The role of the immune system in fighting tumours has been well-known since 1890 when it was discovered by chance, but it has taken more than a century to gain real importance. The journal ‘Science’ has chosen cancer immunotherapy as the most significant milestone reached in 2013. This represents a change of strategy: cancer is not attacked directly; rather, the immune system’s army is released to battle with all its artillery. We will learn the full scope of these self-defence techniques over the coming years.
The antibody’s mission is to enable the defences to release their safety brake.
Women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer are 39% more likely to develop a second cancer in a different part of the body. Such is the conclusion of a recent study, pioneered by female Spanish researchers. The study suggests that this increased risk could be due to the similar risk factors involved in both cancers, or to the side effects of the treatment received by breast cáncer patients.
The fact that excess weight during pregnancy has negative consequences is not new information. A new study now concludes that the children of mothers obese before falling pregnant are four times more likely to have frequent wheezing, which is one of the symptoms of asthma, compared to the children of mothers weighing a normal weight.