Cancer is perhaps the most well-known illness that people suffer from around the world. And many people are familiar with the core cancer treatments available to them. However, what you may not realize is that so many researchers and doctors dedicate their careers to finding better cancer treatments to provide the highest quality health care to patients. There are numerous innovative cancer treatments currently in development that could change the face of oncology in the future. Get to know some of these innovations so that if you do find yourself battling cancer in the future, you can know what options may be available to you.
A Chemotherapy Monitoring System
When patients suffering from cancer currently go into treatment, they often find themselves going through several rounds of chemotherapy. While chemotherapy is generally considered to be an effective cancer treatment, some cancers can develop a resistance to the cancer-killing drugs in chemotherapy cocktails. And sometimes chemotherapy is not able to attack the cancer cells.
Unfortunately, there is currently no method to live-monitor the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs. In other words, it is not until chemotherapy is complete that doctors can check to see how effective the medication was through scans and blood tests. A chemotherapy monitoring system is presently being researched that could change all that.
The idea would be to include tiny particles in with the chemotherapy drugs as they enter the body. These particles stick with the chemo drugs as they move throughout the body, and as they target and begin attacking cancer cells. Once this attack begins the particles light up and doctors can see them through body scans. This system will allow doctors to see if all cancer cells are being attacked by the chemotherapy drugs and to adjust accordingly.
Individualized And Simplified Treatments
Another innovation in cancer treatment that is in the works is actually a method that could bypass the need for chemotherapy drugs one day. It is one of the newest FDA-approved cancer treatments available.
This treatment uses cancer cells cultivated from the individual patient's body. These cancer cells are used to create an individualized cancer vaccine for the patient in question. This vaccine uses the retrieved cancer cells and creates a formula that is then injected back into the body like a flu or allergy shot.
The vaccine is a form of immunotherapy that is designed to trigger the person's immune system to fight the cancer itself. It is a form of cancer maintenance that requires a regular shot (monthly) to continue controlling and fighting cancer. The side effects are minimal and this form of treatment does not cause the damage to the rest of the body that chemotherapy and radiation can cause. While still a treatment that is very new, it shows great promise for being more widely used in the future.
With these cancer treatment innovations in mind, you can see that the newest treatments as well as those in development can have a major impact on the ways oncologists can treat and deal with cancer, and how they can help you if you suffer from cancer.