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Curcumin is widely used to impart color and flavor to food, but scientists have discovered that this yellow powder derived from the roots of the turmeric plant (Curcuma longa) can also help prevent or combat stomach cancer.

The study by researchers at the Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP) and the Federal University of Pará (UFPA) in Brazil identified possible therapeutic effects of this pigment and of other bioactive compounds found in food on stomach cancer, the third and fifth most frequent type of cancer among Brazilian men and women, respectively.

Using human cancer cells, tumor and blood samples from cancer patients, researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine have uncovered the role of a neurotransmitter in the spread of aggressive cancers. Neurotransmitters are chemical "messengers" that transmit impulses from neurons to other target cells.

A joint research team from Russia and the U.K. has demonstrated the possibility of developing a new type of anti-neoplastic drugs based on nanoMIPs, or "plastic antibodies." NanoMIPs are synthetic polymers that can function as antibodies, selectively binding to target proteins on the surface of cancer cells. This approach could lead to a paradigm shift in the development of new methods for cancer treatment.

When it comes to diagnosing a condition in which the plasma cells that normally make antibodies to protect us instead become cancerous, it may be better to look at the urine as well as the serum of our blood for answers, pathologists say.

The condition is monoclonal gammopathy, in which immune cells called plasma cells start making just one immunoglobulin, or antibody, instead of their usual vast array. The result can be the cancer multiple myeloma.

Cells can avoid "data breaches" when letting signaling proteins into their nuclei thanks to a quirky biophysical mechanism involving a blur of spaghetti-like proteins, researchers from the Rockefeller University and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine have shown. Their study appears in the March 23 issue of theJournal of Biological Chemistry.

A series of six articles appearing in the March issue of The Journals of Gerontology, Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences finds new correlations between a Mediterranean diet and healthy aging outcomes -- while also underscoring the need for careful approaches to the use of data in order to measure the diet's potential benefits.

Patients diagnosed with the most common form of leukemia who also have high levels of an enzyme known to suppress the immune system are most likely to die early, researchers say.

High levels of this enzyme, indoleamine 2,3 dioxygenase, or IDO, at diagnosis also identify those who might benefit most by taking an IDO inhibitor along with their standard therapy, they report in the Nature journal Scientific Reports.

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