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Oncology

Study Finds That Carbon Monoxide Can Help Shrink Tumors and Amplify Effectiveness of Chemotherapy

Study Finds That Carbon Monoxide Can Help Shrink Tumors and Amplify Effectiveness of Chemotherapy

Therapeutic benefits of this poisonous gas appear linked to cell’s energy status; CO, used in combination with chemo helps spare healthy tissue

In recent years, research has suggested that carbon monoxide, the highly toxic gas emitted from auto exhausts and faulty heating systems, can be used to treat certain inflammatory medical conditions. Now a study led by a research team at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) shows for the first time that carbon monoxide may also have a role to play in treating cancer.

Mayo Clinic Researchers Find Shape-Shifting Stops Migrating Cancer Cells

Mayo Clinic Researchers Find Shape-Shifting Stops Migrating Cancer Cells

Like a car with a front and back end, a steering mechanism and an engine to push it forward, cancer cells propel themselves through normal tissues and organs to spread cancer throughout the body. Researchers at Mayo Clinic in Florida, however, have managed to turn these cells into shapes like a round fried egg and an exaggerated starfish that sticks out in many directions — both of which cannot now move.

In research published in the December issue of Molecular and Cellular Biology, investigators reveal how interplay of molecules keeps cancer cells moving forward, and how disturbing the balance of these proteins pushes their shape to change, stopping them in their tracks.

Children with High-Risk Leukemia

Drug Offers Promising Approach to Improve Outcome for Children with High-Risk Leukemia

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital leads study showing that a drug withdrawn from the market in 2010 may enhance the effectiveness of bone marrow transplants for select pediatric leukemia patients

Combining the drug gemtuzumab ozogamicin (GO) with conventional chemotherapy may improve the outcome of bone marrow transplantation for some children battling high-risk acute myeloid leukemia (AML), according to a study led by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The results appear in the current edition of the journal Cancer.

Study Again Confirms High Cost of Self-Referral with No Patient Benefit

Study Again Confirms High Cost of Self-Referral with No Patient Benefit

According to a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), self-referring urologists dramatically increased their usage of a more expensive, but not necessarily more effective, radiation treatment they own compared to their non-self-referring counterparts where no ownership interest exists. The study adds to the existing mountain of evidence that the in-office ancillary services loophole to the Stark Law costs the Medicare system billions without benefiting patients.

A Genetic Variation That Could Protect Skin From Sun Damage Fuels Testicular Cancer

A Genetic Variation That Could Protect Skin From Sun Damage Fuels Testicular Cancer

A Ludwig Cancer Research study published in Cell today identifies a common mutation that dramatically increases the risk for testicular cancer—and describes a likely molecular mechanism by which it exerts that effect. The researchers also suggest why, despite its potential lethality, the genetic variation has been favored by natural selection to become common in light-skinned people. It appears this mutation might aid the tanning of Caucasian skin in response to sunlight, protecting it from UV radiation, which can burn and cause cancer.

NIH Scientists Find That Proteins Involved in Immunity Potentially Cause Cancer

NIH Scientists Find That Proteins Involved in Immunity Potentially Cause Cancer

A set of proteins involved in the body’s natural defenses produces a large number of mutations in human DNA, according to a study led by researchers at the National Institutes of Health. The findings suggest that these naturally produced mutations are just as powerful as known cancer-causing agents in producing tumors.

The proteins are part of a group called apolipoprotein B mRNA-editing enzyme catalytic polypeptide-like (APOBEC) cytidine deaminases. The investigators found that APOBEC mutations can outnumber all other mutations in some cancers, accounting for over two-thirds in some bladder, cervical, breast, head and neck, and lung tumors.

Researchers Discover How A Mutated Protein Outwits Evolution And Fuels Leukemia

Researchers Discover How A Mutated Protein Outwits Evolution And Fuels Leukemia

Findings Suggest a Potent New Therapeutic Target for Certain Types of Cancer

Scientists have discovered the survival secret to a genetic mutation that stokes leukemia cells, solving an evolutionary riddle and paving the way to a highly targeted therapy for leukemia. In a paper published today in Cell, researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center describe how a mutated protein, called Fbxw7, behaves differently when expressed in cancer cells versus healthy cells. “Fbxw7 is essential for making blood cells, so the big mystery is why a mutation on a gene so important for survival would persist,” says lead author Iannis Aifantis, PhD, chair of pathology at NYU Langone Medical Center and an Early Career Scientist at Howard Hughes Medical Institute. “What we’ve found is that the mutation affects cancerous cells but not healthy cells.”

Grow Your Practice With Physician Assistants

Grow Your Practice With Physician Assistants

Your office is busy, and it’s time to add to your professional staff. But how difficult will it be for you to locate qualified physicians to satisfy your staffing needs? The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) estimates that by 2015, the shortage of doctors across all specialties will quadruple from current levels. Previous estimates showed a baseline shortage of 39,600 doctors in 2015, but AAMC’s current estimates are closer to 63,000, with a worsening of shortages through 2025, including 29,000 primary care doctors and 33,100 physicians in specialties such as cardiology, oncology, and emergency medicine.

Turning Magic Into Medicine Into Myth

Turning Magic Into Medicine Into Myth

The world’s first enduring civilization may have arisen in Egypt; some scholars suggest that the fertile Nile Valley had been settled as early as 10,000 BC. But it wasn’t until the advent of the Old Kingdom, about 2600 BC, that modern historians can begin to form real figures from the dim outlines of a past shrouded in mystery and magic.

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