From immunotherapy to personalized treatment, there have been many new breakthroughs in cancer research over the past few years. In this article, here are three newest developments in cancer treatment.
1. “Biopsy” blood detection for cancer recurrence with precision
Researchers from the Francis Crick Institute in London have developed a revolutionary blood test that can detect cancer recurrence before the tumor appears in conventional radiological images. This fluid biopsy works by detecting mutated DNA released into the bloodstream by cancer cells.
DNA samples from 100 patients with tumors with non-small cell lung cancer were taken and analyzed to form a personalized genomic mold for each candidate. The researchers then did a weekly blood test six to eight times to check for cancer DNA, and the minimum test volume volume value was only 0.3 cubic millimeters.
According to the cancer geneticist and lead researcher Professor Charlie Swanton, circular tumor DNA has good precision, as evidenced by the results of research suggesting that DNA values can be lowered to undetectable levels within 48 hours of surgery when the patient is in remission. In contrast, this increase in numbers is found in patients with recurrent cancer, indicating that the cancer is still present or has metastasized.
“This method allows us to identify high-risk patients,” he said. “We have a predictive value of 92% that your cancer will recur within 350 days.”
“Although only one fraction of cancers can now be detected at the lethal stage, but in the future there is the possibility of early cancer detection that could provide great benefits in patient therapy,” adds Nitzan Rosenfeld of the UK Cancer Research Institute of Cambridhe, who predicts that ” “cancer patients will do DNA testing in the future.
2. Potential cancer drug delivery system developed using sperm
Although most anti-cancer therapies target cancer cells, but these drugs still provide damaging effects to other cells and organs causing serious side effects.
Therefore, researchers from the Chemnitz University of Technology and the Institute of Integrative Nanoscience in Germany found a new method to deliver anti-cancer drugs to specific parts of the female reproductive system to cure gynecological cancers, endometriosis as well as inflammatory pelvic diseases – using sperm.
Sperm can swim because it has a flagellum, and is suitable for directing to the environment in the female reproductive tract. In addition, sperm membranes can be used to store and deliver drugs to the target cells as they can avoid dilution or damage from the body’s immune system and enzymes.
The research team immersed cow sperm cells in doxorubicin chemotherapy drugs, and formed a “protector” for sperm using a 3D print form called nanolithography. The tip is provided with four flexible hands or micromotor that will bend and release sperm when in contact with the target cell. By utilizing the magnetic environment, researchers successfully guide sperm in specific directions, and can deliver anti-cancer drugs to HeLa cancer cells developed in laboratory petri dishes.
“While there are still challenges to be solved before the system can be used in an in-vivo environment, this hybrid-sperm system can be applied in the diagnosis and treatment of in-situ cancers in the future,” the researchers said.
3. Increase the cure rate of glioblastoma patients with combination of cancer chemotherapy
The median healing rate of patients with glioblastoma (GBM) is less than 15 months, but the combination of targeted cytomegalovirus (CMV) vaccines against pp65 and high doses of temozolomide may increase the patient’s cure rates, according to a study by researchers from Duke University.
“The clinical outcome of GBM patients receiving this combination is striking,” said the head of the Christian research of Batich.
CMV has a GBM affinity, and viral proteins are expressed in about 90% of tumors. Taking advantage of this, researchers used a virus to highlight tumors for the immune system by targeting the virus with specific pp65 dendritic cells.
The study was conducted on 11 patients who received combination therapy, and showed that the candidate had a median free patient disease progression was 25.3 months, and the median healing rate was 41.1 months. The health condition of the three patient candidates did not get worse even seven years after the diagnosis.
“Temozolomide doses induce strong lymphopenia status,” explained Batich. “With the present antigen-specific vaccine, the transfer of the system immune can be directly directed to target organs.”These results are very encouraging, however, studies with one intervention branch have only a small cohort, and robust trials will be essential to confirm the invention.
Source from MIMS