Converting Breast Cancer Cells into Fat, Painkillers Role in Cancer Survival, and More…

Below are highlights of recently published cancer research publicized in the news:

  • Scientists from the University of Basel, Switzerland, used new combination therapy with MEK inhibitors and the anti-diabetic drug Rosiglitazone in mouse models of breast cancer. The therapy inhibits cancer cell invasion, dissemination, and metastasis formation in mouse models of breast cancer forcing the trans-differentiation of breast cancer cells into adipocytes, or fat cells. For more, see study published in Cancer Research.
  • U.S. researchers found that regular use (6 months or more) of NSAID, or painkiller medications such as aspirin, was consistent with prolonged disease-specific survival and overall survival in head and neck cancer compared with nonregular NSAID use. The findings were reported in Journal of Experimental Medicine.
  • Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University found a way to stimulate macrophages ability to engulf and eat cancer cells by overcoming hindrances caused by inhibitory activity of CD47 protein. CD47 is a ‘don’t-eat-me’ signal that suppresses the phagocytic activity of macrophages. Read more about this in Nature Immunology.
  • An international group of authors established molecular hallmarks of tumor hypoxia across multiple cancer types. Hypoxia is an adverse prognostic feature correlated with tumor aggressiveness. The group quantified hypoxia in 8,006 tumors across 19 tumor types. Established patterns may offer insights into what categories of patients may benefit most from anti-hypoxia therapy and provide the basis for developing therapeutic agents targeting tumor hypoxia. The study was published in Nature Genetics.