Web Roundup: Researchers Find Promising Therapeutic Target for Hard-to-Treat Brain Tumor

August 30, 2013
Andrew J. Roth

Our weekly web roundup featuring articles and blog posts from MSKCC, UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins Medicine, and the University of Colorado Cancer Center.

Do Cancer Cell Lines Really Resemble Tumors? Now Researchers Can Tell

Eva Kiesler, PhD, writes about research being done in cancer cell lines and the development of new drugs. Though scientists have questioned the reliability of cultured cells as research tools, a research team at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center compared the genomic profiles of cancer cell lines and real tumors. The team focused on high-grade serous ovarian cancer and found that the cell lines most often used for research have a significantly different genetic makeup from that of real tumors. The research was reported inNature Communicationsin July.

UCLA Researcher Receives CIRM Early Translational Grant

Read more > >Robert Reiter, MD, MBA, from UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, received an Early Translational Research Award from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), recognizing his innovative research. Reiter's research focuses on developing a monoclonal antibody for the treatment of castration-resistant prostate cancer. CIRM's Early Translational Research Initiative funds promising and innovative discoveries using stem cells. Researchers are expected to do work that will lead to the development of drugs or cellular therapies to be used in FDA-approved clinical trials.

Johns Hopkins Researchers Find Promising Therapeutic Target

for Hard-to-Treat Brain Tumor

Read more > >Researchers have found a protein in nearly 100% of high-grade meningiomas, suggesting a new target for therapies. The protein, NY-ESO-1, is being analyzed in a National Cancer Institute clinical trial. The trial is designed to activate the immune systems of patients with other types of tumors that express the protein, and consequently training the body to attack cancer cells. The NY-ESO-1 protein is found in a much smaller proportion of tumors than Johns Hopkins researchers found in high-grade meningioma, which suggests that the target would be more significant in the brain cancer. Low-grade meningiomas are typically easy to reach and can be treated with surgery and radiation. Higher-grade meningiomas are more difficult to eradicate and are more deadly.

Cancer News Review Podcast

Read more > >Dr. William Nelson, the director of the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, gives an overview of research on diabetes drugs and pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer among African American men, patient-centered drug development, and a study from China on omega three fatty acids and breast cancer risk.

“Jolie Effect” May Cause Increase in Women Getting Genetic Testing

Read more > >Taylor Bakemeyer writes about the effect of actress Angelina Jolie's sharing of her private medical condition. In May 2013, Jolie tested positive for a mutation in the BRCA 1 gene, which her doctors told her would increase her risk of developing breast cancer by 87% and ovarian cancer by 50%. Jolie underwent a double mastectomy to reduce these risks. Her decision, and consequent public disclosure, have left many women wondering if they too should be tested for a BRCA1/2 mutation.

Read more > >