CANCER CELLS MIGHT EAT THEMSELVES

The Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Body and Regenerative Medicine released a study about a cancer cell antibody, which may send a signal to cancer cells to essentially eat themselves.

The molecule named CD47 is the molecule that tells cancer not to eat itself. These researchers found an antibody that will deaden the CD47 signal; they are unsure as to how to control it, and how it will ultimately help fight cancer.

Findings also show that although CD47 is found in other molecular cells within the body, the anti-CD47 doesn’t affect all of them. The link may be due to the presence of calreticulin an agent that gives off the signal to cancer cells to be attacked an eaten. Director of the Stanford Institute, Dr. Irving Weissman reports, that although the calreticulin shows up in many cancer cells, it does not in most normal cells structures. “The research also shows that most normal cell populations don’t display calreticulin and are, therefore, not depleted when we expose them to a blocking anti-CD47 antibody.”

The institute will continue to study the effects of the calreticulin on cell communities and how its discovery can assist in the fight against cancer.

Many cancer cells found to have an ‘eat me’ signal in Stanford study

STANFORD, Calif. — Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have discovered that many cancer cells carry the seeds of their own destruction — a protein on the cell surface that signals circulating immune cells to engulf and digest them. On cancer cells, this “eat me” signal is counteracted by a separate “don’t eat me” signal that was described in an earlier study. The two discoveries may lead to better cancer therapies, and also solve a mystery about why a previously reported cancer therapy is not more toxic.

In the study to be published Dec. 22 in Science Translational Medicine, the researchers discovered that many forms of cancer display the protein calreticulin, or CRT, which invites immune cells called macrophages to engulf and destroy them. The reason most cancer cells are not destroyed by macrophages is that they also display another molecule, a “don’t eat me” signal, called CD47, which counteracts the CRT signal.

The characterization of the function of CD47 protein in cancer was previously published by the Stanford scientists. In the earlier work, they reported that an antibody that blocks CD47 could be a potent anti-cancer therapy. They demonstrated that the anti-CD47 antibody could eliminate disease in mice transplanted with human acute myeloid leukemia and cure a large proportion of mice with human non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma when combined with a second antibody.

Although the result was exciting, it presented a couple mysteries. “Many normal cells in the body have CD47, and yet those cells are not affected by the anti-CD47 antibody,” said Mark Chao, a Stanford MD/PhD candidate who is first author of the new paper. “At that time, we knew that anti-CD47 antibody treatment selectively killed only cancer cells without being toxic to most normal cells, although we didn’t know why.”

The researchers also questioned whether simply blocking CD47 would be enough to bring on a cell’s destruction. “It wouldn’t be likely that killing cells was the default action of the immune system,” said Ravindra Majeti, MD, PhD, assistant professor of hematology and co-principal investigator on the project. “We postulated that there had to be an ‘eat me’ signal that the cancer cells were also carrying in addition to CD47.” CRT became the leading candidate for this signal because other researchers had previously shown that CRT and CD47 work together to govern a process of programmed cell death called apoptosis.

Indeed, when the scientists looked for CRT they found it on a variety of cancers, including several leukemias, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and bladder, brain and ovarian cancers. “This research demonstrates that the reason that blocking the CD47 ‘don’t eat me’ signal works to kill cancer is that leukemias, lymphomas and many solid tumors also display a calreticulin ‘eat me’ signal,” said Irving Weissman, MD, director of the Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine and the study’s other co-principal investigator. “The research also shows that most normal cell populations don’t display calreticulin and are therefore not depleted when we expose them to a blocking anti-CD47 antibody.”

The researchers also found that the most aggressive cancers were the ones making the most CRT. This raises hopes that some of the worst cancers may be the most vulnerable to therapies targeting CD47 and CRT.

