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Mutation takes ‘brakes’ off neck and head cancers
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 01/08/2014) - The increased activation of a key oncogene in head and neck cancers could be the result of mutation and dysfunction of regulatory proteins that are supposed to keep the gene, which has the potential to cause cancer, in check, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (home of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute). The findings, published in the early online version of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggest a new target for drugs to treat head and neck tumors, as well as other cancers.

Nano-capsules show potential for more potent chemoprevention
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 01/08/2014) - Researchers at the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University have discovered a more effective drug delivery system using nanotechnology that could one day significantly affect cancer prevention. The study, published today in Cancer Prevention Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, involved the use of microscopic amounts of the naturally occurring antioxidant, luteolin, that were encapsulated in a water-soluble polymer. When injected into mice the nano-luteolin inhibited growth of lung cancer and head and neck cancer cells.

Recurrent ovarian cancers respond to cancer vaccine after “reprogramming” with decitabine
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 01/06/2014) - Treatment with the drug decitabine prior to administration of chemotherapy and a cancer vaccine yielded clinical benefit for women with recurrent ovarian cancer, suggesting that this combinatorial chemoimmunotherapy may provide a new treatment option for patients with this disease, according to a Roswell Park Cancer Institute study published in Cancer Immunology Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

New cell mechanism discovery key to stopping breast cancer metastasis
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 01/06/2014) - Researchers from Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah discovered a cellular mechanism that drives the spread of breast cancer to other parts of the body (metastasis), as well as a therapy which blocks that mechanism. The research results were published online in the journal Cell Reports on January 2.

Surgery beats chemotherapy for tongue cancer
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 12/27/2013) - Patients with tongue cancer who started their treatment with a course of chemotherapy fared significantly worse than patients who received surgery first, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. This is contrary to protocols for larynx cancer, in which a single dose of chemotherapy helps determine which patients fare better with chemotherapy and radiation and which patients should elect for surgery. In larynx cancer, this approach, which was pioneered and extensively researched at U-M, has led to better patient survival and functional outcomes. But this new study, which appears in JAMA Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, describes a clear failure.

Study identifies potential therapeutic target for incurable, rare type of soft-tissue cancer
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 12/27/2013) - In a study published online in Cell Reports, scientists from the UT Southwestern Medical Center (home of the Harold C. Simmons Cancer Center) found that inhibiting the action of a protein called BRD4 caused cancer cells to die in a mouse model of malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs). MPNSTs are highly aggressive sarcomas that form around nerves. These tumors can develop sporadically, but about half of cases are in patients with a genetic disorder called neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) that affects 1 in 3,500 people.

Gene therapy method targets tumor blood vessels
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 12/24/2013) - Working in mice, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis (home of the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center) report developing a gene delivery method long sought in the field of gene therapy: a deactivated virus carrying a gene of interest that can be injected into the bloodstream and make its way to the right cells. In this early proof-of-concept study, the scientists have shown that they can target tumor blood vessels in mice without affecting healthy tissues.

Breast cancer patients experience fewer side effects from anticancer drug when receiving acupuncture
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 12/24/2013) - A new analysis by researchers from the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center has found that both real and sham acupuncture treatments may help alleviate side effects of drugs commonly used to treat breast cancer. Published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the findings may help clinicians improve care for cancer patients. The results also raise the question of whether sham acupuncture is truly inert or may, like real acupuncture, have beneficial effects.

University of Colorado researchers find that muscle-invasive and non-muscle invasive bladder cancers arise from different stem cells
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 12/20/2013) - A Colorado University Cancer Center study published today in the journal Stem Cells shows that progenitor cells that create dangerous, muscle-invasive bladder cancer are different than the progenitor cells that create non-muscle invasive bladder cancer.

Researchers find that Angelina Jolie's preventive mastectomy raised awareness, but not knowledge of breast cancer risk
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 12/20/2013) - Angelina Jolie heightened awareness about breast cancer when she announced in May 2013 that she had undergone a preventive double mastectomy, but a new study by the University of Maryland School of Public Health reveals that despite widespread awareness of Jolie's story, most Americans could not correctly answer questions about breast cancer risk.

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