Cancer Research

More than 500,000 people in the United States die each year of cancer-related causes and a new study has identified the mechanism behind one of the most common mutations that help cancer cells replicate limitlessly.

Approximately 85 percent of cancer cells obtain their limitless replicative potential through the reactivation of a specific protein called telomerase (TERT). Recent cancer research has shown that highly recurrent mutations in the promoter of the TERT gene are the most common genetic mutations in many cancers, including adult glioblastoma and hepatocellular carcinoma.

The United States remains mired in an economic downturn, with over 90 million unemployed and many of the employed making less than they made before 2009. The knock-on effects of the economic downturn have been explored in economy and psychology. Now researchers are examining the effects of unemployment on an even darker subject - cancer mortality.

One would think that dealing with unemployment was challenge enough. But according to the latest research published in ecancermedicalscience, rises in unemployment are associated with significant increases in prostate cancer mortality.

A recent study concluded that low-income and uninsured women in states that are not expanding their Affordable Care Act (ACA) Medicaid coverage are less likely to receive breast and cervical cancer screenings compared to states that are implementing expansions, even though such low income people are now given health care coverage under the ACA.

Men with naturally high levels of the female hormone estrogen have a greater risk of developing breast cancer, according to according to an epidemiology paper published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

This is the first time a link between estrogen levels in the blood and male breast cancer has been identified, despite its connection to breast, womb and ovarian cancers in women, according to study author Professor Tim Key, Cancer Research UK's hormone and nutrition expert at the University of Oxford. Men with the highest levels of estrogen were two and a half times more likely to develop breast cancer than men with the lowest levels of the hormone.

A research team writes in Cell Metabolism that they have uncovered a clue to how bacteria may promote some colon cancers.

The work used metabolomic technologies to find molecular evidence suggesting a vicious circle in which cancerous changes in colon cells promote the growth of bacterial conglomerations called biofilms, and biofilms in turn promote cancer development. 

On the whole, the findings suggest that removing bacterial biofilms could be a key strategy for preventing and treating colon cancers, which currently kill about 50,000 Americans per year. The study also revealed an apparent metabolic marker of biofilm-associated colon cancers.

A group of researchers analyzed a marine sponge called Halichondrin okadai  because they were curious why it inhibited the replication of organisms around it.

They found that a mesylate eribulin substance had been applied to patients with breast cancer patients in the stage of metastasis, when the disease spreads to other parts of the body, and that it inhibited tumor growth.

Researchers are reporting that pancreatic cancer rates are highest in countries with the least amount of sunlight, due to a combination of heavy cloud cover and high latitude. 

The first large international study to investigate the late side-effects of a combination of two forms of brachytherapy to treat cervical cancer has shown that the technique successfully delivers higher radiation doses to the tumour without an increase in treatment-related problems afterwards.

More than two decades have passed, but Erika Archer Lewis clearly recalls the fear, uncertainty and struggle required to bring her 42-year-old mother back from the edge of stage 4 breast cancer. Lewis, a senior studying at the University of Texas when her mother was diagnosed, shuttled between Austin and Houston, supporting her through surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and, later, reconstructive procedures.

“It was a four-year ordeal,” Lewis recounts, sitting beside her husband one autumn morning in a sandwich shop north of Houston.

Scientists have mapped the human genes triggered by the phytonutrients in soy, revealing the complex role the legume plays in both preventing and advancing breast cancer.