But it also raises new mysteries: Why would cancer cells carry a protein that invites their own destruction, and why would the worst cancers make more of this protein? One possibility is that CRT is a part of the cell’s regulatory system that cancers have figured a way around. When normal cells become damaged, CRT protein gets exposed on the cell surface, which marks the cell to be eaten and ultimately destroyed. This is one of many ways the immune system keeps abnormal cells in check. “In cancer, CRT expression may be a marker of this process, requiring cancer cells to make more CD47 to avoid getting eaten,” said Chao. “It’s also possible that CRT confers some unknown advantage on cancer, which is an area we are actively investigating.”

One next step for the researchers will be to understand how CRT and CD47 dynamically balance each other’s influence in patients undergoing chemotherapy, the standard treatment for most cancers. This may provide greater chances of success as they move toward a clinical trial of the anti-CD47 antibody in cancer patients.

The scientists also want to learn more about the biology of CRT in cancer. “We want to know how it contributes to the disease process and what is happening in the cell that causes the protein to move to the cell surface,” Majeti said. “Any of these mechanisms offer potential new ways to treat the disease by interfering with those processes.”

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Sure Signs a Guy’s a Player


Recently, I blogged about the advice my male friends have for interpreting a guy’s mixed signals. As a follow-up, I want to talk about another writer-lady’s very smart advice on how to determine whether or not a guy is a player. Susan Walsh writes the blog Hooking Up Smart, and in it, she made a number of smart points about players — and I’m summarizing the good stuff for you here.

1. Players text too much.
As Susan points out, players will often send a lot of basically meaningless “sweet” texts, along the lines of, “How was your day?” and “Hey, just thought I’d say I’m thinking about you” and “Sleep tight.” While this kind of thing is fine once you’ve established true intimacy with someone, if a dude is pulling this kind of BS before you’ve had four or five dates at the very least, chances are pretty good he’s full of malarkey. Or else kinda pathetic.

2. Players text at the last minute.
Do they ever! Now, I think it’s obvious when someone texts you at midnight, asking what you’re up to, that he’s just looking for sex. But players will also send more innocent-seeming texts, saying stuff like, “Hey — spontaneous invite — wanna grab dinner tonight?” Or, “This week is starting to look brutal. I’m free tonight but will probably have to work late through the weekend. Wanna grab a drink later?” While this kind of informality might come off as charming or enthusiastic, I think you should never agree to a last-minute plan unless you’ve already been on multiple dates with a guy — or unless you feel confident that he is pretty into you. Whatever you do, if you agree to a last-minute plan, do not also agree to go home with him! Unless all you want is casual sex.

While we’re on the topic of cellular communication, I will add:

3. Players text a ton one day — and then days and days go by with nothing.
I think this is a power trip thing, or else just basic inconsiderate behavior, or else a ploy to get you feeling insecure and jumpy and greedy for any kind of communication from him.

4. Players will pressure you for sex early.
Starting on, like, date one. And it will feel like pressure. It will make you uncomfortable or it will seem like a deviation from his typical behavior or both. It’s different from the feeling of excitement and enthusiasm two people will feel when there’s mutual attraction and mutual respect.

5. Players will not respond well if you voice hesitations about sleeping together.
They will try to talk you into it instead of being cool with your desire to wait. As Susan puts it, “Even if it’s charming and he couches it in terms of wanting you really badly, it’s still pressure. A man who wants something real with you will respect your decision about timing.” Totally. The charming ones are the worst.

Does any one of these rules, by itself, signal a player? Certainly, I think chances are very high that any guy who is being overly persistent about sex is most likely a douchebag, no matter how incredibly into you he seems — and I speak from unhappy experience.

As for the stuff about texting: If he’s doing any — or all three of those things — and you’re not sure where you stand with him, or something seems not quite right, I’d be on guard. You might want to say something like, “Texting can be so distracting — I’d really prefer if you e-mailed me or called me to make plans.” Or else say, “Look, considering I don’t know you very well, I’d prefer to make plans in advance. Last-minute invites are not my thing.”
Video: How to Spot a Player

WHY DO WE CHEAT?


