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  • Getting to the root of tumour blood vessels - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    In the 30 years since VEGF was discovered many Cancer Research UK scientists have contributed to our growing understanding of how it along with a multitude of other molecules is important in angiogenesis As a result rather than focusing on VEGF alone other molecular messengers can be targeted at the same time to try to avoid resistance and increase the drugs effectiveness Second third generation anti angiogenic therapies such as sunitinib Sutent and sorafenib Nexavar have made it to the clinic but researchers are still working out how best to use them So while the idea of blocking blood vessel growth once seemed straightforward the reality turned out not to be quite so simple But why What s so special about tumour blood vessels Researchers now think that the key to targeting blood vessels in tumours lies in understanding what makes them different from healthy ones While the cells that make up tumour blood vessels are themselves quite normal in that their genetic information isn t damaged like it is in cancer cells the blood vessels as a whole are very messed up There are two main types of cells that make up the tiny blood vessels called capillaries or microvessels found in tumours endothelial cells that line the walls of vessel tubes and pericytes which support them around the outside A Roman Phalanx a little bit like blood vessels Image source Wikimedia Commons In healthy capillaries these cell types are quite well organised The endothelial cells fit together like the shields of a Roman phalanx and the pericytes support them at key points helping to stabilise the structure But inside tumours there are big gaps in the walls of the capillaries Endothelial cells come and go as they please sometimes the pericytes don t show up to help out and sometimes even cancer cells get involved and pretend to be endothelial cells The tubes have irregular sizes and are chaotically organised twisting tortuously about instead of lining up neatly like healthy capillaries This makes a tumour s blood vessels very leaky and inefficient causing them to release signals that drive even more blood vessel growth to feed the growing tumour in a vicious cycle Unexpected effects To try and understand the disappointing results of anti angiogenic drugs scientists took a closer look at what was happening to blood vessels inside tumours in response to the treatment What they found was unexpected although our researchers Alan Le Serve and Kurt Hellmann had actually predicted this might happen back in the 1970s Instead of destroying tumour blood vessels anti angiogenic drugs seem to make the strange and disordered capillaries become more normal At first people thought this spelled disaster for the whole concept of anti angiogenic therapy surely if the treatment makes the tumour blood vessels better at their job the cancer will just grow and spread faster This is the opposite of what doctors and their patients want But on closer inspection this normalisation effect actually looks like it might

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2013/01/18/getting-to-the-root-of-tumour-blood-vessels/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Cancer spread (metastasis) - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    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 Cancer spread metastasis Topic Cancer spread metastasis 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 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 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 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 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 Older Posts Newer Posts Popular posts Most read today

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/topic/research-and-trials/cancer-biology/metastasis/ (2016-02-11)
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  • The 7 questions we must answer to beat cancer - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    like obesity and varying levels of physical activity to name just two growing health issues And with these complex problems it s likely that there will be many different signatures that need untangling before we can find out how to tackle them So our third Grand Challenge is to discover how unusual patterns of mutation are induced by different cancer causing events If you re a researcher and want to build a team to take on this challenge visit our website to find out how you can apply 4 Can we spot the potentially lethal cancers that need treating and non lethal ones that don t Credit Flickr CC BY 2 0 This question brings together two challenges that are poles apart Some changes in the body we call cancer don t actually need any treatment while there are other aggressive tumours that we aren t spotting early enough Prostate and breast cancers can be diagnosed early but in some cases the tumours detected through tests or screening won t go on to cause any harm to the patient But we can t always tell which these are So some patients are having unnecessary treatment which also means unnecessary side effects On the flipside we don t have reliable ways of detecting cancers such as lung brain pancreatic or ovarian cancers which can be particularly aggressive and need urgent treatment So what if we could tell the difference between potentially lethal and non lethal cancers and turn this into more accurate ways of diagnosing them To do this researchers will need a precise understanding of the biological differences between lethal and non lethal tumours Once they have this knowledge we ll need to know if it can be turned into new ways of spotting these cancers For example we need to find out if there are tell tale molecules or faulty bits of DNA released into the bloodstream or urine that could be detected with new technology So our fourth Grand Challenge is to distinguish between lethal cancers that need treating and non lethal cancers that don t If you re a researcher and want to build a team to take on this challenge visit our website to find out how you can apply 5 Can we make a Google Street View for cancer Blood vessel inside a melanoma We need to do more than just study cancer cells There is a whole ecosystem of tissues cells proteins and molecules out there that support every tumour This ecosystem is called the tumour microenvironment and it s a bit like a city It s built from different types of cells with structural molecules and proteins for support There are blood vessels that act like roads into the tumour supplying nourishment to keep the cells growing And these tumour roads even serve as escape routes for cancer cells that spread to other parts of the body But while we know this world exists we don t really understand how all the components

