To better understand the signaling pathways active in sarcomas, researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center used state-of-the-art mass spectrometry-based proteomics to characterize a family of protein enzymes that act as "on" or "off" switches important in the biology of cancer. The tyrosine kinases they identified, the researchers said, could act as "drivers" for the growth and survival of sarcomas. Sarcomas are relatively rare forms of cancer. In contrast to carcinomas, which arise from epithelial cells (in breast, colon and lung cancers, for example), sarcomas are tumors derived from bone, fat, muscle or vascular tissues. "Sarcomas are rare, diverse malignancies that arise from connective tissues, " said study lead author Eric B. Haura, M.D., program leader for Experimental Therapeutics.
Postmenopausal women who were overweight or obese and lost at least 5 percent of their body weight had a measurable reduction in markers of inflammation, according to a study published in Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. "Both obesity and inflammation have been shown to be related to several types of cancer, and this study shows that if you reduce weight, you can reduce inflammation as well, " said Anne McTiernan, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Prevention Center at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Wash. Women in the trial who were assigned to a weight loss intervention had a goal of 10 percent weight reduction during the course of one year achieved through a diet intervention with or without aerobic exercise. "So this program was highly achievable and reproducible.
A team of researchers from Johns Hopkins University and the National Human Genome Research Institute has evaluated the whole genomic sequence of stem cells derived from human bone marrow cells - so-called induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells - and found that relatively few genetic changes occur during stem cell conversion by an improved method. The findings, reported in Cell Stem Cell, the official journal of the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR), will be presented at the annual ISSCR meeting in June. "Our results show that human iPS cells accrue genetic changes at about the same rate as any replicating cells, which we don't feel is a cause for concern, " says Linzhao Cheng, Ph.D., a professor of medicine and oncology, and a member of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Cell Engineering.
Ability To Culture Rare Tumor Cells Isolated From Blood Could Help Improve Patient Response To Therapy
A research collaboration between the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and Children's Hospital Boston has created a microfluidic device that can harvest rare circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from blood to enable their expansion in culture for analysis. These cells, which have detached from a primary cancer site and often create a secondary -- or metastasized -- tumor, hold an extraordinary amount of information regarding patient-specific drug sensitivity, cancer progression, and patient response to therapy. Such information could help clinicians treat patients, but it has not been easily accessed due to the difficulty of isolating CTCs and expanding them in culture for subsequent analysis. In alleviating this problem, the new technology has the potential to become a valuable tool for cancer diagnosis and personalized treatment.
Votrient (pazopanib) has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of soft tissue sarcoma in patients who have already received chemotherapy. Soft tissue sarcoma is a type of cancer that starts in the fibrous tissue blood vessels, fat, muscle, or other supporting tissue in the body. The cancer develops in the mesenchymal cells. Votrient stops blood vessels that feed the tumor from growing and surviving - it stops angiogenesis. Soft tissue sarcoma is a rare cancer which has several subtypes. In the USA, approximately 10, 000 people are diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma annually. 10, 980 cases were diagnosed in 2011. GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) presented the FDA with data from a clinical trial that covered over 20 sarcoma subtypes when it submitted Votrient for approval. It has not been approved for those with gastrointestinal stromal tumors and adipocytic soft tissue sarcoma.