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Melanoma
Novel enzyme inhibitor paves way for new cancer drug
By Dross at 2008-05-16 20:56
 

(PHILADELPHIA) – Combining natural organic atoms with metal complexes, scientists at The Wistar Institute have developed a new type of enzyme inhibitor capable of blocking a biochemical pathway that plays a key role in cancer development.

Based on studies in human melanoma cells, the research paves the way for developing new ways to treat cancer by dampening the overactive enzyme activity that leads to uncontrolled tumor growth.

Details of the study, to be published in the May 16 issue of the journal ACS Chemical Biology, show how small-molecule inhibitors can be designed to target a family of signaling proteins, called phosphatidyl-inositol-3-kinases, or PI3Ks.

read more | 1811 reads

Targeted therapy plus chemotherapy may pack 1-2 punch against melanoma
By Dross at 2008-05-15 20:31
 

DURHAM, N.C. -- By targeting and disabling a protein frequently found in melanoma tumors, doctors may be able to make the cancer more vulnerable to chemotherapyterm, according to a new study by researchers in the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center.

“We tested a compound that can weaken the tumor by targeting a protein expressed on the surface of a melanoma cell. When chemotherapy was applied to the tumor in this weakened state it was much more effective compared to conventional therapy alone,” said Douglas Tyler, M.D., a surgeon at Duke and the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and senior investigator on this study. “These results are extremely significant because they may help us better treat patients with this deadly condition.”

read more | 1297 reads

U of Minnesota researcher discovers the starting point of sun-induced skin cancer
By Dross at 2008-05-15 20:29
 

According to a new study from the University of Minnesota, the earliest event in the development of sun-induced skin cancer may have been identified. The researchers found that the point of entry for skin cancer in response to sun exposure is in receptor molecules, molecular "hooks" on the outer surface of cells that also pull cannabinoid compounds found in marijuana out of the bloodstream. The research appears in the May 15 issue of Cancer Research.

"The question at the core of this research was, 'Why does ultraviolet light induce skin cancer?'" said lead researcher Zigang Dong, a professor of cellular and molecular biology and director of the university's Hormel Institute, which supported the study. "The idea is to find an agent that can prevent skin cancers after exposure to the sun."

read more | 1254 reads

Skin flaps deliver cancer-fighting therapy, ASPS study reveals
By Dross at 2008-05-08 22:13
 

Using gene therapy, plastic surgeons have delivered cancer fighting proteins through skin flaps placed on cancerous tumors on rats with a 79 percent reduction in tumor volume, according to a study in the May issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). This new delivery technique, which has yet to be tested in humans, did not cause toxicity in the body of rats; however, administering the same anti-tumor agent intravenously in humans has previously been shown to cause liver damage.

“This new technique may allow us to reprogram skin flaps, using gene therapy, to provide a blueprint for anti-tumor agents like Interleukin-12 to be produced in the tumor to kill cancer, while avoiding adverse side effectsterm,” said Geoffrey Gurtner, MD, ASPS Member and study senior author. “In this study we took skin flaps in animal models and delivered IL-12 directly to the tumor area with tremendous success. Since skin flaps are used thousands of times each year in cancer patients, this may potentially open up an entirely new area in plastic surgery and bring the specialty, once again, to the center of medicine.”

read more | 1088 reads

Scientists identify interacting proteins key to melanoma development, treatment
By Dross at 2008-05-07 00:13
 

demonstrate that therapeutic targeting of these proteins is necessary for drugs to effectively treat this deadly form of cancer.

"We have shown that when two proteins – (V600E)B-Raf and Akt3 – communicate with one another in a mole, they cooperate leading to the development of melanoma," said Gavin Robertson, lead author and associate professor of pharmacology, pathology and dermatology, and director of the Foreman Foundation Melanoma Therapeutics Program at the Penn State College of Medicine Cancer Institute. "We have also shown that effective therapies for melanoma need to target both these proteins, which essentially eliminates the tumors.”

read more | 999 reads

Melanoma lurks in larger skin lesions, NYU researchers find
By Dross at 2008-04-22 20:52
 

Skin lesions that are about the size of a pencil eraser are more likely to be melanomas, a deadly form of skin cancer, than smaller moles, according to a new study led by NYU Langone Medical Center researchers.

In a new study published in the April issue of Archives of Dermatology, the NYU researchers confirm that an important warning sign of melanoma — moles that are larger than 6 millimeters, the size of a pencil eraser — is still valid. In recent years, some researchers have argued that strict adherence to this guideline may make clinicians miss smaller melanomas.

“Diameter is a reasonable guideline to pay attention to and we did not see any reason to change it,” says David Polsky, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of dermatology and associate director of the Pigmented Lesions Section in the Roland O. Perelman Department of Dermatology at NYU School of Medicine, who led the study.

read more | 1111 reads

Calorie restriction inhibits, obesity fuels development of epithelial cancers
By admin at 2008-04-15 19:49
 

SAN DIEGO - A restricted-calorie diet inhibited the development of precancerous growths in a two-step model of skin cancer, reducing the activation of two signaling pathways known to contribute to cancer growth and development, researchers at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center report today at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting.

An obesity-inducing diet, by contrast, activated those pathways, said first author Tricia Moore, a graduate student in M. D. Anderson's Department of Carcinogenesis.

"These results, while tested in a mouse model of skin cancer, are broadly applicable to epithelial cancers in other tissues," said senior author John DiGiovanni, Ph.D., director of the Department of Carcinogenesis and of M.D. Anderson's Science Park - Research Division in Smithville, Texas.

read more | 974 reads

Unusual Skin Cancer May Indicate Colon Cancer Syndrome
By Dross at 2008-04-09 20:53
 

An unusual form of skin cancer may be a sign of an underlying syndrome that makes people more susceptible to certain other cancers, according to researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute.