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2015/10/12/the-7-questions-we-must-answer-to-beat-cancer/comment-page-1/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Expert Opinion – Professor Richard Gilbertson talks children’s cancers - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    children s brain tumours shouldn t be treated as just one disease In fact we have shown that the reason they are different is because they arise from totally different cells in the brain We used to think of brain tumours as being one type of disease such as medulloblastoma or ependymoma More recently we have realised that there are actually four different types of medulloblastoma but nobody knew why Our work showed these subtypes are actually completely different from the start They begin from different cells in the brain and have different flaws in their DNA Now that we know which genetic flaws to look for we can search for new drugs that target them What does this mean for treatments First we have discovered completely new drug targets for children with brain tumours and are looking at 1000s of different molecules that may hit these targets We have also shown that one type of medulloblastoma is much more sensitive to treatment than the others But at the moment all children are all still given very high doses of radiotherapy when perhaps they don t need as much We also think we may have found one of the reasons why this type of tumour is so responsive to treatment We are now looking to see if we can expose this weakness in the other tumour types and improve the cure rates there as well Do you think we are making as much progress as we should be We know much more about what lies under the bonnet of brain tumours providing us with a much greater chance of fixing them forever Professor Gilbertson It s actually an incredibly exciting time for research in childhood brain cancers since we understand brain tumours better than we ever have at any point in history Let s take an analogy I know nothing about cars other than the colour So if something goes wrong with my car I haven t the first idea how to fix it That was like our knowledge of brain tumours 20 years ago we just knew what they looked like Now we know much more about what lies under the bonnet of brain tumours providing us with a much greater chance of fixing them forever What s behind the falling death rates in children s cancers The main reason death rates are falling is that we ve refined our whole approach to treating children with cancer There have been gradual improvements in surgery radiotherapy and how we care for very sick children including using antibiotics more effectively for children with a compromised immune system Essentially we ve learned how to use the treatments we already have as best as we possibly can And at this point I think we ve had the most bang for our buck on existing treatments The next stage in making sure that even fewer children die from cancer will be to develop even better treatments And we are in a great position to

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2015/11/26/expert-opinion-professor-richard-gilbertson-talks-childrens-cancers/ (2016-02-11)
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  • As seen on TV! Why reducing children’s exposure to junk food marketing is a good idea - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    plans to launch a new strategy to tackle childhood obesity in the coming months which we look forward to seeing So what leads to children s obesity and what can we do about it The obesogenic environment is complex Put simply obesity is caused by taking in more calories through diet than we expel through physical activity This is also influenced by a person s metabolism and is known as the energy balance A negative energy balance means you take in fewer calories than you burn But the more common flipside is having a positive energy balance which usually means people gain weight as they take in more calories than they use There are many factors behind why children become obese These include but are not limited to a child s diet the amount of physical activity they do including how they travel to and from school and whether their parents are obese This complex web is known as the obesogenic environment But just because this web is complicated it doesn t mean it can t be changed And we think changing what children are exposed to on TV by introducing a ban on TV junk food advertising before the 9pm watershed is a great place to start The not so silent salesman Kids and TV junk food advertising How food is promoted to children has been found to clearly influence which products they choose to buy and prefer to eat and this is dominated by TV advertising Often this influence happens without kids even realising International evidence shows that children particularly those younger than 8 don t recognise the persuasive nature of adverts and only develop the ability to critically judged this type of marketing once they reach age 11 or 12 And a range of tactics are used to market foods to children in the UK including promotional characters celebrities endorsing a particular product premium offers and website promotions Because of the combination of children being influenced to buy junk food often without realising it and the strikingly high levels of childhood obesity we support a pre 9pm watershed ban on junk food being marketed on TV This will help to reduce the amount of unhealthy food children are exposed to on a daily basis Of the huge quantity of adverts we watch on TV every day adverts for foods high in fat sugar and salt are much more prevalent than those for healthier alternatives And when we know that children spend an average of 14 6 hours watching television every week more time than on any other type of media it s no surprise this has an impact on their diets Things aren t working right now A few restrictions on how foods high in fat sugar and salt are advertised do already exist But these only apply to TV shows and channels registered as children s programming While this sounds sensible it s ineffective in practice The prime viewing hour for children watching TV is between