Why do men and women cheat? Is it boredom, thrill of the unknown or something deeper? Lifescript turned to the experts for the top 10 reasons for infidelity. Plus, are you or your partner potential cheaters? Rate your risk…

For years, we assumed that it was men who were dogs. Pop culture and Washington, D.C. are filled with tales of wives ignoring their husbands’ indiscretions. But times have changed and so has the cheating gender divide.

“Women tend to keep these things to themselves, but there are signs that they’re catching up with the guys,” says clinical psychologist Nancy O’Reilly (a.k.a. Dr. Nancy).

Technology makes it easier. Instant messaging, texting and cell phones can take an office flirtation up a notch. The Internet is filled with chat rooms and websites, like AshleyMadison.com and AffairMatch.com, geared to married men and women looking to get physical on the side.

But all the tech tools in the world can’t make a person cheat; it’s a choice. When asked why they’re unfaithful, men and women usually have different excuses, er, reasons.

Here’s what the experts say:

Reason #1: She ain’t what she used to be.
Like Adam, the typical man can’t resist the temptation of riper fruit, especially if the woman in his life has let herself go.

“If she got physically lazy or gained weight or just doesn’t take care of herself, a guy will start looking at other women,” says Steve Santagati, author of The Manual: A True Bad Boy Explains How Men Think, Date and Mate – and What Women Can Do to Come Out on Top. (Crown).

Women who keep their men on a short leash need to take a “good, hard look in the mirror,” he adds.

Men should do the same. He might be a complete slob and still demand perfection from her.

“It’s the typical double standard,” Santagati says.

For their part, guys should try to rediscover the spark at home.

“Make her feel pretty, even if you’re lying,” he advises. “Tell her how beautiful she is and how much you appreciate it. It will make her feel sexy, and she’ll want to make you happy.”

Reason #2: Familiarity has bred indifference.
What’s the most common excuse Dr. Nancy hears from women? They feel taken for granted. Their guys will discuss the kids, bills and house repairs, but they haven’t really talked in a while.

To women, that failure to communicate translates to less intimacy and emotional and relationship satisfaction, says family and marriage therapist Terri Orbuch, host of Detroit’s Love Doctor TV and radio programs.

“When you’re unhappy or dissatisfied in your relationship, you’re more likely to be tempted to look elsewhere,” Orbuch says.

And, she adds, you begin to perceive opportunities – the cute co-worker, the flirty dad at the playground. When a woman feels like little more than a household drudge, attention from someone else is extremely seductive.

Reason #3: No one loves a ball buster.
Perhaps nothing will drive a married man into the arms of another woman faster than a nagging wife.

“She’s like a mosquito,” Santagati says. “He doesn’t want to have sex with her; he wants to swat her away.”
And go running for hot sex with a more “understanding” woman.

Reason #4: You’re leading parallel lives.
You used to travel the same path, but lately your interests have diverged. Your guy wants to shoot pool with his buddies or watch football in his free time; you’d rather go to festivals or watch The Bachelorette.

When you start doing things separately, you’re more likely to meet others who share your interests. Soon you may have more in common with that guy in your photography class than your significant other.

Reason #5: Blame it on wanderlust.
Often, married men who cheat can’t explain why. They just feel compelled to bust out of their daily routine. It’s a primitive instinct that dates back to their role as hunter – only this time, they’re hunting women.

“Maybe he got married too young,” Santagati says. “Or he just feels as if he hasn’t seen everything.”

Women can get wise to this behavior early in a relationship. Watch how he acts in a room full of gorgeous women, Santagati suggests.

If you can’t rein him in when your romance is new, you’ll never control him.

For longtime couples, it doesn’t take much to snap a man out of the doldrums.

“Get him thinking. Keep him wondering about you. Surprise him sexually,” Santagati says. “The sense of mystery will heighten the experience and keep him interested.”

And if he still cheats? Is it really your fault? How do you let it go? Get your top cheating questions answered and check out why women stay with cheaters.

