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News from NCI

  • A graphic generated by a computer of the structure of DNA in the B form.  Red, blue, yellow and light blue balls indicate the 4 bases that comprise the DNA double-helix
    TCGA bladder cancer study reveals potential drug targets, similarities to several cancers
    NCI Press Release

    (Posted: 01/29/2014) - Investigators with TCGA have identified new potential therapeutic targets for a major form of bladder cancer, including important genes and pathways that are disrupted in the disease. They also discovered that, at the molecular level, some subtypes of bladder cancer resemble subtypes of breast, head and neck and lung cancers, suggesting similar routes of development.

  • Bar scan readout showing genomic sequencing of major subtypes of pediatric rhabdomyosarcoma.  Red, green and black vertical bars across the x axis indicate various mutations in about 20 genes which are displayed on the y axis.
    NIH scientists map genetic changes that drive tumors in a common pediatric soft-tissue cancer
    NCI Press Release

    (Posted: 01/23/2014) - Scientists have mapped the genetic changes that drive tumors in rhabdomyosarcoma, a pediatric soft-tissue cancer, and found that the disease is characterized by two distinct genotypes. The genetic alterations identified in this malignancy could be useful in developing targeted diagnostic tools and treatments for children with the disease.

  • Horizontal chart with four bars colored blue, red, amber, and green, representing decreasing death rates from four major cancers.
    Lung cancer death rates continue to fall, helping drive decrease in overall cancer death rates; Annual Report to the Nation includes special feature highlighting the contribution of other diseases on survival of patients
    NCI Press Release

    (Posted: 12/16/2013) - The Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, covering the period 1975–2010, showed death rates for lung cancer, which accounts for more than one in four cancer deaths, dropping at a faster pace than in previous years. The recent larger drop in lung cancer deaths is likely the result of decreased cigarette smoking prevalence over many years, and is now being reflected in mortality trends
    View the article in Spanish

  • Gloved hands under hood removing solution of cells from large vial that contains a red liquid
    New studies demonstrate that modified T cells are effective in treating blood-borne cancers
    NCI News Note

    (Posted: 12/09/2013) - At the 2013 American Society of Hematology meeting in Dec. 2013, James Kochenderfer, M.D., NCI, presented findings from two clinical trials evaluating the use of genetically modified immune system T cells as cancer therapy. These reports represent important advances in the understanding of gene therapy for treatment of advanced blood-borne cancers.

  • Image of a Evolutionary tree of mouse gut bacteria superimposed over an image of colon tissue with larger circles indicating greater abundance of bacteria. Red circles are bacteria that prime mice to respond to immunotherapy; green shows bacteria that suppress anti-tumor response to the drug.
    NIH mouse study finds gut microorganisms may determine cancer treatment outcome
    NCI Press Release

    (Posted: 11/21/2013) - An intact gut commensal microbiota, which is a population of microorganisms living in the intestine, is required for optimal response to cancer therapy, according to a mouse study by scientists at the National Cancer Institute (NCI)

  • Worldwide trends show oropharyngeal cancer rates increasing
    NCI News Note

    (Posted: 11/20/2013) - NCI scientists report that the incidence of oropharyngeal cancer significantly increased during the period 1983-2002 among people in countries that are economically developed. Oropharyngeal cancer occurs primarily in the middle part of the throat behind the mouth, including the base of the tongue, the side and back walls of the throat, and the tonsils.

  • Gene readouts with 3 b-cell lymphomas depicted on left and Burkitt depicted on right; readout is a mix of red and green dots with more green dots on left side of image and mostly red dots on right side for Burkitt, indicating higher levels of gene expression
    NIH study finds low-intensity therapy for Burkitt lymphoma is highly effective
    NCI Press Release

    (Posted: 11/13/2013) - Adult patients with a type of cancer known as Burkitt lymphoma had excellent long-term survival rates—upwards of 90 percent—following treatment with low-intensity chemotherapy regimens, according to a new clinical trial finding. Burkitt lymphoma is the most aggressive type of lymphoma, which is a cancer that begins in cells of the immune system.

  • Dark blue micrograph image of HPV virus on a black background
    Fewer doses of HPV vaccine result in immune response similar to three-dose regimen
    NCI News Note

    (Posted: 11/04/2013) - NCI scientists report that two doses of a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, trademarked as Cervarix, resulted in similar serum antibody levels against two of the most carcinogenic types of HPV (16 and 18), compared to a standard three dose regimen.

  • HIV and influenza share a similar structural blueprint
    NCI News Note

    (Posted: 10/23/2013) - HIV uses a protein called the envelope glycoprotein spike to attach itself and fuse with the cell membrane; NCI scientists have now defined the structure of this spike in its pre-fusion state using cryo-electron microscopy

  • Laser scan of DNA on a microarray chip with intensities of the different color dots (yellow being least and red the most) indicating the quantity of the DNA in the scan.
    Checklist for clinical readiness of lab tests derived from complex molecular assays published
    NCI Press Release

    (Posted: 10/17/2013) - Scientists from NCI, together with collaborators from outside academic centers, have developed a checklist of criteria to evaluate the readiness of complex molecular tests that will guide decisions made during clinical trials. The checklist focuses on tests that are based on complex mathematical models incorporating large numbers of measurements from so-called “omics” assays. “Omics” refers to the comprehensive study of sets of related molecules, such as genes, proteins, or metabolites, in a biological sample.

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  • Posted: August 13, 2012
  • Updated: August 13, 2012