Posts tagged: Cancer

Reading the new map of breast cancer

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Dr Nick Peel of Cancer Research UK on the classification of breast cancer

Research published today in Genome Biology could improve treatments, and the targeting of treatments, for breast cancer. In this guest post, Cancer Research UK’s Dr Nick Peel describes the history of the findings and what they could mean for future research.

Just over two years ago a landmark study took our knowledge of breast cancer to a new level.

An international team of scientists, led by Professor Carlos Caldas and his team at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, mapped the genetic landscape of breast cancer in unprecedented detail, redefining it as 10 distinct diseases.

But as with many of these vast genetic explorations, the study revealed as much unexplored terrain as it mapped – exposing the complexity …

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Large hypomethylated blocks could be a universal cancer ‘signature’

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Figure 1 Many of the methylation changes at single probes between cancer and normal 
are far from CpG islands. Irizarry et al. Genome Medicine

In this guest post, Dr Andrew Teschendorff of University College London and the CAS-MPG Partner Institute for Computational Biology, Shanghai, examines a new Genome Medicine study.

In an exciting research article published today in Genome Medicine, Rafa Irizzary and colleagues provide evidence for a gradual systems-level deregulation of the epigenome in stages prior to the onset of cancer and which later is seen to progress further in cancer. Thus, these insights could potentially lead to a clinical test with the ability to predict cancer risk in cells that are not yet malignant.

The authors focused on a specific epigenetic mark, known as DNA methylation, a molecular modification of DNA which can regulate the activity of nearby …

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‘Prostate cancers’ not ‘prostate cancer’ – revealing the many faces of ‘one’ disease

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Iain Frame

New research published today in Genome Biology shows that RNA sequencing could lead the way towards more personalized treatments for prostate cancer. In this guest post, Dr Iain Frame, Director of Research at Prostate Cancer UK discusses what this could mean for patients and health services, and what more is needed to provide effective support and treatment for men with prostate cancer.

We are used to hearing and talking about prostate cancer as a single disease.  Albeit a disease with its tigers and pussycats – the tigers being the aggressive cancers that move out of the prostate gland to other parts of the body, and the pussycats being those cancers that may never cause any harm and won’t go …

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Spotlight on breast cancer: progress, challenges and controversies

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Breast cancer – the most common type of cancer affecting women – is often thought of as a single disease. However, mounting evidence suggests that there are multiple subtypes, all of which occur at different rates, have varying levels of aggressiveness, and respond to different types of treatment.

One of the better understood subtypes is HER2-positive breast cancer, defined by high expression of the HER2 protein. Women with HER2-positive breast cancer are often treated with targeted therapies such as trastuzumab, which has dramatically improved survival rates from HER2-positive breast cancer in the past decade.

Progress in treating HER2-positive breast cancer

In a Q&A podcast published in BMC Medicine to launch our Spotlight on breast cancer

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On a personal note: cancer genomics and personalized medicine

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Special issue GB cover-page-001

When I was three years old my grandma passed away after a long fight with cancer. I should disclaim quickly: it never affected me greatly, since I was too young to remember anything. I know, though, that that experience was a gruelling one for my mum, who cared for our grandma during the therapy – battle with cancer ain’t pretty in general, and it was even worse then.

It would of course be easy to blame the health system of the communist regime in which we lived at the time but the truth is that the treatment strategy was pretty much the same all over the place: surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy. It doesn’t work? Let’s try harsher treatment. And the understanding …

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Cancer and diet – how to ask the right questions

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In the panel discussion at the end of the first BioMed Central conference on Metabolism, diet and disease, the panellists confronted the overwhelming evidence for a link between obesity and cancer. The panel discussion at the second picked up where the first left off – Can cancer be prevented by diet?

The only categorical answer came from Stephen O’Keefe, starting from the epidemiology that shows a 100-fold difference in colon cancer risk between African Americans (high) and rural Africans (low). If you switch their diets – and he has done the experiment – the gut microbiota, he reports, switches within two weeks, with known carcinogens going up in the guts of the rural Africans and conversely down in African …

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A new test to predict breast cancer risk

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Image credit: Danvasilis/Wikimedia Commons

A simple blood test is currently in development that could help predict the likelihood of a woman developing breast cancer, even in the absence of a high-risk BRCA1 gene mutation, according to research published today in Genome Medicine. So what was found, and what could this mean for future cancer prevention and treatment?

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, and it’s highly likely you’ll know someone close to you who’s been affected by it.

My partner’s mother, soon to be my mother-in-law, was diagnosed with breast cancer nearly three years ago. What was particularly scary for all of us when we found out about her diagnosis, was that her sister had died of the same disease around …

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What’s it worth? The economic case for medical research

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pound coins

This has been reposted, with kind permission from the author and the Wellcome Trust.

What’s it worth, a report published today in BMC Medicine, is one of the first ever estimates of the economic gains from investment in publicly funded UK cancer research. The research was commissioned by the Wellcome Trust, Academy of Medical Sciences, Cancer Research UK and the Department of Health. Liz Allen, Head of Evaluation at the Wellcome Trust, argues the case for investing in medical research…

Bill Clinton achieved a lot in the White House. He presided over the longest period of peacetime economic growth in American history, he signed the North American Free Trade Agreement, and he was the first Democrat since FDR …

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What is cancer research worth?

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A report published today in BMC Medicine has shown that for every £1 the public has spent on cancer research in the UK, 40p has been returned to the country’s economy every year following that investment. In this guest blog, Daniel Bridge of Cancer Research UK – one of the organisations that funded the research – takes a look at the findings of the report in more detail.

Today sees the launch of the joint RAND Europe, HERG and King’s College London study ‘Cancer Research: What’s It Worth’ funded by the Academy of Medical Science, Cancer Research UK, Department of Health and Wellcome Trust. The full paper is published today in …

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Recent advances in understanding breast cancer: focus on lifestyle, genes and molecular profiling

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iStock_000013073124Small

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide, with over a million cases diagnosed every year. Increasing evidence supports the benefits of consuming a healthy diet for preventing breast cancer incidence and maximizing the chances of recovery in patients with the disease. Last week, results from a study carried out in mice suggested that consuming a low calorie diet could stop the spread of breast cancer by strengthening tissues surrounding the tumor, and a number of different foods have been reported to modify breast cancer risk.

In an Opinion article published in BMC Medicine, Michel de Lorgeril and Patricia Salen explore the association between diet and breast cancer further, emphasizing that high …

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