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Optical technology helps surgeons see cancer tissue

October 22, 2013 8:21 am | News | Comments

OnTarget Laboratories LLC has teamed with partners in academia to test a novel optical imaging technology developed at Purdue Univ. that could help surgeons see cancer tissue during surgery. The technology is based on the over-expression of specific receptors on solid cancerous tumors and enables illumination of the tumor tissue during surgery.

One-two punch knocks out aggressive tumors

October 22, 2013 7:58 am | by Anne Trafton, MIT News Office | News | Comments

An aggressive form of breast cancer known as “triple negative” is very difficult to treat: Chemotherapy can shrink such tumors for a while, but in many patients they grow back and gain resistance to the original drugs. To overcome that resistance, chemical engineers have designed nanoparticles that carry the cancer drug doxorubicin, as well as short strands of RNA that can shut off one of the genes that cancer cells use to escape the drug.

Nanotech system, cellular heating may improve treatment of ovarian cancer

October 18, 2013 11:09 am | News | Comments

The combination of heat, chemotherapeutic drugs and an innovative delivery system based on nanotechnology may significantly improve the treatment of ovarian cancer while reducing side effects from toxic drugs, researchers at Oregon State Univ. report in a new study. The findings, so far done only in a laboratory setting, show that this one-two punch of mild hyperthermia and chemotherapy can kill 95% of ovarian cancer cells.

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Rice team rises to big data breast cancer challenge

October 18, 2013 9:28 am | News | Comments

A colorful wheel developed by Rice Univ. bioengineers to visualize protein interactions has won an international competition for novel strategies to study the roots of breast cancer. The winning BioWheel by the Rice laboratory of bioengineer Amina Qutub was chosen, topping 14 academic and industry participants in the HPN-DREAM Breast Cancer Network Inference Challenge.

Maximizing broccoli’s cancer-fighting potential

October 17, 2013 8:19 am | News | Comments

Spraying a plant hormone on broccoli—already one of the planet’s most nutritious foods—boosts its cancer-fighting potential, and researchers say they have new insights on how that works. They published their findings, which could help scientists build an even better, more healthful broccoli.

Gold-plated nanobits find, destroy cancer cells

October 16, 2013 8:56 am | by Blaine Friedlander, Cornell University | News | Comments

Comparable to nanoscale Navy Seals, Cornell Univ. scientists have merged tiny gold and iron oxide particles to work as a team, then added antibody guides to steer the team through the bloodstream toward colorectal cancer cells. And in a nanosecond, the alloyed allies then kill the bad guys, cancer cells, with absorbed infrared heat.

Small bits of genetic material fight cancer's spread

October 15, 2013 2:08 pm | by Tara Thean, Princeton Univ. | News | Comments

Researchers at Princeton Univ. have found that microRNAs, which are small bits of genetic material capable of repressing the expression of certain genes, may serve as both therapeutic targets and predictors of metastasis, or a cancer’s spread from its initial site to other parts of the body.

Can thermodynamics help us better understand human cancers?

October 14, 2013 8:40 am | News | Comments

When the "war on cancer" was declared, identifying potential biomarkers that would allow doctors to detect the disease early on was a significant goal. To this day, progress depends on understanding the underlying causes and molecular mechanisms of the disease. In a new study, researchers analyzed the gene-expression profiles of more than 2,000 patients and were able to identify cancer-specific gene signatures for certain cancers.

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Football-shaped particles bolster body’s defense against cancer

October 14, 2013 7:58 am | News | Comments

Researchers at Johns Hopkins Univ. have succeeded in making flattened, football-shaped artificial particles that impersonate immune cells. These football-shaped particles seem to be better than the typical basketball-shaped particles at teaching immune cells to recognize and destroy cancer cells in mice.

The Cancer Genome Atlas exposes more secrets of lethal brain tumor

October 11, 2013 8:27 am | News | Comments

When The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) launched its collaborative approach to organ-by-organ genomic analysis of cancers, the brain had both the benefit, and the challenge, of going first. TCGA ganged up on glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), with more than 100 scientists from 14 institutions tracking down the genomic abnormalities that drive GBM. Five years later, TCGA revisited glioblastoma, producing a broader, deeper picture of the drivers.

Gilead Sciences stops successful cancer drug study

October 9, 2013 5:02 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Gilead Sciences said Wednesday it stopped a late-stage clinical trial of a cancer treatment because it was clear the drug was working. Gilead was studying idelalisib as a treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukemia. The company said an early analysis of data from the study showed that patients who were treated with idelalisib had a longer time before the resumption of disease progression or death.

A better way to make antibody-guided therapies

October 8, 2013 8:12 am | News | Comments

Chemists at The Scripps Research Institute have devised a new technique for connecting drug molecules to antibodies to make advanced therapies. Antibody-drug conjugates are the basis of new therapies on the market that use the target-recognizing ability of antibodies to deliver drug payloads to specific cell types. The new technique allows drug developers to forge more stable conjugates than are possible with current methods.

