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Potential Clue Associated with Aggressive Prostate Cancer Identified by Rutgers Investigators

Prostate cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in men and the leading cause of cancer deaths in white, African-American and Hispanic men, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Current treatment of prostate cancer targets androgens, hormones which promote the growth and spread of cancer cells. However, it remains unclear why, despite treatment, some prostate cancers progress and may become fatal. Researchers at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, part of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, who are studying the underlying mechanisms that cause invasive tumor growth have identified a key transcription factor, a protein which regulates the flow of information from DNA, that is over-produced in treatment-resistant prostate cancer, as well as the two protein kinases that trigger the process. This finding, published and highlighted on the cover of the July issue of Molecular Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) could be utilized to develop treatments for prostate cancer that is resistant to current therapies.

The research team, led by Joseph Fondell, PhD, associate professor of pharmacology, found that in clinically localized human prostate cancer — cancer that is confined to the prostate and pelvic area — the key transcription factor termed MED1 is overexpressed, meaning that significantly more MED1 is produced than is typical. According to Fondell, the finding potentially could be used as a biomarker in cancer screenings, indicating to oncologists that the prostate cancer has become aggressive. “As MED1 is a known co-activator of androgen receptors, the overexpression of MED1 is thought to facilitate alternative gene expression patterns that drive treatment-resistant cancer cell growth in the prostate,” Fondell said.

“Our study showed for the first time that MED1 expression is elevated in malignant cells of a statistically significant number of patients with clinical prostate cancer and that this overexpression correlates with an increase in cancer cell growth and invasiveness,” said Feng Jin, PhD, a former graduate student in Fondell’s lab and first author on the study. “In addition to accelerated tumor growth, our study showed that overexpression of MED1 may also be involved with inflammation of the prostate.”

Further study of the process using mouse models that mimic human prostate cancer, showed that two protein kinases, ERK and PI3K/AKT, were overactive and responsible for MED1 overproduction, ultimately accelerating the progression and spread of prostate cancer.

“Whereas the current treatment approach for prostate cancer is to prohibit androgen production and signaling, our findings indicate that MED1 could represent a novel target for new therapies that stop the process at the molecular level, before prostate cancer can progress to an advanced stage,” added Fondell, who also is a member of Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey.

Study: ERK and AKT Signaling Drive MED1 Overexpression in Prostate Cancer in Association with Elevated Proliferation and Tumorigenicity [Molecular Cancer Research]

Source: Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

CellHealth Institute Launches with Support from Influential Investors

CellHealth™ Institute (CHI), a new biotechnology company that provides breakthrough products, services and lifestyle education in the emerging category of personalized cell health recently launched with the backing of key investors. John Malone Ph.D., chairman of Liberty Media Corporation (NASDAQ: LMCA) has invested $2 million in CellHealth Institute.

CellHealth Institute offers fully integrated and individualized health programs, paired with scientific biomarker evaluations, medical-grade supplements and informed advice for its clients and social community on healthy lifestyle choices to improve cell health. CellHealth Institute also provides advanced adult stem cell services, and has its own cell technology IP portfolio.

“The development of adult stem cell research and technology and the exciting progress in the world of cell health and regenerative medicine are the things that motivated me to invest in CellHealth Institute,” said John Malone . “We know unequivocally that damage to human cells is at the core of most disease. We have a duty to research, develop and deliver to the doors of people across the United States and worldwide the products and services that can increase and enrich their quality of life. I believe that CellHealth Institute and the work of its team will lead us into the new frontier of preventative care and I’m excited to be a part of the progress that is being made.”

The support of investors, including Mr. Malone, will enable CellHealth Institute to grow its research and product development plans as well as its consumer-facing strategy. CellHealth Institute, which is led by cell health expert and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Vincent Giampapa, the world’s first board-certified anti-aging physician, will also continue to collaborate with top-tier universities and publicly traded companies in its research of advanced adult stem cell treatments.

“It is extremely gratifying to have John Malone , someone well recognized as having extraordinary business acumen with continuing success in many industries, so committed to our movement and the things we’re trying to achieve,” said David Saloff , chief executive officer of CellHealth Institute. “The concept of cell health is a new one to most people, but we want to ensure that it becomes widely understood and fast. The presence of exceptional visionaries like John Malone can only help us achieve our outreach with excellence.”

Mr. Malone is joined in support of CellHealth Institute by Ed Bosarge , founder and CEO of Capital Technologies Inc. Dr. Bosarge, through the Bosarge Family Office, has funded CellHealth Institute’s latest clinical study into reprogramming aging adult stem cells at the University of Medicine and Dentistry New Jersey (UMDNJ).

Source: PR Newswire

Biomarker Discovery Center Established at UMDNJ-School of Osteopathic Medicine

Following recent discoveries by its researchers that could significantly change the diagnosis and treatment of a number of diseases, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ)-School of Osteopathic Medicine has established the Biomarker Discovery Center on its Stratford campus. The new center will be under the direction of Robert Nagele, PhD, professor of Medicine at the medical school’s New Jersey Institute for Successful Aging. Dr. Nagele’s published research includes recent findings that show how blood-borne biomarkers can potentially be used to diagnose early stages of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

Lactation Protein Supresses Tumors and Metastasis in Breast Cancer

A protein that is necessary for lactation in mammals inhibits the critical cellular transition that is an early indicator of breast cancer and metastasis, according to research conducted at the University at Buffalo and Princeton University and highlighted as the cover paper in November issue of Nature Cell Biology.

Foundation of UMDNJ Receives Grand Challenges Tuberculosis Biomarkers Grant

The Foundation of UMDNJ, an affiliate of New Jersey Health Foundation, has received a tuberculosis (TB) biomarkers grant through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Grand Challenges in Global Health program, an initiative which seeks to overcome persistent bottlenecks in creating new tools that can radically improve health in the developing world.