Tag Archives: tumors

New Clues to Why Older Women are More Vulnerable to Breast Cancer

As women age, key breast cells ignore their surroundings, Berkeley Lab scientists find

Scientists from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have gained more insights into why older women are more susceptible to breast cancer. They found that as women age, the cells responsible for maintaining healthy breast tissue stop responding to their immediate surroundings, including mechanical cues that should prompt them to suppress nearby tumors. (more…)

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Evolution picks up hitchhikers

In a twist on “survival of the fittest,” researchers have discovered that evolution is driven not by a single beneficial mutation but rather by a group of mutations, including ones called “genetic hitchhikers” that are simply along for the ride. These hitchhikers are mutations that do not appear to have a role in contributing to an organism’s fitness and therefore its evolution, yet may play an important role down the road.

Researchers from Princeton University found in a study of 1,000 generations of adaptation in 40 yeast populations that about five to seven specific mutations, rather than just a one, are needed for an organism to succeed. The knowledge of how mutations drive evolution can inform our understanding of how tumors resist chemotherapeutics and how bacteria evolve resistance to antibiotics. The study was published July 21 in the journal Nature. (more…)

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Fat cells in breast may connect social stress to breast cancer

Local chemical signals released by fat cells in the mammary gland appear to provide a crucial link between exposure to unrelenting social stressors early in life, and the subsequent development of breast cancer, researchers from the University of Chicago report in the July 2013 issue of the journal Cancer Prevention Research.

Some forms of stress exposure may be associated with an increased risk of certain types of aggressive breast cancer. But the mechanisms linking the biology of social stress to cancer have been hard to identify. To unravel that mechanism, the researchers looked for differences between mice raised in small groups and those that grow up in an isolated setting—an established model of chronic stress without social supports. (more…)

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UA Grows Gourmet Mushrooms That Recycle Waste

UA plant scientists are growing gourmet mushrooms on coffee grounds, landscape waste, even pizza boxes – and reducing that waste to compost.

The University of Arizona class is called “Mushrooms, Molds and Man.” Intrigued, undergraduate Lauren Jackson decided to learn about “Kingdom Fungi” and its impact on the world.

He was hooked in a heartbeat. Barely into the course, “I just raised my hand and asked about research opportunities.” That week he started working in the lab with UA mycologist Barry Pryor. (more…)

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UCLA Researchers Further Refine ‘Nanovelcro’ Device to Grab Single Cancer Cells from Blood

Improvement enables ‘liquid biopsies’ for metastatic melanoma

Researchers at UCLA report that they have refined a method they previously developed for capturing and analyzing cancer cells that break away from patients’ tumors and circulate in the blood. With the improvements to their device, which uses a Velcro-like nanoscale technology, they can now detect and isolate single cancer cells from patient blood samples for analysis.

Circulating tumor cells, or CTCs, play a crucial role in cancer metastasis, spreading from tumors to other parts of the body, where they form new tumors. When these cells are isolated from the blood early on, they can provide doctors with critical information about the type of cancer a patient has, the characteristics of the individual cancer and the potential progression of the disease. Doctors can also tell from these cells how to tailor a personalized treatment to a specific patient. (more…)

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Protein Linked to Therapy Resistance in Breast Cancer

Berkeley Lab Researchers Identify Possible New Oncogene and Future Therapy Target

A gene that may possibly belong to an entire new family of oncogenes has been linked by researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) with breast cancer resistance to a well-regarded and widely used cancer therapy.

One of the world’s leading breast cancer researchers, Mina Bissell, Distinguished Scientist with Berkeley Lab’s Life Sciences Division, led a study in which a protein known as FAM83A was linked to resistance to the cancer drugs known as EGFR-TKIs (Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor-Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors). Not only may this discovery explain the clinical correlation between a high expression of FAM83A and a poor prognosis for breast cancer patients, it may also provide a new target for future therapies. (more…)

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MU Researcher’s Photoacoustic Device Finds Cancer Cells Before They Become Tumors

*Commercial production will allow scientists, academia opportunity for use in cancer studies*

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Early detection of melanoma, the most aggressive skin cancer, is critical because melanoma will spread rapidly throughout the body. Now, University of Missouri researchers are one step closer to melanoma cancer detection at the cellular level, long before tumors have a chance to form. Commercial production of a device that measures melanoma using photoacoustics, or laser-induced ultrasound, will soon be available to scientists and academia for cancer studies. The commercial device also will be tested in clinical trials to provide the data required to obtain U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for early diagnosis of metastatic melanoma and other cancers. (more…)

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