Alpha Particles Technology for Solid Tumors, Vancomycin Prior to Radiotherapy and More

  • New cancer therapy developed by scientists from Israel achieves “a 100% Tumor Shrinkage Rate”. The new “ALPHA DaRT” treatment achieves total tumor destruction in over 78% of cases by using alpha radiation for solid tumor treatment in a way tolerated by the human body. Until now using alpha particles for cancer treatment presented a challenge – while being highly efficient in tumor destruction without causing damaging side effects, the particles simply can’t travel the long distance to penetrate all of the tumor. The new technology uses an isotope called radium-224 to push alpha particles across entire the tumor. This technology was recently reported by Jerusalem Post and reporting on this research can be found in scholarly literature.
  • Scientists at the University of Toronto have identified a protein related to developing colorectal cancers. The protein, called Importin-11, carries beta-catenin, a protein involved in cell adhesion and gene transcription, into the nucleus of colon cancer cells, where it may promote cell growth. Blocking the function of Importin-11 could lead to new approaches in developing therapies to treat colorectal cancer. The study was published in Journal of Cell Biology.
  • Currently, cancer immunotherapy using CD-40 antibodies is unable to demonstrate efficacy in human clinical trials. However, recently scientists at the University Hospital Basel and Roche Innovation Center combined anti-CD40 antibodies with two other antibodies, whose mechanism of action was hypothetically conducive to boosting the anti-CD40 effect, and the combination demonstrated an increased treatment effect in animal models of colorectal, breast and skin cancer. According to study leader Dr. Abhishek Kashyap, “patients with ‘cold’ tumors — tumors that do not respond well to immunotherapy — could benefit most from this new combination.” The study, authored by academic and pharmaceutical scientists and supported, in part, by a Roche grant, was published in PNAS Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.
  • New animal research found that taking the antibiotic vancomycin before undergoing radiation therapy boosts the immune system and enhances the anti-tumor effect of radiotherapy (specifically, hypofractionated therapy) by altering gram-positive bacteria in the gutThe study conducted by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania was related to lung cancer, melanoma and cervical cancer. The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation

Top 5 Things to Know About the New PubMed

The new PubMed is coming in 2020, and we are here to help you navigate the new interface. Here are five highlights:

  • Improved mobile experience: You can now enjoy all PubMed’s functionality and features on your tablet or mobile device.
  • Sort Order: “Best Match” is the default sort order for search results. It uses an algorithm to show the most relevant results first. PubMed lets you easily switch to “Most Recent”. Your browser will remember your sorting preference for any following web sessions (except if you clear your browser cache). As a personal preference, I like to toggle back and forth between both options, relevancy is important, but I also don’t want to miss any new studies.
  • Citation: A great new feature allows you to copy and paste the citation of an article using the action “Cite”. You can choose from four citation styles: AMA, MLA, APA, or NLM.
  • Enhanced retrieval of synonyms, plural forms, and British/American spelling: Please note that while this is a very convenient feature, PubMed may find keywords that are irrelevant to your search. For instance, when searching for the keyword “Nurse”, PubMed will automatically search for the keywords nurse, nurses, nursing, but also the synonyms breastfeeding(s), breastfeeder(s), lactation(s), lactating(s), and lactators. If your search retrieves too many irrelevant results, we will be happy to meet with you to demonstrate how to turn off synonyms retrieval. Come to one of our classes or schedule a consultation with one of us.
  • Enhanced data discovery: PubMed added a new filter “Associated Data”, allowing you to retrieve articles with supplemental data from the following data repositories:, GenBank, figshare, and Dryad.

The new PubMed will become the default in spring 2020. The legacy version will run for several months in parallel before being fully retired. If you would like to familiarize yourself with the new PubMed interface, join us in one of our classes.

Citation Counts Added to Synapse

Happy New Year to all of you! Kicking things off in 2020, we are happy to announce that we have integrated the Dimensions citation badge to all publications in Synapse.

Dimensions, a product of Digital Science, is a research database with over 100 million publications containing articles published in scholarly journals, books and book chapters, preprints, and conference proceedings.The badge will appear alongside the existing Altmetric donut, now giving you a variety of ways to view your publication impact.

All works in Synapse will include the badge if the work has a citation count that’s greater than zero. The badge is a dynamic link to the citation score in Dimensions and will fluctuate in real time as the citation count changes. Clicking on the colored wheel will take you to the source page where you can view more details, including the article’s citations.










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