Showing posts tagged with: cancer
Scientists have successfully tested a capillary "smart bomb" that simultaneously attacks cancer and boosts the immune system.
The tiny hollow spheres become trapped in leaky tumour blood vessels, where they unleash an anti-cancer drug.
At the same time the spheres, called nanolipogels (NLGs), release a protein that rallies the body's own defences.
Researchers tested the spheres in mice on melanoma skin cancer that had spread to the lungs.
Tumour growth was significantly delayed and the survival of the mice increased.
The new technology overcomes a problem with cancer treatment that has been difficult to tackle using conventional therapies, say the scientists.
Cancer tumours are known to secrete chemicals that confuse the immune system.
But attempts to boost patient immunity while at the same time neutralising the cancer's chemical arsenal rarely work.
The NLGs, described in the journal Nature Materials, package together two completely different kinds of molecule.
One is designed to overcome a potent cancer defence weapon called TGF-beta, which stunts the local immune system.
The other, an interleukin signalling molecule, boosts immune system activity.
Researcher Dr Stephen Wrzesinski, from Yale University School of Medicine in the US, said: "One problem with current metastatic (spreading) melanoma immunotherapies is the difficulty managing autoimmune toxicities when the treatment agents are administered throughout the body.
"The novel nanolipogel delivery system we used will hopefully bypass systemic toxicities while providing support to enable the body to fight off the tumour at the tumour bed itself."
Each NLG is small enough to travel through the bloodstream, but large enough to get entrapped in leaky cancer blood vessels. Once trapped, they biodegrade to release their cargo.
Article taken from Sky News - click here to view.
The number of teenagers and young adults dying from cancer in the UK has halved since the 1970s, according to a report from Cancer Research UK.
Deaths fell from about 580 per year to 300 in this age group while the largest drop was in those with leukaemia.
More specialised treatments are likely to be behind the trend, the report said.
However, a teenage cancer expert said more young people should be enrolled on clinical trials.
Cancer remains the main cause of death from any disease in teenagers and young adults. Only transport accidents account for more deaths in this age group.
To read the full article click here.
Scientists have made a breakthrough in understanding what causes an aggressive form of blood cancer.
Experts at Cancer Research UK’s Paterson Institute at the University of Manchester have found that a protein, known as TTC5, is crucial to fuelling acute myeloid leukaemia.
They discovered that reducing the amount of the protein in cells causes the leukaemia to die.
The researchers, led by James Lynch from the Paterson, say that the study gives a greater understanding of the proteins that cancers need to grow and could help in the development of more targeted drugs in the future.
To read the full article, please click here.
A culture of poor care is like a cancer - it will keep on spreading if not stopped, the barrister who chaired the public inquiry into the Stafford Hospital scandal has warned.
Robert Francis QC said bad practice starts in "small places" but is passed on to "bigger places" unless something is done.
Despite his damning report three months ago, he remained proud of the NHS.
He said it was the country's "most valuable social asset".
Mr Francis, who was speaking at a conference in London organised by the patient group Action Against Medical Accidents, refused to say whether he was happy with the government's response to his report.
To read the full article click here.
EU rules must be changed to allow more testing of potentially life-saving cancer drugs on children, say experts.
The UK's Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) says the current system acts as a disincentive to drug companies who can seek waivers to avoid doing the trials.
Of 28 new cancer drugs approved in the EU for adults since 2007, 26 could potentially work in children, but 14 have been exempted from child testing.
The ICR wants these "class waivers" to be scrapped.
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