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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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 →

Unlocking Nature’s Cancer Therapies

Reading time: 2 minutes Rachel Cherney Nature is magnificent, simply put. It is indispensable, diverse, and more complex than we currently understand. Its diversity ranges from from the Mantis Shrimp, which can see millions of colors as compared to humans, to the Axolotl, which has the remarkable ability to regenerative any of the limbs. However,... Continue Reading →

Tumor Dormancy – A Case of a “Sleeping” Cell

Reading time: 4 minutes Ifeoluwa Oyelade Pretending to be dead to deceive opponents in fights and strike unexpectedly is a well-known cliche in books and movies. This is an analogy that loosely describes the activities of some dormant tumor cells in cancer treatment. Tumor dormancy has garnered a reasonable amount of buzz in cancer research... Continue Reading →

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 →

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