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  • Cataloguing the genetic chaos in oesophageal cancer - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    ve come to expect from studies in other cancer types their analysis revealed that each tumour is made up of a patchwork of related but genetically distinct families of cells a phenomenon known as heterogeneity All the groups share certain gene faults mutations in common which were presumably present when the tumour first started but each has its own genetic errors that arise as the cancer grows and changes within the body Taking a closer look at the data a few interesting observations popped out Firstly many of the mutations found across all cells within the tumours which must have arisen early on bore the characteristic molecular fingerprints of acid damage caused by stomach acid washing back up onto the cells at the bottom of the oesophagus This is a known risk factor for oesophageal cancer which is why anyone with persistent heartburn should get it checked out by their GP However alterations that came later and were only found in certain groups of cells seemed to have been caused by more general cell processes that had gone awry Importantly these later mutations tended to be found in genes that can be targeted by currently available smart drugs designed to home in on specific faulty molecules in cancer cells But if the faults are only present in a subset of the cells rather than the whole tumour it means that these therapies are unlikely to completely eradicate the disease They also found that the tumours with more complex genetic patchwork made up of many genetically diverse groups of cells were more aggressive and less likely to respond to cisplatin chemotherapy than simpler cancers Driving drug resistance Next the team took a closer look at samples from five patients taken before and after cisplatin treatment The drug works by damaging the DNA in cancer cells so they can no longer multiply and eventually die But in some cases tumours can develop resistance to its effects coming up with ways of repairing the damage and continuing to grow unchecked It s not surprising that Swanton and his team spotted the signature of cisplatin damage in the DNA from tumour samples after treatment This suggests that chemotherapy itself was causing new mutations within the resistant tumours potentially making a bad situation worse On the plus side they also found many gene faults that were present throughout each cancer both before and after treatment which could potentially be targets for new drugs Where next This study highlights a few different future directions that could help oesophageal cancer patients Firstly the team s findings show that genetic testing could help doctors identify patients whose cancers have relatively little heterogeneity and are therefore more likely to benefit from cisplatin This means that people with more diverse aggressive tumours would avoid treatment that s unlikely to work along with the side effects of the drug and the risk of creating further genetic chaos This is something that needs testing in larger groups of patients to see if

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2015/08/04/cataloguing-the-genetic-chaos-in-oesophageal-cancer/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Fishing for clues – how ‘liquid biopsies’ are uncovering cancer’s secrets - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    particular molecular on their surface called EPCAM And when the team prepares a blood sample they use antibodies to attach microscopic metal beads to the EPCAM molecules on the cancer cells surface This allows the magnets to fish for these cells pulling them away from others in the sample But it s not perfect some blood cells also get trapped among the cancer cells You ve enriched the circulating tumour cells you haven t purified them Caroline explains There are still way too many blood cells to do any molecular testing So as the video below shows the samples are placed into a second big white box called the DEPArray or the American fridge as the team call it that will painstakingly pick out the cancer cells one by one for analysis Watch the video on YouTube With the cells isolated the team are now using them to solve one of the biggest challenges in cancer how cancers become resistant to drugs Irresistible force Progress in understanding drug resistance has been slow chiefly because the tissue samples used to study lung cancer tend to be taken before a patient starts treatment Getting a biopsy when a patient is first diagnosed is doable but challenging Getting multiple biopsies as the patient s cancer goes from being drug sensitive to drug resistant is really much more difficult says Caroline So I think the real challenge has been that we can t look at drug resistant disease she explains And now with these blood samples we can That s the step change that s the game changer Caroline believes that isolating and studying the rogue cancer cells in a patient s blood could give crucial new information to help monitor and understand how drug