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[en] Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common human malignancy. Recent advances in our understanding of the critical biologic pathways implicated in the development and progression of BCC have led to the development of the first molecular targeted therapy for this disease. The hedgehog pathway is mutated in virtually all patients with BCC and recent trials with vismodegib, an inhibitor of this pathway, have shown significant responses. This review will discuss the importance of the hedgehog pathway in the pathogenesis of BCC and describe in detail the pharmacology of vismodegib in relation to its activity in advanced BCC
[en] Skin cancer is rare among Africans and albinism is an established risk for skin cancer in this population. Ultraviolet radiation is highest at the equator and African albinos living close to the equator have the highest risk of developing skin cancers. This was a retrospective study that involved histological review of all specimens with skin cancers from African albinos submitted to The Regional Dermatology Training Center in Moshi, Tanzania from 2002 to 2011. A total of 134 biopsies from 86 patients with a male to female ratio of 1:1 were reviewed. Head and neck was the commonest (n = 75, 56.0%) site affected by skin cancers. Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) was more common than basal cell carcinoma (BCC) with a ratio of 1.2:1. Only one Acral lentiginous melanoma was reported. Majority (55.6%) of SCC were well differentiated while nodular BCC (75%) was the most common type of BCC. Squamous cell carcinoma is more common than basal cell carcinoma in African albinos
[en] The recently formulated constrained nudged elastic band method with atomic relaxations (NEB + r) (Gröger R, Vitek V. Model Simul Mater Sci Eng 2012;20:035019) is used to investigate the dependence of the Peierls barrier of 1/2〈1 1 1〉 screw dislocations in body-centered cubic metals on non-glide stresses. These are the shear stresses parallel to the slip direction acting in the planes of the 〈1 1 1〉 zone different from the slip plane, and the shear stresses perpendicular to the slip direction. Both these shear stresses modify the structure of the dislocation core and thus alter both the Peierls barrier and the related Peierls stress. Understanding of this effect of loading is crucial for the development of mesoscopic models of thermally activated dislocation motion via formation and propagation of pairs of kinks. The Peierls stresses and related choices of the glide planes determined from the Peierls barriers agree with the results of molecular statics calculations (Gröger R, Bailey AG, Vitek V. Acta Mater 2008;56:5401), which demonstrates that the NEB + r method is a reliable tool for determining the variation in the Peierls barrier with the applied stress. However, such calculations are very time consuming, and it is shown here that an approximate approach of determining the stress dependence of the Peierls barrier (proposed in Gröger R, Vitek V. Acta Mater 2008;56:5426) can be used, combined with test calculations employing the NEB + r method
[en] Nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC) is the most prevalent cancer in light-skinned populations, and includes mainly Basal Cell Carcinomas (BCC), representing around 75% of NMSC and Squamous Cell Carcinomas (SCC). The incidence of these tumors is continuously growing. It was found that the overall number of procedures for NMSC in US rose by 76%, from 1,158,298 in 1992 to 2,048,517 in 2006. Although mortality from NMSC tends to be very low, clearly the morbidity related to these skin cancers is very high. Treatment options for NMSC include both surgical and nonsurgical interventions. Surgery was considered the gold standard therapy, however, advancements in the knowledge of pathogenic mechanisms of NMSCs led to the identification of key targets for drug intervention and to the consequent development of several targeted therapies. These represent the future in treatment of these common forms of cancer ensuring a high cure rate, preservation of the maximal amount of normal surrounding tissue and optimal cosmetic outcome. Here, we will review recent advancements in NMSC targeted therapies focusing on BCC and SCC
[en] Here, we propose a strategy for robust high-quality self-assembly of nontrivial periodic structures out of patchy particles and investigate it with Brownian dynamics simulations. Its first element is the use of specific patch-patch and shell-shell interactions between the particles, which can be implemented through differential functionalization of patched and shell regions with specific DNA strands. The other key element of our approach is the use of a layer-by-layer protocol that allows one to avoid the formation of undesired random aggregates. As an example, we design and self-assemble in silico a version of a double diamond lattice in which four particle types are arranged into bcc crystal made of four fcc sublattices. The lattice can be further converted to cubic diamond by selective removal of the particles of certain types. These results demonstrate that by combining the directionality, selectivity of interactions, and the layer-by-layer protocol, a high-quality robust self-assembly can be achieved.