Mitochondria, tiny structures within each cell that regulate metabolism and energy use, may be a promising new target for cancer therapy, according to a new study. Manipulation of two biochemical signals that regulate the numbers of mitochondria in cells could shrink human lung cancers transplanted into mice, a team of Chicago researchers report in the journal FASEB. Within each cell, mitochondria are constantly splitting in two, a process called fission, and merging back into one, called fusion. Before a cell can divide, the mitochondria must increase their numbers through fission and separate into two piles, one for each cell. By reversing an imbalance of the signals that regulate fusion and fission in rapidly dividing cancer cells, researchers were able to dramatically reduce cell division, thus preventing the rapid cell proliferation that is a hallmark of cancer growth.
Scientists have discovered that cancer-causing genetic mutations have better-disguised electronic signatures than other mutations - a trait which could help them fly under the radar of the body's defence mechanisms. Results of a new study by physicists at the University of Warwick and in Taiwan hint at the possibility that one day the electronic properties of DNA could play a role in early diagnosis and detection of mutation hotspots. Researchers drew on the power of supercomputers to model every possible mutation for 162 disease-related genes, a total of 5 billion calculations. When they compared the models with medical databases of real-life mutations known to have caused cancer in individuals, they found that the real-life mutations had a "stealthier" electronic structure than the theoretical mutations which didn't have a documented real-life counterpart.
Professor Mike Stratton, Director of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, talked about 'the evolution of the cancer genome' at the prestigious 2012 American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting. The AAAS annual meeting is one of the world's most widely recognized science events. In 2000, Mike started the Cancer Genome Project at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, which conducts high-throughput, systematic genome-wide searches for genetic mutations in human cancer. The aims of the Cancer Genome Project are to identify new cancer genes, to understand processes of mutagenesis and to reveal the role of genome structure in determining abnormalities of cancer genomes. Mike was one of the primary forces in the creation in 2007 of the first international collaboration to coordinate the search for cancer mutations.
Women with a previous history of cardiovascular pathologies seem to have a higher cancer risk after five years of Vitamin B and omega-3 supplementation. The research is published in detail in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Although some studies have suggested that supplementation with B vitamins has some benefits for protecting against cancer, the few randomised clinical trials conducted internationally in recent years remain equivocal. The results of studies of the influence of supplementation with polyunsaturated fatty acids have been mixed. That is why Valentina Andreeva and Pilar Galan and their staff wanted to study the effects of B vitamins and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) on cancer by monitoring, for five years from 2003 to 2009, more than 2500 people aged between 45 and 80 who had survived a heart attack, stroke or angina in the last 12 months.
Substituting smokeless tobacco products can save smokers' lives, and there is a scientific foundation that proves it. That is the message Brad Rodu, D.D.S., professor of medicine at the University of Louisville (UofL) School of Medicine and the Endowed Chair in Tobacco Harm Reduction at UofL's James Graham Brown Cancer Center, delivered at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Rodu spoke at the session, "Harm Reduction: Policy Change to Reduce the Global Toll of Smoking-Related Disease." "Quit or die: That's been the brutal message delivered to 45 million American smokers, and it has helped contribute to 443, 000 deaths per year, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, " Rodu said. "The truth, however, is that total nicotine and tobacco abstinence is unattainable and unnecessary for many smokers.