Antibiotics and Colon Cancer Risk, Immunotherapy Efficacy for Older Adults and More

  • Israeli scientists discovered that white blood cells, known as eosinophils, can help the body fight cancer, particularly cancer metastasis in the lungs. An original function of eosinophils is to aim the immune system at fighting parasites; they are also the cause of allergies.The findings from the animal study published in Cancer Research can lay a foundation for novel cancer treatments in the future.
  • Researchers from Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center Convergence Institute conducted a retrospective analysis of large biomarkers’ datasets from tumors and healthy tissue. They found that older cancer patients could benefit as much as younger patients from cancer immunotherapies. The data suggested that biomarkers for immunotherapies could still be used as a basis to select immunotherapy treatment in older patients as in young ones, even though it is known that immunotherapy response weakens with aging. The study, which can potentially increase the use of immunotherapy in older population, was published in Cell Reports.
  • A group of researchers from Ireland and France published a study on using microwave imaging to detect breast cancer. Potentially, this could be promising non-invasive technology with fewer side effects than currently used imaging modalities. The study was published in Academic Radiology.
  • Swedish population-based study found a correlation between long-term (more than six months) use of antibiotics and risk of developing colon cancer five to ten years down the line. However, it is important to note that while epidemiological studies can establish a correlation, they can’t prove causation. The study was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
  • Researchers from Japan conducted a study that established a correlation between the tumor size in poorly differentiated hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and the risk of early recurrence and patient survival, thus paving the way to improving the treatment of HCC patients. The study was published in Liver Cancer.