Cancer Research

The world’s second densest metal can be used to kill cancer cells by filling them with a deadly version of oxygen, without harming healthy tissue, according to a new paper.

The metal, iridium, was in the asteroid with the strongest link to the extinction of dinosaurs. When combined with organic material, the researchers showed it can be directly targeted towards cancerous cells, transferring energy to the cells to turn the oxygen (O2) inside them into singlet oxygen, which is poisonous and kills the cell - without harming any healthy tissue.

Fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma, a form of liver cancer mainly found among children and young people, currently has surgery as the only treatment available. But even then less than 40 percent of patients will survive beyond five years.

It might help to discover what causes it.

Even small tumors can be aggressive, according to a study in patients with early stage breast cancer presented at the ESMO 2017 Congress in Madrid.  They found that nearly one in four small tumors were aggressive and patients benefited from chemotherapy. Aggressive tumors could be identified by a 70-gene signature.

Though well-known cancers like breast and prostate cancer are still the most common, America has gotten really good at diagnosing rare cancers, according to a new study. 

This is a significant achievement, because rare cancers can be challenging to diagnose, often resulting in numerous physician visits, misdiagnoses, and substantial delays in diagnosis. Rare cancers have become an area of priority for some researchers and public health advocates because treatment options are often more limited and less effective than for more common cancers.
Since cancer tumors are thought to depend on  large amounts of glutamine to achieve rapid growth, some have speculated that glutamine deprivation is a therapeutic approach.

A new study casts doubt on that. 

Numerous studies have indicated that tumore cannot survive without glutamine, and this has fueld the idea that preventing “glutamine addiction” could be a potential therapeutic strategy. A study now concludes that while glutamine deprivation will halt the proliferation of certain tumor cells, most of them will not be killed, raising questions of whether such a therapeutic intervention will lead to remission in cancers. 
Telomeres, repeated sequences of DNA that shorten every time a cell divides, have been linked to an increased cancer risk. The length of the telomere “caps” of DNA that protect the tips of chromosomes may provide an avenue for future therapy.

The researchers presenting at American Association for Cancer Research analyzed blood samples and health data on more than 28,000 Chinese people enrolled in the Singapore Chinese Health Study, which has followed the health outcomes of participants since 1993. As of the end of 2015, 4,060 participants had developed cancer.
If you read the claims of environmental groups, trace levels of chemicals are the source of most cancers, even if they are well below harmful levels, due to vague claims of "bioaccumulation." If you read the recent claims of the EPA, air pollution is causing acute deaths, even though the United States has some of the cleanest air in the world and no one can find any deaths it has caused during the entire existence of the EPA.

A new observational study claims that cheese increases breast cancer risk, while yogurt can lower it. Since both are dairy, that means they would be suggesting a dairy process causes or prevents cancer.

The case control study has numerous confounders that will not be noticed by most journalists so media outlets looking for context beware.

Young patients with acute lymphocytic leukemia, the most common type of pediatric cancer, are likely to report that they adhered to their anti-cancer medication better than they really did.

And so do their parents.

Studies show that over 95 percent of prescribed doses must be taken to be effective but a new analysis instead finds that that 84 percent of patients or their parents over-reported adherence to a regimen of the oral maintenance therapy6-mercaptopurine (6MP), which is prescribed for two years after chemotherapy for patients to achieve durable remissions.
Newborns with the common virus in the herpes family known as congenital cytomegalovirus have an increased risk of developing acute lymphocytic leukemia, according to a new analysis. The authors say the risk is even greater in Hispanic children, who are already at the highest risk for developing ALL.