Four New Technologies That Will Change Cancer Treatment

New approaches to tame the immune system in the fight against cancer are getting us closer to a future where cancer becomes a curable disease. Personalized vaccines, cell therapy, gene editing and microbiome treatments are four technologies that will change the way cancer is treated. Curing cancer is certainly one of the big challenges of the 21st century. Our knowledge of cancer has greatly improved in the last two decades. This has revealed the huge variability that can be found between not only different types of cancer, but also between patients with the same type of cancer.

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St John of God Health Care

St John of God Health Care is a leading health care provider, with hospitals, home nursing and social outreach services throughout Australia, New Zealand, and the wider Asia-Pacific region. As a Catholic, not-for-profit group, we return all profits to the communities we serve by: Updating and expanding our facilities and technology Expanding existing services and acquiring new services, and Providing social outreach services to people experiencing disadvantage.

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Research

Next-Gen Gene Therapy to Counter Complex Diseases

Article | July 11, 2022

Gene therapy has historically been used to treat disorders with in-depth knowledge caused by a single genetic mutation. Thanks to the introduction of new generation technologies, the potential of gene therapy is expanding tAo treat diseases that were previously untreatable. Evolution of Gene Therapy One of the major success stories of the twenty-first century has been gene therapy. However, it has not been the same in the past. The field's journey to this point has been long and mostly difficult, with both tragedy and triumph along the way. Initially, genetic disorders were thought to be untreatable and permanently carved into the genomes of individuals unfortunate enough to be born with them. But due to the constant technological advancement and research activities, gene therapy now has the potential to treat various genetic mutation-causing diseases with its ability to insert a new copy and replace faulty genes. Gene Therapy is Finding New Roads in the Medical Sector Gene therapy can help researchers treat a variety of conditions that fall under the general heading of epilepsy, instead of only focusing on a particular kind of disorder brought on by a genetic mutation. Following are some of the domains transformed by gene therapy. Neurology – Gene therapy can be used for the treatment of seizures by directly injecting it into the area causing an uncontrolled electrical disturbance in the brain. Furthermore, by using DNA sequences known as promoters, gene therapy can be restricted to specific neurons within that area. Ophthalmology – Genetic conditions such as blindness can be caused due to the mutation of any gene out of over 200 and resulting in progressive vision loss in children. With advanced gene therapies such as optogenetics, lost photoreceptor function can be transferred to the retinal cells, which are responsible for relaying visual information to the brain. This might give patients the ability to navigate in an unknown environment with a certain level of autonomy. The Future of Gene Therapy The news surrounding gene therapy has been largely favorable over the past few years, with treatment after treatment obtaining regulatory approvals, successful clinical trials, and garnering significant funds to begin development. With more than 1,000 clinical trials presently underway, the long-awaited gene therapy revolution might finally be here.

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MedTech

Immunology: A New Frontier in Medical Science

Article | October 7, 2022

Introduction Recent developments in the bioengineering of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have revolutionized the treatment of numerous rheumatic and immunological disorders. Currently, several immunological disorders are successfully being targeted and treated using innovative medical techniques such as immunotherapy. Leading companies are increasingly investing in research activities to expand the usage and application of immunology for the treatment of various infectious diseases, including multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disorders, lupus, and psoriasis, leading companies are increasingly investing in research activities. Today, the efforts of researchers in immunology, with a long history of study and research, have borne fruit, as bioengineered mAbs are now being employed in clinical practices. Accelerating Investments: Paving the Way for Immunology The increasing prevalence of infectious diseases, cancer, and immune-mediated inflammatory disorders (IMIDs) is raising the need for more precise classification and an in-depth understanding of the pathology underlying these ailments. Numerous leaders in the biotechnology domain are thus focusing on undertaking numerous strategies, such as new facility launches and collaborations, to address the need by finding deeper inroads into immunology and its use in disease treatments. For instance, in 2022, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center announced the launch of a visionary research and innovation hub, the James P. Allison Institute, to find new roads in immunotherapy, develop new treatments, and foster groundbreaking science. These developments will result in better diagnosis through the use of selective biomarkers, and early detection of fatal diseases and their treatment, which will prevent complications from happening. Also, the identification of high-risk populations through a deeper understanding of genetic and environmental factors can assist in the prevention of disease through immunotherapy. The Way Forward Immunology has led to the development of biotechnology, making it possible to develop novel drugs and vaccines, as well as diagnostic tests, that can be used to prevent, diagnose, and treat a wide range of autoimmune, infectious, and cancerous diseases. With the rapid advancement in technology and the integration of artificial intelligence, immunology is finding its way into an array of domains and industries, encompassing several research areas including medicine, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, and space. Today, not only researchers but also leading biotech and pharmaceutical companies have recognized that conventional therapies with pharmaceutical and chemical products are being replaced by products derived from immunology. This is because they work well for health problems, are environmentally friendly, and are also emerging as a wealth-generating business in the medical field.

