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Zombie cancer cells eat themselves to live

Zombie cancer cells eat themselves to live

A University of Colorado Cancer Center study recently published in the journal Cell Reports and presented today at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Conference 2014 shows that the cellular process of autophagy in which cells “eat” parts of themselves in times of stress may allow cancer cells to recover and divide rather than die when faced with chemotherapies. Continue reading

Helium ions may provide superior, better-targeted treatment in pediatric radiotherapy, study suggests

Helium ions may provide superior, better-targeted treatment in pediatric radiotherapy, study suggests

For the first time, researchers have been able to demonstrate that the use of helium ions in radiation therapy could provide accurate treatment to tumours while helping to spare healthy organs. A treatment planning study to be presented at the ESTRO 33 congress today Sunday has been able to show that helium may have effects that are superior to radiotherapy using protons, themselves a considerable advance on conventional photon beam radiotherapy Continue reading

Calcium supplementation does not increase coronary heart disease, new study suggests

Calcium supplementation does not increase coronary heart disease, new study suggests

The results of a study presented today at the World Congress on Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases do not support the hypothesis that calcium supplementation, with or without vitamin D, increases coronary heart disease or all-cause mortality risk in elderly women. The investigators, from centres in Australia, Denmark and the USA, undertook a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials of calcium supplements with or without vitamin D. Continue reading

The long and the short of telomeres: Loneliness impacts DNA repair, parrot study shows

The long and the short of telomeres: Loneliness impacts DNA repair, parrot study shows

Scientists at the Vetmeduni Vienna examined the telomere length of captive African grey parrots. They found that the telomere lengths of single parrots were shorter than those housed with a companion parrot, which supports the hypothesis that social stress can interfere with cellular aging and a particular type of DNA repair Continue reading

New test developed to detect men at high risk of prostate cancer recurrence

New test developed to detect men at high risk of prostate cancer recurrence

A new genetic “signature” to identify prostate cancer patients who are at high risk of their cancer recurring after surgery or radiotherapy has been developed by researchers in Canada, the 33rd conference of the European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO33) in Vienna will hear today (Saturday). Continue reading

Brachytherapy helps maintain erectile function in prostate cancer patients without compromising treatment outcomes

Brachytherapy helps maintain erectile function in prostate cancer patients without compromising treatment outcomes

The use of permanent brachytherapy, a procedure where radioactive sources are placed inside the prostate, into or near to the tumour, preserves erectile function in approximately 50% of patients with prostate cancer, a researcher will tell the ESTRO 33 congress today (Saturday). Brachytherapy works by giving a high dose of radiotherapy directly to the tumour, but only a very low dose to the surrounding normal tissues. Since erectile dysfunction (ED) can occur in up to 68% of patients who receive external beam radiotherapy for the condition, this is a significant improvement and the treatment should be offered to all patients, particularly those who are sexually active, the researchers say. Continue reading

Nowhere to hide: Kids, once protected, now influenced by tobacco marketing

Nowhere to hide: Kids, once protected, now influenced by tobacco marketing

More than 15 years ago, many states and tobacco manufacturers established restrictions to prevent youth exposure to the marketing of nicotine products. This follows regulations imposed 50 years ago that banned cigarette ads from TV. Despite these continued efforts, a new study by Dartmouth researchers reveals that not only are young people exposed to tobacco marketing, they are influenced by it. Continue reading

Higher social class linked to fewer bone fractures among non-white women

Higher social class linked to fewer bone fractures among non-white women

If you are a middle-aged African-American or Asian woman, your social class may play a significant role in how likely you are to suffer bone fracutres, a UCLA-led study suggests. The study, published in the current issue of Osteoporosis International, is unique in that it followed Asian, African-American and white women for a period of nine years during mid-life; most previous studies on socioeconomic status and osteoporosis risk had focused solely on older white women and often had not collected information on fractures over time. The new findings help shed light on the importance of social class — and particularly education levels — in the fracture risk of mid-life women from different racial and ethnic groups, the researchers said Continue reading

Bacterial gut biome may guide colon cancer progression

Bacterial gut biome may guide colon cancer progression

Colorectal cancer develops in what is probably the most complex environment in the human body, a place where human cells cohabitate with a colony of approximately 10 trillion bacteria, most of which are unknown. At the 2014 American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting in San Diego, researchers from The Wistar Institute will present findings that suggest the colon “microbiome” of gut bacteria can change the tumor microenvironment in a way that promotes the growth and spread of tumors. Their results suggest that bacterial virulence proteins may suppress DNA repair proteins within the epithelial cells that line the colon. Continue reading

Work with small peptide chains may revolutionize study of enzymes, diseases

Work with small peptide chains may revolutionize study of enzymes, diseases

Chemists in The College of Arts and Sciences have, for the first time, created enzyme-like activity using peptides that are only seven amino acids long. Continue reading