Monday, July 6, 2009

Cancerous Mondays

Nobody likes Mondays. Here is some cancer news to lift your mood.

Because I am a lab geek, the lab geeky news comes first: John Hopkin's cancer experts have developed a successful 3-way combination to better predict the return of prostate cancer. This method examines "the length of time it takes for PSA (prostate-specific antigen) to double, Gleason score (a numeric indicator of prostate cancer aggressiveness as seen under the microscope), and the interval between surgical removal of the prostate and the first detectable PSA level."
The combination of these three measurements accurately estimates return cancer risk more accurately then any currently known method.
To learn more about the study which developed the method, go to:

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center researchers have uncovered genetic variables which aid lung cancer's ability to quickly metastasize. To blame is a hyperactive WNT cellular pathway, which is surprisingly the same cellular pathway colorectal cancers use. Tumor-initiating mutations in the genes KRAS and EGFR depend on a hyperactive WNT pathway, as well as the genes HOXB9 and LEF.
For more information, go to:

Georgetown University Medical Center researchers has developed a drug which blocks the activity of the fusion protein responsible for Ewing's sarcoma. Today, most small molecule cancer drugs inhibit the intrinsic activity of a single protein. This drug take a different approach, by stopping two proteins from interacting. Because scientists have never been done before with a cancer-causing fusion protein, they hope to have a novel medical therapy in the future.
Learn more @

Lets face it: Leukemia is a bitch. Acute myeloid leukemia is even worse. Fortunately, there's hope. Dr. John Dick of the Ontario Cancer Institute, along with many other researchers from various nations, has developed a leukemia therapy which targets the protein CD123 on cancer stem cells which drive AML. This treatment is the first anti-cancer monoclonal antibody therapy that specifically targets cancer stem cells. Part of the therapy's success is that it targets the cancerous stem cells themselves, which are chemo-resistant and responsible for AML recurrence.
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A new breakthrough in melanoma research was made by scientists at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research. They discovered two new genes which together double a person's melanoma risk. Alone, either gene carries a 25% increased risk. With 10,000 people diagnosed each year, Australia has the highest occurrence of melanoma in the world. In Queensland, an average of 7 people per day with this deadly skin cancer.
Follow the excitement @

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