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Immune Genes Adapt To Parasites

Thank parasites for making some of our immune proteins into the inflammatory defenders they are today, according to a population genetics study that will appear in the June 8 issue of the Journal of Experimental Medicine (online May 25). The study, conducted by a team of researchers in Italy, also suggests that you might blame parasites for sculpting some of those genes into risk factors for intestinal disorders. Parasite-driven selection leaves a footprint on our DNA in the form of mutations known as "single nucleotide polymorphisms" (SNPs). Making sure that genetic variation (in the form of multiple SNPs) is maintained within certain immune genes over time helps ensure that the host can fend off different infections in different environments.

Common Cancer Drug May Increase Risk Of Deadly GI Perforations

Cancer patients treated with the widely used drug bevacizumab ( Avastin ) in combination with chemotherapy are at greater risk of life-thereatening gastrointestinal (GI) perforations. This is the conclusion of Shenhong Wu, M.D., Ph.D., Principal Investigator, and colleagues at Stony Brook University Medical Center, in a study published online and in the June print issue of The Lancet Oncology. Bevacizumab is an angiogenesis inhibitor that slows down the growth of tumors by cutting off their blood supply. The agent has been shown to be effective in treating many forms of cancer, including colorectal cancer, renal cell cancer, non-small cell lung cancer and breast cancer.

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Widely Used Cancer Drug Bevacizumab Associated With Significantly Increased Risk Of Gastrointestinal Perforation

Cancer patients treated with the widely used drug bevacizumab in combination with chemotherapy are at significantly greater risk of potentially life-threatening gastrointestinal (GI) perforations (a hole in the wall of the stomach, small intestine or large bowel)-particularly patients with advanced colorectal cancer and renal cell cancer, according to an Article published Online First and in the June edition of The Lancet Oncology. Bevacizumab belongs to a class of drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors, that slow down the growth of tumours by cutting off their blood supply. Bevacizumab has been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of many types of cancer including colorectal cancer, renal cell cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, and breast cancer.

Synergy Pharmaceuticals To Present Phase I Volunteer Study On SP-304 Investigational Drug To Treat GastroIntestinal Disorders At Upcoming Conference

Synergy Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (OTC BB: SGYP.OB SGY PNews), a developer of new drugs to treat gastrointestinal disorders and diseases, announced today that clinical data from the Phase I healthy volunteer study of SP-304, a new member of a class of investigational drugs for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C), and chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC), will be presented at the Digestive Disease Week (DDW) annual meeting to be held in Chicago, IL from May 30 through June 4, 2009. The poster presentation entitled: "A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-Controlled, Single-, Ascending-, Oral-Dose Safety, Tolerability and Pharmacokinetic Study of SP-304 in Healthy Adult Human Male and Female Volunteers" by Kunwar Shailubhai, Ph.

News From The Journal Of The National Cancer Institute, May 26, 2009

Effects of MYC Protein and CIP2A in Gastric Cancer The presence of the protein CIP2A in tumors is associated with early mortality for gastric cancer patients, according to a new study by Ari Ristimaki, M.D., Ph.D., of the Genome-Scale Biology Research program at the University of Helsinki and colleagues. CIP2A was previously reported to interact and promote the stability of the MYC oncoprotein and to be overexpressed in head and neck and colon cancers, but its role in gastric cancer was unclear. The researchers discovered that expression of CIP2A was associated with reduced overall survival among gastric cancer patients with tumors smaller than 5 centimeters, and that its presence increased proliferation and anchorage-independent growth.

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Caffeic Acid Inhibits Colitis In A Mouse Model

Researchers at Iowa State University have found that increased expression of a form of cytochrome P-450 (CYP4B1) is a key marker of inhibition of colitis in mice by caffeic acid, an anti-inflammatory antioxidant compound widely distributed in foods. The results, which appear in the June 2009 issue of Experimental Biology and Medicine, implicate CYP4B1, a form of cytochrome P450 previously found to be associated with resolution of allergic inflammation in another model. The normalization of CYP4B1 by caffeic acid treatment was associated with significant lessening of colitic damage, assessed by examining colon histopathology. In comparison with rutin, an anti-inflammatory flavonoid and hypoxoside extract, a botanical known as African potato previously shown to protect against colitis, all three compounds had anti-inflammatory effects, suppressing myeloperoxidase, IL-17 and iNOS and increasing IL-4, known factors associated with inflammation responses.

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