There is no cure for cancer, but treatment is improving each day. Knowing more about a patient’s genetics, immune system and pathology is leading researchers to be able to save more lives. We have some of the latest breakthroughs in cancer research.
Immunotherapy boosts the way the immune system works using its own system to fight off cancer. Molecular testing opened the door to this form of treatment. One of the agents used includes sipuleucel-T, the prostate cancer vaccine. Other types of immunotherapy include monoclonal antibodies for metastatic triple-negative breast cancer, CART T-cell therapy for a relapse of acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and Oncolytic virus therapy for inoperable melanoma.
MinION Genetic Sequencing
Oxford Nanopore’s MinION helps detect cancer during surgery. The genetic mutations in the cancer cells show themselves in real-time using this sequencing platform. The tissues must pass through a small hole where the changes in their currents show differences in the cell’s DNA. The nanopore sequencer detects cancer in the cells as they pass through the polymer membrane.
Radiation therapy is more effective and targeted better than it was in the past. It is now being used to treat both early and advanced cancer stages. Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy (SABR) is being used for people with metastatic cancer and for those in the early stages of lung cancer.
For breast cancer detection, a liquid biopsy is showing promising results. It helps detect circulating levels of tumor DNA and cell-free DNA. It can often detect the status of mutations and recurrence levels. It can also find in the levels of cfDNA if cancer will probably metastasize into the axillary lymph nodes.
By using various forms of cancer therapy together, researchers are seeing positive results. Traditional chemotherapy is now being combined with newer classes of drugs to fight some cancers. The latest is using Avastin and Tecentriq to treat liver cancer.
A urine test detects extracellular vesicle-derived RNA to detect prostate cancer. This helps provide prognostic information while surveilling prostate cancer.
Treatments and technological advances are being approved to fight cancer each year. Chances of remission and survival are improving along with treatments. Researchers may one day soon find a cure for this disease.