Cancer Research UK - Science Update

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The latest news, views and opinions on cancer research and cancer biology - from Cancer Research UK, the UK's largest cancer charity

Cancer Research UK
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  • June 8, 2012
  • 06:18 AM
  • 422 views

New insight into how childhood brain tumours develop

by Cancer Research UK in Cancer Research UK - Science Update

We’ve funded many of the world’s most successful trials of new treatment for children with cancer, and this has contributed to childhood cancer survival rates rising to an all-time high. But childhood brain tumours remain an area where progress has … Continue reading →... Read more »

Swartling FJ, Savov V, Persson AI, Chen J, Hackett CS, Northcott PA, Grimmer MR, Lau J, Chesler L, Perry A.... (2012) Distinct Neural Stem Cell Populations Give Rise to Disparate Brain Tumors in Response to N-MYC. Cancer cell, 21(5), 601-13. PMID: 22624711  

  • June 7, 2012
  • 10:30 AM
  • 607 views

High-impact science: Hedgehogs, flies and skin cancer – the story of vismodegib

by Cancer Research UK in Cancer Research UK - Science Update

The course of drug development never did run smooth. Drug development pipelines – like the X-Factor – are littered with thousands of ‘hopefuls’ who fail to make the cut. Very few drugs survive the arduous journey from bench to bedside, … Continue reading →... Read more »

Aleksandar Sekulic, M.D., Ph.D.,, Michael R. Migden, M.D.,, Anthony E. Oro, M.D., Ph.D.,, Luc Dirix, M.D., Ph.D.,, Karl D. Lewis, M.D.,, John D. Hainsworth, M.D.,, James A. Solomon, M.D., Ph.D.,, Simon Yoo, M.D.,, Sarah T. Arron, M.D., Ph.D.,, Philip A. Friedlander, M.D., Ph.D.,.... (2012) Efficacy and Safety of Vismodegib in Advanced Basal-Cell Carcinoma. New England Journal of Medicine, 2171-2179. info:/10.1056/NEJMoa1113713

Jean Y. Tang, Julian M. Mackay-Wiggan, Michelle Aszterbaum, Robert L. Yauch, Joselyn Lindgren, Kris Chang, Carol Coppola, Anita M. Chanana, Jackleen Marji, David R. Bickers.... (2012) Inhibiting the Hedgehog Pathway in Patients with the Basal-Cell Nevus Syndrome. N Engl J Med, 2180-2188. info:/10.1056/NEJMoa1113538

  • June 6, 2012
  • 08:32 AM
  • 669 views

ASCO 2012: Is immunotherapy finally coming of age?

by Cancer Research UK in Cancer Research UK - Science Update

While the UK enjoyed the rather wet Jubilee celebrations this weekend, thousands of cancer experts gathered in Chicago for the world’s largest annual cancer conference, ASCO. Cancer Research UK’s Nell Barrie was there to hear about the latest treatment advances. … Continue reading →... Read more »

Topalian SL, Hodi FS, Brahmer JR, Gettinger SN, Smith DC, McDermott DF, Powderly JD, Carvajal RD, Sosman JA, Atkins MB.... (2012) Safety, Activity, and Immune Correlates of Anti-PD-1 Antibody in Cancer. The New England journal of medicine. PMID: 22658127  

  • May 30, 2012
  • 02:01 PM
  • 456 views

Could a blood test reveal cancer’s genetic secrets?

by Cancer Research UK in Cancer Research UK - Science Update

Over recent months we’ve written about exciting new research looking at how the genetic makeup of an individual patient’s cancer shifts and evolves as the disease develops and spreads. At the moment the only way to monitor this is to … Continue reading →... Read more »

Forshew, T., Murtaza, M., Parkinson, C., Gale, D., Tsui, D., Kaper, F., Dawson, S., Piskorz, A., Jimenez-Linan, M., Bentley, D.... (2012) Noninvasive Identification and Monitoring of Cancer Mutations by Targeted Deep Sequencing of Plasma DNA. Science Translational Medicine, 4(136), 136-136. DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3003726  

  • May 3, 2012
  • 09:21 AM
  • 620 views

New breast cancer ‘blood test’ is still work in progress

by Cancer Research UK in Cancer Research UK - Science Update

Earlier this week, the news was full of stories about a ‘blood test’ that can apparently predict a woman’s risk of breast cancer, years before she develops the disease. This sounds exciting. Being able to work out someone’s risk of … Continue reading →... Read more »

