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Promising new method for rapidly screening cancer drugs

As Rotello and his doctoral graduate student Le Ngoc, one of the lead authors, explain, to discover a new drug for any disease, researchers must screen billions of compounds, which can take months. One of the added keys to bringing a new drug to market, they add, is to identify how it works, its chemical mechanism. “Rapid determination of drug mechanism would greatly streamline the drug discovery process, opening the pipeline of new therapeutics,” Ngoc says. She adds, “Drugs with different mechanisms cause changes in the surface of cells that can be read out using the new sensor system…

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Focus on STD, not cancer prevention, to promote HPV vaccine use

These results go against the conventional wisdom that scaring women about the possibility of cancer is the best way to get them vaccinated. The failure of that cancer-threat message may be one reason that fewer than 20 percent of adolescent girls in the United States have received the HPV vaccine, said Janice Krieger, lead author of the study and assistant professor of communication at The Ohio State University…

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Adult cells transformed into early-stage nerve cells, bypassing the pluripotent stem cell stage

Bypassing the ultra-flexible iPSC stage was a key advantage, says senior author Su-Chun Zhang, a professor of neuroscience and neurology. "IPSC cells can generate any cell type, which could be a problem for cell-based therapy to repair damage due to disease or injury in the nervous system." In particular, the absence of iPSC cells rules out the formation of tumors by pluripotent cells in the recipient, a major concern involving stem cell therapy. A second advance comes from the virus that delivers genes to reprogram the adult skin cells into a different and more flexible form…

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Making cancer less cancerous

"This master regulator is normally turned off in adult cells, but it is very active during embryonic development and in all highly aggressive tumors studied to date," says Linda Resar, M.D., an associate professor of medicine, oncology and pediatrics, and affiliate in the Institute for Cell Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "Our work shows for the first time that switching this gene off in aggressive cancer cells dramatically changes their appearance and behavior." A description of the experiments appears in the May 2 issue of the journal PLOS ONE…

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New target for personalized cancer therapy

The research team has pinpointed the cancer abnormality to a mutation in a gene called PIK3CA that results in a mutant protein, which may be an early cancer switch. By disrupting the mutated signaling pathway, the Case Western Reserve team, led by John Wang, PhD, inhibited the growth of cancer cells, opening the possibility to new cancer therapies. Their findings, "Gain of interaction with IRS1 by p110 helical domain mutants is crucial for their oncogenic functions," was published on May 2 in the journal Cancer Cell. Cancer arises from a single cell, which has mutated in a small number of genes because of random errors in the DNA replication process…

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Discovery helps show how breast cancer spreads

It has long been known that women with denser breasts are at higher risk for breast cancer. This greater density is caused by an excess of a structural protein called collagen. "We have shown how increased collagen in the breasts could increase the chances of breast tumors spreading and becoming more invasive," says Gregory D. …

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Protein complex may play role in preventing many forms of cancer

The broad reach of the effect of mutations in the complex, called BAF, rivals that of another well-known tumor suppressor called p53. It also furthers a growing notion that these so-called chromatin-regulatory complexes may function as much more than mere cellular housekeepers. "Although we knew that this complex was likely to play a role in preventing cancer, we didn’t realize how extensive it would be," said postdoctoral scholar Cigall Kadoch, PhD…

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Portable device provides rapid, accurate diagnosis of tuberculosis, other bacterial infections

"Rapidly identifying the pathogen responsible for an infection and testing for the presence of resistance are critical not only for diagnosis but also for deciding which antibiotics to give a patient," says Ralph Weissleder, MD, PhD, director of the MGH Center for Systems Biology (CSB) and co-senior author of both papers. "These described methods allow us to do this in two to three hours, a vast improvement over standard culturing practice, which can take as much as two weeks to provide a diagnosis." Investigators at the MGH CSB previously developed portable devices capable of detecting cancer biomarkers in the blood or in very small tissue samples. Target cells or molecules are first labeled with magnetic nanoparticles, and the sample is then passed through a micro NMR system capable of detecting and quantifying levels of the target. But initial efforts to adapt the system to bacterial diagnosis had trouble finding antibodies — the detection method used in the earlier studies — that would accurately detect the specific bacteria…

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Uncategorized | Cancer Health Center