Cancer Research

It has long been known that eating potatoes is good for bowel health, but new research suggests that they may also have a beneficial effect on the whole immune system. Especially if eaten cold or in a potato salad, Anne Pichon reports in Chemistry&Industry.

Spanish researchers found that growing pigs fed large quantities of raw potato starch (RPS) had a healthier bowel. Not a surprise, but they also found that RPS pigs had decreased levels of white blood cells, such as leucocytes and lymphocytes in their blood. White blood cells are produced as a result of inflammation or disease, generally when the body is challenged.

Pediatricians now have a practical tool to help determine whether children with chronic diseases like Crohn’s, juvenile arthritis and anorexia nervosa – or those undergoing cancer treatment – are at increased risk for bone mass deficiencies, fracture or osteoporosis as they get older, according to a new study.

“There is a huge demand for this information among clinicians because in almost any chronic condition in children affecting growth, inflammation, or involving cancer survivors, they have problem bones,’’ said Heidi Kalkwarf, Ph.D., associate professor of Community and General Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s, and lead author of the research report.

Misstatements and ignorance claiming that families "cause" eating disorders is like blaming parents for diabetes or asthma or cancer says an international group of eating disorders researchers.

Recent damaging statements by fashion model Gisele Bundchen stating that unsupportive families cause anorexia nervosa only perpetuate misconceptions and further stigmatize eating disorders.

Tissue Regeneration Therapeutics Inc. will exclusively license its human umbilical cord perivascular cell (HUCPVC) technology to Stem Cell Authority Ltd. for family stem cell banking in the U.S.

The technology originated at the University of Toronto and has been offered to the public in Canada since March 2007 through a licensing agreement between TRT and Toronto-based CReAte Cord Blood Bank (CCBB).

“Toronto is the first place in the world to bank perivascular mesenchymal stem cells from the human umbilical cord and we are extremely pleased to now be able to provide this opportunity to parents across the U.S.,” says Professor John E. Davies.

A team of researchers, led by surgeons at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson in Philadelphia, has found further evidence supporting the ability of a protein to predict how well a patient with advanced pancreatic cancer will do after surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. The levels of the protein CA 19-9 in the blood can be used to determine the need for further therapy, they say.

Adam Berger, M.D., assistant professor of surgery at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, and his co-workers examined CA 19-9 levels and the survival of 385 patients with advanced pancreatic cancer who were treated with surgery and subsequent chemotherapy and radiation.

Nanobiotechnology holds a lot of promise and people have often speculated how it will impact the world of medicine. Unfortunately promising nanostructured systems so far have turned out to be extremely toxic to humans.

Now a group of researchers at the University of Michigan Nanotechnology Institute for Medicine and Biological Sciences have devised a multifunctional nanoparticle platform comprising nanoparticles synthesized within dendrimers equipped with targeting molecules and dyes. These dendrimer nanoparticle systems are able to seek out and specifically bind to cancer cells.

A diet rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids found in certain fish or fish oil, nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils may help lower prostate cancer risk in individuals with a genetic predisposition to cancer.

While many genetic mutations are known to predispose to cancer, it has remained unclear whether dietary fat can modulate the risk of developing cancer in genetically predisposed individuals. Some studies suggest that a diet rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids reduces cancer incidence.

Human resistance to a retrovirus that infected chimpanzees and other nonhuman primates 4 million years ago ironically may be at least partially responsible for the susceptibility of humans to HIV infection today.

These findings, reported by a team of researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in the June 22 issue of Science, provide a better understanding of this modern pandemic infection through the study of an ancient virus called Pan troglodytes endogenous retrovirus, or PtERV1.

"This ancient virus is a battle that humans have already won. Humans are not susceptible to it and have probably been resistant throughout millennia," said senior author Michael Emerman, Ph.D., a member of the Human Biology and Basic Sciences divisions at the Hutchinson Center.

Using mathematical theory, UC Irvine scientists have shed light on one of cancer’s most troubling puzzles -- how cancer cells can alter their own genetic makeup to accelerate tumor growth. The discovery shows for the first time why this change occurs, providing insight into how cancerous tumors thrive and a potential foundation for future cancer treatments.

UCI mathematicians Natalia Komarova, Alexander Sadovsky and Frederic Wan looked at cancer from the point of view of a tumor and asked: What can a tumor do to optimize its own growth" They focused on the phenomenon of genetic instability, a common feature of cancer in which cells mutate at an abnormally fast rate.

It may not seem so at the time, but women who suffer through morning sickness during their pregnancies actually may be fortunate.

Those women may have a 30 percent lower risk of developing breast cancer later in life than mothers-to-be who experience nine nausea-free months, a new study by epidemiologists at the University at Buffalo suggests.

“Although the exact mechanism responsible for causing nausea and vomiting during pregnancy has yet to be pinpointed, it likely is a result of changing levels of ovarian and placental hormone production, which may include higher circulating levels of a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin,” said David Jaworowicz, Jr., first author on the study.