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 →
Phototherapy and its potential in cancer treatment
Reading time: 5 minutes Muhammad Ayhan Murtaza The word phototherapy comes from two words, “photo” and “therapy” which, evidently so, means “medical treatment using light”. The word has its roots in the older Greek language, but much like this old language, cancer is by no means a newer predicament. In fact, it actually predates human... Continue Reading →
Complexities in Metastasis Research
Reading time: 4 minutes Megan Majocha Can you imagine trying to put together clear, acrylic puzzle pieces? It is difficult to put together all the unknowns without a picture. Metastasis research is similar - trying to put the pieces together without knowing exactly how metastatic cells function in the human body. While cancer metastasis research... Continue Reading →
Cancer vs. Targeted Agents: A Molecular Arms Race
Reading time: 4 minutes Mia Hubert Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) is a slow-progressing disease resulting from an overproduction of blood cells originating from the bone marrow, known as myeloid cells. Before 2001, the standard of care included chemotherapy and bone marrow transplantation (BMT). Unfortunately, chemotherapeutic approaches were non-curative and BMT entailed a high-risk procedure with... Continue Reading →
AURORA US: Finding Solutions to Breast Cancer Metastasis
Reading time: 5 minutes Patty Spears Patients need more treatment options for metastatic breast cancer (MBC). MBC is when the cancer has spread from the breast to other parts of the body. Most patients with MBC stay on continuous treatment. This means that even those who live longer accumulate many toxicities (treatment costs and... Continue Reading →
Liquid Biopsy: The Clinical Utility of Circulating Tumor Cells
Reading time: 4 minutes Tala Tayoun A liquid biopsy test is a simple laboratory test done to sample and analyze non-solid patient biological tissue, i.e. blood. The era of liquid biopsy has revolutionized the field of cancer management. Over the last few years, we have witnessed significant technological advances in the detection and characterization of... Continue Reading →
How Does Inflammatory Bowel Disease Become Cancer?
Reading time: 5 minutes Colette Bilynsky The American Cancer Society has found colorectal cancer to be the 3rd highest cause of cancer deaths and 3rd highest estimated new cases in both men and women in 2022 . The risk of colorectal cancer is significantly higher in people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): ulcerative colitis (UC),... Continue Reading →
Fatal Attraction: Luring Bacteria Into Tumors With Magnets
Reading time: 5 minutes Anthony Tao It goes without saying that magnets have uses beyond simply pinning wedding RSVPs to your refrigerator. In medicine, magnetism is a crucial component of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), an invaluable diagnostic tool for clinicians. An MRI subjects the human body to an enormous magnetic field ‒ perhaps a thousand-fold... Continue Reading →
Updates in Pediatric Cancer: What’s New?
Reading time: 3 minutes Susan Egbert Pediatric cancer is a broad term that refers to cancers originating in children younger than 18. There are different types of pediatric cancer, but they all fall into one of two categories: solid tumors and leukemia. Solid tumors are cancers arising from cells in the body's tissues. These tumors... Continue Reading →
Anti-Angiogenic Cancer Treatments
Reading time: 5 minutes Aya Elmeligy Angiogenesis is the formation of blood vessels within the body to provide oxygen and nutrients to tissues. Tumors will hijack this process to allow for continued growth and metastasis by forming their own vascular system. Microvessel density within a tumor is often used as a prognosis tool, as the... Continue Reading →
Self-destructive Cancer: Tricking Tumors Into Targeting Themselves
Reading time: 3 minutes Aya Elmeligy When you think of cancer treatment you might think of aggressive chemotherapy, intense radiation, and endless drugs which all carry the risk of damaging healthy cells in addition to the cancerous ones. But ultimately, it is all worth it to hear the words “You are cancer free!”. But what... Continue Reading →
Tumor-on-a-chip: A Better Method for Drug Discovery?
Reading time: 7 minutes Nayela Chowdhury Conventional 2D and 3D models of cancer have widely been utilized in pre-clinical drug development; however, neither of the platforms mimics the dynamic interactions that occur in living tumors. In vivo studies (for example, in small animal models) have been central in translational cancer research and have contributed largely... Continue Reading →
‘Ubiquitous’ Ubiquitination Pathway and Cancer
Reading time: 4 minutes Deepika Jayaprakash What is common to eukaryotic organisms like animals, plants, fungi, and unicellular organisms? Ubiquitous Ubiquitin! Ubiquitin (ub) is a small protein found in all eukaryotes that when attached to its target protein can bring about a myriad of cellular processes. The first observed effect of ubiquitination was degradation of... Continue Reading →
Non-small cell lung cancer and immunotherapy
Reading time: 4 minutes Indiwari Gopallawa Cancer is the second leading cause of death after cardiovascular diseases in the United States and has a major impact on society. Lung cancer is the second most common cancer type and is associated with lower survival rates and higher cancer-related deaths, accounting for 25% of all cancer-related deaths... Continue Reading →
3D Screening of Compounds for Cancer Therapy
Reading time: 4 minutes Sydney Scatigno Over the last couple of decades, cancer research has made strides in improving the pre-clinical assessment of novel compounds. Compound screening, the process of assessing new compounds for efficacy, across various cell lines is an important step in finding the optimal drug candidate downstream in the drug development process.... Continue Reading →
CAR-Macrophages: A New Take on an Immunotherapy Classic
Colette Bilynsky CAR-T cell therapy is widely available in the United States, with 6 FDA-approved formulations, and has been previously discussed on Oncobites. However, a new clinical trial using the CAR (chimeric antigen receptor) technology is underway, but using macrophages instead of T-Cells in the hope of treating more types of cancer. But let’s take... Continue Reading →
Artificial Intelligence: A Threat to Us or to Cancer?