Brennan, K., Garcia-Closas, M., Orr, N., Fletcher, O., Jones, M., Ashworth, A., Swerdlow, A., Thorne, H., , ., Riboli, E.... (2012) Intragenic ATM Methylation in Peripheral Blood DNA as a Biomarker of Breast Cancer Risk. Cancer Research, 72(9), 2304-2313. DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-11-3157  

  • April 29, 2012
  • 02:01 PM
  • 512 views

“Sleeping Beauty” reveals new pancreatic cancer genes

by Cancer Research UK in Cancer Research UK - Science Update

Over recent decades we have made huge progress in survival for many types of cancer, including breast, bowel, testicular, and prostate cancer as well as childhood cancers. But some types of cancer – including pancreatic, lung, and oesophageal cancers, as … Continue reading →... Read more »

Pérez-Mancera, P., Rust, A., van der Weyden, L., Kristiansen, G., Li, A., Sarver, A., Silverstein, K., Grützmann, R., Aust, D., Rümmele, P.... (2012) The deubiquitinase USP9X suppresses pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature11114  

  • April 18, 2012
  • 01:00 PM
  • 430 views

Increasing the resolution on breast cancer – the METABRIC study

by Cancer Research UK in Cancer Research UK - Science Update

The emotion and anxiety aroused by a single word – ‘cancer’ – spans ages, sexes, nations, races and classes. But as we understand more about the disease, the idea that cancer is a single, common enemy, is increasingly being challenged. … Continue reading →... Read more »

Curtis, C., Shah, S., Chin, S., Turashvili, G., Rueda, O., Dunning, M., Speed, D., Lynch, A., Samarajiwa, S., Yuan, Y.... (2012) The genomic and transcriptomic architecture of 2,000 breast tumours reveals novel subgroups. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature10983  

  • March 1, 2012
  • 07:51 AM
  • 1,045 views

New clue to how cancer cells beat oxygen starvation

by Cancer Research UK in Cancer Research UK - Science Update

We need oxygen to survive. Even the cells in the deepest, darkest parts of our body can’t live without it. But some cancer cells adapt to survive in very low oxygen levels, and these end up being some of the … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • February 29, 2012
  • 04:30 AM
  • 583 views

High-Impact Science: Tracking down the BRCA genes (Part 2)

by Cancer Research UK in Cancer Research UK - Science Update

In part one, we told the story of Cancer Research UK’s involvement in the race to identify BRCA1 – the first known breast cancer gene. Although this was a very important discovery, it wasn’t the end of the story. Along … Continue reading →... Read more »

Wooster R, Neuhausen SL, Mangion J, Quirk Y, Ford D, Collins N, Nguyen K, Seal S, Tran T, & Averill D. (1994) Localization of a breast cancer susceptibility gene, BRCA2, to chromosome 13q12-13. Science (New York, N.Y.), 265(5181), 2088-90. PMID: 8091231  

Wooster R, Bignell G, Lancaster J, Swift S, Seal S, Mangion J, Collins N, Gregory S, Gumbs C, & Micklem G. (1995) Identification of the breast cancer susceptibility gene BRCA2. Nature, 378(6559), 789-92. PMID: 8524414  

  • February 28, 2012
  • 06:38 AM
  • 487 views

High-Impact Science: Tracking down the BRCA genes (Part 1)

by Cancer Research UK in Cancer Research UK - Science Update

In this two-part post in our High-Impact Science series we look at Cancer Research UK’s role in the discovery of two of the most famous “cancer genes” known to science – BRCA1 and BRCA2. Faults in these genes are responsible … Continue reading →... Read more »

Smith SA, DiCioccio RA, Struewing JP, Easton DF, Gallion HH, Albertsen H, Mazoyer S, Johansson B, Steichen-Gersdorf E, & Stratton M. (1994) Localisation of the breast-ovarian cancer susceptibility gene (BRCA1) on 17q12-21 to an interval of . Genes, chromosomes , 10(1), 71-6. PMID: 7519878  

