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News: Gastrointestinal Cancer

Calcium intake and colorectal cancer

Friday, October 20th, 2017

Calcium plays key roles in cellular signaling, proliferation and death. Previous studies exploring the relationship between dietary calcium intake and colorectal cancer have had contradictory results, perhaps due to no consideration of variation in calcium reabsorption by the kidney.

Researchers find novel mechanism of resistance to anti-cancer drugs

Friday, October 20th, 2017

The targeted anti-cancer therapies cetuximab and panitumumab are mainstays of treatment for advanced colorectal cancer, the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. However, many patients have tumors with genetic mutations that make them resistant to these anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) monoclonal antibodies, or the cancers develop resistance during treatment.

Acid reflux cancer link

Sunday, September 17th, 2017

In a study published in the journal Scientific Reports, Alexander Zaika, Ph.D. and coworkers show that DNA damage in the esophageal cells caused by acidic bile reflux (BA/A) activates enzymes called NADPH oxidases in the mitochondria, the cell’s power house, to release highly reactive-oxygen species (ROS).

Pancreatic cancer development

Saturday, September 2nd, 2017

Pancreatic ductal carcinoma (PDAC) is one of the most lethal types of cancer, with new therapeutic options needed. Sergey Novitskiy, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues investigated the immune response during the development of aggressive PDAC in an animal model of the disease.

Fatty acids and adenoma risk

Monday, August 28th, 2017

Dietary intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) has been associated with risk of colorectal cancer, with omega-6 PUFAs increasing and omega-3 PUFAs decreasing risk. Most studies, however, have relied on questionnaires to assess consumption of fatty acids, and results have been inconsistent. Harvey Murff, M.D., and colleagues have studied a blood-based biomarker of PUFA intake. […]

Early drivers of gastric cancer

Friday, August 11th, 2017

Gastric cancer – a leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide – is commonly diagnosed at a late stage when most patients have a poor prognosis. Wael El-Rifai, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues are exploring the molecular alterations that drive gastric carcinogenesis, to improve early detection, treatment and prevention. They previously showed that knocking out (eliminating) the […]

New tools help surgeons find liver tumors, not nick blood vessels

Friday, July 21st, 2017

The liver is a particularly squishy, slippery organ, prone to shifting both deadly tumors and life-preserving blood vessels by inches between the time they’re discovered on a CT scan and when the patient is lying on an operating room table. Surgeons can swab the exposed liver lightly on the surface with a special stylus, capturing the shape of […]

Kachnic named one of the ‘Women to Watch’ in health care

Thursday, July 13th, 2017

Lisa Kachnic, M.D., Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair in Radiation Oncology and chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC), has been named one of the “Women to Watch” in health care by Nashville Medical News. Lisa Kachnic, M.D. Kachnic is among 10 women in the Class of 2017 recognized by the health […]

Bile acids, microbiota and colon cancer

Monday, July 10th, 2017

Deoxycholic acid (DCA), a secondary bile acid that is increased by high dietary fat intake – a western diet – has been linked to intestinal carcinogenesis. In a previous study, Fang Yan, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues showed that DCA accelerated the progression of adenoma to adenocarcinoma in mice that spontaneously develop intestinal adenomas. Now, the researchers […]

Coffey lands major NCI award to support colorectal cancer research

Friday, June 9th, 2017

Vanderbilt’s Robert Coffey Jr., M.D., has received an Outstanding Investigator Award from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) — more than $6.6 million over seven years — to support studies aimed at advancing the diagnosis and treatment of colorectal cancer (CRC), a leading cancer killer. Robert Coffey Jr., M.D. Coffey, Ingram Professor of Cancer Research and […]

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