Cancer

Changes to Genetic Risk Factors Not Always Reported to Patients

Patients are not being informed about changes to their genetic risk factors for cancer, a new study shows. If an individual has a family history of a type of cancer, they can get a genetic test to identify their own cancer risk. Identifying a genetic risk means that person can get regular check-ups and be […]

Boys in England to be Offered HPV Vaccine

From September 2019 boys in England will be offered the HPV vaccine free on the NHS to reduce the spread of HPV related cancers. England will join Scotland and Australia in making the vaccine available to both genders to extend its successful immunisation programme. Human papillomavirus (HPV) causes the majority of cervical cancers cases in […]

Common Cold Virus as a Treatment for Bladder Cancer

A variant of the common cold virus has shown promising trial results as a treatment for bladder cancer. Bladder cancer is the tenth highest incident cancer in the UK and kills approximately 5,300 people a year. Current treatments for bladder cancer mostly have high recurrence rates or dangerous side-effects. 15 non-muscle invasive bladder cancer patients […]

Genetic Test Reduces Risk of Chemotherapy Side-Effects

A new genetic test has been successfully trialled at a hospital in Oxford to help doctors identify patients most at risk of chemotherapy side-effects.  Capecitabine and fluorouracil (5FU) are common chemotherapy drugs for cancers including breast, bowl and stomach. Both drugs act as anti-metabolites and resemble biological molecules found inside cells. When the drug molecules […]

New CRISPR-Edited Tobacco is Almost Nicotine-Free

Scientists at the Technical University of Dortmund have grown a type of tobacco containing 99.7% less nicotine. CRISPR was used to disable certain plant enzymes aiding in nicotine production, potentially creating a tobacco to help users quit smoking.

CRISPR Study of Cancer Gene Fusion Regions Finds Potential New Drug Targets

In potentially the first large-scale systematic analysis of thousands of cancer gene fusions, UK scientists have announced that one of the fusions could be a novel drug target for a number of cancers. CRISR editing was used to determine the most important gene fusions for cancer cell survival, before anticancer compounds were tested on them to see which might be repurposed to specifically target the fusions.

Researchers Identify Potential New Metastasis Biomarker

Yale University researchers have discovered a potential new biomarker for identifying individuals with increased risk of prostate cancer metastasis. The findings announced that mitochondrial protein syntaphilin is vital in determining the balance between tumour cell proliferation and tumour cell invasion, and is expressed significantly at the invasive tumour edge in prostate cancer.

Protein and Receptor Combination Slows Metastasis in Mouse Models

Swiss scientists have found a potential new way to block metastasis, with promising results demonstrated in mice. The researchers have found a “barrier”, built by the Activin B protein and a receptor called ALK7, the combo of which prevents tumours from spreading through the body.

New Cancer Pathway Opens Up New Treatment Possibilities

When the MDM2 gene acts with a specific protein found in cancer cells’ mitochondria, it can lead to cancer cell death. The study which discovered this fact, published by Mount Sinai researchers in Molecular Cell journal, could open new treatment opportunities for cancer patients in the future.

Better Data on Gene Interactions Could Improve Cancer Treatments

Network algorithms can improve cancer treatment effectiveness by better determining how genes interact, researchers from the University of Sussex have found. The algorithm built by the scientists, Slant, uses current data to find patterns associated with being part of a synthetic lethal interaction.

DNA Mutation “Fingerprint Database” Identifies Cancer Causes

Cambridge and London researchers have created a database of DNA mutation “fingerprints” which can be used to determine the environmental factors contributing to a patient’s tumour. The study, published in Cell journal, can determine 41 different environmental agents linked to cancer, including the traces left in lung tumours by chemicals linked particularly to tobacco smoke.

CRISPR Identifies Cancer Drug Targets

A team from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and Broad Institute have used CRISPR-Cas9 to identify key genes required for cancer survival. Over 18,000 genes from 30 different cancer types were screened, a computational framework then developed to prioritise the 600 most promising drug development targets.

Using Immune Cells to Predict Cancer Outcomes

Certain changes in immune cells within cancerous tumours which reflect how tumours behave in common cancers could see better treatments created in the future. The study, conducted by researchers from the University of Edinburgh, also discovered a set of genes expressed at high levels in breast cancer tumours, and often linked to more aggressive types of cancer.