Reading time: 5 minutes Aya Elmeligy Introduction Cancer is a constantly evolving illness. This infamous disease crosses everyone’s mind, whether through fear of developing it or worry of never being rid of it. The key to overcoming this is early diagnosis and more effective treatments that are personalized to the patient. Literature regarding the average... Continue Reading →
Understanding Tumor Cell Evolution to Target Metastasis
Reading time: 4 minutes Megan Majocha Breast cancer is the most common cancer and it is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths among women in the United States1. Women with breast cancer have a 5-year survival rate of 99% if the tumor remains localized in the breast, but survival drops to 30% if women... Continue Reading →
Can the Bacteria in Our Gut Cause Liver Cancer?
Reading time: 4 minutes Hannah Young Tiny microscopic bacterial communities that live within and on us are known as the human microbiome. Research linking the human microbiome to cancer has skyrocketed in the last two decades and has largely focused on the relationship between the microbiome of the digestive tract with stomach and intestinal cancer.... Continue Reading →
Can Our Immune System be Directed to Kill Cancer Cells? Limitations and Solutions
Reading time: 4 minutes Hema Saranya Ilamathi Beep! Beep! There goes the metal scanner in the airport. Oops! I realized that I forgot to take out the key chain from my pocket. Similar to the metal detection system, our body has a highly vigilant surveillance system called immune cells that constantly scan for the presence... Continue Reading →
Cancer Predisposition Syndromes: Diagnosis and Management
Reading time: 5 minutes Ryan Ripsman For most people, developing cancer is the result of bad luck. For people with cancer predisposition syndromes cancer can be an almost guaranteed part of life. Cancer predisposition syndromes encompass a wide variety of disorders that all increase a person’s likelihood of developing cancer. There are many different... Continue Reading →
Representation in the Information Age: A Prostate Cancer Story
Reading time: 5 minutes Anthony Tao In a world polarized by ethnopolitical tensions, we may be comforted to think of science as a stonewall against ethnic and social biases ‒ to imagine that scientific data speaks with an impartial voice. However, this is far from the case. The history of modern science is plagued with... Continue Reading →
How Herbal and Dietary Supplements Affect Oncologic Drugs
Reading time: 5 minutes Susan Egbert Statistics show that about 80 percent of the world’s population consume herbal/dietary supplements without specific recommendations to take them1, with some cancer patients using herbal/dietary supplements to alleviate their symptoms (e.g. pain, nausea, etc),2,3,4,5. Generally, patients consider herbal/dietary supplements “safe” since they are “natural,” however, herb-drug interactions (HDI) (e.g.... Continue Reading →
Ion Channels in T cells— Channeling a New Research Era?
Reading time: 5 minutes Christina Niavi Our human body has amazing defense mechanisms. The organism defense is like the army, with a first line of defense against any kind of threat and, a second defense, more specialized to each threat. Specialized defense soldiers, called CD8 T cells, are equipped with killing machineries to eradicate tumors... Continue Reading →
Reverse Vaccinology for Cancer-Causing Viruses
Reading time: 7 minutes Felicites Rapon Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is the causative agent of hepatitis C, an infectious disease of the liver causing inflammation and necrosis. HCV infection can be either acute (which can be cleared without any medicines) or chronic. The latter can be due to environmental factors such as alcohol usage but... Continue Reading →
Cancer Neuroscience: A New Field
Reading time: 6 minutes Ana Isabel Castillo Orozco "Cancer Neuroscience": This is the name given to a novel and exciting field that aims to study the complex interactions between the nervous system and cancer development. In recent years, increasing evidence has come to light that neuronal activity is crucial in regulating cancer initiation and progression.... Continue Reading →
Transmissible Tumors in Tasmanian Devils
Reading time: 3 minutes Hannah Young Cancer is generally thought to be a disease that develops from one cell that eventually divides and becomes a tumor within an individual; how this cell becomes cancerous differs depending on the initiating event. While some cancers are initiated through a series of mutations in tumor suppressors or oncogenes,... Continue Reading →
What’s the Link Between Ultra-Processed Foods and Colon Cancer?
Reading time: 4 minutes Deanna MacNeil Colorectal cancer is the third most common malignancy in the US, and the second leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Though the incidence in the US is declining rapidly overall, the increased incidence of early-onset colorectal cancers is a concerning trend. Although the reasons for this increase remain unknown,... Continue Reading →
The Cancer Genome Atlas: What If We Knew of All the Mutations That Cause Cancer?
Reading time: 4 minutes Sneha Das We are our genomes! Our genome is the DNA comprising roughly 3 billion genetic letters, called bases, that appear in a specific order to make us humans. The DNA encodes messages to make proteins and other biomolecules that work in concert to perform important bodily functions. But sometimes this... Continue Reading →
Bacterial Fortification for Cancer Therapeutics
Reading time: 3 minutes Bhavuk Garg Cancer treatment options have undergone multiple strategic shifts over the course of the last century starting with resection and moving to chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and chemical inhibitors. Major challenges faced by many therapeutics are adverse toxic reactions inflicted on the patients and the development of therapeutic resistance due to high... Continue Reading →
Why do we need mice models in the study of cancer?
Namrata Nilavar Reading time: 5 minutes During the COVID-19 pandemic, many researchers have ‘simulated’ the progression of the pandemic, which often involves researchers using a computer program that allows them to understand how the pandemic might pan out. These programs can help us predict ‘real-world’ scenarios. Similarly, we can simulate or imitate the progression of... Continue Reading →