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  • More progress in detecting oesophageal cancer early - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    people at risk of developing cancer Enter the Cytosponge We ve talked a lot about this nifty sponge on a string device in the past and you can watch how it works by watching the video below Watch how the Cytosponge works in this video New data So what s new The BEST2 trial has now recruited over 1000 patients from Centres across the country half of whom had Barrett s oesophagus the other half didn t To test the performance of the Cytosponge every participant on the trial first had to swallow the small sponge containing capsule Next each patient went on to have the slightly more cumbersome standard endoscopy to allow the sponge based analysis to be compared with the current test for Barrett s And the researchers analysing the samples from the sponges had no idea whether the sample had come from a patient with Barrett s or not They used the sponge samples to search for the presence of a protein called Trefoil factor 3 TFF3 known to be produced by cells that are becoming gut like and a hallmark of the onset of Barrett s a bit like looking for evidence of the bricks and mortar of the lava proof house to return to our earlier analogy The results of this analysis presented at this year s NCRI Cancer Research Conference showed that not only is the Cytosponge preferred by patients over other methods but crucially that it is able to accurately diagnose Barrett s oesophagus just as well as an endoscopy So what next The team are now aiming to identify which patients with Barrett s oesophagus are more likely to develop cancer by looking for tell tale markers in the cells captured by the sponge such as known cancer related red flags like mutations in the p53 gene which seem to occur as Barrett s develops into oesophageal cancer As with many challenges faced by cancer researchers progress is slow and incremental These are just the first of what we hope to be a string of interesting results from this trial There are almost certainly going to be challenges ahead But smarter thinking like the Cytosponge will help us to diagnose these cancers sooner Emily Hoggar is a science communications manager at Cancer Research UK Share this article More on this topic Tags Cancer Research UK funded research Clinical trials Diagnosing cancer Early detection Oesophageal cancer Research and trials Comments Click here to cancel reply Angela Deighton December 9 2014 Very informative and clear video demonstration Very encouraging to know this test is available miss elizabeth mccann December 8 2014 could I have this test done Margaret Barwell December 6 2014 Great to hear about the sponge test and the promising improvements in patient experience achieved without compromising diagnostic accuracy Would a screening programme such as the cervical smear programme be appropriate and if so is it affordable with the sponge sampling technique Carole coote December 6 2014 As someone who has had

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2014/12/02/more-progress-in-detecting-oesophageal-cancer-early/comment-page-1/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Timeline: the genomics-driven era of cancer research - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    the end of last year we were proud to announce nine other innovative projects that we re funding as part of our Genomics Initiative Such projects have the potential to transform the way we diagnose and treat cancer in the future The Genomics Initiative is being funded by Cancer Research UK s Catalyst Club a pioneering venture to raise 10 million for various research projects including the Genomics Initiative on personalised medicine for people with cancer And the most recent timeline entry happened this week when our scientists announced they had used next generation genomics machines to unravel the genetic evolution of a single tumour Evolving story Our knowledge of cancer genetics is evolving The International Cancer Genome Consortium the Genomics Initiative and this week s announcment about the genetic landscape of a single tumour are part of a much wider and still evolving story of cancer genetics which all started with Watson and Crick uncovering the structure of DNA The above timeline describes just some of the key events in genetics and genomics research from this discovery to now It s intended to give a flavour of the discoveries that underpin today s understanding of cancer genetics It s by no means a complete history but it illustrates that progress in cancer research happens incrementally through a steady building of layers of information about the biology of healthy and cancerous cells Each new layer brings us closer to a more complete understanding of what drives the development of cancer and to new ways to beat the disease The power of the internet lies in the interconnectivity of its information Similarly each layer of information in cancer research is connected to and wouldn t have been possible without decades of previous work Cheaper technology And just as the web revolution has been driven by progressively advanced and cheaper computing technology increasingly sophisticated DNA decoding machines will drive the information revolution in cancer research In the computing world it doesn t take long for the cutting edge to become the run of the mill because of the sheer pace of technological progress For example you d need around thirty 1980s ZX Spectrums to hold the information encoded in just one mp3 song And the 3D multi player online games people enjoy today are a long way from the classic 1970s computer game Pong ZX spectrum technology moves fast The same can be said of the genome sequencing machines used in research Today s sequencing machines are already a world away from the machines used only a decade ago in the Human Genome Project which cost a staggering 1 5 billion pounds and took 13 years to read the DNA code of around a dozen volunteers In comparison sequencing a whole genome now takes roughly a week and costs just thousands And this cost keeps dropping The future Experts predict that we re edging ever closer to the much touted thousand dollar genome So it seems inevitable that one day in the

