NIH and Non-profits Sign Research and Development Agreement

The National Institutes of Health today announced an agreement with two non-profit organizations to accelerate the development of potential clinical therapies for rare blood cancers.

The cooperative research and development agreement has been established as a shared commitment to move therapies for rare blood cancers into clinical proof-of-concept studies so that promising treatments can eventually be commercialized. The agreement is among the University of Kansas Medical Center, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), the NIH Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases (TRND) program and the Hematology Branch within the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI).

The Learning Collaborative

Synergy Between Antibiotics and Nonantibiotic Drugs

Antibiotic resistance is an ever-growing clinical problem. Four years ago, a study found that antibiotics are overprescribed for sinus infections. Compounding the issue is the fact that as bacteria are learning to tolerate and even circumvent existing classes of antibiotics, not enough work is being done to discover new ones. Combinations or cocktails of antibiotics are often used to broaden the antimicrobial spectrum of each and to achieve synergistic effects; this approach has successfully been applied to combat tuberculosis, leprosy, malaria, and famously, HIV. Yet the discovery of effective combinations has usually been almost fortuitous, most often resulting from trial and error rather than a systematic analysis.

Antibiotic cocktail

In the current study, researchers systematically examined combinations of 1,057 compounds previously approved as drugs to find those that exhibited synergy with the antibiotic minocycline. Their work is reported in the April 24, 2011 issue of the journal Nature Chemical Biology [1]. The compounds were chosen because they have already been approved as drugs, they are known to have activity in vivo and are known to be relatively safe. Many approved drugs are known to have utility for clinical indications other than those for which they initially received approval. Moreover, using pre-approved compounds also reduces the time and cost associated with developing new compounds for therapeutic use.

The Benefits of Animal Research

This article was written by Liz Hodge.

Most of us like a great steak, but may not want to think about how it arrives on our plate. Similarly, we want medicines, vaccines, antibiotics, surgery and diagnostic tools when we’re sick, but we may not care to know how exactly these treatments make it into our hospitals and pharmacies. Well, chances are, scientists developed them with the help of laboratory animals. Nearly every medical breakthrough involves animal research. From antibiotics to blood transfusions, dialysis to organ transplantation, vaccinations to chemotherapy, bypass surgery and joint replacement, practically every drug, treatment, medical device, diagnostic tool or cure we have today was developed with the help of laboratory animals. Each day, dedicated scientists study animals to find new cures for diseases and conditions that are currently incurable.

Animal research

Addition of Immunotherapy Boosts Pediatric Cancer Survival

Administering a new form of immunotherapy to children with neuroblastoma, a nervous system cancer, increased the percentage of those who were alive and free of disease progression after two years. The percentage rose from 46 percent for children receiving a standard therapy to 66 percent for children receiving immunotherapy plus standard therapy, according to the study in the Sept. 30, 2010, New England Journal of Medicine. The randomized phase III clinical trial was coordinated by the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), a national consortium of researchers supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the NIH.

Cancer Research Blog Carnival #21 – National Cancer Research Month

Welcome to the 21st edition of the Cancer Research Blog Carnival, the monthly blog carnival that discusses what’s new in cancer research and includes posts covering cancer biology, cancer genetics, cancer diagnostics and cancer therapeutics. Concomitant with this edition is the start of National Cancer Research Month.

There’s a revolution occurring on the Web: those “authoritative” articles written on traditional, static websites are being replaced with blogs, wikis and online social networks. In the sphere of health, medicine and information technology, this “real-time Web” consists of many who are professionals in the field; their posts are listed below.
In the digital age, these are the characteristics of new media: recent, relevant, reachable and reliable.

In 2007, the United States Congress declared May National Cancer Research Month. The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) secured resolutions to raise awareness of the critical advances in cancer research made by its 27,000 members and cancer researchers worldwide, and its efforts to ensure a secure future for continued progress against a group of diseases which strike one in every two men and one in every three women.


Today, ten million cancer survivors are alive in America due to advances in cancer research [1]. National Cancer Research Month reminds us that basic, clinical, epidemiological and behavioral research are essential to identifying causes and developing strategies for cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cures.

With that, let’s find out more about what’s happening in cancer research this month.