In celebration of National Cancer Research Month, our colleagues at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute have posted a series of blog entries about cancer research at their institute. The latest installment includes CIRM grantee Robert Wechsler-Reya, who moved to California from Duke University on a CIRM Research Leadership Award.
There's an interesting story from CIRM grantees at Sanford-Burnham this week, showing a relationship between tissue-specific stem cells in the body and cancer. It all started with an observation in people with Down Syndrome: they are less likely than other people to develop cancers.
When I was the editor of a national magazine for physicians, I told my writers to do any story they found on prostate issues, with our overwhelming male audience then, I knew those stories would get high readership scores. My readers back then would have loved today's news out of UCLA. The team there, led by CIRM grantee Owen Witte, found that the inhibition of a certain protein slowed the growth of an aggressive form of prostate cancer in animal models.
In the name of full disclosure, that's the center that cured my mother's lymphoma, so let's just say I'm a fan.
Two interesting reports today discuss the relationship between basic research and the kind of translational research that is the most visible sign of progress toward cures.
In his blog, the director of the bay area biotech collaborative QB3 Regis Kelly writes about public speakers at the Translational Medicine Alliance speaking out against basic research. He says:
CIRM grantees at University of California, San Francisco, have published a Cell Stem Cell paper explaining why blood-forming stem cells accumulate cancer-causing mutations with age. Basically, they found that inactivity is genetically risky for the cells.