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FDA approves first non-invasive DNA screening test for colorectal cancer

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Cologuard, the first stool-based colorectal screening test that detects the presence of red blood cells and DNA mutations that may indicate the presence of certain kinds of abnormal growths that may be cancers such as colon cancer or precursors to cancer.

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Synthetic Molecule Makes Cancer Self-Destruct

Researchers from The University of Texas at Austin and five other institutions have created a molecule that can cause cancer cells to self-destruct by ferrying sodium and chloride ions into the cancer cells. 

These synthetic ion transporters, described this week in the journal Nature Chemistry, confirm a two-decades-old hypothesis that could point the way to new anticancer drugs while also benefiting patients with cystic fibrosis.

Synthetic ion transporters have been created before, but this is the first time researchers have shown them working in a real biological system where transported ions demonstrably cause cells to self-destruct.

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A new therapy for breast cancer is being designed using wasp venom

Scientists from the Institute for Biomedical Research (IRB Barcelona) have carried out successful in vitro tests using wasp venom to kill tumour cells. The next step will be to test its efficacy in mouse models.

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Penn Team Makes Cancer Glow to Improve Surgical Outcomes

The best way to cure most cases of cancer is to surgically remove the tumor. The Achilles heel of this approach, however, is that the surgeon may fail to extract the entire tumor, leading to a local recurrence.

With a new technique, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have established a new strategy to help surgeons see the entire tumor in the patient, increasing the likelihood of a positive outcome. This approach relies on an injectable dye that accumulates in cancerous tissues much more so than normal tissues. When the surgeon shines an infrared light on the cancer, it glows, allowing the surgeon to remove the entire malignancy.

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Acupuncture Provides Significant Quality of Life Improvements Among Breast Cancer Patients Taking Drugs to Prevent Recurrence, Penn Study Shows

Use of electroacupuncture (EA) – a form of acupuncture where a small electric current is passed between pairs of acupuncture needles – produces significant improvements in fatigue, anxiety and depression in as little as eight weeks for early stage breast cancer patients experiencing joint pain related to the use of aromatase inhibitors (AIs) to treat breast cancer. The results of a randomized, placebo-controlled trial examining the intervention led by researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania are published online this week in the journal Cancer. The study is the first demonstration of EA’s efficacy for both joint pain relief, as well as these other common symptoms.

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