NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research NewsNCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
October 10, 2006 • Volume 3 / Number 39 E-Mail This Document  |  Download PDF  |  Bulletin Archive/Search  |  Subscribe

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Featured Article

AML Prognosis Linked to Activated Cell Signaling Pathways

A new prospective study involving 188 adult patients with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) has demonstrated what many researchers had suspected but not necessarily proven: In cancer cells, multiple intracellular signal transduction pathways that affect functions such as cell death and proliferation are simultaneously activated. Beyond that, however, was a more unexpected finding: The more of these pathways that are activated, the worse a patient's prognosis.

The findings, say the research team that conducted the study, strongly suggest that when one of these pathways is activated as a result of a genetic mutation or some other mechanism, other important signaling pathways that influence cancer cell development and proliferation - pathways that would typically be static or only mildly active in a normal bone marrow or white blood cell - also become activated, often referred to as "crosstalk."

One other finding, said the study's lead author, Dr. Steven M. Kornblau from the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, further supports this contention.  Read more  

Director's Update

Guest Update by Dr. Anna Barker

The Biomarkers Consortium: A Unique Public-Private Partnership to Advance 21st Century Medicine

Dr. Anna Barker Last week marked the launch of an unprecedented public-private research partnership called the Biomarkers Consortium. This unique partnership will design and perform clinical studies to validate biological markers that are deemed to be of value in accelerating the development and regulatory review processes for new drugs, biologics, and technologies to treat, detect, and prevent a variety of diseases, including cancer.

The Consortium was created by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the Biotechnology Industry Organization, and several nonprofit organizations. In a rare move, an initial group of drug and biotech firms that are normally competitors have shown significant vision in donating funds and expertise to FNIH in support of this important initiative.  Read more  

The NCI Cancer Bulletin is produced by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). NCI, which was established in 1937, leads the national effort to eliminate the suffering and death due to cancer. Through basic, clinical, and population-based biomedical research and training, NCI conducts and supports research that will lead to a future in which we can identify the environmental and genetic causes of cancer, prevent cancer before it starts, identify cancers that do develop at the earliest stage, eliminate cancers through innovative treatment interventions, and biologically control those cancers that we cannot eliminate so they become manageable, chronic diseases.

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