Some people with rare skin tumors known as sebaceous adenomas, sebaceous adenocarcinomas, and keratoacanthomas are also at greater risk for developing colon and endometrial cancer, as part of an inherited condition known as Lynch syndrome. In addition, patients with Lynch syndrome are at risk for developing these skin tumors. 

read more | 1597 reads

Teenage girls aren't the only ones who tan indoors -- older adults do so as well
By Dross at 2008-03-07 22:42
 

Think you won’t run into grandparents at your local tanning salon? According to new research, you just might. In fact, a recent health survey of American adults suggests that while 20 percent of 18-39 year olds visited tanning beds, as many as 10 percent of those between 50 and 64 years of age and eight percent of those older than 65 tanned indoors.

Researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia analyzed data about indoor tanning behaviors collected in 2005 as part of an annual health survey called the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). Their findings were published online today in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

read more | 872 reads

New target for cancer therapy may improve treatment for solid tumors
By Dross at 2008-03-04 01:50
 

Targeting and killing the non-malignant cells that surround and support a cancer can stop tumor growth in mice, reports a research team based at the University of Chicago Medical Center in the March 1, 2008, issue of the journal Cancer Research. The discovery offers a new approach to treating cancers that are resistant to standard therapy.

Many solid tumors develop elaborate mechanisms to prevent recognition and elimination by the immune system. Due to their genetic instability they often discard the tumor antigen-presenting cell-surface structures that alert the immune system that these cells are harmful. Without these “flags,” the white blood cells fail to recognize and kill infected or cancerous cells. These tumors then often grow rapidly and resist treatment with chemotherapyterm or efforts to boost the immune system's response to the tumor.

read more | 1383 reads

Genome-wide survey nets key melanoma gene
By Dross at 2008-02-08 02:20
 

One might call it a tale of two melanocytes. Given the same genetic mutation, why does one melanocyte shut down growth and become a relatively benign mole, while another rages out of control and develops into deadly melanoma"

In trying to tease out the answer to this simple question, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) researchers have uncovered a protein that stops the growth of melanoma, a cancer that develops from pigment-producing cells in the skin called melanocytes. HHMI investigator Michael Green and colleagues at the University of Massachusetts Medical School reported their identification of the genetic underpinnings of a new way to thwart one of the deadliest forms of cancer in the February 8, 2008, issue of the journal Cell.

read more | 762 reads

Natural secretion marks difference between mole and melanoma
By Dross at 2008-02-08 02:19
 

A protein naturally produced and secreted by the body can make the difference between your average mole and melanoma, which killed more than 8,000 people in the United States last year, reveals a new study in the February 8 issue of the journal Cell, a publication of Cell Press.

If this natural anti-cancer agent, called IGFBP7, can be produced and delivered to tumors, it might serve as a targeted chemotherapyterm for metastaticterm melanoma, a condition which is "basically untreatable" today, said Michael Green, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. It might also be used to treat other cancers with mutations in the oncogene known as BRAF.

read more | 801 reads

Multiple skin cancer risk behaviors are common among US adults
By Dross at 2008-01-08 21:42
 

Whether you’re basking on the beach during vacation, coasting down glittering white snow on a weekend ski trip, or simply walking the dog or running errands, sunlight’s ultraviolet rays can damage your skin year-round. Yet a new study by behavioral researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center shows that most American adults engage in multiple behaviors that boost their risk of skin cancer by increasing their exposure to UV rays.

These behaviors include infrequent use of sun-protective clothing; staying outside in the sun rather than seeking shade; infrequent use of sunscreen with a sun-protection factor (SPF) of 15 or more; indoor tanning with a sunlamp or tanning bed within the past year; and getting sunburned within the past year.

read more | 677 reads

The good anthrax
By Dross at 2008-01-01 05:33
 

Most people wouldn’t consider anthrax toxin to be beneficial, but this bacterial poison may someday be an effective cancer therapy. Anthrax toxin has actually been shown to be fairly selective in targeting melanoma cells, although the risk of non-cancer toxicity prevents any clinical use.

To develop a better and safer treatment, Stephen Leppla and colleagues created a mutated antrax toxin that could only be turned on by matrix metalloproteinases (MMP), proteins that are overproduced only in cancer cells.

When they tested this mutated toxin in mice, the researchers observed that 100% of the animals tolerated a dose that would be lethal for the natural toxin. The MMP-toxin was also better at killing melanoma tumors than natural toxin, due to its higher specificity and longer half-life in the blood.

read more | 994 reads

Genasense(R) Triple Combination Therapy in Advanced Melanoma Presented at Chemotherapy Foundation Symposium -
By Dross at 2007-11-08 22:20
 

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, N.J.,  -- Genta Incorporated (NASDAQ:GNTA) today announced the presentation of clinical data using the Company's lead oncology drug, Genasense(R) (oblimersen sodium) Injection in combination with Abraxane(R) (paclitaxel protein-bound particles for injectable suspension) (albumin-bound; Abraxis BioScience, Inc.) and Temodar(R) (temozolomide; Schering Plough, Inc.) in patients with advanced metastaticterm melanoma. The study represents the rapid translation of preclinical results that demonstrated marked anticancer synergy with this drug combination. The results will be presented by Dr. Anna C. Pavlick, New York University School of Medicine, at the Chemotherapyterm Foundation Symposium XXV, entitled "Innovative Cancer Therapy for Tomorrow", at the Marriott Hotel, New York, NY on November 9, 2007.

read more | 985 reads

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