19 Apr How Blocking DNA-Repairing Mechanisms Could Combat Glioblastomas

April 19, 2017


Glioblastomas — the most common and aggressive brain tumors in adults — can be difficult to treat because therapies only affect a proportion of tumor cells, which in turn leads to a poor survival rate in the patient population. It is hypothesized that a subgroup of cells within these tumors, identified as Glioblastoma Stem Cells (GSCs), reproduce making identical drug-resistant copies of themselves.

Researchers at the University of Leeds have found that a vast amount of the protein RAD51 is located in the GSCs population, and that when RAD51 is inhibited there is a suppression of tumor cell replication upon radiotherapy. The team validated this hypothesis by harvesting tumor cells from glioblastoma patients and examining them using immunofluorescence microscopy. Upon evaluation, the tumor cells yielded higher levels of RAD51 in comparison to the normal controls. Subsequent treatment of the malignant samples with a RAD51 inhibitor and radiation made the cells more sensitive to radiotherapy. The exact mechanism by which RAD51 is increased in cells that survive radiotherapy is not yet known, but this study provides strong evidence that RAD51 is a target in the development of treatment of glioblastoma.

Does this finding impact current studies being conducted at your organization or are you in need of samples with notated presence of specific proteins? Asterand Bioscience offers FFPE and frozen tumor specimens of which we test for markers relevant to cancer research. Furthermore, donor-matched serum and plasma are also available. Contact me today to see how I can help.


Samantha Bussell, Business Development Associate at Asterand Bioscience

Source: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/problem-protein-how-blocking-dna-repairing-mechanisms-bussell

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07 Mar A Predictive Model for Drug Response?

March 3, 2017


With an incident rate of 55,000 diagnosed cases per year, thyroid cancer is becoming the fastest-growing cancer type in the United States. Like other tumor classifications, genetic abnormalities and mutations play a key role in the proliferation of cancer cells; and although previously identified point mutations are observed in 90% of thyroid cancers, driver mutation intricacies have an opportunity for exploration. For example, the insulin-like growth factor 2 mRNA-binding protein 3’s (IGF2BP3) activation is still not fully understood.

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine used this gap to better comprehend the genetic abnormalities in thyroid cancer by applying a next-generation sequencing technology. This was accomplished by leveraging a series of papillary thyroid carcinomas — the most common form of thyroid cancer — that did not contain any of the known point mutations. Upon their analysis, it was found that a significant proportion of these tumors contained a genetic abnormality involving the fusion of THADA in a previously unknown region near a gene termed IGF2BP3. The result of this fusion was elevated levels of IGF2BP3 protein, an important component in the IGF1R protein signaling pathway and known driver of tumor growth. The scientific team then went on to also explore this protein presence in other tumor types and found elevated levels (5-15%) across anatomical areas such as colon, lung, pancreas, and ovary. Cell culture and animal model experiments were also conducted and revealed that these tumors could be blocked by IGF1R pathway inhibiting drugs.

Does this finding impact current studies being conducted at your organization or are you in need of samples with associated mutation data? Asterand Bioscience offers FFPE and frozen tumor specimens of which we test for mutations relevant to cancer research. These specimens are available for immediate shipment and include tumors with both mutated and wild-type status. Furthermore, our PhaseZero research team has experience in the latest NGS technologies and can assist in validating gene/protein targets in tissue types. Contact me today to see how I can help.


Samantha Bussell, Business Development Associate at Asterand Bioscience

Source: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/predictive-model-drug-response-how-university-thyroid-bussell

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17 Feb American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) 2017 Convention: April 1st-5th

AACR


In effort to continually support the scientific community, Asterand Bioscience is sending a team of representation to the AACR at booth #1340. This conference takes place in Washington, D.C. and highlights the best cancer science and medicine from institutions all over the world. Attendees are invited to stretch their boundaries, form collaborations, attend sessions outside their own areas of expertise, and learn how to apply exciting new concepts, tools, and techniques to their own research.

Asterand is the leading global provider of high quality, well characterized human tissue and human tissue-based research solutions to drug discovery scientists. Our mission is to provide human-based solutions to accelerate the identification and validation of drug targets and enhance the selection of drug candidates with an increased likelihood of clinical success.

While at the conference, I would be happy to network and discuss your current research needs and obstacles. We offer a wide variety of products and services to assist pharmaceutical drug development, precision medicine efforts, translational research, and academic support.

