By the time the human genome was mapped, cancer researchers had already begun investigating the proteins that were encoded by these newly identified genes. As the molecular engines that control all functions of the body, scientists wanted to find out how proteins work to promote health, or malfunction to cause disease. Subsequently, their discoveries have led to the development of a whole new arsenal of therapies designed to target proteins in cancer cells. But not all patients respond to treatment with these targeted drugs, prompting researchers to look for molecular clues within tumor cells that cause resistance to treatment.
Now, cancer researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center have identified a protein called EMP-1 that is present in the tumors of patients who fail to respond to treatment with gefitinib, or IressaTM, a drug that has limited success in the treatment of patients with non small-cell lung cancer – the most common and deadly form of lung cancer. The study, conducted in both laboratory tests and patients with advanced non small-cell lung cancer who were treated with gefitinib, is published on-line during the week of August 8 – 12, in an "Early Edition" of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and may ultimately help physicians identify patients who would benefit from treatment with gefitinib.
"Our results show that the EMP-1 protein is a biomarker for resistance to treatment with gefitinib and may enable us to identify patients who wont respond to the drug," said David Agus, M.D., senior author of the study and Research Director at the Louis Warschaw Prostate Cancer Center at the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. "If we know who wont respond, we can explore other treatment options sooner and use gefitinib, when patients will benefit. This means we will be able to maximize use of this drug and treat more patients effectively."
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Physicists have developed a technique based on optical microscopy that can be used to create images of atoms on the nanoscale. In particular, the new method allows the imaging of quantum dots in a semiconductor chip. Together with colleagues from the University of Bochum, scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute reported the findings in the journal Nature Photonics.
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On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
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What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
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