Cell-based therapy success could be boosted by new antioxidant


Cell therapies being developed to treat a range of conditions could be improved by a chemical compound that aids their survival, research suggests. Lab tests found that the human-made molecule — a type of antioxidant — helps to shield healthy cells from damage such as would be caused when they are transplanted into a patient during cell therapy.

Rare genetic cause of peritoneal mesothelioma points to targeted therapy


Investigators have uncovered a new genetic cause of mesothelioma: a genetic rearrangement in the ALK gene, observed in three patients with peritoneal mesothelioma. Unlike previously known causes, this new discovery points to a potential therapeutic approach for those few patients whose tumors harbor the mutation.

Pathway's power to boost, halt tumors may be promising cancer therapy target


A protein, called inositol-requiring enzyme 1 — IRE1 — may serve as a key driver in a series of molecular interactions that can both promote and, paradoxically, inhibit tumors in certain types of cancers, such as non-melanoma skin cancers, according to a team of molecular biologists. They add that this pathway’s dual power may make it a tempting target for future research on the design of new types of anti-cancer therapeutics.

Gene therapy using ‘junk DNA’ could lower risk for heart disease


Researchers successfully used a gene that suppresses cholesterol levels as part of a treatment to reduce plaque in mice with a disorder called familial hypercholesterolemia. In a preclinical study, researchers found that the gene, LeXis, lowered cholesterol and blockages in the arteries, and the treatment appeared to reduce the build-up of fat in liver cells.

Combination therapy works best for heart diseases


A major international study has found that the combination of two drugs — rivaroxaban and aspirin — is superior to aspirin alone in preventing further heart complications in people with vascular disease. The study of 27,400 people with stable coronary or peripheral artery disease from 33 countries worldwide shows that the combination of 2.5 mg of rivaroxaban twice daily plus 100 mg of aspirin once daily was significantly better than only aspirin or only rivaroxaban in preventing heart attacks, strokes and early death.