immunosuppressive microenvironment.  By introducing an attenuated and safe form of the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes (Lm), created by Aduro Biotech Inc., they found that the attenuated bacteria is taken up by the immunosuppressive cells and transforms them from cells that protect the tumor into cells that attack the tumor