Friday June 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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All Women Can Be Screened For Cancer!

Screening all women over 30 years age for breast and ovarian cancer gene mutations can be cost effective, says a study

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The new approach, showed that it is cost-effective, and as a result can ensure that more women can take preventative action to reduce their risk or undertake regular screening. Pixabay
  • A study found out screening all women for cancer can be cost effective
  • The study was led by an Indian-origin researcher
  • The study was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute

Screening all women over 30 years age for breast and ovarian cancer gene mutations can be cost effective and could also prevent more of these cancers than just screening those at genetic high-risk, suggests a study led by an Indian-origin researcher.

The most well-known breast and ovarian cancer causing genes are BRCA1 and BRCA2, and women carrying either of the gene mutation have approximately a 17-44 per cent chance of developing ovarian cancer and a 69-72 per cent chance of developing breast cancer over their lifetime.

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Conversely, for women who do not carry these mutations, the risk is two per cent for ovarian cancer and 12 per cent for breast cancer over their life time. Pixabay
Conversely, for women who do not carry these mutations, the risk is two per cent for ovarian cancer and 12 per cent for breast cancer over their life time. Pixabay

The current clinical approach to genetic testing is based on having a personal or family history of breast or ovarian cancer.

The new approach, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, showed that it is cost-effective, and as a result can ensure that more women can take preventative action to reduce their risk or undertake regular screening and thus can provide huge new opportunities for cancer prevention and changes in the way how cancer genetic testing is delivered.

“Our findings support the concept of broadening genetic testing for breast and ovarian cancer genes across the entire population, beyond just the current criteria-based approach,” said Ranjit Manchanda, Consultant Gynaecological Oncologist, at the Queen Mary University of London.

According to the World Health Organization, out of the 8.8 million deaths overall cancer deaths worldwide in 2015, breast cancer accounted for 571,000 deaths. Pixabay
According to the World Health Organization, out of the 8.8 million deaths overall cancer deaths worldwide in 2015, breast cancer accounted for 571,000 deaths. Pixabay

“Our analysis shows that population testing is the most cost-effective strategy and can have important implications given the effective options that are available for ovarian and breast cancer risk management and prevention for women at increased risk,” added Rosa Legood, Associate Professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Furthermore, the researchers found that implementing a programme to test all British women over 30 years age could result in 17,000 fewer ovarian cancers and 64,000 fewer breast cancers.

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Ovarian cancer, with the lowest survival rate of all gynaecological cancers, is diagnosed annually in nearly a quarter of a million women globally and is responsible for 140,000 deaths each year. (IANS)