Blog Archives

Timid medical research

Cancer research is sometimes criticized for being timid. Drug companies run enormous trials looking for small improvements. Critics say they should run smaller trials and more of them. Which side is correct depends on what’s out there waiting to be

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Posted in Science, Statistics

Cancer moon shots

M. D. Anderson Cancer Center announced a $3 billion research program today aimed at six specific forms of cancer. Acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome (AML and MDS) Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) Lung cancer Melanoma Prostate cancer Triple negative breast

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Posted in Science

Color-coded surgery

This is the most encouraging thing I’ve seen in cancer research in some time: a way to make tumors fluoresce. This allows surgeons to see tumor boundaries. From TED

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Posted in Science

Promising cancer research

The approach to cancer research presented here sounds really exciting. Watch on TED.com

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Posted in Science

Scientific opposition to the war on cancer

On December 9, 1969 the Washington Post ran a full-page ad that began Mr. Nixon: You can cure cancer. If America could put a man on the moon, she should be able to cure cancer. And why not? Well, because

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Posted in Science

Breast cancer stem cells identified

From the article Proverbial new “Twist” in Breast Cancer Detection: … scientists at Johns Hopkins … have shown that a protein made by a gene called “Twist” may be the proverbial red flag that can accurately distinguish stem cells that

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Posted in Science

Bayesian clinical trials in one zip code

I recently ran across this quote from Mithat Gönen of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center: While there are certainly some at other centers, the bulk of applied Bayesian clinical trial design in this country is largely confined to a single zip

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Posted in Clinical trials

Smoking

Seth Godin has a blog post this morning in which he says Smoking a pack a day for twenty years is a great way to be sure you’ll die early. The point of his post was not the dangers of

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Posted in Statistics

Killing too much of a tumor

The traditional approach to cancer treatment has been to try to eradicate tumors. Eliminating a tumor is better than shrinking a tumor, so this approach makes sense. But if you try to eradicate the tumor and fail, you may leave

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Posted in Science

Down’s syndrome and cancer

The most recent Nature podcast (21 May 2009) has a news story about Down’s syndrome and cancer. Most types of cancer are much less common among people with Down’s syndrome. Since Down’s syndrome is caused by an extra copy of

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Posted in Science

Glowing jellyfish aid cancer research

The latest episode of the Science and the Sea podcast explains how a protein that gives a certain species of jellyfish a faint glow is useful in research into cancer and other diseases. Related posts: Cartoon guide to cancer research

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Posted in Science

Cartoon about my job

Everybody thinks Dilbert is about their job. But this cartoon really is about my job. It does a remarkably good job of summarizing what it’s like to work in cancer research. Related posts on cancer research

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Science versus medicine

Before I started working for a cancer center, I was not aware of the tension between science and medicine. Popular perception is that the two go together hand and glove, but that’s not always true. Physicians are trained to use

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Posted in Clinical trials

Kim Possible and cancer research

When I hear of naked mole rats, I think of Rufus, the animated character from Kim Possible. But it turns out the real rodents might be useful in cancer research. According to a recent 60-Second Science podcast, naked mole rats

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Detecting breast cancer from a hair sample

FermiScan, an Austrailian company, is developing a screen for breast cancer that analyzes a small hair sample. Listen to Moira Gunn’s interview with David Young from FermiScan. Show notes | mp3

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Posted in Science