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Curcumin, Special Peptides Boost Cancer-Blocking PIAS3 to Neutralize Cancer-Activating STAT3 in Mesothelioma

A common Asian spice and cancer-hampering molecules show promise in slowing the progression of mesothelioma, a cancer of the lung’s lining often linked to asbestos. Scientists from Case Western Reserve University and the Georg-Speyer-Haus in Frankfurt, Germany, demonstrate that application of curcumin, a derivative of the spice turmeric, and cancer-inhibiting peptides increase levels of a protein inhibitor known to combat the progression of this cancer. Their findings appeared in the Aug. 14 online edition Clinical Cancer Research; the print version of the article will appear Oct. 1.

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‘Electronic skin’ could improve early breast cancer detection

For detecting cancer, manual breast exams seem low-tech compared to other methods such as MRI. But scientists are now developing an “electronic skin” that “feels” and images small lumps that fingers can miss. Knowing the size and shape of a lump could allow for earlier identification of breast cancer, which could save lives. They describe their device, which they’ve tested on a breast model made of silicone, in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.

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FDA approves first non-invasive DNA screening test for colorectal cancer

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Cologuard, the first stool-based colorectal screening test that detects the presence of red blood cells and DNA mutations that may indicate the presence of certain kinds of abnormal growths that may be cancers such as colon cancer or precursors to cancer.

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Synthetic Molecule Makes Cancer Self-Destruct

Researchers from The University of Texas at Austin and five other institutions have created a molecule that can cause cancer cells to self-destruct by ferrying sodium and chloride ions into the cancer cells. 

These synthetic ion transporters, described this week in the journal Nature Chemistry, confirm a two-decades-old hypothesis that could point the way to new anticancer drugs while also benefiting patients with cystic fibrosis.

Synthetic ion transporters have been created before, but this is the first time researchers have shown them working in a real biological system where transported ions demonstrably cause cells to self-destruct.

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A new therapy for breast cancer is being designed using wasp venom

Scientists from the Institute for Biomedical Research (IRB Barcelona) have carried out successful in vitro tests using wasp venom to kill tumour cells. The next step will be to test its efficacy in mouse models.

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