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7 Most Exciting New Findings in The Cancer Research Sector

7 Most Exciting New Findings in The Cancer Research Sector


Cancer research has come a long way during the past several years. What does the future of cancer treatment look like?
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Editor: Jacob Maslow Last Updated: 26-Aug-2020

The past few years have been an exciting time in the field of cancer research as some of the top minds in the world try to find ways to fight a disease that is only becoming more common. There are a few top cancer research findings that have risen to the surface.

1. Cancer Energy Source

First, researchers found that cancer cells need an unlimited supply of energy and this usually comes in the form of glucose. A research team found that leukemia cells, a type of blood cancer, will undercut the ability of normal cells to consume glucose. They were able to steal glucose from healthy cells, fueling the growth and spread of cancer throughout the body.

Furthermore, the researchers found that some cancer cells are able to spread throughout the body with ease when they switch their diet. While cancer cells chiefly use glucose as an energy source, one research study found that a specific protein helps cancer cells adapt to where and how they get their energy. Some cancer cells are able to switch from using sugar to using fatty acids as a source of energy if their sugar supply is limited. This could have implications regarding how cancer is treated.

2. Fat Cells

Other research teams found that they were actually able to trick some cancer cells into becoming fat cells instead, stopping the spread of cancer. This research team used breast cancer cells that were present in mice and transformed them into fat cells, which prevented cancer from spreading. While this trial only took place in mice, it could have implications regarding how researchers attack cancer in the future.

3. T Cells

A study that was published by UCLA found that creatine serves as a type of molecular battery for cells in the immune system. Creatine was found to fuel CD8 T cells, which play a critical role in fighting cancer. T cells can attack certain tumors and could provide the body with the ability to resist invasion by certain tumor cells.

4. Engineering the Immune System

Speaking of tumor cells, another research team was able to engineer the immune system to attack cancer cells that were present at multiple sites throughout the body. While this research study also took place in mice, they were found that they were able to specifically trigger dying cells to help destroy tumors. This provides a window into potential cancer treatment options.

5. Cannabilism for Cancer

A team of researchers found that cancer cells might resort to a form of cannibalism in the face of chemo. Chemotherapy is one of the main treatment options for those who have been diagnosed with cancer. The research team found that numerous types of cancer start to eat their neighbors if they feel threatened by treatment options.

6. Reverse Chemotherapy

Some researchers also found that not all tumors shrink in the face of chemotherapy. In some types of cancer, chemo can actually lead to a higher degree of metastatic disease, causing cancer to spread. The team observed that chemotherapy could cause some types of cancer to release signals that lead to prolonged survival of cancer cells. This could change the way medical professionals use chemotherapy in the future.

7. Pancreatic Cancer

Finally, a team of researchers explored the beginnings of pancreatic cancer. Using 3D imaging, a team of researchers found that there are two separate ways that ductal types of pancreatic cancer grow. The team is striving to find a way to quickly and easily diagnose pancreatic cancer.