Researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine have found an advanced method of radiation to measure lung motion. During radiation for lung cancer patients, a large area needs to be radiated, since the tumor moves with each breathing motion. Scientists have conducted extensive studies and found mathematical details of the lung’s chaotic movements. Using these patterns, they have invented a device, the 4D Phantom that reconstructs actual tissue motion. Studies conducted earlier considered the breathing patterns to be completely even and turning off the radiation beams at certain intervals had not worked in the past. The next step is to improve asthma and emphysema treatments after analyzing breathing patterns.
At the Dana Farber Institute, researchers have designed molecules that inhibit lung cancer cell growth. Using X-ray crystallography, they studied normal and mutated forms of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and identified the arrangement of two of its mutated forms in lung cancer cells. A defect in EGFR causes cancer development, which in certain cases could also be its weakness. They found two inhibitors, gefitinib and AEE788, which are highly effective in curbing cancer growth. The findings are likely to lead to better lung cancer therapies.
Another study has proven that a hormone used in blood pressure treatment is significant for lung cancer. Human cancer cells, taken from the American Tissue Culture Collection, were injected into mice. After 32 days, a random group of mice were infused with angiotensin (1-7) for 28 days, which led to a 30 per cent reduction in tumor volume. The blood levels in the mice had a likeness to those in humans given the angiotensin-converting enzyme. The control group was given saline treatment and their tumor volume doubled. This study combined with an earlier study on lung cancer cells in the lab has significant implications and may lead to a more effective cancer treatment.
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