Cancer cells dedifferentiate to enter the metastatic program

Stem cells differentiate into more differentiated daughter cells with a restricted gene expression pattern characteristic of a particular cell type. Thus, differentiated cells lose their totipotency and pluripotency compared to stem cells. Cancer cells, on the other hand, arise from terminal differentiated cells.   What happened is that cancer cells undergo a dedifferentiation program to … More Cancer cells dedifferentiate to enter the metastatic program

Bispecific antibodies help immune cells latch onto cancer cells

Harnessing the body’s immune system for fighting cancer cells is emerging as the fourth pillar of cancer therapy alongside surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Known as immunotherapy, the approach modulates immune cells for recognizing cancer cells, and more importantly, prime them for the fight against cancer. To this end, checkpoint inhibitors and chimeric antigen receptor … More Bispecific antibodies help immune cells latch onto cancer cells

Clusters of neutrophils and circulating tumour cells help potentiate metastasis

Metastasis remain the most deadly manifestations of cancer, where cancer cells moves from the primary tumour to distant sites of the body to seed secondary tumours, thereby, potentiating the spread of cancer to other parts of the body. But, the mechanistic basis of cancer metastasis remains poorly understood. Specifically, the question concerning why metastasis occurs … More Clusters of neutrophils and circulating tumour cells help potentiate metastasis

Different types of macrophages modulate the tumour microenvironment

Although various immune cells could infiltrate the cellular and tissue environment surrounding a tumour, the tumour microenvironment nevertheless presents immunosuppressive conditions unfavourable for immune cells to conduct large scale attack on cancer cells. This represents a strategy by cancer cells to promote the growth and maintenance of the tumour.   For example, T-cells are seldom … More Different types of macrophages modulate the tumour microenvironment

Polygenic nature of tumours may account for differing efficacy of cancer chemotherapeutic drugs

Tumours comprise multiple types of cells, each with different mutational signatures. Given that multiple tumours could exist in a single organ, multiple mutational signatures that further account for differing responses to drugs could be presented by a single organ under treatment for cancer. Hence, chemotherapeutic drugs that target specific receptors or proteins with particular amino … More Polygenic nature of tumours may account for differing efficacy of cancer chemotherapeutic drugs

DNA barcodes on nanoparticles enable high throughput screening of their binding affinities to cells

Nanoparticles capable of binding to cancer cells and releasing a payload for killing them has been shown to be a potential treatment option for different types of solid tumours. However, given the diversity of surface coatings that could be grafted on the nanoparticles’ surface for endowing them with different binding affinities to different cells, large … More DNA barcodes on nanoparticles enable high throughput screening of their binding affinities to cells

Single cell genome sequencing reveals polygenomic nature of many cancers

Advances in next-generation sequencing brought forth its use in understanding the genomic content of many cells and tissues in diverse applications. One application area which has seen a large increase in use of genome sequencing for understanding disease mechanisms is cancer research. Specifically, short-read whole genome sequencing has been utilized to understand the genomic features … More Single cell genome sequencing reveals polygenomic nature of many cancers

Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell immunotherapy for cancer

Use of the body’s immune system in fighting cancer has attracted much research attention over the past few years. Specifically, different approaches such as checkpoint inhibitors and chimeric antigen receptor T-cell have been shown to be effective in killing tumour cells and controlling cancer.   In the case of chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CART), a … More Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell immunotherapy for cancer

Liquid biopsy’s utility in cancer diagnosis and treatment

Fragments of DNA or RNA from cancer cells could be found in a patient’s blood; thus, opening up the possibility of a simple blood test for diagnosing and treating cancer. Known as liquid biopsy, blood tests offer a simpler and more cost-effective approach compared to tissue biopsy for initial understanding of a patient’s state of … More Liquid biopsy’s utility in cancer diagnosis and treatment

Cancer organoids for tailoring cancer treatment

Miniature organs derived from cancer cells such as cancer organoids could potentially open a path forward for tailoring cancer drug use and treatment. Specifically, an important problem in cancer therapy lies in the inability to target and treat specific cancer subtypes recalcitrant to front-line chemotherapy drugs. Understanding the mechanisms underlying the resistance to commonly used … More Cancer organoids for tailoring cancer treatment