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2012/03/09/timeline-the-genomics-driven-era-of-cancer-research/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Imatinib – the dawn of targeted treatments - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    needle in the proverbial haystack it was already known that nearly all 95 per cent people with chronic myeloid leukaemia had a major fault in this chromosome In these people part of chromosome 9 breaks off and sticks to chromosome 22 forming what is known as the Philadelphia chromosome a major discovery made a decade earlier by Janet Rowley at the University of Chicago Our scientists work opened up the question was the newly located ABL cancer gene involved in this crucial disease causing rearrangement A few months later Cancer Research UK funded scientist Nigel Spurr was part of the Dutch and American collaboration that answered the question They demonstrated that this was indeed the case The ABL cancer gene was definitely involved it broke off from chromosome 9 and joined with part of chromosome 22 A few years later in 1985 the gene to which ABL joins on chromosome 22 was identified as BCR And after further research it became clear that it was the ABL BCR fusion gene that was fuelling the cancer by making the cell produce a molecule called a tyrosine kinase that encourages white blood cells to incessantly grow and multiply Finding a drug Imatinib red blocking part of ABL green With the crucial molecular players identified the hunt was on to find a drug that could stop them Biochemist Nicholas Lyndon then working for Ciba Geigy now Novartis and Brian Druker who was training to be a cancer doctor at the Dana Farber Institute in America were inspired by the prospect They had realised that if you could block ABL BCR you could potentially stop CML in its tracks Lyndon and his team set about screening hundreds of chemicals to come up with a drug that would block the tyrosine kinase Together with Brian Druker he tested some likely candidates on cells grown in the lab and hit upon one that worked they tweaked it to develop imatinib Astonishing results The drug worked in cells and mice but would it work in patients In the mid 1990s Brian Druker led the team which carried out the clinical trials The results were nothing short of astonishing The drug worked quickly and effectively in patients for whom there had previously been no hope and imatinib became the fastest drug to be approved in history Before imatinib the only real option for CML patients had been debilitating treatment with interferon or a stem cell transplant Now the patients could take a tablet once a day in the comfort of their own home and there was no need to go to hospital for treatment And because the drug was so targeted the side effects were limited As Brian Druker who led the trials sums it up In short it is a simple effective treatment that disables the cancer without disabling the patient It is no surprise then that in 2009 Lyndon Druker and another colleague Charles Sawyers were awarded the Lasker DeBaker Clinical Medical Research Award for converting

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2012/10/25/imatinib-the-dawn-of-targeted-treatments/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Cracking the cancer code – the International Cancer Genome Consortium - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    that it targets This personalised approach is the future of cancer treatment alongside tried and tested techniques like chemotherapy radiotherapy and surgery We re moving ever closer to being able to select a patient s treatment based on the genetic profile of their cancer But for this to become a reality we need to know much more about the faults that drive each type of cancer ICGC aims to understand each of these faults in exquisite detail ICGC is focusing not on inherited faults but on the genetic mistakes that build up over a person s lifetime Most cancers are caused by these acquired faults which determine how each tumour behaves how it grows spreads and responds to treatment Understanding these faults is the key to finding the best way to treat each patient s cancer Mapping the faults at the heart of cancer ICGC will map the genetic faults in 25 000 tumour samples from patients with 50 different types of cancer including breast bowel ovarian pancreatic and lung cancers Cancer Research UK is leading the projects investigating prostate and oesophageal cancer For each type of cancer under study the first step is to read the genetic sequences of tumour samples and healthy tissue taken from 500 patients with that cancer type Sequencing this much DNA is an ambitious target that has only recently become possible thanks to advances in technology Today s genetic sequencing machines are up to 1 million times faster than those used for the Human Genome Project ten years ago enabling the scientists involved in ICGC to decode entire cancer genomes quickly and relatively cheaply The next step is more complicated Once the DNA sequences have been decoded researchers will compare the results of all the samples from each cancer type to find the changes they have in common Many of these changes are likely to have no effect on tumour growth they re just collateral damage caused by cells dividing out of control The researchers real aim is to find the rare driver faults that are fuelling the disease They will compare the gene sequences from tumour samples with the equivalent sequences from the patients healthy tissue to help identify these key faults which could become targets for new cancer treatments in the future Leading the way in oesophageal and prostate cancer We re proud to be leading the ICGC efforts to map the faults in oesophageal cancer and jointly leading the prostate cancer project with cancer research organisations in Canada the Ontario Institute of Cancer Research and Prostate Cancer Canada Together prostate and oesophageal cancer are responsible for over 17 000 deaths each year in the UK alone and we urgently need new approaches to help save more lives Prostate cancer The major UK centre for the ICGC prostate cancer project is the Institute of Cancer Research in Sutton where two of the project s leaders Ros Eeles and Colin Cooper are based Professor Eeles has an unrivalled track record in identifying genetic

