Putting cancer cells into a permanent sleep

Australian scientists have discovered a new type of anti-cancer drug that can put cancer cells into a permanent sleep, without the harmful side-effects caused by conventional cancer therapies. By targeting specific proteins researchers have been able to develop a small molecule that inhibits their activity. The process can stop tumour growth and spread without damaging the cells’ DNA. . Conventional cancer therapies (like chemotherapy and radiotherapy) cause irreversible DNA damage as they target both cancer cells and healthy cells. The DNA damage can result in short-term and long-term side effects such as nausea, fatigue, hair loss and susceptibility to infection, as well as infertility and increased risk of other cancers developing. This new class of anti-cancer drugs simply puts the cancer cells into a permanent sleep. https://blog.csiro.au/time-for-bed-anti-cancer-drug-putting-cancer-cells-into-a-permanent-sleep/

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A breakthrough in detecting early stage stomach cancer

Two Japanese national research institutes have succeeded in using artificial intelligence to identify early stage stomach cancer with a high accuracy rate. The breakthrough should help extend the lives of patients in Japan in particular, where stomach cancer is one of the leading causes of death. Stomach cancer causes few symptoms and is often found only after it reaches an advanced stage. At an early stage, even specialists have a difficult time distinguishing the cancer from inflammation. https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/07/22/national/science-health/japanese-researchers-use-ai-identify-early-stage-stomach-cancer-high-accuracy/#.W1Vk-aR_XDs

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World first- lung cancer surgery blasts tumour without puncturing skin

Surgeons at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London used GPS-style technology to reach a tumour on a lung, without using cuts or needles, or needing to puncture the lung. After inserting a catheter through the patient’s mouth, the surgeons were able to use 3D images to guide them to the tumour and blast it with a targeted dose of microwave energy. Footage shows the tumour exploding, not unlike the target of a missile strike, or an enemy in a computer game. https://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/the-times/lung-cancer-surgery-blasts-tumour-without-puncturing-skin/news-story/5d9ffdc13d8bcd365ac1ceb81ca1ca05

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Immunotherapy to cure cancer

A friend was diagnosed with cancer this year and advised he had 3 months to live. He was given the option of immunotherapy at the Kinghorn Cancer Centre in Sydney and, though it had risks, took the option and his cancer has now gone. This exciting new approach to cancer treatment involves creating drugs that target cells of the immune system, not the cancer. Basically, the immune system is strengthened to protect against, or attack a specific tumour type. https://www.garvan.org.au/foundation/immunotherapy-changing-way-think-cancer-treatment/

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Nanoneedles to detect cancer

CSIRO scientists are investigating whether wearable nanoneedles could be used to analyse interstitial fluid, which is the fluid around your cells. In that fluid they’re working to detect cancer biomarkers, like tumour DNA and other intercellular signatures, through your skin – but without causing any pain. If it’s found to be do-able, this could potentially give them the ability to detect cancers much earlier and increase treatment success, in a much less invasive way. https://blog.csiro.au/nanoneedles-just-what-the-doctor-will-order/

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A silver-based compound that could stop cancer from spreading

New research indicates that a silver- based compound is able to tackle the energy centre (the mitochondria) of cancer cells, preventing them from growing and spreading. The compound still needs to go to extensive clinical trials before it can become available as a chemotherapeutic agent. However the findings pave the way for a new chemotherapeutic drug that could be more effective and less toxic, with fewer side effects. http://www.inkl.com/newsletters/morning-edition/news/novel-silver-compounds-offer-a-potential-cancer-treatment-breakthrough?

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A blood test that’s a breakthrough for detecting cancer

Scientists have created a blood test that can detect eight of the most common cancers long before they turn lethal, in a breakthrough that could save millions of people from premature death. The “liquid biopsy” identifies early-stage tumours from proteins and genetic mutations circulating in the blood. Called CancerSEEK, the test delivers almost no false positives, sparing patients needless heartache and unnecessary medical procedures for non-existent diseases. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/health-science/blood-tests-deliver-cancer-breakthrough/news-story/8874f0bd0d4b4eea680892d421c2f12c

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VR that lets scientists walk around inside cancer cells

Imagine being able to walk around inside a virtual replica of your own cells. That is becoming a reality, thanks to groundbreaking technology developed at the University of New South Wales. In the future, cancer patients could see a virtual version of themselves, and track where drug treatments are ending up in their bodies. You could then show your family and friends what’s happening to you and it will empower you to make your treatment decisions. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-19/virtual-reality-allows-scientists-to-walk-in-cancer-cells/9268730

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Free genetic test for high risk cancer patients

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In Australia people at high risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer will be offered free genetic testing. If someone has breast and ovarian cancer and has the mutations, all their relatives will be able to have the test for free. If they don’t have the mutation, they can go back to normal screening. This new service is expected to significantly improve the lives of Australians, offering more choice via access to affordable screening and treatment options, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-12/breast-and-ovarian-cancer-test-free-for-high-risk-patients/9040274

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A 10 sec check for cancer

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Scientists from the University of Texas at Austin have developed a pen called the “MacSpec pen” that can screen and analyze tissue samples for cancer in just 10 seconds when the process usually takes weeks. The pen, which looks like a white permanent marker with a cord down its back, is made with a 3D-printed surgical-ready plastic tip and uses water instead of gases and other harming solvents. The tool works by releasing a small water droplet onto a tissue sample and sucking the water, with some residual tissue, into a mass spectrometer to analyze the tissue samples in real time. With 93 percent accuracy, the researchers identified lung, ovary, thyroid and breast cancers using both mice and human tissue samples. https://www.google.com.au/amp/newatlas.com/macspec-pen-cancer-healthy-tissue/51238/%3famp=true

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New cancer treatment- gene therapies

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Scientists are researching ways of deactivating or repairing faulty DNA within people’s bodies, another pathway that could lead to breakthrough cures. Specialists take a patient’s immune cells and reprogram them with a new gene that instructs them to detect and kill specific cancer cells. They then inject those reprogrammed cells back into patients’ bodies, where they go to work destroying deadly malignancies. In a clinical trial, 83 percent of patients saw remission within three months. This technique is one of several classified as “gene therapies.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/a-new-cancer-drug-may-be-the-first-in-a-line-of-revolutionary-treatments/2017/09/10/d1526d92-8e82-11e7-8df5-c2e5cf46c1e2_story.html?

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A drug that helps stop the spread of cancer

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Scientists working with Cancer Research UK have discovered that a drug developed to treat organ fibrosis can block an enzyme that assists in the spread of cancer cells. In tests conducted on mice, it was able to reduce the size of tumors by up to 50 percent. https://futurism.com/researchers-have-found-a-drug-that-can-help-slow-down-the-spread-of-multiple-cancers/

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