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Cancer 'Smart Bomb' Successfully Tested in US

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.

Posted by: on July 16th, 2012 @ 12:52 AM

How to beat a cold in just 24 hours

When the dreaded  lurgy strikes, a day in bed can seem like the only option. But with Christmas just  around the corner, few of us have the time - or inclination - to put up with a  hacking cough or aching muscles for long.

Now, help is at  hand from a leading expert. Here, Professor Ron Eccles from the Common Cold  Centre at Cardiff University tells MailOnline how to beat the bug in just one  day...

To read the full article click here.

Posted by: on December 18th, 2012 @ 10:39 AM

Grumpy? Eat a steak. Puffy ankles? Have a banana. Eat the right vitamin for your ailment

Could that niggling health problem actually mean you're deficient in something? Learn what your body might be trying to tell you about the vitamins and minerals you could lack.


(RDA): 8.7mg men, 14.8mg women.

Pale skin, light-headedness and spoon-shaped nails are oft-quoted signs of iron deficiency. But feeling cranky (along with tiredness and poor concentration) is a more common early symptom due to reduced levels of oxygen going to the brain, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. 

Iron is a key component of red blood cells, and allows them to pick up oxygen and transport it around the body. 

Up to 30 per cent of teenage girls and 17 per cent of women are affected by a low iron status, with risk being higher in women who have heavy periods. 

FOOD SOLUTION: Red meat, nuts and greens - animal sources of iron such as beef, eggs and sardines are absorbed best, but nuts, pulses, green veg and fortified breakfast cereals are also good if taken with a source of vitamin C, e.g. orange juice, to boost absorption. Supplements may be the only solution in more severe deficiency.

To read more click here.

Posted by: on July 2nd, 2013 @ 08:55 AM
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