Pigeons, with training, did just as well as humans in a study testing their ability to distinguish cancerous from healthy breast tissue samples. The birds were rewarded with food pellets when they correctly identified tumor samples. The pigeons were able to generalize what they learned, correctly spotting tumors in unseen microscope images

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The development is significant because it indicates that cell therapies, which represent an exciting new front in the battle against cancer, might not have to be customized for each patient, saving time and money

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Linnea Olson, an artist and shop owner in Lowell, Mass., knew the experimental drug she was given might save her life. She also knew it might kill her

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Miracle. Game changer. Marvel. Cure. Life saver. For Dr. Vinay Prasad, each one of these words was a little straw on the camel’s back. At oncology conferences, they were used “indiscriminately” to describe new cancer drugs. Journalists bandied them about in stories

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“If I die” is a quintessentially American phrase, a bit of semantic sloppiness that reveals our state of denial about death. We don’t use the phrase to boast of immortality, but to avoid the twinge of uneasiness that comes from saying, “When I die.” Acknowledging the inevitability of death raises questions about when and how it will happen, and that is not something that we are comfortable thinking about

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It is among the most delicate and difficult dilemmas in medicine: Should a pregnant woman who has received a cancer diagnosis begin treatment before her child is born? Some hesitant doctors counsel women to deliver preterm or even terminate the pregnancy first

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In this installment of NPR’s series Inside Alzheimer’s, we hear from Greg O’Brien about his decision to forgo treatment for another life-threatening illness. A longtime journalist in Cape Cod, Mass., O’Brien was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease in 2009

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An Amazon of Tumors

September 18, 2015

What if there were a vast library of crowd-sourced samples of rare cancers, and scientists could order them simply using ‘one-click shopping’?

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