resistance develops What we can do now is just ask for a small volume of the patient s blood to tackle those important questions about the biology of drug resistant disease And the team is already using this technique to explore more uncharted territory They have been able to grow lung cancer cells taken from patient s blood in laboratory animals and have shown they respond to treatment in the same way the patient they came from did And the team has also found a way to grow the circulating cells in the lab This is a big deal particularly for research on lung cancer Now we can grow a patient s circulating tumour cells in the lab we can test a variety of combinations of drugs to see which are the best at killing the cells says Caroline And by doing this alongside other ground breaking research projects like the Cancer Research UK funded TRACERx study Caroline and her colleagues hope to map the genetic twists and turns a tumour takes as it develops becomes resistant to treatment and in some cases spreads around the body There are years of work ahead to piece together this complex picture but it s a crucial part of finding new ways

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2015/07/01/fishing-for-clues-how-liquid-biopsies-are-uncovering-cancers-secrets/ (2016-02-11)
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  • ASCO 2015 round-up: immunotherapy continues to come of age - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    currently has very few treatment options Another study which received worldwide media attention used a combination of different immunotherapy drugs to treat patients with advanced melanoma In this case nivolumab was combined with another drug known as ipilimumab that works in a slightly different way it releases the brakes on the immune system This could be the beginning of a whole new era in cancer treatment Professor Peter Johnson Cancer Research UK This one two punch meant that well over half 57 per cent of patients in the study responded to the treatment as opposed to only a fifth 19 per cent who were given ipilimumab alone But on the downside there were also far more severe side effects as a result of the combination of treatments Many more studies looked into various combinations of immunotherapy treatments in several cancer types for example head and neck cancers liver cancer and certain types of bowel cancer It s been clear for some time that immunotherapy treatments are slowly coming of age but this news is a big step forward There are now clear signs that in some cases they can extend survival and even shrink tumours entirely Next we need to work out which patients will get the most benefit from these treatments figure out how we can manage the side effects and determine what combination will have the most impact This is especially true given that these drugs are not going to be cheap But it s clear that immunotherapy will be playing a key role in the future of cancer treatment Obesity a growing concern More than four in 10 cancers are preventable in the UK through healthy lifestyle changes So despite the excitement about new drugs it s incredibly important to remember that prevention can be just as important as finding new treatments One of the other high profile stories coming out of ASCO that hit the headlines was a statement from the conference on obesity suggesting that it is poised to overtake smoking as the key lifestyle linked cause of cancer In the UK almost two thirds of people are overweight or obese and carrying excess weight increases the risk of up to 10 different types of cancer including breast and bowel cancer Obesity is linked to around 18 000 cases of cancer a year in the UK so the statement is a call to action to make sure people have the information and support they need to make healthier choices Statins jury still out Statins drugs regularly prescribed to help people lower their cholesterol levels also made an appearance at the conference with headlines suggesting that taking them could halve the risk of cancer after two large studies reported a link However as we pointed out here there are some drawbacks to the way the studies were carried out They were observational only involving people who had already been diagnosed with cancer and then looking back to record how long they had been taking statins if

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2015/06/05/asco-2015-round-up-immunotherapy-continues-to-come-of-age/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Melanoma - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    all researchers More Our research history Our research strategy FUNDING FOR RESEARCHERS Our funding schemes Biomarker Project Awards Career Development Fellowship Grand Challenge award View all schemes and deadlines Applying for funding Start your application online Guide to filling in your application form How to make a successful application Funding committees Manage your research grant Manage your grant online Guide to managing a grant online Notify us of new publications Update your profile How we deliver research Our research strategy