What are Some of the Most Promising Cancer Breakthroughs?

Schedule mammogram text with breast cancer awareness ribbon against strong woman in city with breast cancer awareness

I’ve had a lot of people in my family die of cancer, and I am always interested in the latest cancer breakthroughs. What are some of the breakthroughs that I may have missed? This is more of a hobby for me than anything else, but it’s always nice to see where the health industry is at in terms of a cure or potential relief from cancer.

A lot of “breakthroughs,” seem to come out every month, but you need to really see what these “breakthroughs” actually entail.

Gene advancements have found that cancer acts differently depending on which person has the disease. The finding is a lot more important than it sounds when you read it. What the finding indicates is that the mutations that occur in the genes and on the cellular level are different for every person and every tumor.

This is a clear sign that a personalized treatment approach is needed and may be able to impact survival rates.

We’re also seeing major changes in chemotherapy protection in the works. Researchers have used  Monosialotetrahexosylganglioside Sodium (GM1) pig brain with great results. The substance is known as a neuroprotector and has been shown to prevent neurotoxicity in advanced gastric cancer.

Previous studies have shown that pig brain can help reduce oxaliplatin-induced neurotoxicity.

This is very important because neurotoxicity is the main reason that a lot of people stop chemotherapy. Heavily acute neurotoxicity is the main adverse side effect of chemo. When injected, GM1 can help alleviate these side effects allowing a patient to continue with their chemotherapy for longer with a great rate of success.

But there have also been a lot advancement of rare cancer treatments and options, too.

I recommend reading the report by ASCO to view them all. A lot of the advancements include:

  • Targeted therapies for a rare form of thyroid cancer have been able to produce positive responses in 66% of participants.
  • Desmoid tumors are starting to react to Sorafenib for the first time ever to provide an improvement in progression-free survival.
  • Luteium Lu 177 dotatate has been promising in delivering targeted radiation to tumor cells, reducing the risk of progression and death by as much as 79% for patients that have been diagnosed with advanced midgut neuroendocrine tumors.
  • A rare cancer of the joints has also found its first promising treatment in colony-stimulating factor-1 inhibitor pexidartinib with a 39.3% response rate.

There have also been landmark advancements in molecular diagnosis, immunotherapy advancements and new success with targeted therapy options. Researchers are trying to target strategies that can be employed to help the response rate to immunotherapies.

Federal support really matters, and cancer death rates are on the decline since 1991 when they reached peak levels. Death rates are down 27% with 130+ new cancer drugs approved since 2006. Survival rates are increasing with congress approving increasing budgets in funding over the last four years. The additional funding and promising studies are a positive for cancer sufferers.

While cancer is far from being eliminated, science is making strides to increase survival rates and stop the advancement of many cancers.

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