A new myeloma-killer, beer and the brain, and the immune system…

beer_toastI don’t know where to begin…I read so many interesting articles today! Well, I’ll pick three of them, randomly, as follows…

  • A group of Neapolitan researchers have created a new synthetic molecule that they0ve called DTP3, which kills myeloma cells effectively, without killing healthy cells at the same time. It’s as strong as bortezomib (!) “but more than 100-fold higher cancer cell specificity in vitro,” according to the abstract. Here’s the link to the full study, which is available for free online (I confess, I’ve only read the abstract at this point, though): http://goo.gl/AMk5Ro So here it seems that we have something that kills MM cells without killing the good stuff as well…if that’s not cause for celebration, I don’t know what is!!! And I’m excited also because this is an entirely “made in Italy” discovery. :-) The study was published, as you can see, in October of 2014, but today I read an article about it (in Italian) providing a bit more information. Here’s the link: http://goo.gl/wpzTto  The items of interest mentioned in the Italian article are as follows: 1. the concentrations of DTP3 needed to kill myeloma cells are very low (always a good thing, no?). 2. DTP3 blocks the activity of the myeloma cell helper known as GADD45beta, a protein that is over-expressed in myeloma cells but practically absent in healthy cells. 3. Phase I clinical trials are set to begin in the United Kingdom this year. I’ll be following DTP3, for sure…
  • I also read a Scientific American article on a new study showing that our immune system is much more affected by our environment and life habits than by our inherited DNA: http://goo.gl/UmM6QK The study’s findings regarding cytomegalovirus and Epstein Barr are quite intriguing, by the way. It has always been in the back of my mind, in fact, that EBV had something to do with the development of my own MGUS, then SMM, and that is why the “evil virus” topic has always been of interest to me…Anyway, this is another highly recommended read. Oh, and it’s not too difficult to understand, either, which is always a big bonus!
  • In 2008 I wrote a post on xanthohumol, a compound found in the hop plant ( = BEER!!!). In a nutshell, a study showed that xanthohumol has anti-inflammatory, antiproliferative and antiangiogenic properties. Mainly, though, it KILLED myeloma and leukemia cells. Here’s a refresher: http://margaret.healthblogs.org/other-alternative-treatments/xanthohumolhop-plant/ Well, today I read a Science Daily article on a new study showing that this compound may also slow the development of brain disorders, including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Disease: http://goo.gl/ghbss0 Very interesting. Too bad I don’t care much for beer…!!! Uff!!!