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Indian-origin scientist identifies cancer’s food sensors

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London: An Indian-origin researcher from Oxford University has identified a protein used by cancer tumours to help them detect food supplies.

Initial results show that targeting the protein could restrict cancerous cells’ ability to grow.

“We found that aggressive cancer cells manufacture more protein named PAT4 which enables them to make better use of available nutrients than the cells around them – including healthy tissue,” said Dr Deborah Goberdhan from Oxford University’s department of physiology, anatomy and genetics.

Cancer cells often have restricted access to the body’s nutrient-rich blood supply.

The ability to sense and acquire nutrients is critical for a cancer to grow.

Dr Goberdhan and cancer researcher Adrian Harris collaborated to develop an antibody that could be used to highlight PAT4 in human tissue samples.

This was then used to study anonymous tumour samples taken from patients with colorectal cancer, a common form of the disease.

The results were compared to the known outcomes for the patients.

Those who had higher levels of PAT4 in their tumours did less well than those with lower levels – being more likely to relapse and die.

The researchers then looked at what happened when PAT4 levels were reduced. They showed that by reducing PAT4 levels, cancerous tumours grew more slowly.

“’These findings support each other. Not only do higher levels of PAT4 mean a worse outcome, but lowering levels improves the situation,” Dr Goberdhan pointed out.

“This means that we have identified a mechanism which cancer cells prefer to use and which we might be able to target as part of a combination treatment,” he concluded.

The research was published in the science journal Oncogene.

(IANS)

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Prostate cancer, the second most common cause of cancer rises in rural India, according to experts

The rural masses need to be made aware of the treatment, drugs and technologies to combat the disease

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Prostate cancer
Sarcomatoid prostate carcinoma, abbreviated SPC. Wikimedia
  • Prostate cancer is the sixth leading cause of cancer deaths among men worldwide
  • Experts claim, that the second most common cause of cancer, is rising in rural India 
  • The rural masses need to be made aware of the treatment, drugs and technologies to combat the disease.

New Delhi, September 22, 2017: Prostate cancer, the second most common cause of cancer and the sixth leading cause of cancer deaths among men worldwide, is rising in rural India, experts claim.

Cancer projection data shows that the number of cases will be doubled by 2020.

“Most of the metastatic prostate cancer cases are from rural areas. Therefore, it’s a challenge to government and doctors to decrease the risk factors and take prostate cancer risk in the rural areas very seriously,” P.N. Dogra, Professor and Head of Urology at AIIMS, said in a statement on Thursday.

The rural masses need to be made aware of the treatment, drugs and technologies to combat the disease.

“There is an urgent need to create awareness about prostate cancer threat amongst the rural population,” said Anup Kumar, Head (Department of Urology and Renal Transplant) at Safdarjung Hospital.

Also read: Abdominal fat drives cancer in postmenopausal women: Study

Safdarjung Hospital sees more than one lakh patients every month from all over the country.

Of these, 20 per cent are prostate cancer patients, in which 40 per cent are clinically localised, 30 per cent are locally advanced and 30 per cent are metastatic prostate cancer cases, Kumar said.

“Prostate cancer has become a major health problem globally during the last few decades. This disease is the second most common cause of cancer and the sixth leading cause of cancer death among men worldwide,” Dogra said.

According to the Population Based Cancer Registries in Delhi, the disease is the second most frequently diagnosed cancer among men in the national capital, accounting for about 6.78 per cent of all malignancies. (IANS)

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Abdominal fat drives cancer in postmenopausal women: Study

Women in this age group, who are more vulnerable to abdominal weight gain, are now left with a new spin on their weight management priorities

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Abdominal fat drives cancer in postmenopausal women
Abdominal fat drives cancer in postmenopausal women. Pixabay
  • Study suggests abdominal fat in the middle aged postmenopausal women drives cancer
  • Body fat distribution is more important as compared to the body weight, when talking about the risk of cancer in postmenopausal women
  • The best protection is to avoid central obesity 

Washington D.C. [USA], Sep 12, 2017: So if you never gave a thought to the idea of getting rid of that middle-age abdominal fat, ladies, this is the right time to start, as a recent study suggests, abdominal fat is a key factor in driving cancer for postmenopausal women.

It is important to understand the difference between the body weight and body fat distribution, since the latter is more important when talking about the risk of cancer in postmenopausal women, according to the study presented at the ESMO 2017 Congress in Madrid.

Women in this age group, who are more vulnerable to abdominal weight gain, are now left with a new spin on their weight management priorities, as a result of the findings, said Line Maersk Staunstrup, the study investigator.

“When assessing cancer risk, body mass index (BMI) and fat percentage may not be adequate measures as they fail to assess the distribution of fat mass,” she explained.

“Avoiding central obesity may confer the best protection,” she added.

The findings are from the prospective Epidemiologic Risk Factor study. The study, which is observational in nature, is a prospective cohort study designed to understand the age-related diseases in Danish, postmenopausal women, in a better way.

Also read: Melatonin May Help Treat Blood Cancers like Leukemia and Lymphoma, Claims a New Research

The study included 5,855 postmenopausal women, with the mean age being 71, who went through baseline dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scans to assess body fat and its composition, which have been followed for 12 years.

“The average elderly women can very much use this information, as it is known that the menopause transition initiates a shift in body fat towards the central trunk area. Therefore elderly women should be especially aware of their lifestyle when they approach the pre-menopause age,” said Mærsk Staunstrup.

“Clinicians can additionally use the information for a preventive conversation with women who are in higher risk of cancer. While clinicians have access to whole body DXA scanners at most hospitals, portable DXA scanners have become available on the commercial market and this may allow regional bone and fat scanning, however it may not be the most reliable for measuring central obesity,” she concluded.

-prepared by Samiksha Goel of NewsGram. Twitter @goel_samiksha

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Melatonin May Help Treat Blood Cancers like Leukemia and Lymphoma, Claims a New Research

The researchers have noted that the anti-cancer actions of melatonin will be helpful in facilitating clinical applications and basic research

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Melatonin produced by a gland in the brain can help treat blood cancers
Melatonin may help treat blood cancers. Pixabay
  • Researchers have discovered that Melatonin may help treat blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma 
  • Melatonin’s involvement in regulation of circadian rhythms may help in coordination and synchronization of internal body functions 
  • Anti-cancer actions of melatonin are expected to be helpful in facilitating basic research 

Washington D.C. [USA], September 3, 2017: Researchers have discovered that blood cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma may be treated with a hormone produced by a small gland in the brain.

Melatonin, a hormone produced by a small gland in the brain may be able to treat blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma, according to the researchers.

The findings suggest that melatonin performs a number of tasks such as boosting the immune response against cancer cells, inhibiting the growth of cancer cells and even protecting the healthy cells from chemotherapy’s toxic effects.

Melatonin’s involvement in regulation of circadian rhythms may help in the coordination and synchronization of internal body functions. The timings of he melatonin treatment may be grave in regard to their anti-cancer effects.

Senior author Yang Yang hopes that this information would prove helpful in the design of studies concerned with the therapeutic efficiency of melatonin in blood cancers.

Also read: Arthritis drug could cure blood cancer: Researchers

The researchers have noted that the anti-cancer actions of melatonin will be helpful in facilitating clinical applications and basic research.

The study has appeared in British Journal of Pharmacology.

-prepared by Samiksha Goel of NewsGram. Twitter @goel_samiksha