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Articles on Cancer

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A 95% reduction in the nicotine content of cigars and cigarettes would make these tobacco products largely nonaddictive. Robert Recker/The Image Bank via Getty Images

The US government’s call for deep nicotine reduction in cigarettes could save millions of lives – an expert who studies tobacco addiction explains

The proposed standard would lower the nicotine content in cigarettes and cigars by 95% – a public health proposal that could prevent millions from becoming smokers in the first place.
Telomeres (red) at the ends of chromosomes protect your DNA from damage. Thomas Ried/NCI Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health via Flickr

Cells become zombies when the ends of their chromosomes are damaged – a tactic both helpful and harmful for health

The protective caps at the ends of chromosomes naturally shorten over time. Researchers found that direct damage can prematurely trigger senescence and contribute to age-related diseases like cancer.
Consuming an ample supply of fresh fruits and vegetables is still a tried and true way of getting vitamins and minerals and achieving lasting health benefits. PeopleImages/iStock via Getty Images Plus

An expert panel has recommended against taking vitamin E or beta carotene supplements for the prevention of cancer and cardiovascular disease – here’s why

Despite the popular belief that vitamin E and beta carotene supplements help prevent heart disease and cancer, the latest research suggests they do not – but the supplements do have potential risks.
Stem cell transplants involve completely eliminating and then replacing the immune system of a patient, often by transplanting the bone marrow. xia yuan/Moment via Getty Images

Gut bacteria nurture the immune system – for cancer patients, a diverse microbiome can protect against dangerous treatment complications

Patients with blood cancer undergoing stem cell transplantation have a high risk of complications. The bacteria in their gut, however, can help their immune system recover and fight infections.
Depending on how you look at it, drugs that can act on multiple targets could be a boon instead of a challenge. Andrew Brookes/Image Source via Getty Images

Many medications affect more than one target in the body – some drug designers are embracing the ‘side effects’ that had been seen as a drawback

Many approved drugs work on the body in ways that researchers still aren’t entirely clear about. Seeing this as an opportunity instead of a flaw may lead to better treatments for complex conditions.
The proteasome is a cellular machine that chews up misfolded and unwanted proteins, and can promote cell death, making it an interesting target for cancer treatment. (Shutterstock)

How the cell’s waste management systems might be targeted to treat cancer

Faulty cellular waste management machinery can lead to cancer and neurodegenerative diseases, but researchers are also targeting this machinery to treat these diseases.
Dendritic cells (green) produce cytokines like IL-12, which can train T cells (pink) to attack tumors. Victor Segura Ibarra and Rita Serda/National Cancer Institute via Flickr

‘Masked’ cancer drug stealthily trains immune system to kill tumors while sparing healthy tissues, reducing treatment side effects

One promising cancer treatment has been in the works for decades, but severe side effects have kept it out of the clinic. A reengineered version may offer a way to safely harness its potent effects.
Cancer-causing viruses like HPV can cause cells to divide indefinitely and, in the case of Henrietta Lacks, become immortal. Tom Deerinck/NIH via Flickr

What are HeLa cells? A cancer biologist explains

The immortal cancer cells of Henrietta Lacks revolutionized the fields of science, medicine and bioethics. And they still survive today, more than 70 years after her death.
Identifying the difference between normal genetic variation and disease-causing mutations can sometimes be difficult. Andrii Yalanskyi/iStock via Getty Images Plus

Genetic mutations can be benign or cancerous – a new method to differentiate between them could lead to better treatments

Tumors contain thousands of genetic changes, but only a few are actually cancer-causing. A quicker way to identify these driver mutations could lead to more targeted cancer treatments.
Cancer groundshot highlights that investment in improving access to treatments already proven to work saves more lives than discovery of a new treatment. (Shutterstock)

Cancer groundshot: Access to proven treatments must parallel development of new therapies

Globally, most cancer patients die not because they don’t have access to newer drugs, but because they don’t have access to even basic treatments. Cancer groundshot aims to improve treatment access.

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