Tag Archives: PhD

Study reveals how inherited risk factors in ‘junk DNA’ affect breast cancer predisposition

Novel method provides insights in biology of breast cancer

Matthew Freedman, MD

In light of recent large population studies, it’s known that some people carry inherited DNA changes that increase their lifetime risk of diseases, including breast and prostate cancer. To the surprise of scientists, scores of these “risk alleles” have been found in vast regions of the genome – sometimes called “junk DNA” or “dark matter” – that don’t carry the genetic code for proteins, so how they influence an individual’s cancer risk isn’t known.
In a new study, scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have shown that several such alleles affect DNA …


Study identifies possible therapy for radiation sickness

A combination of two drugs may alleviate radiation sickness in people who have been exposed to high levels of radiation, even when the therapy is given a day after the exposure occurred, according to a study led by scientists from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Children’s Hospital Boston.
Mouse studies of other potential therapies suggest they would be effective in humans only if administered within a few minutes or hours of radiation exposure, making them impractical for use in response to events involving mass casualties. In contrast, the larger time window for administering the two-drug regimen raises the prospect that it could …


Solving a Puzzle in BRCA1-caused Breast Cancers

Research Roundup
Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers
Women who carry a mutant BRCA1 gene are at high risk of developing aggressive breast cancers. Most of the tumors are “ER-negative,” meaning they aren’t driven by the estrogen hormone and thus don’t respond to estrogen-blocking agents.
But about 20 percent of breast cancers in BRCA1 carriers are ER-positive. Research by Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers scientist Daniel Silver, MD, PhD, is exploring this puzzling minority.
“We were wondering about these ER-positive tumors,” says Dr. Silver, “Where do they come from? Are they caused by the mutant BRCA1 gene, or are they sporadic, …


Dana-Farber scientists identify overactive genes in aggressive breast cancers

Potential new drug target for hard-to-treat ‘triple-negative’ disease

Kornelia Polyak, MD, PhD

Scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have identified an overactive network of growth-spurring genes that drive stem-like breast cancer cells enriched in triple-negative breast tumors, a typically aggressive cancer that is highly resistant to current therapies.
Kornelia Polyak, MD, PhD, a breast cancer geneticist at Dana-Farber, and colleagues found that a large proportion of cells within these tumors showed elevated activity in a network of genes called the Jak2/Stat3 pathway.
Experiments have demonstrated that a drug specifically aimed to block this pathway halted the growth …


Rethinking the Cure for Breast Cancer By Hillary Stern

O, The Oprah Magazine |  September 20, 2010

Susan Love, MD, has scientists rethinking the way breast cancer research should be conducted.
They are trotted out nearly as often as those pink ribbons, but the statistics on breast cancer still stun: This year an estimated 200,000 women will be diagnosed and 40,000 will die—three times the number who will die of ovarian cancer—and science still hasn’t unlocked the mysteries of this relentless killer.
Yet what if the problem isn’t the research itself but rather who (or what) is being researched? “Animal studies can take you only so far because, let’s face it—rats and …


Genes found linked to breast cancer drug resistance could guide future treatment choices

Andrea Richardson, MD, PhD, and Zhigang Charles Wang, MD, PhD
Researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have discovered a gene activity signature that predicts a high risk of cancer recurrence in certain breast tumors that have been treated with commonly used chemotherapy drugs.
Despite their resistance to drugs of the anthracycline class, the breast cancers bearing this gene signature will probably still be vulnerable to other types of chemotherapy agents, say scientists in a letter to be published in Nature Medicine on its Web site and later in a print edition.

Tags: Andrea Richardson, Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer Research Foundation of New York, dana …