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A four-protein biomarker blood test improves lung cancer risk assessment over existing guidelines that rely solely upon smoking history, capturing risk for people who have ever smoked, not only for heavy smokers, an international research team reports in JAMA Oncology.

Using sound waves, an international team of researchers has developed a gentle, contact-free method for separating circulating tumor cells from blood samples that is fast and efficient enough for clinical use.

Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are small pieces of a tumor that break away and flow through the bloodstream. They contain a wealth of information about the tumor, such as its type, physical characteristics and genetic mutations.

For years, bioengineer Yaling Liu has been in pursuit of the deadly tumor cell. Liu has been perfecting a microfluidic device the size of two quarters that has the ability to catch and release circulating tumor cells (CTCs)--cancer cells that circulate in a cancer patient's blood. Such a device could lead to earlier detection of primary tumors and metastasis, as well as determine the effectiveness of treatment--all through a simple, non-invasive blood test.

Invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells are powerful weapons our body's immune systems count on to fight infection and combat diseases like cancer, multiple sclerosis, and lupus. Finding ways to spark these potent cells into action could lead to more effective cancer treatments and vaccines.

While several chemical compounds have shown promise stimulating iNKT cells in mice, their ability to activate human iNKT cells has been limited.

Researchers of the Universitat Politècnica de València and the Universidad de Granada, together with doctors from the Hospital Clínic Universitari de València are working on the development of a new system to help diagnose prostate cancer. The work being developed is part of the SICAP project.

Heretofore, researchers have already developed an online application that helps pathologists evaluate samples obtained in biopsies, as well as an initial version of the system that is capable of establishing whether the samples are carcinogenic or not.

A new approach to analyzing prostate gland tissue may help address a major challenge in treating prostate cancer - determining which tumors are unlikely to progress and which could be life threatening and require treatment. In their report published in the journal Scientific Reports, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators describe how cellular metabolites - proteins produced as the results metabolic processes - in apparently benign tissues from cancerous prostates not only can determine the grade and stage of the tumor but also can predict its risk of recurrence.

Injection of skin test antigens (preparations used in skin tests for immunity) into warts appears to stimulate the immune system and successfully treat the injected wart and also helps to treat distant non-injected warts, according to a study in the May issue of Archives of Dermatology.

A University of Illinois and Mayo collaboration has demonstrated a novel gene expression analysis technique that can accurately measure levels of RNA quickly and directly from a cancerous tissue sample while preserving the spatial information across the tissue --something that conventional methods cannot do. The team's gene expression technique is described in a paper published in the online edition of Nature Communications.

Chlamydia trachomatis is a bacterium that is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections in Europe. Rates in sexually active young people are commonly between 5% and 10%. The number of diagnosed cases is increasing in many European  countries, in part due to increased testing and the use of more sensitive tests. People with genital chlamydia may experience symptoms of genital tract inflammation including urethritis and cervicitis, but the majority remains asymptomatic.

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