Research Desk

Aug 04, 2020

A test that detects changing levels of tumor fragments in the blood may be an easy, non-invasive, and quick way to predict who will benefit from immunotherapy, a treatment option for advanced cancers. Although immunotherapy has been shown to shrink tumors and prolong survival for patients for whom other treatments have failed, about 20-30% of patients benefit from it. Clinicians don't yet know ahead of time who this subset of patients is.

Aug 04, 2020

Four stranded DNA structures – known as G-quadruplexes – have been shown to play a role in certain types of breast cancer for the first time, providing a potential new target for personalized medicine, say scientists at the University of Cambridge. In 1953, Cambridge researchers Francis Crick and James Watson co-authored a study published in the journal Nature which showed that DNA in our cells has an intertwined, ‘double helix’ structure. Sixty years later, a team led by Professor Sir Shankar Balasubramanian and Professor Steve Jackson, also at Cambridge, found that an unusual four-stranded configuration of DNA can occur across the human genome in living cells.

Aug 04, 2020

A recent study conducted by the experts at Lehigh University demonstrated the effectiveness of a new, innovative machine learning technique to analyze the presence of rare circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in blood. Unlike existing methods, which rely on an expensive and time-consuming process that involves labeling antibodies with fluorescence, this technique uses a powerful label-free detection method.

Aug 03, 2020

Newer, cheaper, and more personalized tests mean more people tested and more lives saved. Fewer people would die of colorectal cancer if health care providers adopted a new model of screening that combines better risk assessment, more options for noninvasive testing, and more targeted referrals for colonoscopy. That’s the course laid out by the American Gastroenterological Association in the recently published white paper "Roadmap for the Future of Colorectal Cancer Screening in the United States."

Jul 29, 2020

Researchers at EMBL's European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), the Wellcome Sanger Institute, Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, UK, and collaborators have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm that uses computer vision to analyze tissue samples from cancer patients. They have shown that the algorithm can distinguish between healthy and cancerous tissues, and can also identify patterns of more than 160 DNA and thousands of RNA changes in tumors. The study highlights the potential of AI for improving cancer diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment.

Jul 27, 2020

A team of British and American scientists has discovered a way to slow the growth of breast cancer stem cells in the lab. The study led by Dr. Bruno Simões and Professor Rob Clarke from The University of Manchester could eventually lead to combination drug therapies on previously untreatable breast cancers. Around three-quarters of women who have breast cancer have what are known as estrogen receptor-positive tumors. Some breast cancer cells have receptors that bind to the hormone estrogen and depend on it to grow.

Jul 24, 2020

Using a simple urine test alongside routine imaging for patients with adrenal masses could speed up adrenal cancer diagnosis, improving patient's prognosis, and reducing the need for invasive diagnostic procedures, a new multi-center study.

Jul 24, 2020

Researchers affiliated with the University of São Paulo's Ribeirão Preto Medical School (FMRP-USP) in Brazil have demonstrated the potential of a leukemia drug, arsenic trioxide, to treat medulloblastoma, a type of brain cancer most common in children. When they tested arsenic trioxide on cells taken from one of the most aggressive subgroups of this type of tumor, they obtained promising results in terms of tumor cell death. The drug also made the tumor cells more sensitive to radiation therapy.

Jul 24, 2020

A blood test has been shown to detect five types of cancer years before the diseases could be spotted using conventional diagnostic methods, according to a new study. Developed by a Sino-US startup, the test found cancers in 91 percent of people who showed no symptoms when the blood sample was collected but were diagnosed one-to-four years later with stomach, esophageal, colon, lung, or liver cancer.

Jul 24, 2020

Some of the most promising advances in cancer treatment have centered on immunotherapies that rev up a patient’s immune system to attack cancer. But immunotherapies don’t work in all patients, and researchers have been searching for ways to increase their effectiveness. Now, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have combined two immunotherapy strategies into a single therapy and found, in studies in human cells and in mice, that the two together are more effective than either alone in treating certain blood cancers, such as leukemia