Tyler Jacks works at MIT
"We are at an exciting time in our understanding of cancer and the way we're approaching how we treat it..." Tyler Jacks Ph.D. Watch video in this article.
In his last year as President, Obama has tasked Vice President Joe Biden with one of the most important scientific initiatives of our time. In four years’ time and just over fifty years after the original Moonshot, Biden hopes to reach a hypothetical moon by finding a cure for cancer.

Since then, VP Biden has been hard at work collaborating with our nation’s top doctors, researchers, and health organizations in order to set the Moonshot up for success. The goals set forward by the Vice President for the initiative are

  • Accelerate our understanding of cancer and its prevention, early detection, treatment, and cure
  • Improve patient access and care
  • Support greater access to new research, data, and computational capabilities
  • Encourage development of cancer treatments
  • Identify and address any unnecessary regulatory barriers and consider ways to expedite administrative reforms
  • Ensure optimal investment of federal resources
  • Identify opportunities to develop public-private partnerships and increase coordination of the federal government's efforts with the private sector, as appropriate.

With these goals, the Moonshot stands its best chance to accomplish what it sets out to do while allowing organizations to work with one another without the usual restraints. ...continue reading "The Cancer Moonshot Initiative"

The U.S. government’s cancer research network is in severe disarray according to a report by the Institute of Medicine. Waste and inefficiency cause 40% of all late-stage government funded cancer trials to be abandoned before completion, the report found. Shannon Pettypiece at Bloomberg.com and Liz Jones at FierceBiotech say the report paints a doomladen picture.

"The system used to conduct cancer clinical trials in the U.S. is 'approaching a state of crisis,' with waste and inefficiency creating difficulties for those wanting to undertake these studies," Jones writes. ...continue reading "U.S. cancer trials near state of crisis, report"

Scientists have identified seven new genetic variants that appear to be linked with increase risk of prostate cancer. Among these are four new "single-letter" genetic variants on one particular chromosome, called 8q24.

This chromosomal region has previously been associated with breast, colon, and bladder cancer. The discoveries identifying the four new genetic locations associated with prostate cancer on chromosome 8q24 were made by teams of independent scientists around the world. Three separate research papers on the discoveries are published in the online issue of Nature Genetics.

In one of the papers, Rosalind Eeles, from the London, UK Institute of Cancer Research laboratory (ICR) and colleagues in the Genetic Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge, report on the discovery of seven new prostate cancer susceptibility loci. In this video Dr. Eeles explains what her team found. She says they plan to take the results "into the clinic" to try to predict which men may need early testing for prostate cancer. Dr. Eeles says 8q is a "very interesting part of the genome for solid cancer risk."
...continue reading "New Genetic Variants Linked with Risk of Prostate Cancer"

the 4th C2 Academic Retreat (C2R) being organized jointly by the Canadian Urologic Oncology Group (CUOG) and the Canadian Urology Research Consortium (CURC) is scheduled for the weekend of September 25 to 27, 2009 at the fashionable hotel called W in Montreal.

According to UroToday, "this three-day educational event will include provocative 'Town Hall' sessions on the topics of Hormone Replacement and Cancer Risk, Prostrate Screening Controversies and the use of Robotic Technology in Surgery (Is it ready for prime time?)." "The line-up of topics and the caliber of presenters is unsurpassed in all the years we have been conducting these events," says Dr. Laurence Klotz, Chair of the CURC and immediate past president of the Canadian Urology Association (CUA).

The Retreat allows the sponsoring (and often competing) pharmaceutical companies (i.e. Amgen AstraZeneca, Sanofi Aventis, GlaxoSmitKline, Merck Frosst, Novartis, Minoque Medical, Genesis Genomics, and Pfizer) to actively participate in the academic portion of the agenda. ...continue reading "US Urologists to Huddle With Drug Companies in Montreal Canada Meeting"

A study published in Clinical Cancer Research August 18 2009 reports that an extract of the Chinese herb Wedelia (a member of the Asteraceae, or sunflower family of plants) shrinks the androgen receptor and prostate cancer in male mice.

"Wedelia chinensis," the authors write, "is a common ingredient of anti-inflammatory herbal medicines in Taiwan and southern China. Inflammation is involved in promoting tumor growth, invasion, and metastasis. This study aims to test the biological effects in vivo of W. chinensis extract on prostate cancer." ...continue reading "An anti-inflammatory herbal extract suppresses prostate tumors in mice"

Scientists have made a discovery about antibiotics that may advance cancer therapy. By studying the mechanisms at work in protein production, a Princeton-led team has discovered why certain kinds of antibiotics are so effective.

The new discovery exposes how a specific protein protects against cell death. This may also shed light on the cancer-fighting process, because cancer involves inability of defective cells to die off.

In particular, the new discovery is relevant to study of a human protein known as Bax Inhibitor-1 (BI-1) that has been found to affect metastatic spread of prostate and other cancers.
...continue reading "Antibiotic Research May Yield Cancer Breakthrough"

James Watson, the scientist who was one of the discoverers of the double-helical structure of DNA, says in an op-ed today that the National Cancer Institute (NCI) is "a largely rudderless ship in dire need of a bold captain." Aside from that, Watson is optimistic: ...continue reading "National Cancer Institute a “rudderless ship”"