Parasite found in cat poo shows promise in cancer treatment


Parasite found in cat poo shows promise in cancer treatment
Published: 15 July 2014

Toxoplasma gondii, a microscopic organism native to cats shows promise in treating cancer. Mutated strain of T. gondii has been found to reprogram the natural power of the immune system to kill cancer cells.

The body produces natural killer cells and cytotoxic T cells. These cell types fight against cancer cells. The body’s mechanism can be shut down by cancer, but introducing T. gondii into a tumour environment can jump start the immune system.

According to Barbara Fox, senior research associate of Microbiology and Immunology, the biology of this organism is inherently different from other microbe-based immunotherapeutic strategies that typically just tickle immune cells from the outside. By gaining preferential access to the inside of powerful innate immune cell types, our mutated strain of T. gondii reprograms the natural power of the immune system to clear tumor cells and cancer.

“Cps” an immunotherapeutic vaccine was created because it isn’t safe to inject a cancer patient with live replicating strains of T. gondii. Cps is both nonreplicating and safe. Cps still retains that unique biology that stimulates the ideal vaccine responses even when the host is immune deficient. Cps is the microscopic, but super strong, hero that catches the wayward trains, halts their progression, and shrinks them until they disappear.

“Cancer immunotherapy using cps holds incredible promise for creating beneficial new cancer treatments and cancer vaccines,” said David J. Bzik, PhD, professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.

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The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Man & Woman of the Year Record –breaking year campaign

Published: 17 July 2014

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society® (LLS) is the world’s largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. The LLS mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease, end myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Lifesaving blood cancer research around the world are funded by LLS, it also provides free information and support services, and is the voice for all blood cancer patients seeking access to quality, affordable, coordinated care.

900 “Champions of Hope” candidates vie for the coveted title of Man or Woman of the Year. The campaign has raised total of $30.5 million it is nearly $8 million more than was raised last year. “LLS are greatly moved by the generosity, passion and hard work of the candidates and campaign teams helping to raise funds for LLS’s mission during the 2014 Man & Woman of the Year campaign. These unique advocates and community leaders help distinguish LLS from other cancer charities.”

The Winners

Man of the Year – Dr. Christos Giannoulias of G&T Sports Medicine in Chicago raised $386,284 in honor of three people very special to him: his mother-in-law, Kathleen Zins, who lost her battle with lymphoma 15 years ago; his mother, Panagiota Giannoulias, who is a chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) survivor; and his father, Spiros Giannoulias, who lost his battle with cancer this past spring.

Woman of the Year – Samara Wolpe, a student at Milken Community High School in Los Angeles raised $343,962. For most of Samara’s childhood her parents had cancer: her mother was diagnosed with reproductive cancer when Samara was a baby; her father had a benign brain tumor caused by a seizure when Samara was six. Three years later her father was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Visit the Man & Woman of the Year website ( and learn how you can become engaged with LLS.

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Men can have Breast Cancer too
Published: 17 July 2014

Breast cancer is not exclusive to women although the proportion is small, man can have it too. The US Food and Drug Administration are now urging pharmaceutical companies to include men in breast cancer clinical trials.

“Men have historically been excluded from breast cancer trials, we are actively encouraging drug companies to include men in all breast cancer trials unless there is a valid scientific reason not to,” said Tatiana Prowell, a breast cancer scientific lead at the FDA’s Office of Haematology & Oncology Products.

Male breast cancer is about 100 times less common than women, that is why male breast cancer has attracted much less attention. “Male exclusion is particularly problematic at a time when many modern and promising breast cancer drugs are available only through trials,”said Marleen Meyers, an assistant professor specialising in breast cancer at NYU Langone Medical Center in Manhattan.

Prowell also said that it is possible that successful treatments could differ between genders. Increased male enrolment in clinical trials might help redress the issue of awareness.

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