Get The Happiness Habit – or at least, get this book by Christine Webber, recently re-published as an e-book (£1.79) – if you’re suffering from the January blues, and give yourself a chance at feeling brighter. […]
Cancer ‘smart bombs’ hit oncology conference
Report from the American Society of Clinical Oncology conference, Chicago, USA (June 1-5 2012)
Medics often cringe when health reporters talk about ‘magic bullet’ treatments but the buzz at ASCO, the world’s largest cancer conference, is all about ‘smart bombs’ — a new generation of cancer treatments which arm monoclonal antibodies with chemotherapy that would otherwise be too toxic to use.
In effect these new treatments are cancer-seeking missiles which home in on tumour cells and pierce their outer coating to drop a pay-load of chemo directly inside. Healthy cells are untouched so side-effects such as hair loss and nausea are minimal.
T-DM1, a super-charged Herceptin stalls aggressive breast cancer for three months, data presented today shows. It might not sound much, but that’s a result in women who have run out of all other options.
The first major trial has been so successful there are not enough events (research-speak for deaths) to calculate overall survival, but lead researcher Professor Kimberly Blackwell told a press conference it will be “at least a year”.
It’s one of a number of combination treatments, which attack cancer on several fronts and are tailored to each patient’s cancer, being investigated.
Immuno-oncology is also getting a lot of attention. Treatments such as Ipilimumab re-educate the immune system to attack cancer cells. This approach takes longer to work, but works for longer.