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MedTech

Better Purification and Recovery in Bioprocessing

Article | July 20, 2022

In the downstream portion of any bioprocess, one must pick through the dross before one can seize the gold the biotherapeutic that the bioprocess was always meant to generate. Unfortunately, the dross is both voluminous and various. And the biotherapeutic gold, unlike real gold, is corruptible. That is, it can suffer structural damage and activity loss. When discarding the dross and collecting the gold, bioprocessors must be efficient and gentle. They must, to the extent possible, eliminate contaminants and organic debris while ensuring that biotherapeutics avoid aggregation-inducing stresses and retain their integrity during purification and recovery. Anything less compromises purity and reduces yield. To purify and recover biotherapeutics efficiently and gently, bioprocessors must avail themselves of the most appropriate tools and techniques. Here, we talk with several experts about which tools and techniques can help bioprocessors overcome persistent challenges. Some of these experts also touch on new approaches that can help bioprocessors address emerging challenges.

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2 Small-Cap Biotech Stocks You Haven't Heard of, But Should Know About

Article | April 17, 2020

With everything that's going on with the COVID-19 pandemic, many healthcare companies have grabbed plenty of spotlight during these challenging times. At the same time, a number of otherwise promising businesses have slipped under the radar. That's especially true for small-cap biotech stocks that aren't actively involved in developing tests, vaccines or treatments for COVID-19. Vaccine developers, protective equipment producers, and healthcare service providers are all attracting plenty of attention during this pandemic, but there are just as many promising biotech stocks that aren't involved in these areas. Here are two such companies that you might have missed, but they deserve a spot on your watch list.

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Spotlight

St John of God Health Care

St John of God Health Care is a leading health care provider, with hospitals, home nursing and social outreach services throughout Australia, New Zealand, and the wider Asia-Pacific region. As a Catholic, not-for-profit group, we return all profits to the communities we serve by: Updating and expanding our facilities and technology Expanding existing services and acquiring new services, and Providing social outreach services to people experiencing disadvantage.

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MedTech

Outcomes4Me Partners with Invitae to Offer Genetic Testing to Breast Cancer Patients

Outcomes4Me | October 12, 2021

Outcomes4Me Inc., developer of a leading free mobile app and platform to navigate cancer treatment and care, today announced that it has partnered with Invitae Corporation (NYSE: NVTA), a leading medical genetics company, to expand education and access to genetic testing to breast cancer patients and survivors. The collaboration leverages the strengths of Invitae, which supplies clinical grade genetic testing, and Outcomes4Me’s 360-degree, validated and evidence-based cancer support and treatment options via its free and easy-to-use app. Initially and currently available in the United States, patients can now receive genetic counseling through Invitae’s partnership with Genome Medical, get testing, and upload their results within the Outcomes4Me app.There is a misconception that genetic testing is only useful as a preventative tool prior to a cancer diagnosis. According to Outcomes4Me patient data, almost half of users (46 percent) who qualified for testing (based on NCCN Guidelines®) did not receive testing or did not know if they had received testing. However, genetic testing can provide insights that can help inform and refine precision therapy use and clinical treatment trial enrollment. In addition, genetic testing results can be used to help prevent recurrence and reduce incidence of other inherited cancers. A cancer diagnosis is often overwhelming for patients and their families. Outcomes4Me demystifies cancer by providing the most up-to-date and validated research, support, and treatment options, all grounded in science and data and curated according to the patient’s specific diagnosis. Outcomes4Me partners with the researchers, doctors, and academics that set the rigorous standards of cancer care for all treatment providers, including the National Comprehensive Care Network® (NCCN®), Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC) and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). The collaboration with Invitae expands access to genetic testing, a vitally important tool in the patient’s cancer care arsenal. “Outcomes4Me is an indispensable platform for patients with breast cancer, giving them the personalized knowledge and access to timely new trials and targeted therapies that could lead to better health outcomes. By providing access to our comprehensive genetic testing and counseling services, Outcomes4Me is adding a valuable resource that will empower patients to advance their knowledge, understanding, and therefore, self-advocacy during treatment and survivorship.” Ed Esplin, M.D., Ph.D., FACMG, FACP, Clinical Geneticist at Invitae Unlike popular direct-to-consumer genetic testing services, which test for a few specific genetic variants for certain genes, Invitae provides state-of-the-art clinical grade next-generation sequencing-based (NGS) genetic testing that comprehensively analyses more than 80 genes, including all known mutations of the important BRCA1/BRCA2 genes. This comprehensive approach, combined with associated genetic counseling, not only provides insights for cancer patients, but also for family members who may be at risk. “Our collaboration with Invitae reinforces Outcomes4Me’s mission to give patients back control. Because of this work with Invitae, our valued community now has rare direct access to a much-needed testing service. Outcomes4Me will proudly continue to democratize the best in cancer treatment, research, and support by removing barriers and bias in information flow.” Maya R. Said, Sc. D., Founder and CEO of Outcomes4Me About Invitae Invitae Corporation (NYSE: NVTA) is a leading medical genetics company whose mission is to bring comprehensive genetic information into mainstream medicine to improve healthcare for billions of people. Invitae's goal is to aggregate the world's genetic tests into a single service with higher quality, faster turnaround time, and lower prices. About Outcomes4Me Outcomes4Me is on a mission to improve health outcomes by empowering patients with understandable, relevant and evidence-based information. Outcomes4Me has developed a platform for shared decision-making between patients and providers. The platform harnesses regulatory-grade, real-world data and patient experiences generating deeper insights and better outcomes to improve care and accelerate research. The Outcomes4Me mobile app enables cancer patients to make decisions and take control of their care based on information that is personalized to their specific condition, including finding treatment options, matching to clinical trials, and tracking and managing symptoms. Based in Boston, Massachusetts, Outcomes4Me, a woman-led company, comprises seasoned healthcare, oncology, pharmaceutical, consumer and technology veterans.