Analysis of little-explored regions of genome reveals dozens of cancer triggers

October 4, 2013 8:24 am | News | Comments

A massive data analysis of natural genetic variants in humans and variants in cancer tumors has implicated dozens of mutations in the development of breast and prostate cancer, a Yale Univ.-led team has found. The newly discovered mutations are in regions of DNA that do not code for proteins but instead influence activity of other genes.

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Cell-detection system promising for medical research, diagnostics

October 3, 2013 8:33 am | News | Comments

Researchers are developing a system that uses tiny magnetic beads to quickly detect rare types of cancer cells circulating in a patient's blood, an advance that could help medical doctors diagnose cancer earlier than now possible and monitor how well a patient is responding to therapy.

Liquid biopsy could improve cancer diagnosis, treatment

October 1, 2013 8:27 am | News | Comments

A microfluidic chip developed at the Univ. of Michigan is among the best at capturing elusive circulating tumor cells from blood—and it can support the cells' growth for further analysis. The device, believed to be the first to pair these functions, uses the advanced electronics material graphene oxide. In clinics, such a device could one day help doctors diagnose cancers.

U.S. approves first pre-surgical breast cancer drug

September 30, 2013 1:12 pm | by MATTHEW PERRONE - AP Health Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

A biotech drug from Roche has become the first medicine approved to treat breast cancer before surgery, offering an earlier approach against one of the deadliest forms of the disease. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Perjeta for women with a form of early-stage breast cancer who face a high risk of having their cancer spread to other parts of the body.

“Vicious cycle” shields, spreads cancer cells

September 17, 2013 8:16 am | News | Comments

A “vicious cycle” produces mucus that protects uterine and pancreatic cancer cells and promotes their proliferation, according to researchers at Rice Univ. The researchers offer hope for a therapeutic solution. They found that protein receptors on the surface of cancer cells go into overdrive to stimulate the production of MUC1, which covers the exposed tips of the elongated epithelial cells that coat internal organs to prevent infection.

FDA panel backs drug for early-stage breast cancer

September 12, 2013 2:52 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Government cancer experts say a drug from Roche has shown effectiveness as a new option to treat breast cancer before tumor-removing surgery. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration panel voted 13-0, with one abstention, that the benefits of Perjeta as an initial treatment for breast cancer outweigh its risks.

Cancer vaccine begins Phase 1 clinical trails

September 10, 2013 8:10 am | News | Comments

A cross-disciplinary team of scientists, engineers and clinicians announced that they have begun a Phase 1 clinical trial of an implantable vaccine to treat melanoma, the most lethal form of skin cancer. The effort is the fruit of a new model of translational research being pursued at Harvard Univ. that integrates the latest cancer research with bio-inspired technology development.

FDA approves Celgene drug for pancreatic cancer

September 6, 2013 7:07 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Federal regulators have approved Celgene Inc.'s drug Abraxane to treat late-stage pancreatic cancer. In experimental trials, the drug extended the lives of patients by a little less than two months more than those treated with the current standard drug.

Blind mole-rats are resistant to chemically induced cancers

September 4, 2013 8:35 am | News | Comments

Like naked mole-rats, blind mole-rats live underground in low-oxygen environments, are long-lived and resistant to cancer. A new study demonstrates just how cancer-resistant they are, and suggests that the adaptations that help these rodents survive in low-oxygen environments also play a role in their longevity and cancer resistance.

NEETs are prime suspects in breast cancer proliferation

August 21, 2013 8:19 am | News | Comments

Two proteins have been identified as prime suspects in the proliferation of breast cancer in a study by an international consortium of researchers. The research may offer a path to therapies that could slow or stop tumors from developing. The research found that reducing the expression of a pair of proteins known as NEETs significantly reduced cancer cell proliferation and breast cancer tumor size.

Biophysicists zoom in on pore-forming toxin

August 15, 2013 7:43 am | News | Comments

A new study by Rice Univ. biophysicists offers the most comprehensive picture yet of the molecular-level action of melittin, the principal toxin in bee venom. The research could aid in the development of new drugs that use a similar mechanism as melittin’s to attack cancer and bacteria.

Researchers use nanoparticles to fight cancer

August 15, 2013 7:30 am | News | Comments

Researchers at the Univ. of Georgia are developing a new treatment technique that uses nanoparticles to reprogram immune cells so they are able to recognize and attack cancer. The human body operates under a constant state of martial law. Chief among the enforcers charged with maintaining order is the immune system. The immune system is good at its job, but it's not perfect.

Innovation could improve personalized cancer-care outcomes

August 14, 2013 5:21 pm | News | Comments

A recent invention at Purdue Univ. could improve therapy selection for personalized cancer care. Researchers have created a technique called BioDynamic Imaging that measures the activity inside cancer biopsies, or samples of cells. It allows technicians to assess the efficacy of drug combinations, called regimens, on personal cancers.

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