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Current News Releases - 2006
Current News Releases
Johns Hopkins scientists have discovered that women treated for ovarian cancer are at increased risk of a rapid and potentially fatal recurrence if their tumor cells have high levels of a binding protein that triggers abnormal growth and slows down cell death, both hallmarks of malignancy. “Now there’s the possibility that testing for NAC-1 protein in cancer tissue removed during surgery might identify women most at risk for recurrence and guide doctors and patients to greater vigilance and extended therapy,” said Ie-Ming Shih, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of pathology at Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.
Sildenafil and other “impotence drugs” that boost the production of a gassy chemical messenger to dilate blood vessels and produce an erection now also show promise in unmasking cancer cells so that the immune system can recognize and attack them, say scientists at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.
New Building to be Dedicated Monday, December 4 at 4:30 p.m. David H. Koch, philanthropist and executive vice president of the nation’s largest privately owned company, Koch Industries, Inc., has committed $20 million to support a new cancer research building on Johns Hopkins University’s East Baltimore medical campus.
Bacteria that can cause deadly infections in humans and animals have shown promise in treating cancer by “eating” tumors from the inside out. Now, two new studies at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center have demonstrated that, combined with specially-packaged anti-cancer drugs, the bacterial therapy’s prospects for cancer eradication have dramatically improved. In mouse experiments reported in the November 24 issue of Science, the Hopkins researchers demonstrated that genetically-modified bacteria called Clostridium novyi-NT (C.novyi-NT) have a special taste for oxygen-starved environments much like those found in the core of cancer cell clusters.
A research team at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center is one of six in the nation to share in a $120 million gift from the Ludwig Fund, named for the late shipping tycoon Daniel K. Ludwig. Some $20 million will come to the newly-formed Ludwig Center at Johns Hopkins this year as well as a lifetime annual commitment of $2 million.
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center have for the first time implicated the muscle protein myosin VI in the development of prostate cancer and its spread. In a series of lab studies with human prostate cancer cells, the Johns Hopkins scientists were surprised to find overproduction of myosin VI in both prostate tumor cells and precancerous lesions.
Combined chemotherapy and radiation after surgery for pancreatic cancer increases a patient’s chance of living longer, according to a Johns Hopkins study. Radiation oncologists Joseph Herman, M.D. and Michael Swartz, M.D. reviewed records from the past 12 years of 156 patients that received their surgery followed by chemotherapy and radiation therapy at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
By slicing up bits of patient tumors and grafting them into mice, Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center specialists have figured out how to accurately “test drive” chemotherapy drugs to learn in advance which drug treatments offer each individual pancreatic cancer patient the best therapeutic journey. Although “xenografting” with either cells or fresh tissue is already used widely to test cancer therapies, the Hopkins design is personalized to each patient who has relapsed after an initial course of chemotherapy.
Scientists at Johns Hopkins have discovered how taking the brakes off a “detox” gene causes chemotherapy resistance in a common form of lung cancer.
Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center scientists have completed the first draft of the genetic code for breast and colon cancers. Their report, published online in the September 7 issue of Science Express, identifies close to 200 mutated genes, now linked to these cancers, most of which were not previously recognized as associated with tumor initiation, growth, spread or control.
Researchers Find Clues to Disease Spread and Origin
The following studies by Johns Hopkins researchers describe two new potential targets for cancer drugs, one that takes aim at the beginning of the tumor growth process and origins of cancer cells and the other at the process of tumor spread. Reports on the work, published in the August 1 issue of Cancer Research, describe experiments with mice and cell cultures that could lead to new treatments for childhood brain tumors and adult prostate cancers.