Posts Tagged ‘cancer cells’

Non Small Cell Lung Cancer Suppressed by Combining microRNA therapy.

Friday, September 19th, 2014


In a new study published in online journal Oncogene researchers concluded that combining two microRNAs in an animal model of non-small-cell lung cancer suppressed tumor growth. This research may offer a less toxic and more direct method for targeting relevant pathways used by tumor cells. This research supplements clinical trials and pre-clinical models evaluating  single microRNAs as key therapeutic agents for cancer.   Researchers said “Targeted cancer therapies are often used in combination to help offset primary or secondary resistance.” ..We know that microRNAs target many oncogenes, We, therefore, hypothesized that a combination of two miRNAs could similarly offset resistance.”

“Non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is extremely aggressive, owing to an accumulation of mutations that affect the cancer pathways RAS and p53.” The K-RAS mutation is found in about 25 percent of NSCLC patients, and the p53 mutation is found in about 50 percent of these patients. Researchers said “Our research group and others have found that both of these miRNAs can inhibit tumor growth in a variety of cells and animal model systems when used as therapeutic agents.”  Because tumor formation in the NSCLC model depends on two or more signaling pathways, and because let-7 and miR-34 repress distinct oncogenes, we explored whether combining let-7 and miR-34 into a single therapeutic could be even more effective.” .Half the dose of each was used in cells and in vivo and were well tolerated by animals.

Is it Possible to Identify Cancer Cells with Smell?

Friday, September 21st, 2012

Recent research published in the journal ACS Nana discusses a rapid, sensitive way to detect microscopic levels of  different metastatic cell types in living tissue.  Researchers used a sensor array system of gold nanoparticles and proteins to smell different cancer types in a way similar to what our nose does to identify and remember different odors.   This research builds on previous work that differentiated between normal and cancerous cells with this process. The array of gold nanoparticle sensors plus green fluorescent protein (GFP) that activates in response to patterns in the proteins found in cancer cells within minutes, assigns a unique signature to each cancer.  The researchers say “Smell ‘A’ generates a pattern in the nose, a unique set of activated receptors, and these are different for every smell we encounter. Smell ‘B’ has a different pattern.  Your brain will instantly recognize each, even if the only time you ever smelled it was 40 years ago . In the same way, we can tune or teach our nanoparticle array to recognize many healthy tissues, so it can immediately recognize something that’s even a little bit ‘off’. that is, very subtle different from normal.  It’s like a ‘check engine’ light, and assigns a different pattern to each ‘wrong’ tissue. The sensitivity is exquisite, and very powerful.”

In their research they took healthy tissue and mouse tumor samples and trained the nanoparticle -GFP sensor array to recognize them and to florescence in the presence of metastatic tissue.  Metastases are differentiated from healthy tissue in a matter of minutes and this provides a rapid and general means of detecting and identifying cancer with minimal invasive microbiopsies. The researcher says “Its sensitive to really subtle difference….once we train the sensor array we can identify whether a tissue sample is healthy or not and what kind of cancer it is with very high sensitivity.” Next, the researchers plan to test the sensor array method with human tissue samples.

Fastest Camera in World Used for Cancer Cell Detection.

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

In the current issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences the researchers discuss  a new camera they developed that is fast enough and sensitive enough to detect a limited number of cancer cells among billions of healthy ones. This ability to distinguish and isolate specific cells from a large population of healthy cells has been important for early diagnoses and treatment progress. For example, there may be a handful of cancer cells that are precursors to metastasis among a billion healthy cells and these cells cause 90 percent of cancer mortality. Thus, the new camera can do that. The researchers say “To catch these elusive cells, the camera must be able to capture and digitally process millions of images continuously at a very high frame rate.” “Conventional SSD and CMOS cameras are not fast and sensitive enough. It takes time to read the data from the array of pixels, and they become less sensitive to light at high speed.” The new blood-screening technology has a throughput of 100,000 cells per second, and that is approximately 100 times higher than conventional imaging-based blood analyses. ” This technology can significantly reduce error in medical diagnoses. Further research is ongoing to evaluate the clinical utility of the technology.

Boosting the Immune System to Fight Cancer

Friday, April 22nd, 2011


Researchers who have been studying how to use the bodies own resources to fight cancer have found a molecule that lies dormant until it interacts with a cancer cell and then it activates the immune system to fight the cancer cells. In their experiment, the researchers used interleukin-2 (IL-2) a chemical messenger that amplifies the effects of the immune system that turns on T cells and natural killer cells that recognize and kill cancer cells. Although approved by the FDA this chemical has serious side effects such as harming healthy tissue when active throughout the body. The researchers hoped to reduce the toxicity of the chemical so that it could be used more widely.

In their work they were able to direct the chemical and the turn on of the immune system to a specific area of the body such as prostate, thus, reducing the side effects of the chemical on the whole body. Their approach is to turn on a magnified immune system response in the neighborhood of the cancer cells to destroy those cells but to avoid a system wide immune response that could cause serious side effects. More information is available at:

Inflammation and Cancer Growth and Metastasis

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011


In a new study being published in the net edition of Cancer Cell researchers demonstrated that HRG (histidine-rich-glycoprotein), a protein that naturally occurs in the body will inhibit the growth and spread of cancer cells by activating specific immune cells. However, this process is dependent upon inflammatory cells which are caused by most cancers and may either stimulate the growth of tumors or inhibit them. This cancer caused inflammation consisting of tumor associated macrophages (TAM’s) that are either M2 macrophages that support cancer cell growth and moderate the body’s immune defense, or M1 macrophages that inhibit tumor growth by activating immune cells that are toxic to the tumors.

The researchers say “”HRG can transform inflammatory cells in the tumor from M2 macrophages, which promote tumor growth, to M1 macrophages, which inhibit tumor growth” and “M1 macrophages also inhibit the spread of tumor cells….”.

Studying 3 different types of tumors in mice they found the tumors producing HRG grew more slowly and did not spread. In the process the HRG caused M2 macrophages to transform into M1 macrophages. Further research is planned.

Additional information can be found at: