--Researchers at The Tisch Cancer Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have discovered a key mechanism by which radiation treatment (radiotherapy) fails to completely destroy tumors. And, in the journal Nature Immunology, they offer a novel solution to promote successful radiotherapy for the millions of cancer patients who are treated with it. The team found that when radiotherapy damages skin harboring tumors, special skin immune cells called Langerhans cells are activated. These Langerhans cells can uniquely repair the damage in their own DNA caused by radiotherapy, allowing them to become resistant to radiotherapy and to even trigger an immune response causing skin tumors such as melanoma, to resist further treatment Investigators mimicked the effect of immunotherapy drugs called “immune checkpoint inhibitors” to boost the immune system to attack tumors. This in turn blocked the ability of Langerhans cells to repair their own DNA after radiotherapy causing them to die, preventing an immune response that protects skin tumors. “Our study suggests that this combination approach — combining radiotherapy with drugs that rev up a healthy immune response — will help make radiation therapy much more effective,” says the study’s lead author, immunologist Jeremy Price, PhD.
-- Diets high in meat may lead to an increased risk of developing renal cell carcinoma (RCC) through intake of carcinogenic compounds created by certain cooking techniques, such as barbecuing and pan-frying. As part of a new study from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, researchers also discovered that individuals with specific genetic mutations are more susceptible to the harmful compounds created when cooking at high temperatures. Renal cell carcinoma, the most common form of kidney cancer, is expected to be diagnosed in over 60,000 new patients this year and claim approximately 14,000 lives, according to the American Cancer Society. The incidence of RCC has been rising for several decades, and many suggest that a Western diet is partially, to blame. One of the proposed culprits of a Western diet is higherthan-average meat consumption, which has been linked