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Scientists Find Combo Drugs that Kill Lung Cancer

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There is hope for lung cancer sufferers worldwide as a breakthrough research has found that the use of two existing drugs could successfully treat the disease.

 

The study delves deep into the molecular survival kit of lung tumours.

 

Many cancer deaths are driven by the KRAS oncogene. KRAS is an essential gene, but in its mutant form, it is an important step in the generation of many types of cancer.

 

For over 30 years, the KRAS oncogene has been a focus of research. Finding a way to remove its teeth would be pivotal in the treatment of a range of cancers.

 

As part of this effort, rather than targeting the gene directly, some scientists have focused on pathways that are related to the errant gene.

 

One pathway of interest centres on insulin and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). This pathway helps to regulate the uptake of nutrients into the cell, providing it with the energy and raw ingredients it needs to grow.

 

If the tumour cell’s fuel supply could be severed, its onward march might be halted. However, it is not clear whether KRAS oncogenes are reliant on this particular pathway, and, in clinical trials, results have not been encouraging.

 

In fact, one study in mice found that lung tumours actually became more aggressive after the pathway was suppressed.

 

Attacking KRAS-related pathways

Undeterred, a team from the Boston Children’s Hospital in Massachusetts used a fresh approach. In the mouse study mentioned above, the insulin/IGF-1 signalling pathway was only partially closed off. In the latest study, though, a genetic technique was used that shut it down entirely.

 

To do this, the scientists crossed two strains of genetically modified mice. The first is a well-used model for KRAS-driven lung cancer, and the other is a mouse used to study diabetes that lacks insulin/IGF-1 signalling.

 

In the diabetes mouse model, the insulin/IGF-1 pathway is unshackled by the deletion of two genes: Irs1 and Irs2. These encode “adaptor” proteins, which are essential for the smooth running of the insulin/IGF-1 pathway.

 

“Our study uses a robust way to block insulin/IGF-1 signalling and addresses a long-standing question in KRAS-mutant lung cancer. When you use genetics, results can be more conclusive,” said senior study author Nada Kalaany, Ph.D, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

 

Using their new model, the scientists demonstrated that by suppressing the two adaptor proteins, insulin/IGF-1 signalling is blocked and lung tumours are significantly suppressed:

 

“Almost all animals in this lung cancer model typically die within 15 weeks of KRAS activation,” says Kalaany. “But, the ones that lost both Irs1 and Irs2 were completely fine — we saw almost no tumours at 10 to 15 weeks.”

 

This finding is important because drugs that block insulin/IGF-1 signalling are already in use and freely available.

 

The results are published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. While the preliminary findings are hopeful, the researchers knew that there was more work to be done; cancer is a complex, ever-morphing disease with a terrifying knack for circumventing medical interventions.

 

Outfoxing lung cancer

To observe whether the cancer cells were able to navigate around this new roadblock, the team let the animals live longer to see what happened next.

 

As Kalaany explains, “Sure enough, at around 16 weeks, we started seeing some tumours. So, then we asked, how were these tumour cells able to overcome loss of Irs1 and Irs2?”

 

The answer was found in the levels of essential cellular building blocks: amino acids. Tumour cells lacking the adaptor proteins failed to move amino acids into their cells, despite a plentiful supply outside of the cell.

 

“Growth factors, like IGF-1, tell cells that nutrients are around,” says Kalaany, “so when you suppress their signalling, the tumour cells don’t take up the amino acids and think they are starved.”

 

“But we found that the tumour cells can compensate for this and break down their own proteins to generate amino acids.”

 

So, the KRAS-driven tumours threw out a curve ball: they had, once again, figured out a workaround. By breaking themselves down — in a process known as autophagy — they can generate the raw material they need to thrive.

 

The researchers, however, were one step ahead.

 

Heading cancer off at the pass

Drugs that inhibit protein breakdown are already available. These include chloroquine, which is currently involved in a number of cancer drug trials, and bortezomib, which blocks proteasomes (protein-digesting structures) and is already used to treat myeloma.

 

When the two prongs of the attack were combined, the results were more than encouraging. They found that tumour cells lacking Irs1 and Irs2 did not grow well, and, when the inhibitors were added, growth stopped almost completely.

 

Additional studies will now be needed to understand how these two drug types might interact in a patient. However, this is a considerable breakthrough, and the researchers are excited to take it to the next phase.

 

“Our work tries to identify metabolic dependencies and vulnerabilities in tumours,” says Kalaany. “If we identify collaborators, we would love to have a clinical trial in non-small-cell lung cancer combining IGF-1 inhibitors with autophagy inhibitors or proteasome inhibitors.”

 

By testing to breaking point every part of a tumour cell’s survival kit, researchers will, one day, beat cancer.

