Friday, July 02, 2010

Cancer Carnival #35

Once again, it's the first Friday of the month. Right between Canada Day and Independence Day, and in the middle of World Cup month so it's a bit of a light carnival this time around.

Over at Health and Life, our friend David has a post about melanoma and a new drug to treat it:
Ipilimumab is a monoclonal antibody that targets cytotoxic T lymphocyte associated antigen 4 (CTLA-4). This marker is associated with promoting a regulatory response by the immune system, slowing it down. By knocking it out, ipilimumab may shift the body’s immune response from inaction into action.
Health and Life often features new drug info and is a good place for pharm-minded folks.

At the Stem Cell Network blog, I have a post up about new developments in the world of hematopoiesis and touch upon some of the implications they might have for cancer research.
[A]cute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a cancer of the blood. As the name implies, it is the result of uncontrolled growth of cells from the myeloid lineage caused by dysregulation of the corresponding stem cell. Effective treatment requires the identification and targeting of the appropriate cells.
The Spittoon, the 23andMe blog, highlights 2 new cancer-associated SNPs. First is a genetic variant contributing to melanoma risk and mole count.
When Duffy’s team examined data from about 2,000 adolescents of European ancestry living in Australia, they found that each copy of a T at variant rs12203592 was associated with a significant increase in numbers of “flat” nevi (the most common type of nevus). When they looked at data from the parents of the adolescents, however, they saw no such effect. In fact, the data suggested that the C version of rs12203592 – not the T version – was associated with higher nevus counts in older people. Comparing these results with data from thousands of individuals from the UK confirmed the differing age-dependent effects of rs12203592.
Mole counts is something we've talked about before. The Spittoon post goes on to describe how these same variants affect melanoma risk. The second set of SNPs have to do with testicular cancer, reported in Nature Genetics.
Clare Turnbull and colleagues analyzed the DNA of 979 men with testicular cancer and 4,947 controls, all of European descent. Many of these men were included in the group’s previous study. The four SNPs most strongly associated with testicular cancer were then followed up in an additional sample of 664 cases and 3,456 controls, where evidence of association was also found.
Elsewhere in the blogosphere, Orac discusses cancer overdiagnosis and overtreatment, ERV notes the difficulties in epigenetic approaches to cancer treatment, HighlightHealth points to new information about vitamin D and cancer (which seems contrary to research from a few years ago) and for the epidemiologists, The Pump Handle dissects the recent President's Cancer Panel report.

That's it for this month's Cancer Research Blog Carnival. For older editions, visit the Carnival Homepage. Don't forget, the CRBC has subscription options; you can follow by email or RSS feed. An aggregated feed of credible, rotating health and medicine blog carnivals is also available. For a broader collection of science-related blog carnivals, sign up for the Science, Medicine, Environment and Nature Blog Carnival Twitter Feed.