All posts tagged “cancer”

Doctors are prescribing mushrooms to cancer patients to treat anxiety

The results of the first study on LSD used in drug therapy were announced last month, hinting at the benefits of psychedelics substances used in treating patients with anxiety. Now, according to The Atlantic, similar research is being conducted at New York University, as scientists test psilocybin mushrooms as a means of treating anxious cancer patients. Like LSD, psilocybin mushrooms are Schedule I substances regulated under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, putting stringent restrictions on scientific study. Nevertheless, after going through all the requisite safeguards on their work, researchers are seeing some patients benefit from the treatment — especially with regard to their coping with terminal illness. While their data is…

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Samsung-backed Android alarm app targets cancer and other diseases

Our smartphones don’t do much when they’re sitting there charging overnight, something Samsung and the University of Vienna want to take advantage of to cure diseases. A new app called Power Sleep uses your phone’s downtime to crunch protein calculations. That data’s used to research cures for diseases, similar to Folding@Home, which was popularized by the PlayStation 3. In this case, Power Sleep  — which was backed by Samsung, and made by its former in-house marketing agency Chiel — doubles as an alarm clock designed to replace whatever alarm people were using before. Once set, the app begins grabbing packets of data to crunch, which are about 1MB in size, then sending them back when the process is complete.

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Generic drug trade wins big after court refuses cancer medicine patent

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The Supreme Court in India has left the door open for the generic drug trade to manufacture cheap versions of groundbreaking drugs. The court today rejected a patent application from Novartis, the world’s second-largest drug manufacturer, for the breakthrough leukemia drug Glivec. It ruled that Novartis’ new drug represents only a “minor tweak to an existing drug” whose patent has expired, echoing critics’ complaints that the manufacturer was attempting to exploit a loophole to squeeze more money out of the medicine. The practice of making minor changes to drugs to extend their patents — known in the industry as “evergreening” — was effectively outlawed in 2005 by Indian lawmakers, and today’s decision solidified that ruling.

G…

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Doctors develop a pill-sized 3D camera to help them diagnose cancer

Tethered pill camera

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital have developed a new pill camera that will help to detect ailments such as Barrett’s esophagus by generating 3D renders of internal organs. Current pill cameras are only able to take quick pictures of the esophagus before making their way through the intestines, but a thin wire has been attached to the new camera that allows doctors to move it up and down the body at will. The new device doesn’t just take simple pictures, either. It can also provide a full 3D rendering of the esophagus through optical frequency domain imaging, a technique that uses infrared light as opposed to ultrasound waves.

The new devices should help doctors to avoid typical endoscopies, which normally involve…

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Samsung responsible for factory worker’s cancer, rules Korean labor ministry

Photo

The South Korean government today said there was a link between conditions at a Samsung factory and the cancer case of one of the Chaebol’s workers. The ruling was made earlier this month, but was revealed today when compensation for the worker’s family was made public.

The Korean labor ministry recognized that the worker, referred to only by her surname “Kim,” was exposed to organic solvents and radiation, but admitted that it was difficult to quantify the amount of exposure to harmful substances. It judged that there was a “considerable cause-and-effect relationship” between Kim’s cancer and the five years she worked at a semiconductor factory. An activism group accused Samsung of not installing a radiation detector at the factory,…

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Of mice and men: how animal ‘avatars’ could hold the key to personalized cancer treatment

Mouse injection (NYT)

The New York Times has published an intriguing profile of Champions Oncology, a company using so-called mouse ‘avatars’ to replicate the immune systems of cancer patients. Researchers at the New Jersey-based organization take tumors that have been freshly extracted from patients and slice them up for insertion into specially-bred mice, letting the cells grow inside the animals until they have a sufficient number to conduct a study. They then test various cocktails of drugs on the mice, using the results to determine which could work best on the human patient. The treatment isn’t cheap — a study of four different drugs for a 9-year-old Ewing’s sarcoma sufferer earlier this year cost $ 25,500 — and there is, as yet, no cast-iron…

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Glove Tricorder prototype aims to support at-home cancer screening

glove tricoder

A project from a company called Med Sensation hopes to enable home screenings for breast cancer and more. Dubbed the “Glove Tricorder,” is a prototype with sensors that can measure “accelerometers, temperature, force, sound, and vibration.” The project grew out of the graduate studies program at Singularity University, and the graduate students behind the idea hope that “quantifying touch” will lead to better healthcare. While the current iteration is designed as an aid for medical students, providing feedback on whether they’re pressing too hard when examining patients, for example. The goad is to add yet more sensors, including ultrasound, which could enable lay people to use the gloves to check for cancer, detect heart abnormalities,…

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