Tag Archives: madrid

An ‘ambulance’ for the brain

“It is estimated that 20% of humans at some time will need a treatment that targets the brain,” explains Meritxell Teixid�, associate researcher at IRB Barcelona and leader of this line of investigation, “and for many diseases there are some good candidate drugs but none have the capacity to reach their target and thus there is a subsequent loss of potential. Our shuttle offers a solution to an urgent clinical need.” The work has been carried out in IRB Barcelona’s Peptides and Proteins Lab. Directed by Ernest Giralt, also senior professor of the UB, this lab is one of the few leading labs worldwide devoted to these kinds of developments…

How radiotherapy kills cancer cells

Dr Jason Greenwood from Queen’s Centre for Plasma Physics collaborated with academics from Italy and Spain on the work on electrons, which has been published in the international journal Science. Using some of the shortest laser pulses in the world, the researchers used strobe lighting to track the ultra-fast movement of the electrons within a nanometer-sized molecule of amino acid. The resulting oscillations — lasting for 4,300 attoseconds (billion-billionths of a second) — amount to the fastest process ever observed in a biological structure. …

Mesothelioma: New Findings On Treatment Options

“Mesothelioma remains a difficult disease to find better treatment options for, so we asked whether high-dose hemithoracic radiotherapy would decrease the rate or delay the time of local recurrence after chemotherapy and radical surgery,” says lead author Prof Rolf A. Stahel, from the Clinic and Policlinic for Oncology, at the University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland, and current President of the European Society for Medical Oncology. The multicentre trial included 153 patients with surgically-treatable malignant pleural mesothelioma, who were first treated with three chemotherapy cycles of cisplatin and pemetrexed, followed by surgical removal of affected lung tissue, with the goal of complete removal of the cancerous areas of lung. …

Promising results shown with targeted approaches in subsets of non-small cell lung cancer

“Reports of lung cancers bearing mutations in BRAF have generated considerable interest because these mutations may be associated with increased sensitivity to BRAF tyrosine-kinase inhibiting agents,” says lead author Dr David Planchard, pulmonary oncologist at the Gustav-Roussy Cancer Campus, Paris, France. Planchard says studies suggest that activating BRAF mutations are present in around 2% of lung carcinomas — approximately 80% of which are V600E mutations. The BRAF V600E mutations are frequently associated with shorter disease-free, overall survival, and lower response rates to platinum-based chemotherapy. …

Adding cediranib to chemotherapy improves progression-free survival for metastatic or recurrent cervical cancer, phase II trial shows

In Europe, about 70% of patients with cervical cancer are cured by either surgery or chemo-radiotherapy. Those patients with recurrent or secondary cancer have a very poor outlook. Only about 20-30% have tumour shrinkage after conventional chemotherapy and survival is usually less than one year. In the phase II CIRCCa trial, researchers compared two groups of patients with relapsed or metastatic cervical cancer given conventional chemotherapy with carboplatin and paclitaxel plus either cediranib (34 patients) or an identical looking placebo tablet (35 patients). …

More than 70% of young oncologists in Europe suffer symptoms of burnout

“Oncology is an exceptionally rewarding career, but it can be demanding and stressful at times,” said Dr Susana Banerjee, lead author of the study and a consultant medical oncologist at The Royal Marsden NHS Trust in London, UK. “Oncologists make complex decisions about cancer management, supervise the use of toxic therapies, work long hours, and continually face patients suffering and dying,” she said…

Simple method turns human skin cells into immune strengthening white blood cells

The work, as detailed in the journal Stem Cells, shows that only a bit of creative manipulation is needed to turn skin cells into human white blood cells. “The process is quick and safe in mice,” says senior author Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, holder of Salk’s Roger Guillemin Chair. “It circumvents long-standing obstacles that have plagued the reprogramming of human cells for therapeutic and regenerative purposes.” Those problems includes the long time — at least two months — and tedious laboratory work it takes to produce, characterize and differentiate induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, a method commonly used to grow new types of cells. …

Key to aging immune system: Discovery of DNA replication problem

“We have found the cellular mechanism responsible for the inability of blood-forming cells to maintain blood production over time in an old organism, and have identified molecular defects that could be restored for rejuvenation therapies,” said Emmanuelle Passegué, PhD, a professor of medicine and a member of the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCSF. …