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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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Stem cell disease model clarifies bone cancer trigger

The study results, published in the journal Cell, revolve around iPSCs, which since their 2006 discovery have enabled researchers to coax mature (fully differentiated) bodily cells (e.g. skin cells) to become like embryonic stem cells. Such cells are pluripotent, able to become many cell types as they multiply and differentiate to form tissues…

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New approach to treat drug-resistant HER2–positive breast cancer

The discovery, published in the journal CELL Reports, provides the experimental evidence for the potential development of a novel combination therapy for HER2-positive breast cancer. The combination includes the FDA approved drug lapatinib and a new experimental drug called a BET bromodomain inhibitor, which works by disrupting the expression of specific genes…

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Bio-marker set forms the basis for new blood test to detect colorectal cancer

Max Mazzone (VIB/KU Leuven): “This research demonstrates how important it is to gain a thorough understanding of the role of our immune system in cancer. In this case, this knowledge will hopefully result in a new, more sensitive test to detect colorectal cancer at an early stage, so that more patients can be cured. I hope that we can soon find an industrial partner to help us achieve the following step, which is the development of the test.” Colorectal cancer: a growing medical problem In 2012, a total of 1.4 million people worldwide were diagnosed with colorectal cancer, this figure is expected to increase to 2.4 million by 2035. This is a condition that affects a growing number of people each year. …

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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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Swine flu outbreak in India raises concern: New strain of H1N1 may carry dangerous mutations

The findings, which appear in the March 11 issue of Cell Host & Microbe, contradict previous reports from Indian health officials that the strain has not changed from the version of H1N1 that emerged in 2009 and has been circulating around the world ever since. With very little scientific data available about the new strain, the MIT researchers stress the need for better surveillance to track the outbreak and to help scientists to determine how to respond to this influenza variant. …

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Experts warn of stem cell underuse as transplants reach one million worldwide

HSCT (also known as blood and marrow transplant) is most often used to treat diseases of the blood and several types of cancer such as multiple myeloma or leukemia. For many people with these diseases the only possibility of a cure is to have a HSCT. The procedure provides healthy cells from either the patient (autologous transplantation) or from a healthy donor (allogeneic transplantation) to replace those lost to disease or chemotherapy…

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