Cancer

Blinatumomab – Improving Outcomes for Children with Relapsed Leukaemia

The immunotherapy drug Blinatumomab has shown to be an effective treatment for children and young adults with relapsed B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in a clinical trial led by the Children’s Oncology Group, part of the National Cancer Institute USA, and presented at the annual meeting at the American Society of Haematology.

“Junk DNA”: The New Place to Look for Cancer Risk

New research published in the British Journal of Cancer has identified a link between the so-called “junk DNA” and the risk of developing cancer. Junk DNA refers to regions of DNA that don’t code for proteins but are thought to play in a role in gene expression regulation

Epigenetics Found to Play a Role in Childhood Kidney Cancer

Researchers at the Wellcome Sanger Institute uncovered a possible pre-cancerous signature for Wilms’ tumour, a form of kidney cancer mainly affecting children under five years old. Published in Science, the research was the first to compare Wilms’ tumour tissue and healthy kidney tissue to identify any genetic changes that could possibly be predictive of disease progression.

Can Hair Dye cause Breast Cancer?

An intriguing (unconventional) study published by the International Journal of Cancer looked at the breast cancer risk in relation to the use of hair dyes and chemical straighteners, after results of previous studies remain inconclusive.

Stalled Cells Cause Child Brain Cancer

  Single-cell transcriptomes have been used to identify tumour cells and their origins in paediatric brain cancers, providing a blueprint for one of the main zones where childhood cancers develop. The study published in Nature Genetics gathered single-cell transcriptomes from over 65,000 cells that resulted in gene-expression profiles. After large scale data analysis, 191 distinct […]

Changes in Gut Microbiota Implicated in Colorectal Cancer

Gut microbiota has wide reaching effects on health and disease. A study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, PNAS, has demonstrated that gut imbalance promotes the onset of colorectal cancer, going on to invent a blood test to identify the epigenetic signatures.

Oxygen Starved Cancer Cells have Survival Advantage

Primary tumour cells that have been starved of oxygen have been shown to have a survival advantage when spreading to different parts of the body to form new tumours. Over 90% of solid tumours are oxygen deprived. Known as hypoxia, this is associated with poorer prognosis for patients. This was thought to be due to […]

Vitamin D Makes Melanoma Cells Less Aggressive

Vitamin D has been shown to make melanoma cells less aggressive by interfering in a key signaling pathway that promotes cancer cell growth. Melanoma is a form of skin cancer which can be initiated by genetic damage from sun exposure. Melanoma patients are therefore encouraged to reduce their sun exposure to mitigate any further damage. […]

Protein that Promotes Brian Metastasis Identified

A protein that promotes the metastasis to the brain of breast, lung and other cancers has been identified. When cancer cells break off from their initial tumour they can spread throughout the body and invade other organs to form new tumours, in a process known as metastasis. Although metastatic tumours cause 90% of deaths in […]

What Consumer Genetic Tests can Really Tell you About Cancer Risks

Our guest contributor Dr Neil Lamb continues his fortnighty Shareable Science Blog. Neil is the Vice President for Educational Outreach at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology and Shareable Science will explore how genetics is relevant to people in their everyday lives.  Cancer is a disease of the genome, so it stands to reason that genetic […]

Artificial Enzymes Improve Immunotherapy Treatments

Artificial nanoenzymes have shown promise in improving both the selectivity and efficacy of immunotherapy treatment. Only a small proportion of patients see the benefits of immunotherapy as tumour cells can employ a multitude of disguises to avoid detection by the immune system. Too ensure more patients can experience the benefits of immunotherapy, new technologies are […]

Oxygen Starved Cancer Cells Recruit Immune Cells to Survive

  Pancreatic cancer cells can recruit immune cells to restore their oxygen supply in response to anti-angiogenesis therapies. To maintain their nutrient and oxygen supplies tumour cells initiate the formation of new blood vessels, in a process known as angiogenesis. Many cancer therapies work by blocking angiogenesis, as the process does not usually occur in […]

Registration for the Festival of Genomics 2020 Now Open

Returning for its 5th consecutive year, the 2020 Festival promises to be a unique experience, a crossroads for the entire genomics ecosystem to discover, meet, learn, have fun and celebrate. It is the largest genomics event in the UK and the fastest growing genomics event in the world. The Festival delivers incredible talks, speakers, cutting-edge content, inspirational topics, […]

New Technique to Help Immune System Find Hidden Cancer Cells

Cancer cells are prone to disguising themselves from the immune system to avoid detection. However, a new system can pinpoint cancer cells to allow the immune system to eliminate the tumour. Immunotherapy is a cancer treatment that harnesses the body’s immune system to fight cancer cells. Although immunotherapies have completely transformed the cancer treatment landscape, […]