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UCSD study finds blocking tumor-induced inflammation impacts cancer development
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 10/04/2012) - Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report the discovery of microbial–dependent mechanisms through which some cancers mount an inflammatory response that fuels their development and growth. The findings are published in the October 3, 2012 Advanced Online Edition of Nature. UCSD is home to the Moores Comprehensive Cancer Center.

UNC scientists find missing link between players in the epigenetic code
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 10/03/2012) - Over the last two decades, scientists have come to understand that the genetic code held within DNA represents only part of the blueprint of life. The rest comes from specific patterns of chemical tags that overlay the DNA structure, determining how tightly the DNA is packaged and how accessible certain genes are to be switched on or off. Now, research from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine has established the first link between the two most fundamental epigenetic tags -- histone modification and DNA methylation -- in humans. The study, which was published Sept. 30, 2012 by the journal Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, implicates a protein called UHRF1 in the maintenance of these epigenetic tags. Because the protein has been found to be defective in cancer, the finding could help scientists understand not only how microscopic chemical changes can ultimately affect the epigenetic landscape but also give clues to the underlying causes of disease and cancer. UNC is home to the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

UCSF-led analysis links tanning beds to non-melanoma skin cancer
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 10/03/2012) - Indoor tanning is already an established risk factor for malignant melanoma, the less common but deadliest form of skin cancer. Now, a new study confirms that indoor tanning significantly increases the risk of non-melanoma skin cancers, the most common human skin cancers. In the most extensive examination of published findings on the subject, the UCSF-led researchers estimate that indoor tanning is responsible for more than 170,000 new cases annually of non-melanoma skin cancers in the United States — and many more worldwide. UCSF is home to the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Harvard-led study finds extending trastuzumab for 2 years does not significantly improve outcomes versus 1 year
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 10/02/2012) - One year of treatment with the targeted drug trastuzumab is as good as two years of treatment for women with HER2-positive early breast cancer who have already received initial treatment with surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy as needed, researchers have found. The HERA trial, which has been run by the Breast International Group since 2001--and led by researchers from the Harvard Medical School and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute--is an international, multi-center, phase III randomized study involving 5,102 women with early HER2-positive breast cancer. Details of the study were presented at the ESMO 2012 Congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology in Vienna.

Penn study finds new insights on control of pituitary hormone outside of brain, has implications for breast cancer
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 10/01/2012) - The hormone prolactin is produced by the pituitary gland in the brain and then travels via the bloodstream to cells throughout the body, where it exerts multiple reproductive and metabolic effects, most notably on the breast where it is the master regulator of lactation. In recent years researchers have found that prolactin is also produced by some tissues outside the brain, however little is known about the functions of extra-pituitary prolactin or how its production is regulated in these tissues. Now, researchers in the Department of Cancer Biology at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, report in Genes & Development that activation of the PI3K-Akt oncogenic signaling pathway in the mammary glands of mice rapidly induces cells in the breast itself to produce prolactin. This, in turn, triggers Stat5 activation, mammary epithelial differentiation and milk production in virgin mice within a matter of hours.

Georgetown's first use in patient of conditionally reprogrammed cells delivers clinical response
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 09/28/2012) - Using a newly discovered cell technology, Georgetown University Medical Center researchers were able to identify an effective therapy for a patient with a rare type of lung tumor. The single case study, reported in the September 27 issue of New England Journal of Medicine, provides a snapshot of the new technology’s promising potential; however, researchers strongly caution that it could be years before validation studies are completed and regulatory approval received for its broader use.

NIH study uncovers likely role of major cancer protein
NIH Press Release
(Posted: 09/27/2012) - Scientists may have discovered why a protein called MYC can provoke a variety of cancers. Like many proteins associated with cancer, MYC helps regulate cell growth. A study carried out by researchers at NIH and colleagues found that, unlike many other cell growth regulators, MYC does not turn genes on or off, but instead boosts the expression of genes that are already turned on.

The meaning of 'cancer-free'
Chicago Tribune
(Posted: 09/27/2012) - Sixteen years ago, right before her 42nd birthday, Jane Baker Segelken was diagnosed with breast cancer. The tumor was small, and she was told that if the cancer didn't return within five years after treatment, her chances for long-term survival were good... Dr. Catherine Alfano, deputy director of the Office of Cancer Survivorship at the National Cancer Institute, says that of the women diagnosed with breast cancer today, 90 percent will be alive in five years compared with 63 percent in the 1960s. "I think the main point about survival rates being much better now is that more people than ever are living with the effects of cancer for many years after their diagnosis and treatment," she says, "which means that doctors and researchers are turning attention to helping survivors understand what the long-term effects of cancer might be, and how to prevent or minimize those."

Albert Einstein researchers identify risk markers for erectile dysfunction following radiation treatment in prostate cancer
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 09/27/2012) - In the first study of its kind, a research team led by Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and Mount Sinai School of Medicine discovered 12 genetic markers associated with the development of erectile dysfunction (ED) in prostate cancer patients who were treated with radiation. The findings, published online in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology • Biology • Physics, are an important step toward helping clinicians determine the best course of treatment for prostate cancer patients and may lead to the development of therapies that alleviate side effects.

Fred Hutchinson model confirms active surveillance as viable option for men with low-risk prostate cancer
NCI Cancer Center News
(Posted: 09/26/2012) - A new research model has estimated that the difference in prostate cancer mortality among men with low-risk disease who choose active surveillance versus those who choose immediate treatment with radical prostatectomy is likely to be very modest, possibly as little as two to three months. The model, developed by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, is among the first to use specific data from published studies to project the likelihood of prostate cancer mortality among men with low-risk disease who choose active surveillance.

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