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

Somatic Mutation Across Mammals

Reading time: 3 minutes Hannah Young Somatic mutations are changes in DNA that occur as cells in our body divide. They are distinct from germline mutations, which occur in germ cells (e.g. eggs and sperm) and are passed down from parent to child. Both somatic and germline mutations contribute to cancer and aging. While we’ve... Continue Reading →

Targeting Transcription Factors in Cancers

Reading time: 4 minutes Bhavuk Garg Cancers are characterized by uncontrolled growth and failure of differentiation, whereby cells lose their physiological characteristics and acquire malignant phenotypes, also known as neoplastic properties. Examining the distinct properties of cancer cells and their underlying mechanisms are active areas of investigation. Broadly, these properties are summarized as hallmarks of... Continue Reading →

Sex Differences in Cancer Therapy Safety

Reading time: 5 minutes Deanna MacNeil One goal in cancer therapy is to strike a balance between treatment efficacy and toxicity. While treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation are meant to kill cancer cells, healthy tissues can be adversely affected in the process. Common side effects of systemic cancer treatment occur because treatments work... Continue Reading →

Cancer’s Jumping Gene Problem

Reading time: 3 minutes Gabby Budziszewski Proteins, the molecular machines that perform functions within our cells to keep us alive, are all encoded in DNA, but only 1-2% of our three billion base pairs of DNA encode proteins. For many years, the other 98-99% of DNA was referred to as “junk” DNA. However, we now... Continue Reading →

AI and Oncology: An Unexpected but Useful Pairing

Reading time: 4 minutes Susan Egbert Did you know that researchers are trying to integrate artificial intelligence (AI) with cancer treatments? There are plenty of studies in oncology available that range from diagnostic to treatment that are peer-reviewed (experts looking at the articles before publishing). This is useful for AI as the more data that... Continue Reading →

Breast Milk May Give a Glimpse into Breast Cancer

Reading time: 4 minutes Jessica Desamero Breastfeeding is essential for a baby’s first few months and can even reduce a mother’s risk of breast cancer. The exact cause is unclear, but it could be due to the associated hormonal changes that delay the mother’s menstrual cycles. This delay reduces the mother’s lifetime exposure to menstrual... Continue Reading →

Your Genetics Could Affect Your Breast Cancer Treatment

Reading time: 4 minutes Keighley Reisenauer One of the “hot button” topics right now in the cancer therapeutics industry is precision medicine. This is a practice whereby a tumor’s genetics, immune landscape, and biomarkers are compiled and evaluated holistically in order to more accurately make treatment decisions. Breast cancer especially has benefited from the targeted... Continue Reading →

Smoke and Mirrors: The E-cigarette Epidemic

Vicky Tan Reading time: 3 minutes Whilst the current attention of many healthcare workers is devoted to battling COVID-19, another epidemic is quietly brewing in the background. Dakota Stephenson is a 15-year old from Sydney, Australia, who was recently admitted into an intensive care unit for three days as her lungs were filling up with... Continue Reading →

A Common Denominator That Links All Cancers

Reading time: 4 minutes Aishat Motolani Cancer is a heterogeneous genetic disease notorious for dodging several bullets of treatments. Tumors can develop in different organs and tissues of the body. As a result, there are over 100 types of cancers according to the National Cancer Institute. One of the current approaches pursued to solve cancer... Continue Reading →

Can Eating Plant-based Prevent Cancer?

Reading time: 4 minutes Christina Snyder Cancer is a massive problem that affects almost 2 million new people each year in the U.S. alone. But what if you could drastically decrease your risk for cancer later in life simply by changing your diet? While, unfortunately, there is no single magical fruit that can prevent cancer,... Continue Reading →

Why Can’t I Be in This Clinical Trial?

Reading time: 5 minutes Patty Spears There are many barriers keeping patients out of clinical trials, even if they want to join the clinical trial.  There are multiple steps along the way and each step is a hurdle for patients.  A patient must first have physical access to the trial (structural barrier).  For example, I... Continue Reading →

Is Cancer a Sort of Monster?

Reading time: 4 minutes Leandro de Lima Coutinho It may seem a bit naive to associate cancer with an imaginary creature that is large, ugly, frightening, and often destructive. However, to understand why we would consider cancer as a monster, we need to first revive a creature from Greek mythology and then recall the etymology... Continue Reading →

Meet the Laser-focused Protein Bulldozers: PROTACs

Reading time: 5 minutes Aishat Motolani Just as bulldozers work to demolish dilapidated buildings or clear weeds on farmlands, PROteolysis TArgeting Chimeras (PROTACs) are small bifunctional molecules designed to degrade proteins that are present in excess in diseased conditions. In cancer, these specific proteins are called oncoproteins. Oncoproteins are capable of transforming a normal cell... Continue Reading →

Our Bodies — a Weapon Against Cancer?

Reading time: 5 minutes Mahrukh Fatima Our bodies are quite spectacular and are well-equipped to protect us from most dangers we encounter, both internal and external. The tools our bodies use to protect us against microscopic threats are collectively known as the immune system, and just like tools in a toolbox, the different types of... Continue Reading →

Does HIV Lead to Cancer?

Daniel Zhong Reading time: 3 minutes Roughly 37.7 million individuals on Earth by the end of 2020 have been living with HIV — human immunodeficiency virus —  which targets and weakens the human body’s immune system when not properly controlled or treated. As a result, this impaired immune system can cause people to become immunodeficient,... Continue Reading →

Running Interference in Brain Cancer

Reading time: 4 minutes Anthony (Tony) Tao Controlling the genes encoded by our DNA has always been a dream in oncology. Just as our healthy cells rely on genes to properly function, cancer cells depend on our genes to thrive and parasitize our bodies. In the late 90s, a powerful technology was developed called RNA... Continue Reading →

Cancer’s Sweet Tooth Can Lead to its Downfall

Reading time: 5 minutes Michael Marand   The term cancer research may invoke images of scientists with grand ideas mixing this or that until the next groundbreaking treatment avenue is uncovered. Indeed, discovering new therapeutic approaches has been an important factor in the progress made in the cancer research sphere. However, it is perhaps even more... Continue Reading →

Should We Rely on Robot Radiologists?

Reading time: 3 minutes Nisitha Sengottuvel Can robots accomplish the work of doctors? Some aspects of medicine may be better left to technology: one example includes the reading of mammograms to diagnose breast cancer. Thus far in the history of Oncobites, we have examined various aspects of diagnostics such as molecular vibrations, gold nanoparticles, biomarkers... Continue Reading →

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