Oncology

Oncology is the most advanced area in genomics right now. The field is setting the standard for other indications to follow and improve upon.

Cancer Cells Can Cannibilise to Survive Chemotherapy

Cancer cells can consume neighbouring cells to survive chemotherapy, new research shows. Doxorubicin is a common chemotherapy drug that works by selectively damaging the DNA of cancer cells. However, multiple cancer cells have been observed to survive doxorubicin treatment to allow a relapse of the disease. These cancer cells can enter a form of dormancy, […]

Cell Hijack allows Breast Cancer Cells to Spread to Brain

Breast Cancer Metastasis Metastasis, where cancer cells break off from the primary tumour and form a new tumour elsewhere in the body, is particularly deadly for breast cancer patients. Breast cancer is prone to metastasising in the brain, which is challenging to treat. However, new research that demonstrates breast cancer cells can use exosomes to […]

Insulin Delivery Drug Could Treat Deadly Brain Cancer

An existing drug used to improve insulin delivery could also be used to treat an aggressive and deadly brain tumour, known as glioblastoma. Glioblastoma (GBM) is a fast-growing tumour that spreads in a web like fashion to infiltrate multiple areas of the brain. As it is not a compact tumour, it is extremely difficult to […]

Keto Diet Supresses Cancer Growth in Mice

Mice fed on a keto diet alongside an anti-diabetic drug were found to have slower progression rates of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) lung tumours. The keto diet, currently widely popular, minimises sugar and carbohydrate intake. SCC is a type of cancer formed by the squamous cells that make up the epithelial layer of organs, including […]

Genomic Barcode Identifies Immune Cells that Can Tackle Cancer

Researchers have developed a new technique to pinpoint immune cells in cancer patients that are reactive against their disease. This research could lead to more targeted immune-based therapies for cancer patients. Immunotherapy is a relatively new field of cancer treatment which works by promoting the patient’s immune system to fight against the cancer. Although immune […]

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 […]

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.

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.

Two Studies Find Reasons for IO Drug Resistance

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.