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New insights into blood clot mechanisms in cancer patients discovered

Drug Target Review | November 25, 2019

A potential new signalling pathway that may help further the understanding of blood clot formation in cancer patients and help prevent this complication from occurring has been identified by researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), US. The researchers examined the levels of different molecules and break down products (known as metabolites) in the blood as well as within blood clots from experimental tumour models. They discovered increased blood levels of two molecules called kynurenine and indoxyl sulfate, both of which are metabolites of the amino acid, tryptophan, often a dietary component. These high levels of kynurenine and indoxyl sulfate were also associated with increased blood clot size in an experimental model. The study shows that blood clot size could be reduced by pharmacologically inhibiting the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) pathway, a known target of indoxyl sulfate and kynurenine, suggesting that this may be a target for future drug development.

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Cell Death or Cancer Growth: A Question of Cohesion

Technology Networks | November 20, 2019

Activation of CD95, a receptor found on all cancer cells, triggers programmed cell death - or does the opposite, namely stimulates cancer cell growth. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have now shown that the impact of CD95 activation depends on whether there are isolated cancer cells or three-dimensional structures. Individual cells are programmed to die following CD95 activation. In contrast, CD95 activation stimulates growth in clusters of cancer cells, for example in solid tumors. This finding points to new ways of specifically transforming growth-stimulating signals into cell death signals for the cancer cells. The receptor protein CD95 is exposed on the surface of all cancer cells like small antennae. Activation of the receptor by the CD95 ligand (CD95L) triggers apoptosis in the cancer cell - or the exact opposite: "We studied various types of cancer tissue and found that CD95 activation usually stimulates tumor growth under natural conditions," remarked Ana Martin-Villalba, who has been conducting research at DKFZ on the role of CD95 for many years now. She was the first to describe the cancer-promoting effect of CD95 in glioblastomas (malignant brain tumors).

Read More

MedTech

Outcomes4Me Partners with Invitae to Offer Genetic Testing to Breast Cancer Patients

