Drinking green tea could modulate the effect of smoking on lung cancer. Results of this hospital-based, randomized study conducted in Taiwan were presented at the AACR-IASLC Joint Conference on Molecular Origins of Lung Cancer, held here from Jan. 11-14, 2010.

“Lung cancer is the leading cause of all cancer deaths in Taiwan,” said I-Hsin Lin, M.S., a student at Chung Shan Medical University in Taiwan. “Tea, particularly green tea, has received a great deal of attention because tea polyphenols are strong antioxidants, and tea preparations have shown inhibitory activity against tumorigenesis.” 

ian chin-sang There is an important gene in humans called PTEN that acts as a tumor suppressor. When the PTEN gene function is lost, it can lead to cancers. For example, 70-80 per cent of all prostate cancers have lost PTEN function. Another gene family, called Eph receptors, often shows high levels in cancers, but a connection between PTEN and Eph Receptors in cancer formation has never been shown. The Queen’s study shows the remarkable relationship between these genes in worms.

Two University of Rhode Island associate professors, biophysicists Yana Reshetnyak and Oleg Andreev, have discovered a technology that can detect cancerous tumors and deliver treatment to them without the harming the healthy cells surrounding them, thereby significantly reducing side effects. The URI couple has attracted more than $6 million in grants in four years. In addition, a number of health care and pharmaceutical companies have expressed interest in their work.

It is possible, says Andreev, that one day their detection method could be used as a universal procedure, similar to mammography or colonoscopies. Their harmless imaging test could locate a problem before the patient ever feels ill.

A small RNA molecule, known as a microRNA, may help physicians identify liver cancer patients who, in spite of their poor prognosis, could respond well to treatment with a biological agent called interferon. The finding, by scientists at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, and their partners at Fudan University, Shanghai, and the University of Hong Kong in China and at Ohio State University, Columbus, appeared in the Oct. 8, 2009, issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.

 

"Interferon is an experimental therapeutic agent that has been used for many years to treat cancer patients, but with modest benefit," said study first author Junfang Ji, Ph.D., of the Liver Carcinogenesis Section at NCI's Center for Cancer Research.

Genentech BioOncology continues to identify and investigate new approaches to targeting the hallmarks of cancer. Through our current research focus on angiogenesis, HER signaling, apoptosis, B-cell signaling, and cellular differentiation, we approach cancer research from multiple angles, helping us to elucidate the complexity of carcinogenesis and to develop targeted therapies that will address the unmet needs in cancer treatment and positively impact the lives of patients.

 This figure was adapted from Cell, Vol 100, Hanahan and Weinberg, The Hallmarks of Cancer, pp 57-70, Copyright Elsevier (2000).

Groundbreaking study by researchers at University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer seeks to explain major disparity in survival between blacks and whites

Researchers at the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer have found that head and neck cancer patients who test positive for the human papillomavirus (HPV) have much better survival rates than patients who don’t have the virus, according to a new study in the journal Cancer Prevention Research. The researchers also discovered that blacks in the study had a very low rate of HPV infection, and consequently worse survival, which may explain why African-American patients traditionally have had a poor prognosis for head and neck cancer.

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