Doting Dad! Derek Jeter Is 'Protective' of His Daughters

Derek Jeter has become quite the family man since hanging up his New York Yankees uniform.

The former professional baseball player, 45, told Us Weekly exclusively that raising Bella, 2, and Story, 9 months, with his wife, Hannah Jeter (née Davis), is the biggest “blessing.”

“Our second is not walking yet, which is a bonus, because once she’s up and about and moving around, it [will] become more difficult,” the athlete told Us at the 23rd annual Turn 2 Foundation Dinner on Monday, October 7.

He and the model, 29, wed in 2016 and started growing their family the following year. Bella became a big sister in January when Story arrived.

The former athlete’s sister, Sharlee Jeter, gushed about how “protective” Derek is with both of his daughters. “He always will be,” the Turn 2 Foundation President, 39, told Us exclusively on Monday. “They’re definitely going to take over his life and run circles around him.”

Sharlee opened up about her own bond with her brother, telling Us, “I talk to other people that have siblings and they are like, ‘Oh, we beat the crap out of each other,’ [but] we weren’t allowed to touch each other when we were in our house. My parents were very, very strict. We are five years apart so … I was the annoying little sister.”

She added, “[We’re] very, very close … and got closer when I went off to college.”

Now, Sharlee loves watching Derek take on fatherhood. He described the role to Us exclusively in April, gushing, “It’s awesome. You always hear people say, ‘Wait until you have your own kids,’ but it really is true. I couldn’t be happier. I’ve been blessed to have two beautiful daughters and I’m looking forward to seeing them grow each and every day.”

In fact, the “best part” of the Baseball Genius author’s day is the way Bella greets him when he comes home. “Regardless of what happened throughout the course of the day she’s just happy to see me,” he told Us.

With reporting by Nikaline McCarley

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Love Island’s Hottest Married Couple Share Some PDA on the Beach

Love Island is one of the most popular British reality TV shows — with good reason. For five seasons and counting (plus its original two-season run on ITV that featured celebrities), the show brings a group of (beautiful) real people to live in a villa on the Spanish island of Mallorca for a sexy beach vacation. There, they couple up and try to find love — in an attempt, of course, to snag the cash prize of approximately $61,300.

Just like with plenty of other reality dating shows — including the U.S. version of the ITV2 hit — outgoing contestants spend a great amount of time at the ocean and by pools in swimsuits. That means the stars want to be tanned, toned and fit — working out hard and eating right beforehand so they look their best in bikinis, one-pieces and swim trunks.

And after all that exercising and dieting, the women and men of Love Island aren’t about to let their competitive efforts go to waste! Following filming, the former islanders continue hitting up beaches and pools, whether on holiday internationally or back in England. On these watery worldwide jaunts, they continue to proudly bare their bodies.

The reality stars have brought their six-pack abs, buff pecs and strong arms and legs everywhere from Saint-Tropez in the south of France to the Caribbean island of Barbados to Ibiza, Spain and stateside to Miami. And as you can see, these contestants sure love the camera! Whether frolicking in the waves, strolling on the shore, basking in the sun, jogging on the sand or just jumping for joy, the cast takes the beachside business of showing off their muscular figures and tiny waists very seriously. And for that, we salute them!

Scroll through to see the best bathing suit photos from the stars of the hit series. And don’t worry, there are plenty to go around — no need to pick a favorite!

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Kylie Jenner’s Daughter Tries Her Lipstick in Funny Video

Like mother, like daughter. Kylie Jenner’s daughter, Stormi Webster, showed an interest in makeup in a hilarious new video where she tested out one of her mother’s products.

Jenner, 22, shared a few clips on her Instagram Story on Monday, October 7, of the 20-month-old child having fun with makeup. The first video showed Stormi, whose mouth and surrounding skin was covered with the lip shade, applying the product to the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star’s lips.

“Stormi is testing out ‘Charm’ for you guys,” she said.

“A mouth,” Stormi said in response to her mom. To this, Jenner sweetly replied, “Not in my mouth! Only on my lips!”

The next video showed Stormi playfully inserting the lipstick’s applicator into her mouth. “OK, girl. We’ve gotta take that off,” the beauty mogul said. “We gotta take it off. … She’s running away.”

The final clip featured Stormi as she ran off. Jenner then called out to her daughter, saying, “Storm.”

Stormi quickly turned around, holding the lipstick in her hand. The child then proceeded to apply the product to her lips once more as she walked away. “Oh, my goodness,” Jenner said. “She really is my daughter!”

In videos that followed, Jenner and Stormi were shown bouncing together on a trampoline. The young child then correctly pointed at letters, which spelled out the trampoline’s brand name, when Jenner asked which was which.

Jenner’s one-on-one time with Stormi came days after the mother-daughter pair had a fun day at the playground. During this outing, the reality star wrote on Instagram that there is “nothing better than being someone’s mommy.”

Us Weekly confirmed on Tuesday, October 1, Jenner had split from boyfriend Travis Scott after more than two years together. They welcomed Stormi in February 2018.

A source revealed to Us exclusively how Jenner and Scott, 28, plan to coparent their daughter amid their breakup. “It will be 50/50, but it’s not a point of contention,” the insider said on Wednesday, October 2. “It’s really whatever is best for Stormi. Travis knows what an incredible mom Kylie is and will make whatever situation work.”

While Jenner posted a message that she and the rapper “are on great terms,” a source told Us that their inner circle see them reconciling. “Everyone around them thinks they will get back together,” the insider said.

“They have had breaks throughout their relationship,” the source continued. “He’s been spending a lot time at his Beverly Hills house and she’s been staying in Calabasas, so they didn’t have a traditional relationship in terms of spending the night together every night.”

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New York confirms boy, 17, was first to die of vaping in the state

First vaping death in New York confirmed: 17-year-old boy who died after using e-cigs brings US toll to 22

  • New York reported its first fatality from the mysterious vaping-linked lung illness on Tuesday 
  • 21 deaths have now been reported in 18 US states and another 1,080 are ill
  • The CDC warned last week that all Americans should refrain from vaping 
  • Massachusetts enacted the country’s strictest temporary ban, blocking the sale of all e-cigs in the state for four months 
  • Other states, including New York and Michigan, have banned flavored vapes   

A 17-year-old boy from the Bronx died of vaping-related illness, becoming the New York’s first fatality, Governor Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday. 

He announced the death following an unrelated news conference, according to the Albany Times Union.  

The US vaping crisis has now claimed 22 lives across 19 states.  

Some 110 people in New York have vaping-related illnesses but the boy, who was treated at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, according to the New York Post, was the first to die in the state. 

Of those, 21 are in New York City, according to the state’s health department. 

New York is the latest state to confirm a death from vaping-related illness, bringing the national total to 22 in 19 states (red). Another 1,080 people have severe lung damage 

Deaths have also been reported in Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, Virginia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, with two deaths in each California, Kansas and Oregon. 

As of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) October 1 figures, over 1,000 people in the US were suffering from the mysterious lung damage. 

Massachusetts has enforced the strictest temporary ban on e-cigarettes, blocking all sales of the devices, while states like New York and Michigan have banned only flavored e-cigarettes. 

US health officials are still uncertain what exactly is causing the new disease, but have urged Americans to stay away from THC and marijuana vapes, many of which are bootleg and have been linked to over three quarters of the reported illnesses.

Recent research has suggest that it may be ‘toxic fumes’ in the e-liquid juices that sickening people, rather than a result of oils in them getting into the lungs, as previously believed. 

E-cigarettes have been billed as safer alternatives to combustible cigarettes and some studies have found they contain fewer carcinogens. 

But a study published Monday found that nicotine e-cigarette vapor does cause lung cancer in mice, when they are exposed to it in high doses over a year. 

Although the clearest links continue to be be to black market and THC e-cigarettes, the CDC and Food and Drug Administration say that cases are not limited to these products. 

Last week, for the first time, health officials are urged all Americans to ‘refrain from vaping,’ they they said in a Thursday telebriefing that they do not want former smokers who now vape to return to combustible cigarettes. 

‘The number of confirmed and probable cases of vaping-associated lung injury we’re seeing continues to escalate and today I was deeply saddened to hear about the death of a patient who had this illness,’ said Massachusetts Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr Monica Bharel.

‘We are investigating these cases as quickly as possible and working with our federal partners to better understand this outbreak.’ 

Some 80 percent of the sick Americans are under the age of 35, and 16 percent are teenagers 18 or under. 

State vaping bans like Massachusetts’s have been enacted in the hopes of not only stemming the vaping deaths and illnesses, but of dissuading teenagers from using and becoming addicted to the devices, particularly the sweet flavored ones. 

Outraged vape shop owners have banded together and attempted to block the Massachusetts ban in court, but 

‘We really don’t think using those products is safe right now,’ said CDC Principal Deputy Director, Dr Ann Schuchat, during last week’s telebriefing. 

She and FDA officials on the call said they think it’s unlikely that the epidemic of lung illnesses and deaths has even reached its peak, nor is it declining. 

‘And in case it’s going up, we want to intensify our warning,’ they said. 

‘This is a very concerning outbreak and very difficult to control.’

Although 78 percent of the cases reported were among patients who had used THC – 37 percent said they had only used THC – health officials are not yet ready to rule out nicotine e-cigarettes as a possible cause of severe lung damage. 

Nearly 60 percent of the 570 patients officials have collected data on said they’d used nicotine e-cigarettes, and 17 percent said they had only used nicotine. 

‘I wish we had more answers about the specific products causing these illnesses,’ said Dr Schuchat.  

‘We’re not optimistic that tomorrow we’re going to be able to pull all those [products that are] risky from the market,’ added an FDA deputy associate commissioner for regulatory affairs, Judy McMeekin.  

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Why Hoda Kotb Returned to 'Today' Following Daughter's Birth

Hoda Kotb’s maternity leave ended in September, five months after her second daughter Hope’s arrival, but the journalist wasn’t always sure she’d return to Today.

“There was probably a minute there where I was thinking to myself, ‘I’ve worked for, like, 30-plus years of my life and now I get this. Do I really want to be working while I’m doing this?’” the Emmy winner, 55, admitted to Us Weekly exclusively at the 23rd annual Turn 2 Foundation Dinner on Monday, October 7. “But I think at the end of the day I realized I actually love work, and I want my kids to know that work is an awesome thing.”

The Where We Belong author had to explain this to her eldest daughter, 2. “Haley said to me when I was leaving for work, ‘Don’t go, stay home.’ But I said, ‘Mommy loves work,’” she recalled. “I want her to be a worker.”

That being said, the West Virginia native makes sure that she unplugs when she’s with her daughters, giving them her full attention. “I am not picking up my phone,” she explained to Us. “I am not going to do that. … I try and live that way and I feel that it’s important for me.”

When Kotb is away, Haley watches her mom on TV. The You Are My Happy author clarified, “Not much in the beginning because I don’t want her to be grossed out [by the news] or anything.” Her little one requests that she “wears a solid color that is a Sesame [Street] character” on the show, like red for Elmo or blue for Cookie Monster.

Kotb spoke to Us exclusively in 2018 after adopting her daughter with her partner, Joel Schiffman, saying that motherhood helped her find her purpose. “My whole life, my career has been riding shotgun with me. But now, with Haley, it feels like, for the first time, I can see clearly,” she told Us at the time. “I understand why I’m on this earth. All of a sudden, the most exciting part of the day is after work when I’m holding her. Not when I’m interviewing someone, even if it’s Beyoncé.”

With reporting by Nikaline McCarley

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Melanoma variability at the single-cell level predicts treatment responses

Patients with advanced melanoma have been able to live longer because of several newly approved targeted treatment options, including BRAF and MEK inhibitors. However, patients will often have different responses to the same treatment due to genetic variability. Melanoma varies from patient to patient, but genetic variability is also prevalent among different cells from a single tumor. In a new study published in EBioMedicine, researchers with Moffitt Cancer Center’s Donald A. Adam Melanoma and Skin Cancer Center of Excellence reveal that differences at the single-cell level can predict responses to initial BRAF inhibitor therapy, and that leveraging these differences may improve patient outcomes.

Approximately half of all melanoma patients have mutations in the BRAF gene that promote cancer growth. Drugs that target BRAF and the downstream signaling protein MEK have significantly improved patient outcomes, but patients with advanced melanoma are rarely cured with these drugs and most will eventually develop drug resistance and relapse. However, some patients with BRAF-mutated melanoma can be successfully retreated with BRAF or MEK inhibitors. Moffitt researchers wanted to determine how differences between cells of a single tumor lead to better responses to BRAF/MEK inhibitors in certain patients.

