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UCLA Campus Report: New Treatments for Cancerous Tumors and High Cholesterol

A look at some of the non-sports stories making headlines around campus

Royce Hall
Royce Hall

An occasional report from around campus that recognizes that UCLA is a school with a world-class reputation for research and innovation and whose people make real impact on the real world:

This week's news includes research that cancer drugs against endometrial tumors are more effective when estrogen levels are low and engineered tomatoes help improve cholesterol levels.

New cancer drugs much more effective against endometrial tumors when estrogen is low

UCLA researchers have shown for the first time that modulating the hormonal environment in which endometrial cancers grow could make tumors significantly more sensitive to a new class of drugs known as PARP inhibitors.

The findings could lead to a novel, one-two-punch that fights endometrial cancers, providing an alternative to conventional treatments, which, particularly with advanced disease, have limited efficacy. Endometrial cancer, which starts in the inner lining of the uterus, is the most common gynecologic cancer in the United States.

Tomato therapy: Engineered veggies target intestinal lipids, improve cholesterol

UCLA researchers report that tiny amounts of a specific type of lipid in the small intestine may play a greater role than previously thought in generating the high cholesterol levels and inflammation that lead to clogged arteries.

The team also found they could reduce the negative effects of these lipids in mice by feeding the animals a newgenetically engineered tomato being developed at UCLA that is designed to mimic HDL ("good") cholesterol.

"These lipids may be a new culprit that we can target in the small intestine in fighting atherosclerosis," said senior author Dr. Alan Fogelman, executive chair of the department of medicine and director of the atherosclerosis research unit at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

UCLA In The News

Diversity and Admissions

A column in Tuesday's Huffington Post highlighted a video made by a group of UCLA students expressing concern about the low number of African-American male students on campus and the college admissions process.

Rational System for Selling Marijuana

The Nov. 18 edition of the New Yorker magazine profiles Mark Kleiman, professor of public policy at UCLA's Luskin School of Public Affairs, highlighting his work on developing rules and policies to help Washington state properly regulate and tax its market for legal marijuana. Kleiman is quoted.

Breaking up in the Digital Age

Jessica Carbino, a UCLA doctoral candidate in sociology, was interviewed Tuesday on KPCC-89.3 FM's "AirTalk" about the etiquette of ending romantic relationships and the recent trend of breaking up via text message and social media.

Lawsuit Over VA Property Use

Legal issues surrounding the use of Department of Veterans Affairs property in Westwood, where UCLA's baseball stadium is located, were highlighted Friday in a City Watch LA article and Monday in a Los Angeles Times editorial. The Times highlighted UCLA's longtime service to veterans and the military community.

UCLA Remains Top International Choice

KTTV-Channel 11 reported Monday on a new national report showing that nearly 8,500 international students called UCLA home during the 2012-13 academic year, making it the sixth most popular college destination in the U.S. for foreign students.

B-School Programs Moving Online

A Thursday Bloomberg Businessweek article about online degree programs at business schools highlighted the UCLA Anderson School of Management's hybrid Flex program for the part-time M.B.A. degree, which combines remote and classroom learning. Carla Hayn, senior associate dean of the UCLA Anderson's executive and fully employed M.B.A. programs, was quoted.