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Newswise Special Wire
Monday, April 11, 2016

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Newswise Cancer Research Wire for 11-Apr-2016
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Cancer Research Wire

Cancer research news for the public and news media. More stories can be found at the Newswise Cancer News Source.

St. Jude Researchers Reveal How Two Types of Immune Cells Can Arise From One

Newly identified mechanism may offer ways to enhance the immune response to fight cancer or strengthen long-term protection provided by vaccines

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Nature

– St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Man and Life: How Marriage, Race and Ethnicity and Birthplace Affect Cancer Survival

Previous studies have shown that married patients with cancer fare better than unmarried cancer patients, surviving more often and longer. In a new study, published April 11 in the journal Cancer, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report that the benefits of being married vary by race and ethnicity, with male non-Hispanic white bachelors experiencing the worst outcome.

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Cancer; HHSN261201000140C, HHSN261201000035C, HHSN261201000034C; CA023100-29

– University of California, San Diego Health Sciences

A Different Route to Drug Resistance

A team of researchers, led by Ludwig Cancer Research scientist Paul Mischel and James Heath of the California Institute of Technology, has probed biochemical signaling cascades within individual cancer cells to capture a previously poorly understood but clinically significant mechanism of cancer drug resistance. Published in the current issue of Cancer Cell, their paper shows that cells of the invariably lethal brain cancer glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) begin adapting to resist therapy within as little as three days of its initiation.

Cancer Cell, April 11, 2016

– Ludwig Cancer Research

UK’s First Holistic Clinical Trial to Help Improve Life for Cancer Sufferers and Survivors

For the first time in the UK a clinical trial is being run to examine whether a holistic approach will help people living with and recovering from cancer.

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Funded by a grant from the National Institute for Health Research - Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB)

– University of Warwick

Cornell Researchers Report Blood-Brain Barrier Breakthrough

The blood-brain barrier has stymied direct treatment of brain disorders. In a recently published study, a Cornell researcher reports finding a way to pass therapeutics through the barrier, using readily-available agents.

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Journal of Clinical Investigation, April 4, 2016

– Cornell University

Discovery of CTLA-4 in Dendritic Cells Opens New Possibilities to Fight Cancer

T cells are the 'foot soldiers' that fight cancer inside the body. Cancer cells can fight the foot soldiers back by pushing a brake on the T cells that will turn them off. This 'brake' is a molecule on the surface of T cells called CTLA-4. Until now, most scientists agreed that CTLA-4 was only present on T cells and other cells of the same lineage. But Baylor College of Medicine researchers have discovered that CTLA-4 is also produced and secreted by dendritic cells, which are the 'generals' of the T cells in the battle against cancer. The results appear in Stem Cells and Development.

Stem Cells and Development

– Baylor College of Medicine

“Liquid Biopsy” Blood Test Accurately Detects Key Genetic Mutations in Most Common Form of Lung Cancer, Study Finds

A simple blood test can rapidly and accurately detect mutations in two key genes in non-small cell lung tumors, researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and other institutions report in a new study – demonstrating the test’s potential as a clinical tool for identifying patients who can benefit from drugs targeting those mutations.

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JAMA Oncology

– Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Run for Your Life: Exercise Protects Against Cancer

When you’re pounding along an icy pavement or sweating through a gym workout, you try to remind yourself of the many health benefits of exercise. Between gasps, you can say that a healthy, fit lifestyle helps prevents obesity, a worldwide problem of increasing magnitude that has been linked to cardiovascular disease and diabetes. But here’s one more—exercise may decrease cancer incidence and slow the growth rate of tumors.

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Cell Metabolism

– American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB)

UCI Study Finds Safer Stem Cell-Derived Therapy for Brain Radiation Recovery

While stem cells have shown promise for treating brain regions damaged by cancer radiation treatments, University of California, Irvine researchers have found that microscopic vesicles isolated from these cells provide similar benefits without some of the risks associated with stem cells.

Proceedings of the National Academies of Science, Apr-2016

– University of California, Irvine

Post-Menopausal Women Taking Metformin for Diabetes May Be at Lower Risk of Cancer

Post-menopausal women who use metformin long-term for the treatment of diabetes may be at lower risk for developing certain cancers and dying from these diseases, reports a large prospective study from researchers at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) and the University at Buffalo (UB). Their analysis was based on data from the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), a series of large studies undertaken to address common health issues in women. The researchers also found that women with diabetes, compared to women without the disease, were more likely to develop cancer. The team’s findings were published in the International Journal of Cancer.

HHSN268201100046C, HHSN268201100001C, HHSN268201100002C, HHSN268201100003C, HHSN268201100004C and HHSN271201100004C; K07CA178293

– Roswell Park Cancer Institute

More Guidelines, Uniformity in Radiation Decision-Making and Field Design Needed Following Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy, Surgery in Breast Cancer

Wide variability exists in radiation treatment decisions following neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) and surgery for breast cancer, according to a review of the American College of Surgeons Oncology Group (ACOSOG) Z1071, a prospective trial. ACOSOG is now part of the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology.

