May 16, 2011
Doctors who treat children with the most common form of childhood cancer - acute lymphoblastic leukemia - are often baffled at how sometimes the cancer cells survive their best efforts and the most powerful modern cancer drugs. Now a team of a protein that leukemia cells use to stay alive. at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) have uncovered the basis for this drug resistance: BCL6, a protein that leukemia cells use to stay alive. Targeting this protein may be the key to fighting drug-resistant leukemia, a discovery that may make cancer drugs more powerful and help doctors formulate powerful drug cocktails to cure more children of leukemia. "We believe this discovery is of immediate relevance to patient care," said Markus Müschen, MD, PhD, a professor of laboratory medicine at UCSF and the senior author on the study. As described in the journal Nature this week, Mueschen and his colleagues showed that mice with drug-resistant leukemia can be cured of the disease when given conventional cancer drugs in combination with a compound that disables the BCL6 protein. This compound was initially developed by Ari Melnick, a professor of pharmacology at the Weill Cornell College of Medicine in New York and a co-author of the study. A Common Form of Cancer in Children Acute lymphoblastic leukemia is the most common form of cancer in children and accounts for about 23 percent of all cases of cancer in children under the age of 15, according to the National Cancer Institute. In this form of cancer, leukemia cells in the bloodstream and bone marrow continuously multiply, crowding out other, healthy cells. The disease progresses rapidly, and the leukemia cells begin to infiltrate tissues in other parts of the body. Treatment is neither cheap nor easy - but it can be miraculous. It usually involves a long course of drugs that can be physically and emotionally taxing for the children and their parents. Once finished, many enjoy complete remission and are able to live cancer-free, cured of the leukemia.
May 11, 2011
The UCSF Department of Dermatology, in partnership with the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and the Chinatown Public Health Clinic, offered free skin cancer screenings in Chinatown to mark National Skin Cancer Awareness Month. UCSF faculty and residents performed the screenings for scores of men ...
May 11, 2011
What's fashionable, but sometimes fatal? Sun tanning, apparently -- at least among well-off young white women. In the United States, more than 90 percent of the most deadly skin cancers -- malignant melanomas -- occur in the white population. Among young women the incidence is ...
May 7, 2011
Three UCSF scientists have received grants from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) to advance their investigations of treatment strategies for degenerative muscle diseases, such as muscular dystrophy, and heart disease, and to determine why human embryonic stem cells are susceptible to forming tumors.
May 5, 2011
Yervoy is unlikely to win a contest for best named drug, but recent US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for the new entrant in the battle against cancer marks the success of a novel treatment strategy, and is another indicator that immunotherapy has gone ...
May 4, 2011
Alexander D. Johnson, PhD, and Shinya Yamanaka, MD, PhD, have been elected as members of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) for their excellence in original scientific research. It is one of the highest honors bestowed on a scientist or engineer in the United States.