Cancer

Telomere Maintenance Mutations and Cancer Cell Immortality

New research has identified mutations that could lead to the lengthening of telomeres, a hallmark of cancer cells and an important focus in developing targeted treatments. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center looked at cancer cells to find the ways some of them achieve immortality in a study as part of the Pan-Cancer Analysis of Whole Genomes (PCAWG).

East Asian and European Genomic Differences Found in Lung Cancer

New research from institutions in Singapore and China has identified genetic differences that occur between lung adenocarcinomas in East Asians and Europeans. Published in Nature Genetics, the researchers found that lung adenocarcinomas had more stable genomes in East Asians than in Europeans, and a stronger difference in smokers compared to non-smokers.

Monitoring Breast Cancer with Magnetised Molecules

A new type of scan has been used to visualise regions of breast tumours that are active with magnetising molecules in research funded by Cancer Research UK. The work used carbon-13 hyperpolarised imaging to monitor breast cancer, allowing not only visualising the tumour as a whole, but details of its internal metabolic state as well.

Non-Cancer Drugs Identified to Kill Cancer Cells

Scientists at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have found that drugs used for inflammation, diabetes, alcoholism, and arthritis also have anti-cancer properties. Published in Nature Cancer, this is the first study to screen an entire collection of mostly non-cancer drugs to see if they can kill cancer cells.

Leukaemia Cells are Addicted to Vitamin B6

Researchers from the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) have discovered that Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) grows by taking advantage of the B6 vitamin to accelerate cell division. The findings could pave the way for a treatment that can stop cancer growth by manipulating the enzyme that pushes B6 to make proteins essential for cell division.

Five Times More Genes Than Previously Thought Found to be Linked to Breast Cancer

A collaborative fine-mapping study from researchers across more than 450 departments worldwide has found five times more genetic variants to be associated with breast cancer than previously thought. The most comprehensive map of breast cancer risk variants to date identified 352 DNA errors that are associated with breast cancer with “reasonable confidence”, and target 191 genes, five times more than were previously recognised.

Researchers Discover How to Silence Pain Through Epigenetics

Scientists at Navega Therapeutics in San Diego, California have discovered a way to target DNA to stop pain signals being sent and eliminate pain. In an article published by Pharmafile, the treatment could be available in five years to help sufferers of chronic pain or with long-term pain problems.

Detecting Leukaemia with Artificial Intelligence

Researchers at the German Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and the University of Bonn have investigated the use of artificial intelligence to detect one of the most common forms of blood cancer – acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) – with high reliability. Published in iScience, the technique was used to analyse the expression of certain genes in cells of the blood.

Predicting Breast Cancer Recurrence After 10-Years with MRI Scans

Researchers at Penn Medicine have developed an imaging technique that can provide a non-invasive characterisation of tumour heterogeneity. They used Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and radiomics – an emerging field of medicine that uses algorithms to extract large amounts of features from medical images

Chemotherapy Resistance Could be Due to Mitochondrial Stress

Researchers at the Salk institute have discovered a way in which some cancers resist chemotherapy. Published in Nature Metabolism, they showed that mitochondria can signal to the rest of the cell when there is stress or chemicals that can damage DNA, such as chemotherapy.

The Saliva Test to Detect Mouth and Throat Cancer

A new non-invasive method to detect the presence of human papilloma virus (HPV)-16 in saliva has been successfully used in a collaboration between Duke University, UCLA, and University of Birmingham. HPV-16 is a high-risk virus known to be an etiologic agent for the development of head and neck cancers, specifically with oropharyngeal caners (OPCs).