New Treatments That Give Hope For Cancer Patients

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The gathering of clinicians, researchers, and people with cancer themselves happened at the 2017 Cancer Conference in Liverpool. There was a discussion on cancer research and the collaboration of cancer industry representatives in order to improve research and developments about the disease. The Dragon’s Den is a popular part of the conference where there is an opportunity to meet and share knowledge between carers and patients regarding research and treatment.

Currently, there are breakthrough cancer treatments that have been proven to improve the symptoms of cancer patients that have done clinical trials and even those who were willing to pay a little more to see some improvement in their condition. Here are two popular cancer advances that are giving hope to cancer patients today.

Immunotherapy. A person’s immune system takes down and kills foreign substances that invade his body – substances like viruses and bacteria. Unfortunately, cancer has found a way to become undetected by the body’s immune system, which is why it can grow despite its efforts to get rid of it. Immunotherapy is a kind of treatment that helps one’s immune system to find these cancer cells, attack them, and kill them. it works in two ways: boosting one’s immune system and prevent cancer cells from hiding.

Some immunotherapy treatments that have been tried and proven include monoclonal antibodies, which are created to destroy cancer cell antigens. Other antibodies are intentionally attached to toxic substances that kill the cancer cells. Checkpoint inhibitors are also popularly used. They block ‘checkpoints’ on the cancer cells to assist T cells in finding cancer. These checkpoint inhibitors have been proven to treat cancers of the bladder, kidneys, and liver. Finally, cancer vaccines are some of the most commonly utilized types of immunotherapy treatments. They also help detect cancer cells in the body and have been proven to alleviate prostate cancer symptoms.

Medical staff at David Grant USAF Medical Center view monitors while performing video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery to remove the upper left lobe of a cancer patient's lung Feb. 26, 2019 at Travis Air Base, California. During the procedure, surgeons inserted a tiny camera (thoracoscope) into the patient’s chest through two small incisions. The thoracoscope transmits images to monitors, guiding the surgeons in performing the procedure. (U.S. Air Force photo by Heide Couch)


Gene-based Therapy. The study of the changes in the genetic makeup of one’s DNA, genomics, has given doctors relevant clues as to what kind of treatments are best for specific types of cancer. They explore mutation in cancer genes to help provide a diagnosis, predict outcomes, find the best treatment, and finally determine whether or not the treatment is actually working. Currently, scientists are continuing to discover new therapies based on these gene changes. They believe that studies on this treatment could lead to improved treatments in the coming years.