Outcomes4Me | October 12, 2021

Outcomes4Me Inc., developer of a leading free mobile app and platform to navigate cancer treatment and care, today announced that it has partnered with Invitae Corporation (NYSE: NVTA), a leading medical genetics company, to expand education and access to genetic testing to breast cancer patients and survivors. The collaboration leverages the strengths of Invitae, which supplies clinical grade genetic testing, and Outcomes4Me’s 360-degree, validated and evidence-based cancer support and treatment options via its free and easy-to-use app. Initially and currently available in the United States, patients can now receive genetic counseling through Invitae’s partnership with Genome Medical, get testing, and upload their results within the Outcomes4Me app.There is a misconception that genetic testing is only useful as a preventative tool prior to a cancer diagnosis. According to Outcomes4Me patient data, almost half of users (46 percent) who qualified for testing (based on NCCN Guidelines®) did not receive testing or did not know if they had received testing. However, genetic testing can provide insights that can help inform and refine precision therapy use and clinical treatment trial enrollment. In addition, genetic testing results can be used to help prevent recurrence and reduce incidence of other inherited cancers. A cancer diagnosis is often overwhelming for patients and their families. Outcomes4Me demystifies cancer by providing the most up-to-date and validated research, support, and treatment options, all grounded in science and data and curated according to the patient’s specific diagnosis. Outcomes4Me partners with the researchers, doctors, and academics that set the rigorous standards of cancer care for all treatment providers, including the National Comprehensive Care Network® (NCCN®), Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC) and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). The collaboration with Invitae expands access to genetic testing, a vitally important tool in the patient’s cancer care arsenal. “Outcomes4Me is an indispensable platform for patients with breast cancer, giving them the personalized knowledge and access to timely new trials and targeted therapies that could lead to better health outcomes. By providing access to our comprehensive genetic testing and counseling services, Outcomes4Me is adding a valuable resource that will empower patients to advance their knowledge, understanding, and therefore, self-advocacy during treatment and survivorship.” Ed Esplin, M.D., Ph.D., FACMG, FACP, Clinical Geneticist at Invitae Unlike popular direct-to-consumer genetic testing services, which test for a few specific genetic variants for certain genes, Invitae provides state-of-the-art clinical grade next-generation sequencing-based (NGS) genetic testing that comprehensively analyses more than 80 genes, including all known mutations of the important BRCA1/BRCA2 genes. This comprehensive approach, combined with associated genetic counseling, not only provides insights for cancer patients, but also for family members who may be at risk. “Our collaboration with Invitae reinforces Outcomes4Me’s mission to give patients back control. Because of this work with Invitae, our valued community now has rare direct access to a much-needed testing service. Outcomes4Me will proudly continue to democratize the best in cancer treatment, research, and support by removing barriers and bias in information flow.” Maya R. Said, Sc. D., Founder and CEO of Outcomes4Me About Invitae Invitae Corporation (NYSE: NVTA) is a leading medical genetics company whose mission is to bring comprehensive genetic information into mainstream medicine to improve healthcare for billions of people. Invitae's goal is to aggregate the world's genetic tests into a single service with higher quality, faster turnaround time, and lower prices. About Outcomes4Me Outcomes4Me is on a mission to improve health outcomes by empowering patients with understandable, relevant and evidence-based information. Outcomes4Me has developed a platform for shared decision-making between patients and providers. The platform harnesses regulatory-grade, real-world data and patient experiences generating deeper insights and better outcomes to improve care and accelerate research. The Outcomes4Me mobile app enables cancer patients to make decisions and take control of their care based on information that is personalized to their specific condition, including finding treatment options, matching to clinical trials, and tracking and managing symptoms. Based in Boston, Massachusetts, Outcomes4Me, a woman-led company, comprises seasoned healthcare, oncology, pharmaceutical, consumer and technology veterans.

Read More

New insights into blood clot mechanisms in cancer patients discovered

Drug Target Review | November 25, 2019

A potential new signalling pathway that may help further the understanding of blood clot formation in cancer patients and help prevent this complication from occurring has been identified by researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), US. The researchers examined the levels of different molecules and break down products (known as metabolites) in the blood as well as within blood clots from experimental tumour models. They discovered increased blood levels of two molecules called kynurenine and indoxyl sulfate, both of which are metabolites of the amino acid, tryptophan, often a dietary component. These high levels of kynurenine and indoxyl sulfate were also associated with increased blood clot size in an experimental model. The study shows that blood clot size could be reduced by pharmacologically inhibiting the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) pathway, a known target of indoxyl sulfate and kynurenine, suggesting that this may be a target for future drug development.

Read More

Cell Death or Cancer Growth: A Question of Cohesion

Technology Networks | November 20, 2019

Activation of CD95, a receptor found on all cancer cells, triggers programmed cell death - or does the opposite, namely stimulates cancer cell growth. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have now shown that the impact of CD95 activation depends on whether there are isolated cancer cells or three-dimensional structures. Individual cells are programmed to die following CD95 activation. In contrast, CD95 activation stimulates growth in clusters of cancer cells, for example in solid tumors. This finding points to new ways of specifically transforming growth-stimulating signals into cell death signals for the cancer cells. The receptor protein CD95 is exposed on the surface of all cancer cells like small antennae. Activation of the receptor by the CD95 ligand (CD95L) triggers apoptosis in the cancer cell - or the exact opposite: "We studied various types of cancer tissue and found that CD95 activation usually stimulates tumor growth under natural conditions," remarked Ana Martin-Villalba, who has been conducting research at DKFZ on the role of CD95 for many years now. She was the first to describe the cancer-promoting effect of CD95 in glioblastomas (malignant brain tumors).

Read More

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