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Artificial Nanoparticles Sniff Out Cancer

Researchers have developed artificial nanoparticles that can help the immune system fight cancer
Researchers have developed artificial nanoparticles that can help the immune system fight cancer

The best way to fight off cancer might be to strengthen the body’s immune system and help it identify and kill tumors. This field of study is known as immunotherapy, and while it’s showing promise it can be quite expensive. Now, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have developed artificial nanoparticles that should be cheaper and easier to produce.

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Controlling When to Attack Cancer Cells

Researchers have discovered a way that cancer hides from the immune system – and how to counter it
Researchers have discovered a way that cancer hides from the immune system – and how to counter it

The immune system is already our best defense against cancer, but sometimes it needs help. After all, cancer has a knack for deceiving it and hiding from immune cells, giving itself time to grow and spread. Now, researchers at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Australia have identified one way it does so, and found a method to counter it in mouse tests. read more

STINGel Doesn’t Give Cancer a Chance

A scanning electron microscope image of the injectable cancer-fighting hydrogel, dubbed STINGel
A scanning electron microscope image of the injectable cancer-fighting hydrogel, dubbed STINGel(Credit: Hartgerink Research Group/Rice University)

The cure for cancer might have been inside us all along – our own immune system. The trick is to give it a boost to find and destroy those rogue cells, and that’s the focus of the field of immunotherapy. To that end, a new hydrogel has been developed that can be injected directly to the site of a tumor, where it stays to slowly release its payload of immunotherapy drugs for longer.

Put the two into a ring, and the immune system will win every round against cancer. To give itself a fighting chance, the Big C instead focuses its attention on stealth attacks, using a variety of tactics to evade detection by the immune system until it can grow strong enough to overwhelm the body. read more