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2011/07/14/cracking-the-cancer-code-the-international-cancer-genome-consortium/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Epigenetics - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    types By cancer subject New treatments Cancer biology Cancer drugs All cancer subjects Near you Belfast Cardiff Edinburgh All locations By Researcher Professor Duncan Baird Professor Fran Balkwill Professor Andrew Biankin See 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 Epigenetics Topic Epigenetics Targeting cancer s self defence mechanisms Category Science blog September 16 2015 Cancer Research UK We often talk about cancer as being a disease caused by mistakes in DNA the genetic instructions inside all our cells that tell them to make molecules such Read More Too good to be true A blood test to predict breast cancer Category Science blog June 27 2014 Henry Scowcroft We look at the science behind media stories about a simple blood test that apparently can predict breast cancer Read More Reading the code Professor Tony Kouzarides Category Science blog October 25 2013 Kat Arney The lab of Cancer Research UK scientist Professor Tony Kouzarides focuses on how genes get turned on and off we explore his work and how it links to cancer Read More A new age of cancer classification and treatment Category Science blog October 15 2013 Oliver Childs Large scale studies from across the globe are providing genetic clues that link different tumours but what does this mean for how we define and treat cancer Read More New breast cancer blood test is still work in progress Category Science blog May 3 2012 Henry Scowcroft Earlier this week the news was full of stories about a blood test that can apparently predict a woman s risk of breast cancer years before she develop 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 cancer what you need to know How does alcohol cause cancer Headlines about e cigarettes don t mean they re not safer than tobacco A message of love and support is

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/topic/research-and-trials/cancer-biology/epigenetics/ (2016-02-11)
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  • A new age of cancer classification and treatment - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    of the body can be driven by the same genetic engine If a tumour had lots of somatic changes it was almost certain to have very few copy number changes and vice versa This unexpected trend could give insight into the fundamental processes behind how different types of cancer develop And within the two broad groups tumours clustered into subgroups according to their shared genetic signature For example a type of lung cancer shared characteristics with a previously unrelated type of head and neck cancer The broad message from the publications coming out of the Pan Cancer project is clear just as two different models of car can be the same under the hood tumours originating in different parts of the body can be driven by the same genetic engine The wider picture transcending tissue But what does this mean for cancer patients Huge genetic projects aren t merely an intricate exercise in biological stamp collecting the more we understand about the shared characteristics of seemingly different cancers the better equipped we are to treat them Many of the buzzwords of cancer research at the moment such as precision medicine and personalised treatment stem from a growing ambition to treat cancer not just by where it appears in the body but according to its molecular make up For some cancers we re already doing this For example the drug Glivec which has been hailed as a magic bullet for chronic myeloid leukaemia was designed to work in patients with a particular genetic fault And the widely used breast cancer treatment Herceptin is given to women with a particular subtype of the disease that has an overabundance of a protein called HER2 Interestingly Herceptin isn t targeted at breast cancer as such but targets cancer cells that produce too much of HER2 As a result it s since been found to work in other HER2 containing cancer types such as stomach cancer Old dog new tricks But beside some very noteworthy successes scientists have so far struggled to bring the promise of truly personalised treatment to the majority of cancer patients This could change in the coming years Massive projects such as the Pan Cancer Initiative apply the logic of molecular based tumour classification on a much larger scale and are helping researchers pinpoint similarities between different tumour types that have been missed by smaller studies One result is that we re finding already available drugs could be used in different types of cancer as well as discovering new molecular weaknesses in cancer that we can exploit Our work Clinical trials 2 0 Another implication of such large scale molecular fingerprinting studies is that the way clinical trials are designed in future needs careful thought Our scientists are pioneering the design of ever more sophisticated clinical trials that take into account the molecular differences between tumours of the same cancer type For example Professor Tim Maughan in Oxford is running a flagship clinical trial for bowel cancer patients that will give

