Thirty-seven-year-old Nick Asoian of Denver unsuccessfully fought Hodgkin’s Lymphoma using conventional cancer treatments for two years.  In 2008, while in New Zealand for a ski race, Nick was diagnosed with the condition. Two bone marrow transplants and two years of chemotherapy combined with radiation therapy didn’t bring his cancer to heel. Nick Asoian. Image source:…

Novel therapeutic approaches may often require quite a bit of lateral thinking, as researchers at the Salk Institute have recently shown in a study presenting a novel method to interfere with cancer growth. The problem with cancer In a nutshell, the reason cancer is such an insidious enemy is that its cells divide uncontrollably, leading…

By now, the immunotherapeutic approach to fighting cancer has become so popular that you’ve most probably already heard of it—we’ve discussed it a few times too.  While immunotherapy is currently one of the best weapons in our anticancer arsenal, it is not always effective; however, researchers at Zurich University have recently found a way to…

Researchers have demonstrated how alcohol damages mouse stem cell DNA in a new study, helping to explain why drinking can increase cancer risk[1]. The study was published in the journal Nature on January 3. There have been multiple cell culture studies looking at how alcohol promotes cancer, but this study used mice to show how…

Cancer can often evade the immune system by sending signals that fool it into thinking that the cancer cells are normal, healthy cells and that it should ignore them. Earlier this year, we reported on an approach to treating cancer in which the immune system can be taught to detect cancer by seeing past the…

T Cells are a major component of the formidable immune system that the body keeps at the ready to respond to the first sign of infection or disease. T cells detect if cells have been infected with a virus; upon detection, they trigger these cells’ ablation and destroy the virus. Unfortunately, the T cells do…

Natural killer (NK) cells are lymphocytes, immune cells which have a powerful arsenal of cytotoxic weaponry that they can use against tumors. Unfortunately, tumors protect themselves using a protective microenvironment that shields them from attack from NK cells. This microenvironment promotes tumor growth and survival and has an immunosuppressive effect that blunts the attempts of…

Changes to the microbiome in the gut may explain why related conditions are linked to different risk levels and types of gastric tumors, according to a new study. What are the microbiota and microbiome? The microbiota is an “ecological community of commensal, symbiotic and pathogenic microorganisms” found in and on all multicellular organisms. A microbiota…

A research team at MIT has used synthetic biology to create a gene circuit that triggers the immune system to attack cancer when it first detects the signs of the disease. The circuit works by only activating the immune response when two specific cancer biomarkers are detected. The new study was published in the journal…

The use of artificial intelligence and, in particular, machine learning is becoming increasingly popular in research. These systems excel at high-speed data analysis, interpretation, and laborious research tasks, such as image assessment. One of the areas in which machine learning has been enjoying success is image recognition. Now, researchers have begun to use machine learning…

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