In Pancreatic Cancer, Rigosertib Stops Rushing Cancer Cells While Slow And Steady Healthy Cells Remain Unharmed
The American Cancer Society estimates that 44, 000 new cases of pancreatic cancer will be diagnosed this year and that 37, 000 people will die from the disease. These are not strong odds. A new drug, rigosertib, allows pancreatic cancer cells to rush through replication - and then stops them cold, killing them in in the middle of a step called M phase. Healthy cells that don't rush are unharmed. Data from a phase I clinical trial* of patients with advanced pancreatic cancer and additional solid tumors recently published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research shows the strategy has promise. While the goal of any phase I trial is to establish the dosage that best balances effectiveness against side effects, 11 of the 19 patients treated achieved stable disease, which lasted for a median of 113 days.
Uncovering the network of genes regulated by a crucial molecule involved in cancer called mTOR, which controls protein production inside cells, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) have discovered how a protein "master regulator" goes awry, leading to metastasis, the fatal step of cancer. Their work also pinpoints why past drugs that target mTOR have failed in clinical trials, and suggests that a new class of drugs now in trials may be more effective for the lethal form of prostate cancer for which presently there is no cure. Described this week in the journal Nature, the protein mTOR is a "master regulator" of human protein synthesis. It helps normal cells sense nutrients and control cell growth and metabolism. But in many forms of cancer, this process goes awry, and mTOR reprograms normal cells to aberrantly divide, invade and metastasize.
A simple blood test is being developed by researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and Soroka University Medical Center in Beer-Sheva, Israel that may provide early detection of many types of cancer. Prof. Kapelushnik of BGU's Faculty of Health Sciences and his team developed a device that illuminates cancer cells with less than a teaspoon of blood. The test uses infrared light to detect miniscule changes in the blood of a person who has a cancerous growth somewhere, even before the disease has spread. Various molecules released into the bloodstream cause it to absorb infrared light slightly differently compared to that of healthy people. In the latest clinical trial with 200 patients and a control group, the test identified specific cancers in 90 percent of the patients and found other types of cancer, as well.
For the first time in a new U.S. clinical trial, researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine have used the HeartLight Endoscopic Ablation System (EAS) to correct abnormal electrical signals inside the heart of a patient affected by atrial fibrillation (AFib), one of the nation's most common heart ailments. The device is the first catheter ablation system to incorporate a camera that allows doctors to see a direct, real-time image of the patient's heart tissue during ablation. The HeartLight EAS national clinical trial is headed by Vivek Y. Reddy, MD, Professor of Cardiology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and Director of the Cardiac Arrhythmia Service at Mount Sinai Heart. Along with colleagues, he performed the successful procedure on the first patient on Valentine's Day. His colleagues include Srinivas R.
Osteoporosis patients could soon ditch daily injection pens for an implantable microchip that releases medication at the push of a remote-controlled button, reports a new study appearing in the journal Science Translational Medicine. The clinical trial, composed of a group of women with osteoporosis in Denmark, is the first to test a wirelessly controlled microchip capable of releasing drugs into the body at any time. "Patients will be freed from having to remember to take their medication and don't have to experience the pain of multiple injections, " said Robert Farra, President and Chief Operating Officer of MicroCHIPS, Inc., the Massachusetts-based company behind the device. Farra is a co-author of the study, along with colleagues from MIT, Harvard Medical School, OnDemand Therapeutics Inc and Case Western Reserve University.