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2013/10/15/a-new-age-of-cancer-classification-and-treatment/comment-page-1/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Aiming for the stars? Announcing our plans for a Grand Challenge - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    watchmaker jump started international trade and changed the face of society Crossing oceans either by plane or boat is dangerous Both of these pioneering projects were hugely risky But in order to achieve big things you have to take big risks Our quest to beat cancer is a feat much more complex than flying a plane over the sea It s harder even than going to the moon and back But given that one in two people will develop cancer at some point in their lives we urgently need a breakthrough So just like Orteig and the pioneers of the Longitude Prize we want to see if we can offer a prize to make a giant leap forward in cancer So last week we kicked off our Grand Challenge a 20 million prize to solve a problem that will revolutionise our understanding of the disease It might sound lofty and idealistic but we think we need this kind risk taking if we re to reach our vision of beating cancer So how will it work Focusing on the question The key to a successful challenge is to define the question you re trying to solve Curing cancer is too big and too vague to focus minds We need to break the issue down into smaller more manageable chunks and frame the question properly So last week we gathered together 100 of the brightest minds in the UK for our first Big Think event These included cancer researchers clinicians patients engineers physicists behaviour scientists epidemiologists technologists and more from the across the globe And over a day and a half the teams chewed over some of the biggest issues in cancer How can we detect it early How can we stop it spreading How can we change the way it s treated Can we prevent it in the first place How do we share information about the disease The aim at the event one of two we re running is to try to boil the big intractable set of issues in cancer research into concrete manageable Challenges for further thought and discussion It s the beginning of a new venture for us and we have no idea where it will lead What happens next Great minds at work at our first Big Think Ultimately we aim to extract from these sessions a series of realistic achievable challenges statements of intent with clear boundaries We ll analyse the results we re expecting hundreds and group them together into themes and patterns And then later this year we ll pass the results to our Grand Challenge Advisory Panel to refine them into up to six ambitious scientifically robust challenges We re incredibly proud of the calibre of people who have agreed to sit on the panel so far which draws together some of the best minds in science They are Dr Rick Klausner Chief Medical Officer at Illumina and former Executive Director for Global Health at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation who

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2015/03/02/aiming-for-the-stars-announcing-our-plans-for-a-grand-challenge/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Microenvironment - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    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 Microenvironment Topic Microenvironment Grand Challenge five build a Google Street View for cancer Category Science blog January 20 2016 Nick Peel This entry is part 6 of 8 in the series Grand Challenge We home in on the fifth of our Grand Challenges and ask the experts about what it will take to build a Google Street View for cancer Read More Expert Opinion Professor Richard Gilbertson talks children s cancers Category Science blog November 26 2015 Alan Worsley We caught up with Professor Richard Gilbertson to find out the challenges facing research into children s cancers and where the field is heading 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 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 The 7 questions we must answer to beat cancer Category Science blog October 12 2015 Nick Peel This entry is part 1 of 8 in the series Grand Challenge The world s biggest cancer experts have selected 7 research challenges that must be tackled to beat cancer we take a look at what they chose Read More Recently funded research understanding what makes cancer tick Category Science blog October 2 2015 Alan Worsley Here are a few highlights from the research projects our Science Committee funded in April Read More Do you think that s air you re breathing How cancer cells corrupt the matrix Category Science blog October 1 2015 Nick Peel Cancer cells can corrupt their healthy counterparts to help them spread around the body We explore new research looking to stop them Read More Older Posts Newer Posts Popular posts Most read today Most discussed Don

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/topic/research-and-trials/cancer-biology/microenvironment/ (2016-02-11)
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