Potentially the biggest medical breakthrough since penicillin

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“Immunotherapy is the biggest breakthrough in medicine in our generation”: Associate Professor Alex Menzies from Melanoma Institute Australia.

If there is reason to have faith in the scientists, immunologists, virologists and oncologists racing to develop a vaccine for coronavirus, it is the stunning progress they are having in reducing deaths from what is called “Australia’s cancer”.

A decade ago, a diagnosis of advanced or stage four melanoma was effectively a death sentence within six to nine months.

But a leading medical oncologist, Associate Professor Alex Menzies from Melanoma Institute Australia, believes immunotherapy treatments – using the body’s immune system to attack the cancer cells – mean 50 per cent of these patients are surviving long enough to be considered cured.

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Top 5 emerging medical technologies to watch in 2014

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Robotic check-ups

Medical technology companies are focusing more than ever on products that deliver cheaper, faster, more efficient patient care. They are also making inroads with U.S. Food & Drug Administration regulators to re-engineer the complex review and approval process for new medical devices.

 

 

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Significant Advances in Two of the Hardest to Treat Cancers

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Lung cancer and melanoma are among the hardest cancers to treat.

Using two opposite strategies, one focused and one broad, scientists say they have made progress in taming two of the most intractable types of cancer.   The focused approach shrank tumors significantly in a majority of patients with advanced lung cancer marked by a specific genetic abnormality.

 

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Scientists Believe They Have Found A Cure For Skin Cancer

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A cure for skin cancer?

A vaccine being tested in the UK has helped been shown to help some patients fully recover from melanoma, even in its advanced stages.  It attacks tumour cells, leaving healthy cells undamaged and carries agents that boost the body’s response to skin cancer.

 

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Research Shows How Cancer Spreads To Brain

Research Shows How Cancer Spreads To Brain

Breast cancer cells (in green) grow only on blood vessels (red) in the brain of a mouse. 

Research has shown for the first time how cancers that spread to the brain establish themselves and begin to grow.

The Oxford University study, published in the journal PLoS One, has identified the mechanism that metastatic cancer cells use to anchor themselves to blood vessels in the brain. This could allow new drugs to be developed to stop cancers from spreading and growing in the brain.

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Instant Immunity From A Vaccine

Instant Immunity From A Vaccine

 

A new approach primes antibodies to instantly attack cancers, HIV, and other diseases.

The body’s immune system is often likened to an army, and vaccines to training exercises that build up defenses against pathogens. By exposing the immune system to inactive forms of a virus or bacteria, a vaccine trains antibodies to fight off a real pathogen in the event of an invasion. However, while vaccines prepare antibodies to identify an attacker, they often don’t give specific instructions on exactly how to bring it down. Some antibodies may successfully hit a pathogen’s weak spot, while others may miss the mark entirely. That’s part of the reason why it normally takes several weeks or months for some vaccines to build up an effective immune response.

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Researchers Agree There Is No Such Thing As A Safe Suntan

Researchers Agree There Is No such Thing As A Safe Tan

There is no such thing as a safe tan, U.S. and British researchers said on Thursday.

They said in their review of published studies that tans and skin cancer both begin with DNA damage caused by exposure to ultraviolet light but many people, especially the young, ignore or are unaware of this danger in a quest for a bronzed body.

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