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Tumors

A nanoparticle delivery mechanism (left) treats tumors in mice more effectively

A common strategy for treating tumors is combining two or more drugs, which has the effect of decreasing toxicity and increasing the synergistic effects between the drugs. However, the efficacy of this kind of cocktail treatment suffers when the drugs require access to different parts of the cell, a bit like fighting a battle by depositing all your archers on the same spot as your infantrymen. By making use of nanoparticle-based carriers, researchers at North Carolina State University are able to transport multiple drugs into cancerous cells optimally and precisely, in maneuvers that any field commander would be proud of.  Read More

Boron neutron capture therapy can kill tumors without harming healthy neighboring tissue

Shortly after the discovery of the neutron in 1932, some scientists recognized the potential of boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) as a cancer treatment. But despite decades of research, the problem of finding a delivery agent that would more effectively target the tumor without harming surrounding tissue persisted. Researchers at the University of Missouri (MU) may finally have found a solution.  Read More

The results of a test of several chemotherapy drugs on a lung cancer tumor (Photo: Presage...

Seattle’s Presage Biosciences has developed a device which introduces small amounts of different chemotherapy drugs into a patient's tumor. The tumor is inspected after removal and the most effective of the drugs are used for post-surgical chemotherapy, resulting in more efficient, personalized cancer treatments. The new device is awaiting FDA approval, but is currently being used to facilitate development of new chemotherapy drugs.  Read More

An uneven “bed of nails” surface helps prevent cancerous cells from gathering the nutrient...

It's a sad reality of our time that breast cancer affects more women around the world than any other form of cancer. Even more disturbing is the fact that up to ten years after surgery, the cancer returns in nearly 20 percent of those deemed to have had successful tumor-removal operations. Now, researchers at Brown University (BU) in Providence, Rhode Island, led by engineering professor Thomas Webster, have developed an implant which they believe can appreciably lower that relapse rate by simultaneously inhibiting cancer cell growth and attracting healthy breast cells.  Read More

Image of a mouse with implanted tumors before and after receiving photoimmunotherapy (PIT)...

Besides surgery, chemotherapy and radiation are the foundation of modern day cancer treatment. Although effective, these therapies often have debilitating and damaging side effects. But scientists at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland have been experimenting with a new form of therapy using infrared light to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors without damaging healthy tissue.  Read More

Color Tissue Oxygenation Map of a Basal Cell Carcinoma, obtained using the new LED technol...

We’ve heard of surgeons using a SpectroPen during the tumor removal surgeries, but now Californian scientists are shedding light on cancer, literally, in the hopes to find a new cure for skin cancer. The team of scientists from the University of California, Irvine are currently developing new techniques to image cancerous lesions using LEDs (light emitting diodes) with the hope of then being able to treat skin cancer using photodynamic therapy (PDT).  Read More

The SpectroPen could help surgeons see the edges of tumors in human patients in real time ...

Statistics indicate that complete removal, or resection, of a tumor is the single most important predictor of patient survival for those with solid tumors. So, unsurprisingly, the first thing most patients want to know after surgery is whether the surgeon got everything. A new hand-held device called the SpectroPen could help surgeons provide a more definite and desirable answer by allowing them to see the edges of tumors in human patients in real time during surgery.  Read More

Bioluminescence imaging (BLI) of T cell trafficking in live mice used in the study

One of the main problems with cancer cells is that the body's immune system generally doesn’t recognize them as enemies. By using a crippled HIV-like virus as a vehicle to arm lymphocytes with T-cell receptors, researchers have been able to genetically engineer a well-armed battalion of tumor-seeking immune system cells. By also inserting a reporter gene, which glows “hot” during positron emission tomography (PET) scanning, the researchers were able to watch in real time as these "special forces" traveled throughout the body to locate and attack dangerous melanomas.  Read More

In nanocage-injected mice (left), the surface of the tumor quickly became hot enough to ki...

Cancer is a disease whose treatments are notoriously indiscriminate and nonspecific. Researchers have been searching for a highly targeted medical treatment that attacks cancer cells but leaves healthy tissue alone. A team of scientists at Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL) is working on gold nanocages that, when injected, selectively accumulate in tumors. When the tumors are later bathed in laser light, the surrounding tissue is barely warmed, but the nanocages convert light to heat, killing the malignant cells.  Read More

A polymer implant, 8.5 mm in diameter, is embedded with chemical signals that encourage im...

In a world first, scientists have successfully eliminated tumors in mammals using a cancer vaccine carried into the body on a fingernail-sized implant. The new approach uses plastic disks impregnated with tumor-specific antigens and implanted under the skin to reprogram the mammalian immune system to attack tumors.  Read More

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