Behind the Science

May 2, 2018

Focused Radiation May Help Turn On the Immune System

Much of the buzz over doctors’ ability to harness the power of the immune system to fight cancer has focused on targeted treatments—drugs designed to zero in on specific properties of cancer cells, disrupting their signals and exposing them to an immune attack. Now, researchers are discovering that these and other immunotherapy drugs may be even more powerful […]

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April 3, 2018

Matchmaking for Transplants

Each year, thousands of people diagnosed with life-threatening diseases, including blood cancers, myelodysplastic syndrome, sickle cell disease and many others, require bone marrow or stem cell transplants to give them the best chance at beating their diseases. These patients require finding a matching donor, and while some find a match from a family member, nearly […]

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April 3, 2018

Why Some Cancer Drugs Work Exceptionally Well for Some Patients and Not for Others

When researchers conduct a clinical trial on a new cancer drug, the therapy often doesn’t work for a majority of patients. But sometimes, one particular patient responds so well that the cancer stops growing, or even disappears completely. Such patients are so unique that scientists have a special name for them: unicorns. Also known as […]

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April 3, 2018

Why Robotic Surgery is ‘the Way of the Future’

Patients with cancers of the head and neck have long been faced with a daunting reality: because of the delicate anatomy of the face, neck and throat, tumors located in these sensitive areas of the body are often difficult to remove, especially without extensive damage to the jaw, nose or other affected features. But recent […]

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February 12, 2018

Study Raises New Concerns About the Safety of Birth Control

Since the 1960s, when the birth control pill made its debut, contraceptives have played a major role in family planning. So when researchers discovered that women taking hormone-based birth control had a higher incidence of breast cancer, making the contraceptives safer became an important public health priority. Many experts believed they found a solution in options […]

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January 10, 2018

New Approach Shows Faster Recovery After Surgery

Many runners swear by a practice called carb-loading, or bulking up on carbohydrate-rich food before a long race, as a way to fortify their bodies, prevent them from breaking down in the middle of the run and guard against injuries that will haunt them afterward. Much like those advance preparations, evolving pre-surgery programs are helping […]

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January 10, 2018

A Caregiver and Oncologist Shares Her Story in a Moving Video

Patricia Rich, MD, always wanted to be a doctor. As a mother of four, she decided to pursue her dream at age 34. She became a hematologist oncologist, treating people with blood cancers. Years later, she diagnosed her son with leukemia and was by his side during his bone marrow transplants and other treatments. A […]

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December 10, 2017

A Blood Test That Can Tell You About Your Cancer

At the root of most cancer diagnoses is a biopsy, the surgical procedure used to remove a tumor so it can be examined for the presence of cancer cells. Doctors often rely on biopsies to help make an assessment of a cancer’s malignancy, stage, origin and DNA mutations that may be targeted with treatments. Some biopsies are minimally invasive; others may be […]

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November 13, 2017

Never Smoked? You Can Still Get Lung Cancer

“People need to know it’s not just a smoker that gets diagnosed with lung cancer,” says stage IV lung cancer survivor Stacy Foltz. And what she says holds truth: many people associate lung cancer with smoking, but it’s possible to develop lung cancer even if you’ve never smoked. In fact, rates of lung cancer among […]

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November 12, 2017

The Time Has Come to Screen for Lung Cancer

November’s designation as National Lung Cancer Awareness Month offers a timely opportunity to continue a national conversation about the need for early detection and screening. Lung cancer is the second most common non-skin cancer among American men and women, after prostate cancer in men and breast cancer in women. As with most cancers, when lung […]

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