Tuesday January 28, 2020

Novel Approach to Treat Cancer Cells

"We have shown that we can image 'activated platelets' to detect tumours with clinically available imaging technologies such as ultrasound and PET/CT," said Karlheinz Peter, Professor at the varsity

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Cancer word on newspaper
Cancer. Pixabay

Researchers could provide a novel approach to targeting and destroying difficult-to-treat cancer cells, providing new therapeutic options for a broad range of cancers, finds a new study.

Early detection of cancer is crucial for successful therapy. However, some cancer types do not have specific cancer surface markers that can be used to detect them and even the same cancer type can exhibit different properties in different patients.

The latest finding, which was discovered while studying activated platelets in the setting of heart disease, may now prove useful for delivering targeted treatment to cancer cells without major side effects.

Platelets are small blood cells that promote blood clotting and prevent us from bleeding when we are injured.

Platelets and more specifically, “activated platelets”, accumulate in the area surrounding a wide range of tumour types.

Cancer
Cancer Ribbon. Pixabay

Based on this observation, a team at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute in Australia has now developed a new imaging and platelet-targeting chemotherapy agent for the early detection and treatment of cancers.

In addition, this approach provides the means to deliver high concentrations of chemotherapy specifically to tumour cells whilst minimising side effects and preventing tumour growth, said the study published in the journal Theranostics.

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“We have shown that we can image ‘activated platelets’ to detect tumours with clinically available imaging technologies such as ultrasound and PET/CT,” said Karlheinz Peter, Professor at the varsity. (IANS)

Next Story

Patients May Suffer Invasive Treatments for Harmless Cancers: Researchers

According to the researchers, It is the first time that the risk of overdiagnosis has been quantified across five cancers, anywhere in the world

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A breast cancer diagnosis is terrifying enough at any time. Pixabay

Researchers have revealed that Australians are increasingly being diagnosed with potentially harmless cancers, which if left undetected or untreated, may expose them to unnecessary surgeries and chemotherapy.

The research, published in the Medical Journal of Australia, drew on data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare to compare how the lifetime risk of five cancers had changed between 1982 and 2012.

The study shows compared to 30 years ago, Australians are much more likely to experience a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime.

“Cancer treatments such as surgery, radiotherapy, endocrine and chemotherapy carry risks of physical harms,” said the study authors from Bond University, University of Sydney and Griffith University in Australia.

“In the absence of overdiagnosis, these harms are generally considered acceptable. In the context of overdiagnosed cancers, however, affected individuals cannot benefit but can only be harmed by these treatments,” authors added.

The figures suggest that in 2012 24 per cent of cancers or carcinomas in men were overdiagnosed. These included 42 per cent of prostate cancers, 42 per cent of renal cancers, 73 per cent of thyroid cancers and 58 per cent of melanomas.

Cancer
Cancer Ribbon. Pixabay

For women, 18 per cent of cancers or carcinomas were overdiagnosed, including 22 per cent of breast cancers, 58 per cent of renal cancers, 73 per cent of thyroid cancers and 58 per cent of melanomas.

The figures are significant because of the harm that can occur from cancer treatment of patients who would never have had symptoms in their lifetime.

The authors also refer to separate studies showing overdiagnosis could be linked to psychological problems.

“For example, men’s risk of suicide appears to increase in the year after receiving a prostate cancer diagnosis,” researchers said.

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According to the researchers, It is the first time that the risk of overdiagnosis has been quantified across five cancers, anywhere in the world.”

The findings also suggest an important role for health services such as the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, in detecting potential overdiagnosis and alerting health policy decision makers to the problem early on. (IANS)