Asbestos and bile duct cancer

asbestos

Professor Giovanni Brandi and Dr Simona Tavolari, from the University of Bologna, study the association between asbestos exposure and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC). Case-control analyses in Italy and four Nordic countries found strong associations between occupational exposure to asbestos and ICC. Therefore, asbestos is suggested as a risk factor for ICC development. This could be due to asbestos fibres becoming trapped […]

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Is it possible to train medical experts using Artificial Intelligence (AI) training methods?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is rapidly gaining traction in all walks of human life. Today, apps that recognise and respond to human speech and self-driving cars are no longer the stuff of science fiction but facts of life. But what if AI – more specifically, a method called deep learning that is used for training smart computers – were used to […]

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Novel cancer therapeutics could target ion channels

representation of a potassium ion

Although gynaecological cancers are amongst the most lethal cancers in women, treatments for the advanced stages of these cancers are scarce. Dr Saverio Gentile at the University of Illinois Cancer Center has been researching potassium ion channels as a potential target for novel cancer therapeutics. He has found that the use of potassium channel activators greatly reduced cell motility, tumour […]

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The role of extra chromosomal circular DNA in rapid adaption to glyphosate resistance in pigweed

eccDNAs could constitute the targets of the next generation of herbicides and anti-cancer drugs.

Plants, like other living organisms, have genetic stress-avoidance mechanisms that allow them to become resistant to specific chemicals when continuously exposed to them. Dr Christopher Saski from Clemson University and Dr William Molin from the U.S. Department of Agriculture are researching the extrachromosomal circular DNA (eccDNA) structure known as the replicon of pigweed, which contains the EPSPS gene, the gene […]

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Quality of life for family caregivers is impacted by satisfaction with care

Cancer does not only affect the patient but their caregiver.

Cancer has an emotional and physical impact on caregivers as well as patients. If relatives are not happy with the care they are able to provide for the patient, this can impair their quality of life. Dr Miki Morishita-Kawahara at the Tokyo Women’s Medical University aims to understand better the factors that influence the quality of life of family caregivers […]

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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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