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06.01.2015 admin
A team of researchers from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, have found that patients suffering from inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) can benefit from conjugating radiation treatments with simvastatin, a drug commonly used to treat high cholesterol and prevent cardiovascular disease.
The study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Stem Cells Translational Medicine, examined simvastatin radiosensitization of different types of breast cancer cell lines in vitro to understand the therapeutic benefits of statins in controlling postmastectomy radiation (PMRT) in IBC patients. Surviving breast cancer stem cells that develop resistance towards radiation and chemotherapy may be the underlying basis of IBC’s tendency to metastasize.
A recent study from Danish scientists renewed the interest in the capacity of statins to affect breast cancer — “Our curiosity was piqued by the Denmark study and we also began looking at statins and found they seemed to improve survival in IBC patients.
From the total patients using statins, only 11% had a local recurrence of cancer when compared to 24% of the non-statin using group, demonstrating the compound potential to sensitize tumors to radiation therapy. Statins have been used for a long time to treat hypercholesterolemia, and their capacity to improve disease outcomes in breast cancer patients has been known for a while. Additional authors of this all-MD Anderson study entitled “Simvastatin radiosensitizes differentiated and stem-like breast cancer cell lines and is associated with improved local control in inflammatory breast cancer patients treated with postmastectomy radiation” include Lara Lacerda, Jay P. World neurosurgery leaders gathered in Amsterdam May 15-19 for the 18th International Leksell Gamma Knife Society Meeting. Disclaimer:Radiation Therapy News is strictly a news and information website about the disease.
All organisms on Earth evolved from a common ancestor, so all organisms use DNA as their molecule of heredity. The ability to cut, paste, and copy molecules of DNA was not only a watershed moment for scientific research but spawned an entire industry built on genetic engineering. Today recombinant DNA technology is used extensively in research laboratories worldwide to explore myriad questions about gene structure, function, expression pattern, regulation, and much more.
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As such, a compound that can effectively radiosensitize these resistant cells is of extreme importance to prevent cancer recurrence. In this latest study, we took it a step further by examining the medical records of 519 women with stage III IBC who had undergone radiation treatment after mastectomy, comparing those who were taking simvastatin at the time of radiation with those who weren’t,” said Dr. Furthermore, their safe toxicity profile alongside low commercial cost make them the perfect candidates for accessible adjuvant use in radiotherapy. At the chemical level, DNA is the same whether it is taken from a microscopic bacterium or a blue whale.
One widely used application involves genetically engineering “knock-out” animals (typically mice) to contain a non-functional form of a particular gene of interest. One example is the generation of genetically engineered plants to produce an insect toxin called Bt toxin.
Wendy Woodward, IBC, MD Anderson, PMRT, radiation therapy, simvastatin, statins, stem cells.
This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. As a result, DNA from different organisms can be “cut and pasted” together, resulting in “recombinant DNA”. By 1982, the FDA approved Genetech’s first successful product, a synthetic form of human insulin produced by bacteria that were engineered to contain the insulin gene. The goal of such experiments is to determine gene function by analyzing the consequences of the missing gene. The Bt gene is derived from a bacterium called Bacillus thuringiensis and produces a toxin that disrupts gut function in the larvae (caterpillars) of certain insects that are crop pests. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

While knockout mice are generated to answer questions in many different fields, they are particularly useful in developmental biology and have led to an understanding of some of the essential genes involved in the development of an organism from a single fertilized egg.
The gene that produces Bt toxin is introduced into such plants by recombinant DNA technology, and results in the selective killing of crop-feeding insects.  This development has had a major economic impact and reduced the expenses of pesticides used per year and has increased the longevity and success of several crops. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.
Berg joined together DNA fragments from two different viruses with the help of particular enzymes: restriction enzymes and ligase. Restriction enzymes (such as EcoR1 in the figure below) are like “molecular scissors” that cut DNA at specific sequences. If the DNA from the different sources is cut with the same restriction enzyme, the cut ends can be joined together and then sealed into a continuous DNA strand by the enzyme ligase. In 1973, the first organism to contain recombinant DNA was engineered by Herb Boyer (UCSF) and Stanley Cohen (Stanford University). Notably, they also produced bacteria that contained genes from the toad Xenopus laevis , which showed DNA from very different species could be spliced together. Paul Berg was awarded the 1980 Nobel Prize in Chemistry “for his fundamental studies of the biochemistry of nucleic acids, with particular regard to recombinant-DNA”.

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