The Journey of Immunotherapy

Posted by Shonice Pitts on Oct 25, 2016 10:39:00 AM


It seems  like every day there are new advances in the Immunotherapy community. But, what exactly is immunotherapy? Immunotherapy is a cancer treatment that uses the patient's immune system to fight off the cancer cells. It can slow down or even stop the cancer cell growth, prevent cancer from spreading throughout the body, and strengthen the immune system to destroy the cancer cells. Usually, the antibodies are created in the patient's’ body or through a drug made in the laboratory. The antibodies are used to increase immune system’s function by improving or restoring it. 


Dr. William B. Coley is considered the “Father of Cancer Immunotherapy.” Dr. Coley’s interest in cancer research began after the loss of his cancer patient named Elizabeth “Bessie” Dashiell. Bessie was a young woman who developed a bone cancer called sarcoma following a hand injury on a train. She received an arm amputation from Dr. Coley, but the cancer was so aggressive that it spread throughout her body. After Bessie passed, Dr. Coley decided to devote his life’s work to finding a better way to treat cancer, more specifically, using immunotherapy.


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When cfDNA Testing Doesn't Work

Posted by Luke Doiron on Oct 6, 2016 10:02:00 AM


The potential for diagnostic and patient monitoring via analysis of plasma-derived cell-free DNA (cfDNA) in cancer is staggering. As the technology surrounding these “liquid biopsies” advances, assessing mutations in cfDNA with a high degree of accuracy is becoming more feasible and more imminent.

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Tissue Microarray Applications for Colorectal Cancer

Posted by Luke Doiron on Oct 4, 2016 2:00:00 PM


“As long as one keeps searching, the answers come,” said the folk singer, Joan Baez. Patients with colon cancer and their caregivers are need of tumor biomarkers that can predict an outcome, assist diagnosis, and help in therapeutic management.

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Using Cell-Free DNA in Your Non-Prenatal Research

Posted by Luke Doiron on Sep 29, 2016 2:00:00 PM


Cell-free fetal DNA (cffDNA), derived from placental trophoblasts and circulating in the mother’s bloodstream, has proven useful in fetal genetic testing and as a safe alternative to more invasive and high-risk procedures like amniocentesis and chorionic villi sampling.

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Applications of cfDNA in Genomic Research

Posted by Luke Doiron on Sep 27, 2016 2:00:00 PM


Performing a solid tumor biopsy is not always a feasible option for clinicians, and even when tissue sampling is available, the analysis is limited to a temporally and spatially stagnant snapshot of disease.

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What Diseases Tissue Microarrays Can Be Used For

Posted by Luke Doiron on Sep 22, 2016 10:00:00 AM


The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams, said Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady of the United States, 1932-1944. The science of the molecular biology of the gene is now more than 60 years old and in fact, the new goals and new dreams are just beginning.

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Recent Publications That Utilize Cell-Free DNA

Posted by Luke Doiron on Sep 20, 2016 2:00:00 PM


When cells die, they leave behind tiny amounts of highly fragmented DNA that circulate in plasma. This cell-free DNA (cfDNA) contains the evidence about disease processes and physiological conditions affecting tissues throughout the body. Consequently, cfDNA provides a non-invasive “liquid biopsy” and a promising biomarker for cancer and other diseases.

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Preparation Procedures for Tissue Microarrays

Posted by Luke Doiron on Sep 15, 2016 9:00:00 AM


“One for all and all for one; that is our device,” wrote Alexandre Dumas over a hundred years ago in the famous novel, The Three Musketeers. The devotion to working together and teamwork is equally as critical in the present and bright future of new genomics technologies such as tissue microarray (TMA) devices.

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