Viruses are becoming an increasingly popular treatment for cancer. Oncolyctic viruses are genetically engineered agents that are specifically designed to neutralize carcinoma cells. Although research is still being done in the subject, viruses may revolutionize cancer medicine as they are effective and do no harm to non tumorous cells.
This article talks all about a type of blood cancer called Acute lymphocytic leukemia. It is blood cancer and in the bone marrow which is the squishy substance inside the bone where, red blood cells are created. The term 'acute' refers to growing rapidly, as this type of cancer spreads very quickly if not treated early. Immature blood cells are made instead of mature blood cells. lymphocytic leukemia makes reference to white blood cells, which are effected by the cancer. ALL is happens when there is a malfunction in DNA in a cell, normally the cell would be destroyed, however, in ALL it continues to divide and create more cells. This causes an increase in cells that have lost their function and are overcrowding and effecting the cells near them. ALL occurs mostly in children though it can also occur in adults, where the rates of survival would be lower. Some symptoms of ALL include: fever, bleeding from gums and pain in the bones. Smoking, family member who had ALL previously, exposure to radiation, and previous chemotherapy can all increase the risk of being affected by ALL.
Researchers disabled each genetic instruction inside cancers, using a tool called Crispr - a tool for manipulating DNA. The results revealed 6,000 crucial genes which at least one type of cancer needs to survive. They disrupted nearly 20,000 genes in more than 300 lab-grown tumours made from 30 different types of cancer.
The eventual aim of the research is to develop a "Cancer Dependency Map" of every vulnerability in every type of cancer. Then doctors would be able to test a patient's tumour and give them a cocktail of precision drugs to kill the cancerous cells.
This is off topic by is very interesting so thought I would share it. The first image of a black hole was released today (April 10, 2019) Researchers connected eight telescopes around the world to create a virtual telescope the size of the Earth.
This article talks about how dogs may be able to sniff out cancer. The noses of dogs are much more sensitive than that of a human. Their sense of smell has already been used for activities such as sniffing out drugs or explosives. They can also sniff out medical conditions. Recently, it has been thought that dogs could sniff put cancer. Although there isn't much evidence to back this up yet, it is possible that this can be used for future medical advancements.
Immunotherapy is another way to treat cancer. Immunotherapy trains the immune system to stop the cancer. It trains immune system cells, APC and the T cells. The APC cells look for disease when it suspects something, it signals to the T cells to attack. But, a problem can arise when the T cells stop before their job is done. However, by introducing checkpoint inhibitor drugs, it tells the T cells to stop. Immunotherapy can treat different types of cancer because it targets the immune system. It also helps the immune system recognize the cancer when it reoccurs.
This article reports on some ground breaking discoveries that British scientists have made. They disabled every single gene inside 30 different cancers independently to see the effects of each. They were able to identify over 600 weakness that could be targeted by new cancer fighting drugs. One such example is WRN, which plays a large role in 15% of colon cancers and 28% of stomach cancers but is not targeted by any drug right now.
This article talks about a medical student at UBC Okanagan comparing re-operation rates for breast cancer patients before and after a new surgical guideline was introduce 5 years ago. Following breast-conserving surgery, doctors use an ink on the removed portion of a woman's breast to measure the amount of healthy tissue and to see if the surgery was effectively. He found that woman with early-stage breast cancer is 72% less likely to have a re-operation today as opposed to when the surgical guideline was introduced.
This article talks about how UC San Fransisco scientists developed a screening device that can identify drugs that are effective against cancer when combined with each other but not when used alone. The article discussed the specifics and what cancers have been cured using this.
We understand why cancer is so difficult to cure, but what about all the fake cures out in the world?
At the start of this year, a small Israeli biotechnology firm claimed to have a complete cure for cancer in a year’s time. This frustrated others who were developing cancer medicines and drugs, since it was an absurd statement, and the only data available was from a single study in mice. That study wasn’t even published in a scientific journal.
Nearly none of the experiments in mice translate to human beings. The chances of success for a cancer drug are particularly low – almost 97 percent of them fail.
Although there are constantly incredible discoveries regarding cancer, fake cures like this one cause a false sense of hope in too many people.
This article talks about the early history of cancer. It says that cancer's oldest description was discovered in Egypt at around 3000 BC. The evidence is that there were fossilized bone tumors in the bodies and there were ancient manuscripts about cancer. They said that there was no cure to cancer. It is possible that the mummies had bone cancer called osteosarcoma which was seen in their fossils.
Cancer is something that is very hard to defeat because since cancerous cells go through the cell cycle much quicker than normal cells, these cells create tumors that can be very hard to remove. Not only that, Cancer can targets anyone, even those who have a healthy diet and exercise daily. For example, Jeopardy host, Alex Trebek has brain cancer, even though he maintained a healthy diet. This shows that cancer is very vicious and can affect anyone in our community.
Apart from the treatment we learned of during class, there are also treatments that target specific cancer. For example, you can go through hormone treatment for prostate and breast cancer. Because cancerous cells in these area may use hormone as signals to continue growing, interfering with the hormone can help reduce the tumor from continue growing or prevent them from coming back.
This article talks about "jumping genes," genes that seem to force cancer genes to remain "turned on" within the body. Now finding 129 different types of these genes across all cancers possible in the human body, scientists can now focus on these as types of targets, and therefore create new cures that could be more effective. This breakthrough is so important because it still shows us that there are constantly ways cancer seems to defend/reinforce itself we don't know about, a testament to a long lasting ailment that's affected millions of people for decades.