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Breakthrough finds molecules that block previously ‘undruggable’ protein tied to cancer

The findings, which could lead to a new class of cancer drugs, appear in the current issue of ACS Chemical Biology. “These are the first reported small-molecule HuR inhibitors that competitively disrupt HuR-RNA binding and release the RNA, thus blocking HuR function as a tumor-promoting protein,” said Liang Xu, associate professor of molecular biosciences and corresponding author of the paper. The results hold promise for treating a broad array of cancers in people. The researcher said HuR has been detected at high levels in almost every type of cancer tested, including cancers of the colon, prostate, breast, brain, ovaries, pancreas and lung…

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Study uncovers mechanisms of cancer-causing mutations

While these mutations were known for quite a long time, the question as to why they cause cancer or make some drugs ineffective was still not answered. The study, called “Molecular Determinants of Drug-Specific Sensitivity for Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) Exon 19 and 20 Mutants in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer,” and published online in the journal Oncotarget, demonstrates how computer modeling of EGFR mutations found in lung cancer can elucidate their molecular mechanism of action and consequently optimize the selection of therapeutic agents to treat patients…

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Key indicator for successful treatment of infertile couples

“As a woman approaches menopause, her level of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) rises,” explained Goldman. “A higher FSH level is a key indicator that the woman may not be as fertile as necessary to conceive using certain common methods of infertility treatment.” The study determined if FSH and estrogen at the upper limits of normal, as measured on day three of the menstrual cycle, could predict treatment success as measured in live birth rates…

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This Endoscope Zaps Tumors

It may soon serve another purpose: zapping tumors. The biomedical advancement, which is under development at the University at Buffalo, could make chemotherapy more efficient, reduce its side effects and improve how doctors treat some of the most deadly forms of cancer. “We are developing a novel endoscopic device that will improve our ability to detect and destroy cancer cells,” says Ulas Sunar, PhD, a research assistant professor in UB’s Department of Biomedical Engineering and the principal investigator of a National Institutes of Health grant that supports the research. Conventional endoscopic imaging has limitations. …

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Testing for drug-resistant bacteria before prostate biopsy can reduce infections — ScienceDaily

For patients undergoing transrectal ultrasound (TRUS)-guided biopsies, Ciprofloxacin may not be the best prophylactic option to use for patients colonized with Ciprofloxacin-resistant E. coli. “Aware of the increasing number of resistant strains of E. coli, our urologic physicians sought to decrease the number of post-biopsy infections and readmissions by conducting cultures on patient fecal samples to identify antibiotic-resistant strains before the biopsy is done, and the results were used to make the best antibiotic choice for prophylaxis,” said Leonard Mermel, D.O., medical director of the department of epidemiology and infection control at Rhode Island Hospital…

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3-D mammography improves cancer detection in dense breasts — ScienceDaily

Breasts are considered dense if they have a lot of fibrous or glandular tissue but not much fatty tissue. Research has shown that dense breasts are more likely to develop cancer, a problem compounded by the fact that cancer in dense breasts can be difficult to detect on mammograms. Other imaging modalities like ultrasound and MRI are often used to help find cancers that can’t be seen on mammograms, but both modalities have higher rates of false-positive findings, which are suspicious findings that turn out not to be cancer. This higher false-positive rate often results in more tests and unnecessary biopsies, making MRI and ultrasound expensive to implement in high-volume screening programs, according to study lead author Per Skaane, M.D., Ph.D., from the Department of Radiology at Oslo University Hospital in Oslo, Norway. …

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