Only a century ago cancer was so rare most doctors didn’t even bother studying it. Today, 1 out of 3 people will suffer some form of cancer in their lifetime. How will science respond? Here are some techniques offering hope that this terrible scourge may yet one day be wiped out. Forever…
A test that can detect tumor DNA circulating in the blood.
Build a library of circulating tumor DNA by sampling solid tumors and matched blood specimens while sequencing both the cellular DNA and the blood fragment DNA.
Building databases that will show which cancer drugs work most effectively with which cancers at a genetic level.
Works by inactivating the ‘brake’ that stops uncontrolled cell division, and activating the genes encoding the ‘accelerator’ for cell division.
Studying the mechanisms cells use to block immune cells from infiltrating and attacking a developing tumor on the molecular level. Such research should result in the formulation of new drugs that will help reactivate the immune system, enabling it to attack the cancer.
A genetic treatment that “fakes out” cancer cell division by inducing the tumor cells to adopt different states (or “personalities”) which are benign.
New Surgical Techniques
Like every field of science, new technology is yielding spectacular breakthroughs in surgical cancer treatments, particularly on the genetic level. Applying these new surgical techniques in ways not yet thought of (or even possible) may help to combat cancer more effectively, if not wipe it out entirely.
Post Surgery Treatment
Identify relapses immediately so that new drugs can bypass resistance to a first therapy and are administered before resistance to a second therapy arises.
This is still the best way to treat cancer. Regular checkups and paying attention to warning signs (lumps, pain, unusual fatigue and bloody discharges) could make the difference (literally) between life and death.