Welcome to CrownBio’s Blog where we share our thoughts
on the latest trends and hot stories in Oncology and CVMD


Diabetes is one of the largest global health emergencies of the 21st century. Every year an increasing number of people live with this condition, which can result in life-threatening complications. Diabetes affects 415 million people worldwide and it is estimated that by 2040 this number will raise to 642 million. In addition, there are 318 million adults with impaired glucose tolerance, which puts them at high risk of developing the disease in the future.

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Melanoma accounts for approximately five percent of all skin cancer cases, yet it is responsible for nearly 75 percent of skin cancer-related deaths. The BRAF gene is frequently mutated in melanoma, leading to aberrant activation of an important growth pathway. Melanoma patients who receive treatment with targeted therapies that inhibit activated BRAF experience an initial response, but quickly relapse as their cancers find alternative pathways to grow and spread. Researchers at The Wistar Institute studied melanoma “escape routes” in the hope of finding combination treatments that prompt them to die. Their findings were published by the journal Clinical Cancer Research.

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Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is the most common form of aggressive hematologic malignancy affecting adults. AML is characterized by the rapid growth of abnormal white blood cells that accumulate in the bone marrow and interfere with the production of normal blood cells. AML is a relatively rare disease, however its incidence increases with age, thus it is expected to become more prominent as the global population ages.

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Syngeneic models were developed over 50 years ago as early in vivo models for oncology drug development, consisting of allograft of murine tumor cells in hosts with a fully functional immune system. After an initial phase of great popularity they drifted out of the drug discovery landscape with the shift towards therapies directed against human targets, when they were replaced by models expressing human targets, such as genetically engineered mouse models (GEMM) or PDX.

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Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common liver disorder in developed countries, occurring when fat is deposited in the liver, independently from excessive alcohol use. NAFLD affects approximately 20% of the United States population and 25-30% of people in the UK, according to a recent study using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). There is no current licensed treatment for NAFLD, however new research showed that a drug, currently in use for the treatment of Type II diabetes, can be effective in clearing liver fat in some patients.

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Metastasis remains the main cause of cancer-related mortality, despite major scientific advances in the understanding of the molecular and genetic basis of cancer. The term metastasis refers to the spreading of cancer cells to peripheral tissues, which they colonize after shedding from primary tumors and travelling through the blood stream or lymphatic system. Understanding the mechanisms of metastasis initiation and progression is critical to developing new strategies to treat and prevent metastatic disease.

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Following the success of the 2014 event, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) held a second edition of the New Horizons in Cancer Research Conference Series in China. As the previous year, the meeting highlighted the latest and most exciting discoveries in major areas of cancer research, and provided a unique opportunity for investigators from all over the world to meet, network, and build new scientific interactions.

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November 15, 2015

Thinking of you


To all our friends, colleagues and clients in France, as well as the people of France, we are shocked and deeply saddened by your loss, and appalled by the tragedy that has taken place in Paris. Our thoughts are with you at this time, and we hope that it may in some small way, be a comfort to know that so many around the world are thinking of you at this time.

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The AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics, recently held in Boston, hosted by three top-tier cancer organizations — the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC), is the must-attend event to catch up on recent advancements in almost every aspect of cancer drug development and molecular target selection. Crown Bioscience was there to review the best clinical oncology research and showcase our latest data, models and services.

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Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common types of cancer, affecting more than 1 million people globally every year. Although inherited genetic disorders such as the Lynch or the Gardner Syndromes and the familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) are strongly associated with the development of CRC, they only occur in a small fraction of the population. On the other hand global aging and an unbalanced diet seem to have become prominent risk factors. In light of the aftermaths of the World Health Organization's (WHO) report on the association between red or processed meat consumption and the risk of developing CRC, a better understanding of the best approach to treatment is urgently...

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Small-cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) accounts for 20% of the total number of lung cancer cases worldwide. SCLC patients have limited treatment options, especially when they present with metastatic disease. During this year ASCO Meeting results from two trials were presented showing promising data on the application of immunotherapy with PD-1 agents to relapsed SCLC, bringing some hope for tackling the disease.

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Regulatory T cells (Treg) are a specialized type of immune cells, crucial for the maintenance of immunological self-tolerance, the suppressive mechanisms thanks to which our body avoids self-destruction by an overactive immune system. Treg cells are also abundant in the tumor microenvironment where they can expand and differentiate into an immune-suppressive subpopulation. A study recently published on Science uncovered a new mechanism that allows Treg to keep a steady inhibition of the immune response, thereby protecting normal tissues. This mechanism could also be at play in the tumor microenvironment resulting in immune cells inhibition and tumor growth.

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