Unnecessary imaging common among breast cancer patients

Most women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer are given imaging tests to look for distant growths, despite official guidelines according to a new study. The research team found that over 79 per cent of women with stage I breast cancer, and over 92 per cent with stage II, received imaging tests despite having a less than two […]

Cancer killing cells captured on film

Researchers have captured video of immune cells hunting and destroying cancer and virally-infected cells. The footage was captured using high-resolution 3D time-lapse multi-colour imaging. T cells, a type of white-blood cell, can recognize antigens on the surface of certain cancerous and infected cells. The video shows these T cells (seen in orange or green) moving […]

HPV vaccination of boys could be cost-effective

  A new study shows that vaccinating 12-year-old boys against the human papillomavirus (HPV) may be a cost-effective strategy for preventing cancers that start at the back of the throat and mouth, and involve the tonsils and base of the tongue. The disease is known as oropharyngeal cancer. Researchers used a statistical model and estimate […]

Oncologists weigh the pros and cons of gene-expression profiling

Should women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer have chemotherapy? To help make that choice, some physicians recommend gene-expression profiling (GEP) tests to identify patients who may benefit from the treatment. Carrying the brand name Oncotype DX, this test analyzes the patterns of 21 different genes within the cancer cells to help predict how likely it […]

A solution to the medical isotope shortage?

Radioactive isotopes are used regularly for diagnostic and cancer treatments, but as aging nuclear research reactors are shut down,  new ways to create the technetium 99m necessary for medical scans are being investigated. A team of scientists has now confirmed that regular hospital based cyclotrons are able to produce enough technetium-99m, to satisfy the daily […]

RNA research could lead to tailored prostate cancer treatment

New genetic research could help doctors predict which treatments will work best for a given prostate cancer patient. Researchers sequenced the RNA – molecules that tell them which genes are being expressed – from tumours in 25 prostate cancer patients. They then cross-referenced the RNA data detailed follow-up information, including reactions to different therapies. They […]

Quantifying breast cancer risk to due gene mutation

Researchers have accurately quantified the risk of breast cancer due to a mutation of a known gene linked to the disease. The study tracked 362 people from families known to carry mutation of a gene called PALB2 which has been linked to breast cancer. Researches found that among those younger than 40, the risk of breast […]

Sugar intake linked to breast density

A new study links a high intake of sugar to an increase in breast density, which is one of the indicators of breast cancer risk. The study tracked 776 premenopausal and 779 postmenopausal women from two mammographic screening clinics in Quebec City. While none of the participants had a very high sugar intake, those who reported […]

Breast surgery trends differ across Canada

Breast cancer patients from Newfoundland and Labrador were more likely to have mastectomies than those in other provinces, a new study shows. The research examined 57 840 Canadian women from 2007 to 2009 who underwent breast cancer surgery; many of those patients could undergo either mastectomy or breast-conserving surgery, called lumpectomy, which is usually followed […]

For smokers, a picture is worth 1000 words

Computerized tomography (CT) scans of smoker’s lungs could be a powerful tool to help them quit, according to a new study. Epidemiology results from 14,621 smokers who received CT scans as part of the U.S. National Lung Screening trial and were followed up years later showed that the more serious the screening result, the greater […]

Scientists reveal how leukemias resist drugs

Scientists have determined how some leukemia cells resist treatment by current cancer drugs, opening the door to new ways of treating such cancers. The team examined drug-resistant cancer cells in the lab and found that they had higher levels of a family of enzymes called UGT1A as well as another enzyme called GLI1.Together, these enzymes […]

DNA sensor shines light on cancer

Researchers have created a DNA-based sensor capable of lighting up when it gets near cancer cells. The nano-sized construct alters its shape in response to tiny changes in pH; these contortions bring together two molecules which react to give off a light signal. Because cancer cells are often at a slightly different pH than non-cancerous […]

When not to treat prostate cancer

A new study suggests that in some cases, not treating prostate cancer can increase quality of life for patients and save millions of dollars. The Quebec-based study found that active surveillance – watching and waiting – for five years could save up to $96 million for the health care system while improving quality of life […]

Gene mutations linked to childhood brain tumours

Two Canadian studies have found gene mutations that are linked to deadly brain tumors and could help scientists understand the causes of childhood brain cancer. In the first paper, researchers found mutations in a gene called ACVR1 in 20 per cent of a highly aggressive and difficult to treat childhood brain tumour, called diffuse intrinsic […]

How ‘drug holidays’ may improve cancer treatment

Studies on melanomas in mice have shown that tumors which developed resistance to the anti-cancer drug vemurafenib could regain sensitivity to the treatment after a ‘drug holiday’. A new study shows that melanoma human patients that have developed resistance can regain sensitivity to the drug after a drug holiday of seven days. This means that […]

Growing leukemia stem cells in the lab

Previous attempts to grow leukemia stem cells outside the body have fallen short, as the cells lose their cancer stem cell characteristics. Now, scientists have found a way to grow and maintain ‘healthy’ leukemia cancer stem cells outside of the body. This opens the way to screens for drugs that can block the cells’ ability […]

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