Medicine harnesses the might of the immune system to defeat prostate cancer.
By Carina StorrsPosted 01.21.2011 at 10:58 am 0 Comments
Doctors have been trying to enlist the immune system of patients in the battle against cancer since at least 1893, when physician William Coley of New York Cancer Hospital injected bacteria into a patient’s body in the hopes that it would spur the immune system to fight the bacterial infection and cancer cells alike. The tumor disappeared, and the patient lived for another 26 years. But immunotherapy was eclipsed by radiation and chemotherapy, which showed more-immediate and reproducible results.
There’s too much guesswork in cancer surgery. Although a tumor is usually a different color or density than the healthy tissue around it, stray cancer cells near the tumor often blend in, so surgeons carve out an extra fraction of an inch surrounding it. But if post-op tests prove that the extracted tissue has cancer cells on its edge, another round of surgery is required. This happens frequently: About 20 percent of breast-cancer patients need a second surgery because of lingering cancer cells.
Canadian researchers have turned skin cells into blood cells, a breakthrough that could lead to new cancer therapies while avoiding the controversial use of stem cells.
With the new technique, people who need blood for surgery, cancer treatment or other conditions could have a ready supply of their own blood, made from a patch of skin.
Just in time for the end of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a University of Manchester professor has developed a portable, radio frequency-based scanner that is able to show the presence of breast tumors, both malignant and benign, in real time.
In 21 years, vacationers will sip mojitos while watching the sun set over the far side of the planet from the comfort of an orbital hotel—that, at least, is according to a panel of 40 Japanese scientists. In June, the Japanese government released its Foresight Survey, which since 1971 has polled the country's top minds to map out Japan's advances over the next 30 years. Past surveys have made some accurate projections. In 1997 the futurists said that Internet-based phone service would exist in 2003, the year Skype debuted.
Scientists working on a breath test for cancer say they can differentiate between at least four different forms of the disease, regardless of the patient’s age, gender or lifestyle, simply by testing patients’ breath.
The American Society of Clinical Oncology wrapped its annual conference this week, going through the usual motions of presenting a lot of drugs that offer some added quality or extension of life to those suffering from a variety of as-yet incurable diseases. But buried deep in an AP story are a couple of promising headlines that seems worthy of more thorough review, including one treatment study where 100 percent of patients saw their cancer diminished by half.
But the long-term effects of prolonged cellphone use require further study—and will spark fresh controversy
By James GearyPosted 05.17.2010 at 5:25 pm 5 Comments
When I was reporting my March 2010 PopSci feature story on the possible health effects of cell phone radiation, I was particularly interested in learning about the Interphone project, a collection of 13 different national studies coordinated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the World Health Organization.
Interphone is the largest completed analysis to date of brain tumor (glioma and meningioma) risk in relation to mobile phone use. When I was writing my piece, none of the scientists I interviewed could or would say much about the study, since it had yet to be published. So not much about Interphone ended up in my story. But when I asked one source familiar with the study's progress what we would learn once the results appeared, this person said: "We'll learn how to do better studies."
Well, the Interphone study has finally appeared and, unfortunately, my source was right.