A simple blood test that offers early detection of cancer in the human body has long eluded medical researchers, but a team at UCLA is getting closer. By blending an ultra-fast camera and a powerful optical microscope with software that can process the data they produce at extremely high speeds, the team hopes it can spot circulating tumor cells (CTCs) that have broken away from cancerous tumors in blood samples, potentially making early cancer detection as simple as taking a blood draw.
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.
The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved its first-ever cancer vaccine, ushering in a new era of cancer treatments.
Named Provenge, the drug targets prostate cancer; in clinical trials, it extended the lives of patients about four months compared with a placebo.
The problem with cancer surgery, or so we hear, is that it's difficult for surgeons to know if they've removed all of a tumor, especially in late-stage cancers when the edges get indistinct. But a new imaging technology developed at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center's Center for Imaging Technology and Molecular Diagnostics in Boston is giving cutters visual cues on just where to aim their scalpels.