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Biomarker predicts risk of breast cancer recurrence after tamoxifen treatment
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 07/01/2013) - A biomarker reflecting expression levels of two genes in tumor tissue may be able to predict which women treated for estrogen-receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer should receive a second estrogen-blocking medication after completing tamoxifen treatment. In their report being published online in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, investigators from the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center (a component of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute) describe finding that the HOXB13/IL17BR ratio can indicate which women are at risk for cancer recurrence after tamoxifen and which are most likely to benefit from continuing treatment with the aromatase inhibitor letrozole (Femara).

Men at low-risk of dying from their prostate cancer increasingly opting for advanced treatment options
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 06/26/2013) - For men with a low risk of dying from their prostate cancer, advanced treatment options may offer little to no benefit, yet more and more patients are opting for these procedures. A new study from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center examined Medicare data between 2004 and 2009 for men with prostate cancer whose disease was low-risk or those who were at a high risk to die from other causes. The researchers found that these men increasingly underwent advanced treatment options, such as intensity-modulated radiotherapy and robotic prostatectomy.

Human and canine lymphomas share molecular similarities, first large-scale comparison shows
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 06/26/2013) - Humans and their pet dogs are close, so close that they both develop a type of cancer called diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. In humans it’s the most common lymphoma subtype while in dogs, it’s one of the most common cancers in veterinary oncology. A team of scientists from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, North Carolina State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Duke University have conducted one of the first studies to directly compare canine and human B-cell lymphoma by examining molecular similarities and differences between the two species. The researchers say dogs are good models to study because they can examine shared risk factors with humans.

USC research identifies potential treatment for HIV-related blood cancer
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 06/26/2013) - Researchers at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center have discovered a promising new way to treat a rare and aggressive blood cancer most commonly found in people infected with HIV. The USC team shows that a class of drugs called BET bromodomain inhibitors effectively targets primary effusion lymphoma (PEL), a type of cancer for which those drugs were not expected to be effective.

Powerful gene-editing tool appears to cause off-target mutations in human cells
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 06/24/2013) - In the past year a group of synthetic proteins called CRISPR-Cas RNA-guided nucleases (RGNs) have generated great excitement in the scientific community as gene-editing tools. Exploiting a method that some bacteria use to combat viruses and other pathogens, CRISPR-Cas RGNs can cut through DNA strands at specific sites, allowing the insertion of new genetic material. However, a team of researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (a component of the Dana-Farber Cancer Research Institute) has found a significant limitation to the use of CRISPR-Cas RGNs, production of unwanted DNA mutations at sites other than the desired target.

Kidney cancer progression linked to shifts in tumor metabolism; Scientists with The Cancer Genome Atlas identify genomic alterations tied to tumor aggressiveness
NCI Press Release
(Posted: 06/24/2013) - Investigators in The Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network have uncovered a connection between how tumor cells use energy from metabolic processes and the aggressiveness of the most common form of kidney cancer, clear cell renal cell carcinoma.

Pluripotent stem cells made from pancreatic cancer cells are first human model of the cancer's progression, Penn study finds
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 06/21/2013) - Scientists from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (home to the Abramson Cancer Center) have used stem-cell technology to create a research cell line from a patient with advanced pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). This first-of-its-kind human-cell model of pancreatic cancer progression was published in Cell Reports.

Bacterial DNA may integrate into human genome more readily in tumor tissue
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 06/21/2013) - Bacterial DNA may integrate into the human genome more readily in tumors than in normal human tissue, according to a new study from the University of Maryland School of Medicine's Institute for Genome Sciences and the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center. Researchers analyzed genomic sequencing data available from the Human Genome Project, the 1,000 Genomes Project and The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). They considered the phenomenon of lateral gene transfer (LGT), the transmission of genetic material between organisms in the absence of sex.

Researchers discover how a mutated protein outwits evolution and fuels leukemia
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 06/21/2013) - Scientists have discovered the survival secret to a genetic mutation that stokes leukemia cells, solving an evolutionary riddle and paving the way to a highly targeted therapy for leukemia. In a paper based on an animal study, published in Cell, researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center (home to the NYU Cancer Institute) describe how a mutated protein, called Fbxw7, behaves differently when expressed in cancer cells versus healthy cells.

Drug shows potential as safe and effective for chronic leukemia, mantle cell lymphoma
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 06/20/2013) - Two clinical studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine with an accompanying editorial suggest that the novel agent ibrutinib shows real potential as a safe, effective, targeted treatment for adults with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and for patients with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). Both studies, co-led by researchers at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James) and at MD Anderson Cancer Center, were published in the Journal’s June 19, 2013 online edition.

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