Editor’s Note – July 2017 Print Magazine

In this issue of Asian Scientist Magazine, we turn the spotlight on immunotherapy and how it is being used to fight cancer.

While we may have once triumphantly declared war on cancer, we now humbly acknowledge the complexity and cunning of cancer cells. As a foe, cancer has turned out to be legion: hundreds or even thousands of different diseases, each requiring a different approach.

In this issue of Asian Scientist Magazine, we examine how researchers across Asia are training the immune system to take on the challenge. Honed by millions of years of evolution, the immune system (What You Need To Know About Immunotherapy) has the capacity to recognize billions of different targets and launch a specific attack against each one.

For example, Singapore-based startup, Tessa Therapeutics is teaching T-cells how to wipe out solid tumors. Cancer vaccines (A Tale Of Two Vaccines) are another promising preventive approach, albeit one that has had a mixed reception.

Whether for cure or prevention, cancer therapies are undoubtedly expensive. By taxing smoking, the Philippines has opted to turn the main risk factor for cancer into an opportunity to fund healthcare (Turning Puffs Into Pesos). So while we may not have decisively defeated cancer, we are steadily making gains, both in terms of developing new treatments and importantly, making them available to all.

Rebecca Tan
Managing Editor


Copyright: Asian Scientist Magazine.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.

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Rebecca did her PhD at the National University of Singapore where she studied how macrophages integrate multiple signals from the toll-like receptor system. She was formerly the editor-in-chief of Asian Scientist Magazine.

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