Thymus of the essence?

(Apr 6, 2018)

We've considered cancer and its relationship to aging on a number of previous occasions. Studies published in the British Journal of Cancer in 2011 and 2018 concluded that around 40% of cases are attributable to known modifiable lifestyle and environmental factors, which is a substantial minority. Whilst risk for specific cancer subtypes will be more or less amenable to lifestyle and environment interventions than this, it is beyond doubt that the longer we live, the higher our risk of cancer becomes. But why?

A 2014 analysis of analysis of age and cancer risk proposed the view that "For most adults, age is coincidentally associated with preventable chronic conditions, avoidable exposures, and modifiable…

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Tags: longevity, research, cancer, immunotherapy, immunosenescence

Solid Progress

(Feb 8, 2018)

When we previously discussed the progress of immunotherapy within cancer treatment, some of the most exciting results were in the field of leukaemia and melanoma, with progress in other solid cancers lagging somewhat behind. In the UK, solid tumour-forming cancers account for the overwhelming majority of cancer mortality for both females and males, so similar progress in these areas could have a transformative impact on the prognosis for sufferers.

The CAR-T approaches so successful with blood cancers are undergoing active trials in the UK and have already been approved as a treatment by the US FDA. Such techniques extract, modify and reintroduce the patient's immune cells after engineering the ability…

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Tags: longevity, research, cancer, immunotherapy

Special Delivery

(Apr 4, 2017)

Drug molecules, without special intervention, don't apply only where we want them to. Indeed, late last year this fact landed pharmaceutical giant Reckitt Benckiser in trouble with the Australian regulator. Their "specific pain" range, despite bold claims on the packaging, was deemed to not target back pain, migraine or indeed any other specific pain. As a result, the premium pricing was ruled misleading and earned the company a AU$6 million fine. Pharmaceutical marketing departments will likely be unhappy that a regulator has decided the standard approach of deploying medication via simple blood circulation should no longer be represented as targeted.

Of course, this issue isn't simply about misleading…

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Tags: mortality, cancer, targeting

Metastatic Immunity

(Mar 15, 2016)

In 2013, cancers represented more than one third of the top-fifteen causes of all-age mortality in the UK, irrespective of gender. Despite intensive efforts, for some cancers survival rates have scarcely improved for decades. Described by oncologist turned Pulitzer prize-winning author Siddhartha Mukherjee as the Emperor of all Maladies, it is not one disease, but many. Part of its fearsome reputation stems from the fact that after successful treatment, many cancers may return, sometimes even decades later. Since traditional chemotherapy works by killing cells in the process of division, some quiescent cancer cells can be missed. Without a process of ongoing disease prevention, cancer can recur in…

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Tags: longevity, research, cancer, immunotherapy

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