The research team assessed the variability of melanoma cells and their responses to BRAF inhibitor treatment by analyzing the RNA expression patterns in single cells from melanoma cell lines and patient samples. They discovered that melanoma cells can reside within four different states with distinct patterns of gene expression. Their analysis predicted the following:

  • State 1: Cells that divided more frequently and were more sensitive to BRAF inhibitors
  • State 2: Cells that were less proliferative with a higher level of MAPK signaling
  • State 3: Cells enriched for expression of the genes EGFR, c-JUN and Axl and were more resistant to BRAF inhibitors
  • State 4: Cells undergoing cell death

The researchers found that maintaining a population of cells within the drug sensitive State 1 was critical to maintaining drug sensitivity. Cell lines that lacked a population of cells within State 1 were more resistant to BRAF inhibitor treatment and could not be successfully rechallenged with a BRAF inhibitor.

These observations, along with evolutionary principles, were used to create a mathematical model to show that it is possible to maintain drug-sensitive cell populations in State 1 by using an adaptive dosing schedule. Normally, melanoma patients are treated with a continuous dosing schedule with the intent of killing many cancer cells as quickly as possible. This continuous dosing approach often leads to the development of drug resistant tumor cell populations. During an adaptive dosing schedule, the decision to hold or initiate drug treatment is based on predicted tumor growth and individual factors.

“Our goal was to achieve initial tumor shrinkage and then to maintain sensitive cells within the tumor, preventing the uncontrolled expansion of the more resistant cellular states,” explained Inna Smalley, Ph.D., a member of Moffitt’s Department of Tumor Biology.

The researchers validated their mathematical model in mouse experiments by showing that adaptive dosing schedules resulted in stronger anti-tumor responses compared to standard continuous dosing schedules. They hope that their studies in cell lines and mouse models will lead to improved treatment approaches for patients.

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This Is Your Body On The Keto Diet

The ketogenic diet isn’t new. But over the past few years, it has emerged as one of the most popular and polarizing ways to lose weight.

The eating plan has many people slashing their carb intake and loading up on healthy fats in an effort to reach the holy grail of the keto diet: ketosis, or the metabolic state in which the body starts burning its own fat for fuel.

Here are the basics of how things go down when you’re on keto: Your body’s cells typically get their energy from carbohydrates. But when you’re on keto, “what you’re really doing is starving your body of carbohydrates so it needs to go to the next energy source, which is fat,” explained Rabia De Latour, a gastroenterologist and assistant professor of medicine at New York University’s Langone Health. Your body then burns that fat.

The diet doesn’t restrict you in terms of calories or the amount of food you eat. Instead, it’s all about what you eat. Most keto plans include lots of seafood, red meat, poultry, cheese, low-carb vegetables (sorry carrot and corn fans), eggs, plain yogurt and fats (hello, avocado). You’re instructed to avoid foods with sugar and carbs, like many fruits, grains and legumes.

Because of this, people who try keto can experience a range of side effects and symptoms as their bodies adapt to the low-carb, high-fat style of eating. Here are some of them:

You feel like you have the flu

When you first start the keto diet, your body has to go through a lot of adjustments to hit ketosis. During that time, many people report feeling as though they’ve come down with the flu and experience flu-like symptoms like a headache, brain fog, nausea and lethargy, according to Priya Khorana, a doctor of nutrition education and exercise physiologist.

The key is to stay hydrated and replenish your salt intake, Khorana said. The good news is the keto flu doesn’t last the entire time you’re following keto, and these symptoms should clear up within a few days.

You crave carbs

If you’re used to eating a ton of carbs, you’re going to crave them when they’re off-limits.

“Logically speaking, if someone tells you you can’t have carbohydrates for a week, you’re going to crave them initially,” De Latour said. On top of that, your body’s cells will want what they’re accustomed to using for energy.

However, once you hit ketosis and your body gets used to the diet, your cravings for starchy, sugary foods will likely subside. (But this is also a good time to remind you that carbs are not necessarily an “enemy” and you do generally need some in your diet in order to function optimally. Even on keto, you will eat some carbs.)

You may feel less hungry

You’d expect to feel hungrier on any diet, but the opposite’s typically true with keto. This is essentially because you’re not limiting the amount of food you’re eating, just the types.

