New plan of attack in cancer fight

first_imgNew research conducted by Harvard scientists is laying out a road map to one of the holy grails of modern medicine: a cure for cancer.As described in a paper recently published in eLife, Martin Nowak, a professor of mathematics and of biology and director of the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics, and co-author Ivana Bozic, a postdoctoral fellow in mathematics, show that, under certain conditions, using two drugs in a “targeted therapy” — a treatment approach designed to interrupt cancer’s ability to grow and spread — could effectively cure nearly all cancers.Though the research is not a cure for cancer, Nowak said it does offer hope to researchers and patients alike.“In some sense this is like the mathematics that allows us to calculate how to send a rocket to the moon, but it doesn’t tell you how to build a rocket that goes to the moon,” Nowak said. “What we found is that if you have a single point mutation in the genome that can give rise to resistance to both drugs at the same time, the game is over. We need to have combinations such that there is zero overlap between the drugs.”Importantly, Nowak said, for the two-drug combination to work, both drugs must be given together — an idea that runs counter to the way many clinicians treat cancer today.“We actually have to work against the status quo somewhat,” he said. “But we can show in our model that if you don’t give the drugs simultaneously, it guarantees treatment failure.”In earlier studies, Nowak and colleagues showed the importance of using multiple drugs. Though temporarily effective, single-drug targeted therapy will fail, the researchers revealed, because the disease eventually develops resistance to the treatment.To determine if a two-drug combination would work, Nowak and Bozic turned to an expansive data set supplied by clinicians at New York’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center that showed how patients respond to single-drug therapy. With data in hand, they were able to create computer models of how multidrug treatments would work. Using that model, they then treated a series of “virtual patients” to determine how the disease would react to the multidrug therapy.“For a single-drug therapy, we know there are between 10 and 100 places in the genome that, if mutated, can give rise to resistance,” Nowak explained. “So the first parameter we use when we make our calculations is that the first drug can be defeated by those possible mutations. The second drug can also be defeated by 10 to 100 mutations.“If any of those mutations are the same, then it’s a disaster,” he continued. “If there’s even a single mutation that can defeat both drugs, that is usually good enough for the cancer — it will become resistant, and treatment will fail. What this means is we have to develop drugs such that the cancer needs to make two independent steps — if we can do that, we have a good chance to contain it.”How good a chance?“You would expect to cure most patients with a two-drug combination,” Bozic said. “In patients with a particularly large disease burden you might want to use a three-drug combination, but you would cure most with two drugs.”The trick now, Nowak and Bozic said, is to develop those drugs.To avoid developing drugs that are not vulnerable to the same mutation, Bozic said, pharmaceutical companies have explored a number of strategies, including using different drugs to target different pathways in cancer’s development.“There are pharmaceutical companies here in Cambridge that are working to develop these drugs,” Nowak said. “There may soon be as many as 100 therapies, which means there will be as many as 10,000 possible combinations, so we should have a good repertoire to choose from.“I think we can be confident that, within 50 years, many cancer deaths will be prevented,” Nowak added. “One hundred years ago, many people died from bacterial infections, and now they would be cured. Today, many people die from cancer, and we can’t help them, but I think once we have these targeted therapies, we will be able to help many people — maybe not everyone — but many people.”last_img read more

Clever design for easy living

first_imgThe home has open living spaces.More from newsCrowd expected as mega estate goes under the hammer7 Aug 2020Hard work, resourcefulness and $17k bring old Ipswich home back to life20 Apr 2020The five-bedroom home has plenty to show off inside as well, with stone bench tops, polished timber floors and ducted air conditioning all featuring.There was one point of “creative difference” with the builder, but Mrs Sullivan got her way in the end.“The spa overlooking the parkland — that was inspired by a few trips we’d made to Maleny. “When you go to those romantic retreats and you find those places in the hinterland with the green rolling hills and what not, and the spa always has the best view.” The home at 15 Westpark Pl, KurabyTHE great thing about a blank canvas is that you could end up with a masterpiece.Carla and Steve Sullivan certainly knew what they were doing when they built their Kuraby home at 15 Westpark Pl 10 years ago.Mrs Sullivan said the block’s topography provided challenges to project-home plans, so they found a builder who was happy to be flexible.“We were in talks with them to build our house but because of the nature of the land being on a slope, we had to make quite a few adjustments for the house so that it suited the slope and also the outlook,” she said.“It gave us a really lovely outlook and beautiful breezes as well.” The living areas open to the deck.There’s versatility in the layout too. The three main living spaces help if you want to get away from the family bustle, but they can be adapted and connected as well.But the “hero” of the home, according to Mrs Sullivan is the deck. “As the sun sets it casts these beautiful shadows across the deck and the golden light in the trees. We get the most amazing warmth from the winter sun all day long on that back deck.”She said it had also been the setting for great celebrations during the past decade.The property is being marketed by Karl Gillespie from LJ Hooker Sunnybank Hills and will be auctioned on May 20 at 3.30pm.last_img read more