Our institutes Our centres Our research partnerships More Drug discovery and development Recently funded awards Researcher case studies ABOUT US What we do We beat cancer We fundraise We develop policy Our organisation Our strategy Our Trustees CEO and Executive Board Annual report and accounts Annual review Current jobs Graduates and interns Your development Benefits Cancer news Science blog Latest press releases Latest news reports Search all news More Contact Us Press office Publications HOME ABOUT CANCER SUPPORT US NEWS RESOURCES FUNDING RESEARCH ABOUT US You are here Home border 0 Support us Home About us Cancer news Science blog Topic Melanoma Topic Melanoma The biggest cancer science stories of 2015 Category Science blog December 22 2015 Aine McCarthy We ve enlisted the help of one of our researchers to pick out the biggest cancer research stories of 2015 Read More NCRI cancer conference day 2 big data immunotherapy and prizes Category Science blog November 3 2015 Nick Peel We re back for day two of our highlights from this year s NCRI cancer conference in Liverpool Read More Antioxidants free radicals and melanoma spread what s going on Category Science blog October 16 2015 Emma Smith We explore new research looking at how antioxidants and free radicals might affect the ability of melanoma cells to spread around the body Read More Expert Opinion Professor Peter Johnson on cancer immunotherapy Category Science blog September 17 2015 Henry Scowcroft We quiz our chief clinician Professor Peter Johnson to get his take on the history of cancer immunotherapy and where the field is heading Read More A legacy of ground breaking research Category Science blog September 9 2015 Nell Barrie Read the inspiring story of how a generous gift left by a couple in their Will is helping our scientists understand how cancers spread Read More Could aspirin boost cancer immunotherapy Category Science blog September 3 2015 Emma Smith We explore new research suggesting that aspirin might help boost the cancer fighting effects of immunotherapy in mice Read More Science Snaps bridging the gap between nerve repair and cancer spread Category Science blog August 21 2015 Kat Arney This entry is part 13 of 14 in the series Science Snaps Our researchers have made an unexpected connection between the biological processes involved in nerve repair and the way some cancers spread Read More Older Posts Newer Posts Popular posts Most read today Most discussed Don t believe the hype 10 persistent cancer myths debunked How does alcohol cause cancer Processed meat and

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/topic/cancer-type/skin-cancer/melanoma/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Oesophageal cancer - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    Our research strategy FUNDING FOR RESEARCHERS Our funding schemes Biomarker Project Awards Career Development Fellowship Grand Challenge award View all schemes and deadlines Applying for funding Start your application online Guide to filling in your application form How to make a successful application Funding committees Manage your research grant Manage your grant online Guide to managing a grant online Notify us of new publications Update your profile How we deliver research Our research strategy Our institutes Our centres Our research partnerships More Drug discovery and development Recently funded awards Researcher case studies ABOUT US What we do We beat cancer We fundraise We develop policy Our organisation Our strategy Our Trustees CEO and Executive Board Annual report and accounts Annual review Current jobs Graduates and interns Your development Benefits Cancer news Science blog Latest press releases Latest news reports Search all news More Contact Us Press office Publications HOME ABOUT CANCER SUPPORT US NEWS RESOURCES FUNDING RESEARCH ABOUT US You are here Home border 0 Support us Home About us Cancer news Science blog Topic Oesophageal cancer Topic Oesophageal cancer The biggest cancer science stories of 2015 Category Science blog December 22 2015 Aine McCarthy We ve enlisted the help of one of our researchers to pick out the biggest cancer research stories of 2015 Read More How we re building a community to beat oesophageal cancer Category Science blog August 28 2015 Stephanie McClellan We recap what happened at our first ever international conference for oesophageal cancer in Oxford Read More 5 hot research topics our scientists are homing in on Category Science blog August 13 2015 Nick Peel From the mechanics behind fast moving melanoma cells to cancer s very own family tree here are 5 hot research topics our scientists are working on Read More Cataloguing the genetic chaos in oesophageal cancer Category Science blog August 4 2015 Kat Arney Our researchers at the Francis Crick institute are unpicking the genetic complexity of oesophageal tumours to find more effective treatments for the disease Read More Can jumping genes cause cancer chaos Category Science blog July 10 2015 Kat Arney Statistically speaking your genome is mostly junk Less than two per cent of it is made up of actual genes stretches of DNA carrying instructions that tell Read More Cancer the best way to die You couldn t be more wrong if you tried Category Science blog January 19 2015 Larry Larry is 59 and has advanced pancreatic cancer Here he responds to a recent article claiming that cancer is the best way to die As an oesophageal cance Read More More progress in detecting oesophageal cancer early Category Science blog December 2 2014 Emily Hoggar We take a look at the latest data from a clinical trial testing a sponge on a string as a new way to detect oesophageal cancer early Read More Older Posts Newer Posts Popular posts Most read today Most discussed Don t believe the hype 10 persistent cancer myths debunked How does

