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Released: 12/12/2011

Looking for ways to halt the uncontrolled growth of cancer cells, scientists at Johns Hopkins have found that a new class of drugs, called PARP inhibitors, may block the ability of pre-leukemic cells to repair broken bits of their own DNA, causing these cells to self-destruct.  Results of their experiments, expected to be presented at the 53rd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology in San Diego, Dec. 12, have already prompted clinical trials of the drugs in patients with aggressive pre-leukemic conditions, who have few treatment options.

Released: 12/12/2011

People within the Johns Hopkins community have long known that Lillie Shockney is an amazing nurse. Now she’s got the moniker to prove it.  Shockney, administrative director of the Johns Hopkins Avon Breast Center since 1997, was selected as this year’s “Amazing Nurse” in a national contest to celebrate and reward nurses’ value, sponsored by the Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing’s Future. Shockney’s work with breast cancer patients was recognized by Johnson & Johnson during the 2011 CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute show in Los Angeles on December 11.

Released: 12/08/2011

Working with human breast cells, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center have shown how the inactivation of a single copy of the breast cancer gene BRCA1 leaves breast cells vulnerable to cancer by reducing their ability to repair DNA damage, causing genetic instability.  An inherited mutation in BRCA1 is the leading risk factor for hereditary breast cancer, prompting preventive mastectomies or close monitoring.  The new findings may aid development of drugs to prevent hereditary breast cancer and tools to identify women who benefit most from prophylactic treatments.

Released: 12/08/2011

Having both ovaries removed before age 45 is strongly associated with low-bone mineral density and arthritis in later years, according to a new study by Johns Hopkins oncologists and epidemiologists. The analysis covered several thousand women who took part in a U.S. government-sponsored, multiyear national health study, and excluded women whose ovaries were removed due to cancer.

Released: 12/07/2011

Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center scientists report that sharp rises in levels of reactive oxygen molecules, and the inflammation that results, trigger biochemical changes that silence genes in a pattern often seen in cancer cells.  The researchers confirmed this gene-silencing effect in mice that develop inflammation-induced colon cancer.

Released: 12/06/2011

Scientists at Johns Hopkins have surveyed the DNA in four common types of pancreatic cysts, and have determined that each type bears a distinct pattern of gene mutations. Pancreatic cysts are present in about two percent of U.S. adults, and can, in some cases, require surgical removal and microscopic analysis to determine their type and likelihood of turning cancerous.

Released: 11/09/2011

A new type of therapy aimed at reversing the gene-silencing that promotes cancer-cell growth has shown promising results in a small clinical trial conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.  Forty-five late-stage lung cancer patients who received a two-drug combination designed to restore anti-cancer gene activity survived about two months longer than the expected four months, and two patients showed complete or near-complete responses despite having progressive disease after multiple standard therapies.

Released: 11/08/2011

In dozens of experiments in mice and in human cancer cells, a team of Johns Hopkins scientists has closely tied production of a cancer-causing protein called TWIST to the development of estrogen resistance in women with breast cancer. Because estrogen fuels much breast cancer growth, such resistance — in which cancers go from estrogen positive to estrogen negative status — can sabotage anticancer drugs that work to block estrogen and prevent disease recurrence after surgery. Estrogen resistance develops in over half of women taking estrogen-blocking medications, such as tamoxifen, and exists from the start in many other women.

Released: 11/08/2011

The spread of breast cancer is responsible for more than 90 percent of breast cancer deaths. Now, the process by which it spreads -- or metastasizes -- has been unraveled by researchers at Johns Hopkins.

Released: 11/04/2011

Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center scientists report that sharp rises in levels of reactive oxygen molecules, and the inflammation that results, trigger biochemical changes that silence genes in a pattern often seen in cancer cells.  The researchers confirmed this gene-silencing effect in mice that develop inflammation-induced colon cancer.

Released: 10/31/2011

A Johns Hopkins breast cancer researcher is the recipient of a $50,000 award designed to encourage rapid translation of her basic research on biomarkers into a commercially available test that could predict the best treatment options for some women with breast cancer.

Released: 10/26/2011

Delivering anticancer drugs into breast ducts via the nipple is highly effective in animal models of early breast cancer, and has no major side effects in human patients, according to a report by Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center researchers in Science Translational Medicine on Oct. 26. The results of the study are expected to lead to more advanced clinical trials of so-called intraductal treatment for early breast cancer.

Released: 10/11/2011

Doctors at Johns Hopkins have shown that during an increasingly popular type of breast-reconstruction surgery, they can safely preserve the internal mammary artery, in case it is needed for future cardiac surgery.