International Journal of Radiation Oncology • Biology • Physics (Red Journal)

– American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO)

Common Prostate Cancer Treatments Suppress Immune Response and May Promote Relapse

Prostate cancer patients and their doctors may want to think twice about the best timing for chemotherapy or radiation therapy in conjunction with a common nonsurgical treatment, based on international research findings led by UT Southwestern Medical Center investigators.

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Science Translational Medicine, April-2016

– UT Southwestern Medical Center

CRI Scientists Find Novel Metabolic Twist That Drives Cancer Survival

Scientists at the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI) have identified a novel metabolic pathway that helps cancer cells thrive in conditions that are lethal to normal cells.

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Nature, Apr-2016

– UT Southwestern Medical Center

UCLA Study Yields the Key to Effective Personalized Medicine

In a groundbreaking advance, UCLA surgeons and bioengineers have discovered the key to personalized medicine through an artificial intelligence-like technology known as Phenotypic Personalized Medicine (PPM). Until now, personalized medicine has been virtually impossible because the number of possible combinations is nearly infinite. To overcome this challenge, PPM showed that a parabola, or curved line unequivocally represents a patient’s response to drug treatment. In this study, the team successfully individualized immunosuppression to prevent transplant rejection using PPM, significantly improving outcomes compared to control patients. PPM technology is also applicable towards nearly every type of disease, ranging from cancer to infectious diseases.

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– University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences

How a Metabolic Pathway Promotes Breast Cancer Metastasis

A metabolic pathway that is up-regulated in some breast cancers promotes the disease’s progression by activating a signaling protein called Arf6, according to a paper published in The Journal of Cell Biology. The study, “P53- and mevalonate pathway–driven malignancies require Arf6 for metastasis and drug resistance” by Ari Hashimoto and colleagues, suggests that statin-like drugs may be effective treatments for breast cancer patients whose tumors express high levels of Arf6 signaling proteins.

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The Journal of Cell Biology, April 11th, 2016; Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture of Japan (23112008); Princess Takamatsu Cancer Research Fund (13- 24517)

– The Rockefeller University Press

Ludwig Cancer Research and the Cancer Research Institute Initiate Clinical Trial of a Novel Combination Immunotherapy for Ovarian Cancer

Ludwig Cancer Research and the Cancer Research Institute (CRI) have launched a Phase 1/2 clinical trial of combination immunotherapy for advanced ovarian cancer. The international, multicenter trial is led by George Coukos, director of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Lausanne and Brad Monk, director of Gynecologic Oncology at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center.

– Ludwig Cancer Research

Radiation Therapy Chemotherapy Combination Improves Survival in Adults with Low-Grade Brain Cancer

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Patients with a low-grade type of brain tumor called glioma who received radiation therapy plus a chemotherapy regimen, including procarbazine, lomustine and vincristine (PCV), experienced a longer progression-free survival and overall survival than patients who received radiation therapy alone, according to the results of the clinical trial, Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) 9802 published in the April 7 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

New England Journal of Medicine

– Mayo Clinic

Roswell Park Designated Scientific Lead for Ongoing Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study

The Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study, a longstanding effort to document and interpret tobacco use in the U.S., has been awarded another nine years of funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The study will be conducted by Westat of Rockville, Md., with Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) continuing as scientific lead and Andrew Hyland, PhD, Chair of the RPCI Department of Health Behavior, serving as principal investigator. Funding to Roswell Park over the term of the contract is expected to total $17.7 million.

– Roswell Park Cancer Institute

Study Shows Certain Gastrointestinal Tumors Associated with Higher Mortality

Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have determined that certain gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) are more deadly than previously reported in medical literature. Findings are published online in the Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery.

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Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery; TL1 TR001443, KL2 RR031978, K08 CA168999

– University of California, San Diego Health Sciences

Controlling Cell Turnover in the Intestinal Lining

Altered shedding of epithelial cells from the intestinal lining is associated with multiple disorders, ranging from IBD to colorectal cancer. Researchers at CHLA looked at ways shedding and cell regeneration are controlled in healthy intestine, and found that shedding is negatively regulated by EGF.

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R01DK095004; R01HL096121; R01DK056008; R01DK54993

– Childrens Hospital Los Angeles

NCCN Expert Panel Sets the Record Straight on Palliative Care and its Value in the Cancer Care Continuum

The NCCN 21st Annual Conference kicked off with a look into the world of palliative care, exploring barriers to patient access and means to establish multidisciplinary palliative care teams.

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– National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®)

UCLA Scientists Pioneer New Method to Identify Brain Cancer Patients Most Likely to Benefit From Immunotherapy

UCLA researchers have developed a promising method to assess how changes in the immune response can help predict the effectiveness of a new immunotherapy in people with glioblastoma (GBM), the most common and deadly type of brain cancer.

