in honor of breast cancer awareness month

I’m not quite sure how it happened, but October completely snuck up on me.  I feel like it was only a few days ago that I was grilling for Labor day.  Guess that’s what long days and longer nights in the lab will do to you.  Then I started to notice the changing colors of the new season.

There is pink EVERYWHERE – Breast Cancer Awareness Month is here in full force.  As if I might miss a pink ribbon here or there, my Houston Texans decided to reinforce the message last Sunday night.  Unfortunately, the game was a minor disaster, but for a city doing such profound cancer research, it was inspiring to see such a display from the hometown crowd.

And so, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, I return from my small hiatus to share some research being done in the Bayou City with novel therapies for treating breast cancers. Continue reading

male contraceptives are one step closer to reality

For the man who is not ready for a child in his life, there are several wonderful options available for family planning.  These include condoms, herbal remedies, vasectomies, prolonged heating of the testicles, and, of course, the infamous withdrawal method.

Obviously, most of these are either a tad final or woefully ineffective.  Except for the condom, which protects against a range of STD’s as well, men really don’t have a highly effective, reversible means for contraception.  Women, of course, have “The Pill,” and scientists have long been working to develop something similar for men.  Researchers from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston reported their findings today in Cell that may very well bring us one step closer. Continue reading

with their powers combined, new drugs may better combat cancer

I watched a lot of stupid cartoons as a kid – there’s no denying that.  Do you remember one called “Captain Planet”?  I know my sister will, but for those of you not wasting your time in the early 90’s, here’s the gist.  The show centered around a group of earth-conscious teenagers with magic rings who fought for the planet.  However, when the bad guys were too much, they combined their magic rings to summon Captain Planet to save the day.  Awesome, right?

Maybe not, at all, but the point is that sometimes it’s better to work together to get the job done.  A research team led by Dr. John Copland at the Mayo Clinic in Florida is taking the same approach to cancer therapeutics, and their recent work, published in Molecular Cancer Therapeuticsexplains how a new drug combination is killing cancer cells.

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chicken soup to knock out cancer’s soul

Growing up, there was a definite recipe to cure a crappy cold.  Or at least make you feel better.  In my house, it was an excuse for lots of ice cream and soda, but also for chicken soup.  That magical broth never seemed to fail to make you just forget about that fever or sore throat.

It may just be, however, that chicken is a bit more of a magical ingredient than we ever thought before.  There’s some exciting new research out of Texas A&M, and you now that means you’re going to hear about it here.  Dr. James Womack and colleagues published an intriguing article last month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences describing their discovery of the cancer-killing abilities of a protein naturally found in chickens.

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