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Review highlights potential of cancer immunotherapy plus targeted therapy

“To support this goal and accelerate these efforts, changes in directions of research support and funding may be required,” co-authors Padmanee Sharma, M.D., Ph.D., professor of Genitourinary Medical Oncology and Immunology, and Jim Allison, Ph.D., chair of Immunology, said in the review. The review, titled “Immune Checkpoint Targeting in Cancer Therapy: Toward Combination Strategies with Curative Potential,” covers the strengths and weaknesses of the two forms of therapy and notes how their combination could be particularly potent. …

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Research aims to reduce health care disparities

Gwendolyn P. Quinn, Ph.D., scientific director of the Survey Methods Core Facility at Moffitt, identified physicians largely operate under a, “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that prohibits open and honest dialogue between doctor and patient about cancer risk. The study highlights that LGBTQI populations face barriers to health insurance such as when partnerships and marriages are not legally recognized; concerns about disclosure in a health care setting, discrimination, misconceptions, legal and financial barriers and the disenfranchised stress and distress of caregiving same-sex partners. …

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Ebola whole virus vaccine shown effective, safe in primates

The vaccine, described today (March 26, 2015) in the journal Science, was developed by a group led by Yoshihiro Kawaoka, a University of Wisconsin-Madison expert on avian influenza, Ebola and other viruses of medical importance. It differs from other Ebola vaccines because as an inactivated whole virus vaccine, it primes the host immune system with the full complement of Ebola viral proteins and genes, potentially conferring greater protection. “In terms of efficacy, this affords excellent protection,” explains Kawaoka, a professor of pathobiological sciences in the UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine and who also holds a faculty appointment at the University of Tokyo…

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Precision medicine for adrenal cancer, study suggests

In a randomized phase 3 trial, adrenal cancer patients receiving the investigational drug linsitinib fared no better than patients receiving a placebo. But the researchers noticed a small subset of patients who had significant response and remained on the drug for an extended time. “While it was only a small subset of patients who responded to linsitinib, this remains very promising in the era of precision medicine,” says co-principle investigator Gary D. …

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Naproxen plus acid blocking drug shows promise in preventing bladder cancer

A new study suggests there may be ways to reduce these dangerous side effects. Collaborators from the University of Michigan, the National Cancer Institute and the University of Alabama looked at naproxen, which is known to have a lower cardiovascular risk than other NSAIDs. Naproxen, like most NSAIDs and aspirin, does increase the risk for gastric ulcers or bleeding…

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Breakthrough in understanding how cancer cells metastasize

The study examined the function of a protein called DENND2B. During childhood development, DENND2B likely plays a role in the normal migration of cells. In adults, cell migration is greatly reduced, but in the case of cancer, there is unwanted cell migration, contributing to one of the most puzzling aspects of cancer cells — metastasis to new locations. “DENND2B activates another protein in the cell called Rab13, which is an enzyme that promotes cell migration,” says Dr. …

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New target for prostate cancer treatment discovered

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in American men, after skin cancer, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). The ACS projects more than 27,000 deaths from prostate cancer in 2015 and is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men, behind lung cancer. One man in seven will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime…

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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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Potential new breathalyzer for lung cancer screening

Their work, described in a paper published this week in the journal Review of Scientific Instruments, from AIP Publishing, demonstrates the potential of the device to be used as a breathalyzer for early lung cancer detection — possibly a safe and effective method of detecting cancer early that may save lives. According to the researchers, the laboratory results are promising, but the device would still need to prove effective in clinical trials before its widespread adoption as a diagnostic tool. “Our results show that the device can discriminate different kinds and concentrations of cancer related volatile organic compounds with a nearly100 percent accurate rate,” said Jin-can Lei, the primary researcher and a postdoc from the College of Optoelectronic Engineering, Chongqing University. “This would also be a rapid method in that the entire detection process in our experiment only takes about 20 minutes.” Based on a small, circular plate called fluorescent cross-responsive sensor array, a specially-designed rotary gas chamber and a data collection and processing system, the device can detect lung cancer related gases at very low concentration, or below 50 parts per billion (ppb), showing a potential to identify lung cancer at the early stage. …

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