Genetic testing could improve breast cancer prevention — ScienceDaily

Their study showed that prevention strategies could be improved by testing not only as currently for major cancer predisposition genes such as BRCA1 and BRCA2 — which identify a small percentage of women at very high risk — but also by factoring in data on multiple gene variants that individually have only a small effect on risk, but are more common in the population. The research was carried out by researchers at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, US — and is published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The study received funding from The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), Breakthrough Breast Cancer and the National Cancer Institute. Researchers stressed that their study was a computer modelling analysis and would need to be confirmed by further research aimed at validating the models they used and assessing real-life prevention approaches…

Hedgehog signaling pathway for breast cancer identified — ScienceDaily

Scientists at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center report that hedgehog, a unique cell signaling pathway known to contribute to many types of cancer, may be behind breast cancer metastasis. This molecular message service works with the lncRNA known as BCAR4 giving the genetic green light for tumor growth. “Our study of BCAR4 and the hedgehog signaling pathway has provided evidence for lncRNAs’ regulator roles in aggressive breast cancers progression,” said Liuqing Yang, Ph.D., assistant professor of molecular and cellular oncology, whose findings are published in this month’s issue of Cell…

Cheap malaria drug could treat colorectal cancer effectively too, say experts

A pilot study by researchers at St George’s, University of London, has found the drug artesunate, which is a widely used anti-malaria medicine, had a promising effect on reducing the multiplication of tumour cells in colorectal cancer patients who were already going to have their cancer surgically removed. Colorectal cancer (CRC) makes up about 10 percent of the annual 746,000 global cancer cases in men and 614,000 cases in women. …

Establishment of induced pluripotent stem cells from Werner syndrome fibroblasts

Werner syndrome is characterized by the premature appearance of features associated with normal aging and cancer predisposition. This syndrome occurs frequently in Japan, affecting 1 in 20,000 to 1 in 40,000 people. The therapeutic methods for this disease are very limited and it is expected that iPS cells can be used for the development of innovative therapies…

Investigational oral drug combo shows promise for newly diagnosed multiple myeloma

“Ixazomib is an investigational, oral proteasome inhibitor with promising anti-myeloma effects and low rates of peripheral neuropathy,” says Shaji Kumar, M.D., a hematologist at Mayo Clinic and lead author of the study. “While it is well known that a combination of bortezomib, lenalidomide and dexamethasone is highly effective in treating newly diagnosed multiple myeloma, we wanted to study the safety, tolerability and activity of ixazomib in combination with lenalidomide and dexamethasone in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma.” Dr. Kumar and colleagues enrolled 65 patients (15 to phase 1 and 50 to phase 2) between November 2010 and February 2012. …

Need to encourage patients to screen for colon cancer? Try a lottery

Patients who were told they had a 1-in-10 chance of winning $50 were more likely to complete home stool blood tests that help screen for colon cancer, according to a new study led by a researcher at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System and University of Michigan. The findings appear in a special issue of Annals of Internal Medicine…

New approach to fighting chronic myeloid leukemia

Abl-kinase and leukemia Abl-kinase can turn “on” molecules that are involved in many cell functions including cell growth. In chronic myeloid leukemia, the chromosome that contains the gene for Abl-kinase swaps a section with another chromosome, causing what is known as the “Philadelphia chromosome.” When this mutation takes place in the blood stem cells in the bone marrow, Abl-kinase fuses with another protein, turning into a deregulated, hyperactive enzyme. This causes large numbers of blood-forming stem cells to grow into an abnormal type of white blood cell, which gives rise to chronic myeloid leukemia. To treat this type of leukemia we use drugs that specifically bind and block a part of Abl-kinase called the “active site.” As the name suggests, this is the part of the enzyme that binds molecules to turn them on. …