Reason #6: The passion has fizzled.
Even happy marriages – healthy kids, steady finances, faraway in-laws – can breed discontent.

Despite the security a wife feels, “she’s bored and needs some excitement,” Dr. Nancy says.

Once the romance fades, your guy may not be the man you fell in love with. Instead, he’s a mass of habits that get under your skin. Perhaps you never knew him to begin with or hoped he would change.

Either can lead to infidelity, says Stephany Alexander, online dating expert and founder of WomanSavers.com.

A casual affair may put some zing back in your days.

“It’s something new, different and exciting,” Alexander says. “When a woman’s Prince Charming turns out to be a frog, women often cheat in hopes of finding a new prince.”

Reason #7: It’s biology, baby.
Women may scoff at this theory, but the male urge to get into someone else’s jeans could be in their genes.

“It’s our biological nature to be with as many females as possible,” Santagati says.

Science backs this up. A study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences revealed that men with a particular gene are less likely to bond with their partner, opening the door to infidelity.
Santagati, however, has a simpler explanation.

“Once we’ve seen a woman naked several times, it becomes commonplace. We want to experience something different – different lips and body types.

“We’re only monogamous because we realize that love and friendship are more important than getting laid,” he says.

Reason #8: Your ego needs a boost.
You can be in a relationship with a perfectly wonderful, loving man and still need extra affirmation that you’ve still got it.

“For whatever reason, that reassuring partner isn’t enough,” Orbuch says. “You look elsewhere, so you can feel like you’re lovable.”

Reason #9: It’s just sex.
For most guys, sex and love are different things.

“We really believe, ‘I can still love my wife and want to have sex with other women,’” Santagati says.

That rationale allows guys to cheat guilt-free. If there is guilt, it may not be about the sex but the consequences. Will she kiss and tell? Will the wife find out?

Not sure where the lines of infidelity are drawn? Check out Chaste or Cheating?

Thinking of cheating on your wife? Santagati has one recommendation.

“Consider the worst-case scenario: Your wife finds out and is brokenhearted,” he says. “Ask yourself, is it worth it?”

Reason #10: It’s payback time.
When a woman catches her man with his hand in someone else’s cookie jar, she figures she has a right to revenge.

“If a woman finds out her significant other has been cheating, she may try to heal those hurt feelings by having sex with another man,” Alexander says.

Rate Your (and His) Cheating Risk
About 55% of women and 60% of men cheat at some point during their marriages. Take this quiz and find if your guy is true-blue or a sneaky cheat.

And although you can’t always control what your partner does, how likely is it that you’ll be the one to do the straying? Take this cheating quiz and find out!

WHY GUYS ACT THE WAY THEY DO?


I have been hearing lots of stories from my college ladies lately and I have to be honest, I am getting a little worried. Let me share a few with you.

Recently, I heard one about a junior that had been sleeping with her boyfriend for a year and only had fake orgasms since she didn’t want to hurt his feelings or tell him that she had actually NEVER orgasmed. Sound familiar?

Here is another…A sophomore who was taking 3am drunk calls from her ex and hooking up, but ended up feeling lonelier and more depressed the next day. Although she keeps regretting it, she doesn’t know how to stop. Has this happened to anyone you know?

You might be saying “Kira, these have nothing to do with me,” but hear me out. They have EVERYTHING to do with you. Here is why.

Since I started coaching college women, I feel like I am living in a world of stories about drunken hook-ups, walks of shame and disappointment. Understand, I am not judging AT ALL. Hooking-up is part of the college culture and can be a lot of fun. My point is that after the laughing dies down about their latest escapades, I hear the sadness in their voices about how they thought he would call or that it would turn into more. Rarely do they truly express too much since it somehow seems weak to say that they really want a relationship or to feel love and affection. I, too, have been guilty of the idea that to be a strong woman I should not want or need anyone, let alone a man. But that is a lie that we have bought in to. The real strength is understanding how we can grow into better individuals by being in relationships, learning from mistakes and by choosing love. Even if sometimes it doesn’t work.
Here is the most worrisome part of all. The aftermath of the quiet heartache and bad decisions. The blaming. Here come the inevitable comments…What the f*ck is wrong with college guys? Why are they all players and a**holes? Why don’t any of them want a relationship? How could they act like fill-in-the-blank? You get my drift.

