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Protein Pushes Breast Cancer Cells to Metastasize

Using an innovative tool that captures heretofore hidden ways that cells are regulated, scientists at Rockefeller University have identified a protein that makes breast cancer cells more likely to metastasize.

What's more, the protein appears to trigger cancer's spread in part by blocking two other proteins that are normally linked to neurodegeneration, a finding that suggests these two disease processes could have unexpected ties.

The study, which appears in the journal Nature, points to the possibility of new cancer therapies that target this "master regulator" that helps set metastasis in motion.

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Cyclin D, Long Believed to Promote Cancer, Actually Activates Tumor Suppressor

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine say a protein essential to regulating cell cycle progression – the process of cell division and replication – activates a key tumor suppressor, rather than inactivating it as previously thought.

"The finding is the result of literally 20 years of work in my lab," said Steven F. Dowdy, PhD, professor in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at UC San Diego. "It completely turns upside-down what was thought to be a fundamental aspect of cell cycle progression in all cancer cells driven by one of the most common genetic pathways mutated in cancer, namely the p16-cyclin D pathway."

The findings are published in the journal eLife.

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Medicare-Backed Breast Cancer Screenings Skyrocket, But Do Patients Benefit?

 

Breast cancer screening costs for Medicare patients skyrocketed between 2001 and 2009, but the increase did not lead to earlier detection of new breast cancer cases, according to a study published by Yale School of Medicine researchers in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

While the number of screening mammograms performed among Medicare patients remained stable during the same time period, the study focused on the adoption of newer imaging technologies in the Medicare population, such as digital mammography. Brigid Killelea, M.D., assistant professor of surgery, and Cary Gross, M.D., professor of internal medicine at Yale School of Medicine and director of the Cancer Outcomes, Public Policy, and Effectiveness Research (COPPER) Center at Yale Cancer Center, were lead authors of the study.

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