Online ISSN: 1949-2553

Gene may play role in DNA breaks that are hallmark of breast and ovarian cancer patients

February 6, 2018
Genes are molecules that determine our inherited characteristics. Scientists previously identified that the genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 are essential for the repair of double-strand DNA breaks which are hallmarks of breast and ovarian cancers. In a recent study discussed in Oncotarget Volume 8, Issue 8, entitled “The EMSY threonine 207 phospho-site is required for EMSYdriven suppression of DNA damage repair,” scientists found that EMSY, a gene commonly linked to BRCA genes, may play a role in inhibiting the repair of damage to BRCA1 and BRCA2 by suppressing them. To determine this link, scientists conducted experiments to show that too many… continue reading »

Finding a culprit: tumor growth in neuroblastoma

February 6, 2018
Researchers have learned more about how a cancer commonly found in the small glands on top of the kidneys (adrenal glands), neuroblastoma, overrides the immune system to keep growing. In a study published in Oncotarget, Dr. Michael D. Hadjidaniel and colleagues reported detailed new insights into tumor growth in neuroblastoma, specifically how neuroblastoma recruits a part of the immune system that patrols for signs of infection, called macrophages, to help cancer cells multiply and grow. Macrophages are large white blood cells that locate and consume harmful particles, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. Macrophages can play many different roles,… continue reading »

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What can go wrong during splicing that contributes to cancer?

February 6, 2018
The average human cell experiences damage to its genetic blueprint nearly 60,000 times requiring genome maintenance, the process of constant surveillance and repair of acquired mutations, to avoid becoming cancerous. Interestingly, a new link has been recently discovered between genome maintenance and a family of molecular machinery typically involved in the flow of genetic information from DNA to RNA called RNA splicing factors. Disruption of RNA splicing causes genome instability, which could contribute to the development of cancer. RNA splicing is also being researched as an emerging anti-cancer target. However, many questions remain as to how exactly RNA splicing factors… continue reading »

Powerful immune response to leukemia treatment linked to common virus cytomegalovirus

February 6, 2018
Natural killer (NK) cells are a type of white blood cell that serve as our body’s rapid response to rejecting both tumors and cells infected with a virus. Researchers from Japan noticed that in cases of leukemia where the patient was treated with the drug dasatinib, the NK cells were becoming activated and enlarged. Because this immunological phenomenon was associated with superior therapeutic responses, the researchers were interested in learning more about how it works so they can suggest strategies to further improve treatment outcomes for patients with leukemia. In an editorial featured in an issue of Oncotarget, Dr. Norimitsu… continue reading »

Is there a potential link between cancerous breast tissue and gut bacteria?

February 6, 2018
It has long been suspected that the bacteria in your gut, known as the gut microbiome, contributes to the development of breast cancer by modifying estrogen levels. This may also explain the previously identified relationship between breast cancer and high-fat, low-fiber diets, as well as antibiotic exposure. In an article in Oncotarget, Volume 8, Issue 50, researchers described their study to prove a link between cancerous breast tissue and gut bacteria. Recently, a distinct mix of bacterial microorganisms in the gut (microbiome) have been identified within breast milk and tissue, but few studies have been done to see if there… continue reading »