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Newswise - News for Journalists

Newswise Special Wire
Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Public edition |

Newswise Cancer Research Wire for 19-Jul-2016

Cancer Research Wire

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

UNM Cancer Center Scientists Use Already-Approved Drugs to Force Cancer Cell Death

New research from The University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center sheds light on how the cells of one type of cancer cheat death. In a paper published in Oncotarget, Alexandre Chigaev, PhD, and his team describe the apoptosis-evading process that leukemia cells use. The team also discovered that some approved drugs can fight this process

Oncotarget April 26, 2016

– University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center

Size Matters: Advance Could Increase Sensitivity of Liquid Biopsies

A University of Utah School of Medicine-led study reports an advance that could increase the accuracy of liquid biopsies. The minimally invasive blood test monitors cancer progression by detecting pieces of circulating tumor DNA, but results can be obscured by abundant DNA from healthy cells. The research published in PLOS Genetics shows that the two types of DNA fragments are typically differently sized in cancer patients, a property that can be exploited to enhance the test’s sensitivity.

(Embargo expired on 18-Jul-2016 at 14:00 ET)

PLOS Genetics; K99168943

– University of Utah Health Sciences

Scientists Determine Structure of Enzyme Linked with Key Cell-Signaling Protein

Scientists have captured atomic level snapshots showing how one key enzyme modifies a protein involved in turning genes on or off inside cells. Understanding this process helps explain how complex organisms can arise from a finite number of genes. The research also identifies links between defects in this particular enzyme and certain cancers, potentially pointing to new drug targets.

 • Image(s) embedded •  (Embargo expired on 18-Jul-2016 at 11:00 ET)

Nature Chemical Biology, July 18, 2016; GM061126; AG029979

– Brookhaven National Laboratory

Genetic Target Could Help Fight Deadly Drug-Resistant Infections

Fungal infections pose a major threat to hospital patients and have proven difficult to combat, but scientists have unlocked evidence that could lead to more effective treatment.

(Embargo expired on 18-Jul-2016 at 11:00 ET)

– Ohio State University

Some Adolescent Cancer Survivors May Require More Comprehensive Mental Health Screening

Research from the Childhood Cancer Survivors Study has identified distinct profiles of psychological symptoms in adolescent cancer survivors; a finding that is expected to advance mental health screening and treatment.

 • Image(s) embedded •  (Embargo expired on 18-Jul-2016 at 16:00 ET)

– St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Genetic Drivers of Immune Response to Cancer Discovered Through ‘Big Data’ Analysis

Scientists at the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) have identified over 100 new genetic regions that affect the immune response to cancer. The findings, published in Cancer Immunology Research, could inform the development of future immunotherapies—treatments that enhance the immune system’s ability to kill tumors. By analyzing a large public genomic database, the scientists found 122 potential immune response drivers—genetic regions in which mutations correlate with immune cell infiltration into tumors.

 • Image(s) embedded • 

Cancer Immunology Research; NIH P30 CA030199

– Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute

How to Decide if Watchful Waiting Is the Right Choice

A new tool helps remove the emotion around choosing the right approach for prostate cancer

 • Image(s) embedded • 

– Thomas Jefferson University

Poison Drummer Rikki Rockett Cancer-Free Following Immunotherapy at UC San Diego Health

Rikki Rockett, drummer for the band Poison, got the best news of his life last week: his cancer is gone. Rockett was diagnosed with oral cancer more than a year ago. Several months ago, he came to Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health, where he underwent experimental cancer immunotherapy, which has now eradicated the tumor.

 • Image(s) embedded • 

– University of California San Diego Health Sciences

Genetic Cause of 15 Percent of Colorectal Cancer Diagnoses Identified

Up to 15 percent of colorectal cancers show a genetic mutation known as DNA mismatch repair deficiency, or dMMR. Until now, little has been known about how the mutation behaves in rectal cancer patients, what causes dMMR, and which treatments may be most effective.

