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A Better Look


A new study in Lancet Oncology describes an approach called high-intensity focused ultrasound that may help prostate cancer patients by better targeting their tumors, reports Bloomberg's Allison Connolly. "The technology enables doctors to preserve the prostate by aiming only at the cancerous area in contrast to standard treatment, such as irradiation or surgical removal of the gland, which may cause impotence and leakage of urine or feces," Connolly says. "The technique, also called HIFU, may provide men with an alternative similar to the lumpectomy, in which doctors remove tumors rather than the whole organ in breast-cancer patients." HIFU aims a focused beam of sound waves at a cancerous area, and doctors use MRI and mapping biopsies to identify targets and better focus the sound waves, she adds. The sound waves, in turn, cause the affected tissue to vibrate and heat, which kills the cancer cells. The team tested this method on 41 men, 95 percent of whom were cancer free after one year, and none of whom reported incontinence. The researchers tell Connolly that the technology is particularly good for smaller tumors, will help preserve quality of life for patients, and could even be used for other cancers like breast, thyroid, pancreas, and liver.

The Scan

Not Yet a Permanent One

NPR says the lack of a permanent Food and Drug Administration commissioner has "flummoxed" public health officials.

Unfair Targeting

Technology Review writes that a new report says the US has been unfairly targeting Chinese and Chinese-American individuals in economic espionage cases.

Limited Rapid Testing

The New York Times wonders why rapid tests for COVID-19 are not widely available in the US.

Genome Research Papers on IPAFinder, Structural Variant Expression Effects, Single-Cell RNA-Seq Markers

In Genome Research this week: IPAFinder method to detect intronic polyadenylation, influence of structural variants on gene expression, and more.