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 →
OncoBites Statement in Support of Black Lives Matter
This is not a normal week in America, and yet, in many ways, it is. Protesters have taken to the streets across the country and around the world to demand justice for the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, three Black Americans who have been murdered in the past month, two of... Continue Reading →
Risk of Infection in Cancer Patients: Life in the Time of Coronavirus
Reading time: 3 minutes Manisit Das It is a scary and anxious moment for many of us, and if you are on the internet, it is hard to miss updates about the latest coronavirus disease, COVID-19. The viral disease is characterized by flu-like symptoms and may cause respiratory infections in certain individuals, was declared a... Continue Reading →
Mind the Gap? Filling the gaps in understanding of nanoparticle entry into tumors
Reading time: 4 minutes Manisit Das Nanoparticles are tiny substances, about a hundred- to thousand-fold smaller than a typical cell, or about ten thousand-fold tinier than a grain of salt. In the past, we have discussed how nanoparticles are being investigated as carriers of drugs to tumors. These investigations were in part fueled by a... Continue Reading →
Now You See Me: Boosting Tumor Antigen Expression to induce Anticancer Immunity
Reading time: 4 minutes Manisit Das From the early days of OncoBites, we are trying to share with you the reasons we get cancer. Cancer arises when the DNA in our cells is altered due to irreparable mistakes in the cellular machinery or environmental effects. If a mistake happens in the proteins that help repair... Continue Reading →
Your Health Plan Affects Your Access to Cancer Care
Reading time: 3 minutes Manisit Das It is said that cancer is a great equalizer. Unfortunately, however, the same can’t be said about cancer care. Where you live, how much money you make, and the kind of health plan you have can determine if you will receive the care you need to manage your cancer... Continue Reading →
It takes two brakes to stop cancer?
Reading time: 4 minutes Manisit Das In the past, we have discussed checkpoint inhibitors - therapies that block communication between cancer and immune cells, preventing cancer cells from evading the immune system. Dr. James Allison and Dr. Tasuku Honjo, who won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2018 for their pioneering work in cancer immunotherapy... Continue Reading →
Early Detection of Pancreatic Cancer: Did we figure out the warning signs?
Reading time: 3 minutes Manisit Das Pancreatic Cancer remains one of the few cancers against which we haven’t found a treatment that offers long-term benefit. Currently, less than one in ten patients will survive five years past the point of diagnosis. Like any other cancer, early diagnosis can improve treatment options and patient survivability. However,... Continue Reading →
Falling through the gaps: Do nanoparticles enable cancer cells to escape through leaky vessels?
Reading time: 3 minutes Manisit Das Previously at Oncobites, we discussed how small particles such as nanoparticles could be used for delivering drugs against cancer. The nanoparticles can carry the drugs to the tumor taking advantage of the leakiness of blood vessels running through the tumor. The leaky vessels allow the drug-carrying nanoparticles to enter... Continue Reading →
Patterns in combat: Using old cues in the battle against cancer
Reading time: 5 minutes Manisit Das As humans, we are naturally programmed to recognize patterns. They help us detect cues in our surroundings and aid our decision making. We associate camouflage patterns with battle dress, assortments of red and green with the holidays; these recognition events help us to put things in boxes in our... Continue Reading →
Looking back: A note from Team Oncobites
So do we have a cure for cancer anytime soon? A question that every cancer researcher has probably faced multiple times in social situations. Cancer touches most of our lives, in one way or another. As cancer researchers, we consider it a privilege to be able to study the menacing disease that we are far... Continue Reading →
Double agents save the day?
Reading time: 6 minutes Manisit Das Sometimes double agents can be critical players in changing the course of conflicts, wars, and history. If you are a Potterhead like me, you are probably aware of how Professor Severus Snape played an important role in the wizarding world of Harry Potter. He instigated many of the major... Continue Reading →
Cancer Immunotherapy wins the 2018 Nobel Prize
Sara Musetti and Manisit Das Early October is an exciting time of the year when people all over the world turn their eyes to Stockholm to see the winners of the Nobel Prize. Yesterday, James Allison and Tasuku Honjo jointly won the 2018 Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology for their work discovering the function... Continue Reading →
Profiling the killer: Using gene sequencing to guide management in pancreatic cancer
Manisit Das In earlier OncoBites articles, we discussed how genetic testing is increasingly used to guide cancer management. Cancer arises due to changes in our DNA sequences that make up our genes, which we refer to as gene mutations. By analyzing the genetic signatures within the tumor, clinicians can make better-informed choices to streamline the... Continue Reading →
Feeling the ‘heat’ from neighbors: Microenvironment driving cancers in the gut
Manisit Das Not long ago Tamara mentioned in her OncoBites article that it is often hard to determine what factors drive cancer. Even after a mutation responsible for fueling cancer growth is identified, we do not always know how that mutation contributes to tumor formation. Understanding these mechanisms is however quite important. As we gain... Continue Reading →
Stumbling before the beast: Not all cancer clinical trials end in drug approval
Manisit Das Since the beginning of OncoBites, we’ve talked a lot about immunotherapy: using our own immune cells to destroy the cancer cells? We can’t get enough of it! In one post, we highlighted a revolutionary approach recently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) using genetically modified immune cells to fight cancer,... Continue Reading →
Immunotherapy in Pancreatic Cancer: Does Bacteria hold the answer?
Manisit Das Your gut is crawling with bacteria, despite your devoted hygiene practices. Disgusting for your sophisticated self, isn’t it? Surprising as it is, over the course of evolution our bodies tolerated the microbial communities in our body, even cherished them. Hundreds of thousands of bacteria and other microorganisms call us home and play a... Continue Reading →
Engineering aggressive breast cancer subtype may allow more treatment choices
Manisit Das Breast cancer may sound like a single disease, but it is not. There are many subtypes of the disease, which guide the course of disease progression and treatment strategy. One of these subtypes, referred to as triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is particularly difficult to treat. Recently, researchers at Lund University, Sweden identified a... Continue Reading →
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 →