 • Image(s) embedded • 

– University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center

Mount Sinai Researchers Develop Simple Method to Characterize Immune Cells in Tumors

Despite recent achievements in the development of cancer immunotherapies, only a small group of patients typically respond to them. Predictive markers of disease course and response to immunotherapy are urgently needed. To address this need, researchers at The Tisch Cancer Institute (TCI) at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have developed a new method of analyzing multiple tissue markers using only one slide of a tumor section to better understand immune response occurring locally.

 • Video embedded • 

– Mount Sinai Health System

Adjuvant Chemotherapy in Early-Stage Colon Cancer May Improve Survival

Researchers and physicians have grappled with the role of “adjuvant,” or post-surgery, chemotherapy for patients with early-stage colon cancer, even for cancers considered high risk. Now researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago have found an association between the use of adjuvant chemotherapy in stage 2 colon cancer and improved survival — regardless of a patient’s age or risk, or even of the specific chemotherapy administered.


– University of Illinois at Chicago

Cancer-Fighting Gene Immunotherapy Shows Promise as Treatment for HIV

Researchers from the UCLA AIDS Institute and Center for AIDS Research found that recently discovered potent antibodies can be used to generate a specific type of cell called chimeric antigen receptors, or CARs, that can be used to kill cells infected with HIV-1.

Journal of Virology

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

Scientists Trace Origin Cell of Bone and Soft Tissue Tumors, Test Drug Target

Scientists at Duke Health are part of a team that has discovered a type of cell surrounding blood vessels can also serve as a starting point for sarcoma, a form of cancer that occurs in bones and connective tissues.

(Embargo expired on 14-Jul-2016 at 12:00 ET)

Cell Reports; R01 CA183811

– Duke Health

Communication Breakdown? Mismatch in Expectations About Prognosis in Advanced Cancer

A new study in JAMA Oncology finds that most advanced cancer patients report far more optimistic expectations for survival prognosis than their oncologists, due to patients’ misunderstanding of their oncologists’ clinical judgment.

(Embargo expired on 14-Jul-2016 at 11:00 ET)

JAMA Oncology July 14, 2016

– University of Vermont

Stem Cell Scientists Discover Genetic Switch to Increase Supply of Stem Cells From Cord Blood for Future Clinical Use

International stem cell scientists, co-led in Canada by Dr. John Dick and in the Netherlands by Dr. Gerald de Haan, have discovered the switch to harness the power of cord blood and potentially increase the supply of stem cells for cancer patients needing transplantation therapy to fight their disease.

 • Video / Image(s) embedded •  (Embargo expired on 14-Jul-2016 at 12:00 ET)

– University Health Network (UHN)

Roswell Park-Led Study: Photoacoustic Imaging Is Promising Option for Noninvasive Monitoring of Prostate Cancer

While active surveillance is often recommended for patients with nonaggressive prostate cancer to reduce unnecessary treatment, the challenge for clinicians is to monitor and distinguish early-stage tumors from advanced cancers. A team of scientists led by researchers from Roswell Park Cancer Institute have demonstrated that photoacoustic imaging (PAI) may be an effective tool for more accurately viewing and monitoring prostate cancer. The new research has been published in the June 2016 issue of the Journal of Biomedical Optics.

 • Image(s) embedded • 

Journal of Biomedical Optics

– Roswell Park Cancer Institute

Animal Cancer Breakthrough Leads to Human Clinical Trials

Cancer treatment in people could be transformed thanks to a study on treating cancer in animals led by researchers from the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) at the University of Guelph. Injecting oncolytic viruses (viruses that target cancer cells) intravenously into the spleen allows immune responses to be boosted much more rapidly and to much higher magnitudes than traditional vaccine methods.

 • Image(s) embedded • 

Journal of Immunology

– University of Guelph

“Smart” Nanoparticle Called PEARLs a Promising Gem to Target, Treat Tumours with Greater Precision

Dr. Gang Zheng and a team of biomedical researchers have discovered a “smart” organic, biodegradable nanoparticle that uses heat and light in a controlled manner to potentially target and ablate tumours with greater precision.