De Latour said that protein and fat make you feel more satiated sooner and longer because it takes the stomach more time to digest these types of foods. Carbs, on the other hand, are broken down quickly, causing you to feel hungry again soon after eating them.

You’ll likely experience fat loss

If you’re following keto strictly — where your diet is 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carbs — you will likely see a loss in body fat (and a lower number on the scale).

“A small decrease in fat mass in the short term has been found in research studies of individuals eating a ketogenic diet. But, in real life, it is difficult to maintain a ketogenic diet, composed of 70-75% fat,” said Ania Jastreboff, an endocrinologist at Yale Medicine.

Most experts agree that it’s not safe to follow this plan in the long run and don’t recommend trying to do so. Plus, there’s little research on the long-term effects, such as if the fat loss will continue or if it will dissipate the longer you try to stick with the restrictive diet.

You pee a lot

When your body’s in ketosis, the kidneys churn out more sodium and fluids, which causes the bladder to fill up. Expect to pee a lot.

“As your body burns through the stored glucose in your liver and muscles within the first day or two of starting a ketogenic diet, you’ll be releasing a lot of water in the process,” Khorana said.

When you urinate frequently, you lose a lot of electrolytes and minerals. This can lead to dehydration and cramping, so it’s crucial to chug lots of water and stay hydrated.

You get backed up

Many people also become constipated on the keto diet. Whenever you lose fluids, you run the risk of becoming constipated, according to De Latour.

“Your colon’s main job is to regulate fluid within the body, so if your body is dehydrated, the colon’s going to slurp up more water from stool and then you have hard [infrequent] stools,” De Latour said.

To combat this, drink lots of water and try to increase your fiber intake (think avocados, chia seeds, collard greens, and nuts like pecans and almonds).

Your energy will dip and then potentially soar

When you first start the diet, your energy levels will likely plummet.

But, like many of the other side effects, your body should bounce back and your energy should eventually climb back up. You’re still energizing your body, it’s just a different type of energy that takes some getting used to, De Latour said. Some keto followers claim they experience more focus and energy once their bodies adjust to ketosis.

Every body is unique and responds differently to various diets, Jastreboff pointed out. You may experience all of these symptoms or none at all.

There’s no perfect eating plan that’s one-size-fits-all. Check in with a doctor before you drastically overhaul your diet. If you end up trying the keto diet and don’t like the way it makes you feel, talk to your doctor as well, as they’ll be able to recommend an eating plan that works best for your body.

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Tau-mediated RNA splicing errors linked to Alzheimer’s disease

A collaborative study published today in the journal Cell Reports provides evidence for a new molecular cause for neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s disease. The study, led by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital, integrates data from human brain autopsy samples and fruit flies to reveal a novel mechanistic link between alterations in RNA splicing and tau-mediated neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s disease.

“Cells carry out their functions by producing specific proteins encoded in their genes. To produce proteins, genes encoded in the DNA are first transcribed into RNA molecules, which subsequently are translated into proteins,” said corresponding author Dr. Joshua Shulman, associate professor of neurology, neuroscience and molecular and human genetics at Baylor and investigator at the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute.

In this study, Shulman and his colleagues investigated a molecular mechanism called RNA splicing that is involved in the production of mature RNA molecules necessary to produce working proteins. They looked into the possibility that aggregates of tau protein within neurons, a key marker of Alzheimer’s disease, interfered with RNA splicing.

“Alterations in RNA splicing are known to be involved in the development of certain neurodegenerative conditions, such as spinal muscular atrophy and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. However, until now, their role in Alzheimer’s disease was not studied in great detail,” Shulman said.

To carry out RNA splicing, cells use the spliceosomal complex, a multiprotein cellular machinery that coordinates the production of mature RNA molecules. RNA splicing is one of the important ways by which organs generate different cell types, each of which perform specialized functions and is especially critical to generate the cellular diversity and complexity in the human brain. Minor perturbations in the assembly and/or function of the spliceosome are predicted to render brain cells vulnerable to degeneration and premature death, particularly in aging individuals.

Recent studies using postmortem human brain tissue show that multiple components of the spliceosomal complex can bind to and co-aggregate with neurofibrillary tau tangles. In the current study, the researchers began by overexpressing toxic tau in fruit flies as a model to test whether spliceosome-tau interactions might cause neurodegeneration.