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/topic/cancer-type/oesophagus/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Pancreatic cancer - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    history Our research strategy FUNDING FOR RESEARCHERS Our funding schemes Biomarker Project Awards Career Development Fellowship Grand Challenge award View all schemes and deadlines Applying for funding Start your application online Guide to filling in your application form How to make a successful application Funding committees Manage your research grant Manage your grant online Guide to managing a grant online Notify us of new publications Update your profile How we deliver research Our research strategy Our institutes Our centres Our research partnerships More Drug discovery and development Recently funded awards Researcher case studies ABOUT US What we do We beat cancer We fundraise We develop policy Our organisation Our strategy Our Trustees CEO and Executive Board Annual report and accounts Annual review Current jobs Graduates and interns Your development Benefits Cancer news Science blog Latest press releases Latest news reports Search all news More Contact Us Press office Publications HOME ABOUT CANCER SUPPORT US NEWS RESOURCES FUNDING RESEARCH ABOUT US You are here Home border 0 Support us Home About us Cancer news Science blog Topic Pancreatic cancer Topic Pancreatic cancer The biggest cancer science stories of 2015 Category Science blog December 22 2015 Aine McCarthy We ve enlisted the help of one of our researchers to pick out the biggest cancer research stories of 2015 Read More Where cancers spread to depends on cellular soil prep Category Science blog November 2 2015 Nick Peel New US research has unearthed a fresh take on a 126 year old theory and it could help explain why cancers spread to different tissues Read More 5 hot research topics our scientists are homing in on Category Science blog August 13 2015 Nick Peel From the mechanics behind fast moving melanoma cells to cancer s very own family tree here are 5 hot research topics our scientists are working on Read More The end of the road trying to unpick the problems with end of life care Category Science blog August 7 2015 Misha Gajewski We take a critical look at the issues facing end of life care in the UK and what s being done to resolve them Read More A simple urine test for pancreatic cancer Not just yet Category Science blog August 3 2015 Misha Gajewski We take a closer look at today s simple urine test headlines and find out what s really going on Read More TRAIL and error flipping cancer s self destruct switch Category Science blog April 16 2015 Alan Worsley We explore new research showing how particular genetic faults inside cancer cells can subvert a self destruct switch and instead encourage cancer to spread Read More Pushing unstable pancreatic cancers over the edge Category Science blog February 26 2015 Aine McCarthy We look at fascinating new research from our scientists showing that pancreatic cancer can be split into four different types Read More Older Posts Newer Posts Popular posts Most read today Most discussed Don t believe the hype 10 persistent cancer myths debunked How does

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/topic/cancer-type/pancreatic/ (2016-02-11)
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  • The biggest cancer science stories of 2015 - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    tried January Simple urine test for pancreatic cancer Not just yet August No HRT isn t harmless there are risks as well as benefits October Processed meat and cancer what you need to know October Have researchers really discovered a new miracle drug to cure nine in 10 cancers Not quite but the research is fascinating October Tumour evolution Our researchers showed that the more genetic mistakes an oesophageal tumour contains the more aggressive it s likely to be They also showed that drugs like cisplatin the standard treatment for oesophageal cancer were less likely to work when the tumour had lots of mistakes In the future the findings could allow doctors to better tailor oesophageal cancer treatment by identifying patients who are more or less likely to respond to drugs like cisplatin And as Emma points out Knowing when to stop giving drugs is as important as working out which one to give in the first place The same