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Friday, November 6, 2015

Cancer Research: World first 3-D image of a protein involved in cancer spread ♦ Cancer cells hijack glucose, alter immune cells ♦ Gut bacteria can dramatically amplify cancer immunotherapy

World first 3-D image of a protein involved in cancer spread Scientific history has been made by determining the first three-dimensional image of a protein linked to the spread of cancer. The 3-D image shows the architecture and intimate atomic-level detail of a bacterial heparanase, an enzyme that degrades a sugar molecule known as heparan sulfate, say scientists.
Cancer cells hijack glucose, alter immune cells When cancer cells compete with immune cells for glucose, the cancer wins. As a result, the immune T cells are not healthy and don't have the weapons to kill the cancer. New research findings, report scientists, have potential as a tool to predict ovarian cancer survival, or a marker to predict effectiveness of immunotherapy including checkpoint blockade or immune vaccination.
Cancer-associated mutations are common in patients with unexplained low blood counts Patients with unexplained low blood counts and abnormally mutated cells who do not fit the diagnostic criteria for recognized blood cancers should be described as having clonal cytopenias of undetermined significance  suggest researchers in a recent paper. The researchers found the condition surprisingly common in older patients with low blood counts.
Gut bacteria can dramatically amplify cancer immunotherapy Introducing certain bacteria into the digestive tracts of mice with melanoma can help their immune systems attack tumor cells. The gains were comparable to treatment with anticancer drugs known as checkpoint inhibitors. The combination of bacteria and anti-PD-L1 nearly abolished tumor outgrowth, report scientists.

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