Dealing With The Pitfalls of Checkpoint Security

Jason Tetro If you’ve ever traveled internationally, you know you need a passport. This document is your access pass to the world. What you might not know is that this rather plain looking document is filled with a variety of different checkpoints to ensure authenticity. Some passports have biometric chips, others have incorporated images only …

Oncology’s White Whale: Crossing the Blood-Brain Barrier

Sara Musetti When someone says the word “cancer.” it can tie knots in the guts of even the strongest among us. There is no pretending that cancer isn’t a terrifying phenomenon that has touched most of our lives. Very few cancers, however, are able to elicit the chill that brain cancer does, in patients, family …

Helping Our Body’s Killers Kill off Cancer, Naturally

Nisitha Sengottuvel At OncoBites, we’ve talked about many facets of cancer, the many internal and external factors that can affect tumor growth, and the established and developing methods to detect and treat cancer. We’ve also begun to cover the many ways in which biomedical science falls short in effectively treating cancer. Being diagnosed with cancer …

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 …