A protein that drives the generation of new muscle fibers from stem cells during development and after injury paradoxically also appears to be responsible for the gradual decline in our muscles’ ability to repair as we age. In vitro and in vivo studies by scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Kings College London, and Harvard Stem Cell Institute have found that the protein, fibroblast growth factor-2 (fgf2), is naturally overexpressed in aging muscles, and effectively sends muscle stem cells into overdrive, preventing them from replenishing their own populations and reducing their ability to keep muscles in tiptop condition.
A new drug has received fast-track approval to treat advanced colon cancer, the Food and Drug Administration announced Thursday. The drug, Stivarga, has been approved to treat patients with colorectal cancer that has progressed after treatment and spread to other parts of the body, the FDA said.
The process researchers use to generate induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs)—a special type of stem cell that can be made in the lab from any type of adult cell—is time consuming and inefficient. To speed things up, researchers at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham) turned to kinase inhibitors. These chemical compounds block the activity of kinases, enzymes responsible for many aspects of cellular communication, survival, and growth.
The number of pregnant women diagnosed with cancer has increased over the past couple of decades, a new study from Australia suggests. In 2007, the most recent year studied, researchers found 192 out of every 100,000 pregnant and postpartum women received a cancer diagnosis - up from 112 per 100,000 women in 1994.
There’s no cure for cancer, but a recent discovery may make treatment more effective. A new study conducted by Masanobu Komatsu, Ph.D., an associate professor at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, and other researchers found a molecule that enhances the tumor vessel maturation process—a discovery that might provide a method for improving cancer drug delivery.
Oncologists often recommend that their patients undergoing cancer treatment take it easy, but today that advice has significantly changed. According to Ciaran Devane, chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, cancer patients would benefit greatly from some level of physical activity in regard to their recovery and long-term health.
Cancer stem cells are defined by three abilities: differentiation, self-renewal and their ability to seed a tumor. These stem cells resist chemotherapy and many researchers posit their role in relapse. A University of Colorado Cancer Center study recently published in the journal Stem Cells, shows that melanoma cells with these abilities are marked by the enzyme ALDH, and imagines new therapies to target high-ALDH cells, potentially weeding the body of these most dangerous cancer creators.
Cancer treatment may save lives, but it can also cause collateral damage to organs like the heart. And that’s something doctors hope to change with a new study and a new clinic. Women diagnosed with breast cancer this fall (and meeting criteria) will be asked to participate in the novel study testing a drug that prevents heart scarring after injurious events like heart attacks. The goal is to find out whether the medication protects the heart against the harsh effects of cancer treatment, including chemotherapy drugs called anthracyclines.
Such drugs have been used to save lives for the past 50 years and are still commonly given to breast cancer patients. But they’re known to potentially wreak havoc on the heart, resulting in scarring, abnormal contractions or other heart failure symptoms, especially when taken at top doses.
A new study has shown that a more personalised cancer treatment regimen can help improve the cure rate for children with leukemia and reduce the side effects of chemotherapy.