Cancer is a disease defined by the unregulated and uncontrolled division cells in the body. Up until recently, traditional cancer therapy included radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery. But the medical community has recognized all cancers are not the same and a more customized approach is needed to successfully treat it. New and novel technologies have been developed to detect, diagnose, and treat cancer with a more targeted approach.
Nanoparticles are engineered from a sugar molecule known as fucoidan. These particles are then attached to chemotherapy drugs and are small enough to move through the blood vessels of breast, lung, ovarian, and lymphoma tumor. The nanoparticles target and bind to P-selectin, a protein produced by tumor blood vessel cells. After repeated injections of nanoparticles, tumor cells showed the presence of the nanoparticles within its tissue and began to shrink the tumors dramatically.
With genetic technologies used today, tumor tissues are sent to a laboratory where the DNA within the cells is extracted and sequenced. The sequence is then analyzed for mutations or changes within key genetic regions known to be associated with cancer. Once the mutation is found, doctors and researchers can determine which changes in gene expression have occurred within tumor cells when compared to normal cells. From this information, researchers can develop highly specific, cancer therapies, such as immunotherapy, that target and destroy tumor cells.
Freenome, a technology and medical company, is making strides in cancer research and application with the use of artificial intelligence in medicine.Their team of scientists have developed an information system that learns and analyzes patient information is collected and added to its database. Patient information such as DNA and RNA sequences, as well as, radiology and key information from pathology images are analyzed for patterns in the data. This helps in early cancer detection as well as treatment.
Stem Cell Transplants
Stem cells transplants such as bone marrow, peripheral blood, and cord blood transplants can be used to treat cancers affecting the immune system and the blood such as lymphoma, leukemia, and multiple myeloma. Transplants that are derived from another person such as a relative, can target and destroy cancer cells more efficiently than the affected person’s immune system.
It is treatments like these and the ones to follow that are making a difference in the fight against cancer. Technology has certainly opened the door to new and innovative treatments that will cure all cancer in the future. The application of technology in today’s society for purposes of curing and healing patients with cancer and chronic illnesses will ensure that people around the world will live longer and healthier lives.