Heart Failure and Cancer, Tissue Specific Cancer Development and More

  • In a new study, researchers analyzed data from a German health database from over 100,000 patients with heart failure and the same number of people without this condition for ten years to establish cancer incidence in both groups over time. The study found a correlation between heart failure and cancer incidence. 25.7 percent of patients with heart failure developed some form of cancer, compared with 16.2 percent of those who did not have heart failure. The study also provided statistics on cancer types, demonstrating such correlation on a more granular level. Although this type of retrospective research can establish correlation but not causation, it would be prudent for patients with heart failure to get regular cancer screening as a preventive measure. The study was published in ESC Heart Failure.
  • Another team of researchers from Germany conducted a preclinical study on genetic processes underlying pancreatic and biliary tract cancer development. They established that tissue-specific (in this case, bile duct and pancreas epithelium) genetic interplay with an oncogene plays the causative role in the development of different types of cancers. This will help understand different tissue-specific responses to cancer therapy, which is important in the practice of precision medicine. The study was published in Cancer Discovery.
  • Researchers from the Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) and the University of California, Riverside developed a method of identifying fatty acids uptake by a single cell. Fatty acids, along with glucose and amino acids, are known to be a source of energy for cell proliferation, including cancer cell proliferation. But unlike glucose metabolism, the biological mechanism of fatty acids uptake by a cell was not well understood. The researchers developed a chemical approach to “profiling” the fatty acid uptake into the cells in connection to protein signaling in cancer cells. Using a brain cancer model, they gained new insight into the role of fatty acids in cancer development and created a potential for the new therapy to block the tumor growth. The study was published in Journal of the American Chemical Society.
  • Scientists at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute (LTRI), part of Sinai Health, classified all cancers into just two categories, “based on the presence or absence of a protein called the Yes-associated protein, or YAP.” This new understanding can lay the foundation for developing different cancer treatment strategies based on whether the cancer is YAPon or YAPoff type. The study was published in Cancer Cell.