Ruminations of a Taco-Obsessed Philly Native

The Effects of Naloxone on Human Breast Cancer Regression

Naloxone, more known for functioning as an opioid antagonist, and playing the role of opioid adversary at the opioid receptor level, is now finally being properly studied; with respects to its role in tumor cell growth and human cancer cell lines. Reported studies and findings from the in vitro and in vivo experiments evaluate the effects of naloxone on human breast cancer cell growth and progression.

In vitro experiments consisted of estrogen receptor (ER)-negative human breast carcinoma cells, MDA.MB231, being treated with naloxone at different dosages(10-100µM). In vivo experiments were conducted with mice being subcutaneously injected with human triple negative breast cancer, TNBC, formulated by using MDA.MB231. For 2 weeks, mice were injected daily with naloxone, then injected with double the dosage for another two weeks. Due to injection of Fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-dextran (100 μL) into the tail vein of the mice and the confirmation by immunohistochemistry with CD31 on mice tumor sections, microvessel formation were detected in the mice.

Vitro results showed that the cell proliferation MDA.MB231, was inhibited by naloxone, depending upon the volume of doses, whereas the cell death was increased. The vivo experiments revealed that mice treated with naloxone, had greatly decreased in size than those observed in the control groups, with naloxone being the constant factor. Check the journal at SCImago Journal & Country Rank.

Although naloxone wasn’t able to impair the microvessel formation in tumors of treated mice, for the first time, scientific data and research has proven that naloxone reduces breast cancer progression without causing damage to the angiogenesis process.

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Improved Therapeutic Strategies for Drug Resistant Thyroid Cancers

At the Harvard Medical School, new studies(published first on Oncotarget) have revealed that patients suffering from papillary thyroid carcinoma(PTC), the most common form of thyroid cancer, can now find relief; as it has been found that palbociclib, a FDA approved drug that treats breast cancer, is a far more effective treatment of PTC in patients, than the usual treatments of the drug, vemurafenib. The problem with vemurafenib is its inability to aggressively and permanently keep cancer in remission, allowing cancer to go into remission for a brief period, only to return stronger and incurable.

Research conducted in the past, suggested that the lab-grown vemurafenib-resistant thyroid cancer cells produces a loss of the P16 gene, a gene that keep cells from dividing too frequently. This discovery brought forth the possibility of reasons as to why vemurafenib is so ineffective with PTC. Follow Oncotarget journal on Twitter.

The protein complex, CDK4/6, which is a requirement for DNA to replicate inside cells, was targeted as the key component to treating PTC, as it would act as the P16 gene and mimic the replicating effects. This is when Harvard medical researchers realized that treating the vemurafenib-resistant cells with vemurafenib combined with palbociclib, form a synergistic duo that induces stronger cell deaths, than when treated alone.

Although additional studies further revealed that cancer cells harbor a secondary unit of drug-resistant treatment cells that can potentially override the already vemurafenib-resistant cells, researchers have confirmed that the therapy of vemurafenib combined with palbociclib is the most efficient and effective treatment for PTC cells, whether primary or secondary.

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Make sure to check out the Oncotarget podcast, which can be found on Stitcher, Player.FM and iTunes.

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Eric Lefkofsky, Jewish American entrepreneur, was born September 2, 1969 in Detroit, Michigan. As Eric grew towards adulthood, his passion for law and business would fuel both his education, and future venture capital.

At age 18, Lefkofsky graduated from Southfield-Lathrup High School to peruse an education at the University of Michigan. While in attendance of the university, he began what would be a long standing business career by selling carpet on campus. Graduating with honors in 1991 at age 22, Eric Lefkofsky furthered education by attending University of Michigan Law School where he received his Juris Doctor, a professional law degree.

Currently known as Chairman of Groupon, and co-founder of Lightbank, a venture capital firm, Lefkofsky was not always such a successful entrepreneur and philanthropist. His original entrepreneurial ventures were smaller and less successful, but in 2001 he helped found InnerWorkings. InnerWorkings, a print procurement company that helps manage costs of printed items such as leaflets, brochures, and magazines for mid-size companies, has witnessed growth and has continued successful stock ratings in the United States. As of 2012, Lefkofsky left the company for bigger and better ventures.

MediaBank, a company that procures media technology, was Lefkofsky’s next business venture with his college friend Brad Keywell. MediaBank in 2007 bought out Datatech, the number one media buying company in the United States. In a $1.5 billion deal, MediaBank became Mediaocean after it merged with Donovan Data Systems.

Possibly one of Lefkofsky’s most successful notable companies is Groupon, an e-commerce marketplace that connects subscribes to local merchants whom offer services and goods at a marketable price. In 2007 however, it was known as The Point. Andrew Mason, founder of The Point, wanted a web based company that would allow people to organize behind causes they found important and achieve a certain goal based on their cause. The company in it’s state only grew a small attraction as people wanted to back and organize for savings and deals. Seeing the opportunity, Eric Lefkofsky funded the company with a cool $1 million. In 2008, the company changed its name to Groupon- a combination of the words group and coupon as homage to what the company now sought to do. As of 2010, Forbes declared Groupon the fastest growing company in history. In 2013, Lefkofsky became CEO of Groupon but later stepped down to take the roll as chairman in 2015. As of 2014 they had a reported income of $3.2 billion and an estimated 10,000 employees.

Beyond business ventures, Eric and his wife Elizabeth Lefkofsky have both been charitable with their earnings. In 2006 they started a charity trust called Lefkofsky Foundation, a private foundation that contributes to smaller organizations, programs, and research that may improve the quality of their surrounding communities.

That includes initiatives that introduce foreign culture, further education, and benefit medical research. They are also participating members in The Giving Pledge, a foundation started by Bill Gates and Warren Buffet to encourage globally influential people of wealth to redistribute some of their earnings to charitable causes.

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