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News from NCI
  • Head shot color photo of NCI director Harold Varmus
    What Impedes Cancer Research?: NCI Director Harold Varmus to address National Press Club
    Press Opportunity

    (Posted: 09/21/2012) - The barriers that impede greater and faster progress against cancer include the inherent biological properties of tumors; the difficulties of developing new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancers; and economic and social factors that slow the nation’s cancer research efforts

  • Kidneys and adrenal glands in cartoon illustration
    Rare cancers yield potential source of tumor growth
    NIH Press Release

    (Posted: 09/17/2012) - Researchers at the National Institutes of Health have discovered a genetic mutation that appears to increase production of red blood cells in tumors. The discovery, based on analysis of tissue from rare endocrine tumors, may help clarify how some tumors generate a new blood supply to sustain their growth, the researchers explained.

  • Box of colored bars, depicting genes identified by TCGA for association with methylation (blue) or mutation (purple) in squamous lung cancer
    TCGA discovers potential therapeutic targets for lung squamous cell carcinoma
    NCI Press Release

    (Posted: 09/10/2012) - After sequencing the genomes of nearly 200 patients, researchers from The Cancer Genome Atlas initiative have identified potential therapeutic targets in lung squamous cell carcinoma, the second most common form of lung cancer. In the image above, squamous lung cancer subtypes are grouped into four columns. The horizontal rows depict genes identified by TCGA and how they differ by subtype.

  • Microscopic view of prostate cancer cells, stained purple and red, with red showing where Schlafen-11 is located in the nucleus
    Gene identified that sensitizes cancer cells to chemotherapy drugs
    NCI News Note

    (Posted: 08/27/2012) - NCI scientists have found that a gene, Schlafen-11 (SLFN11), sensitizes cells to substances known to cause irreparable damage to DNA.  As part of their study, the researchers used a repository of 60 cell types to identify predictors of cancer cell response to classes of DNA damaging agents, widely used as chemotherapy treatments for many cancers.

  • cell plate with small wells hold pink liquid
    The NCI-60: Assessing drug effectiveness

    (Posted: 08/27/2012) - For decades, lead compounds were tested principally in mice. The downsides were time, expense, and limited accuracy. Enter NCI’s In Vitro Cell Line Screening Project, better known as the NCI-60, a protocol that makes it possible to analyze the anti-cancer properties of a compound in human tumor samples from 60 different cell cultures, sometimes referred to as lines, representing several different types of cancer.

  • Blond woman physician in white lab coat examines two digital mammogram images on side-by-side flat screen monitors
    Breast cancer patients with high density mammograms do not have increased risk of death
    NCI Press Release

    (Posted: 08/20/2012) - High mammographic breast density, which is a marker of increased risk of developing breast cancer, does not seem to increase the risk of death among breast cancer patients, according to a study led by Gretchen L. Gierach, Ph.D., NCI. In the image above, a physician examines a digital mammogram of a dense breast and points to a potential tumor.

  • Salmonella typhi is a bacteria associated with some gallbladder cancers. Credit: CDC
    Microbes within our bodies may cause or contribute to cancer

    (Posted: 08/15/2012) - Are microbes the likes of bacteria and viruses helpful or hurtful? Do microbes affect each of us differently? Because these questions are still unanswered in several areas of science, researchers are beginning to pay much more attention to these tiny, mostly microscopic, life forms.

  • Burkitt lymphoma cells stained purple
    NIH study shows Burkitt lymphoma is molecularly distinct from other lymphomas
    NCI Press Release

    (Posted: 08/13/2012) - Scientists have uncovered a number of molecular signatures in Burkitt lymphoma, including unique genetic alterations that promote cell survival, that are not found in other lymphomas. These findings provide the first genetic evidence that Burkitt lymphoma is a cancer fundamentally distinct from other types of lymphoma.

  • Study shows colon and rectal tumors constitute a single type of cancer; The Cancer Genome Atlas generates genomic data for colon and rectal cancers that point to potential targets for treatment
    NCI Press Release

    (Posted: 07/18/2012) - The pattern of genomic alterations in colon and rectal tissues is the same regardless of anatomic location or origin within the colon or the rectum, leading researchers to conclude that these two cancer types can be grouped as one, according to The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) project's large-scale study of colon and rectal cancer tissue specimens.

  • NIH tools facilitate matching cancer drugs with gene targets
    NCI Press Release

    (Posted: 07/16/2012) - A new study details how a suite of web-based tools provides the research community with greatly improved capacity to compare data derived from large collections of genomic information against thousands of drugs. By comparing drugs and genetic targets, researchers can more easily identify pharmaceuticals that could be effective against different forms of cancer.The newly updated software, called CellMiner, was built for use with the NCI-60, one of the most widely utilized collections of cancer cell samples employed in the testing of potential anti-cancer drugs

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