March 2023 Notable News
March highlights the daily discoveries that are having a big impact on cancer treatment. Scientists have discovered ecDNA, a genetic material outside of chromosomes, that may lead to a new way to treat cancer. A geriatrician has developed an assessment tool to help doctors to choose more individualized cancer treatments. A new urine cancer test makes it easier for everyone to have access to cancer screening, even outside of the doctor’s office. Each day presents new opportunities for fighting the war on cancer.
Breakthrough ecDNA Discovery Could Revolutionize Cancer Research
A multi-disciplinary team of researchers has pinpointed the major role played by extrachromosomal DNA in the evolution of carcinogenic diseases. This kind of “external” oncogenes make cancer drug-resistance, and it could become one of the main targets for new and effective treatments in the future reports Tech Spot. This ecDNA is a piece of genetic material found outside of chromosomes in human cells. Genetic material outside of cells can be a sign of cancer. Researchers have found ecDNA’s role is to cause the cancer to spread rapidly, create tumors that are drug resistant, and can cause a relapse of the cancer. Oncogenes can hide in ecDNA for a period of time before becoming active again. Scientists are now using this knowledge to look at fighting cancer in a different way. Click to read the full story.
A Different Approach to Treating Cancer
Age is by far the biggest risk factor for getting cancer and it is the main factor in determining treatment options. Older patients are not all the same when it comes to activity and general health. There are patients in their 80’s that are healthier than some patients in their 60’s. Geriatrician Wiliam Dale’s team created a multi-dimensional assessment tool that looks at each patient’s physical and functional health reports WINK NEWS. The parameters of this tool look at patient nutrition, sleep, and mental health; focusing on the individual needs of the patient. The results of this new assessment have made for better outcomes for cancer patients. They experienced less chemotherapy toxicity, less nausea, and had better blood counts. The findings also showed that patients with hearing loss were at more risk for complications due to not hearing physician instructions clearly. Click to read the full story.
New Cancer Screening Urine Test has 99 Percent Accuracy Rate
Researchers from the Surface & Nano Materials Division of the Korea Institute of Materials Science recently developed a strip-type urine sensor capable of amplifying the light signal of metabolites in urine to diagnose cancer reports MITech News. The urine test needs no other analysis, making it simple to use outside of the hospital or doctor’s office. Cancer cells release metabolites, using a light scattering technique on the test strip, cancer can be detected using a small amount of urine. This test can detect cancer in various stages with 99% accuracy. It is a less invasive screening test, and the results can be used to get the patient to the doctor for further testing. Early screening for cancer allows for earlier treatment, making better patient outcomes. Click to read the full story.
Dana Kaiser is a professional writer and a strong patient advocate, learning from experience during her 22-year career as a nurse.