Lance Armstrong starts Tour de France
While fireworks go up in the US tomorrow, our favorite cancer survivor Lance Armstrong will start the first stage of Tour de France tomorrow in his bid for his 8th title. The 96th Tour goes till July 26 and covers a distance of 3,500 kilometers in 21 stages Go, Lance, Go!
News from the safety watch groups
Cancer concerns with insulin glargine
The European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) has requested requesting further research to investigate a possible link between insulin glargine and cancer. Glargine is an insulin product marketed as Lantus by Sanofi-Aventis. The concerns came up when two studies by German and Swedish researchers showed a dose-dependent increase in cancer risk among glargine users. UK studies on the other hand gave inconclusive results. The American Diabetes Association said the findings “are conflicting and inconclusive” and “cautions against overreaction until more information is available.
News from the cancer researchers
Cancer biology: Double agent
The protein STAT3 plays the double agent. The protein regulates gene expression and is active in mitochondrial metabolism. However, STAT3 mutants seem to mediate metabolic changes necessary for cancer cell growth. This new development has been reported in the June issue of Science.
News from the endocrinologists
In a recent meeting of the Endocrine Society, endocrinologists reported on several so-called endocrine disrupting chemicals. On top of the list is bisphenol A (BPA), the controversial plastic component. BPA exposure of pregnant mice led to loss of fertility in female offsprings. Dioxins, on the other hand, have been shown to interfere with the development of mammary cells and therefore milk production. Dioxins occur naturally but are also produced as industrial waste. They get into the water, soil and into the food chain. According to the World Health Organization, 90% of dioxin exposure occurs via the food chain. Both BPA and dioxin are potential carcinogens.
News from the drug developers
New Class of Drugs Promising for BRCA-Related Cancers
Good news for BRCA gene carriers. A new class of cancer drugs called PARP inhibitors show promising activity against inherited cancers caused by BRCA1 and BRCA2 cell mutations. PARP inhibitors work by blocking the action of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase, an enzyme that helps repair DNA. In certain tumor cells, such as those from BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers, blocking this enzyme can lead to cell death.