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Pharmacology

Scientists at the UNC School of Medicine have revealed that the reason we eat more than we need to may be caused by cellular communication originating in the emotion-processing center of the brain. The research was published in the journal Neuron yesterday.

For many women who thought they had beaten breast cancer, the news that it has roared back years later comes as an especially cruel diagnosis with no clear answers for why or how it recurs.

Now a team of Duke Cancer Institute researchers has filled in some critically unknown details that could lead to potential strategies to halt the process.

Experimenting in mice, the researchers tracked a series of events that enable a small reservoir of treatment-resistant cancer cells to awake from dormancy, grow and spread. The findings appear online in eLife.

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.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is widely known to cause nearly all cases of cervical cancer. However, you might not know that HPV also causes 70 percent of oropharyngeal cancer, a subset of head and neck cancers that affect the mouth, tongue, and tonsils. Although vaccines that protect against HPV infection are now available, they are not yet widespread, especially in men, nor do they address the large number of currently infected cancer patients.

Infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) can cause certain cancers in women and men, but HPV vaccines are highly effective in preventing infection with oncogenic HPV types. A new British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology review of post-licensure data did not identify any new or unexpected safety concerns of the bivalent HPV vaccine.

Previous research has shown that cannabinoids can help lessen side effects of anti-cancer therapies. Now a new British Journal of Pharmacology review has examined their potential for the direct treatment of cancer.

Using sound waves, an international team of researchers has developed a gentle, contact-free method for separating circulating tumor cells from blood samples that is fast and efficient enough for clinical use.

Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are small pieces of a tumor that break away and flow through the bloodstream. They contain a wealth of information about the tumor, such as its type, physical characteristics and genetic mutations.

Michigan State University scientists are testing a promising drug that may stop a gene associated with obesity from triggering breast and lung cancer, as well as prevent these cancers from growing.

These findings are based on two studies featured in the latest issue of Cancer Prevention Research.

A Phase I clinical trial testing the safety of vaccines that might have the potential to prevent HIV infection will begin this month at four sites in the United States, marking the latest step in a three-decade quest at UMass Medical School to harness the power of DNA vaccines in addressing a major global health threat. The study, which is the result of research by Shan Lu, MD, PhD, professor of medicine and biochemistry & molecular pharmacology, will also monitor the vaccine's ability to create an immune response against HIV.

UCLA researchers have provided the first description of the structure of the herpes virus associated with Kaposi's sarcoma, a type of cancer.

The discovery answers important questions about how the virus spreads and provides a potential roadmap for the development of antiviral drugs to combat both that virus and the more common Epstein-Barr virus, which is present in more than 90 percent of the adult population and is believed to have a nearly identical structure.

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