 • Video / Image(s) embedded • 

Angewandte Chemie International Edition, July-2016

– University Health Network (UHN)

Researchers Map Molecular 'Social Networks' That Drive Breast Cancer Cells

A powerful new technology that maps the "social network" of proteins in breast cancer cells is providing detailed understanding of the disease at a molecular level and could eventually lead to new treatments, Australian scientists say.

Science Signaling

– University of New South Wales

Hybrid Immune Cells in Early-Stage Lung Cancer Spur Anti-Tumor T Cells to Action

Researchers have identified a unique subset of these cells that exhibit hybrid characteristics of two immune cell types -- neutrophils and antigen-presenting cells -- in samples from early-stage human lung cancers. This is the first study to describe this phenomenon in a human tumor.

RO1 CA187392-01A1, RO1 CA193556, K12CA076931

– Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

NUS Scientists Discover That Modifications to Protein RUNX3 May Promote Cancer Growth

Scientists from the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore at the National University of Singapore have discovered that a modification called phosphorylation made to a protein called RUNX3 may promote cancer progression by allowing cell division. The phosphorylation, or the addition of a phosphate group to a molecule, is carried out by an enzyme called Aurora Kinase, which has been observed to be present in unusually high levels in some cancers.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

– National University of Singapore

Researcher Looking at What Bears, Worms, Weeds Contribute to Obesity Treatment

Naima Moustaid-Moussa, who recently accepted an NIH appointment to review grant applications, is a leading researcher in the causes of obesity.

 • Image(s) embedded • 
Expert(s) available

– Texas Tech University

Immunotherapy Benefits Relapsed Stem Cell Transplant Recipients

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute study published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that using repeated doses of an immunotherapy drug can restore a complete remission for some relapsed stem cell transplant recipients.

(Embargo expired on 13-Jul-2016 at 17:00 ET)

New England Journal of Medicine; 5R01CA183560-03, 5UM1CA186709-02

– Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Hops Extract Studied to Prevent Breast Cancer, Cutting Nerves During Breast Cancer Surgery Associated with Chronic Pain, Engineered Human Colon Model Could Aid in Cancer Research, and MORE in the Cancer News Source

Click here to go directly to the Cancer News Source

– Newswise

Older Women in the United States Not Receiving Recommended Bone Density Testing Before Starting Cancer Treatment, Study Finds

A Medical College of Wisconsin study published in the July issue of JNCCN found that older women are not receiving recommended bone density assessment prior to adjuvant therapy with aromatase inhibitors, possibly making them more vulnerable to bone fracture and comorbidity as a result of injury.

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– National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®)

The Complex Crosstalk Between Obesity and Breast Cancer

A new study published in the Journal of Cell Physiology describes how inflammation that characterizes fatty tissue is one of the main microenvironment actors responsible for promoting cancer. The authors also describe the involvement of steroid hormones and others factors produced by adipose tissue in breast cancer development.

 • Image(s) embedded • 

Journal of Cell Physiology

– Sbarro Health Research Organization (SHRO)

HPV Vaccine Can Protect Women Across a Broad Age Range

A research paper published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases reported that the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is safe and efficacious across a wide age range of women. The international study found that it protects against HPV infection in women older than 26 years.

The Lancet Infectious Diseases

– University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center

Stamford Hospital Joins Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Care Collaborative

Stamford Hospital is first Connecticut hospital to join Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Care Collaborative

– Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Penn Preclinical Study Outlines Cardiovascular Side Effects of Breast Cancer Drug

A receptor protein that is the target of the breast cancer drug trastuzumab (Herceptin) is needed for proper heart blood-vessel development, providing a better understanding of the cardiovascular side effects of trastuzumab commonly used for cancer.

 • Image(s) embedded • 

R01 HL118768

– Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Fat Cells May Play Key Role in Battle Against Breast Cancer

New research led by York University Professor Michael Connor highlights how fat cells could help determine the most effective way to fight breast cancer; including using exercise to combat the disease.

