Scientists identify new, beneficial function of endogenous retroviruses in immune response

But researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center and Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, found that endogenous retroviruses (ERV) also play a critical role in the body’s immune defense against common bacterial and viral pathogens. “Most scientists have become used to the view that retroviruses are generally harmful,” said Nobel Laureate Dr. …

Latest evidence on using hormone replacement therapy for treating menopausal symptoms

The review highlights that menopausal symptoms, including hot flushes and night sweats are common, affecting around 70% of women for an average of 5 years but may continue for many years in about 10% of women. Every woman experiences the menopause differently; some experience one or two symptoms mildly while others have more severe symptoms. …

Cells identified that enhance tumor growth and suppress anti-cancer immune attack

For years, researchers have known that a diverse group of white blood cells called myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) are more abundant in cancer patients than in healthy individuals. The cells enhance cancer growth and suppress the specialized T cells that target and destroy tumor cells…

Targeted treatment herceptin found to greatly improve long-term survival of her2-positive breast cancer patients — ScienceDaily

Published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the study found that Herceptin, when added to chemotherapy, improved 10-year survival from 75 percent with chemotherapy alone to 84 percent with the addition of trastuzumab. Additionally, results also demonstrated continued improvement of survival without cancer recurrence — the 10-year disease-free survival rate increased from 62 percent to 74 percent with the addition of trastuzumab. Although heart problems are recognized side effects of Herceptin, the incidence rate of such events was found to be about 3 percent and the majority of those patients recovered from the initial effects. “We have found that when Herceptin is used in combination with chemotherapy, a patient’s survival is significantly improved,” said Geyer, who serves as a senior scientific advisor to the NSABP and at Massey is the Harrigan, Haw, Luck Families Chair in Cancer Research, associate director for clinical research and member of the Developmental Therapeutics research program, as well as professor in the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Palliative Care at the VCU School of Medicine. …

How does prostate cancer form? Parkinson’s Link?

“Using genetic deletion we found that SIRT1 normally restrains prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia in animals. Therefore too little SIRT1 may be involved in the cellular processes that starts human prostate cancer,” said Dr. Richard Pestell, M.D., Ph.D., MBA, executive Vice President of Thomas Jefferson University and Director of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center. “As we had shown that gene therapy based re expression of SIRT1 can block human prostate cancer tumor growth, and SIRT1 is an enzyme which can be targeted, this may be an important new target for prostate cancer prevention.” The researchers led by Dr…

Laparoscopic surgery for bladder cancer leads to good long-term cancer control

Open radical cystectomy, or removal of the bladder though open surgery, is the treatment of choice for muscle invasive and high-risk non-muscle invasive bladder cancer; however, the surgery can lead to serious complications. Some hospitals are using minimally invasive procedures such as laparoscopic radical cystectomy, but there is little information on the effectiveness of these procedures for preventing cancer recurrence over the long term…

Using power of computers to harness human genome may provide clues into Ebola virus

In an article titled “Ebola-Associated Genes in the Human Genome: Implications for Novel Targets,” published in the current MedCrave Online Journal of Proteomics and Bioinformatics, Narayanan describes how key genes that are present in our cells could be used to develop drugs for this disease. “Bioinformatics is a powerful tool to help us understand biological data,” said Narayanan whose research has focused in this field for more than a decade. “We are mining the human genome for Ebola virus association to develop an understanding of the human proteins involved in this disease for subsequent research and development, and to potentially create a pipeline of targets that we can test and evaluate.” Ebola virus disease is a major healthcare challenge facing the globe today and if left unchecked could become a pandemic. A limited knowledgebase exists about the Ebola virus and companies are hastening to develop vaccines and other forms to treat and cure the virus…