Key role proposed for pediatricians in curbing tobacco use

New Rochelle, NY, February 9, 2011 — Nicotine addiction usually begins during the critical teenage years, and pediatric healthcare professionals can play a prominent role in promoting a tobacco-free lifestyle among children and adolescents, as de…

Reproductive scientists create mice from 2 fathers

Using stem cell technology, reproductive scientists in Texas, led by Dr. Richard R. Berhringer at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, have produced male and female mice from two fathers.
The study was posted today (Wednesday, December 8) at the on…

Study finds possible ‘persistence’ switch for tuberculosis

HOUSTON — (Sept. 17, 2010) — An examination of a portion of the tuberculosis genome that responds to stress has allowed Rice University bioengineers Oleg Igoshin and Abhinav Tiwari to zero in on a network of genes that may “switch” the disea…

Men don’t recognize their breast cancer until a late stage

Breast cancer in men is usually detected when the tumors are bigger, have spread and may be more aggressive, compared to diagnosis of the disease in women, concludes the largest study ever conducted of male breast cancer. The findings, presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, suggest both that breast cancer in men may have some important biological differences from the female disease, and that men are seemingly less aware than they should be that they can develop breast cancer.

New chemotherapy combination lengthens survival in late stage stomach cancer

Adding docetaxel to the most commonly used combination chemotherapy improved tumor regression rate, delayed tumor growth and prolonged survival for patients with advanced stomach cancer, according to interim results of a Phase III international clinical trial presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Smart Virus Eliminates Brain Cancer In Animal Experiments

A research team led by The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center has tested a novel “viral smart bomb” therapy that can completely eradicate brain tumors in mice, while leaving normal brain tissue alone. The therapy, known as Delta-24-RGD, is thought to be the first treatment for malignant glioma, the deadliest form of brain cancer. It is a new-generation “replication-competent oncolytic” adenovirus therapy ?? defined as a therapeutic virus that can spread, wavelike, throughout a tumor, infecting and killing cancer cells. There is no adequate treatment for these deadly brain cancers and, before this study, few experimental therapies tested in animals have shown much improvement.

Arthritis drug suppresses cancer development by stopping action of key protein

Researchers have, for the first time, identified the molecular pathway by which a commonly prescribed arthritis medication inhibits the growth of cancer. Before this study, scientists had linked use of celecoxib capsules (commonly known as Celebrex) to prevention of cancer, but the way in which the medication acted in cancer cells was unknown. Now, investigators have found that celecoxib capsules stop a key transcription factor known as Sp1 from turning on multiple genes in cancer cells known to be associated with cancer growth.

Leptin could be another relevant indicator of breast cancer risk

Measuring a woman’s leptin levels may offer an additional indicator of her risk of developing breast cancer, say researchers at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. Their small study, published in the Proceedings for the 2003 Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, suggests that because a woman’s production of leptin may reveal her history of eating dietary fat, reading leptin levels may offer more prognostic information than just measuring body mass index and the amount of fat she currently eats.

Chemical cousin of vitamin A restores gene function in former smokers

Use of a Vitamin A derivative in former smokers restored production of a crucial protein believed to protect against lung cancer development, researchers have found. Although they don’t have clear evidence that the three-month therapy using 9-cis retinoic acid (9-cis-RA) restored health to cells that were already precancerous, the researchers say the work demonstrates that “chemoprevention” of future lung cancer may be feasible. “The drug we used acts to reverse a genetic abnormality associated with development of lung cancer,” says Jonathan Kurie, M. D., an associate professor of medicine at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. “The work is a proof of concept, suggesting that compounds like this may prove to have a protective effect against development of precancerous lesions.”