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The Interplay Between Tumour Surgery and Cancer Metastasis

The primary treatment option for the majority of malign tumors is surgery. However, growing experimental and clinical evidence demonstrates that surgery itself can accelerate metastasis development. Reasons for that are numerous: Growing experimental and clinical evidence demonstrates that surgery itself can accelerate metastasis development.  Tumor shedding Damage to the patients’ tissues during surgery has been …

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Can Machine Learning Improve the Prediction of Neoadjuvant Therapy Effects in Breast Cancer?

What is neoadjuvant therapy To increase the survival and the success rate of surgical tumor removal, breast cancer patients are treated with the so-called neoadjuvant therapy. Most often this is either chemotherapy, where drugs indiscriminately kill fast-growing cells, targeted therapy, where drugs block the growth specifically of cancer cells, or hormonal therapy where certain hormones, …

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The Importance of Cancer-cell Communication, and Could we Target it in a Smarter Way

Crosstalk among cancer cells and between cancer cells and the tumour microenvironment plays a crucial role in tumour development and progression (1). This communication is a two-way process (inside-out and outside-in) and can be realized through both direct contact and indirectly. (2,3,4,5,6) The importance of signaling pathways Cells continuously release billions of signalling molecules. In …

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The Tumour Microenvironment, and the new Possibilities PhysiCell Offers in Precision Medicine

What is Precision Medicine Personalized medicine (aka precision medicine) is often defined as “a medical model using characterisation of individuals’ phenotypes and genotypes (e.g. molecular profiling, medical imaging, lifestyle data) for tailoring the right therapeutic strategy for the right person at the right time, and/or to determine the predisposition to disease and/or to deliver timely …

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Does Quantum Mechanics Offer us a New Approach in Cancer Research?

Quantum-like World of Cancer Complexity Cancer is a heterogeneous disease. Even the single cancer type can be divided into a multitude of varieties. Each of them significantly affects prognosis and treatment options (1). For instance, breast cancer is actually a collection of at least 12 unique biological groups (2). And these 12 groups exist only …

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Data Quality, Cancer Research, Betsy Humphreys, and the Importance of Dreaming Big

AI and datasets Artificial intelligence can recognize patterns in large data collections and draw connections between multiple features in the data. When successful, results are often dubbed as “superhuman” and get great media coverage. However, such AI systems can be easily fooled (for a great overview see 1). So, the quality of datasets is of …

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A Curious World of Tumour Complexity

Immune defence In the human body, macrophages play crucial roles in both innate and adaptive immunity. However, a population of macrophages can become associated with tumours (so-called, TAM – tumour-associated macrophages) and start playing a completely opposite set of roles: promote tumour growth, invasion, metastasis, and drug resistance. Plasticity A tumour contains cancer stem cells …

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Do new privacy laws place more hurdles on the path to precision medicine?

What is precision medicine According to the American Cancer Society, “Precision medicine looks at how a specific gene change (gene mutation) might affect a person’s risk of getting a certain cancer or, if they already have cancer, how their genes (or genes in their cancer cells) might affect treatment.” (1).  More simply put, precision medicine …

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