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– University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences

Lung Cancer Won't Stop Golfer's Dream Trip to World Famous Course in Scotland

A less invasive lung cancer surgery is enabling an avid golfer to recover in time to make a dream golfing trip to the famed St. Andrews course in Scotland.

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– Loyola University Health System

A Chink in the Armor of Breast Cancer Cells: Scientists Succeed in Killing Aggressive Form of Breast Cancer in Lab Experiments

Working with human breast cancer cells, a team of scientists from Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago have successfully turned off a misbehaving protein that fuels the growth of a particularly aggressive, drug-resistant form of the disease known as triple-negative breast cancer. In a set of lab experiments, the team managed to neutralize the protein, called Nodal, a growth factor already known for its role in early embryonic development.

– Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago

Announcements

Cancer Research Institute and Inspire Partner to Launch Online Immunotherapy Support Community

CRI and Inspire have partnered to launch a new cancer immunotherapy support community for patients and caregivers.

– Cancer Research Institute

Zayed Building Opens Doors to State-of-the-Art Personalized Cancer Research

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center welcomed His Highness Sheikh Hamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Crown Prince Court of Abu Dhabi, and His Excellency Mohamed Haji Al Khoori, Director General of the Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation, April 8 to celebrate the dedication of the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Building for Personalized Cancer Care.

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– University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center

Prominent Henry Ford Breast Cancer Surgeon, Researcher Named Komen Scholar

Lisa A. Newman, M.D., MPH, director of the Breast Cancer Program at Henry Ford Health System, has been selected to serve as a Komen Scholar, an international advisory group of 60 distinguished scholars and leaders in breast cancer research and advocacy who have made significant contributions to the field.

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– Henry Ford Health System

Ludwig Cancer Research Scientific Director David Lane Named AACR Fellow

Sir David Lane, Ludwig Cancer Research’s scientific director, was elected today as a fellow of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). Election as a fellow is the most prestigious honor bestowed by AACR and recognizes those researchers who have made exceptional contributions to the understanding and treatment of cancer.

– Ludwig Cancer Research

$1.8M Supports Further Exploration of Drug Compound on Commonly Mutated Gene

A Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey researcher has been awarded a $1.8-million grant from the National Cancer Institute to build upon research examining a drug compound that restores tumor suppressor function in the most commonly mutated gene in human cancer – the p53 gene.

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R01-CA200800

– Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey

Memorial Sloan Kettering Launches Teen and Young Adult Program and Opens The Lounge in Collaboration with Teen Cancer America and Who Cares

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) today announced the launch of its new Teen and Young Adult (TYA) Program, TYA  @  MSK, which will offer special services to MSK’s TYA population. In tandem, MSK officially opened The Lounge, a space designed especially for this unique age group that was made possible by a $1 million donation from Teen Cancer America. The nonprofit organization, co-founded by Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend of The Who, partners with hospitals throughout the United States to develop specialized facilities for teens and young adults with cancer.

– Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Roswell Park is First U.S. Cancer Center to Offer New Gamma Knife Technology

Roswell Park Cancer Institute has become the first American cancer center and only the second institution in the U.S. to implement Elekta’s Leksell Gamma Knife Icon radiosurgery system, which expands the range of conditions that can be treated through radiosurgery.

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– Roswell Park Cancer Institute

Timothy J. Eberlein, MD, Elected Chairman of the NCCN Board of Directors; New Officers Elected

Timothy J. Eberlein, MD, Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine, has been elected Chairman of the NCCN Board of Directors, succeeding Samuel M. Silver, MD, PhD, University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

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– National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®)

Neurosurgeon and Foundation Chairman Neal Kassell Appointed to National Cancer Institute’s Blue Ribbon Panel for Cancer Moonshot

Focused Ultrasound Foundation Chairman Neal F. Kassell, MD, has been selected to serve on the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Blue Ribbon Panel for Vice President Joe Biden’s National Cancer Moonshot Initiative. Dr. Kassell joins a group of 28 luminaries in science and medicine who will help the NCI inform the scientific direction and goals of the Initiative.

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– Focused Ultrasound Foundation

Blue Ribbon Cancer Panel Draws Praise from the Association of American Cancer Institutes

AACI congratulates the new members of a Blue Ribbon Panel, including four AACI cancer center directors, which will inform the scientific direction of the national Cancer Moonshot Initiative.

– Association of American Cancer Institutes (AACI)

Higher Education Events

National Cancer Institute Leader to Visit UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center

National Cancer Institute Acting Director Douglas R. Lowy, MD, will visit the University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center April 8, 2016. Cheryl Willman, MD, the UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Director and CEO, will join him in meetings with several other top officials in the state, at the university, and at the UNM Cancer Center’s research consortium partners.

– University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center

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