Researchers at Brown University have found that adipose-derived human stem cells (ASCs) might be highly resistant to methotrexate (MTX), a common chemotherapy drug. ASCs can ultimately become bone and other vital tissues throughout the body, which could be key for researchers looking to protect bone tissue from the damage caused by MTX treatment. MTX, which is used to treat a number of different cancers including acute lymphoblastic leukemia, causes the loss of bone density and has an adverse effect on bone marrow derived stem cells.
Vanderbilt University’s Medical Center was chosen as one of the six clinical sites for the NIH’s Undiagnosed Diseases Network. Medical facilities participating in the network will work to identify, research, and treat rare diseases. Other Universities selected for the Network include, Baylor College of Medicine, Duke University, and Stanford University, among others.
A new Lung-MAP study, launched by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) along with the SWOG cancer group, a number of private foundations, and five pharmaceutical companies, is aiming to find new drugs for squamous cell lung cancer. While drug companies have come together for prospective studies in the past, this study’s scope and size are relatively surprising. Through this collaboration, the researchers will be identifying the molecular abnormalities in patients and examining each patient on an individual basis for the likelihood of a chemical response to a particular drug.
Researchers at Rockefeller University’s Sidney Strickland’s Laboratory of Neurobiology and Genetics have announced the identification of a compound that could eventually be developed into an Alzheimer’s drug. The compound, RU-505, has shown the ability to stop the amyloid-β protein from being able to bind to a clotting agent in the blood, causing the memory loss and other symptoms that affect Alzheimer’s disease patients.
Researchers at the University of Minnesota’s Masonic Cancer Center have found that the MYC gene, which is key in the development of cancer, partners with a non-coding RNA, PVT1, in turn fueling the growth of cancer cells. This new discovery could help researchers to better understand the relationship between how the MYC gene boosts the development of cancer and in turn, fuel new drug discoveries.