Researchers have shown that a metabolic pathway associated with slowing aging also drives brain cancer. In the image above, cancer stem cells in a mouse brain section glow fluorescent green, allowing researchers to study the effect of inhibiting the pathway on the ability of cancer stem cells to survive and proliferate. (Image:  Amit Gujar and Albert H. Kim)

Pathway linked to slower aging also fuels brain cancer

While a particular metabolic pathway shows potential to slow down the aging process, new research indicates a downside: That same pathway may drive brain cancer. The pathway, known as the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) pathway, is overactive in a deadly form of brain cancer known as glioblastoma, according to a study by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
New research led by Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis shows that patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) whose cancer cells carry TP53 mutations — a feature that correlates with an extremely poor prognosis — may live longer if they are treated with decitabine, a less intensive chemotherapy drug. The study's first author, John Welch, MD, PhD, is pictured with Phillip Houghton, who is being treated for AML. (Photo: Robert Boston/Washington University School of Medicine)

New research findings on most lethal type of leukemia

Patients with the most lethal form of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) – based on genetic profiles of their cancers – typically survive for only four to six months after diagnosis, even with aggressive chemotherapy. But new research led by the School of Medicine indicates that such patients, paradoxically, may live longer if they receive a milder chemotherapy drug.
Washington University dermatologist Lynn Cornelius, MD, (left) conducts a skin exam with patient Robert Manchester. Manchester is a participant in a clinical trial testing the effectiveness of a new topical immunotherapy against precancerous skin lesions called actinic keratosis, often found on sun-damaged skin. (Photo: Robert J. Boston/Washington University School of Medicine)

New topical immunotherapy effective against early skin cancer

A combination of two topical drugs that have been in use for years triggers a robust immune response against precancerous skin lesions, according to a new study. The research, from the School of Medicine and Harvard Medical School, shows that the therapy activates the immune system’s T cells, which then attack the abnormal skin cells. The study was published Nov. 21 in The Journal of Clinical Investigation.
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Investing $25 million in imaging sciences

Washington University in St. Louis is launching a bold $25 million initiative over the next five years to develop innovative technologies aimed at improving science and medicine worldwide. The Imaging Sciences Initiative – a partnership between the School of Engineering & Applied Science and the School of Medicine – will support the development of new imaging technologies to diagnose and treat disease as well as study intricate biological structures, metabolism and physiology, and critical molecular and cellular processes.
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National trial to assess drugs for severe seizures

A national clinical trial involving Washington University physicians at St. Louis Children’s Hospital will compare three commonly used anti-seizure medications used to treat seizures that last over five minutes and don’t respond to initial treatment. Such seizures can strike anyone but are most common in people already diagnosed with epilepsy.
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