Albertsen HM, Smith SA, Mazoyer S, Fujimoto E, Stevens J, Williams B, Rodriguez P, Cropp CS, Slijepcevic P, & Carlson M. (1994) A physical map and candidate genes in the BRCA1 region on chromosome 17q12-21. Nature genetics, 7(4), 472-9. PMID: 7951316  

Miki Y, Swensen J, Shattuck-Eidens D, Futreal PA, Harshman K, Tavtigian S, Liu Q, Cochran C, Bennett LM, & Ding W. (1994) A strong candidate for the breast and ovarian cancer susceptibility gene BRCA1. Science (New York, N.Y.), 266(5182), 66-71. PMID: 7545954  

Futreal PA, Liu Q, Shattuck-Eidens D, Cochran C, Harshman K, Tavtigian S, Bennett LM, Haugen-Strano A, Swensen J, & Miki Y. (1994) BRCA1 mutations in primary breast and ovarian carcinomas. Science (New York, N.Y.), 266(5182), 120-2. PMID: 7939630  

  • August 19, 2011
  • 08:54 AM
  • 1,227 views

Is ecstasy ‘being developed to treat blood cancers’? Not quite…

by Cancer Research UK in Cancer Research UK - Science Update

Here are a few thoughts on this morning’s headlines about ecstasy and cancer. (In case you missed them, they’re based on research from Birmingham, published in the New Investigational Drugs journal, in which researchers report that they’ve ‘redesigned’ the molecular structure of ecstasy to make it more effective at killing lab-grown blood cancer cells). Many [...]... Read more »

  • August 17, 2011
  • 01:17 PM
  • 750 views

Destroying cells’ ‘back-up generator’ to beat kidney cancer

by Cancer Research UK in Cancer Research UK - Science Update

As well as the ingenuity, dedication and skill of their staff, modern hospitals can’t function properly without a reliable electricity supply. This is so critical that hospitals have a back-up generator to keep their life-saving systems working in an emergency.. In a similar way, our cells also have their own emergency back-up systems. Thanks to [...]... Read more »

Frezza, C., Zheng, L., Folger, O., Rajagopalan, K., MacKenzie, E., Jerby, L., Micaroni, M., Chaneton, B., Adam, J., Hedley, A.... (2011) Haem oxygenase is synthetically lethal with the tumour suppressor fumarate hydratase. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature10363  

  • August 17, 2011
  • 09:02 AM
  • 922 views

In the news: re-tooling the body’s police force to beat leukaemia

by Cancer Research UK in Cancer Research UK - Science Update

Our immune system is our very own internal ‘police force’. It’s made up of disease-battling cells and proteins that travel through our bloodstream, searching out potentially harmful infections like the flu. In the past couple decades, the immune system’s role in cancer has come into sharp focus, and a whole scientific field of cancer immunotherapy [...]... Read more »

  • August 16, 2011
  • 01:26 PM
  • 1,434 views

Stick with shade, clothes and sunscreen to prevent skin cancer – not coffee

by Cancer Research UK in Cancer Research UK - Science Update

Today, a new study has led to headlines claiming that adding caffeine to sunscreen could improve its effectiveness in preventing skin cancer. But don’t chuck away the sunscreen just yet, nor pour your coffee into it – this was an interesting study in mice, but it doesn’t prove that adding caffeine to sunscreen would have any effect [...]... Read more »

Kawasumi, M., Lemos, B., Bradner, J., Thibodeau, R., Kim, Y., Schmidt, M., Higgins, E., Koo, S., Angle-Zahn, A., Chen, A.... (2011) Protection from UV-induced skin carcinogenesis by genetic inhibition of the ataxia telangiectasia and Rad3-related (ATR) kinase. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(33), 13716-13721. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1111378108  

  • August 5, 2011
  • 05:29 AM
  • 1,264 views

High-Impact Science: EGFR – Wanna be starting something

by Cancer Research UK in Cancer Research UK - Science Update

For many, the 1980s represent social unrest and wardrobe disasters. But amidst the strikes and the legwarmers, the 1980s gave us much to be thankful for. For cancer scientists, it was a Renaissance period – a decade during which cancer research came of age and (unlike many of us) got a proper haircut. Cancer Research [...]... Read more »

