Diagnosis & Disease Information

IBM's Watson Computer

IBM’s Watson Is Pushing the Boundaries

IBM’s Watson computer has been making headlines these past few years. It was put to the test on the game show Jeopardy and routed 2 of the most successful contestants in the show’s history. If the past is any indication of performance, Watson’s involvement in the field of oncology could prove beneficial to both patients and practitioners. Originally the size of a large room, IBM managed over time to successfully reduce the size of Watson to that of a pizza box. Improvements weren’t only made to its size, but also its processing speed, which has increased by an astonishing 240%.

Study Finds That Carbon Monoxide Can Help Shrink Tumors and Amplify Effectiveness of Chemotherapy

Study Finds That Carbon Monoxide Can Help Shrink Tumors and Amplify Effectiveness of Chemotherapy

Therapeutic benefits of this poisonous gas appear linked to cell’s energy status; CO, used in combination with chemo helps spare healthy tissue

In recent years, research has suggested that carbon monoxide, the highly toxic gas emitted from auto exhausts and faulty heating systems, can be used to treat certain inflammatory medical conditions. Now a study led by a research team at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) shows for the first time that carbon monoxide may also have a role to play in treating cancer.

Mayo Clinic Researchers Find Shape-Shifting Stops Migrating Cancer Cells

Mayo Clinic Researchers Find Shape-Shifting Stops Migrating Cancer Cells

Like a car with a front and back end, a steering mechanism and an engine to push it forward, cancer cells propel themselves through normal tissues and organs to spread cancer throughout the body. Researchers at Mayo Clinic in Florida, however, have managed to turn these cells into shapes like a round fried egg and an exaggerated starfish that sticks out in many directions — both of which cannot now move.

In research published in the December issue of Molecular and Cellular Biology, investigators reveal how interplay of molecules keeps cancer cells moving forward, and how disturbing the balance of these proteins pushes their shape to change, stopping them in their tracks.

Children with High-Risk Leukemia

Drug Offers Promising Approach to Improve Outcome for Children with High-Risk Leukemia

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital leads study showing that a drug withdrawn from the market in 2010 may enhance the effectiveness of bone marrow transplants for select pediatric leukemia patients

Combining the drug gemtuzumab ozogamicin (GO) with conventional chemotherapy may improve the outcome of bone marrow transplantation for some children battling high-risk acute myeloid leukemia (AML), according to a study led by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The results appear in the current edition of the journal Cancer.

Cancer Screening Dogs

Cancer Screening Is for the Dogs

Early detection is paramount in the successful treatment of cancer. Colonoscopies and Pap smears have long been known to considerably lower mortality rates. However, improved screening methods are always needed. For example, lung cancer has a survival rate of about 15% because it is too often detected in the latter stages, which limits treatment options. Currently, imaging and sampling of blood, fluid, and tissue are the staples of diagnosis, but the future may also include a furrier option.

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