Global Health Asia-Pacific March 2022 March 2022 - Page 26

Cancer News

Cervical cancer test might also predict other female malignancies
One examination could help prevent several malignancies in women

Researchers in Europe have developed a new way to better measure the risk of developing ovarian and breast cancers , two of the most common malignant tumours affecting women , by analysing standard samples taken from cervical cancer screening tests .

The pap smear is an effective cervical cancer screening approach that collects cells from the womb for lab analysis and diagnosis . The researchers scoured cellular bits from the pap smears of 3,000 women and identified genetic changes related to breast and ovarian cancers , pinpointing a greater number of patients with those conditions than standard methods that look at their genetic make-up .
The new approach identified 76.6 percent of women with breast cancer and 61.7 percent with ovarian cancer in the highest risk groups , while standard methods were only successful in 47.5 and 35.1 percent of cases , respectively .
This was achieved by analysing marks on the DNA , called methylation , that result from environmental and lifestyle factors and can play a role in the development of diseases like cancer . Since these changes happen years before people actually develop cancer , the technique could prevent its emergence or help diagnose it early .
“ The WID-test will look for the footprints on a woman ’ s DNA as she goes through life , recording the track she is taking and whether she is heading towards cancer . The WID-test will revolutionise screening and enable a more personalised approach to cancer prevention and detection , where women will be screened , monitored , or treated based on their individual , and changing , risk ,” Dr Martin Widschwendter , a professor in women ’ s cancer at University College London and lead author of the study , said in a press release .
Killer T-cell therapy proves to be cure for blood cancer
Revolutionary immune cells that eradicated cancer were still active a decade after infusion


wo of the first patients treated with a groundbreaking immunotherapy for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia ( CLL ) were still free of the disease and had detectable cancer-killing cells 10 years on , a strong sign they had been cured of the blood cancer .
“ This long-term remission is remarkable , and witnessing patients living cancer-free is a testament to the tremendous potency of this “ living drug ” that works effectively against cancer cells ,” first author Dr J . Joseph Melehorst , a research professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania , said in a press release .
In 2010 , the two patients , Bill Ludwig and Doug Olson , had exhausted all options available at the time to treat CLL and volunteered for an experimental approach that would genetically modify some of their own immune cells to create chimeric antigen receptor ( CAR ) T-cells capable of pinpointing and killing cancer tissue . After achieving complete remission in only a few months , their symptoms disappeared and lives returned to normal .
The results sparked a revolution in the treatment of CLL , a common form of blood cancer that remains incurable with standard therapies . The new research now offers some additional glimpses into why CAR T-cells are so powerful , showing that they are able to survive and thrive in the body for a decade .
Researchers are now studying whether this form of immunotherapy can be harnessed against other malignancies . “ Penn has begun testing nextgeneration T-cells in more blood cancers , including lymphomas , and against the challenging solid tumour cancers ,” senior author Dr Carl H . June , the Richard W . Vague Professor in Immunotherapy in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and director of the Center for Cellular Immunotherapies and the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at the University of Pennsylvania , said in a press release .
24 MARCH 2022 GlobalHealthAsiaPacific . com