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2015/10/11/as-seen-on-tv-why-reducing-childrens-exposure-to-junk-food-marketing-is-a-good-idea/ (2016-02-11)
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  • The ten defining moments in health and cancer policy from 2015 - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    voting yes to see standard packs introduced across the UK 2 Cross Cancer Out We engaged with 1 100 election candidates from all political parties in the lead up to the General Election as part of our Cross Cancer Out campaign And with the help of around 16 500 campaign supporters and the 5 500 people who took part in our events in London Birmingham and Manchester we shared our key campaign messages with over a third of the MPs elected in May Watch our campaign video 3 The General Election Since the election we ve been working hard building relationships with those new to Westminster while also maintaining and developing our relationships with existing MPs Here s what we said at the time on what the election result meant for cancer and the work we do 4 A new Cancer Strategy for England Our CEO Harpal Kumar chaired an independent Taskforce that produced a new cancer strategy for England This was the first time a strategy had been led independently outside the NHS and we played an important role in driving the agenda And with an estimated 30 000 extra lives that could be saved every year by 2020 if its recommendations are met we ll be pushing for the Government to meet these targets We are now calling for cancer plans for the devolved nations to help patients across the UK 5 Test Cancer Sooner The Chancellor listened as thousands of you signed up to our campaign Credit Flickr CC BY NC ND 2 0 Our amazing supporters helped us collect 24 600 signatures in just six weeks for our campaign smashing our initial target of 11 000 This support combined with our evidence showing that patients were missing out on tests meant the Government listened In his Spending Review in November Chancellor George Osborne confirmed the NHS would have up to 300m a year each year up to 2020 to speed up cancer diagnosis 6 Molecular diagnostics In 2014 16 000 patients with lung and bowel cancer missed out on genetic tests that that could have helped decide if they should receive a targeted cancer drug according to our report So it s great news that NHS England has now committed to around 25 000 additional people a year having their cancers genetically tested to identify the most effective treatments We re now using similar evidence from Wales to show the Welsh Government the importance of a national testing service there 7 Data Saves Lives An important European data law that has been batted back and forth between different parts of the EU policy process for the last four years was finally agreed EU policymakers heard our concerns about the law which we now believe strikes a crucial balance between protecting people s privacy and ensuring research can continue 8 CLeaR In partnership with Action on Smoking and Health ASH and Public Health England PHE we presented four local authorities with awards to recognise their efforts in

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2015/12/21/the-ten-defining-moments-in-health-and-cancer-policy-from-2015/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Lucy Absolom | Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    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 Author Lucy Absolom Author Lucy Absolom The ten defining moments in health and cancer policy from 2015 Category Science blog December 21 2015 Lucy Absolom We look back on a busy year for health and cancer policy 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

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/author/lucyabsolom/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Spending Review 2015: will it affect research and cancer? - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    bit of both 1 Preventing cancer First the bad news The amount of money available for Local Authorities to spend on public health had already been stretched ahead of the Spending Review In June 200 million was taken out of budgets this will seriously affect Local Authorities ability to offer public health services across England including Stop Smoking Services which play an important role in ensuring smoking rates continue their downward trend The work of local authorities is vital They are on the frontline helping people stop smoking as well as tackling alcohol and obesity which are all leading causes of cancer We recognise that the Government is committed to savings But tobacco remains the biggest cause of preventable death in the UK And the only way to tackle this is to keep investing in the services we know help people quit So we re really concerned that additional cuts to the Department for Health announced today will further affect these local services Cutting local public health budgets in this way is short sighted if the Government is serious about tackling cancer We ll continue to tell the Chancellor this And we hope our voice is heard 2 Science and Research One of the departments asked to find substantial savings was Business Innovation and Skills BIS and part of its remit is to set the Government s overall science budget So we ve been worried for some time that investment in UK science could take a substantial hit This is vital we receive no government funding for our research but we do depend on this investment to help support our ground breaking research and ensure it ultimately benefits patients We ve blogged about the importance of investment in science before So we re really pleased that today the Chancellor has protected the science budget in real terms Put simply this means an increase in the budget to 4 7bn That s 500 million more being spent on science over the next 10 years On top of this the Government also reaffirmed its promise to invest 6 9 billion in science infrastructure between 2015 and 2021 We re still looking into the detail of the budget for the National Institute of Health Research NIHR another vital element of the research ecosystem in the UK This continued Government investment in science is crucial without it we won t be able to realise our ambition of three in four people surviving cancer in the next 20 years 3 Cancer services in the NHS As we said above the Department of Health s September announcement of up to 300 million to tackle workforce and equipment issues was a welcome boost given the UK s overstretched cancer diagnostic services This had been a key call in our Test Cancer Sooner campaign and it was an important recommendation in the Cancer Strategy So the extra 6 billion for NHS England announced today is good news and means that the NHS will have the money it needs

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2015/11/25/spending-review-2015-will-it-affect-research-and-cancer/ (2016-02-11)
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