Monday January 22, 2018

Harnessing sperm may help fight cervical cancer

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Harnessing sperm may help fight cervical cancer
Scientists report that they have exploited the swimming power of sperms to ferry a cancer drug directly to a cervical tumour in lab tests. wikimedia commons
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London, Dec 25, 2017: German researchers have developed a new chemotherapy drug delivery system that arms sperm with powerful drugs to attack cervical cancer tumours. Scientists, from the Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research, report that they have exploited the swimming power of sperms to ferry a cancer drug directly to a cervical tumour in lab tests.

In the study, the team led by Mariana Medina-Sanchez from the varsity, packaged a common cancer drug, doxorubicin, into bovine sperm cells and outfitted them with tiny magnetic harnesses. Using a magnetic field, a sperm-hybrid motor was guided to a lab-grown tumour of cervical cancer cells. When the harness arms pressed against the tumour, the arms opened up, releasing the sperm.

The sperm then swam into the tumour, fused its membrane with that of a cancer cell, and released the drug. When unleashed by the thousands, the drug-loaded sperm killed more than 80 per cent of a cancerous ball while leaking very little of their payload in the process.The new findings, detailed in the journal ACS Nano, could pave the way for applications outside of chemo delivery for cervical cancer patients.

However, further work is needed to ensure the system could work in animals and eventually humans, but researchers say the sperm motors have the potential to one day treat cancer and other diseases in the female reproductive tract, such as the endometriosis or ectopic pregnancies.

German researchers have developed a new chemotherapy drug delivery system that arms sperm with powerful drugs to attack cervical cancer tumours.Scientists, from the Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research, report that they have exploited the swimming power of sperms to ferry a cancer drug directly to a cervical tumour in lab tests.

In the study, the team led by Mariana Medina-Sanchez from the varsity, packaged a common cancer drug, doxorubicin, into bovine sperm cells and outfitted them with tiny magnetic harnesses. Using a magnetic field, a sperm-hybrid motor was guided to a lab-grown tumour of cervical cancer cells. When the harness arms pressed against the tumour, the arms opened up, releasing the sperm.

The sperm then swam into the tumour, fused its membrane with that of a cancer cell, and released the drug. When unleashed by the thousands, the drug-loaded sperm killed more than 80 per cent of a cancerous ball while leaking very little of their payload in the process.The new findings, detailed in the journal ACS Nano, could pave the way for applications outside of chemo delivery for cervical cancer patients.

However, further work is needed to ensure the system could work in animals and eventually humans, but researchers say the sperm motors have the potential to one day treat cancer and other diseases in the female reproductive tract, such as the endometriosis or ectopic pregnancies. (IANS)

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Colorectal Cancer Rising Among Younger Adults

Researchers note that rates of colorectal cancer have been falling since the 1980s.

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Colorectal Cancer rising among the young adults. Pixabay
Colorectal Cancer rising among the young adults. Pixabay
  • Latest research says young adults have higher chances of having colorectal cancer
  • Risk is higher in those born in 1990
  • The research also has stats for other kinds of cancer

Americans born in 1990 have double the risk of colon cancer and quadruple the risk of rectal cancer than those born around 1950, a new study suggests.

The study found that colorectal cancer is on the rise among young and middle-aged adults in their early 50s. Rectal cancer is growing particularly fast among people younger than 55, with 30 percent of diagnoses in people under 55.

“Trends in young people are a bellwether for the future disease burden,” said Rebecca Siegel, of the American Cancer Society and lead author of the study that appeared in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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The risk is more for people born in 1990 than those in 1950. Wikimedia commons
The risk is more for people born in 1990 than those in 1950. Wikimedia commons

“Our finding that colorectal cancer risk for millennials has escalated back to the level of those born in the late 1800s is very sobering. Educational campaigns are needed to alert clinicians and the general public about this increase to help reduce delays in diagnosis, which are so prevalent in young people, but also to encourage healthier eating and more active lifestyles to try to reverse this trend.”

Researchers note that rates of colorectal cancer have been falling since the 1980s with an even steeper decline in the past decade, which has been caused by more screening.

But they wanted to find out why some studies have shown a rising rate among people under 50 for whom screening is generally not done. For their study, researchers looked at cases of colorectal cancer in people over 20 from 1974 to 2013. There were 490,305 cases.

Cancer rate declined generally but increased in this particular age group. VOA
Cancer rate declined generally but increased in this particular age group. VOA

The data showed the rates of colon cancer initially decreased after 1974, but then grew by one or two percent from the mid-1980s to 2013 among adults aged 20 to 39. For people aged 40 to 54, the rates increased between .5 percent and one percent from the mid 1990s to 2013.

For rectal cancer, the increases were greater, with rates rising about three percent per year from 1974 to 2013 in adults aged 20 to 29. For adults between 30 and 39, there was a similar rise from 1980 to 2013. For adults between 40 and 54, rates increased by two percent from the 1990s to 2013.

Rates for adults older than 55 has been declining for about 40 years, researchers said.

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Researchers say the results could change the age at which screening for colorectal cancer starts and cite 10,400 cases diagnosed in people in their 40s plus 12,800 cases in people in their early 50s.

“These numbers are similar to the total number of cervical cancers diagnosed, for which we recommend screening for the 95 million women ages 21 to 65 years,” Siegel said. VOA

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