Cancer Research

Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy, which edits a cancer patient's T cells to recognize their tumors, has successfully helped patients with aggressive blood cancers but has yet to show the ability to treat solid tumors. To overcome this hurdle, researchers genetically engineered human T cells to produce a CAR protein that recognizes a glycopeptide found on various cancer cells but not normal cells, and then demonstrated its effectiveness in mice with leukemia and pancreatic cancer. Their proof-of-concept study appears June 21 in Immunity.


People with cancer are often told by their doctors approximately how long they have to live, and how well they will respond to treatments, but what if there were a way to improve the accuracy of those predictions?

A new method could help, using data about patients' genetic sequences to produce more reliable projections for survival time and how they might respond to possible treatments. The technique is an innovative way of using biomedical big data -- which gleans patterns and trends from massive amounts of patient information -- to achieve precision medicine -- giving doctors the ability to better tailor their care for each individual patient.


Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) is not a single disorder, but at least 11 different diseases, and that genetic changes explain differences in survival among young AML patients, according to a new study on the genetics of AML in New England Journal of Medicine.


Up to 25 percent of of lung cancer patients also have autoimmune disease, which may make them unsuitable for increasingly popular immunotherapy treatments.


Men with low levels of the male sex hormone testosterone need not fear that testosterone replacement therapy will increase their risk of prostate cancer, according to an analysis of more than 250,000 medical records.

In the study, researchers found that, as a group, men prescribed testosterone for longer than a year had no overall increase in risk of prostate cancer and, in fact, had their risk of aggressive disease reduced by 50 percent.


With a cure rate approaching 90 percent, acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common type of childhood cancer, is one of the big "success stories" of modern cancer treatment.

Yet up to 20 percent of patients with a high risk of relapse are not cured, which could change with the results from a clinical trial showing that high doses of the commonly-used chemotherapy drug methotrexate increases the survival rate for these patients. 


Women who sunbathe are likely to live longer than those who avoid the sun, even though sunbathers are at an increased risk of developing skin cancer. This paradox baffles oncologists and has suggested that the war on sunshine has been unjustified.


Researchers have turned skin cells into cancer-hunting stem cells that destroy the brain tumors known as glioblastoma – a discovery that may offer a new and more effective treatment for the disease. 

The survival rate beyond two years for a patient with a glioblastoma is 30 percent because it is so difficult to treat. Even if a surgeon removes most of the tumor, it’s nearly impossible to get the invasive, cancerous tendrils that spread deeper into the brain and inevitably the remnants grow back. Most patients die within a year and a half of their diagnosis.
Two small structural elements, called decorin and lumican, could be decisive in the development of a resistance to the drugs currently used for treating glioblastoma multiforme, such as temozolamide.  

Glioblastoma multiforme is the most frequent and aggressive tumor that affects the central nervous system, and it has a low survival rate: less than a year and a half after being diagnosed.

For half a century, cancer researchers have struggled with a confusing paradox: If cancer is caused by the occurrence and accumulation of cancer-causing (oncogenic) mutations over time, young children should get less cancer since they have fewer mutations.

So why do young children have a higher incidence of leukemia than teenagers and young adults?