July 1st, 2019 | Updated on July 5th, 2019
Every year, millions and millions of dollars are poured into cancer research. Traditional cancer treatment options like chemotherapy and radiation were a gold standard for cancer treatment that helped to save lives over the past years, but these solutions are far from perfect.
The sad reality is that cancer continues to evolve forcing the medical community to be constantly on the lookout for new ways to fight back against cancer. The good news is that advanced technology has made it possible to create new developments in the fight against cancer.
These new developments are helping to create cancer treatments that are personalized, focused and specialized to a patient’s condition.
Medical experts argue that every person is unique and so it would make more sense that each cancer patient receives a personalized treatment package. This move gives patients a better chance of overcoming their particular form and severity of the disease.
Promising new technologies and trends that are able to provide personalized care to treat cancer patients based on individual circumstances and needs include:
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Older methods for diagnosis such as ultrasound and MRI are only able to detect tumors, such as liver tumors, only when they have grown about 5 cm in diameter.
By this point it becomes hard to treat cancer making it hard to achieve the desired results. Nanotech is a new technology in the medical field that is believed will have a major impact in oncology field.
This technology involves using nanoparticles with magnetic properties to improve diagnosis of cancer. The technology helps to improve early cancer detection and treatment, drastically improving the survival rates in various types of cancer, such as liver cancer.
By introducing iron nanoparticles in a patient’s body, smaller tumors are created which make it more visible on MRI. In cases of liver cancer, the iron nanoparticles temporarily accumulate in the liver thus creating the small tumors. This technology advancement has the potential to save many lives.
As many know, chemotherapy drugs used to treat cancer have potentially dangerous and unpleasant side effects. For years, this type of treatment has been used but only few cancer patients have been able to recover fully through the treatment.
Medical researchers have found out that since people are different, it is hard to predict the impact this drugs will have on different people.
The medical community has been working hard to come up with a treatment that does not have many side effects. A recent advance is through targeted therapy.
Scientists are looking to create a database that will include patients who have similar genetic profiles and use it to come up with targeted treatments that can work for individual patients.
As ambitious as it sounds, it is believed that the targeted drugs created from these databases can one day be used to treat all cancer patients.
Cancer tumors tend to move and grow from one treatment to the next through simple actions such as digestion and breathing. If radiation does not take this to account, the patient’s health can be compromised.
The IGRT (Image Guided Radiation Therapy) technology allows doctors to detect, match, and measure the dimensions of a tumor and they target the cancer and nothing else using a high dosage of radiation, minimizing the chances of error.
Traditional radiation treatment can easily often damage healthy organs around the cancer. This can cause life threatening issues. Technology has come up with an advanced computer program that is able to assist doctors to deliver radiation directly to cancer cells.
This type of treatment is known as IMRT (Intensity-modulated radiation therapy). Through this technology, doctors can administer more effective doses of radiation while limiting damage to organs and tissues around the cancer.
This technology has helped to increase the patient’s chance for a cure and lessen the likelihood of side effects.
Leading researchers and pharmaceutical companies have been working together to develop immunotherapy drugs at a rapid pace.
In order to get better results and expedite the process, medical experts have been administering small, rapid rotations to patients with renal cancer to see how quickly it works. They are using this approach since it can take years and they need to find out whether the treatment has any merit.
Some of the technologies highlighted above are still in the trial stage while some have been proven to be effective to fight against cancer. There are still more technologies that are being created that will help to change the future of cancer treatment.