Driven by advances in scientific understanding, the treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has begun to see successes one subtype at a time. At the 2021 World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC), which is currently being held in virtual format, researchers were optimistic that the same path would be possible for small-cell lung cancer (SCLC).
In studies that give new insights into both developmental biology and the origins of melanoma, investigators at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Weill Cornell Medical College have identified the activity of chromatin remodeling protein ATAD2 as necessary for cells with the oncogenic mutation V600E to give rise to melanomas. Involvement of epigenetic factors in cancers, or their targeting, is not new in cancer – as HDAC inhibitors as well as newer drugs such as the EZH2 inhibitor Tazverik (tazemetostat, Epizyme Inc.) demonstrate. But to Richard White and his colleagues, the point of their work is not so much about individual targets.
Investigators at MIT have identified a protein capable of delivering its own mRNA to cells, and engineered that protein to deliver mRNA sequences of their choosing. In a mouse model, the team used their approach to deliver the mRNA for two different proteins.
PARIS – A consortium led by French clinical and scientific experts has just published results in the Journal of Experimental Medicine of a study showing the contribution of a new simplified diagnostic test in better identifying the level of contagiousness of subjects infected with SARS-CoV-2.
For most people, neither polyglutamine disorders nor neuromuscular disorders are likely to be among the things they associate with androgen receptor (AR) dysfunction. But the three are indeed linked. And researchers have reported new insights into the nature of those links that could lead to a treatment for spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy, and possibly other disorders linked to AR signaling dysfunction.
PARIS – Magnetic fields can be used to stimulate blood vessel growth, according to a new study published in Science and Technology of Advanced Materials. The discovery, by researchers from the University of Lisbon in Portugal, could lead to new treatments for cancer and help regenerate tissues that have lost their blood supply.
Researchers have shown that glucocorticoids, a type of steroid hormones, target both neuroplasticity-related genes and genes related to ciliary function in the brain. However, the effects on the different processes are mediated via different receptors, and in response to different stimuli. A study investigated the specific targets of glucocorticoids, giving new insights into the biological mechanisms of stress adaptations, and how they are linked to neural plasticity.
Scientists at Cleveland-based Case Western Reserve University have used artificial intelligence (AI) to identify biomarkers contained in naturally occurring collagen that could predict whether breast cancer will return after treatment. Identified from standard tissue biopsy slides of early-stage breast cancer, collagen-based assays could also be less expensive than gene expression-based assays typically conducted at highly specialized labs in California.
LONDON – Swedish researchers have devised a method for binding insoluble antibiotics to graphene coatings, in an advance that could prevent the formation of biofilms on medical implants. In comparison to other long-winded methods for loading antibiotics onto implant surfaces, they say the way in which they bind active molecules to graphene is simple and could easily be integrated into manufacturing processes.
It's a good news, bad news scenario for exhausted T cells in chronic infections. Multiple groups of investigators reported in the July 26, 2021, online issue of NatureImmunology that even after a chronic hepatitis C virus infection was cured, T cells that had become dysfunctional during the infection retained epigenetic "scars" that prevented them from becoming fully functional memory T cells.