Scientists have developed a new tool that may prove to be invaluable for investigating the long-term mutagenic effects of chemotherapy and radiation, therapies that are widely used for the treatment of cancer. The research study, published in the October issue of Cancer Cell, provides evidence that a genetically engineered mouse model faithfully recapitulates treatment-associated cancers that occur in humans and may be useful for investigating the mechanisms involved in the development of therapy-induced cancers and for testing preventive strategies.
Secondary malignant neoplasms (SMNs) are new cancers that patients develop as a result of having received chemotherapy or radiation to treat a different type of cancer that may have occurred years earlier. To make matters worse, many of these secondary cancers are notoriously resistant to treatment. The occurrence of SMNs is a serious concern for doctors and patients, as the use of intensive radiation and chemotherapy has been more successful in curing primary cancers and has dramatically increased survival rates in children and adults. Unfortunately, as a result of treatment success, the incidence of SMNs has also risen. "The lack of relevant animal models of SMNs has impeded efforts to understand how mutagenic cancer therapeutics induce tumors in vivo, and to test preventive strategies," explains study author Dr. Kevin Shannon, a pediatric oncologist at the University of California, San Francisco.
Dr. Shannon and colleagues used a strain of mice developed in the laboratory of Dr. Tyler Jacks that carry a mutation in a tumor suppressor gene called Nf1. They selected this strain based on clinical data suggesting that humans who inherit this mutation are predisposed to SMNs. Nf1 mutant mice that were exposed to radiation, or radiation combined with chemotherapy, developed secondary cancers that are common in humans including leukemia, sarcoma, and breast cancers. "These animals develop a similar spectrum of malignancies as human patients who are treated with radiation and alkylating agents, and provide a tractable system for performing mechanistic studies, for comparing the mutagenic potential of different regimens, and for testing preventive strategies," offers Dr. Shannon. The study authors also suggest that this mouse model may be useful for testing novel therapeutic strategies for tumors that are resistant to conventional cancer therapies.
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An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.
The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...
In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.
Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...
Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.
They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...
A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...
For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.
In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...
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