NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research NewsNCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
November 21, 2006 • Volume 3 / Number 45 E-Mail This Document  |  Download PDF  |  Bulletin Archive/Search  |  Subscribe

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Featured Article

Interleukins Power Immune Reaction to Metastatic Cancer

New results from NCI's Center for Cancer Research (CCR), reported in the November 15 Cancer Research, show promise for interleukins (IL) to enhance the body's natural ability to fight cancer that has spread to the liver. A combination of IL-12 and IL-18 increased the concentration of natural killer (NK) cells in animals and triggered therapeutic levels of interferon-gamma (IFN-γ), a key messenger molecule that regulates the immune system defenses against cancer in the liver, a common site of tumor metastasis.

NK cells are key players in the immune process, and are aptly named because they act like commandos on a search-and-destroy mission for virally infected and cancerous cells.  Read more  

Director's Update

Guest Update by Dr. Malcolm Smith

Initiative TARGETs Childhood Cancer

Dr. Malcolm Smith Although there has been an explosion in the development of molecularly targeted therapies, these advances have been largely limited to the treatment of adult cancers. The need for new treatment approaches for childhood cancers, however, is substantial. The dramatic improvements in outcome seen over the last several decades have slowed, and, in many cases, current treatment approaches for childhood cancers cause serious short- and long-term side effects.

To see that children do benefit from advances in molecularly targeted cancer therapeutics development, NCI and the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) have established the Childhood Cancer Therapeutically Applicable Research to Generate Effective Treatments, or TARGET, Initiative.

The TARGET Initiative is a public-private partnership to identify and validate therapeutic targets so that new, more effective treatments can be developed for children with cancer. Its immediate goal is to make major advances in identifying and validating therapeutic targets for two or more childhood cancers within 2 years of project initiation. FNIH will raise money from the private sector to augment NCI resources allotted for the 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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