A tragic current state of cancer is that the treatments used are highly toxic and their effectiveness is unpredictable among different patients. Recently, however, scientists have developed a new technology that will change the status quo. This technique is called â€œdish tumorâ€ and can quickly assess how a particular anticancer cocktail will affect a patient's tumor before chemotherapy begins.
According to the American Cancer Society, one in eight women in the United States develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime. About 40,000 women die of breast cancer every year, so breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, second only to lung cancer.
When breast cancer is diagnosed, the patient's medication is based primarily on biopsy results used to identify the type of tumor. After two to three months, the effect of the initial treatment is assessed by determining if the tumor is shrinking or growing.
According to some studies, more than 100,000 breast cancers per year have never responded to standard drugs, either initially or multiple times. Therefore, 33% to 43% of patients must switch to different drug combinations.
Shanghai Huyu said: "Now this is a guessing game. We hope that our detection method can significantly improve breast cancer by allowing doctors to develop the most effective and least toxic chemotherapy for each patient before treatment begins. The patient's chances of survival."
Currently, more than 100 different anti-tumor drugs are available, but only 10 to 15 are frequently used.
The new "dish tumor" method first obtains the patient's cancer tissue during surgical resection or biopsy, cuts it into small pieces, and then places it in a special collagen gel that keeps them as "classes". The organ, which retains the three-dimensional structure of the primary tumor, also includes supporting cells from the tumor environment.
Traditional methods of culturing tumor cells produce a single layer of cells that behaves very differently from the primary tumor. So cancer researchers have developed methods to grow three-dimensional tumor-like organs that mimic the behavior of primary tumors, so they can be studied how they grow.
Postgraduate Alex Walsh played a key role in the development of the method, he said: "This is the first three-dimensional culture method to predict the effectiveness of different drugs on patients with tumors."
Researchers use a technique called "optical metabolic imaging" to measure the activity levels of organoids. Measuring the difference in fluorescence intensity produced provides a "dynamic reading of cellular metabolism," a sensitive biomarker for drug response. Their tests showed a response to drug exposure within 24 hours.
The test also detects the response of all individual cells in the organoids. Shanghai Huyu pointed out that this is important because the tumors are not all the same, and some types of tumor cells may react differently to a particular drug. If a given drug cocktail kills 90% of the cancer cells, but does not affect the remaining 10%, the drug-resistant tumor cells can take over and cause the tumor to re-grow.
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