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Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are


Researchers at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center published a paper in PLoS One, outlining their new technique for using an altered virus to find cancers that are invisible to medical scans, reports Katherine Harmon at the Scientific American Observations blog. The virus, a modified herpes virus, is genetically engineered to work only on cancer cells — it delivers genetic information to these cells that induces them to release a known cancer biomarker into the blood, the researchers said in a statement. The biomarker can then be found in urine or blood tests. The virus could help track down cancer cells that are too small or hidden to be seen by conventional screening methods, and could help track treatment progress and eventually even shrink the tumors, Harmon says. So far, the researchers have only worked with mice, so their technique would have to validated in humans, but if it proves to be as efficacious in people, "it could help make cancer screening more universal," she adds.

The Scan

Study Reveals New Details About Genetics of Major Cause of Female Infertility

Researchers in Nature Medicine conducted a whole-exome sequencing study of mote than a thousand patients with premature ovarian insufficiency.

Circulating Tumor DNA Shows Potential as Biomarker in Rare Childhood Cancer

A study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology has found that circulating tumor DNA levels in rhabdomyosarcoma may serve as a biomarker for prognosis.

Study Recommends Cancer Screening for Dogs Beginning Age Seven, Depending on Breed

PetDx researchers report in PLOS One that annual cancer screening for dogs should begin by age seven.

White-Tailed Deer Harbor SARS-CoV-2 Variants No Longer Infecting Humans, Study Finds

A new study in PNAS has found that white-tailed deer could act as a reservoir of SARS-CoV-2 variants no longer found among humans.