Science Podcasts

Naked Scientists episode

Sun, 4th Nov 2012

Cutting Edge Cancer Research

Normal (left) versus cancerous (right) mammography image. (c) National Cancer Institute

How does cancer spread? How can we target our immune system to take out tumours?  This week we visit the National Cancer Research Institute's annual conference to explore the cutting edge of cancer research.  We'll find out why cancers become resistant to chemotherapy, and how new research offers us a window to watch a cancer as it spreads.

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In this edition of Naked Scientists

Full Transcript

  • 01:45 - How Cancer Cells Spread

    Cancer spread causes 9 out of 10 cancer deaths. We’re joined by Dr. Joan Masague who is trying to understand how cancers spread and how we can tackle it....

  • 08:35 - Has cancer always existed?

    I was wondering, how long has cancer existed as a condition and also, whether organisms other than animals can get cancer?

  • 10:06 - Overcoming Treatment Resistant Tumours

    One of the key problems in the treatment of cancer is that tumours, having initially responded very nicely to a course of chemotherapy can often subsequently become resistant to that same treatment which makes the cancer much harder to manage. To explain how this happens and ho...

  • 16:38 - Easy Peel Medical Tape

    Medical tape that sticks strongly but peels off with less force than it takes to tear tissue paper has been invented by scientists in America...

  • 18:59 - Can Koshik the elephant talk?

    Dumbo the elephant may have been able to fly, but he was fictional. Now a team of German, US, Korean and Sri Lankan researchers believe that they may have found an elephant that can talk – or at least make vocal sounds that convincingly resemble human speech.

  • 21:53 - Fireflies inspire brighter LED's

    The light-emitting tails of fireflies have revealed a way for scientists to create more efficient LEDs.

  • 35:15 - Can food additives cause cancer?

    I can’t help but wonder if cancers start and spread because our food is so complicated. Take a bottle of vegetable oil, it says on the bottle 100% vegetable oil. But if you look at the label on the back, there's anti-foaming agent and then about 4 other ingredients. Or a vegeta...

  • 37:49 - A Window on Spreading Cancer

    Most deaths from cancer occur when the disease spreads – or metastasises - to other parts of the body. But we know very little about how this process physically happens. Now a team from the Hubrecht Institute in the Netherlands have developed a technique to allow them to peer i...

  • 43:18 - Triggering the immune system to attack tumours

    Current cancer therapies often involve using drugs that are toxic to rapidly growing cells and this inevitably means that some healthy tissues get hit too. But if we could trigger our own immune system to target a tumour, then we’d have a way to selectively combat the disease w...

  • 50:41 - What chemicals are used in Chemotherapy?

    Hey Chris, Thanks so much for a great podcast! My question is regarding the actual chemicals used in chemotherapy treatments for cancer. I understand the basic nature of the therapy as a poison that mostly affects the cancer cells, but I'm curious as to the specific chemica...

  • 54:13 - Does angiogenesis benefit metastasis?

    Angiogenesis is critical to cancer growth, does it help metastasis too? Are there effective anti-angiogenic therapies now?

  • 55:44 - Why do fungi make hallucinogens?

    Hello Naked Scientists! I have a question(?) concerning both bacteria and fungi. How have some fungi evolved to produce substances that are hallucinogenic like psilocybin? What's the benefit and cost of producing such chemicals? What is known about the group of genes that prod...



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I'm sad and exasperated to hear BBC might shut down The Naked Scientists. I guess anti-intellectualism isn't limited to the US. I'm sorry, Android Neox (in Second Life) Michael McGinnis, Sun, 4th Nov 2012

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