December 2023 Notable News

December 2023 Notable News

This month brings scientists closer to advancing cancer treatments with many new discoveries. A new epitope in tumors has been found and it can be a target for treatments to kill cancer. Cellfree DNA in the blood has been discovered as a new way to monitor cancer in patients. An old drug, lidocaine, has been found to be effective to assist other therapies in fighting cancer. 

‘Time Bomb’ Cancer Treatment Could Blow the ‘Doors’ off Tumor Cells in a Major Scientific Breakthrough

The new method triggers a time bomb in tumors that could open them up to new treatment, US researchers found. It targets cells that line a receptor on the cells’ blood vessel called Fas – or- CD95 that causes the death of that cell when triggered by the right antibody reports The US Sun. Immunotherapy is a valuable cancer treatment, but it helps a small number of patients because the T cells cannot break through most solid tumors. Scientists have now found an epitope, called Fas or CD95 that is part of the tumor cell, and the T cell can recognize it. Scientists can develop antibodies to activate CD95 to assist with CAR T-cell therapy. This new approach can make this immunotherapy effective for more patients, including those with solid tumors. Click here for the full story. 

How We Could Test for Cancer, Even Without a Tumor Sample

There are many different combinations or patterns of mutation that cause cancer, but the most important lesson is cancer occurs because of mutations in the DNA of a cell reports Newsbreak. Two very important kinds of genes are tumor suppressing genes and oncogenes, if they mutate it can allow cancer to grow. Cells put DNA into the bloodstream when they die and from cancer cells growing. Scientists have made machines sensitive enough to detect this amount of DNA in the blood. This technology is still in clinical trials to determine the limit of cell free DNA and the progression of the cancer to get detected. This technology will be helpful to monitor the effectiveness of cancer patients’ treatment over time, and it will be helpful for patients with a high risk of developing cancer. Click here for the full story. 

Lidocaine Makes Cancer Cells Self-Destruct, Study Finds

Doctors may be able to improve outcomes for patients with head and throat cancers simply by injecting the common local anesthetic lidocaine near the site of their tumors, according to a new University of Pennsylvania study reports Freethink . Lidocaine has been found to activate T2R14, a bitter taste receptor. T2R14 is found in many cancer cells causing cancer death for head and neck cancers. This activates two mechanisms, mitochondrial calcium ion overload and proteasome inhibition, causing the cancer cells to die. This new information is valuable to the development of new cancer treatments. The lidocaine would not be used alone, it would be given in combination with other cancer therapies. Click here for the full story.