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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Firm Aims at Disrupt Nigeria’s Advertising Space, Using People Based Initiative

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A Lagos-based technology company has reiterated its objective to serve as an engine for growth to small, medium and large businesses, using its people-based retargeting program.

Kayode Aladesuyi, Founder of AdsMyWay, stated this in a statement made available in Lagos, on Thursday.

Aladesuyi noted that AdsMyWay is ready to Change the face of online Advertising in Nigeria.

According to him, “People-based retargeting is a new way of targeting an audience for your product and services, More precision it claims, more effectiveness they insist, the future of advertising they predict.

“We developed and built our own proprietary ad-serving algorithm and plan to introduce people-based retargeting to help companies achieve higher conversion ratio to grow revenue.

“It is by no means abandoning cookie-based retargeting, it has been effective but we will help businesses see greater value in advertising.

“People-based retargeting is more effective, it justifies ROI in advertising and leads to more successful businesses while improving the economy.

“It uses other identifiers rather than IP-based cookies, to retarget audiences across the platform from desktop to mobile which bridges the gap that exists in cookie-based retargeting.

“AdsMyWay program retargets audiences on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google’s paid and organic search results”.

He revealed that they will be partnering with some of Nigeria’s largest online publishers such as New Telegraph Newspaper, Daily Trust, Sound City and several other online entertainment and business publishers.

Aladesuyi believes that online advertising has the capacity to turn the fortune of businesses around.

In his words, “we are powering local publishers and monetizing content, allowing businesses to reach much deeper into the community and audience.

“Local content providers with interesting and audience-driven content will get our attention; they will grow, and create jobs across the entire business spectrum”. He added.

The company is removing the artificial barrier to advertising by removing the myth that only large and wealthy businesses can advertise.

It has launched a program that allows small businesses to start Ad campaigns on low budgets; it accepts naira and other local forms of payment.

Kenneth Shobola, president of Nigerian American Business Forum (NABF) in his goodwill message argues that disruption has been proven to go beyond any region of the world.

“The NABF strongly support this initiative as a contribution to the economy and encourages businesses looking to advertise to consider AdsMyWay platform.

“The advertising space in Nigeria is one that can get disrupted. The market size and audience beg for disruption and innovation.”

 

 

 

 

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Canon Launches New Range of Products in Nigeria

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L-R: Amine Djouahra, Senior Sales & Marketing Manager - B2C, Canon CNA; TY Bello, Canon influencer and Omotayo Omodia, Country Manager, Canon Nigeria at the launch of The New product launch of the EOS R, PIXMA TS9540 and ZoeMini in Lagos yesterday.

Canon Central and North Africa (CCNA), leaders in imaging solutions, has reiterated its commitment to the Nigerian market by announcing the launch of three new exciting products – the EOS R System, PIXMA TS9540 and the ZOEMINI.

The new range of printers and the camera are poised to expand Canon’s imagery range in Nigeria and help customers manage productivity.

The EOS R System is redefining the frontiers of photography and filmmaking. Over thirty years on from the original, era-defining EOS launch, the bold, new EOS R System once again expands photographic possibilities in countless ways. The new RF lens mount has been engineered with the perfect blend of optical, mechanical and electronic design to capture unique moments previously seen as very challenging.

A pioneering lens mount built from the best of EOS legacy

Since its inception in 1987, the EOS System – including Cinema EOS – has grown into the most recognized imaging system in the world. Today’s introduction takes the EOS platform to new heights, incorporating the best from the existing system, with even greater levels of performance, lens design possibilities and creative flexibility.

The new RF mount has been built on the strengths of the existing EF mount and is the result of detailed research by Canon engineers, who have designed an impressive optical system with a flange back distance of 20mm and a wide 54mm diameter lens mount – allowing for even greater freedom when designing lenses.

Further expanding the existing EOS System, Canon also launches the EF-M 32mm f/1.4 STM – a new 32mm lens for the EOS M mirrorless system – and the EF 400mm f/2.8L IS III USM and EF 600mm f/4L IS III USM, two revolutionary, lightweight professional super telephoto lenses for the EF System.

The Canon PIXMA TS9540 is a compact All-In-One inkjet printer that is capable of A3 printing, with a comparable A4 printer footprint. It delivers professional results with the help of Canon’s class leading FINE print head technology and its five individual inks give photos a rich gradation and up to a 100-year album life.

Unleash your creativity with all new feature of create fun nail stickers and customize your nails with Canon’s unique nail sticker media and app. It comes with 200 designs (with new designs released each year) or get creative and use your own photos!

The ZOE MINI is Canon’s smallest and lightest Mini Photo Printer, the perfect accessory for those who enjoy snapping and sharing treasured moments with family and friends.

