Understanding how cells die is key to developing new treatments for many diseases, whether the goal is to make cancer cells die or keep healthy cells alive in the face of other illnesses, such as massive infections or strokes. Two new studies have identified a previously unrecognized pathway of cell death — named lysoptosis — and demonstrate how it could lead to new therapies for cervical cancer.
Researchers identify signaling mechanisms in pancreatic cancer cells that could provide treatment targets
Scientists have provided new insights into molecular ‚crosstalk‘ in pancreas cancer cells, identifying vulnerabilities that could provide a target for therapeutic drugs already being studied in several cancers.
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a cancer of white blood cells. Researchers discovered that AML cancer cells depend on a protein called SCP4 to survive. They think the previously little-known protein is involved in a metabolic pathway the cancer cells need to survive. SCP4 provides researchers with a potential new therapeutic approach for this aggressive cancer.
Melanoma patients receiving therapy that makes it easier for their immune system to kill cancer cells respond to treatment better when their diet is rich in fiber, according to a large, international research collaboration.
Depleting copper levels may reduce the production of energy that cancer cells need to travel and establish themselves in other parts of the body by a process referred to as metastasis, according to a new study. The discovery of the underlying mechanisms of how copper depletion may help reduce metastasis in breast cancer will help inform the design of future clinical trials.
Sonodynamic therapy uses ultrasound in combination with drugs to release harmful reactive oxygen species (ROS) at the site of a tumor. However, the treatment isn’t very effective because cancer cells can activate antioxidant defense systems to counteract it. Now, researchers have breached these defenses with CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing, allowing sonodynamic therapy to effectively shrink tumors in a mouse model of liver cancer.
Ever since the first barcode appeared on a pack of chewing gum in 1974, the now-ubiquitous system has enabled manufacturers, retailers and consumers to quickly and effectively identify, characterize, locate and track products and materials. Scientists now demonstrate how they can do the same thing at the molecular level, studying the ways cancer cells ‚talk‘ with one another.
Chemotherapy successfully treats many forms of cancer, but the side effects can wreak havoc on the rest of the body. Delivering drugs directly to cancer cells could help reduce these unpleasant symptoms. Now, in a proof-of-concept study, researchers have made fish-shaped microrobots that are guided with magnets to cancer cells, where a pH change triggers them to open their mouths and release their chemotherapy cargo.
Using an experimental system involving new genetic technology, researchers analyzed the gene expression signatures of a representative sample of barcoded leukemia cells. After implanting some of the leukemia cells in mice, they discovered that distinct gene expression signatures correlated with the various organs where the cancer cells ended up. They were also able to identify previously unknown genes that are involved in disease progression and chemotherapy resistance, which may offer new targets for treatment.
The membranes of cancer cells are more pliant than the membranes of normal cells. A research collaboration has discovered that cancer invasion and migration can be supressed in mice by manipulating the stiffness of the cell membrane. Hopefully this will contribute towards the development of new treatments that target the physical characteristics of cancer cells.
Researchers have identified a key molecule in certain kinds of breast cancers that prevent immune cells from entering tumors and killing the cancer cells inside. This research could pave the way toward a new treatment for certain kinds of aggressive breast cancer.
In a breakthrough for the treatment of aggressive solid cancers, researchers have developed a novel cancer therapy that targets proteins inside cancer cells that are essential for tumor growth and survival but have been historically impossible to reach. Using the power of large data sets and advanced computational approaches, the researchers were able to identify peptides that are presented on the surface of tumor cells and can be targeted with ‚peptide-centric‘ chimeric antigen receptors (PC-CARs), a new class of engineered T cells, stimulating an immune response that eradicates tumors.
A new study adds to the evidence that chemotherapy enhances cancer’s spread beyond the primary tumor, showing how one chemo drug allows breast cancer cells to squeeze through and attach to blood vessel linings in the lungs.
A researcher has discovered an enzyme that plays a key role in the ability of cancer cells to resist drug treatment.
The compound works by hindering a key pathway that cancer cells rely upon to hoard energy, and is already undergoing clinical trials.
Researchers have developed a new way to determine whether individual patients will respond to a specific cancer drug or not. This kind of test could help doctors to choose alternative therapies for patients who don’t respond to the therapies normally used to treat their cancer.
The immune system relies on cell surface tags to recognize cancer cells. Researchers discovered mice who ate high-fat diets produced less of these tags on their intestinal cells, suppressing the ability of immune cells to identify and eliminate intestinal tumors. The high-fat diet also reduced the presence of certain bacteria in the mice’s gut, which normally helps maintain the production of these tags.
Researchers and data scientists have developed an artificial intelligence technique that can identify which cell surface peptides produced by cancer cells called neoantigens are recognized by the immune system.
When cells multiply and migrate, they can be compressed and their nucleus may break open. This phenomenon causes DNA damage. Scientists have now shown that this facilitates the spread of cancer cells in breast tumors.
Mutations in the ARID1A gene are present in more than 50% of ovarian clear cell carcinomas (OCCC), for which effective treatments are lacking. Scientists discovered that loss of ARID1A function enhances a cellular stress response pathway that promotes survival of cancer cells, which become sensitive to pharmacological inhibition of this pathway.
A multifaceted microfluidic in vitro assay is helping to identify the role of hypoxia on red blood cell aging via the biomechanical pathways. It holds promise for investigating hypoxic effects on the metastatic potential and relevant drug resistance of cancer cells. It also can be a useful tool to predict the mechanical performance of natural and artificial red blood cells for transfusion purposes and to further extend to red blood cells in other blood diseases and other cell types.
In a surprising new finding in mice, researchers have discovered that many genes linked to human cancer block the body’s natural defense against malignancies.
Discovery of origin of esophageal cancer cells highlights importance of screening for pre-cancerous Barrett’s esophagus
Abnormal cells that go on develop into esophageal cancer — cancer that affects the tube connecting the mouth and stomach — start life as cells of the stomach, according to scientists. The study found that a particular subtype of esophageal cancer known as esophageal adenocarcinoma is always preceded by Barrett’s esophagus — abnormal cells of the esophagus — even if these cells are no longer visible at the time of cancer diagnosis. This confirms that screening for Barrett’s is an important approach to esophageal cancer control.
Pumping iron: Inhibition of key pathway promotes iron-dependent cell death in pancreatic cancer cells
A cell culture study maps mechanisms underlying a new potential strategy for killing pancreatic cancer cells through a type of cell death known as ferroptosis.
For a cell to grow and divide, it needs to produce new proteins. This also applies to cancer cells. Researchers have now investigated the protein eIF4A3 and its role in the growth of cancer cells. The study shows that by blocking or reducing the production of this protein, other processes arise that cause the growth and cell division of cancer cells to cease and eventually die.