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Study identifies safe delivery system for tricky yet potent anti-cancer cancer compound
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered a way to effectively deliver staurosporine, a powerful anti-cancer compound that has vexed researchers for more than 30 years due to its instability in the blood and toxic nature in both healthy and cancerous cells. For the first time, the new method safely delivered STS to mouse tumors, suppressing them with no apparent side effects. The results were published online, Oct. 20, in the International Journal of Nanomedicine.
Female hormones key to breast, ovarian cancer in BRCA gene carriers
Researchers announced in the journal Lancet Oncology that they are well on the way to discovering why women with the faulty genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 develop breast and ovarian cancer rather than other cancers. The study, carried out by researchers at the University College London Department of Women's Cancer, found that abnormal levels of female hormones in the bloodstream could be the answer. The findings have already led to more research into novel ways of preventing cancers in women at risk.
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Mutational landscape and significance across 12 major cancer types
Researchers looked at 12 major types of cancer and identified 127 repeatedly mutated genes that seem to drive the development and progression of a range of tumors.
The discovery sets the stage for devising new diagnostic tools and more personalized cancer treatments.
The study, published in Nature, shows that some of the same genes commonly mutated in certain cancers also occur in seemingly unrelated tumors. For example, a gene mutated in 25 percent of leukemia cases in the study also was found in tumors of the breast, rectum, head and neck, kidney, lung, ovary and uterus.
Investigational PARP inhibitor promising in BRCA-related cancers
An investigational new PARP inhibitor, BMN 673, is showing early responses in patients with heavily pretreated, advanced, BRCA-related cancers of the breast and ovary, according to phase I clinical trial results presented here at the AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics. When there is damage to DNA in human cells, two proteins, PARP 1 and 2, recruit proteins that can repair the damage associated with loss of BRCA proteins. Mutations in BRCA genes often result in inefficient repair of damaged DNA, which increases the risk for developing certain cancers, including cancers of the breast and ovary. Inhibiting PARP, therefore, prevents the repair of damaged DNA, leading to cell death. While some PARP inhibitors have been tested in various settings, none are approved to date.
Suspicions about HPV vaccine explored in Preventive Medicine
Suspicions about sexual promiscuity and vaccine safety are explored in an article in the November issue of the journal Preventive Medicine, which dedicates a section of that issue to research concerning the human papillomavirus.
"Beliefs, behaviors and HPV vaccine: Correcting the myths and the misinformation" is a review of journal articles and other medical and social science literature exploring beliefs held by the general public that have an impact on HPV vaccination acceptance.
Facing life with BRCA gene
Heather Rocha, patient of SGO member Leslie Randall, MD, at UC Irvine, is hoping the surgery that saved her mother’s life will do the same for her. After having tested positive for the BRCA1, last month 34-year-old Rocha underwent a complete hysterectomy, having her ovaries, Fallopian tubes and uterus removed.
"Even though I knew it was the right thing, I was still afraid," Rocha, 34, said. "It sounds ridiculous but I was asking myself, 'Will I still be a woman? Will it take away from my femininity?'"
Doctors rarely discuss risks of cancer screening
Doctors seldom tell patients about the possible harms of getting screened for cancer, a new study shows.
During any screening test, there is a chance of so-called overdiagnosis — finding something that looks like cancer but isn't, or a cancer that's so small and slow-growing it would never cause a problem.
In those cases, patients may get biopsies, surgeries, radiation and drugs that won't bring them any benefit, but could come with side effects, known as overtreatment.
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