Smokers with high levels of two chemicals in their urine were more likely than others in a study to get lung cancer, a finding that may lead to a new test to predict risk in time to prevent or treat the disease. High levels of these chemical byproducts of tobacco smoke in the urine were linked to lung cancer rates as much as 8.5 times higher than those of other smokers. Data was reported this week at AACR in Denver.
The number of cancer research grants funded by the U.S. government may rise 25 percent to 30 percent in the next two years as federal cash infusions replenish the budget for medical research, the nation’s top cancer official said. More projects will be approved because the National Cancer Institute received a 2.9 percent budget increase to $5 billion for fiscal 2009, and $1.3 billion for 2009 and 2010 from the economic stimulus package. The new grants will help universities recruit faculty and fill research jobs frozen in recent years. The rise in research grants follows four years of a flat- lined budget for the cancer institute, which is one of 27 agencies within the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Science is better off under the new Administration, that's for sure.
Peregrine Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: PPHM), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of cancer and serious virus infections, today reported that two preclinical studies presented during the AACR 100th Annual Meeting 2009 provided further confirmation of the immunomodulatory mechanisms contributing to the anti-tumor activity of its phosphatidylserine (PS) targeting antibodies. One study confirms the anti-tumor effects and immune stimulating ability of a fully human anti-PS antibody and the other demonstrates the ability of a second fully human anti-PS antibody to stimulate development of a critical component of the adaptive immune system.
The role of TP63 in cancer remains controversial since both oncogenic and tumor suppressive actions have been reported. p63 protein is found in the nuclei of basal cells of the normal prostate, yet it is absent in the vast majority of prostate cancer nuclei. Since a complex array of TP63 mRNA transcripts encode polypeptides with distinct functional properties, it is important to determine which forms are expressed in normal and prostate cancer tissue.
Genomic technologies offer the promise of a comprehensive understanding of cancer. These technologies are being used to characterize tumours at the molecular level, and several clinical successes have shown that such information can guide the design of drugs targeted to a relevant molecule. One of the main barriers to further progress is identifying the biological indicators, or biomarkers, of cancer that predict who will benefit from a particular targeted therapy.