Released: 10/03/2011

"Too busy," and "too complicated." These are the typical excuses one might expect when medical professionals are asked why they fail to use online error-reporting systems designed to improve patient safety and the quality of care. But Johns Hopkins investigators found instead that the most common reason among radiation oncologists was fear of getting into trouble and embarrassment.

Released: 10/01/2011

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has chosen Johns Hopkins as one of five centers to participate in a coordinated effort to develop a catalog of proteins created by cancer cells.  The information, which will be made available to other researchers, could be used to develop new ways to detect cancer and treat the disease

Released: 09/30/2011

A combination of an oral drug, called sorafenib, and a method for injecting microbeads of chemotherapy directly into tumors has been proven safe for liver cancer patients and may improve outcomes for those who have these fast-growing, deadly tumors whose numbers are on the rise in the United States.

Released: 08/22/2011

A $30 million gift from the Commonwealth Foundation for Cancer Research has enabled the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center to establish a Center for Personalized Cancer Medicine. The gift from the Richmond, VA- based foundation, will be used to support research and the development of new technologies that pinpoint the novel genetic characteristics of each patient’s cancer.  Hopkins scientists and officials say this will speed the development of therapies based on an individual cancer patient’s genetic “fingerprint.”

Released: 08/04/2011

Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center scientists have completed a comprehensive map of genetic mutations occurring in the second-most common form of brain cancer, oligodendroglioma.  The findings, reported in the Aug. 4 issue of Science, also appear to reveal the biological cause of the tumors, they say.

Released: 08/03/2011

A combination of several well-known safety procedures could greatly reduce patient-harming errors in the use of radiation to treat cancer, according to a new study led by Johns Hopkins researchers.

Released: 07/28/2011

Powerful new technologies that zoom in on the connections between human genes and diseases have illuminated the landscape of cancer, singling out changes in tumor DNA that drive the development of certain types of malignancies such as melanoma or ovarian cancer.

Now several major biomedical centers have collaborated to shine a light on head and neck squamous cell cancer. Their large-scale analysis has revealed a surprising new set of mutations involved in this understudied disease.

In back-to-back papers published online July 28 in Science, researchers from the Broad Institute, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have confirmed genetic abnormalities previously suspected in head and neck cancer, including defects in the tumor suppressor gene known as p53. But the two teams also found mutations in the NOTCH family of genes, suggesting their role as regulators of an important stage in cell development may be impaired.

Released: 07/20/2011

Johns Hopkins scientists have developed a gene-based test to distinguish harmless from precancerous pancreatic cysts.  The test may eventually help some patients avoid needless surgery to remove the harmless variety. A report on the development is published in the July 20 issue of Science Translational Medicine.

The investigators estimate that fluid-filled cysts are identified in more than a million patients each year, most of whom have undergone CT or MRI scans to evaluate non-specific symptoms, such as abdominal pain and swelling.

Released: 07/06/2011

Identifying a suitable donor for leukemia and lymphoma patients who need bone marrow transplants may be far easier now that results of two clinical trials show transplant results with half-matched bone marrow or umbilical cord blood are comparable to fully matched tissue, thanks in large part to the availability of effective antirejection drugs and special post-transplant chemotherapy.  The finding means that nearly all patients in need of a transplant can find donors, according to Johns Hopkins scientists who participated in the trials.

Released: 07/05/2011

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have developed a technique that delivers gene therapy into human brain cancer cells using nanoparticles that can be freeze-dried and stored for up to three months prior to use.

Released: 06/30/2011

Scientists at Johns Hopkins have provided more clues to one of the least understood phenomena in some cancers: why the “ends caps” of cellular DNA, called telomeres, lengthen instead of shorten.  In a study published online June 30 in Science Express, the Johns Hopkins researchers say they have identified two genes that, when defective, may cause these telomere elongations.

Released: 06/21/2011

A team led by Johns Hopkins researchers has found that a hereditary colon cancer syndrome, familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), is associated with abnormally dense blood vessel growth in the skin lining the mouth.

Released: 06/20/2011

Johns Hopkins researchers have found a likely explanation for the slow growth of the most common childhood brain tumor, pilocytic astrocytoma.  Using tests on a new cell-based model of the tumor, they concluded that the initial process of tumor formation switches on a growth-braking tumor-suppressor gene, in a process similar to that seen in skin moles.

Released: 06/02/2011

The oral antifungal drug itraconazole, most commonly used to treat nail fungus, may keep prostate cancer from worsening and delay the need for chemotherapy in men with advanced disease.  Details of the finding, from a clinical trial led by Johns Hopkins experts, are scheduled for presentation on Saturday, June 4 at the 2011 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting (abstract #4532).

