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Safe delivery system discovered for anti-cancer compound
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 10/22/2013) - Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine (home of the Moores Comprehensive Cancer Center) have discovered a way to effectively deliver staurosporine (STS), a powerful anti-cancer compound that has vexed researchers for more than 30 years due to its instability in the blood and toxic nature in both healthy and cancerous cells. For the first time, the new method safely delivered STS to mouse tumors, suppressing them with no apparent side effects. The results were published online, October 20, in the International Journal of Nanomedicine.

New prognostic model predicts survival in advanced prostate cancer
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 10/21/2013) - For men with advanced prostate cancer that has progressed after taking hormones and undergoing chemotherapy, getting an accurate prognosis is critical to determine the next steps for treatment. Now researchers at the Duke Cancer Institute have developed a tool for doctors to forecast the potential survival of individual patients, enabling them to better and rapidly assess whether to try additional rounds of treatment or seek clinical trials. The findings are published online in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

New idea for targeting the common cancer protein KRAS
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 10/21/2013) - Patients with cancers driven by the protein KRAS, which are particularly hard to treat, may benefit from small molecules that attach to and disrupt the function of a KRAS-containing protein complex, according to results presented by researchers from the Vanderbilt School of Medicine (home of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center) at the AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics.

Inherited gene variation tied to high-risk pediatric leukemia and greater risk of relapse
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 10/21/2013) - Research led by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital scientists has linked an inherited gene variation to a nearly four-fold increased risk of developing a pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) subtype that is associated with a poor outcome. The study appears in the online edition of the scientific journal Nature Genetics.

Checklist for clinical readiness of lab tests derived from complex molecular assays published
NCI Press Release
(Posted: 10/17/2013) - Scientists from NCI, together with collaborators from outside academic centers, have developed a checklist of criteria to evaluate the readiness of complex molecular tests that will guide decisions made during clinical trials. The checklist focuses on tests that are based on complex mathematical models incorporating large numbers of measurements from so-called “omics” assays. “Omics” refers to the comprehensive study of sets of related molecules, such as genes, proteins, or metabolites, in a biological sample.

Genomic understanding of glioblastoma expanded
NCI Press Release
(Posted: 10/10/2013) - Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) was the first cancer type to be systematically studied by TCGA in 2008. In a new, complementary report, TCGA experts examined more than 590 GBM samples--the largest to date utilizing genomic characterization techniques and nearly 400 more than were examined in 2008--to identify several additional significantly mutated genes in GBM implicated in the regulation of chromatin modification.

Penn Medicine reveals findings on two new weapons against thyroid cancer
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 09/30/2013) - For many years, patients with advanced thyroid cancer faced bleak prospects and no viable treatment options. But now, building on recent discoveries about the genetics and cell signaling pathways of thyroid tumors, researchers are developing exciting new weapons against the disease, using kinase inhibitors that target tumor cell division and blood vessels. Two recent clinical trials led by a researcher from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (home to the Abramson Cancer Center) showcase the great promise of these new approaches. The work will be presented at the European Cancer Congress in Amsterdam.

The benefits of looking across many cancer genomes
NCI Perspective
(Posted: 09/27/2013) - Cancer is not a single entity, but rather, it is more than one hundred complex and distinct diseases, with most cancer types demanding a unique treatment strategy. TCGA researchers have developed a formal project for a cross tumor analysis, called Pan-Cancer. Its goal is to assemble TCGA’s wealth of data across tumor types, analyze and interpret those data, and finally, make both the analyses and the data freely available.

Lifestyle can reduce obesity-related cancers
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 09/27/2013) - It is estimated that over a third of the new cancer cases expected to occur in the U.S. in 2013 will be related to overweight or obesity, physical inactivity, and poor nutrition. A study from researchers at New York University (home of the NYU Cancer Institute), which appears in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Prevention, concludes that disturbances in body insulin and glucose levels, specifically exposures to longer periods, are associated with an increased risk of obesity-related cancers and offers suggestions for clinicians to screen for these disturbances to aid in the prevention of these cancers.

Cancer-killing cells controlled by epigenetic process, new study shows
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 09/27/2013) - For the first time, a new study from the Keck School of Medicine of USC (home of the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center) has described how natural killer (NK) cells in the human body, which can kill and contain viruses and cancerous tumors, can be manipulated by epigenetics. The discovery, detailed in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, paves the way for developing more effective cancer drugs.

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