“Using genetic interactions and functional assays, Yi-Chen Hsieh and Caiwei Guo, graduate students in my lab, identified several spliceosomal genes that mediated tau toxicity,” Shulman said.

Since many spliceosomal proteins were present in low levels in the neurons of flies overexpressing toxic tau, the researchers proposed that tau aggregates either disrupted proper assembly of the spliceosome or sequestered key components in the cytoplasm, away from the site of action in the nucleus. This model was further supported by experiments in which flies expressing toxic tau were found to have global disruptions in RNA splicing that resulted in thousands of erroneous RNAs.

Analyzing specific splicing errors that occur with low frequency in large datasets is a time-consuming and challenging task. To conduct this analysis, Shulman and his colleagues collaborated with computational scientists in the laboratory of Dr. Zhandong Liu, associate professor of pediatrics-neurology at Baylor and also an investigator at the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute, to automate this process.

“Identifying and classifying specific splicing errors turned out to be fairly difficult. Current computational tools that analyze RNA sequencing datasets typically filter out any change that does not match the normal RNA splicing patterns. We had to specifically look into this ‘junk material’ to identify patterns of specific splicing errors,” Liu said.

For this study, Dr. Hari Krishna Yalamanchili, a postdoctoral fellow in the Liu lab, modified CrypSplice, a novel computational tool he had developed earlier, to perform in-depth analysis of splicing errors, which uncovered a link between tau tangles and an increase in a particular type of splicing errors.

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Research identifies a new drug candidate to starve and suffocate breast cancer cell stem growth

Scientists have identified a new drug candidate that is able starve and suffocate cancer stem cells, paving the way for new therapies to treat breast cancer patients.

Breast Cancer is one the most common types of cancer in the UK. It is predicted that one in seven women will be affected by the illness in their lifetime.

Research at the University of Salford has uncovered important findings on how to effectively target mitochondria, which normally provide all the necessary energy for driving the proliferation and dissemination of cancer stem cells.

It is well-recognized, by the medical community, that the growth of cancer stem cells (CSC’s) is one of the major causes of treatment failure, tumour recurrence and cancer spread, in many different cancer types.

CSC’s that are resistant to chemotherapy and radiotherapy, often resulting in tumour recurrence. In research conducted at the Translational Medicine Laboratory at the University of Salford, a candidate drug was identified, Dodecyl-TPP, that was found to be effective when targeting mitochondria within CSCs. Using this approach when treating cancer patients has the scope to reduce the risk of recurrence and spread of cancer.

Professor Michael P. Lisanti, the chair of translational medicine at the University of Salford, said, “Our pre-clinical research has identified a new drug candidate for targeting mitochondria in CSC. It was found that Dodecyl-TPP treatment can potently starve CSCs to death, this being effective in the nano-molar range, blocking their use of oxygen to generate energy in the form of ATP. The findings make a valid case for future clinal trials in this area.”

Scientists at the University of Salford also identified 5 other agents that worked together with Dodecyl-TPP. This includes two FDA-approved drugs (Doxycycline and Niclosamide) and two nutraceuticals (Vitamin C and Berberine).

The research, led by Professors Michael P. Lisanti and Federica Sotgia, was published in the journal Frontiers in Oncology, a peer-reviewed research platform that covers cancer research. This metabolic approach using drug combinations, can potentially improve patient survival by preventing tumour recurrence and metastasis, via the high-efficiency targeting of CSCs. Around 90% of all cancer patients die as a result of the cancer spreading and tumour recurrence, this being the basis of the research to identify new mitochondria inhibitors.

About Mitochondria

Mitochondria are the ‘powerhouse’ of the cell, which drive the production of cellular energy in the form of NAD and ATP. Research has shown that Dodecyl-TPP acts as a mitochondrial inhibitor, starving the CSCs to death. ATP and NAD are high-energy metabolites required for cell survival and propagation.

About Dodecyl-TPP

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How CT scans continue to play a fundamental role in cancer treatment

If you have been diagnosed with cancer, you have probably received at least one CT scan, before or during the course of your treatment, and possibly many more.

