Can mental state affect tumor growth? The link between psychology, immunology, and oncology

Shaye Hagler At Oncobites, we’ve been talking a lot about the role of immunity in cancer. Understanding the immune system is vital to understanding both what drives cancer and what protects us against it. One of the biggest paradoxes in cancer research is that immune system activation is important in fighting cancer via a process …

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 …

Immune cells work together to enable successful cancer therapy

Morgan McSweeney A group of researchers from the University of California - San Francisco recently found that the presence of a certain group of immune cells in tumors (“stimulatory dendritic cells,” or SDCs) can predict better cancer outcomes, at least in melanoma patients. For example, in patients treated with checkpoint inhibitors (drugs that work by …

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, …