Our immune systems constantly fight off disease — protecting us from colds, flu and infection, but could they also help us treat cancer? An experimental new treatment called immunotherapy is helping patients’ immune systems fight cancer.
Read more at NPR.org.
A 17-year-old says she doesn’t want to undergo treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma, but her doctors and the state say she will die without it. The Connecticut Supreme Court is hearing the case.
Read more at NPR.org.
Dr. Richard Schlegel and postdoctoral fellow Nancy Palechor-Ceron use a microscope to look at human epithelial cells growing on mouse fibroblasts at Georgetown University Medical Center. Source: Lauren Wolkoff/Georgetown University.
Historically, it has been difficult to culture human cell lines in the lab, but the discovery that human cells grow well on a bed of mouse cells has opened the door for new studies of human disease. Using this new technique of culturing human cancer cells on a bed of mouse cells, researchers at Georgetown University have identified a new treatment for cervical cancer — a drug that is used to treat malaria.
Read the full story at NPR.org.
In an effort to help surgeons identify and remove brain tumors, scientists have developed a paint that is attracted to specific channels on cancerous cells. The hope is that with this paint, doctors can more accurately remove just the tumor and not any healthy brain tissue. By sparing the surrounding healthy brain tissue, patients will have fewer symptoms after surgery. Read more at NPR’s coverage: Why Painting Tumors Could Make Brain Surgeons Better
Illustration by Stuart Bradford. Source: New York Times website.
How far would you go to avoid getting a certain type of cancer? How far would you go to avoid getting it again? In Facing Cancer, a Stark Choice, New York Times writer Tara Parker-Pope talks about the dramatic increase in women with breast cancer or at risk of breast cancer seeking to have healthy breasts removed. Commentator Jeanne from Ohio suggests that cosmetics are also a factor.
The New York Times summarizes two recent papers on melanomas, the most dangerous type of skin cancer, that provide strong evidence that such cancers start not with mutations in genes, but mutations in the DNA regions that control them. The vast majority of our human genetic code comprises of these and other non-coding regions of DNA; what was once dismissed as mostly ‘junk DNA’ might be better called ‘dark matter’, considering how much we still have to learn about their function.
Caption via New York Times: “Tiny magnetic beads force the larger T-cells to divide before they are infused into the patient.” (Photo: University of Pennsylvania)
The HIV virus causes AIDS, one of the top ten causes of death worldwide. It is also the surprising key to a new cancer treatment with revolutionary promise. The New York Times tells the story.