Archive by category | Cancer

Mutations that drive early-onset prostate cancer identified, pointing way to specific treatments

Mutations that drive early-onset prostate cancer identified, pointing way to specific treatments

Prostate cancer affects an estimated one in every six males who live past the age of 70, making it the most common type of cancer among men worldwide. The majority of prostate cancer cases occur in men 65 years of age or older, but about 2% of cases occur in those under the age of 50—and these early tumors are particularly aggressive. Until now, scientists didn’t know whether the mechanisms that give rise to prostate cancer in the younger men were different from those in seniors.  Read more

Lupus antibodies may provide new option for cancer therapies

Radiation and chemotherapy are sometimes not strong enough to conquer aggressive tumors, but a new method promises to help cancer treatment become more effective. The approach uses antibodies produced by the body when a person has Lupus, an autoimmune disorder that can affect the skin, joints, and other organs. These lupus antibodies can weaken cancerous cells by penetrating the cells’ nuclei and disrupting their DNA, priming the cells for destruction by radiation or chemotherapy, according to a preliminary study published in Science Translational Medicine on 24 October.  Read more

One in six cancer cases are caused by preventable infection, study finds

One in six cancer cases are caused by preventable infection, study finds

You can’t catch cancer, or so many think. Cancer is considered a non-communicable disease by the World Health Organization, but among cancer’s many causes are viruses that can travel from person to person, and, if infection persists, lead to tumor growth. For example, the human pappilomavirus (HPV) often triggers cervical, anal and other cancers, which has prompted public health agencies to push mass vaccine campaigns for boys and girls alike (see ‘The value of HPV vaccination’).  Read more

Circumcision cuts prostate cancer risk—but only a bit

Scientists have found more evidence for yet another health benefit of circumcision for young males. In addition to reducing the risk of urinary tract problems, penile cancer and sexually transmitted infections, doctors might now add lower rates of prostate cancer to the mix. In a study of nearly 3,400 men, researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC) in Seattle found that males who were circumcised before their first sexual encounter were somewhat less likely to develop prostate cancer in later life compared to uncircumcised men.  Read more

Ubiquitin pioneer awarded 2012 prize in biomedicine

Ubiquitin pioneer awarded 2012 prize in biomedicine

The researcher who revealed that ubiquitins act like labels, tagging other proteins for destruction, received this year’s Frontiers of Knowledge Award in biomedicine from the BBVA Foundation in Spain. The award—which includes an unrestricted cash prize of €400,000 ($525,800)—went to Alexander Varshavsky, a molecular biologist at the California Institute of Technology, the foundation announced on Monday. Varshavsky’s work on ubiquitin advanced understanding of immune system disorders, cancers and neurodegenerative diseases.  Read more