Oncologists Have Mixed Attitudes on the Use of Genomic Testing

Predictive genomic testing has the potential to usher in an era of personalized cancer care for patients. However, a recent study finds that not all physicians are eager to embrace the technology.

Cancer genomic testing

Amid Debate, First Proton Therapy Center Opens in New Jersey

All too often, the most brutal part of a bout with cancer is radiation therapy. X rays are electromagnetic waves that travel with a constant amount of energy, so although they effectively kill cancer cells, they pass through the skin and healthy tissues on their way to and from the tumor. In doing so, they damage the normal cells in their path. Protons, on the other hand, are particles that have a mass and a charge (they are positive). They can thus be targeted with exquisite specificity only to the tumor site, emitting the bulk of their radiation there and there only and sparing patients the terrible side effects that can accompany therapy with X rays.

ProCure gantry room

MIA is a Potential Biomarker for NF1 Tumor Load

Neurofibromatosis type 1 is a genetic condition that can cause tumors to form on nerves under the skin. Since these tumors can become malignant, it is important to monitor their growth closely and detect signs of malignant transformation as early as possible. However, the only way to currently detect them is with an MRI scan. New research published in BioMed Central’s open access journal BMC Medicine shows that a simple blood test for the protein melanoma-inhibitory activity (MIA) may be used to indicate the presence of neurofibromas even if they cannot be seen [1].

Blood test

Biomarker Bulletin: March 21, 2011

Biomarker Bulletin is an occasionally recurring update of news focused on biomarkers aggregated at BiomarkerCommons.org. Biomarkers are physical, functional or biochemical indicators of normal physiological or disease processes. The individualization of disease management — personalized medicine — is dependent on developing biomarkers that promote specific clinical domains, including early detection, risk, diagnosis, prognosis and predicted response to therapy.

Biomarker Commons
  • MedTrust Online, Avantra Biosciences Collaborate to Involve Clinicians in Assay Development

    MedTrust Online and Avantra Biosciences recently announced that they will collaborate on involving clinicians in early-stage development of molecular diagnostic assays to run on Avantra Biosciences’ QPDx multiplex immunoassay system.

  • Biomarker May Prove Useful for Diagnosing Knee Injury

    Researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine recently discovered a biomarker that may enable doctors to diagnose a common form of knee injury. The study, published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, has identified a specific protein complex in the knee fluid of patients with painful meniscal tears.

  • OncoTrack Launches Search for Novel Genomic Cancer Diagnostics

    A new European consortium called OncoTrack has just launched one of Europe’s largest collaborative academic-industry research projects to develop and assess novel approaches for the identification of new biomarkers for colon cancer. The five year project, Methods for systematic next generation oncology biomarker development, brings together top European academic researchers with a wide range of expertise and partners them with pharmaceutical companies.

  • Discovery of Diagnostic and Prognostic Prostate Cancer Serum Biomarkers Guided by Cancer Genetics

    An interdisciplinary team of researchers from ETH Zurich, University Hospital Zurich and the Cantonal Hospital of St. Gallenhas has defined biomarkers in patients’ blood serum that indicates the presence of prostate cancer. The method used has the potential to be applied to other types of tumors.

  • SciClips Launches Diagnostic and Prognostic Biomarker Database

    In the era of personalized medicine, drugs will be targeted to patients based upon his or her unique genetic profile. Biomarkers are a critical component for tailoring treatments to individual patients. Biomarkers will be used as tools for target discovery, noninvasive early stage diagnosis of diseases, for evaluation of mode of action of a drug, dose determination and prediction of the drug effect. They will accelerate not only the development of effective and non-toxic drugs but also help in monitoring patient health and response to treatment.

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.

national-cancer-research-month

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.