Tag: cells

Suspect cells’ ‘neighbor’ implicated in colorectal cancer

Colorectal cancer kills more than 50,000 people a year in the United States alone, but scientists have struggled to find the exact mechanisms that trigger the growth of tumors in the intestine. Cancer researchers have zeroed in on a tightly sequestered group of stem cells within the intestine as suspects in the development of colon

Zika virus’ key into brain cells ID’d, leveraged to block infection and kill cancer cells

Zika virus infection can stunt neonatal brain development, a condition known as microcephaly, in which babies are born with abnormally small heads. To determine how best to prevent and treat the viral infection, scientists first need to understand how the pathogen gets inside brain cells. Employing different approaches to answer different questions, two research teams

Disorderly DNA helps cancer cells evade treatment

Each cell in the human body holds a full two meters of DNA. In order for that DNA to fit into the cell nucleus—a cozy space just one hundredth of a millimeter of space—it needs to be packed extremely tight. A new Northwestern University study has discovered that the packing of the three-dimensional genome structure,

Metabolic adaptation ensures survival of colon cancer cells

Colon cancer cells deficient in p53, one of the most important control proteins in cell growth, activate a particular metabolic pathway to adapt to the lack of oxygen and nutrients inside the tumor. Statins, which are often prescribed to lower cholesterol, block this metabolic pathway and cause the cancer cells to die, as scientists from

Immune ‘checkpoint switch-off’ enables destruction of cancer cells

A collaboration between the Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery (GRIDD) and multiple clinical research institutes has led to an exciting discovery in cancer research. The multi-disciplinary team, led by GRIDD’s Dr. Alexandre Cristino and Professor Maher Gandhi from Mater Research and including researchers from the Translational Research Institute, discovered a new mechanism in which the

How self-reactive immune cells are allowed to develop

Directly after birth, the immune system completes production of a subtype of antibody-producing immune cells, B-1, that are to last for a lifetime. No more B1 cells are formed after that point. However, these cells are self-reactive—they produce not only antibodies against foreign substances, but also against the body’s own substances, and it is unclear

Synthetic cells capture and reveal hidden messages of the immune system

When immune cells detect harmful pathogens or cancer, they mobilise and coordinate a competent defence response. To do this effectively immune cells must communicate in a way that is tailored to the pathogenic insult. Consequently, the body’s response to various health challenges depends on successful coordination among the cells of the immune system. Key players

Genetically manipulating protein level in colon cancer cells can improve chemotherapy

Colorectal cancer outcomes may improve by genetically altering an immune-regulatory protein in cancer cells, making the cells more vulnerable to chemotherapy. That’s according to new Mayo Clinic research. The findings, published this month in Oncogene, indicate that increasing the expression of the PD-L1 protein in colorectal cancer cells can improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy. “These

Making cancer stem cells visible to the immune system

Leukemia stem cells protect themselves against the immune defense by suppressing a target molecule for killer cells. This protective mechanism can be tricked with drugs. In the journal Nature, scientists from Basel, Tübingen and Heidelberg describe the new therapeutic approaches that can possibly be derived from these results. Patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) often

Killing the unkillable cancer cells

Countless people are affected by the battle against cancer. Modern treatments can be quite efficient at shrinking the tumor, but too often, they can’t kill all the cells, and the cancer may return. With some aggressive types of cancer, the problem is so great that there is very little that can be done for the