Oncology is ever-changing, with new treatments, trials, and research findings being published all the time. With so much going on, it can be difficult to stay up to date on the latest and greatest oncology developments. We pulled together a list of new advancements from the last month to help you stay current on today’s hottest topics.
UC San Francisco scientists have discovered that blocking a single enzyme’s activity can prevent a common type of metastatic breast cancer from spreading. By interfering with MMP9, a unique enzyme that causes cancer cells to form metastatic tumors, researchers believe they may be able to prevent metastasis in breast cancer patients. This breakthrough has significant implications when it comes to the future of using immunotherapy to treat breast cancer.
Although chemotherapy drugs are highly effective for treating lung cancer, they are also notorious for toxicity and severe side effects. Scientists have found a way to deliver nanoparticles filled with chemotherapy drugs to the lungs with 10 times greater success rate by “hitchhiking” them onto red blood cells. The ELeCt system provides solutions to a number of problems associated with chemotherapy treatments, such as toxic side effects and rapid clearance from the body.
A professor at the University of Houston College of Pharmacy has discovered a new biomarker in cancer stem cells that govern the survival and spread of the disease. The new biomarker, the protein plectin, is linked to both tumor invasion and metastasis. The discovery of this biomarker has raised hope that a drug to kill cancer stem cells may be on the horizon.
“We have found a new biomarker, the protein plectin, on cancer stem cells. We believe plectin may be a more common biomarker that could lead to broadly applicable drug development," says Professor Gomika Udugamasooriya.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine have developed a compound that slows tumor growth and promotes the production of anti-tumor cells. Targeting glutamine metabolism inhibits tumor growth and alters cells in a way that has dramatically enhanced immunotherapy for cancer. In addition, blocking glutamine metabolism makes cells more persistent, almost like an immune memory cell.
New self-testing kits for Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) might encourage more individuals to get screened and, in turn, reduce cervical cancer rates. By sending out self-sampling tests in the mail, more women will get screened, and outcomes for cervical cancer might improve. Early detection and treatment of precancerous lesions can prevent cervical cancer entirely—which is exactly why the prevention of HPV is so important.
These are only a few of the latest developments in oncology; new treatment options and research findings come to light every single day. Avella is dedicated to meeting the unique needs of individuals with cancer by not only offering the latest oncology drugs but also a variety of treatment resources to help you stay up to date on what’s new.
Learn more about the different ways Avella supports oncology patients and providers.