Tag Archives: cancer

Dangers in herbal medicine — the link between Aristolochia plants and urinary tract cancer

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Traditional Chinese medicine market

Traditional Chinese remedies have been used in Asia for several thousand years, and they have become popular in other parts of the world in the recent years, where the remedies are being used in conjunction with Western medications. However, some traditional Chinese medicines are now known to contain toxins and may cause serious health issues. One example is the case of herbal medicine made from Aristolochia plants.

Some Aristolochia plants contain toxic substance called aristolochic acid. The plants have been widely used in traditional herbal medicines, such as Mutong and Fangchi. However, aristolochic acid is now known to cause kidney failure and urinary tract cancer, and it has been classified as carcinogen since 2002. Continue reading –>

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Avatars in cancer research — the road to personalized cancer therapy

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One of the challenges in cancer treatment is the development of resistance against anti-cancer drugs. It would be necessary to switch to new drugs, but knowing which drugs are the most effective for the patient is difficult, and testing different drugs puts the patient at risk. Mouse “avatars” might be a rescue.

Nude mouse (athymic mouse). Special thanks to ...

Nude mouse is often the choice for xenograft models. Photo credit: Armin Kübelbeck

The term “avatars” are informally given by cancer researchers to refer to mice or other animals with human tissue implanted onto them. More formally, these models are known as xenografts (implantation of a tissue donated from one species onto a recipient of another species). Patient-derived human tumor tissue xenograft models are made by implanting mice with a portion of patient’s tumor tissues. The expectation is heightening in the recent years as researchers hope that this method will guide us to personalized cancer therapy. Continue reading –>

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Nanorobot to cure cancer? — the art of DNA origami

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The big question in developing a drug is how to deliver the drug to the target without affecting other healthy parts of the body. This question might be answered by the recently developed nanorobot.

Animation of the structure of a section of DNA...

Nanorobot was developed by the research team at the Harvard University, whose article was published in Sicence last month. The device utilizes DNA nanotechnology and has two key features: targeted delivery and conditional release of payload. Continue reading –>

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