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THE BIOWORLD BIOME: Our Habitat for All Things Science

HONG KONG – A study by Japanese researchers has identified two promising and selective candidate therapeutic targets that could prove important in the development of new treatments aimed at overcoming drug resistance in melanoma. Drug resistance is a major problem in the treatment of melanoma patients, for example with drugs targeting BRAF-mutated melanomas such as Zelboraf.

HEATING UP COLD TUMORS

Inhibiting the Axl kinase could have applications in both antitumor and antiviral therapy, separate papers published over the past few weeks have reported. In the Jan. 10, 2017, issue of Cell Reports, a team from the French INSERM Institute showed that Axl receptor activity both enabled Zika virus entry into cells and modulated innate immune responses.

PONDERING PENDRIN

Researchers at Tokyo's Keio University School of Medicine have developed the first in vitro cochlear cell model using patient-derived disease-specific human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs), which allows study of the pathogenesis of congenital deafness and may lead to its treatment.

NUMBERS GAME

The approach to translocation-driven tumors, which result from the fusion of two genes that are normally separate, always tends to use the same playbook, Ali Shilatifard told BioWorld Today. "Can we find a function [of the fusion protein]? Can we inhibit the function?"

HAVE YOUR CLOT AND BUST IT, TOO

Blocking platelet aggregation by inhibiting the protease-activated receptor PAR4 prevented the formation of harmful blood clots, while having less of an effect on blood clots that repaired injury. 

TUNING TESTOSTERONE

Researchers at Jinan University in Guangzhou, China, have developed the first stem cell-based treatment strategy for androgen deficiency due to male hypogonadism, whereby adult rodent skin cells are directly converted into functional testosterone-producing Leydig-like cells.

COMBINATION DRUG: PROZAC

HONG KONG – A neurotrophic brain protein has been shown to play an important role in how well cancer patients respond to chemotherapy, according to the findings of a new Chinese study reported Dec. 17, 2016, during the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Asia 2016 Congress in Singapore.

RIBO REVS UP LETROZOLE

HONG KONG – The cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) 4/6 pathway inhibitor, ribociclib (LEE011, Novartis AG), in combination with Femara (letrozole, Novartis AG), significantly improved progression-free survival (PFS) in postmenopausal Asian women with advanced breast cancer, in a subanalysis of the MONALEESA-2 trial.

MORE WAYS TO CREATE WITH CRISPR

Researchers have developed what they have termed CRISPR-enabled trackable genome engineering (CREATE), a high-throughput method to generate mutations and analyze their effects. The method enables "genome-wide mapping of mutations at single-nucleotide resolution for protein, metabolic and genome engineering."

Cast Your Vote

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