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New rules for anticancer vaccines

As cancer cells divide, they accumulate random mistakes (mutations). This process creates new versions of proteins, some of which are recognized as foreign invaders by immune cells called T cells, prompting the cells to attack and eliminate the cancer cells. With our current ability to identify all of the mutations in a patient’s cancer and to understand which protein sequences can be recognized by T cells, scientists can now predict which mutations will result in new T cell targets (called “neoepitopes”)…

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Fine line between breast cancer, normal tissues

The study is published online the week of September 22, 2014 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The tool, known as DESI mass spectrometry imaging (or Desorption ElectroSpray Ionization mass spectrometry imaging), works by turning molecules into electrically charged versions of themselves, called ions, so that they can be identified by their mass. By analyzing the mass of the ions, the contents of a tissue sample can then be identified. The tool sprays a microscopic stream of charged solvent onto the tissue surface to gather information about its molecular makeup and produces a color-coded image revealing the nature and concentration of tumor cells. …

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New approach aims to silence cancer ‘survival genes’

The new method works by silencing cancer ‘survival genes’ and could potentially combat cancer through the selective killing of colorectal cancer cells without adverse effects on normal, non-cancer cells. Funded by York’s Centre for Chronic Diseases and Disorders (C2D2), the project led by Professor Jo Milner from York’s Department of Biology involved preliminary studies to establish the suitability of an ex vivo model for the future development of anti-cancer therapies for colorectal cancer using a technique called RNA interference. The new approach builds on ground-breaking research by Professor Milner and her team at York more than a decade ago. This early work, funded by Yorkshire Cancer Research (YCR), used the newly-developed technique of RNA interference to successfully kill human cervical cancer cells grown in culture without causing damage to healthy cells. …

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Fine line between breast cancer, normal tissues — ScienceDaily

The study is published online the week of September 22, 2014 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The tool, known as DESI mass spectrometry imaging (or Desorption ElectroSpray Ionization mass spectrometry imaging), works by turning molecules into electrically charged versions of themselves, called ions, so that they can be identified by their mass. By analyzing the mass of the ions, the contents of a tissue sample can then be identified. The tool sprays a microscopic stream of charged solvent onto the tissue surface to gather information about its molecular makeup and produces a color-coded image revealing the nature and concentration of tumor cells…

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Ovarian cancer oncogene found in ‘junk DNA’

Most of those studies have focused on the portion of the human genome that encodes protein — a fraction that accounts for just 2 percent of human DNA overall. Yet the vast majority of genomic alterations associated with cancer lie outside protein-coding genes, in what traditionally has been derided as “junk DNA.” Researchers today know that “junk DNA” is anything but — much of it is transcribed into RNA, for instance — but finding meaning in those sequences remains a challenge. Now a team led by Lin Zhang, PhD, research associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, has mined those sequences to identify a non-protein-coding RNA whose expression is linked to ovarian cancer. …

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Rates of heart disease, stroke continue to decline in Europe

The research, which provides an update for 2014 on the burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in Europe, shows that death rates from CVD (diseases of the heart and blood vessels) vary enormously. For some eastern European countries, including Russia and Ukraine, the death rate from coronary heart disease for 55-60 year olds is greater than the equivalent rate in France for people 20 years older. The age adjusted CVD death rates for men and women of all ages were six-fold higher in Russia than in France. In 2010 in Russia 915 men and 517 women died per 100,000 of the population, whereas the equivalent rates in France were 150 and 87 per 100,000 respectively. …

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Pancreatic cancer survival rates at standstill for four decades

Today just over three per cent of pancreatic cancer patients survive for at least five years, only a fraction more than the two per cent who survived that long in the early 1970s. Across all cancers, half of patients now survive at least twice that long. But most cases of pancreatic cancer go undetected until it is too late for surgery. …

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Prostate cancer screening reduces deaths by a fifth: Large, long-term European trial — ScienceDaily

Despite this new evidence for the effectiveness of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing to reduce mortality, doubts as to whether the benefits of screening outweigh the harms remain, and routine PSA screening programmes should not be introduced at this time, conclude the authors. The European Randomised study of Screening for Prostate Cancer (ERSPC) began in 1993 to determine whether screening men for PSA reduces deaths from prostate cancer. …

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SPOTLIGHT | Cancer Health Center - Part 2