 

See why my clients like working with me in the video below:

 


Samantha Bussell, Business Development Associate at Asterand Bioscience

Source: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/american-association-cancer-research-aacr-2017-april-1st-5th-bussell

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10 Feb The Telomere: Does Length Impact Cancer Related Genomic Alterations?

Telomere

February 10th, 2017


Telomeres are regions of highly repetitive DNA at the end of a chromosome that assists in cellular duplication and rejuvenation. This physiological function has been historically associated with biological aging as the length of the telomere shortens after division and subsequently alters the effectiveness of DNA replication. However, a team of researchers at the Jackson Laboratory at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (UTMD) have found that the length is also impactful in genetic alterations in 31 different types of metastatic tumors.

This study consisted of examining over 18,000 samples that included tumor and non-neoplastic specimens. While overall telomeres were shorter in tumors specimens as compared to normal specimens, 73% of the tumor specimens did express telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT).  Importantly, UTMD Anderson’s examination demonstrated multiple mechanisms of TERT activation, including TERT point mutations (TP53 and RB1), rearrangements, DNA amplifications, and transcript fusions and demonstrated that telomerase activity correlated with telomere length.

Asterand Bioscience offers a variety of FFPE and frozen tumor specimens of which we test for mutations relevant to cancer research. These specimens are available for immediate shipment and include tumors with both mutated and wild-type status. Furthermore, donor-matched serums and plasmas are also available. Contact me today to see how I can help.


Samantha Bussell, Business Development Associate at Asterand Bioscience

Source: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/does-length-impact-cancer-related-genomic-alterations-bussell

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19 Jan Using Immunotherapy and Cell Alteration to Combat Lung Cancer

cancer


January 19th, 2017

Huge strides are being made in the realm of Immuno-Oncology by a team of scientists at Sichuan University in West China. Nature reports that for the first time — as part of a clinical trial — an individual with aggressive lung cancer has been injected with their own cells engineered to express edited genes leveraging the CRISPR-Cas9 technique and targeting the PD-1 encoding gene. PD-1, which upon T-cell activation blocks the recognition of cancer cells as a foreign entity, impedes the immune responses innate ability to disrupt tumor cell proliferation. The CRISPR-Cas9 strategy combines a DNA-cutting enzyme along with molecular guide that can identify targets (such as PD-1) and replace the removed sequence with stretches of non-coding DNA.

Lu You and his team accomplished this portion of the clinical trial by removing immune cells from the recipient’s blood and using the CRISPR-Cas9 technology to disable the PD-1 gene. Subsequently, the cells were cultured to increase yield and then injected back into the patient. The hypothesis is that by incapacitating PD-1, the edited cells will recognize cancer cells as a foreign entity and thus disrupt their growth.

In moving forward with therapies pertaining to Immuno-Oncology, it is imperative that targets and biomarkers are thoroughly investigated and validated prior to moving into clinical trials. At Asterand Bioscience, we understand the ethical magnitude of taking on research services projects and have extensive experience in this therapeutic area. Our scientists can work with you to conceptualize high-quality experimental design, execution, data interpretation and reporting.

For more information on how we can help you with your research services needs, please feel free to contact me directly at:

Email: Sam.Bussell@asterandbio.com

Office Phone: 617.245.0056

Cell: 248-303-5409


Samantha Bussell, Business Development Associate at Asterand Bioscience

Source: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/using-immunotherapy-cell-alteration-combat-lung-cancer-bussell

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04 Jan Hiding in plain sight: New human organ classification

mesenteryJanuary 4th, 2017


A professor at the University of Limerick has identified a gap in the classification of a portion of the digestive system. The mesentery, which connects the intestine to the abdomen, has for hundreds of years been mistakenly considered a fragmented structure made of separate parts. However, the Professor or Surgery at UL’s Medical School, J Calvin Coffey, challenged this ideology and found that the mesentery is one continuous structure. By acknowledging this differentiation, it allows researchers to target abnormalities and diseases as well as could lead to improved health outcomes.

As a response to this organ discovery, there is an increased need for learning about the mesentery as a continuous organ. Fortunately, Asterand Bioscience has access to specimens that fall within this novel categorization through our 120+ donor institutions in a variety of formats.