I believe that I actually have the answer to that question…just most of the time it is really hard to hear. The answer is us. The women they date, hook-up with and sleep with. WE are what is wrong with college guys (or most guys in general). Before you start your hate comments below, hear me out.

One of the quotes I have fully embraced as a coach and as a person is “we teach people how to treat us.” If you feel used and abused, unheard, unloved, taken advantage of, sh*t on, ignored, left out, whatever, most likely somewhere along the way you let the people in your life think it was OK to treat you like that. Don’t get me wrong, you did it with the best intentions. You wanted to be liked or loved and thought by allowing bad behavior they would turn around and love you. But what actually happened is that by not setting up boundaries, you allowed them to walk all over you and disrespect your time, body and feelings.

Here is the real issue, ladies. Not only do your choices affect you , they also affect all the women you know, and even the ones you don’t. Why does it matter to you that someone else is faking orgasms or letting some guy treat her like crap? Because after awhile that is what guys start thinking is the norm. When that guy dates someone else and uses his “magic moves” he is going to be confused and frustrated when they don’t work. Is it really his fault if she never took the time to show him what she liked? If she never communicated with him what worked and what didn’t? She has just set him (and every other girl he dates) up for failure. What about drunk 3am guy? If she keeps hooking up with him, he is going to start thinking that is acceptable behavior. Why wouldn’t he? He is rewarded every time he does it.

So when you are disrespecting yourself, you are teaching that guy that is how you (and every woman) deserve to be treated. I mean who do you think is teaching them these behaviors that all of you complain about so much…their mom?

I am well aware that guys need a talkin’ to, but we are going to work on the one part of every relationship you can control. Yourself.

Ladies, we need to stop hating on guys and each other and starting helping our sisters out! Pay it forward, if you will. By taking care of ourselves and each other, we create a better future of relationships for all of us. College is first place we really learn how to date on our own and paves the way for the future.

How can you do that? As Gandhi says “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Here is how you can start.

– If constant hook-ups are leaving you feeling more lonely and depressed, hand them your number instead. Trust that there are plenty of good guys out there (I believe there are) and they will call you if they like you and are interested in starting something.

– If you see your friend making a mistake that she is going to regret, intervene.

– If you want a relationship, admit it to yourself and others and actually DO things that are going to lead to one.

– If you are having sex and not getting what you want, get to know your own body and what it likes and then communicate it to your partner. (And yes, I am talking about “private” sexy time.)

– If someone is treating you like crap, let them know it is unacceptable and then follow through on your word knowing that you will feel better alone at night then with someone who doesn’t treat you well. Alone doesn’t have to be lonely.

– If you are hooking up regularly, just check in with yourself every once in a while to make sure you are still feeling good about it. Ask yourself if you feel like you have power in the situation. What are your expectations? Is this for fun or to fill a void? Just keep this in mind: hook-ups don’t necessarily equal a relationship. If that is the only tactic you are trying, you are probably going to end up with that sick feeling in your stomach.

– Look for the good guys. They are out there. Promise.

– Know that you, and every woman (and man for that matter), deserves to be loved and respected. But you have to start by respecting yourself and creating healthy boundaries that create a space where love and respect can grow.

If it is hard to do it it for yourself, do it for all the other women out there. You won’t regret it.

20 Things Men Don’t Know About Women…ops!


A friend of mine, a guy who used to occasionally step out on his woman and hook up with other girls, had the strangest theory about the female species.

“Women don’t cheat,” he told me, when I asked if he was ever worried she was doing the same thing to him. “It’s just not in their nature.” I just laughed. Of course, I was not at all surprised when he found out she’d been two-timing him for most of their relationship after their inevitable breakup, but he was completely shocked.

