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.
Oncology is the most advanced area in genomics right now. The field is setting the standard for other indications to follow and improve upon.
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.
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.
The ATDC gene has been identified as necessary for the development of pancreatic cancer. Deleting the gene in pancreatic cells led to “one of the most profound blocks of tumour formation ever observed in a well-known mice model engineered to develop pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma”.
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.
SOPHiA GENETICS’ Solid Tumor Solution molecular diagnostic application has received CE-IVD designation. The application detects and characterises all types of genomic alteration in 42 clinically-relevant genes related to solid tumours across a number of cancer types.
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.
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.
Two separate studies have uncovered insights into why checkpoint-inhibiting immune-oncology (IO) drugs only work for a minority of patients, even when combined with other treatments. The first study uncovered a resistance mechanism within the gut microbiome, while the other relates to cancer cell-produced vesicles.
University of Alberta researchers have discovered an experimental combination drug therapy which dramatically shrinks tumours and prevents metastasis in mice, and could act as a new cancer therapy in the future.
Heating solid tumours during CAR-T cell therapy could increase change of success, researchers from the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center have found. Combining a heating technique called photothermal ablation with the infusion of CAR-T cells suppressed melanoma tumor growth for up to 20 days in mice.
TEXLab, a mathematical AI software created by scientists at Imperial College London and the University of Melbourne can predict survival rates of patients with ovarian cancer more accurately than any current method, a trial published in Nature Communications has found.
More errors occur in DNA replication during times of stress when resources are scares, scientists at the University of Toronto have found.
Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) has announced intentions to buy Celgene for $74bn. This transaction, the fourth largest such deal in pharma history, will give BMS access to several cancer franchises, including experimental cell therapies which attack tumours.
A new AI program can predict the symptoms of a patient’s cancer and their severity of the course of treatment.