Friday, January 07, 2011

Cancer Carnival #41

This month marks the 41st edition of the Cancer Research Blog Carnival, and the first of 2011. The Carnival relies on posts and hosts, so be sure to submit your posts for next month, and if you're tired of seeing it here on the Bayblab, drop us a line to sign up as a host.

First up, the Genome Engineering blog has a post up on turning skin cells into blood progenitors as a possible source of replacement cells in patients with cancers of the blood.
Because they can become any blood cell type, haematopoietic progenitor cells from bone marrow are used to repopulate the blood in patients that have leukaemias or lymphomas, other blood cancers and inborn defects of the blood or immune system. Researchers at McMaster University, Canada, have developed a technique to turn skin cells into blood progenitor cells.
This is a topic I previously covered at the Stem Cell Network blog, which also raises a question of how this will affect a need for blood donors.

Sticking with stem cells, the Hematopoiesis blog asks, "Can we uncouple stemness and carcinogenesis?"
The last two decades of research have unveiled remarkable similarities between malignant cells and stem cells. It becomes more evident with development of the cancer stem cell concept. Last year I’ve asked a question about possible separation of normal stem cells from cancer cells based on cell surface markers. Despite the identification of new targets, this approach is still elusive. Now, I’d like to talk about molecular regulation and signaling in normal stem cells and cancer cells.
The post details the similarities between malignant cells and stem cells and discusses a recent paper highlighting their differences in gene regulation.

At HighlightHEALTH, Walter has a post up about the potential revokation of marketing clearance for the cancer drug Avastin.
On one side, you have critics of the FDA accusing them of rationing healthcare while on the other side, you have comparative effectiveness research showing that there’s no statistically meaningful difference in the survival of patients receiving Avastin plus chemotherapy compared to chemotherapy alone.
The post examines some of the data used to support Avastin use, as well as the economic impact of such an expensive treatment.

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.