Researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Cancer Center have identified a new potential strategy for treating colon tumors driven by mutations in the KRAS gene, which usually resist both conventional and targeted treatments. In a paper appearing in Cell, the team reports that targeting a later step in the pathway leading from KRAS activation to tumor growth may be able to halt the process. "Not all KRAS-mutant colon cancers are the same, " says Daniel Haber, MD, PhD, director of the MGH Cancer Center and co-corresponding author of the Cell report. "About half seem to be very dependent on the KRAS mutation for their survival, whereas the other half can continue growing even when KRAS is suppressed. In the KRAS-dependent tumors, we identified how the mutation augments a pathway well known to be involved in colon cancer and identified a key step toward that pathway which, if suppressed, can induce KRAS-dependent tumor cells to undergo apoptosis or programmed cell death.
Researchers at CIC Biogune, the Cooperative Centre for Research into Biosciences and led by Dr. Maria Luz Martinez Chantar, have found a strong relationship between high levels of Hu antigen R (HuR) protein and the malignancy of Hepatocellular Carcinoma, through a novel molecular process in the investigation of this pathology and known as neddylation. The project provides new opportunities for making advances in the quest for personalised therapeutic applications in the treatment for Hepatocarcinoma. Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) is the cause of most liver cancers, the fifth most frequent cancer worldwide and the third after lung and gastric cancers. HCC is a tumour with a poor prognosis, even in developed countries; its incidence is similar to its death rate, most patients dying within months of diagnosis, despite diagnostic and therapeutic advances.
An international research team led by cell biologists at the University of California, Riverside has uncovered a new insight into colon cancer, the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. The research provides potential new avenues for diagnosing and treating the disease. Led by Frances Sladek at UC Riverside and Graham Robertson at the University of Sydney, Australia, the team analyzed about 450 human colon cancer specimens and found that in nearly 80 percent of them the variants of a gene, HNF4A, are out of balance. Human beings express several variants of the HNF4A gene, classified as P1 and P2 variants. Some tissues, like liver, have just one type of variant but the colon has both P1 and P2 variants. The P1 variant is found in the nuclei of cells in the normal colon but in the human colon cancer samples this variant is frequently either absent or located outside of the nucleus and, presumably, no longer functional.
Cancer is one of the most common causes of death in humans. The conventional cancer therapies include surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and targeting therapies, which are intended to directly destroy and eliminate tumor cells. These treatments often fail, resulting in tumor metastasis and recurrence. Therefore, there is a critical need for novel cancer therapies. In recent years, an increasing number of studies have revealed that immune responses play a critical role in conventional cancer therapies. Replication-selective oncolytic viruses are a rapidly expanding therapeutic platform for cancer. Professor Wang Shengdian and his group from the Key Laboratory of Infection and Immunity, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, have studied tumor immunity for several years, with a team focusing on oncolytic adenovirus.
Not only are relatively few Americans screened for cancer, but there are considerable disparities between ethnic and racial groups in the country, says a new report issued by NCI (National Cancer Institute) and the CDCF (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). The authors added that screening rates are especially low among Hispanic and Asian Americans. The report is called "Cancer Screening in the United States - 2010." The Healthy People 2020 target of 81% screening rate for breast cancer was not met in 2010, which reached 72.4%. The achieved rate for cervical cancer was 83% compared to the 93% target, and colorectal cancer was 58.6% compared to a target of 70.5%. Below are some highlighted data about screening rates among Asians and Hispanics in 2010: Asians 64.1% - breast cancer 75.