Online ISSN: 2331-4737

Oncoscience

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Can cancer be diagnosed from a simple blood test measuring circulating tumor DNA?

January 12, 2018
What if cancer could be diagnosed from a simple blood test? The current standards of cancer diagnosis often involve invasive and painful biopsies, where doctors take a sample of tissue directly from a potentially cancerous tumor. These kinds of tests are very effective at determining whether or not a patient has cancer, but they have two major disadvantages: they are invasive and they are slow. It can sometimes take weeks to get results. A new approach to diagnosing cancer and guiding treatment focuses on the signs cancer leaves in the blood. Circulating tumor DNA is DNA that has broken free… continue reading »

Protein levels may be able to help guide multiple myeloma treatment

January 12, 2018
Once front-line treatments fail, what options exist for cancer patients? Hope for multiple myeloma patients, a cancer that affects plasma cells in bone marrow, has steadily increased with the development of new treatments for multiple myeloma. As new treatments target different parts of tumor cells, the overall survival of multiple myeloma patients has improved. Unfortunately, even these latest treatments for multiple myeloma are not always effective. Drug-resistant cancer can create problems for patients, and cancer researchers are searching for ways to fight against drug resistance. In a recent paper published in Oncoscience, researchers at George Washington University examined whether it… continue reading »

How do doctors measure the advance of cancer?

January 4, 2018
When doctors want to measure the progression of cancer and provide patients with appropriate treatments, they often take a sample of a patient’s tissue for testing. This may sound simple, but when the tissue in question is in a patient’s bone marrow or brain, the process can become extremely invasive. Cancer researchers are searching for new methods to diagnose and monitor different levels of cancer, methods that do not have the same limitations as traditional tissue biopsy. Because retrieving them is an invasive process, tissue samples cannot be collected as frequently as is ideal. Developing less invasive, but no less… continue reading »

Oncoscience

Latest

In cancer, DNA damage presents new treatment opportunities

December 22, 2017
In nearly every cancer, DNA damage is a key culprit. Damage to a cell’s genetic material is part of what leads to the rampant growth that characterizes cancer. Normal cells have genes that regulate the process of cell growth and the cell’s lifespan; when those genes are damaged, cells can sometimes replicate wildly. Studying the processes that protect against DNA damage in normal cells can provide insight into treating cells that have DNA damage—that is, cancer cells. In normal cells, DNA is protected by processes within the cell nucleus. If DNA does get damaged, the cell has genes and processes… continue reading »