Blood test able to detect 8 forms of cancer could be available soon

The trial vaccine has been tried on 1,000 cancer patients by researchers
One of the biggest revolutions in medicine may just have begun. Scientists and researchers have took the step forward in introducing a vaccine that can detect more than 8 common forms of cancer.
The UK experts at John Hopkins University have reportedly said that this news is “enormously exciting.” According to the team this is just the beginning. The vaccine also needs to be researched well on its effectiveness in detecting early stages of cancer.
A trial was conducted on over 1,000 cancer patients and the vaccine detected various forms of cancer in ovary, liver, stomach, esophagus, breast, lung, colon or pancreas. This covered close to 70% of the kind of cancers. “I think this can have an enormous impact on cancer immortality,” said Dr. Cristian Tomasetti from John Hopkins University of Medicine. The test is meant to be sensitive to mutated DNA that floats in blood and also to cancer related proteins.
“This is of massive potential,” says the highly motivated team leader Dr. Gerd Attard at Center of Evolution and Cancer at the institute of Cancer Research at London.
Sources: abc, bbc

Study shows nanoparticles might help detect cancer early

Scientists have discovered a highly efficient method to identify tiny tumours in the body using light-emitting nanoparticles. By identifying the tiny tumours in time they can prevent them from spreading to the rest of the body and detect the cancer at an early stage. The Nature Biomedical Engineering published this study, which shows that this new technique might be significantly better than Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and other types of cancer detection technologies.

The major obstacle in cancer detection and treatment is spotting early tumours that have the potential to spread. Earlier imaging methods have failed to detect such small cancerous lesions. However, this study identified that tiny tumours in mice were detected when they were injected with nano probes. Nano probes are optical devices that are microscopic in nature. They emit short-wave infrared light when they travel through the bloodstream. This allows them to track the smallest of tumours in multiple organs.

The study found that nano probes were much faster at detecting lesions and tumours in the adrenal glands and the bones of mice as compared to MRI. Prabhas Moghe at Rutgers University said that this new technology could help track 100 types of cancers and be available to patients in the next 5 years. He also mentions that this technique could help accurately detect what stage of cancer the patient is at and then chart a course of treatment.

Sources: Financial Express , India Today


Johnson & Johnson to pay $417 million compensation to cancer victim


In a verdict delivered by a Los Angeles jury on Monday, the Johnson & Johnson have been ordered to pay a record $417 million to a 63-year-old woman diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer. The woman, Eva Echeverria, had claimed in a lawsuit that the company’s talcum products when applied regularly for feminine hygiene cause ovarian cancer.

In a series of talcum powder lawsuits verdicts against J&J in courts all over the U.S., this one marks the largest sum awarded. The problems for the company have not ended here. More than 300 lawsuits in California and 4500 claims in the rest of the country are still pending alleging that J&J ignored studies linking its baby power and shower to shower products to cancer.

Echeverria who has been using the company’s baby powder on a daily basis from 1950s till 2016, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2007. She believes she developed the cancer as a “proximate result of the unreasonably dangerous and defective nature of talcum powder”, as described in her lawsuit.

Her attorney Mark Robinson added, “Mrs. Echeverria is dying from this ovarian cancer and she said to me all she wanted to do was to help the other women throughout the whole country who have ovarian cancer for using Johnson & Johnson for 20 and 30 years.”

While, J&J spokeswoman Carol Goodrich said that the company will appeal the jury’s decision, she also stated that the company is preparing to defend itself and its baby powder at upcoming trials in the country.

SOURCES: Chicago Tribune,

Image Source: LA Times

5 celebrities who battled cancer

Cancer. The mere mention of this word is capable of crushing one’s soul, collapsing the entire fabric of one’s world. The incurable disease isn’t just an ailment anymore, but something that looms over everything and everyone connected with the patient, hence requiring immense courage in order to face and fight it.

We read almost daily about how cancer is a lifestyle disease, and given the pollution levels and unhealthy lifestyles especially in jet-setting urban India, the risk of being affected by this deadly disease is more real than we can imagine. However, as is with most things, we tend to put off worrying about it, thinking it is highly unlikely that it will happen to us.

On the occasion of World Cancer Day (February 4), SIMC Wire brings to you a list of 5 famous personalities who grappled with this ailment and won, in an attempt to spread awareness about the disease and provide motivation to those battling it.

  1. Manisha Koirala

“There is no bitterness to my cancer experience”

The beautiful actress of Nepali origin was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012. The 40 something actress underwent treatment in a New York hospital and struggled with the chemotherapy sessions.

However, she managed to overcome the ailment and even posted pictures of herself sans any hair while she was recovering after her treatment. This gutsy lady has decided to come back to work and start shooting soon too.

  1. Yuvraj Singh

“The battle against cancer has made me strong. It’s like winning a war!”

