Protein modification may help explain how prostate cancer spreads

January 15, 2018
A slight change in a protein can cause prostate cancer cells to become aggressive and invade other parts of the body, a new study found. The research findings, which were published in Oncotarget, provide more insight into the aggressive nature of cancer and could lead to the development of more effective treatments. Migrating cancer cells The spread of cancer, or metastasis, happens when cells break free from the original tumor and relocate to another location through the bloodstream. Cancer that has spread to other sites of the body is harder to control and often deadly. Researchers from Sweden sought to… continue reading »

Can having a youthful outlook affect your lifespan?

January 12, 2018
When you ask someone their age, the answer they give is usually based on their chronological age. But age, alone, is a poor predictor of your lifespan. Researchers set out to study whether biomarkers in your DNA could be used to determine your internal cellular age. These DNA biomarkers occur as part of a vital metabolic process in every cell and every organ of the body (methylation-based biomarkers). These are often referred to as “epigenetic age” or “epigenetic clock” because they can be used to predict a person’s age and estimated lifespan. In a recent article in Aging, Volume 8,… continue reading »

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Spotlight: J. James Frost, cancer pioneer

January 15, 2018
Rapamycin Press recently interviewed Dr. J. James Frost, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A. to discuss his collaborative research paper “Symmetry and Symmetry Breaking in Cancer: A Foundational Approach to the Cancer Problem.” Frost is currently a faculty member with The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Department of Radiology. Frost has over 100 peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals and has been the principal investigator and managed 12 Investigational New Drug Applications and numerous Institutional Review Board protocols. Frost served for 15 years on the Johns Hopkins Institutional Review Board and reviewed human investigation protocols spanning all areas of medical research. Frost received… continue reading »

Can cancer be diagnosed from a simple blood test measuring circulating tumor DNA?

January 12, 2018
What if cancer could be diagnosed from a simple blood test? The current standards of cancer diagnosis often involve invasive and painful biopsies, where doctors take a sample of tissue directly from a potentially cancerous tumor. These kinds of tests are very effective at determining whether or not a patient has cancer, but they have two major disadvantages: they are invasive and they are slow. It can sometimes take weeks to get results. A new approach to diagnosing cancer and guiding treatment focuses on the signs cancer leaves in the blood. Circulating tumor DNA is DNA that has broken free… continue reading »

Answering cancer’s most provocative questions

January 15, 2018
Cancer is a complex disease that often leaves scientists with more questions than answers. Therefore more creativity is needed to fully understand cancer. The National Cancer Institute’s Provocative Questions Initiative supports scientists who propose innovative strategies to address an unanswered question. The Origins of Cancer symposium held in July 2017 provided a platform for the scientific community to discuss unanswered and important questions in the field of cancer research. A summary of the symposium’s highlights was provided by the host institution, Van Andel Research Institute in Grand Rapids, MI, and appears in Genes & Cancer. Provocative Questions The Provocative Questions… continue reading »

Are Opioids Helpful or Harmful?

January 5, 2018
According to a report released in November 2017 by The Council of Economic Advisers, an agency within the Executive Office of the President, the opioid crisis cost the economy $504 billion in 2015. The council plans to assess the economic viability of proposed and actual interventions to abate the crisis in the near future. Yet despite the attention given to the “Opioid Epidemic” in the media, many people are unsure of the implications for the use of opioids in treating patients. What are opioids? Opioids are a type of drug that acts on opioid receptors that are naturally found in… continue reading »

Nobel Laureate Barry Marshall risks life to prove link between peptic ulcers and bacteria

January 15, 2018
Dr. Barry Marshall is an Australian physician who won the 2005 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with J. Robin Warren for proving that most peptic ulcers are caused by a bacteria called bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) which led to breakthroughs in the study and treatment of stomach cancers. Determination led to break the mythology of a disease Before the 20th century, the ulcer was not a respectable disease. “You’re under a lot of stress,” doctors would say. However, Dr. Barry Marshall had a different theory: that ulcers are in fact caused by a bacteria infestation, not stress, but… continue reading »

How are senescent cells linked to aging?

January 15, 2018
Senescence is a term that is often used in biology to describe the condition or process of deterioration with age, as in senescent or aging cells. Senescence is the process by which cells irreversibly stop dividing and enter a state where they no longer grow yet are still alive and do not undergo cell death. Senescence can be caused by unrepaired DNA damage or other cellular stresses. The study of aging cells, or senescence, is important to understand not only why we age, but to understand the role that aging cells, and the substances they secrete, have on human health… continue reading »