June 2023 Digital Health Round Up

June 2023 Digital Health Round Up

With the help of technology, this month cancer patients and scientists are making strides in the fight against cancer. A new artificial intelligence chatbot is available to ease cancer patient’s anxiety by answering questions 24 hours a day. Researchers have discovered that turning off a particular gene in T cells can fight cancer. Scientists have found that injecting particular bacteria directly into a cancerous tumor can fight cancer.

New AI ‘Cancer Chatbot’ Provides Patients and Families with 24/7 Support: ‘Empathetic Approach’

Cancer patients looking for quick answers or support between their appointments can now turn to “Dave”, an artificial intelligence chatbot trained to discuss all things related to oncology reports Fox News. The patient’s questions are mostly about potential treatments and the side effects that can be expected. The chatbot provides answers anytime, day or night, to reduce the patient’s anxiety. The AI is designed to respond with empathy and uses seven years of patient and doctor interactions. These interactions are drawn from a social and professional cancer app. To date, over 10,000 cancer patients have used this chatbot. The chatbot also informs patients of the latest technological advances. “Dave” can provide all kinds of information, however if more specific information is needed, patients are directed to call their doctor. Click here for more information.

Knocking Out Gene Triggers Powerful Anti-Cancer Response

Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine have made what they believe is a groundbreaking discovery in the field of cancer research. Their study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, reveals the importance of a specific gene, SRC-3, in regulating the immune response against cancer reports Science Blog. With the help of gene editing technology, scientists eliminated the SRC-3 gene in T cells. Eliminating this gene caused a lifelong anti-cancer response in animal testing for breast and prostate cancer. Tumors were eliminated without the side effects typically caused by cancer treatments such as chemotherapy. Researchers are doing further testing to use for possible treatment of cancer in humans. In this study, they found that not only were the tumors gone after the injection of the altered T cells, but the tumors did not reoccur over time. Scientists are very hopeful that this research can be used to make better cancer treatments in the future. Click here for more information.

Intratumoral Bacteria as an Injectable Ant-Cancer Treatment

Scientists at the Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology in Ishikawa, Japan have developed an anti-cancer treatment that consists of bacteria that are naturally found inside some tumors reports Medgadget. With the help of technology, scientists can separate the bacteria and inject it into the tumor. The bacteria inside the tumor then causes an immune

response to destroy the tumor without any genetic engineering or advanced methods of drug delivery, making it less costly. This method causes less adverse side effects outside the area of the tumor, unlike other treatments. Tumors by nature, have a lower oxygen environment, which makes an ideal environment for bacteria to grow. These intratumoral bacteria get injected into the core of the tumor to cause an immune response. Mouse models using this method show promising results. Click here for more information.