A CT scan, or CAT scan as it’s also known, stands for Computerised Tomography, and uses X-rays taken from multiple angles around the body to create cross-sectional images (slices) of the bones, blood vessels and soft tissues inside your body. These cross-sectional images produce more-detailed information than standard X-rays.

CT scans are regularly used to plan radiotherapy, so they play an important role in cancer treatment. Doctors use CT scans to decide how much tissue will be exposed to radiation in order to treat tumours. A treatment plan is made, which includes margins around the tumour, to ensure the whole tumour is treated.

These planning margins inevitably expose healthy tissue to damaging radiation that can lead to side-effects after treatment, but by combining CT scans with other types of imaging, more precise treatment could potentially be delivered.

Researchers from The Institute of Cancer Research have tested two imaging techniques which combine CT with other types of imaging in parts of the body where delivering precision radiotherapy is a challenge. This could help to improve radiotherapy planning compared with using standard CT scans on their own.

Ultrasound and CT for cervical cancer

A group of researchers led by Dr. Emma Harris and Dr. Susan Lalondrelle at the ICR and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust have looked at whether pairing CT scans with ultrasound images could produce more detailed images for planning cervical cancer treatment.

Treatment plans for women with cervical cancer, which include the uterus and cervix, may often include quite large margins around the tumour, because the natural movements of the bladder and the bowel can cause tumours to shift quite significantly.

These margins mean women can have unwanted side-effects from radiotherapy, and there is even a risk they may not be able to complete their treatment.

Ultrasound is a quick and effective way to produce high-quality images of women undergoing treatment, and the study showed that combining ultrasound images with cone beam CT scans produced more detailed images than either scan alone. Cone beam CT scans are a special type of CT that can be acquired during treatment and then used to plan radiotherapy to suit the patient’s anatomy each day.

The researchers took ultrasound and cone beam CT scans of 11 women with cervical cancer and they found that when the two types of images were combined, they could use them to better outline the positions of the uterus.

In fact, they found that the details picked up by the two techniques actually complimented each other, so regions that might not be visible on CT were often clear on Ultrasound and vice-versa, allowing doctors to improve the precision of radiotherapy planning.

Not only is Ultrasound relatively cheap to perform, it is also quick and easy to incorporate into current radiotherapy practice, so it could be used to adapt radiotherapy during treatment.

This could mean reducing the amount of healthy tissue exposed over the course of treatment, helping to reduce potential side-effects for women with cervical cancer.

Improving treatment for lung cancer

Lung cancer is another disease where side-effects from radiotherapy can be severely debilitating, and a study led by Professor Nandita de Souza and Dr. Marina Ahmed at the ICR and The Royal Marsden have tested a type of nuclear medicine scan called SPECT to determine the effect of radiation doses on lung tissue.

SPECT is similar in a way to CT scanning, but instead of creating cross-sectional images from X-rays that have been passed through the body, it produces images from radiation that has been injected into the body. SPECT scans can be used alongside traditional CT scans to help doctors plan radiotherapy.

A radioactive tracer compound circulates around the body and its location is imaged with computerised 3-D processing. Using a particular tracer means that certain body functions such as blood flow to tissues and organs can be imaged.

Patients with lung cancer may have trouble breathing, and the effect of radiotherapy on the lungs can make this worse. Doctors must therefore make a trade-off between delivering a radiation dose that can kill tumour cells against the increasing chances of serious side-effects such as disabling breathlessness.

For lung cancer patients who are treated with radiotherapy, it is important to limit radiation damage to normal regions of lung. Preserving lung function is important to avoid side-effects such as breathlessness and help patients maintain a good quality of life.

The researchers scanned 48 patients with lung cancer using SPECT to identify the regions of functioning lung, and showed that it was possible to predict whether a patient’s lung function would deteriorate after radiotherapy based on how much lung tissue received radiation, even at low dose.

Patients who became breathless were found to have a larger volume of healthy lung tissue exposed to low dose radiation. For patients who didn’t report increased breathing problems, the SPECT scans showed that comparatively smaller regions of healthy lung were exposed to radiation.

The findings mean that for lung cancer patients whose breathing is already limited before radiotherapy, using SPECT scans which measure blood flow alongside standard CT scans may be helpful.

Results of the SPECT scans could be used to amend treatment plans to limit normal regions of the lung with good blood flow receiving low doses of radiation, hopefully avoiding harmful side-effects after treatment.

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