Journal of Applied Physiology

– York University

Mayo Clinic Researchers Identify Potential Immunotherapy Drug Combination for Targeting Advanced and Metastatic Cancers

A drug combination designed to enhance the immune system’s ability to zero in and attack cancer cells has shown a pronounced therapeutic effect against advanced and metastatic cancers in mice, according to a Mayo Clinic study, published in the July 12 edition of the online journal Oncotarget.

– Mayo Clinic


Greater Boston Area Breast Cancer Survivor, Volunteer Selected as ASTRO’s 2016 Survivor Circle Award Winner

The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) has chosen Theresa A. Keresztes, a resident of Wellesley, Massachusetts, to receive the 2016 Survivor Circle Award.

 • Image(s) embedded • 

– American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO)

GM Cancer Center Receives $1Mil to Promote Health Equity Through Patient-Provider Training Program

The GW Cancer Center received a one million dollar grant from the Pfizer Foundation to advance equitable, patient-centered cancer care by providing resources for patients and health care providers to have improved conversations, including a focus on patient health literacy, and cultural sensitivity.

– George Washington University

Maryland Proton Treatment Center Appoints New Medical Director

Charles B. Simone, II has been named the new Medical Director of the Maryland Proton Treatment Center. Dr. Simone will continue to define and implement processes ensuring that MPTC is integrated into the radiation oncology program and the University of Maryland Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Maryland Medical Center/System, and the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

– University of Maryland School of Medicine

ASTRO Members Elect Five New Officers to Board of Directors

Members of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) have elected five new officers to the Society’s Board of Directors, including President-elect, Secretary-Treasurer-elect, and Vice-chairs of three of ASTRO’s five councils (Clinical Affairs and Quality, Education and Government Relations).

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– American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO)

International Team Launches Community Competition to Unravel How Cancer Changes a Cell’s RNA

An open challenge that merges the efforts of the International Cancer Genome Consortium, The Cancer Genome Atlas, and the NCI Cloud Pilots with Sage Bionetworks and the open science DREAM Challenge community

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– Ontario Institute for Cancer Research

Columbia University Awarded $58.4 Million to Accelerate Development of New Therapies

Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) has received a $58.4 million grant from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to expand its work in translational research.

– Columbia University Medical Center

Fellowship Grants to Rutgers Cancer Institute Support Basic Science and Epidemiology

Grants totaling $450,000, have been awarded to a number of investigators at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. The Pre- and Post-Doctoral Fellowship Awards from the New Jersey Commission on Cancer Research will help support various research projects relating to cancer biology and population studies.

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– Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey

Moffitt Cancer Center Awarded $3.2 Million Grant to Study Bone Metastasis in Prostate Cancer

Moffitt researchers David Basanta, PhD, and Conor Lynch, PhD, have been awarded a U01 grant to investigate prostate cancer metastasis. Prostate cancer frequently spreads to the bone, and can cause painful bony lesion and increased mortality for patients. Their study will integrate molecular, cellular and clinical information into mathematical models to better understand key factors driving the disease to help target when metastasis may occur and identify new therapeutic targets for its prevention.

U01 CA202958 01

– Moffitt Cancer Center

Moffitt Cancer Center Awarded $3.4 Million Grant to Establish Imaging Biomarker Validation Center

Early detection is one of the most effective strategies to save lives from most cancers. As part of a new U01 grant awarded to Jae K. Lee, PhD, Robert Gillies, PhD, John Heine, PhD and Matthew Schabath, PhD, the Moffitt Imaging Biomarker Validation Center (MIBVAC) will be established to discover, develop, and validate biomarkers for risk assessment, detection, and molecular diagnosis and prognosis of early cancer. Moffitt will also become a Clinical Validation Center for the National Cancer Institute’s Early Detection Research Network.

U01 CA200464 01

– Moffitt Cancer Center

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