Welcome to the (DNA) Neighborhood

Reading time: 3 minutes Rachel Cherney Six feet. Two meters. This is the length of DNA we have in each one of our cells. That’s almost the height of Michael Jordan! But those six feet of DNA need to fit into a tiny space that is between 5-10 micrometers. To put it into perspective, that's... 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 →

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 →

Are humans immune to CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing?

Reading time: 4 minutes Morgan McSweeney CRISPR-Cas9 is the molecular gene editing system that has inspired hopes for a solution to genetic disease. By studying how bacteria use the CRISPR-Cas system to defend themselves against bacteriophages (viruses that infect bacteria), scientists have developed methods to use those same molecular scissors to cut out human genes... 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 →

A CAR-T therapy without the T-cells

Varshit Dusad Imagine a dystopian world. Here, some citizens of an otherwise well-functioning state have gone rogue and are running an anti-national agenda. They are always plundering the natural resources meant to be evenly distributed among the population. They are quite cunning as they start slowly by deviating from the laws of their natural order... Continue Reading →

Putting tumor cells to sleep

Yitong Li How to treat cancers has always been one of the biggest challenges in modern medical practice. While current chemotherapies and radiotherapies have shown significant progress, not all patients survive treatment, and only a portion of those who survive do so without suffering from significant trauma. Hence, early diagnosis and safer treatments are the... Continue Reading →

Beth Rogoyski Most would consider a blood test a bit of a pain in the arm, but except for the fantastically needle-phobic, generally not something that would keep you awake at night. Contrast that to the sentiments that spring to mind when you hear the word chemotherapy, and the two couldn’t seem more dissimilar. Despite... Continue Reading →

From worms to cures

Emily B. Harrison, Ph.D Last month I attended the first RNA Therapeutics Conference held at University of Massachusetts Medical School. While I have attended several national conferences, this one beautifully encapsulated how basic science can lead to new drugs in only two decades. This conference inspired me to share with you the story of RNA... Continue Reading →

New frontiers in breast cancer management

Tamara Vital Over the last several decades, the survival rate for most kinds of breast cancer have increased due to earlier detection, new targeted therapies, and combination treatment modalities. As we’ve discussed before at Oncobites, cancer is not a single disease. It turns out that multiple distinct subtypes exist even within the category of “breast... Continue Reading →

The Immune Landscape of Cancer

Morgan McSweeney  Cancer is not a single disease. It is a broad term that describes a number of related conditions in which cells’ growth has begun to bypass the usual checks and balances. To study the spectrum of cancers, the National Institutes of Health have established The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), a collaborative project aimed... Continue Reading →

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