Cancer Research

One of the major issues associated with longer life expectancy in man and his best friend is an increase in the incidence of cancer.

Dr Ali Mobasheri, an Associate Professor from the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science at The University of Nottingham, says that studying tumors in dogs and humans could give us a better understanding of their shared pathogenesis.

Cancer is the single biggest cause of death in dogs over the age of 2. The incidence of bone cancers, skin cancers, and lymphomas is increasing in humans and dogs and there are significant similarities between certain types of human and canine cancer – such as breast and prostate cancer.

A startling discovery on the development of human embryonic stem cells by scientists at McMaster University will change how future research in the area is done.

A study this week reports on a new understanding of the growth of human stem cells. It had been thought previously that stem cells are directly influenced by cells in the local environment or ‘niche’, but the situation may be more complex. Human embryonic stem cells are perpetual machines that generate fuel for life.

Not all fat is bad. Brown fat is a type of adipose tissue that generates heat and counters obesity caused by overeating.

Researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have identified a long-sought "master switch" in mice for the production of brown fat and they say that turning up the equivalent switch in people might be a new strategy for treating overweight and obesity. The investigators said their next step is to rev up the control in mice and overfeed them to see if they are resistant to becoming obese.

A chemically-modified version of a mitochondrial toxin long used to control species of invasive fish in lakes has been found to selectively inhibit two "survival proteins” in cancer cells. The research is a first step toward developing a molecularly-targeted drug that could eliminate cellular-level resistance to multiple types of chemotherapy and radiation therapy found in many types of cancers.

In a paper published today in the July 2007 issue of Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, scientists at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center report that a modified version of antimycin called 2-Methoxy antimycin is selective in killing cells that have high levels of Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL proteins.

Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine report a significant new advance in the search for an effective treatment for human liver cancer in the July issue of Molecular Cancer Therapeutics.

Using a newly available monoclonal antibody, they demonstrated significant reductions in tumor cell proliferation and survival in human and mouse hepatocellular cancer (HCC) cell lines. According to the researchers, this finding has significant implications not only for the treatment of liver cancer but for a number of different types of cancer.

Most cases of HCC are secondary to either a viral hepatitis infection or cirrhosis of the liver.

Researchers have identified a new gene mutation linked to frontotemporal dementia, according to a study published in the July 10, 2007, issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Frontotemporal dementia, one form of which is known as Pick’s disease, involves progressive shrinking of the areas of the brain that control behavior and language. Symptoms include language problems and personality changes, often with inappropriate social behavior. Unlike Alzheimer’s disease dementia, the disease does not affect memory in the early stages. The genetic form of the disease is rare; most cases occur randomly.

A new study finds that the more “western” the diet -- marked by red meat, starches and sweets -- the greater the risk for breast cancer among postmenopausal Chinese women. According to researchers who conducted the analysis at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, Harvard University, Shanghai Cancer Institute, and Vanderbilt University, the findings mark the first time a specific association between a western diet and breast cancer has been identified in Asian women.

The study is the latest set of findings derived from the Shanghai Breast Cancer Study, conducted in the 1990s by Wei Zheng, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H, and colleagues at Vanderbilt University.

An age old preference for eating uncooked fish dishes like “koi-pla” puts people in SE Asia at risk of ingesting trematodes that can cause a type of liver cancer called cholangiocarcinoma (cancer of the bile ducts), say researchers.

Banchob Sripa (Khon Kaen University) and colleagues discuss the mechanisms by which the food-borne trematode Opisthorchis viverrini (the SE Asian liver fluke) causes cholangiocarcinoma. The fluke is endemic to Thailand, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Vietnam, and Cambodia. In Thailand alone, 6 million people are thought to be infected with the fluke.

Embryonated eggs are discharged in the biliary ducts and in the stool (1).

A study of more than 2,200 women at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson in Philadelphia shows that African American women have more advanced breast cancer at the time of diagnosis than Caucasian women.

In addition, African American women tend to have breast cancer tumor types that are more aggressive and have poorer prognoses.

While most RNAs work to create, package, and transfer proteins as determined by the cell’s immediate needs, miniature pieces of RNA, called microRNAs (miRNAs) regulate gene expression. Recently, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine determined how miRNAs team up with a regulatory protein to halt protein production.

Scientists estimate miRNAs have the ability to regulate the expression of approximately one third of human genes, and previous studies have linked abnormal activity of miRNAs to cancer and other diseases.