Downward J, Yarden Y, Mayes E, Scrace G, Totty N, Stockwell P, Ullrich A, Schlessinger J, & Waterfield MD. (1984) Close similarity of epidermal growth factor receptor and v-erb-B oncogene protein sequences. Nature, 307(5951), 521-7. PMID: 6320011  

  • July 27, 2011
  • 10:32 AM
  • 1,252 views

Cats do not ‘spread brain tumours’

by Cancer Research UK in Cancer Research UK - Science Update

As anyone who has lost a loved one to a brain tumour knows, the disease can be devastating. So headlines claiming that cats may be responsible for brain tumours – based on limited and tentative evidence – are not only misleading but also deeply insensitive to patients and their families. Despite recent advances in treating brain [...]... Read more »

  • July 14, 2011
  • 04:46 AM
  • 1,208 views

Cracking the cancer code – the International Cancer Genome Consortium

by Cancer Research UK in Cancer Research UK - Science Update

We’re living through a revolution in cancer research. New technology is making it possible to find the genetic changes at the heart of cancer faster than ever before, unlocking the knowledge we need to save lives. Now Cancer Research UK is taking another big step towards beating cancer by taking part in the most ambitious [...]... Read more »

Stratton, M., Campbell, P., & Futreal, P. (2009) The cancer genome. Nature, 458(7239), 719-724. DOI: 10.1038/nature07943  

Gambacorti-Passerini, C., Antolini, L., Mahon, F., Guilhot, F., Deininger, M., Fava, C., Nagler, A., Della Casa, C., Morra, E., Abruzzese, E.... (2011) Multicenter Independent Assessment of Outcomes in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Patients Treated With Imatinib. JNCI Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 103(7), 553-561. DOI: 10.1093/jnci/djr060  

  • July 8, 2011
  • 05:44 AM
  • 978 views

New horizons for lung cancer?

by Cancer Research UK in Cancer Research UK - Science Update

Beating lung cancer is one of our greatest challenges. It’s the most common cancer in the world – a staggering 1.61 million new cases are diagnosed every year. In the UK, it is the second most common cancer, and each year more than 38,000 people are diagnosed with the disease. And improvements in survival rates [...]... Read more »

The National Lung Screening Trial Research Team. (2011) Reduced Lung-Cancer Mortality with Low-Dose Computed Tomographic Screening. New England Journal of Medicine, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1102873  

Mao, J., Roth, M., Fishbein, M., Aberle, D., Zhang, Z., Rao, J., Tashkin, D., Goodglick, L., Holmes, E., Cameron, R.... (2011) Lung Cancer Chemoprevention with Celecoxib in Former Smokers. Cancer Prevention Research, 4(7), 984-993. DOI: 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-11-0078  

  • July 6, 2011
  • 04:50 AM
  • 1,188 views

There’s no conspiracy – sometimes it just doesn’t work

by Cancer Research UK in Cancer Research UK - Science Update

At Cancer Research UK, we’re often asked about alleged “miracle cures” for cancer, usually based on claims made on the internet. There’s an impressive list of these collected on the Quackwatch website (here and here), ranging from the slightly wacky to the downright dangerous. In virtually all cases, when researchers have rigorously tested these treatments, [...]... Read more »

Bashford EF. (1911) CANCER, CREDULITY, AND QUACKERY. British medical journal, 1(2630), 1221-30. PMID: 20765638  

Imperial Cancer Research Fund. (1907) IMPERIAL CANCER RESEARCH FUND. British medical journal, 2(2427), 26-9. PMID: 20763346  

No authors listed. (1906) THE COMPOSITION OF SOME CANCER "REMEDIES.". British medical journal, 1(2369), 1238. PMID: 20762692  

  • June 24, 2011
  • 10:03 AM
  • 1,513 views

A tale of two hormone receptors – could prostate cancer therapy help breast cancer patients?

by Cancer Research UK in Cancer Research UK - Science Update

Breast cancer survival is one of the big success stories of recent years. Thanks to improvements in screening and treatment more than 70 per cent of women now survive for more than ten years, compared to around 40 per cent back in the 1970s. But while this is cause for celebration, the statistics hide the [...]... Read more »

Robinson J, MacArthur S, Ross-Innes CS, Tilley WD, Neal DE, Mills IG, & Carroll JS. (2011) Androgen receptor driven transcription in molecular apocrine breast cancer is mediated by FoxA1. EMBO Journal. info:/

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