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New study reveals how to improve chemotherapy use in prostate cancer

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“It was surprising to find that cabazitaxel functions differently than docetaxel in killing cancer cells, even though they’re both taxanes,” says senior author Karen Knudsen, Ph.D., Interim Director of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center and a professor of cancer biology at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University. “It shows that we may not be taking full advantage of this next generation taxane in the clinic.” For years, docetaxel has been the only effective chemotherapy for men whose cancer was no longer responding to hormone treatments…

3-D vaccine spontaneously assembles to pack a powerful punch against cancer, infectious diseases

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“This vaccine is a wonderful example of applying biomaterials to new questions and issues in medicine,” says David Mooney, Ph.D., a professor of bioengineering at Harvard University in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, whose lab developed the vaccine. The project was co-led by Jaeyun Kim, Ph.D. and Aileen Li, a doctoral student in the Mooney lab. Their findings were published in the December 8, 2014 issue of Nature Biotechnology. …

Parkinson’s gene linked to lung cancer

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The findings are published in American Journal of Human Genetics. Through whole exome sequencing, researchers identified a link between a mutation in PARK2, a gene associated with early-onset Parkinson’s disease, and familial lung cancer. The researchers sequenced the exomes (protein coding region of the genome) of individuals from a family with multiple cases of lung cancer. They then studied the PARK2 gene in additional families affected by lung cancer…

Study links deficiency of cellular housekeeping gene with aggressive forms of breast cancer

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Based on analysis of two large breast cancer databases, reduced activity of an autophagy gene, beclin 1, was related to both a higher incidence of triple-negative breast cancer and a poorer prognosis for breast cancer patients. …

How does prostate cancer form? Parkinson’s Link?

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“Using genetic deletion we found that SIRT1 normally restrains prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia in animals. Therefore too little SIRT1 may be involved in the cellular processes that starts human prostate cancer,” said Dr. Richard Pestell, M.D., Ph.D., MBA, executive Vice President of Thomas Jefferson University and Director of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center. “As we had shown that gene therapy based re expression of SIRT1 can block human prostate cancer tumor growth, and SIRT1 is an enzyme which can be targeted, this may be an important new target for prostate cancer prevention.” The researchers led by Dr…

Protein that controls the ‘guardian of the genome’ identified

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The researchers study the development of T cells and B cells, which are lymphocytes (or immune cells) that play a central role in protecting our body against infections by viruses, bacteria and other microbial agents. “As these lymphocytes develop, they must learn how to recognize different pathogens in the body,” says Dr. M�r�y, Director of the Hematopoiesis and Cancer research unit at the IRCM. “Part of this process involves the breaking and rearranging of the genes responsible for producing the lymphocyte receptors that recognize these pathogens…

HIV drug blocks bone metastases in prostate cancer — ScienceDaily

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“Because this work shows we can dramatically reduce metastasis in pre-clinical models, and because the drug is already FDA approved for HIV treatment- we may be able to test soon whether this drug can block metastasis in patients with prostate cancer,” says Richard Pestell, M.D., Ph.D., MBA, Director of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University and senior author on the study. The work builds on previous research from Dr. Pestell’s lab that showed in 2012 that CCR5 signaling was key in the spread of aggressive forms of breast cancer to the lungs…

HIV drug blocks bone metastases in prostate cancer

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“Because this work shows we can dramatically reduce metastasis in pre-clinical models, and because the drug is already FDA approved for HIV treatment- we may be able to test soon whether this drug can block metastasis in patients with prostate cancer,” says Richard Pestell, M.D., Ph.D., MBA, Director of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University and senior author on the study. The work builds on previous research from Dr. …

Experimental Ebola vaccine appears safe, prompts immune response

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“The unprecedented scale of the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa has intensified efforts to develop safe and effective vaccines, which may play a role in bringing this epidemic to an end and undoubtedly will be critically important in preventing future large outbreaks,” said NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. …

Oral cancer-causing HPV may spread through oral, genital routes

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“HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the world, and is a risk factor for several cancers, including cervical, vaginal, vulvar, oropharyngeal [throat/tonsil], anal, and penile cancer,” says Eduardo L. Franco, Professor and Director of the Division of Cancer Epidemiology at McGill University. “Understanding how HPV is transmitted is important because it will help us identify who is most at risk for HPV infection and how we can help them protect themselves and their partners,” adds Franco, who is also the Chairman of the Department of Oncology in the Faculty of Medicine. “Our work provides additional evidence that HPV is sexually transmitted to the oral tract through oral-oral and oral-genital contact.” Infection rates higher for male smokers A research team led by Franco looked at HPV infections in 222 men and their female partners and found that among men in the study, the prevalence of oral HPV was 7.2 percent…