In the last decade, we have seen some incredible breakthroughs in the world of cancer research. Some experimental techniques developed in the last five years have led to the complete elimination of cancer cells in certain patients. Here are some of the more promising research techniques that have been developed. Let’s take a closer look at some of them.
This kind of treatment refers to administering customised medicines and treatment that is based on the patient’s DNA and other hereditary information. Creating medicines specifically crafted for a specific individual is very effective and efficient with minimal side effects for the patient. By checking the DNA mutations in the cancerous cells of the patient’s tumour researchers are hoping to create medicines that target the specific mutations leading to less damage to other cells in the patient’s body.
Advances in Immunotherapy
Using the patient’s own immune system to fight cancer or any other disease is known as immunotherapy. Researchers from Memorial Sloan Kettering Institute have developed two drugs called Nivolumab and ipilimumab that boost the cancer-fighting abilities of the immune system’s T-Cells. In some trials the drugs have successfully eliminated advanced stage Melanoma in certain patients.
Living drugs to fight cancer
This is a truly revolutionary form of treatment in which the patient’s T-Cells(immune cells) are extracted and genetically modified in a lab to make them more effective against cancer cells. This is known as CAR (chimeric antigen receptor) therapy. After genetic modification, the T-cells are re-inserted into the patient’s blood stream. Researchers predict this method will be useful in treating certain kinds of leukaemia and solid tumours.
This form of therapy attempts to convert cancerous cells back into normal ones. The new drugs being developed under this kind of treatment target the epigenetic enzymes of the cancer cells. A drug called Ag- 221 Is being tested on people that were not responding to conventional types of treatment. This drug has been effective for 38% of patients not responding to traditional forms of treatment.