There are of course many things that men don’t know about women, mainly because we don’t want them to know, and so we try and keep them hidden really well. But during my two and a half years of interviewing countless ladies for Maxim‘s sex section, I discovered that there are many, many more things that we ladies keep hidden from men …

When you’re not around, we fart. The longer, the louder and the stinker, the more enjoyable.

1.As soon as we are alone in the house—husband leaves for the office, kids go to school, roommate goes out of town—and we have quality free time knowing no one is going to walk in on us, we masturbate. Sometimes we even just do it if you’re still in the house if that quality free time is never going to come. Usually, it’s while we’re in the bathroom.
2.A good majority of us prefer to pee outside. And in the shower. And sometimes we really just want to do it in the hot tub, but we try to not do that one out of respect for everyone else in there.
3.We pluck stray hairs from our toes, our chin, our lips, moles on the backs of our legs and our nipples. And we really, really enjoy plucking a stubborn ingrown hair. Getting that sucker out is, for some gross reason, such sweet satisfaction.
4.When we’re in love, we smell your clothes or the pillow you were sleeping on when you’re not around. If you were to catch us doing this, we’d be mortified.
5.We’ve all wished that we could be more open and casual about sex from time to time … maybe go to a swingers party, have a threesome or be a dirty stripper for a night, but with no emotional consequences.
6.Deep down we really hope that your guy friends secretly want to sleep with us, and very often we will dress for them and subtly flirt just so they will. We don’t want to bone them; we just want them to want us.
7.We are not insulted in the slightest by those catcalls from construction workers, as long as they aren’t rude or nasty. It’s kind of flattering. We also like it when you get a little jealous, to a degree. Not in an irrational or psycho way, just a bit to show you’re protective and you care.
8.We regularly check in on what our exes are up to via Facebook, emails or texts. As long as we have the technology, they will never be fully out of our lives or minds. This doesn’t mean we still love them; we’re just curious.
9.When we have girls’ nights, we do bad things that you wouldn’t approve of like spill all of your embarrassing secrets, sneak cigarettes or other substances, and drink way more than we let on. Grinding with strangers at a club can also sometimes occur.
10.When you’re not around, we fart. The longer, the louder and the stinkier, the more enjoyable.
11.If you’re really hot or the sex is good, you can be a total idiot and we’ll still date you for a while. But we’ll never marry you. Brains and kindness will always trump sexiness when it comes to marriage material.
12.A lot of times we really like to have sex on the first date to determine whether the chemistry is there and we should have another date. Or sometimes we’re just plain horny and want to get laid. We hate being judged for it.
13.We hate waxing our privates. Hate it, hate it, hate it. But, we like that when it’s cleaned up you go down on us more readily. In a perfect world, you would go down on us with regularity on naturally poofy pubes.
14.When a guy says he doesn’t want kids, it’s really a dealbreaker for almost every woman who is still of child-bearing years.
15.The majority of us don’t really care about how much money you have or make as long as you are kind and emotionally generous and work hard. Laziness and lack of motivation is inherently unsexy.
16.A lot of us are fakers … when it comes to our love of sports and being outdoorsy.
17.We love flaws on guys. A little belly, gray hairs, even a receding hairline. It reminds us that we all have body issues and that we shouldn’t be so insecure or hard on ourselves. Being human is cool. But being whiny about your paunch or constantly fussing over your gray temples is as annoying as us always asking, “Does this make me look fat?”
18.During sex, we’re usually thinking about something other than you. A gross and pervy situation, another man, being dominated … who knows, but we always, always fantasize. It doesn’t mean we’re not sexually attracted to you, we just need the weird mental images to get us off.
19.We don’t consider drunk kissing cheating, as long as we’re the ones doing the drunk kissing. We consider sex with another man cheating.
20.We cherish our independence and “me” time more than you’ll ever know. We say we miss you, but are often secretly glad you’re going so we can just totally relax and be ourselves. But we still love it when you come back.