Dr. Keen's Blog

Tool to categorize breast cancer tumors also work to classify prostate tumors

Clearly the breast and the prostate tissues are not similar organs, but cancers in these tissues are both driven by hormones – estrogen in breast cancer and androgens in prostate cancer. New research by Shuang Zhao and colleagues in the lab of Dr. Felix Feng at the University of Michigan and University of California, San Francisco shows that at the gene level, like breast cancer, prostate tumors can be subdivided into... Read More

I’m marching for science, are you?

The March for Science is this Saturday. Are you marching? I am, and here are my reasons. image from https://www.flickr.com/photos/bradhoc/31619779314   Blog piece posted in Global Health Now Newsletter from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  

Can genomics be used to determine radiation dose?

Understanding if a patient needs a higher or lower dose of radiation in order to kill the tumor cells is the focus of a new paper by Dr. Jacob Scott and colleagues in Dr.Javier Torres-Roca’s lab. Researchers have developed a biomarker profile, a genomic test, to determine how well a tumor will respond to radiation therapy. This profile, called the genomic-adjusted radiation dose (GARD) predicted clinical outcome in breast, lung,... Read More

Overcoming resistance to immunotherapy using radiation

Data are emerging that radiotherapy may help overcome resistance to PDL-1 immunotherapy and restore its ability to kill cancer cells. Xiaohong Wang and colleagues in James Welsh’s lab have now published in Cancer Research one way that this is actually working. Using a mouse model of non small-cell lung cancer, these researchers demonstrate how cells sensitive to immunotherapy and those that are resistant differ. Further, they also show how radiation given to the resistant tumors can... Read More

Are scientists talking about climate change the right way?

A new post by AAAS Science and Technology Policy fellow, Rudy Kahsar, delves into the question of talking about climate change in the right way. Are scientists using the correct approach that relates to people and connects them to the problem? Is there a better way? Check it out the the latest Sci on the Fly post: http://www.aaaspolicyfellowships.org/sci-fly/building-climate-change-awareness-ground

Zika, viruses and what can be done

Visit the Sci on the Fly site to listen to the latest Podcast PODCAST: STDs, HIV, Mosquitoes and Zika aaaspolicyfellowships.org Concluding our exploration of the Zika virus, this podcast examines different strategies and polices learned from other infectious diseases to address a potential Zika epidemic. Drs. Beth Linas, Claire Schulkey and Shobhana Gupta interview experts to gain their insight. http://www.aaaspolicyfellowships.org/sci-fly/podcast-stds-hiv-mosquitoes-and-zika

Childhood cancer deaths decline

The CDC just released a new report on death rates from childhood cancer. Good news! Cancer rates declined by 20% overall from 2009 – 2014, the last year that statistics are available. There was a decrease in both males and females, in all age groups, and in African American and Caucasian children. The number of children with leukemia has declined, making brain cancer the leading cause of childhood cancer. There... Read More

More cases of Zika reported in Miami – experts weigh in

As more cases of Zika virus infection are reported in Miami, concern for residents, especially pregnant women, increases. AAAS Science and Technology Fellows, Beth Linas (@bethlinas), Claire Schulkey, and Shobhana Gupta (@_shobhana_) talk with Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Associate Professor Bruce Lee about the virus, how it spread to Brazil and the we in the US should be thinking about. Listen to the AAAS Sci on the... Read More

Precision medicine has a broad definition

What is precision medicine? How do you define an individual approach to treatment and health care? When asked for the first thing that leaps to mind when you think “precision” or “personalized” medicine, most answer that it is using genes to determine how to treat a disease. Is this true? Is precision medicine limited to just genes? What is meant by genes? Gene mutations – changes in the gene sequence... Read More

Combination cancer therapy

There is so much talk about immunotherapy these days. Sidney Kimmel and Michael Bloomberg just donated money to establish the Bloomberg-Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at Johns Hopkins University. The Institute of Medicine discussed what policies should be considered with this new emerging treatment paradigm. New ideas about how to combine immunotherapy with other cancer therapies are emerging almost daily. After many years of intense research into how the immune... Read More

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