Online ISSN: 1947-6027

Developing brain cells provide clues about brain cancer formation

December 22, 2017
Developing brain cells can reveal insights into the causes of abnormal brain development and could potentially provide a new target to treat brain cancer formation, according to a study published in Genes & Cancer. Dr. Joshua Shin and colleagues investigated the role of an enzyme called PJA1 that can form a bond between two molecules. They analyzed the developing embryos of zebrafish (an animal with a similar genetic structure to humans) and observed that PJA1 enzyme was more highly activated in the cells that make up the brain. When the researchers silenced the enzyme PJA1 in a study set, they observed… continue reading »

Molecular insights help explain survival of breast cancer stem cells

December 22, 2017
Certain types of breast cancer are possibly more difficult to treat with traditional therapies because they contain cancer stem cells that have the ability to continuously produce more cancer cells and repopulate cancer growth. Because most cancer stem cells are resistant to conventional treatments and cause tumor recurrence and the spread of cancer (metastasis), the development of targeted therapies against cancer stem cells is necessary to improve poor clinical outcomes. Researchers recently found new insights into the process by which breast cancer stem cells survive and group together to form more cancer cells. Researchers from Japan noted in their Genes… continue reading »

Genes & Cancer

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Child brain cancer research: A new direction for research

December 7, 2017
By increasing levels of specific proteins, researchers may have discovered a new method of treatment for brain tumors in children. Medulloblastoma, a cancer that begins in the brain at the base of the skull, accounts for up to 20 percent of all brain tumors in children. Approximately 70% of all medulloblastomas occur in children under 10. With a five-year survival rate of only 60–70%, despite surgical and chemotherapeutic treatments, medulloblastoma is sorely in need of new treatment. Dr. Sajani S. Lakka and fellow researchers at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago are looking for new approaches to… continue reading »