It features ZINK™ technology, meaning zero ink is required. With customization at its foundation, this printer, through the Canon Mini Print app, offers the option to print not only individual smudge-free and water-resistant 2” x 3” prints or stickers, but also a tile print that is made up of four or nine prints, as well as over ten unique collage templates that print on one 2×3 photo.

Speaking on the product launch, Mr. Amine Djouahra, Senior Manger Sales & Marketing – B2C, Canon Central & North Africa, said, “We are very proud to have officially launched and announced the availability of our EOS R System today here in Lagos- Nigeria.

This market plays a significant role in our growth plans and we hope that today’s local launch event will further cement our position as innovators in imaging technology.

Today, Canon is globally committed to investing in the unrivalled EOS world with cameras, lenses and accessories that set new heights in image quality, optical excellence and performance, building on Canon’s lens heritage, these high-performance lenses will push forward the frontiers of creative storytelling and satisfying the ever-evolving needs and demands of our customers.”

He further went on to add that your fantastic stories must be printed & brought to life.

“We are constantly working to better understand the needs of our customers in Nigeria and introducing cameras such as the EOS R, PIXMA TS9540 and ZOEMINI enables us to better serve them. We want to offer our Nigerian customers’ new innovation that is currently changing the way we capture, store and share images. We believe the key benefits of these products include the durability and versatility which enables everyone to unleash their creative potential. “

With the introduction of the new products, Canon is also launching the professional consumer photo competition in Nigeria under the Campaign #MYNAIJAMYCANON. The competition is part of Canon’s efforts in enabling and inspiring cinematography talent in this region.

 

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Malami, Onu, Others May Make Buhari’s New Cabinet

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President Muhammadu Buhari and his vice Osibanjo

The faces of those likely to make up President Muhammadu Buhari’s new cabinet are beginning to emerge with Boss Mustapha, secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), tipped to retain his seat.

 

An investigative report by the SaharaReporters also tipped Abubakar Malami, minister of Justice and attorney general of the Federation (AGF), and Hadi Sirika, minister of State Aviation to hold portfolios in the incoming cbinet.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari had, after securing his reelection, declared publicly that “only people of proven integrity will make the next cabinet”.

 

Accordingly, the President’s inner clique, Abba Kyari, Mohammed Babagana Monguno, Mamman Daura, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai and Babagana Kingibe, are said to have taken a firm stand, to ensure that many members of the present cabinet are weeded out.

 

For the SGF, the clique refers to him as a level-headed and a tall, standing stabilizer, especially within Adamawa politics. Other reasons include the expectation that he would play a significant role in the legal battle by Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to challenge the outcome of the presidential election, especially as the SGF has been a long-standing associate of Atiku.

 

However, Mustapha may face stiff opposition from the wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, for his role in scuttling the chances of her younger brother, Mahmood Halilu Ahmed, during the APC governorship nomination.

 

For daring to oppose her in that humiliating manner, SaharaReporters gathered that Aisha Buhari has also shopped for Mustapha’s replacement. Mohammed Buba Marwa, who hails from the same Adamawa State as Mustapha, is being positioned from Mrs. Buhari’s camp to take over the SGF job in the new cabinet.

 

However, Aisha’s move may be contained by the cabal, since, over time, Buhari has been swayed against her where conflicts of interest arose.

 

Mrs. Buhari has had cause to repeatedly cry out and openly allege that her husband’s government is ‘cabal-driven’, an allegation the President has openly denied.

 

But much of the drama that would characterise Buhari’s second term may be staged in the South-West, as sources are predicting that Bola Tinubu, the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), may eventually pull out of the party.

 

This is because the cabal is weaving a strategic plan to checkmate his overbearing influence within APC politics. Part of the plan is to inject a new breed of politicians from the South-West against Tinubu’s interest.

 

Akinwumi Ambode, outgoing Governor of Lagos State, may top the array of those disgruntled by Tinubu’s control style. If the plan succeeds, all presidential appointees from the South-West may be selected from Tinubu’s bitter rivals. This way, he (Tinubu) would have been cut to size ahead of 2023.

 

As to why the cabal would turn its back on Tinubu, the answer lies in Buhari’s ready-made 12 million votes in the north, at least, going by the permutation of the cabal. The position of the cabal is that owing to the North’s capacity to produce over 12 million votes, which was the case in the February 23 presidential election, rotational presidency is no longer tenable.

 

It is, therefore, most likely that the cabal is zeroing in on either Mallam Nuhu Ribadu or Nasir el-Rufai to succeed Buhari in 2023.

 

For the rest of the south, the cabal has no soft spot for anybody, except that Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science and Technology, and few others are still considered dependable allies.

 

Somehow, as the theatre of activities would be unveiled with Buhari’s inauguration on May 29, Boss Mustapha is believed by the cabal to possess certain indispensable qualities for the battle ahead.

 

But as to whether things will work out eventually as planned, only time shall tell.

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