New Model for Understanding Human Myeloma
News Oct 17, 2016
All cancers originate from an earlier, or precursor, state such as a benign or asymptomatic condition. To develop new approaches to cancer prevention, scientists have attempted to grow tumor cells from precursor states in animal models. A major deficiency in these studies, however, is that people study cancers of animals, not humans. Myeloma — a type of human cancer that forms in white blood cells — is an example of a cancer that is preceded by a condition called monoclonal gammopathy which has been impossible to study outside the human body.
In a new study, Yale professors Madhav Dhodapkar, Richard Flavell, and their co-authors describe new mouse models, wherein mice carry human versions of six genes that are essential for growth of human tumor cells in these mice. They found that when the humanized mice were injected with tumor and non-tumor cells from human patients, both cell types were able to grow in their respective environments which mimic the human body. Now that it is possible to grow these human tumors and their progenitors in mice it will be feasible to understand how myeloma develops and one day to prevent it.
In treating inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), physicians can have a hard time telling which newly diagnosed patients have a high risk of severe inflammation or what therapies will be most effective. Now researchers report finding an epigenetic signature in patient cells that appears to predict inflammation risk in a serious type of IBD called Crohn’s disease.
When people take MDMA, the drug popularly known as ecstasy, a rush of serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin makes people more interested than they would normally be in connecting and sharing with other people. Now, researchers have made the surprising discovery that a species of octopus considered to be asocial responds to MDMA in the same way.