Cancer

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Collagen 'pushing'

Supercomputer illustrates mechanical process of cancer growth

According to the World Health Organization, one in six worldwide deaths have been attributed to cancer; however, these fatalities were not due to initial malignant tumors—the deaths were caused by the spread of cancer cells to surrounding tissues and subsequent tumor growth. These tissues, which consist largely of collagen, have been the focus of a recent collaborative study by a team from…

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Brain tumour analysis

Glioblastoma '3D maps' help find new therapies

Researchers at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona obtained a highly accurate recreation of human glioblastoma’s features using a novel 3D microscopy analysis. The study, published in the journal Acta Neuropathologica Communications, provides new information to help with the diagnose, by finding therapeutical targets and designing immunotherapeutical strategies.

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Expert prediction

How will Covid affect cancer death rates in 2021?

Researchers have called on European policymakers to make adequate resources available to tackle pancreatic cancer, a disease that is almost invariably fatal and where little progress has been made over the past 40 years. In the latest predictions for cancer deaths in the EU and UK for 2021, published in the cancer journal Annals of Oncology, researchers led by Carlo La Vecchia (MD), a professor…

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Physics of tumours

How cancer cells shape-shift to squeeze through tissue

Working with colleagues from Germany and the US, researchers at Leipzig University have achieved a breakthrough in research into how cancer cells spread. In experiments, the team of biophysicists led by Professor Josef Alfons Käs, Steffen Grosser and Jürgen Lippoldt demonstrated for the first time how cells deform in order to move in dense tumour tissues and squeeze past neighbouring cells. The…

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Brain cancer research

New approach could stop glioblastoma growth

Inhibiting a key enzyme that controls a large network of proteins important in cell division and growth, paves the way for a new class of drugs that could stop glioblastoma, a deadly brain cancer, from growing. Researchers at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and University of Toronto (U of T), showed that chemically inhibiting the enzyme PRMT5 can…

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Detect lingering disease

Liquid biopsy for colorectal cancer could guide therapy for tumors

A new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis demonstrates that a liquid biopsy examining blood or urine can help gauge the effectiveness of therapy for colorectal cancer that has just begun to spread beyond the original tumor. Such a biopsy can detect lingering disease and could serve as a guide for deciding whether a patient should undergo further treatments due to some…

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Malignant paediatric cancer

Neuroblastoma: sending tumour cells on a collision course

With two commercially available inhibitors, the cell cycle of the cancer cells in neuroblastomas can be disrupted at a key point causing tumour cell death. Neuroblastomas are malignant solid tumours that occur mainly in early childhood. They arise from degenerated immature cells of the sympathetic nervous system. One prognostic marker to assess the malignancy of the tumour is the MYCN oncogene.…

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Nuclear medicine

Targeted cancer therapy: Researchers speed up astatine-211 purification

In a recent study, researchers at the Texas A&M University have described a new process to purify astatine-211, a promising radioactive isotope for targeted cancer treatment. Unlike other elaborate purification methods, their technique can extract astatine-211 from bismuth in minutes rather than hours, which can greatly reduce the time between production and delivery to the patient.

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Biological evidence

Scalp cooling protects hair from chemotherapy

A study reveals that scalp cooling physically protects hair follicles from chemotherapy drugs. It is the world’s first piece of biological evidence that explains how scalp cooling actually works and the mechanism behind its protection of the hair follicle. The data was part of an innovative hair follicle research project carried out by the dedicated Scalp Cooling Research Centre based at the…

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American Cancer Society

Breast cancer is the most commonly cancer worldwide

Cancer ranks as a leading cause of death in every country in the world, and, for the first time, female breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer, overtaking lung cancer, according to a collaborative report, Global Cancer Statistics 2020, from the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Data show that 1 in 5 men and women worldwide…

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'Chaimeleon' project

Removing data bias in cancer images through AI

A new EU-wide repository for health-related imaging data could boost development and marketing of AI tools for better cancer management. The open-source database will collect and harmonise images acquired from 40,000 patients, spanning different countries, modalities and equipment. This approach could eliminate one of the major bottlenecks in the clinical adoption of AI today: Data bias.

