Posts tagged ‘cancer research’


New study connects mutant enzyme to cancer’s ‘Warburg effect’

April 22, 2014 | by
New City of Hope study finds that a cancer-prone mutation of the enzyme RECQ4 accumulates in the mitochondria (the green & orange structure in above model) and can cause it to dysfunction, possibly explaining cancer's "Warburg effect."
Cancer cells may be known for their uncontrollable growth and spread, but they also differ from normal tissue in another manner: how they produce energy. New City of Hope study finds that a cancer-prone mutation of the gene RECQ4 causes its corresponding enzyme, RECQ4, to accumulate in the mitochondria (the green and orange structures in above illustration of a cell’s components.) This can cause mitochondrial dysfunction, possibly explaining cancer’s “Warburg effect.” In healthy cells, energy is derived primarily from aerobic respiration, an oxygen-requiring process that extracts the maximum possible energy from glucose, or blood sugar. The amount…

Meet our doctors: Yuman Fong on the future of cancer surgery

April 19, 2014 | by
COH
Meet City of Hope’s new chair of the Department of Surgery – esteemed pancreatic and hepatobiliary surgeon, researcher and author Yuman Fong, M.D. As one of today’s most respected and recognizable physicians in the treatment of cancers of the liver, bile duct, gallbladder and pancreas, Fong has pioneered and enhanced many surgical therapies now widely used around the world to treat these difficult diseases. He also coordinates and participates in many studies aimed at better understanding them and at their prevention and treatment. Yuman Fong, the new chair of City of Hope’s Department of Surgery, says research plays…

Fighting neuroblastomas by blocking their DNA replication, repair

April 17, 2014 | by
PCNA, shown above, is a protein essential to DNA repair and replication, and City of Hope researchers are targeting this protein in neuroblastoma cells to halt its growth and induce its death. (Image credit: Wikimedia commons / Opabinia regalis )
Neuroblastoma is one of the deadliest childhood cancers, accounting for 15 percent of pediatric cancer deaths. For patients with high-risk neuroblastomas, the five-year survival rate is 40 to 50 percent even with the most rigorous treatments available today. PCNA, shown above, is a protein essential to DNA repair and replication, and City of Hope researchers are targeting it in neuroblastoma cells in order to halt tumor growth and induce cell death. (Image credit: Wikimedia commons / Opabinia regalis ) But those odds may improve soon, thanks to a new compound developed by City of Hope scientists.…

New study identifies microRNA’s role in breast cancer metastasis

April 14, 2014 | by
City of Hope researchers found that a microRNA called miR-105 helps cancer metastasize by breaking down the building blocks of blood vessels' barriers, allowing the cancer cells to enter the bloodstream.
City of Hope researchers found that a microRNA called miR-105 helps cancer metastasize by breaking down the building blocks of blood vessels’ barriers, allowing the cancer cells to enter the bloodstream. Artwork by Bob Fong Metastasis — the spreading of cancer cells from a primary tumor site to other parts of the body — generally leads to poorer outcomes for patients, so oncologists and researchers are constantly seeking new ways to detect and thwart this malicious process. Now City of Hope researchers may have identified a substance that contributes to it: microRNAs, particularly one called…

AACR 2014: Hormone therapy linked to lower non-Hodgkin lymphoma risk

April 7, 2014 | by
pills in blister pack
Hormone therapy, which is prescribed to women for relief of menopausal symptoms such hot flashes, night sweats and vaginal dryness, has recently seen a decline in popularity (and use) due to its link to an increased risk of breast and endometrial cancer. But City of Hope researchers have found that menopausal hormone therapy may actually lower the risk of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. City of Hope researchers found that menopausal hormone therapy use appears linked to a lower risk of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Sophia Wang, Ph.D., associate professor at City of Hope’s Division of Cancer Etiology and…

AACR 2014: Where ‘meaningful advances’ against cancer begin

April 5, 2014 | by
Enlisting the immune system to fight cancer
More than 18,000 researchers, clinicians, advocates and other professionals will convene at the 105th American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting taking place in San Diego from April 5 to 9. With more than 6,000 findings being presented over this five-day period, the amount of information can seem overwhelming. Conferences such as the AACR annual meeting can lead to — even expedite — tomorrow’s cancer treatments by facilitating dialogue, exchange of information and collaboration among researchers. But all those posters, presentations and seminars serve a purpose, which is best summed up by the theme…

AACR 2014: Thwarting drug-resistant lung cancer with a novel compound

April 4, 2014 | by
lung cancer
Despite advances made in detecting and treating nonsmall cell lung cancer, its prognosis remains grim. Even patients whose cancers are caught at their earliest stage have only a 50 percent chance of five-year survival. This poor prognosis is due in part to the cancer’s ability to resist treatment, rendering the chemotherapy ineffective. A novel compound synthesized at City of Hope can target and treat drug-resistant lung cancers, researchers find. However, a group of City of Hope researchers have identified and synthesized a novel compound — called COH-SR4 — that is effective against drug-resistant lung cancer. If…

HPV test instead of Pap test? Cervical cancer expert weighs in

March 15, 2014 | by
Human papillomavirus
If the new recommendations of a Food and Drug Administration  (FDA) advisory panel are widely adopted, HPV testing eventually may replace the Pap test as the primary way to detect cervical cancer. City of Hope cervical cancer expert says the recommendations have merit.  HPV’s links to cervical cancer have led an FDA panel to recommend that an HPV test be used as first-line screening for cervical cancer. Shown here: An illustration of human papillomavirus. The Pap test – named for its inventor, pathologist George Papanicolaou – is designed to identify cancers and precancers in the cervix, and has been the…

Concern about Paxil’s effect on breast cancer risk misses larger point

March 4, 2014 | by
Antidepressants are a common therapy to combat depression in cancer patients. A new assay that found one antidepressant raises questions that should be researched, but no one should stop medications without consulting a doctor.
A new test that allows researchers to quickly identify drugs and chemicals that could disrupt the balance of hormones in the body – potentially affecting development and progression of cancer, including breast cancer – has raised worries about the common antidepressant Paxil. Antidepressants are a common therapy to combat depression in cancer patients, but a new assay that found one antidepressant, Paxil, could have an estrogen-promoting effect. That same assay found that other common drugs could have an estrogen-inhibiting effect. City of Hope’s Joanne Mortimer urges women and their doctors to focus on the larger…

Cancer of the breast, colon, lungs … Putting research in perspective

March 3, 2014 | by
Commentary on cancer research
No matter how impressive a research study’s conclusion may be – or how seemingly unsurprising – experts are needed to put the findings into context. Perhaps a study’s methodology wasn’t as strong as it could have been. Perhaps the conclusions confirmed that other researchers are on the right track. Perhaps the study missed the mark completely. City of Hope physicians offer context and insight on recent cancer research. City of Hope’s physicians recently weighed in on an array of recent published studies, offering their expertise, insight and perspective via a special commentary feature in Clinical Oncology…