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expert-perspectives

Cervical cancer screening: Is a Pap smear or HPV test better?

The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2015, approximately 12,900 new cases of invasive cervical cancer will be diagnosed in the United States alone. To detect those cases, physicians use a Pap smear as the primary cervical cancer screening method.. However, a recent study published in the journal of Gynecologic Oncology, advocates for routine Human Papillomavirus (HPV) screening instead.

The study, authored by an expert panel from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), found that testing for HPV is more beneficial for cervical cancer screening than a Pap smear alone. The authors claim that routine Pap testing, performed every three years, isn’t as beneficial and accurate as routine HPV testing.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Research Snapshot: A better understanding of t-cell leukemia virus

The particles of the human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1), a human retrovirus closely related to HIV, are known to be non-infectious. They don’t cause much damage alone. But when those particles invade other cells, the virus becomes highly infectious, and can cause leukemia. About 5 percent of people with HTLV-1 will develop adult t-cell leukemia.

University of Minnesota researchers recently captured 3-D images of HTLV-1 through advanced electron imaging, a technology that enabled them to study the virus particles in more detail than ever before. Their finding, recently published in The Journal of Virology, could provide insight into why some particles are more infectious than others.

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research-and-clinical-trials

New findings in cell communication may contribute to new cancer treatments

Researchers from the University of Minnesota recently discovered cells directly transfer tumor-causing microRNAs via tunneling nanotubes. Intercellular communication among distant and proximal cells is vital to survival in multicellular organisms. This communication is also extremely important in understanding cancerous tumor growth.

Gastrointestinal oncologist Emil Lou, M.D., Ph.D., collaborated with assistant professor and microRNA expert Subree Subramanian, Ph.D., on the findings published in the journal Translational Research.

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news-and-notes

UMN mourns loss of Lee Wattenberg, M.D., recognized as the “father of chemoprevention”

The faculty and staff of the University of Minnesota and the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota are mourning the loss of cancer pioneer Lee Wattenberg, M.D. Wattenberg died December 9 at the age of 92, and will be remembered for his immense contribution to the field of chemoprevention.

Wattenberg is credited with the creation of an entire field of research in the wake of his landmark 1966 paper in Cancer Research examining the effects of certain compounds on cancer development.  This led to a new emphasis on understanding cancer prevention, including the use of foods such as cabbage and broccoli to try to prevent cancer.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Research Snapshot: MRI helps find cancer needle in a haystack

In previous posts, Health Talk took you inside the broad capabilities and applications of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in research efforts at the U of M’s Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR).

According to Curtis Corum, Ph.D., assistant professor of radiology in CMRR, finding small tumors can be like finding needles in a haystack. Because catching cancer early – when tumors are at their smallest – can be essential to treatment success, finding those needles is important work. So what if the task could be made less challenging? What if there was a way to remove the haystack so that only needles remained?

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expert-perspectives

What does broccoli sprout tea have to do with cancer?

From a young age, kids are taught to eat their vegetables for the healthy benefits they pose. Now research is suggesting cruciferous vegetables like broccoli sprouts could offer more gains — cancer prevention.

Stephen Hecht, Ph.D., a University of Minnesota professor of laboratory medicine and pathology, and member of the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, conducts research focusing on tobacco-related cancer prevention. He recently was part of a different kind of groundbreaking research finding the right diet has the ability to decrease risks of developing certain types of cancer.

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