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 →

Featured post

Building a Highway to Tumors

Sara Musetti Estimated reading time: 5 minutes It seems talking about the immune system and how it can fight cancer is all the rage these days, especially here at OncoBites. But talking about it can be tricky, especially because most people seldom think about their immune system. It’s a part of your body, but… which... Continue Reading →

Why Cancer is Hard to Treat

Reading time: 4 minutes Daniel Zhong Before we believe headlines proclaiming “Cancer is cured”, it is crucial to understand that developing a therapy that universally cures all cancers is highly unrealistic as our knowledge surrounding mechanisms of cancer progression advances. While we do have non-curative treatments for some types of cancer such as chemotherapy and... Continue Reading →

The Micro Problem with Cancer

MaryAnn Bowyer Reading Time: 3 minutes When we think of cancer cells, we often imagine a mastermind cell that has somehow managed to evade all of our body’s natural defenses as well as even modern day science. However, years of scientific research and publications have shown that the “mastermind” behind this particular cell is, in... Continue Reading →

Gene therapy vs Cancer: A promising yet challenging road

Reading time: 5 minutes Varshit Dusad Gene therapy has rapidly become one of the most promising new medical developments of our time. It has significant advantages over traditional therapies including the potential for one-time dosage instead of recurring treatment and higher specificity compared to traditional chemotherapy. Cancer is a genetic disease! It occurs when normal... Continue Reading →

Repurposing existing vaccines for cancer treatment

Reading time: 5 minutes Prathyusha Konda For the past decade, a growing area of cancer research has been focused on cancer immunotherapies. From the Nobel prize-winning checkpoint inhibitor therapy to cancer vaccines, the idea behind immunotherapies is to boost or activate the immune system. While the therapies being developed may be new, the idea behind... Continue Reading →

Cancer and CRISPR: A Promising Future

Reading Time: 4 minutes MaryAnn Bowyer Reading Time: 4 minutes It is a known fact that research into cancer treatment has become difficult due to the high specificity of causes behind tumor development. Indeed, it appears that for every step forward in terms of cancer treatment there is also a slight step backward. It is... Continue Reading →

A New Paradigm for Cancer Drug Development

Reading time: 4 minutes Brittany Avin McKelvey We are in a hayday for cancer therapies, as research has surpassed traditional chemotherapeutics. New drugs, new treatment regimens, and even new drug classes are approved each day, broadening the horizons of oncology. The newest types of drugs to recently gain FDA approval are tissue agnostic drugs. (See... Continue Reading →

Human Factors and Cancer Care

Reading time: 4 minutes Jordan E. Rogers, Andrew C. Griggs, Elizabeth H. Lazzara Research Engineering and Applied Collaborations in Healthcare (REACH) Lab Cancer is a prevalent disease that manifests drastically differently across individuals due to the interplay of multiple factors. Due to the disease’s multifaceted nature, the provision of safe, quality care within cancer is... Continue Reading →

How can we study cancer more accurately?

Reading time: 3 minutes Rachel Cherney If you have read other articles on Oncobites, you know that cancer is a collection of many diseases, and these diseases are complex. Cancer cells don’t live on their own; rather, they live among the normal tissue cells, immune cells, and bacteria in your body. Additionally, cancer cells can... Continue Reading →

The Power of Timing in Immunotherapy

Reading time: 3 minutes Natasha Vinod In 2018, the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to the inventors of immune checkpoint blockade therapy, a “game-changing” technology that initiated a paradigm shift in cancer management. Checkpoint blockade therapy works by unleashing the immune surveillance against cancer by blocking the “natural brakes” (checkpoints) in the... Continue Reading →

Words Matter

Reading time: 5 minutes Patty Spears When talking to, or about patients, words matter.  Words can hurt and make patients feel blame or guilt about having cancer.  It’s not usually done on purpose, so with increased awareness of what words mean to patients, everyone can be a bit more conscientious about what they say and... Continue Reading →

Shedding some blood for cancer cure

Reading time: 5 minutes Snehal Midge Breast cancer (BC) is the second highest cause of mortality worldwide. The standard clinical regimen for BC includes several modes of treatment such as chemotherapy, resection, radiotherapy, hormonal treatment, and receptor targeted therapy. Breast tumors often initially respond well to the combination of these strategies, allowing clinicians to proceed... Continue Reading →

Liquid Biopsy of Circulating Tumor HPV DNA

Reading time: 4 minutes Sabarish Srinivasan Introduction to Human Papillomavirus Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a small, circular double-stranded DNA virus, of which there are several strains. HPV infection is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the US. Unfortunately, this infection is difficult to identify, as it is asymptomatic in the majority of cases,... Continue Reading →

How liquid biopsies could help monitor cancer treatment

Reading time: 3 minutes Alejandra Canales Finding treatments for lung cancer is hard because, simply-put, cancerous cells are extremely stubborn, and patients with non-small cell lung cancer can often acquire resistance to a treatment regimen. Researchers have been exploring the feasibility of “liquid biopsies,” whereby a non-invasive blood sample could be used to obtain information... Continue Reading →

How does a drug get approved?

Reading time: 5 minutes Bekah Schulz The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is often criticized by patient advocacy groups for taking too much time to approve life-saving drugs. However, the FDA is a difficult situation; if they approve a drug too quickly and it turns out to be unsafe/ineffective, then people are upset. If they... Continue Reading →

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