Showing posts with the label Cancer

AI-Powered Body Scanners to Detect Cancerous Moles on Skin

  As one enjoys the summer sun,  one might notice new moles on the body due to sun exposure. Medically, these moles, patches, or blemishes are classified as lesions. Over the past few years though these lesions have been increasingly presenting themselves as deadly malignant melanoma. To identify which mole might be cancerous, one needs to undergo a mole scanning procedure. This involves a dermatologist placing a dermoscope on top of a mole to enlarge it and record a picture. The doctor then does the procedure all over the patient's body. These time-consuming scans need the availability of a specialist and are seldom conducted, resulting in neglect and excessive healthcare expenses.  As Europe's sixth most frequent cancer, about 144,000 new cases are detected each year across the continent. The survival rate is 95% if the melanoma is detected while it is less than 1mm deep on the skin surface. Melanoma becomes metastatic if found later, and just 23% of individuals survive for

Effectiveness of Chemotherapy Changes With the Time of Day, Suggests New Study

Image credit:  Pixabay Researchers at West Virginia University (WVU) have found that the effectiveness of chemotherapy may change with the time of day that it is administered.  Chemotherapy is a type of cancer treatment in which two or more anti-cancer drugs are used. It is a part of a standard cancer treatment plan that defines drugs to be used, frequency and duration of treatment and their dosage.  During the chemotherapy process, however, the blood-brain barrier (BBB) prevents drugs from entering the brain. The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a network of tissues and blood vessels made up of closely spaced cells. It helps keep harmful substances from reaching the brain. It allows some substances such as oxygen, water and carbon dioxide to pass into the brain. This is a good physiological process when it comes to infectious agents like bacteria, viruses and toxins. But, it also blocks anticancer drugs from entering the brain, thus making the chemotherapy process ineffective in treatin

Recent advances in cancer treatments

As per estimates of American Society of Clinical Oncology , 14 million people worldwide will learn that they have cancer this year and 9 million will lose their lives. Their estimates for the year 2030 are even worse and present an alarming situation for cancer patients and their families. We have been hearing about personalized medicine for many years now but the last year or so, there have been some great advances that have made their way from research labs to real world clinics and with regulatory approvals. Here is a look at some recent advances in cancer treatments.  Traditional cancer treatment use the chemotherapy approach that bombards the body with cytotoxic drugs and has a 50-50 chance of killing normal as well as cancerous cells.As treatments improved, we moved to drugs that inhibit the growth of cancerous cells, typically the Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors (TKIs). As our understanding of cancer has improved, the approach has changed from trying to find a cure to lever

Cure Cancer with TRAIL

Cancerous Cell Cancer cells are notorious for their ability to detach themselves from tumours, flow through the blood stream and find themselves new sites in the body to adhere to and grow in size and number. Called metastasis, this process allows cancerous cells to not only survive in the body but also regroup at some other site, where you are least suspecting them to be and show up their ugly side as tumours. Site specific radiation therapy or even chemotherapy, for that matter, lacks the specificity to attack cancerous tumour alone, let alone freely floating cells and therefore, in spite of all advances in medicine and all the treatments that are offered to patients, there has never been a 'cure' for cancer. This, however, might soon change.  In the mid 1990s, researchers Steven Wiley and his team at the Immunex Research and Development Corporation, Washington identified a new protein called TRAIL ( T NF- r elated a poptosis- i nducing L igand). The TNF family o

Are you in sync with your microbes?

Bacteria, fungi and viruses are better known for the harm they cause and are usually associated with the words such as infections, fever and at times, even cancer.  The pharmaceutical industry spends billions of dollars every year in attempts to develop new antibiotics, new methods of treatment for ailments caused by infections of these micro-organisms while health care providers spend resources to prevent such infections from occurring in first place.  But what if, the microbes are not meant to be kept away? What if we are looking at the problem the wrong way? What if the microbes are not the problem at all? Confused? Let us explain! Why micro-organisms? Although we first became aware of micro organisms in the year 1675, microbes are estimated to have occupied Earth almost 4 billion years ago. Not only are they the earliest inhabitants, they are also the most versatile and the most ubiquitous of all life forms. The total number of micro organisms on our Earth is estimated to be

Eat spinach and keep Cancer at bay!

 Spinach (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Yes you heard it right, scientist believe that eating spinach can actually reduce the risk of getting colon tumours from 58% to 32%. For all those from the old school of genetics may say that this may not be true, as variations at the genetic level can actually make a person prone to cancer , and offset the occurrence of it as well. But the world of oncogenetics just got more complicated. Scientists believe that though this may be true, there are other factors involved in the development of cancer and tumours. There has been, over the recent years, a keen interest in the role of epigenetics (factors out of genetics), such as diet, environmental toxins , lifestyle etc. which may be playing a role in diseases. One such key epigenetic factor, which has baffled scientists are micro RNA . No one till date has put a finger on what role these tiny fragments of RNA have, except for expressing and silencing genetic codes. The best part,

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