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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.

Fat cells in breast may connect social stress to triple-negative breast cancer
NCI Cancer Center News
- Local chemical signals released by fat cells in the mammary gland appear to provide a crucial link between exposure to unrelenting social stressors early in life, and the subsequent development of breast cancer, researchers from the University of Chicago report in an animal study published in the July 2013 issue of the journal Cancer Prevention Research. Some forms of stress exposure may be associated with an increased risk of certain types of aggressive breast cancer. But the mechanisms linking the biology of social stress to cancer have been hard to identify. To unravel that mechanism, the researchers looked for differences between mice raised in small groups and those that grow up in an isolated setting—an established model of chronic stress without social supports.

New medication treats drug-resistant prostate cancer in the laboratory
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 06/18/2013) - A new drug called pyrvinium pamoate inhibits aggressive forms of prostate cancer that are resistant to standard drugs, according to a study conducted in an animal model by the City of Hope, Beckman Research Institute, in Duarte, Calif. The results were presented at The Endocrine Society's 95th Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

Observation is safe, cost-saving in low-risk prostate cancer
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 06/18/2013) - Many men with low-risk, localized prostate cancers can safely choose active surveillance or “watchful waiting” instead of undergoing immediate treatment and have better quality of life while reducing health care costs, according to a study by researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital.

Reforms speed initiation of NCI-sponsored clinical trials
NCI News Note
(Posted: 06/17/2013) - The process of opening a cancer clinical trial for patient accrual often takes years, and research has shown that trials which are slow to register patients often fail to finish. Following a thorough review, NCI’s Operational Efficiency Working Group produced a series of recommendations that are now being implemented.

Diabetes drug points the way to overcoming drug resistance in melanoma
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 06/17/2013) - Advanced metastatic melanoma is a disease that has proven difficult to eradicate. Despite the success of melanoma-targeting drugs, tumors inevitably become drug resistant and return, more aggressive than before. In the current issue of the journal Cancer Cell, researchers at The Wistar Institute describe how they increase the effectiveness of anti-melanoma drugs by combining anticancer therapies with diabetes drugs. Their studies, conducted in cell and animal models of melanoma, demonstrate that the combined therapy could destroy a subset of drug-resistant cells within a tumor.

NIH scientists find promising biomarker for predicting HPV-related oropharynx cancer
NCI Press Release
(Posted: 06/17/2013) - Researchers have found that antibodies against the human papillomavirus (HPV) may help identify individuals who are at greatly increased risk of HPV-related cancer of the oropharynx, which is a portion of the throat that contains the tonsils.

Genetic variations may help identify best candidates for preventive breast cancer drugs
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 06/14/2013) - Newly discovered genetic variations may help predict breast cancer risk in women who receive preventive breast cancer therapy with the selective estrogen receptor modulator drugs tamoxifen and raloxifene, a Mayo Clinic-led study has found. The study is published in the journal Cancer Discovery.

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