Cancer Today Staff

A Growing Commitment to Cancer Survivors

Thanks to decades of cancer research that have brought us groundbreaking discoveries and treatments, 15.5 million U.S. cancer survivors have more time to spend with their loved ones. That number is only going up, to an estimated 26.1 million by 2040.

For most of these survivors, their journey comes with complications and lasting side effects. Many continue to deal with the physical, mental, and emotional impact of their cancer diagnosis long after their final treatment. Thousands of survivors face financial challenges resulting from or made worse by their cancer diagnosis and treatment.

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CAR-T Cells: “Bionic” Immune Cells for Treating Cancer

In the 1970s television series The Six Million Dollar Man, the narrator says of severely injured astronaut Steve Austin: “We can rebuild him. We have the technology. We can make him better than he was. Better, stronger, faster.” The narrator was referring to “bionic” technologies that provided higher visual acuity, stunning strength, and the ability to run at speeds greater than 60 miles per hour.

Over the past few years, cancer immunologists have achieved a comparable feat. They have taken T cells—the immune cells capable of destroying infectious agents, foreign cells, and cancers—and rebuilt them to be better than they were, better at recognizing and killing cancer cells.

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Understanding Immunotherapy Side Effects

Treatment with checkpoint inhibitors is often billed as gentler than chemotherapy—and it is true that immunotherapy doesn’t come with the same acute side effects, such as hair loss, characteristic of many chemotherapy drugs. But checkpoint inhibitors are not without side effects.

In a story published in the summer 2018 issue of Cancer Today, digital editor Kate Yandell discusses what is known about checkpoint inhibitor side effects and how to spot and treat them.

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Disparities in End-of-Life Care

For cancer patients at the ends of their lives, hospice care can provide access to comfort measures and extra help. Medicare offers hospice benefits to eligible patients. But not all patients have equal access to this care, research indicates.

In the spring issue of Cancer Today, medical and business journalist Charlotte Huff writes about disparities in end-of-life care affecting U.S. cancer patients.

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Why Is Liver Cancer on the Rise?

Although liver cancer isn’t as prevalent as lung cancer or breast cancer, this cancer is now the fastest-increasing cause of cancer death in the United States. In the Spring 2018 issue of Cancer Today, contributing editor Sue Rochman explored contributing factors for the increased liver cancer incidence since the mid-1970s.

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Advice from Advocates: How to Navigate the Annual Meeting

Two graduates of the AACR Scientist↔Survivor Program, a special educational experience that gives patient advocates the opportunity to attend and learn from researchers at the AACR Annual Meeting, have put together some tips to help guide advocates who are attending this or any large scientific conference.

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DNA Profiling Moves From Forensics to Diagnostics

Television series like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation familiarized viewers with advances in forensic science that allow investigators to detect minute amounts of a person’s unique DNA sequence found at a crime scene and analyze it to implicate or exonerate a suspect. Similar DNA technologies can also detect and analyze small numbers of cancer cells in blood.

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The Vital Role of Caregivers

Before her husband, Tony, was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2012, Christy Leonard knew little about caregiving. Leonard, who works in information technology, soon found herself giving injections and operating a feeding tube, all while working from home and caring for the couple’s children. Meanwhile, “I did absolutely nothing for myself,” she said.

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