Every year, roughly 14 million people are diagnosed with cancer. During National Cancer Month, it’s important to look at the advances we’ve made it cancer treatment and technology. Celebrating advances in cancer treatment is a great way to reflect and become more educated on this important issue.
Tissue-Agnostic Treatment for Tumors
Earlier this year, the FDA approved a revolutionary genetic-based medication. The drug, called Pembrolizumab, is approved to treat solid tumors in both adults and children. During trials, 40% of tumors in patients shrunk; this data spans a variety of cancers, demonstrating the potential impact of this new medication.
New Approaches to Brain Cancer Treatment
Brain cancer continues to be one of the most dilapidating and fatal cancers. One new technology uses low-intensity electrical fields to slow the cancer’s growth. Another advancement, which combines temozolomide chemotherapy and radiotherapy leads to a longer rate of survival.
More Effective Breast Cancer Treatments
When compared to chemotherapy treatments, studies show that polymerase (PARP) inhibitors actually lower the risk of breast cancer worsening. Prior to this discovery, PARP inhibitors have been used in the treatment of ovarian cancer.
New Treatments for Prostate Cancer
A recent clinical study shows that radiation, used in combination with androgen-deprivation therapy, helps men with recurrent prostate cancer live longer. Roughly 30% of men who undergo localized treatment experience recurrence, so this breakthrough helps many men.
New Developments Due to Clinical Trials
These are just a few of the recent developments in cancer treatment. Many of these discoveries are made possible by clinical trials. Every year, thousands of individuals who have been diagnosed with cancer volunteer in clinical trials. These trials test new pharmaceutical medications, medications that are already approved (but for different conditions), and even medical devices.
Clinical trials generally measure two things. First, is this treatment suitable for humans? In the preliminary stages of developing a new medication, they are often given to rats. Clinical trials confirm if the effectiveness of a treatment translates to humans. Second, clinical trials help to determine if a medication is safe by noting side-effects, other drug interactions, and potential allergens.
Oddly enough, more children than adults participate in clinical trials. Roughly 60% of children with cancer participate in a trail, which is why the survival rate for childhood cancer has dramatically increased over the last few decades.
Advances in Cancer Treatment Help Everyone
It is important to celebrate advances in cancer treatment because these findings help all of us. From young people battling childhood cancer to adults, new developments beneficially impact everyone.
Interested in joining a clinical trial? You can learn more here.