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06 July 2016 09:00
Cancer tumours are being grown artificially in the lab
Cancer patients can learn more about their disease thanks to a new smartphone app.
The Cancer Research UK (CRUK)-developed Tumour Takedown app enables sufferers and others to understand about cancerous tumours. It could even help scientists too.
The tool, which debuted at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition, enables users to view how:
• Tumours develop
• To fight them
• To test various medications, using a special virtual tumour
• Therapies spark the body's immune system into killing cancerous cells
Patients suffering with the disease need not think that it spells the end of trips abroad, especially if they take out trusted cancer-related travel insurance.
Such cover is invaluable should relapses or related sickness occur.
The insurance provides round-the-clock emergency medical cover as well as replacement medication.
The inspiration behind the app
Scientists trying to create synthetic, lab-based human tumours are the inspiration behind the app, devised by CRUK and Centre of the Cell's science education unit.
Researchers think the artificial tumours will result in a greater knowledge of testing fresh immunotherapies, such as those on the new app.
What the expert says
Senior science information manager for CRUK, Neil Barrie, says that discovering fresh, improved methods of undertaking studies is key to fighting cancer.
He says that creating models which more accurately ape the cancers in humans will help people understand the various types of cells in tumours.
In turn, this could help researchers devise more successful tests, as well as helping scientists to discover more quickly if numerous treatments are successful.
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