A Single Drug For All Cancers?

A single drug can shrink or cure human breast, ovary, colon, bladder, brain, liver, and prostate tumors that have been transplanted into mice, researchers have found. The treatment, an antibody that blocks a “do not eat” signal normally displayed on tumor cells, coaxes the immune system to destroy the cancer cells.

A decade ago, biologist Irving Weissman of the Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California, discovered that leukemia cells produce higher levels of a protein called CD47 than do healthy cells. CD47, he and other scientists found, is also displayed on healthy blood cells; it’s a marker that blocks the immune system from destroying them as they circulate. Cancers take advantage of this flag to trick the immune system into ignoring them.

In the past few years, Weissman’s lab showed that blocking CD47 with an antibody cured some cases of lymphomas and leukemias in mice by stimulating the immune system to recognize the cancer cells as invaders. Now, he and colleagues have shown that the CD47-blocking antibody may have a far wider impact than just blood cancers. ”We showed that even after the tumor has taken hold, the antibody can either cure the tumor or slow its growth and prevent metastasis,” says Weissman.

Cancer researcher Tyler Jacks of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge says that although the new study is promising, more research is needed to see whether the results hold true in humans.

Weissman’s team has received a $20 million grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to move the findings from mouse studies to human safety tests. “We have enough data already,” says Weissman, “that I can say I’m confident that this will move to phase I human trials.”

Source: Digg

Image: Topic Pls

Researchers Find Unlisted Heavy Metals in Many Cosmetics

In light of recent news that the FDA found lead in 400 brands of lipstick, Yahoo! Shine took a look at other products containing potentially hazardous ingredients. While the levels are much lower, according to a 2011 report by Environmental Defense, an Ontario-based research group, dangerous heavy metals still lurk in lip gloss, mascara, foundation, blush, eye shadow, and eyeliner.

The researchers tested a total of 49 common products selected from the cosmetic bags of six average Canadian women. They found that every product contained at least one of seven heavy metals including arsenic, cadmium, lead, nickel, beryllium, thallium, and selenium. Lead, a known neurotoxin, showed up in 96% of the items.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that lead exposure is not safe at any level. Heavy metals are considered a by-product of manufacturing and it’s worth noting that none were listed in the ingredients lists on the cosmetics’ labels.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, which pushed for the FDA’s recent scrutiny of lipstick, points out that, “Individual exposures to these metals in small amounts are unlikely to cause harm, but heavy metals can build up in the body over time and may increase risk for a variety of health problems.” The U.S. Department of Labor links arsenic to stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and cancer of the bladder, lungs, skin, kidney, nasal passages, liver, and prostate.

The report notes that the highest levels of arsenic, cadmium, and lead overall were found in lip gloss, which can be ingested orally.

Source: Yahoo News

Image: Mail Online