Welcome to OncoBites!

Here at OncoBites, a team of cancer professionals and advocates has gathered to share cutting-edge research with a non-specialist audience. We understand that jargon and isolated professional communities have made science feel inaccessible to most people, even people considering the field. In addition, paywalls on articles can make trying to investigate topics alone a challenge.... Continue Reading →

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Are Clinical Trials in Oncology Biased?

Reading time: 3 minutes Varshit Dusad Randomized controlled clinical trials (RCTs) are an important part of medical studies. Properly supervised trials act as the source of evidence for the safety and efficacy of new drugs, therapies, and medical devices. Hence, it is imperative that clinical trials are designed, conducted, and analysed in a robust and... Continue Reading →

Targeting cancer’s sweet spots

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes Payal Yokota One of the main differences between a rapidly dividing cancer cell and a normal cell is that the cancer cells rely on glycolysis followed by lactic acid fermentation, rather than oxidative phosphorylation. This effect is called the Warburg effect, one we have previously discussed in the context of... Continue Reading →

AlphaFold: A game changer in cancer?

Reading time: 4 minutes Chamath Chandrasekera Proteins are the molecular machines that perform nearly every bodily function including contracting muscles, digesting food, and healing wounds. They also provide structural support by reinforcing the shape of cells and tissues. So how do proteins go from a string of amino acids to a 3D structure with a... Continue Reading →

A Link Between Neurodegeneration and Cancer

Reading time: 5 minutes Jessica Desamero Cancer and neurodegenerative disease (a group of disorders that involve progressive degeneration of the central nervous system) are two very serious and distinct ailments. The basis of their development is distinctly different, with hallmarks of cancer centering around abnormally prolonging cell life and hallmarks of neurodegenerative disease centering around... Continue Reading →

In sickness and in health: Myc and Max

Reading time: 4 minutes Suchitra Mitra Normal cells grow, age, and ultimately die to be replaced by new cells. Cancer cells, on the other hand, experience cell cycle malfunctions and grow out of control to become invasive, spreading undesirably and harmfully. This anomalous cell proliferation is a consequence of genetic alterations, or changes in the... Continue Reading →

The road not taken – Cancer cells adore a lymphatic detour to avoid being ‘ferried’ to death

Darshak Bhatt Reading time: 4 minutes Migration is tough! The International committee for the Red Cross states that “… on their journey, migrants face multiple risks and high degree of vulnerability”, and adds “Thousands (of migrants) die or disappear along the way every year.” Similarly, a cancer cell faces challenges related to migration and the... Continue Reading →

Female Fertility Challenges After Cancer

Clare Meernik Reading time: 4 minutes Fatigue. Hair loss. Loss of appetite, nausea, or vomiting. Constipation or diarrhea. Pain. Easy bruising. Bleeding. All common side effects of chemotherapy. Now, imagine you are a 25-year old woman, newly diagnosed with cancer--unsure if and when you may want to have children--and your oncologist tells you about another... Continue Reading →

Metals Against Cancer: Vanadium Delivery to Neuroblastoma Cells Through Liposomes

Reading time: 3 minutes Garima Khanna Vanadium is a hard, silvery-grey, malleable transition metal. Transition metals are chemical elements that have valence electrons capable of participating in formation of chemical bonds. While the term transition has no particular chemical significance, it is a convenient name by which to distinguish the similarity of the atomic structures... Continue Reading →

Promiscuous kinase inhibitors: When having more than one partner can be good

Reading time: 4 minutes Chris Wang Unlike the Merriam Webster definition of promiscuous, describing a kinase inhibitor as promiscuous actually refers to the number of kinases it inhibits. The more promiscuous an inhibitor is, the higher number of off-targets it has. Traditional drug development strategies avoid promiscuous compounds because off-target effects can lead to side... Continue Reading →

Black in Cancer Week

October 11-17th is Black in Cancer Week! Co-founded this year by Dr. Henry J. Henderson (@DrHJHenderson)  and Sigourney Bell (@siggs28), Black in Cancer Week is focused on “strengthening networks and highlighting Black Excellence in cancer research and medicine.” We are taking this week to highlight some articles written by our Black contributors and share the... Continue Reading →

The Y’s of Testicular Cancer

Reading time: 5 minutes Taylor A. Johnson Here at Oncobites, we cover all varieties of cancers, whether they are located in the brain, heart, breast, circulation, or elsewhere. Although we’ve previously discussed  ovarian cancer in multiple posts (i.e. Ovarian Cancer and Infections), we have yet to discuss the homologous structure to the ovaries in men;... Continue Reading →

Connections between the gut and the brain: the key to reducing pain after chemotherapy?

Reading time: 5 minutes Kate Secombe Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is a relatively common side-effect of some types of chemotherapy, affecting between 19 to 85% of people. It refers to a few different conditions involving damage to the peripheral nervous system. The peripheral nervous system sends signals back to the central nervous system (brain and... Continue Reading →

AACR 2020 Dispatches Part One: Examining cancer under a new molecular lens

Reading time: 5 minutes Emily Costa Every spring, researchers, oncologists, policymakers, journalists, advocacy groups, and patients from around the globe gather at AACR, a scientific conference hosted by the American Association for Cancer Research and the largest of its kind. Matching this spectrum of attendees, the conference’s programming covers a wide array of cancer-related topics,... Continue Reading →

How cancer cells dodge targeted “silver bullet” treatments: BRAF/MEK resistance in melanoma

Reading time: 5 minutes Chris Wang Like Keanu Reeves dodging bullets within The Matrix, cancer cells can dodge even carefully designed anti-cancer agents. Scientists strive to design “silver bullets,” ones which target cancer cells while sparing healthy normal cells. This "silver bullet" approach is appealing to researchers due to the promise of improved therapeutic response... Continue Reading →

Cannabis for Neuropathic Pain in Cancer

Reading time: 4 minutes Garima Khanna Marijuana, a popular plant cultivated throughout the globe has caught the eye of scientists to unravel the mysteries of it’s medicinal properties. The dried buds and leaves derived from Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica have shown potential to cater pain management. While the active cannabinoid properties in marijuana have... Continue Reading →

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