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Unlocking how brain cancer cells hide from drugs
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 12/06/2013) - Researchers from UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (JCCC) have discovered a biological mechanism that allows brain tumor cells to escape from the drugs designed to target them, resulting in drug resistance. The study was published in the December 5, 2013 online issue of Science.

Cancer mutation likely trigger of scleroderma
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 12/06/2013) - Johns Hopkins scientists have found evidence that cancer triggers the autoimmune disease scleroderma, which causes thickening and hardening of the skin and widespread organ damage. A report on the discovery, published in the Dec. 5 issue of Science, also suggests that a normal immune system is critical for preventing the development of common types of cancer. Johns Hopkins is home to the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center.

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center study examines predicting ovarian cancer by counting tumor-attacking immune cells
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 12/05/2013) - Scientists at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have developed a new method for counting a special class of cancer-fighting cells – called tumor-infiltrating T lymphocytes, or TILs – reliably, quickly and cheaply in patients with early stage and advanced ovarian cancer.

3-D mammography increases cancer detection and reduces call-back rates
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 12/04/2013) - Compared to traditional mammography, 3D mammography—known as digital breast tomosynthesis—found 22 percent more breast cancers and led to fewer call backs in a large screening study at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP), researchers reported at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). The University of Pennsylvania is home to the Abramson Cancer Center.

Predicting outcome for high-dose IL-2 therapy in cancer patients
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 12/03/2013) - Reporting in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, researchers at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center performed an in depth analysis of Treg populations in melanoma patients undergoing HD IL-2 therapy. The authors identified a distinct population of Treg cells that expressed the inducible T cell costimulator (ICOS) that was highly proliferative following the first cycle of HD IL-2.

Blocking antioxidants in cancer cells reduces tumor growth in mice
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 12/03/2013) - Many cancers have adapted to cope with high levels of immune system-produced free radicals, also referred to as reactive oxygen species, by overproducing antioxidant proteins. One of these proteins, superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1), is overproduced in lung adenocarcinomas and has been implicated as a target for chemotherapy. In the Journal of Clinical Investigation, researchers from Northwestern University (home of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center) report the effects of a SOD1 pharmacological inhibitor on non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells.

New drug cuts risk of deadly transplant side effect in half
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 12/03/2013) - A new class of drugs reduced the risk of patients contracting a serious and often deadly side effect of lifesaving bone marrow transplant treatments, according to a study from researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. The study, the first to test this treatment in people, combined the drug vorinostat with standard medications given after transplant, resulting in 22 percent of patients developing graft-vs.-host disease compared to 42 percent of patients who typically develop this condition with standard medications alone. Results of the study appear in The Lancet Oncology.

Cyclin D1 governs microRNA processing in breast cancer
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 11/29/2013) - Cyclin D1, a protein that helps push a replicating cell through the cell cycle, also mediates the processing and generation of mature microRNA (miRNA), according to new research from the Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University published November 29 in Nature Communications. The research suggests that a protein strongly implicated in human cancer also governs the non-protein-coding genome. The non-coding genome, previously referred to as junk DNA, makes up most of the human genome, and unlike the coding genome, varies greatly between species.

Scientists discover how thalidomide-like drugs fight cancer
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 11/29/2013) - Despite its tragic legacy of causing birth defects 50 years ago, thalidomide — and newer drugs derived from it — has been reborn as an effective treatment for multiple myeloma and other cancers. How they act to slow cancer's spread, however, has long defied explanation. In a new report, scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute say they have discovered that the drugs kill multiple myeloma cells by a mechanism that's different from the way that they cause birth defects.

B cells can deliver potentially therapeutic bits of modified RNA
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 11/26/2013) - Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine (home of the Moores Comprehensive Cancer Center) have successfully targeted T lymphocytes – which play a central role in the body’s immune response – with another type of white blood cell engineered to synthesize and deliver bits of non-coding RNA or microRNA (miRNA). The achievement in mice studies, published in this week’s online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, may be the first step toward using genetically modified miRNA for therapeutic purposes, perhaps most notably in vaccines and cancer treatments.

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