The star cricketer who contributed to many victories on the pitch (remember the six sixes?), shocked the entire nation when he announced that he was suffering from cancer back in 2012. His loyal fans were left devastated and the entire cricket community of India was quite shaken by the diagnosis. Yuvraj, however, adopted a very sportsman-like attitude towards his treatment, taking everything in his stride. He focused on taking one step at a time and utilized social media to the fullest in order to keep his loving fans updated, who in turn sent him heartfelt messages.

He was treated in the US for a malignant tumour between his lung and his heart and as soon as he could, Yuvraj was back and how! Today, he remains an inspiration to those fighting cancer. He has even written a book titled “The Test of My Life”, telling the story of his battle with the disease.

  1. Anurag Basu

“Cancer had to fight me; I didn’t have to fight it!”

The year 2004 turned out to be a rough one for ace filmmaker Anurag Basu of “Life in a Metro” and “Barfi” fame when he was diagnosed with cancer. He was suffering from acute promyelocytic leukemia, a type of blood cancer. He has revealed in reports that initially when his doctors told him that his chances of survival were around 50%, he felt shattered and asked the question “Why me?” several times. However, he soon overcame his despair and began to focus of productive work, writing films like “Gangster” and “Life in a Metro” during that time. Today, he continues to work with organizations that support cancer patients.

  1. Kylie Minogue

“Having had cancer, one important thing to know is you’re still the same person at the end.”

The sultry pop diva who has churned out chartbusters like “In your Eyes”, “Chocolate” and “Slow” was in the middle of a concert tour when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005. The singer who has also collaborated with A R Rahman for the song “Chiggy Wiggy” was evidently shaken by the revelation and immediately started chemotherapy. She underwent a surgery and eight months later, she was cancer free. She has since been working tirelessly on breast cancer awareness and was even awarded an honorary Doctor of Health Science degree by a UK university.

  1. Christina Applegate

“I laughed more in the hospital than I ever have, making fun of all the weird things that were happening to me.”

Laughter is the best medicine indeed. When Christina Applegate, remembered for her role in ‘F.R.I.E.N.D.S.’ (Rachel’s annoying sister, Amy), was told she had a lump in her breast, she decided to take on the disease armed with a fabulous sense of humour. At 36, she started her treatment and decided to opt for a double mastectomy (removal of breasts) in order to quell the risk of relapse. She now runs a foundation which provides free MRIs to women in order to help them with early detection and treatment.

These celebs have shown us that with courage and will-power, even the Goliath named cancer can be vanquished by any David.


IIT-Madras establishes cancer tissue bio-bank

Chennai: The day is not far away when quicker detection, effective treatment and cheaper drugs are available at home. The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) – Madras, in collaboration with Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, has set up within its campus India’s first ever bio-bank dedicated entirely to cancer research.

The project mainly focuses on collecting cancer tissues from voluntary individuals; doctors and institutions treating other cancer patients. This will help build a database on the incidence of cancer, the different kinds present today, diagnostics and treatment.

Prof S Mahalingam, Department of Biotechnology, IIT (M) said, “This is aimed at discovering ‘personalised treatment’ with less side effects, early detection and prevention of cancer.” In addition, he also said that they would take measures for appropriate collection, transportation and storing of such tissue in the centralised tissue bank. Facilities such as cell sorting, super-resolution imaging system would be made available, along with allowing access to other approved research institutions.

The DST and IIT (M) together have earmarked 31.71 crores for this purpose. They have allocated 10,000 sq feet space for the bio bank along with storage and security facilities.

–          Nayantara N

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Cancer stricken baby serves as the best man

Innocence captured yet lost | Image source: ABC News
Innocence captured yet lost | Image source: ABC News

Jeanette, Pennslyvania: It is the age when most babies are taking their first steps, moving from babbling to actual speech or picking up their first crayon. But two year old Logan Stevenson is fighting his way to live.

Dressed in a tan suit, Logan represented as the best man to his father, Sean Stevenson, as he dozed on and off during the ceremony.”This is our dream come true, all our family together, and we’re all together celebrating. The celebration of my son’s life and the celebration of our marriage,” quoted mother Christine Swidorsky, as she carried him down the aisle at the wedding.

The marriage, which was originally scheduled for July 2014, had to be advanced as doctors informed his parents that he had only two to three weeks to live and wanted him to be part of the wedding. He was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of one and underwent intense chemotherapy and stem cell treatment. He ‘grew healthy and made his family unspeakable happy’ as he recovered within 9 months only to be diagnosed with a rare genetic form of cancer called Fanconi anemia just few months ago.

The Make a Wish Foundation even arranged a trip for the family to Disney Land, in June, bringing in some cheer for the little boy. Time is running out and the family is struggling to keep him with them one extra day.

(With inputs from Nayantara Nagaraju)