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  • News

    New kind of ‘tan in a bottle’ may one day protect against skin cancer

    A method that gives mice a tan without using ultraviolet radiation now works in human skin samples. It’s an early step in developing a lotion or cream that might provide fair-skinned folk with protection against skin cancer.

    As reported June 13 in Cell Reports, a topical drug penetrated and tanned laboratory samples of live human skin, absent the sun. Unlike self-tanning lotions that...

    06/13/2017 - 12:47 Health, Biomedicine, Cancer
  • News

    Therapy flags DNA typos to rev cancer-fighting T cells

    Mutations that prevent cells from spell-checking their DNA may make cancer cells vulnerable to immunotherapies, a new study suggests.

    A type of immune therapy known as PD-1 blockade controlled cancer in 77 percent of patients with defects in DNA mismatch repair — the system cells use to spell-check and fix errors in DNA (SN Online: 10/7/15). The therapy was effective against 12 different...

    06/09/2017 - 15:12 Cancer, Immune Science, Genetics, Biomedicine
  • News

    New test may improve pancreatic cancer diagnoses

    Pancreatic cancer is hard to detect early, when the disease is most amenable to treatment. But a new study describes a blood test that may aid the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer and someday make earlier screening feasible, the authors say.

    The test detects a combination of five tumor proteins that appear to be a reliable signature of the disease, the researchers report in the May 24...

    05/24/2017 - 17:50 Biomedicine, Cancer
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers ponder the randomness of DNA errors

    At random

    As cells divide and grow, mutations may crop up in cancer-associated genes. A recent study found that more cancer mutations are caused by these random mistakes than other factors, such as environment or inheritance, Tina Hesman Saey reported in “DNA errors play big role in cancer” (SN: 4/15/17, p. 6).

    John Day wondered if replication errors are truly random, not just...

    05/17/2017 - 10:49 Cancer, Planetary Science
  • News in Brief

    Breast cancer cells spread in an already-armed mob

    COLD SPRING HARBOR, N.Y. — When breast cancer spreads, it moves in gangs of ready-to-rumble tumor cells, a small genetic study suggests. Most of the mutations that drive recurrent tumors when they pop up elsewhere in the body were present in the original tumor, geneticist Elaine Mardis reported May 9 at the Biology of Genomes meeting.

    For many types of cancer, it is the spread, or...

    05/10/2017 - 17:09 Cancer, Genetics
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers concerned about cancer’s sugary disguise

    Sugarcoated

    A new wave of potential immune therapies aims to target the network of complex sugars that coat cancer cells, Esther Landhuis reported in “Cancer’s sweet cloak” (SN: 4/1/17, p. 24). Some of these sugars, called sialic acids, help tumors hide from the immune system.

    “Are the offending sugars referred to in this article the ones we are eating or are they the result of...

    05/03/2017 - 11:20 Cancer, Technology, Animals
  • Science & the Public

    HPV vaccine as cancer prevention is a message that needs to catch on

    Cancer prevention isn’t the first thing that comes to many parents’ minds when they consider vaccinating their preteens against human papillomavirus, or HPV. And the fact that HPV is transmitted sexually gives the vaccine more baggage than a crowded international flight. But what gets lost in the din is the goal of vaccination, to protect adolescents from infection with HPV types that are...

    04/28/2017 - 12:00 Science & Society, Health, Cancer
  • News

    Genetic risk of getting second cancer tallied for pediatric survivors

    WASHINGTON — A second cancer later in life is common for childhood cancer survivors, and scientists now have a sense of the role genes play when this happens. A project that mined the genetic data of a group of survivors finds that 11.5 percent carry mutations that increase the risk of a subsequent cancer.

    “We’ve always known that among survivors, a certain population will experience...

    04/07/2017 - 13:00 Cancer, Biomedicine, Genetics
  • News in Brief

    Engineered immune cells boost leukemia survival for some

    WASHINGTON — Immune cells engineered to hunt and destroy cancer cells may help some people with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) live much longer.

    Outcomes depended upon disease severity before treatment, oncologist Jae Park reported April 3 at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting.

    In ALL — expected to strike 5,970 people and kill 1,440 in the United States...

    04/04/2017 - 15:30 Cancer, Biomedicine
  • News

    Random mutations play large role in cancer, study finds

    Researchers have identified new enemies in the war on cancer: ones that are already inside cells and that no one can avoid.

    Random mistakes made as stem cells divide are responsible for about two-thirds of the mutations in cancer cells, researchers from Johns Hopkins University report in the March 24 Science. Across all cancer types, environment and lifestyle factors, such as smoking and...

    03/23/2017 - 14:00 Cancer, Cells, Health