New Study Proves Chemotherapy Spreads Cancer…Or Does It?

A study(1) released earlier this month has been making its rounds on the internet, and has quickly become a hot topic on social media. I have seen some sensational headlines stating that this study “proves that chemotherapy spreads cancer” and “is the death blow to chemotherapy.” Statements such as these are typically the hallmark of an agenda-driven view, a poor understanding of science, or a combination of both. This study in question was performed on cells in the laboratory, and … Read More

Bacteriophages: What Are They And What Can They Do?

Viruses that specifically kill bacteria, called bacteriophages, might one day help solve the growing problem of bacterial infections that are resistant to antibiotic treatment. Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center have determined that phages can effectively reduce bacterial levels and improve the health of mice that are infected with deadly, antibiotic-resistant bacterial ‘superbugs.’ The study appears in Scientific Reports. read more Dr. Stegall’s Comments: Bacterial infections are becoming much more common, … Read More

Targeting Circulating Tumor Cells In Cancer Treatment

Cancerous tumors are formidable enemies, recruiting blood vessels to aid their voracious growth, damaging nearby tissues, and deploying numerous strategies to evade the body’s defense systems. But even more malicious are the circulating tumor cells (CTCs) that tumors release, which travel stealthily through the bloodstream and take up residence in other parts of the body, a process known as metastasis. While dangerous, their presence is also a valuable indicator of the stage of a patient’s disease, making CTCs an attractive … Read More

A Personal Experience With Immunotherapy Cancer Treatment

Michael D. Becker, a former biotech executive, knows a lot about cancer drug development. In 2015, he was diagnosed with head and neck cancer, which was caused by human papillomavirus (or HPV), a sexually transmitted infection. After the diagnosis, Becker — who detailed his experience in “A Walk With Purpose: Memoir of a Bioentrepreneur” — used his expertise in the drug industry to consider possible treatment options. One he was enthusiastic about? Cancer immunotherapy. read more Dr. Stegall’s Comments: I share this … Read More

Vitamins & Bioactives: How Much Is Too Much

Research has shown the potential health benefits of bioactive nutrients — those compounds found in foods like fruits, vegetables, tea, and cocoa. And consumers are showing an increased interest in learning more. But can there be too much of a good thing? John Erdman, a professor emeritus in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Illinois, and his lab have studied bioactives and their health benefits for years. Now, Erdman and a team of other … Read More

Chocolate Improves Cognitive Performance

In their recent review published in Frontiers in Nutrition, Italian researchers examined the available literature for the effects of acute and chronic administration of cocoa flavanols on different cognitive domains. In other words: what happens to your brain up to a few hours after you eat cocoa flavanols, and what happens when you sustain such a cocoa flavanol enriched diet for a prolonged period of time? Although randomized controlled trials investigating the acute effect of cocoa flavanols are sparse, most … Read More

Soy Consumption And Breast Cancer

Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers have used animal models to reveal new information about the impact — positive and negative — that soy consumption could have on a common breast cancer treatment. The scientists have uncovered the biological pathways in rats by which longtime soy consumption improves effectiveness of tamoxifen and reduces breast cancer recurrence. But they also show why eating or drinking soy-based foods for the first time while being treated with tamoxifen can, conversely, reduce effectiveness of … Read More

A High-Fat Diet Linked To Colon Cancer

Poor diet is associated with 80% of colorectal cancer cases, but the exact pathways by which diet leads to cancer are not known. In a newly published study, Cleveland Clinic researchers have identified a specific molecular pathway that plays a key role in the link between a high-fat diet and tumor growth in the colon. In the July 6 issue of Stem Cell Reports, the team showed in pre-clinical models that cancer stem cell growth in the colon was enhanced … Read More

Cancer Cells Light Up With Fluorescent Probe

What if you could plaster cancer cells with glowing “Here We Are” signs, so surgeons could be confident that they’d removed every last speck of a tumor? That’s what Haiying Liu has in mind for his new fluorescent probe. “Doctors need to pinpoint cancer tissue, but that can be hard,” said Liu, a chemistry professor at Michigan Technological University. Test-tube cancer antibodies coupled with special enzymes have been used to highlight malignancies during surgery, since they bind to tumor cells, … Read More

The Link Between A High-Fat Diet And Breast Cancer

Feeding pregnant female mice a diet high in fat derived from common corn oil resulted in genetic changes that substantially increased breast cancer susceptibility in three generations of female offspring, reports a team of researchers led by scientists at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. Their study, published online today in Breast Cancer Research, suggests a research direction for examining the diet of pregnant women, says the study’s senior author, Leena Hilakivi-Clarke, PhD, professor of oncology at Georgetown Lombardi. “It is … Read More