Tekmar Ready to Trade on London Stock Exchange with GBP 61.8 Million

first_imgUK-based provider of subsea technology and services to the offshore wind and oil & gas industries, Tekmar Group, will start trading on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange on 20 June and plans to use the placing proceeds to acquire Tekmar Limited, repay debt within the Group and provide some GBP 10 million to fund future expansion and acquisitions.The company announced its intention to float on the London Stock Exchange on 4 June, and informed on 15 June that it had priced its initial public offer (IPO) with institutional investors to raise gross proceeds of approximately £61.8 million through a conditional placing of 47,536,789 shares at a price of GBP 1.30 per share.On admission on the AIM share market, Tekmar will have 50,000,000 shares in issue with an expected market capitalisation of approx. GBP 65 million.James Ritchie, Chief Executive Officer of Tekmar, said: “Being a quoted company will, we believe, allow us to execute our strategy, to become the partner of choice for the supply of subsea protection equipment to the global offshore energy markets, whilst retaining our independence with customers and suppliers.”“Importantly, our strengthened balance sheet post admission to trading on AIM will allow us to invest more readily in the Group’s expansion going forward. We also believe that admission to AIM will enhance our profile and brand recognition amongst potential clients and assist in the recruitment, retention and incentivisation of senior management and employees at all levels,” Ritchie said.Tekmar’s two primary markets are offshore wind, where it provides subsea protection for power transmission cables from and between offshore wind turbines, and oil & gas, to which it provides subsea protection for umbilicals and flexible pipes.last_img read more

