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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Cancer Research: Tumor cells that mimic blood vessels ♦ Biologists identify brain tumor weakness ♦ Cost of cancer drugs varies widely

Cost of cancer drugs varies widely based on who;s paying Uninsured cancer patients are asked to pay anywhere from two to 43 times what Medicare would pay for chemotherapy drugs, according to a new study. Uninsured patients who did not negotiate billed amounts for chemo drugs could expect to pay $6,711 for an infusion of the colorectal cancer drug oxaliplatin. However, Medicare and private health plans only pay $3,090 and $3,616 for the same drug, respectively.
Too much of a bad thing can be good in brain tumors DNA mutations can cause cancer but in some cases, more mutations may mean a better prognosis for patients. A comprehensive genomic analysis of more than 700 brain tumors has revealed one such subtype of the most malignant brain tumor, called glioblastoma, or GBM. This subtype possesses thousands of tumor-specific DNA errors or mutations instead of dozens observed in most glioblastoma cases. It is also associated with longer survival.
Biologists identify brain tumor weakness A new discovery could offer more effective drugs to combat brain tumors, scientists report. The study found that a subset of glioblastoma tumor cells is dependent on a particular enzyme that breaks down the amino acid glycine. Without this enzyme, toxic metabolic byproducts build up inside the tumor cells, and they die.
Tumor cells that mimic blood vessels could help breast cancer spread to other sites The ability of tumor cells to form tubular networks that mimic blood vessels can help drive metastasis, the spread of breast cancer to different sites in the body, a mouse model study has demonstrated. The researchers are now examining what it takes for tumor cells that have exited from a primary tumor into the bloodstream to then get out of the bloodstream and colonize a new site in the body.

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