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STAT
3 min read
Science

Grappling With Cancers Like John McCain’s Glioblastoma That Break All The Rules

Arizona Sen. John McCain’s recent diagnosis of the hard-to-treat cancer glioblastoma stands in contrast to recent media reports that paint an optimistic picture of cancer treatment in America. A sampling of headlines includes “Cancer survival rates at all-time high” and “Cancer death rates continue to decrease in the United States.” Driving much of the progress are emerging advances in three vital areas: cancer prevention and early detection, immunotherapy, and precision medicine approaches that match patients to targeted therapies. These developments are yielding benefits for nearly every sit
STAT
4 min read
Science

Could Cows Be The Vaccine Factories Of The Future?

Famously, the word vaccine comes from the Latin word for cow — a namesake that traces back to the late 1700s. Now cows are once again at the cutting edge of vaccine science. Thanks to a quirk of how cows make antibodies, they are helping researchers understand human immunity. Someday, cows could serve as testing grounds for whether vaccines are well-designed. And it’s possible that cow antibodies could treat everything from autoimmunity to infectious disease. A new study on HIV by scientists at Scripps Research Institute explores these possibilities. Cows don’t get HIV, but, when injected with
STAT
3 min read
Society

A Treatment Option For McCain: An Electric Cap That Kills Brain Cancer Cells

One of the few treatments shown to prolong the lives of patients with brain tumors like Sen. John McCain’s is a mesh-like cap that zaps the brain with a low-level electric field. But cancer doctors have been slow to embrace it, and few patients use it. The medical device, known as Optune and made by Novocure, was shown in a large clinical trial to prolong survival when used by patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma, the type of aggressive brain tumor just found in McCain. The Food and Drug Administration approved Optune for this use in 2015, making it the first treatment for newly diagnose