Online ISSN: 2331-4737

Oncoscience

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When normal cells don’t die, cancer follows

February 12, 2018
T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia is an aggressive cancer that usually affects children—and recent research is paving the way for new treatments. Standard acute lymphoblastic leukemia occurs in B-cells, which are white blood cells that use antibodies to “tag” invaders for destruction. In T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL), T-cells, which help coordinate attacks against invaders, are affected instead. A characteristic of many cancers is cells that do not die when they are supposed to. Normal cells undergo a natural, pre-programmed life cycle that ends in death, a system that prevents the decay of genetic material and the problems that come with… continue reading »

How long can you survive with prostate cancer?

February 12, 2018
Diagnosis, monitoring, and determining a prognosis for prostate cancer is far from simple, but each step plays an important role in guiding cancer treatment—and helping patients make informed choices about their futures. Monitoring and prognosis are unquestionably important to patients, but their assessment is not always easy. Doctors often use images of tumors, biopsies, and levels of substances in the blood to make their estimates, but the specific methods differ from cancer to cancer. In prostate cancer, medical professionals use the levels of specific proteins in the prostate, called prostate-specific antigen (PSA), to help monitor the development of disease. New… continue reading »

Why do new cancer treatments fail?

February 6, 2018
New cancer treatments based on immunotherapy, the practice of using a patient’s own immune system to treat disease, have sometimes demonstrated outstanding results. But for all of the instances where immunotherapy produced shocking remissions, there are also instances where it has not proved as effective. Researchers have identified a few potential causes of a lack of response to immunotherapy. Some tumors have mutations that limit their response to immune system cells. Others produce cells or chemicals that suppress the immune system. Still others are made up of cancer cells that are genetically quite different from each other, which makes them… continue reading »

Oncoscience

Latest

Can beta blockers be used for cancer treatment?

February 6, 2018
Part of what makes cancer difficult to treat is the great variety of characteristics between different cancer types. Cancer treatments can target different parts of different cells, genetic information, and communication between cells, but the specific method of targeting depends heavily on the type of cancer. One promising treatment method that may apply across a variety of cancers is the use of beta blockers for cancer treatment. Beta blockers prevent a particular type of receptor, called “beta-adrenergic” receptors, from activating. These receptors are usually activated by adrenaline, and preventing that activation has a variety of effects within the body. Beta… continue reading »