February 19, 2019
By: Pathsos Team

Recent advances in cancer treatment


Over the years, cancer treatment has gained huge importance and support from scholars and researchers. In the past decade radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, hormone therapy, stem cell transplant have become popular in the cancer scene next to surgery and prevention. With time, even diseases get intelligent and the treatments that are found out must get equally intelligent and in certain cases much better to tackle the global rise of increase in drug resistance. This is true especially in cancer where once the cancer cells start to proliferate and when the drugs prove ineffective, it does not end well for the patients.

Under targeted therapy, treatments are provided based on the mutation profile of the cancer rather than the tumor type. Organoids are a new trend in cancer treatment. A three-dimensional model of patient’s cancer area is scanned and built and is used for further testing with various methods of treatments to find the drug sensitivity without actually having to use the drugs on the patients’ real organs, although the drug sensitivity changes with patient.

Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy is one which sounds most complex and more effective. Here, the T-cells are extracted from patient’s body and strengthen them up by adding proteins and infuse them back into the body. Thus, by sending the newly protein infused cells back in the blood, the new cells multiply and there will be no need for repeated infusions for a long while as one time infusions have long lasting positive effect.

Dendritic vaccines are coming up with the mechanism where the body’s immune system is highly strengthened by injecting specific antigens that target the tumor cells. Scientists in North Carolina University have found a Bio-responsive Scaffold System where chemotherapy and immunotherapy are used to heighten the effect of antigens which are sent in specialized gel-like substance in the injector and targeted only at the tumor cells. In the age where viruses and bacteria develop resistance to drugs, targeted drugs prove to be effective in treatments. By targeting only the tumor cells, the healthy cells are left unaffected and the cell count of the patient also stays in a safe zone.

Targeted treatments involve nanotechnology to work on the cancerous cells with the use of heat, radiation, nanoparticles like CRLX101. Researchers at the University of Georgia found IPA-3, a nanoparticle which appears to reduce the growth of prostate cancer. Yet another case study is where researches are using nano-diamonds with a combination of chemotherapy to treat brain tumors more effectively. In heat therapy, special nanoparticles called AuroShells absorb infrared light from a laser, turning the light into heat. This heat then helps burst the cancer cells away as studied in a case of breast cancer. In radiation therapy the nanoparticles carry a radioactive core which attach to cancer cells. Researches are also working on using bismuth nano particles to increase the effectiveness by increasing the dose of radiation.

Other methods include starving the cancer cells, using polymer nanoshell to deliver protein to cancer cells which helps in self-destruction of cancerous cells by accumulating in their nucleus. In the University of San Diego researchers have worked on short interfering RNAs (siRNA) is a promising method as it completely stops the growth of cancer cells. Use of nano-gold has shown good results in delivering platinum particles to the tumor site and working on the cancer. With such impetus in the growth in cancer research and different approaches for different types of cancer, progress is fruitful and there is hope for more cancer treatments due to technological advancements that are yet to be discovered.