For more information on how we can help you with your tissue and /or mutation analysis needs, please feel free to contact me directly:

Email: sam.bussell@asterandbio.com

Direct Line: 617.245.0056


Samantha Bussell, Business Development Associate at Asterand Bioscience

Source: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/hiding-plain-sight-new-human-organ-classification-samantha-bussell

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18 Nov Has Major Cancer Gene Met It’s Match?

Oncology

November 18th, 2017


When working on targeted therapeutic drug development in oncology, tumor mutation heterogeneity makes it difficult to treat all patients. However, there is one biomarker that has been found to affect 30% of all tumor cases- the RAS mutation. The abundance of this genomic abnormality was discovered via the ongoing investigations into targeted RAS cancer therapies. Researchers thus have been working to find a method to block the RAS pathway in all tumors, with the desired outcome to treat all patients regardless of differing cancer subtype.gene expression

Investigators at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) have identified a method to block the well-known mutations of the RAS gene family across tissue types  (K-RAS, H-RAS, and N-RAS) by creating a synthetic binding protein coined “NS1 monobody”. The advantages of using a monobody versus an antibody are that they are not dependent on environmental conditions and can readily be used as genetically encoded inhibitors. Researchers found that NS1 bound to areas not previously known for oncogenic activity, blocking the ability of the protein to form molecular pairs.

Does this finding impact current studies being conducted at your organization or are you in need of samples with RAS associated mutation data? Asterand Bioscience offers FFPE and frozen tumor specimens of which we test for mutations relevant to cancer research. These specimens are available for immediate shipment and include tumors with both mutated and wild-type status. Furthermore, donor-matched serums and plasmas are also available. Contact me today to see how I can help.


Samantha Bussell, Business Development Associate at Asterand Bioscience

Source: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/has-major-cancer-gene-met-its-match-samantha-bussell

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15 Nov Research and Discovery Process in Drug Development

Research and Discovery Process in Drug Development

November 15th, 2016


Asterand Bioscience understands the importance of the R&D process, as there are multiple methods that can be leveraged from concept initiation to drug delivery. In an effort to assist in the advancement in personalized medicine we would like to break down the different validation methods that can be leveraged in offering patients faster diagnoses, fewer side effects, and better outcome prior to initiating pre-clinical trials.

DNA

Research: Often occurring in academia, a hypothesis is generated via data collection that the inhibition or activation of a protein or pathway will result in a therapeutic effect in a disease state.

Target and Biomarker Validation: Choose a target to interact with a drug and understand its role in a disease.A target is a broad term in which can be applied to a range of biological entities which may include a combination of genomic or protein analysis. Hypothesis’ of clinical effect can be evaluated with differing methods such as ISH, Quantitative Gene Expression, ISH Multiplexing, Gene Expression Profiling, FISH, Mutation Analysis, Laser Capture Microdissection, Immunohistochemistry, Tissue Microarrays, Xpress Array, and Laser Capture Microscopy.

HTS and Lead Identification: In a traditional drug discovery project people often use the method of high-throughput screening (HTS), when libraries of drug like-compounds are screened against a protein target. Such screening may identify one or few compounds with the ability to inhibit the activity of the drug target.

Compound Evaluation and Safety for Lead OptimizationThis can be achieved by analyzing cell-based assays to evaluate the potency, effect, and safety of the compounds identified. All information gathered about the molecule at this stage will allow for preparation of a target candidate profile for preclinical trials.

ADMET: The absorption, distribution, metabolism, elimination, and toxicity predictions of a product. This risk assessment allows researchers to have a clear vision of the new chemical entity in comparison to drugs on the market.


Samantha Bussell, Business Development Associate at Asterand Bioscience

Source: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/research-discovery-process-drug-development-samantha-bussell

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03 Nov In support of Diabetes Awareness Month…

diabetes

November 3rd, 2016


Diabetes affects approximately 9% of the world’s population, and each year over 1.5 million people die of complications associated with poor glycemic control.

In support of Diabetes Awareness Month

Asterand Bioscience

Presents…..

The Human islet OrganDOT™ System: A 3D culture platform for evaluation of insulin secretagogues and compounds to promote pancreatic ß cell health

Please click HERE to register for this free webinar, or go to  https://www.asterandbio.com/company/webinars/

If you have any questions or concerns prior to this webinar, please do not hesitate to contact us: advantage@asterandbio.com


Samantha Bussell, Business Development Associate at Asterand Bioscience

Source: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/support-diabetes-awareness-month-samantha-bussell

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