03/26/2014 - 16:05

Just as archeologists try to decipher ancient tablets to discern their meaning, UT Southwestern Medical Center cancer biologists are working to decode the purpose of an ancient gene considered one of the most important in cancer research. The p53 gene appears to be involved in signaling other cells instrumental in stopping tumor development. But the p53 gene predates cancer, so scientists are uncertain what its original function is.


03/18/2014 - 11:49

The microRNA miR-34 cooperates with the ‘guardian of the genome’ p53 to function as a tumor suppressor in a mouse model of prostate cancer. The mechanism involves joint p53 and miR-34 mediated control of a cancer-promoting gene called MET. These are the findings of a new study published in the journal Cell Reports from researchers in Germany and the USA. This study clarifies how miR-34 can be used as an important therapeutic agent for prostate cancer as it enters phase I clinical trials.


03/13/2014 - 09:19

“Cell movement is the basic recipe of life, and all cells have the capacity to move,” says Roberto Dominguez, PhD, professor of Physiology at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. Motility – albeit on a cellular spatial scale -- is necessary for wound healing, clotting, fetal development, nerve connections, and the immune response, among other functions. On the other hand, cell movement can be deleterious when cancer cells break away from tumors and migrate to set up shop in other tissues during cancer metastasis.


02/19/2014 - 06:11

In a study published in Nature Communications, researchers at Karolinska Institutet and Uppsala University in Sweden present a new drug candidate, which selectively kills dormant cells within a cancer tumor through starvation. These tumor cells, which are found in less oxygenated parts of solid tumors, are resistant to conventional treatments.


02/17/2014 - 09:21

In difficult economic times, when many drug companies are scaling back on research and development, ‘drug repurposing’ is becoming an ever more important concept. This term means testing existing drugs for efficacy in disease contexts other than that for which they are currently used.


02/10/2014 - 12:38

NYU Langone Medical Center researchers have found a biological weakness in the workings of the most commonly mutated gene involved in human cancers, known as mutant K-Ras, which they say can be exploited by drug chemotherapies to thwart tumor growth.