Mesenchymal stem cells(MSCs) play a role in tumor formation by differentiating into cancer associated fibroblasts (CAFs) which enable metastasis of tumors. The process of conversion of MSCs into CAFs is not clear. In this study, authors tested the hypothesis that cancers cells secrete soluble factors that induce differentiation by culturing bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells in media conditioned by a breast cancer cell line.
Treatments inhibiting Notch signaling pathways have been explored by researchers as a new approach for the treatment of glioblastoma tumors, which is a fast-growing and aggressive brain tumor. Recently, retinoic acid (RA) therapy, which inhibits Notch signaling, has shown a promising effect on inhibiting glioblastoma progression. RA, which is a metabolite of vitamin A, is very important in embryonic cellular development, which includes the regulation of multiple developmental processes, such as brain neurogenesis. However, high doses of RA treatment caused many side effects such as headaches, nausea, redness around the injection site, or allergic reactions. Therefore, we hypothesized that a combination treatment of RA and siRNA targeting NOTCH1 (siNOTCH1), the essential gene that activates Notch signaling, would effectively inhibit brain cancer cell proliferation. The aim of the study was to determine whether inhibiting NOTCH1 would inhibit the growth of brain cancer cells by cell viability assay. We found that the combination treatment of siNOTCH1 and RA in low concentration effectively decreased the NOTCH1 expression level compared to the individual treatments. However, the combination treatment condition significantly decreased the number of live brain cancer cells only at a low concentration of RA. We anticipate that this novel combination treatment can provide a solution to the side effects of chemotherapy.
The major drawback of chemotherapy regimens for treating cancer is that the cancerous cells acquire drug resistance and become impervious to further dose escalation. Keeping in mind the studied success of herbal formulations with regard to alternative treatments for cancer, we hypothesized that the use of a chemotherapeutic drug and proprietary herbal formulation, HF1, would combat this phenomenon when administered with common chemotherapeutic drug 5FU. Results demonstrated a cooperative effect between HF1 and 5FU on the drug resistant cell line, implying that administration of HF1 with 5FU results in cell death as measured by MTT assay.
In this study, the authors investigate the effect of a herbal formulation on Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression in cancer cells. High levels of COX-2 correlates with worsened cancer outcomes and the authors hypothesize that the formulation will inhibit COX-2 levels.
The independent effects of metastasis-promoting gene CD151 in the process of metastasis are not known. This study aimed to isolate CD151 to discover what its role in metastasis would be uninfluenced by potential interactions with other components and pathways in human cells. Results showed that CD151 significantly increased the adhesion of the cells and decreased their motility. Thus, it may be that CD151 is upregulated in cancer cells for the last step of metastasis, and it increases the chances of success of metastasis by aiding in implantation of the cancer cells. Targeting CD151 in chemotherapeutic modalities could therefore potentially slow or prevent metastasis.
In this article the authors created an interaction map of proteins involved in colorectal cancer to look for driver vs. non-driver genes. That is they wanted to see if they could determine what genes are more likely to drive the development and progression in colorectal cancer and which are present in altered states but not necessarily driving disease progression.
The current five-year survival rate of metastasized prostate cancer is only 30% and occurs in every one in nine men. Researchers have shown that people with a type of dwarfism called Laron’s Syndrome are immune to cancer due to their low levels of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). For this reason, experimentally modifying the level of IGF-1 could provide better insight into whether lowering the levels of IGF-1 in prostate cancer cell lines (e.g. PC-3) could be an effective treatment to reduce their rates of proliferation and migration and increase apoptosis. We selected three compounds, which researchers have shown decrease IGF-1 levels, to test and combine to determine which is the most promising.
Osteosarcoma is a type of bone cancer that affects young adults and children. Early diagnosis of osteosarcoma is crucial to successful treatment. The current methods of diagnosis, which include imaging tests and biopsy, are time consuming and prone to human error. Hence, we used deep learning to extract patterns and detect osteosarcoma from histological images. We hypothesized that the combination of two different technologies (transfer learning and data augmentation) would improve the efficacy of osteosarcoma detection in histological images. The dataset used for the study consisted of histological images for osteosarcoma and was quite imbalanced as it contained very few images with tumors. Since transfer learning uses existing knowledge for the purpose of classification and detection, we hypothesized it would be proficient on such an imbalanced dataset. To further improve our learning, we used data augmentation to include variations in the dataset. We further evaluated the efficacy of different convolutional neural network models on this task. We obtained an accuracy of 91.18% using the transfer learning model MobileNetV2 as the base model with various geometric transformations, outperforming the state-of-the-art convolutional neural network based approach.
Smoking generates free radicals and reactive oxygen species which induce cell damage and lipid peroxidation. This is linked to the development of oral cancer in chronic smokers. The authors of this study developed Quitpuff, simple colorimetric test to measure the extent of lipid peroxidation in saliva samples. This test detected salivary lipid peroxidation with 96% accuracy in test subjects and could serve as an inexpensive, non-invasive test for smokers to measure degree of salivary lipid peroxidation and potential risk of oral cancer.
Inefficient penetration of cancer drugs into the interior of the three-dimensional (3D) tumor tissue limits drugs' delivery. The authors hypothesized that the addition of phospholipase A2 (PLA2) would increase the permeability of the drug doxorubicin for efficient drug penetration. They found that 1 mM PLA2 had the highest permeability. Increased efficiency in drug delivery would allow lower concentrations of drugs to be used, minimizing damage to normal cells.