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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.

To explain a person's actions in the present, it sometimes helps to understand their past, including where they come from and how they were raised. This is also true of tumors. Delving into a tumor's cellular lineage, a Ludwig Cancer Research study shows, can reveal weaknesses to target for customized therapies.

The findings, detailed in the April 24 issue of the journal Nature, also illustrate how knowledge of the biochemistry and microenvironment of the tissue from which a tumor arises can help predict the genetic alterations its cancer cells are likely to undergo.

Case Western Reserve University researchers and partners, including a collaborator at Cleveland Clinic, are pushing the boundaries of how "smart" diagnostic-imaging machines identify cancers--and uncovering clues outside the tumor to tell whether a patient will respond well to chemotherapy.

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.

New research demonstrating the clinical utility of Bio-Rad's Droplet Digital PCR (ddPCR) powered liquid biopsy will be presented this week during the 2019 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting in Atlanta, March 29-April 3. Many of the studies rely on the sensitivity, speed, and cost-effectiveness of ddPCR technology to measure blood-based tumor biomarkers in a reproducible way.

Cervical cancer can be insidious. Changes to the cervix are often detected with a pap smear, but for those with limited access to health care, cervical and vaginal cancers can go unnoticed for years--silently growing, spreading and invading other organs--and by the time they're detected, they may be so advanced that the patient's prognosis is poor and her treatment options few.

Immune checkpoint inhibitors, such as the anti-PD-1 antibody pembrolizumab, have become important tools for managing non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Assessing the level of programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) expressed by a tumor can help clinicians determine how the patient should be treated. A report in The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics describes a novel and rapid approach for quantifying PD-L1 expression levels in tumors that requires only small amounts of tissue that can be collected using minimally-invasive bronchoscopy techniques.

Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have made a discovery about human papillomavirus (HPV) that could lead to new treatments for cervical cancer and other cancers caused by the virus.

 

Anindya Dutta, PhD, MBBS, and his colleagues have made a discovery about HPV that could lead to new treatments for cervical cancer and other cancers caused by the common virus.

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.

A new method predicts the course of HPV-negative head and neck cancer after radiation chemotherapy. According to a recent article in the journal ‘Clinical Cancer Research’, five microRNAs (miRNAs) can provide the decisive data. The work was conducted at the Helmholtz Zentrum München and the University Hospital of the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU) in close collaboration with the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK).

 

Irradiation plan of a head and neck tumor. © University Hospital of the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

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