News digest – 15-minute prostate test, COVID-19 AI database, CAR T cell therapy and cancer ancestry links


Earth from space. Credit: NASA

Test for prostate cancer ‘in under 15 minutes’ 

A new ‘prostogram’ test has been developed in the UK, which uses MRI to detect cancer. Science Focus covered early results from a trial involving 400 men aged 5069 suggest the scan was better at detecting aggressive cancers than the current test. Its hoped that the new, non-invasive testing method will encourage more men to get checked for prostate cancer. The 15 minute scan is not the only way MRI is being used to help improve prostate cancer diagnosis, as our blog post explains 

Cancer drug database adapted for COVID-19  

CanSar, a powerful database used to collate cancer research and drug discovery, is being adapted by a team at The Institute of Cancer Research to help accelerate the search for COVID-19 treatments. The new knowledgebase, Coronavirus-CanSar, will draw on worldwide data for COVID-19 and related diseases such as SARS and MERS. By creating a one-stop resource, the hope is researchers may be able to rapidly repurpose drugs to combat the disease. Engineering and Technology and our blog post have the full story.  

Study suggest more people with lymphoma could benefit from CAR T cell therapy 

News Medical reports that immune-boosting CAR T cell therapy has the potential to treat a wider group of patients with lymphoma than trials suggested. In a study involving 298 people who were treated in hospitals across the US, the treatment was shown to be tolerated by patients who wouldnt have been eligible for the treatment in the original trials because of their comorbidities. 

And finally 

Scientists at the NCI Cancer Genome Analysis Network in the US have been researching the connection between ancestry and the molecular makeup of cancers. By studying databases including over 10,500 patients and 33 cancer types, the group concluded that ancestry is linked to variations in hundreds of genes, but most were specific to a particular cancer type. Find out more at Cosmos.

Scarlett Sangster is a writer for PA Media Group

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