Released: 05/26/2011

Peninsula Regional Medical Center (PRMC) in Salisbury, Md., is the latest health system to join the Johns Hopkins Clinical Research Network (JHCRN). Developed by the Johns Hopkins Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR), JHCRN is designed to establish a network of academic and community-based clinical researchers who provide new opportunities for research collaborations and accelerate the transfer of new diagnostic, treatment and disease-prevention advances from the research arena to patient care.

Released: 05/18/2011

An estimated four in 10 hospital websites in the United States publicize the use of robotic surgery, with the lion’s share touting its clinical superiority despite a lack of scientific evidence that robotic surgery is any better than conventional operations, a new Johns Hopkins study finds.

Released: 05/18/2011

The five-hospital Inova Health System based in Northern Virginia has joined the Johns Hopkins Clinical Research Network (JHCRN). Developed by the Johns Hopkins Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR), JHCRN is designed to bring together community-based clinical researchers to provide new opportunities for research collaborations and accelerate the transfer of new diagnostic, treatment, and disease-prevention advances from the research arena to patient care.

Released: 05/11/2011

Johns Hopkins researchers have demonstrated that human liver cells derived from adult cells coaxed into an embryonic state can engraft and begin regenerating liver tissue in mice with chronic liver damage.

Released: 04/26/2011

Hospitals and physician practices that form care-coordinating networks called "Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs)," under provisions of the new health-care law could reap cost-savings and other benefits. Experts at Johns Hopkins and the University of Pennsylvania warn, however, that such networks could potentially be designed to exclude minorities and widen disparities in health care.

Released: 04/14/2011

Using human kidney cells and brain tissue from adult mice, Johns Hopkins scientists have uncovered the sequence of steps that makes normally stable DNA undergo the crucial chemical changes implicated in cancers, psychiatric disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. The process may also be involved in learning and memory, the researchers say.

Released: 04/12/2011

A Johns Hopkins study of 769 men from across the United States recently diagnosed with low-grade prostate cancer shows that forgoing immediate surgery to remove the tumor or radiation poses no added risk of death.  Delaying treatment is fine, the results show, so long as the cancer’s progression and tumor growth are closely monitored through “active surveillance” and there is no dramatic worsening of the disease over time.

Released: 04/08/2011

Johns Hopkins scientists have developed a simplified, cheaper, all-purpose method they say can be used by scientists around the globe to more safely turn blood cells into heart cells.  The method is virus-free and produces heart cells that beat with nearly 100 percent efficiency, they claim.

Released: 04/03/2011

Johns Hopkins scientists and their colleagues paired laboratory and epidemiologic data to find that men using the cardiac drug, digoxin, had a 24 percent lower risk for prostate cancer.  The scientists say further research about the discovery may lead to use of the drug, or new ones that work the same way, to treat the cancer.

Released: 03/24/2011

New evidence has emerged from studies in mice that short telomeres or “caps” at the ends of chromosomes may predispose people to age-related diabetes, according to Johns Hopkins scientists.

Released: 03/02/2011

A colon cancer expert at Johns Hopkins says that a colonoscopy remains underused by Americans but remains the test of choice for preventing the number-two cancer killer overall.

Released: 02/24/2011

Abnormal chromosomes have long been detected in children with leukemias and lymphomas, and now, research by Johns Hopkins scientists has linked such abnormalities with a molecular clock that controls the timing of a high-stakes genetic exchange inside dividing immune system cells.

Released: 02/03/2011

Andrew Ewald, Ph.D., who studies how cells build organs and how these same cellular processes can contribute to breast cancer metastasis, will receive the American Association of Anatomists’ 2011 Morphological Sciences Award for his “outstanding contributions to the field of epithelial morphogenesis.” He will present an award lecture at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Anatomists, Sunday, Apr. 10, in Washington, D.C.

Released: 01/20/2011

Scientists at Johns Hopkins have deciphered the genetic code for a type of pancreatic cancer called neuroendocrine or islet cell tumors. The work, described online in the Jan. 20 issue of Science Express, shows that patients whose tumors have certain coding "mistakes" live twice as long as those without them.

Released: 01/19/2011

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have discovered that nitroxoline, an antibiotic commonly used around the world to treat urinary tract infections, can slow or stop the growth of human breast and bladder cancer cells by blocking the formation of new blood vessels. The results, appearing in the Dec. 15 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, suggest that nitroxoline shows promise as a potential therapeutic agent.

Released: 01/18/2011

Breast cancer patients are nearly 50 percent more likely to die of any cause if they also have diabetes, according to a comprehensive review of research conducted by Johns Hopkins physicians.

Released: 01/11/2011

Lab studies show that combining drugs that target a variety of developmental cell signaling pathways may do a better job of killing deadly brain tumors than single drugs that target one pathway at a time, according to a new study by Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center researchers.  The combined therapy approach apparently reduces tumor resistance to chemotherapy, they say.

 

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