Saturday, October 21, 2017

Study shows beta blockers may treat prostate cancer

Sympathetic-nerve fibers (green) are closely intertwined 
with blood vessels (white) release norepinephrine that 
stimulates vessel proliferation that fuels tumor growth.
CANCER DIGEST – Oct. 20, 2017 – Tracking down how certain nerves promote prostate cancer, researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine have revealed a possible new strategy for halting prostate cancer growth.

In a 2013 Science study the researchers led by Paul Frenette, professor of medicine and cell biology at Einstein, showed that nerves of the sympathetic nervous system, the flight or fight response nerves, promote tumor growth by producing norepinephrine, a chemical that gives a sudden boost to skeletal muscle contractions and rate and force of heart muscle contractions. The researchers found that norepinephrine binds to and stimulates receptors on tumor connective-tissue cells, helping the tumor to spread.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Newly approved breast cancer drug may work for lung cancer

This image shows autophagic vesicles containing
mutant K-Ras formed in the membrane of human
pancreatic cancer cells after exposure to neratinib –
Image courtesy VCU.
CANCER DIGEST – Oct. 14, 2017 – Researchers have found that a recently approved breast cancer drug may block the action of a trio of cancer-causing genes, known as Ras, which are implicated in a number of other cancers, including non-small cell lung cancer.

The drug neratinib was designed to inhibit enzymes produced by two other genes, EGFR and HER2, which make enzymes that regulate cancer cell growth and resistance to chemotherapy.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Do expensive new cancer drugs really improve survival?

CANCER DIGEST – Oct. 4, 2017 – That’s the question a group of British researchers at King’s College in London asked for a study published today in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

The study looked at the clinical data for cancer drugs approved by the European Medicines Agency, the European version of the US FDA, between 2009 and 2013. They found that of the 68 drugs approved during that period, 39 (57%) were approved on the basis of surrogate endpoints. This is essentially an endpoint that is substituted for an actual outcome. This is done to speed approvals of certain drugs.