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Covid-19's impact on studies

Clinical trials during the pandemic: lessons for future cancer research

The continuing corona virus epidemic has impacted strongly on cancer care and research, including the delay of treatments and diagnoses as well as on trials of new therapies, and the shift in research to develop a Covid-19 vaccine. However, the session ‘Cancer research and Covid-19’, during the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Virtual Showcase (online 2-3 November) looked at how UK…

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Protein anchors

Key molecule in cancer spread and epilepsy discovered

Certain anchor proteins inhibit a key metabolic driver that plays an important role in cancer and developmental brain disorders. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the University of Innsbruck, together with a Europe-wide research network, discovered this molecular mechanism, which could open up new opportunities for personalized therapies for cancer and neuronal diseases.

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Mapping the 'family tree' of cancer

Metastasis monitoring: CRISPR tool catches cancer 'in the act'

When cancer is confined to one spot in the body, doctors can often treat it with surgery or other therapies. Much of the mortality associated with cancer, however, is due to its tendency to metastasize, sending out seeds of itself that may take root throughout the body. The exact moment of metastasis is fleeting, lost in the millions of divisions that take place in a tumor. “These events are…

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RNA editing

New mechanism of cancer formation discovered

A team of scientists at the National University of Singapore (NUS) led by Dr Polly Leilei Chen from the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore and Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine has discovered a previously unknown mechanism of cancer formation, the understanding of which may lead to more effective treatment. Their findings concern a process called RNA editing. The DNA code of a gene gets…

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Machine learning advances diagnostics and prognostics

Computerized image analysis can predict cancer outcomes

The advent of digital pathology is offering a unique opportunity to develop computerized image analysis methods to diagnose disease and predict outcomes for cancer patients from histopathology tissue sections. Such advances can help predict risk of recurrence, disease aggressiveness and long-term survival, according to a leading expert in the field, Professor Anant Madabhushi from Case Western…

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Symptom management

eHealth intervention can help cancer patients

Hundreds of cancer patients have benefitted from using computer algorithms to manage their symptoms and improve their wellbeing in a unique UK trial. The early stage colorectal, breast or gynecological cancer patients took part in the trial of the eRAPID system, developed by the University of Leeds, which allowed them to report online symptoms from home and receive instant advice on whether to…

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CARS & multiphoton microscopy

Multimodal imaging to detect cancerous cells faster and more accurately

Improving the detection of cancerous cells during surgery – this is the goal of the European research project CARMEN. The research institutes Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) from Germany and Multitel asbl from Belgium work together with companies from both countries, JenLab GmbH, Deltatec, and LaserSpec, to develop a novel, compact and multimodal imaging system. This could even allow the…

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Cancer research

Exploring the benefits of anticoagulants against brain metastases

Brain metastases can only develop if cancer cells first exit the fine blood vessels and enter into the brain tissue. To facilitate this step, cancer cells influence blood clotting, as scientists from the German Cancer Research Center and Heidelberg University Hospital have now been able to show in mice. The cancer cells actively promote the formation of clots, which helps them to arrest in the…

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HPV vaccines and pap smear tests

Keys to prevent many cervical cancer cases

Hundreds of thousands of cervical cancer cases per year could be prevented through widespread vaccinations for human papillomavirus (HPV) and annual pap smear tests, says an expert at a top American hospital, Cleveland Clinic, marking Cervical Cancer Awareness Month in January. Dr. Robert DeBernardo, Section Head of Gynecologic Oncology and Vice Chair Subspecialty Care for Women’s Health at…

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"InnerEye" Artificial Intelligence

AI could help cut waiting times for cancer radiotherapy

Doctors at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge aim to drastically cut cancer waiting times by using artificial intelligence (AI) to automate lengthy radiotherapy preparations. The AI technology, known as InnerEye, is the result of an eight-year collaboration between researchers at Cambridge-based Microsoft Research, Addenbrooke’s Hospital and the University of Cambridge.

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Childhood cancer

Molecular super-enhancers determine progression of neuroblastomas

Childhood neuroblastomas display extreme differences in the way they develop: they can shrink spontaneously or spread aggressively to healthy tissue. It is molecular super-enhancers that activate the regulatory circuits that steer the tumor down one path or the other. These are the findings of research conducted by scientists from the Hopp Children's Cancer Center Heidelberg (KiTZ), the German…

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