Syracuse men’s basketball roundtable: Looking toward ACC play

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments After 13 nonconference games, Syracuse (9-4) starts conference play in the Atlantic Coast Conference on Saturday. The Orange enter with four losses, including ones to Old Dominion and Connecticut. SU will play Notre Dame, its first conference opponent, on Jan. 5 in South Bend, Indiana.Here’s what our beat writers think on four major topics so far.How well does Syracuse need to do in conference play to earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament?Billy Heyen: People like numbers, so just from a winning standpoint, I don’t think SU gets in with fewer than 10 wins in its 18 ACC games. But the composition of those wins matters. Upsetting Duke in the Carrier Dome would go a lot longer way than beating up on the bottom half of the conference. Right now, there are six ACC teams in the AP Top 25. I’d say the Orange need to have at least two wins against ranked opponents, including one top-10 team, to make its win total be enough to go dancing after an up-and-down nonconference slate. And no bad losses at home, because those are killer.Charlie DiSturco: There’s no correct answer when it comes to earning a spot in the NCAA Tournament. The ACC is one of the tougher conferences in college basketball, and Syracuse will definitely have to take advantage of its opportunities. For them to secure a berth in the tournament, I’d say the Orange will have to win 10-plus games, including one big upset against Duke, Virginia or North Carolina. Add on at least one win in the conference tournament, and I think that’ll do the job. Oh, and like Billy said, a bad loss at home will leave a horrible mark on Syracuse’s resume.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textMatthew Gutierrez: Syracuse has its work cut out and to put a number on things, I’d go with this: 12. The Orange need a 12-6 conference record, which would put them at 21-10. That would leave little doubt for the Selection Committee. A nice overall record of 20-plus wins. Twelve wins in the ACC. A few road ACC wins, too. Syracuse doesn’t have to beat Duke, but SU will probably need to win some difficult games such as, say, at North Carolina State and at Clemson. Take care of your home games, mate. Should Marek Dolezaj continue to start for SU?B.H.: There is no way for me to say yes strongly enough. He provides fluidity to the Syracuse offense that it desperately needs and which it lacks without Dolezaj in the game. I’ll add the caveat that in ACC play, some games will require more Paschal Chukwu and Bourama Sidibe playing time than others — Dolezaj can’t handle Florida State’s 7-foot-4 Christ Koumadje, for example. But the Orange play better from the opening tip with Dolezaj on the floor, and against good opposition, they can’t afford the slow beginnings they faced when Chukwu started.Alexandra Moreo | Senior Staff PhotographerC.D.: I would say that Dolezaj should keep on starting, but there’s no way he can go up against the brutes of the ACC down low. He struggled when Jessie Govan was on the floor against Georgetown and that trend will continue in conference play. There’s no denying that Dolezaj brings the intelligence Syracuse’s other bigs lack, and SU has been extremely successful over the past year-and-a-half with Dolezaj on the floor. Jim Boeheim will obviously have to base his decision off potential matchups, but if possible, Dolezaj should be on the floor. M.G.: This should tell you a little something about his impact: Syracuse went 11-3 last season when he scored at least seven points. Usually, he scored more because he played more. His presence on the floor is huge for SU, given he probably has the highest basketball IQ on the team. Start him, play him extended minutes and see SU turn into a more efficient team.What has been Syracuse’s biggest surprise?B.H.: The consistency of Elijah Hughes. Boeheim has preached patience after Hughes sat out last season as a transfer, and his deep-shooting game seems like it’d lend itself to streakiness. But Hughes has scored at least 15 points in SU’s last six games. He’s always waiting on the perimeter to step into a shot and knock it down when the Orange need it, and his driving ability has been better than advertised. As the rest of SU attempts to find its form, Hughes will need to keep up his consistent output. C.D.: Like Billy said, Hughes has been the biggest surprise. There was rumblings that the transfer would be solid, but he has become an integral part of Syracuse’s offense quickly. Hughes is the only consistent 3-point shooter on the team and has been good inside the paint, too. The junior leads the team in 3-point shooting and is second on the team in scoring with 14.8 points per game. His 4.3 rebounds a game are more than two of SU’s bigs: Bourama Sidibe and Marek Dolezaj. If this production out of Hughes continues and both Frank Howard and Oshae Brissett find their form in conference play, Syracuse will have the potential to do some damage.M.G.: This comes aside from Hughes’ emergence: Syracuse’s steals numbers have been surprisingly good. SU checks in at No. 2 in the conference in steals per game, with 8.77 per game, trailing only Duke. For an offense that doesn’t have much horsepower (at least not yet), generating points off careless turnovers and steals is important. Consider Syracuse’s defense at the top of the 2-3 zone a strong suit to start conference play. Howard and Tyus Battle ought to keep it up. What’s been its biggest disappointment?B.H.: The inability to put together a full game. Syracuse shows its immense talent in flashes — the second half against Georgetown, the first half against St. Bonaventure, the second half at Ohio State. But the Orange have yet to dominate a team the way a tall, athletic team with multiple future NBA talents should. There’s no taking minutes off in ACC play, as Oshae Brissett pointed out last Saturday. SU needs 40-minute outputs to pull off those wins.C.D.: The offense not being able to take the next step. The Orange returned all five of their starters and added what was believed to be a pair of sharpshooters in Buddy Boeheim and Elijah Hughes. The team was expected to shoot better than its abysmal 31.8 percent from beyond the arc a year ago. What’s happened against lesser competition in nonconference play? Syracuse shot even worse — 29.9 percent — as a team. The Orange have continually shot 3 after 3, and nothing productive has really followed. M.G.: Paschal Chukwu. The tallest player in Syracuse hoops history wasn’t anywhere near All-ACC caliber last season, but the 7-foot-2 center returned with a full season of starts under his belt. An occasional double-double from someone who’s taller than everyone else isn’t too much to ask. But he isn’t an offensive threat at all. Instead, Chukwu seems to be lacking confidence, and I’m not sure he belongs on the floor for more than 15 minutes per game. His lack of production has been disappointing for a team with little interior presence. center_img Published on January 3, 2019 at 12:55 pmlast_img read more