research team led by Professor Charlie Swanton also began penning the first pages of an evolutionary rule book for cancer We blogged about their fascinating research which is changing the way scientists think about tackling cancer Liquid biopsies We helped tell the story of how 10 millilitres of blood goes on a journey in Manchester that could help our scientists understand how lung cancers become resistant to treatment Watch the video below for the full story Watch the video on YouTube Many cancers don t respond well to treatment or become resistant to treatment says Emma Having potential insight into these changes through liquid biopsies could support earlier transition to another drug prior to resistance The Grand Challenge In October we launched the Grand Challenge a 100m scheme tackling some of the biggest hurdles and challenges in understanding preventing and treating cancer You can read about the seven challenges and what answering them could mean for patients in our Grand Challenge blog series The Grand Challenge is really thinking outside the box with regard to the way science is funded says Emma This gives an amazing opportunity to bring together researchers who have expertise in many different disciplines and allow them to address some of the fundamental issues in cancer biology and treatment The year immunotherapy hit the big time In science terms 2015 was the year of immunotherapy It was the year that saw designer immune cells hit the headlines as well as a whole host of immunotherapy drugs A lot of the stories came from the American Society of Clinical Oncology ASCO conference which we covered in this blog post Immunotherapy has held great potential for a number of years and to see that potential now being realised is extremely exciting says Emma The development of new immunotherapy drugs such as nivolumab represents a new way in which we can treat certain types of cancer such as lung cancer which sadly have few new treatment options Here s a selection of the biggest immunotherapy stories of 2015 We

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2015/12/22/the-biggest-cancer-science-stories-of-2015/comment-page-1/ (2016-02-11)
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  • The youngest cancer researcher? - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    and surprised by Oscar s letter that we responded with a letter of our own Our response to Oscar We explained that while we can t exactly use slow growing cells to treat cancer parts of Oscar s ideas are already being used in existing treatments like Herceptin that target cancer cells and help slow the growth of cancer We also suggested that Oscar look into a molecule called P53 Oscar s mum Jo Chambers told us Oscar raced off to the library to learn more What did he find out We wanted to know so we asked him Here s what he told us Amy at Cancer Research UK asked me to find out about P53 which is a gene It is called the guardian of the genome P53 heals cells stopping cancer by stopping cell growth and correcting cell deoxyribonucleic acid DNA or killing the cell if the damage is really bad If the P53 is faulty then that means it can t heal the cell and this happens in 50 out of 100 cancers but if you are lucky your P53 will still be working Plus I ve read about viruses They might cure cancer by acting like a normal virus but when they spot the cancer they infect the cancer cells and poison them Looks like Oscar is becoming a promising young cancer researcher We think it s fantastic that the next generation is taking an interest in cancer research and it s encouraging to think people like Oscar might become the scientists of the future We can t wait to hear what other ideas Oscar comes up with next Share this article More on this topic Tags Research and trials Comments Click here to cancel reply David Parton Ginno July 18 2015 The wonders of a child s mind will never cease to amaze Science needs people like Oscar and we need schools to encourage young enquiring children like him to take a real interest in the subject Here s a crazy idea how about a school science competition entitled how do we beat cancer the winners gets to spend the day with real scientists and free science goodies for the school you d be amazed at what fresh prospective you d have on cancer treatment Jane McManus July 17 2015 Give this young lad a scholarship through university when he gets there This is a promising step and I know people from my days in oncology who could not even hypothesize such ideas A great future mind and hopefully a great future scientist We need to nurture such people Well done Oscar catherine mcallister April 9 2015 thier is someone somewhere out there oscar who WILL find a cure that someone could be you i have a gut instinct that the cure might be something so simple that the world has it already and cant see it you be all you can be oscar and keep searching gos bless Susan Harr April 9 2015

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2015/03/23/the-youngest-cancer-researcher-oscars-story/ (2016-02-11)
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