Capturing three-dimensional cell structure with X-ray tomography

The research team uses a 3D X-ray microscope to visualise cells and tissues.

Seeing cells is no easy task. Most cells are smaller than a tenth of the size of a human hair, making them impossible to see by eye. Optical microscopes, with the help of cell-staining to colour cells, can help us peer into the invisible world of cells. However, they only show us a 2D image of a very thin slice […]

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Identifying the mitochondrial DNA mutations that cause cancer

Mutations that affect the mitochondrial DNA may play a key role in cancers. However, the exact mutations that are involved in cancer are still unknown. Dr Fatimata Mbaye and collaborators, from the University of Dakar in Senegal examined the sequences of two regions of the mitochondrial genome to identify and compare the mutations occurring in different cancers. Understanding the relationship […]

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Overcoming resistance to cancer immunotherapy

Overcoming resistance to cancer immunotherapy

Immunotherapy, which uses the body’s own immune system to fight cancer, is a great step forward in cancer treatment. Unfortunately, however, it is currently ineffective in most patients. This resistance can be caused by a type of cell called a cancer-associated fibroblast, which builds protective defences around tumours. In a recent study, Professor Gareth Thomas and his team at the […]

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The adaptive cancer cell: How metastases evolve to resist treatment

PACCs make up a rare but stable population in standard cell culture.

Species adapt to survive in a changing environment through the process of evolution. Evolutionary processes can also take place at the cellular level. Dr Sarah Amend of Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA, is investigating poly-aneuploid cancer cells (PACCs). These large, DNA-laden cells, which are more common in metastatic cancer, develop evolvability: the capacity to evolve. Dr Amend believes that targeting […]

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Transtympanic injections to prevent hearing loss caused by cisplatin

Combination therapies with an otoprotectant may help to prevent hearing loss caused by chemotherapeutic agent cisplatin.

Dr Sofia Waissbluth from The Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile is specialised in otolaryngology (conditions of the head and neck). She has reviewed clinical trials that use transtympanic injections to prevent hearing loss caused by the chemotherapeutic agent cisplatin. To date there is no ‘one-shot’ solution to protect or cure patients from hearing loss. However, combinational therapy using transtympanic injections […]

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Innovation in oncology drug development: A focus on patient benefits

Innovation in oncology drug development is driving more efficient and effective development of new cancer treatments. This innovation is providing cancer patients unprecedented access to new therapies. Dr Brian Huber, Vice President of Therapeutic Areas, Drug Development and Consulting at ICON and Matthew Huber, a scientist in the emerging biotechnology sector focused on developing innovative oncology medicines, have conducted a […]

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Placental immune editing switches (PIES) and cancer progression

Placental immune editing switches (PIES) and cancer progression

Exceptional mechanisms have evolved over millions of years to allow the foetus to grow directly inside the mother’s womb. These mechanisms, named placental immune editing switches, are orchestrated by the placenta and are responsible for locally switching off the mother’s immune system to protect the foetus. However, Dr Miguel Hernández-Bronchud from Clínica Corachan in Barcelona, suggests that the existence of […]

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Oral anticancer therapy: Improving safety, empowering patients

Oral anticancer therapy: Improving safety, empowering patient

The ability of patients to administer potentially toxic oral anticancer medications by themselves in the comfort of their homes allows freedom and control of their treatment away from a hospital setting but does come with some risks. Audrey Chouinard and team from Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal assessed the success of group education sessions to educate and empower patients […]

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Breath hold techniques during volumetric modulated arc therapy in breast cancer patients

Breath hold techniques during volumetric modulated arc therapy in breast cancer patients

The research of Dr Vishruta Dumane, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, focuses on developing approaches to radiotherapy that will minimise risk to neighbouring organs and tissues, whilst maximising the impact of treatment to the tumour. Her recent work adds further support for the use of deep inspiration breath holds during radiotherapy (VMAT) to reduce exposure of […]

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How ubiquitin determines the fate of our proteins

How ubiquitin determines the fate of our proteins

Regulation of the multitude of protein-protein interactions that take place in the cell is essential. HECT E3 ubiquitin ligases play an important role in regulating protein functions and maintaining cellular health. However, many questions about their biological functions remain unanswered. Working at the interface of biochemistry and biophysics, Dr Donald Spratt from Clark University in Massachusetts, uses NMR spectroscopy to […]

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