Cancer has a double-edged strategy to get past the macrophages, the largest immune cells in the body. However, the scientists from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, US, might have found a way to outwit cancer cells.
A team of researchers developed a “supramolecule”, a chemical structure made of smaller molecules bond together similar to LEGO pieces. This molecule is able to block cancer cells’ specific signals. The researchers tested the supramolecule on mouse models with aggressive breast and skin cancer. The mice treated with the created molecule demonstrated complete inhibition of tumor growth and of formation of metastatic nodules.
Lead author of the study Ashish Kulkarni, an assistant professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at University of Massachusetts, says: “Clinicians are increasingly realizing that one drug or one-size-fits-all approach is not enough when combating cancer and that a combination immunotherapy, such as blocking two distinct targets in the same immune cell, is the future of immunology. Our approach capitalizes on this concept.”
A new study from Brazil demonstrates how resveratrol, the chemical compound in grapes and red wine, may have anticancer properties and prevent cancer, especially breast cancer.
A team of researchers carried out immunofluorescence colocalization assays to test the efficacy of resveratrol on breast cancer cell lines that had different p53 mutations and on breast cancer cells with normal p53.
The tests showed that resveratrol inhibited the aggregation of p53 in both human breast cancer cells and in the rodents’ tumors.
The authors of the study conclude: “This study provides evidence that resveratrol directly modulates p53 and enhances our understanding of the mechanisms involved in p53 aggregation as a therapeutic strategy for cancer treatment. Our data indicate that resveratrol is a highly promising lead compound targeted against mutant p53 aggregation.”
A team of researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has developed a type of nanoparticle that can be loaded with drugs and move across the patient’s body to the brain tissue and kill brain tumors.
At the present moment, the experiments were made using mouse model but in case of success, the research could provide an effective treatment for tumors that generally claim a patient’s life within only 15 months after diagnosis.
Lead author Fred Lam from MIT’s Koch Institute says: “Our goal was to have something that could be easily translatable, by using simple, already approved synthetic components in the liposome. This was really a proof-of-concept study [showing] that we can deliver novel combination therapies using a targeted nanoparticle system across the blood-brain barrier.”
According to a new study, conducted by the Texas A&M University in College Station, a gene taking part in the regulation of biological clock may also protect from breast cancer.
In the course of study the scientists identified two genes, Bmal1 and Per2, produce a cancer-promoting protein when “jetlagged”. Therefore, this may explain also why people who work night shifts have the higher risk of developing cancer.
Professor Porter, the lead investigator, explains: “Per2 is functioning as a tumor suppressor gene associated with cell identity. Right now, we are investigating how our findings relate to humans. There are studies out there showing a relationship between decreased levels of Per2 and certain types of breast cancer, which are more invasive. So, we believe that there is a direct relationship.”
Researchers from Switzerland are working on creating a prototype of biometrical implant that could alert those who wear it to the presence of cancer at the early stages.
The implant consists of genetic components that are incorporated into body cells. When this implant is placed under the patient’s skin, it is able to monitor blood calcium levels. According to the previous studies, the 30% of individuals with cancer have an elevated calcium concentration in their systems.
If the calcium levels rapidly rise, melanin would flood the genetically modified cells and will make it look like a brown mole. Thus, a person that has such a biometrical tattoo will be alerted sooner than obvious signs of cancer appear.