Cleveland Clinic Researchers Identify New Drug Target for Treating Aggressive Prostate Cancer

CLEVELAND: According to new findings published in Science Translational Medicine, Cleveland Clinic researchers have identified a promising drug target for treating and preventing aggressive, drug-resistant prostate cancer.

The team, led by Nima Sharifi, M.D., of Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute, demonstrated that inhibiting the protein H6PD led to significantly reduced tumor sizes and improved survival among mouse models with drug-resistant prostate cancer. The H6PD levels also were elevated in biopsied patient tumors, suggesting the protein might be targeted in patients for treatment.

Untangling the Effects of Past Adversity and Alcohol Use Disorder on Acute Stress Responses

The hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis is the body’s key stress response system. By driving production of the stress hormone cortisol, and then ensuring a return to baseline levels, the HPA axis regulates our reaction to stressful events. Chronic alcohol use, however, can lead to persistently elevated cortisol, reducing the body’s capacity to respond appropriately to stress. Among people in treatment for alcohol use disorder (AUD), the blunted stress response predicts risk of relapse and a return to drinking. Longer-term life stress, including childhood adversity, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and chronic stress, can also dampen HPA axis function, complicating interpretation of the alterations evident in people with AUD. However, it is not known how stress and trauma intereact with AUD to affect HPA-axis reactivity. A new report in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research by researchers from the universities of Texas, Florida, and Colorado addresses this issue, u

Stress during Pregnancy May Negatively Affect Baby’s Muscles

Research in sheep suggests that high levels of a stress hormone during pregnancy may alter gene expression in multiple muscle groups of offspring. These shifts may affect heart, breathing and skeletal muscle function, and could potentially increase risks of inflammation and infection. The study is published ahead of print in Physiological Genomics.

Moderate to Heavy Drinking During Pregnancy Alters Genes in Newborns, Mothers

Mothers who drink moderate to high levels of alcohol during pregnancy may be changing their babies’ DNA, according to a Rutgers-led study.