5 Innovations In Cancer Therapy

In this article, we’ll be looking at five of the latest innovations in cancer therapy.More

5 Innovations In Cancer Therapy

Written By Simon Morris / Reviewed By Ray Spotts

Cancer has been around since ancient times, plaguing mankind as far back as 3000 B.C., with the oldest description of this disease appearing in Ancient Egyptian papyri. Tremendous progress has been made since, with new technologies resulting in some amazing discoveries in the field of cancer diagnosis and treatment.

In this article, we’ll be looking at five of the latest innovations in cancer therapy.

Computed tomography for lung cancer screening

Developing lung cancer is one of the common concerns among former smokers. However, the small nodules - that could potentially be cancerous - were impossible to be picked up by the X-rays, often leading radiologists to miss lung cancer, and therefore, fail to diagnose and provide the patient with the care they need.

As computed tomography (CT) evolved, it’s become more effective in lowering the lung cancer mortality rate, cutting it back by almost 20 percent. Going for a lung cancer screening nowadays provides the doctors with 3D images of the entire chest, which they can then examine for nodules.

This helps them determine whether these nodules are, in fact, cancer, or maybe just inflammation or scar tissue.

In recent years, the development of AI has further improved the accuracy of the CT screening results. Today, relying on the AI algorithm can help with correct identification of malignant growth in scans while also reducing the risk of over- or under-diagnosis due to false positives or false negatives obtained from a CT screening.

Intraoperative radiation therapy for breast cancer

In the case of early-stage breast cancer, undergoing a surgical procedure called a lumpectomy is a common practice. During this procedure, cancer from the breast is removed along with some healthy tissue surrounding the tumor.

Because the procedure aims to remove all cancer cells, it’s either followed by another surgical procedure or several radiation treatments. This is done in order to remove all the remaining microscopic cells that may have been left behind.

Since postoperative radiation treatments usually require daily hospital visits for a couple of weeks, breast cancer patients nowadays are being offered an alternative option. It’s called intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT) and involves the administration of a single dose of radiation immediately after the surgery (lumpectomy).

It is important to note that this therapy is only recommended to women with early-stage breast cancer who have undergone a lumpectomy.

Furthermore, there are certain criteria that women have to meet in order to receive IORT, including age, the cancer size and type, and whether there is one or multiple tumors.

Immunotherapy for cancer treatment and management

For years, the doctors have been applying numerous treatment methods to treat cancer patients, from radiation therapy to chemotherapy to surgeries and vaccines, often combining the methods to yield better results. It wasn’t until recently that a new weapon in the battle against cancer was discovered.

This relatively new type of cancer treatment called immunotherapy relies on the body’s immune system to fight cancer cells by training it to attack malignant cells and using drugs to boost the immune response. What’s more, new research on plasmacytoid dendritic cells that deals with exploring the anti-tumor activities of this rare immune cell type has brought hope to cancer patients, sparking public’s interest in immunotherapy even more.

Compared to traditional cancer treatments, immunotherapy comes with fewer side effects. It may not work for everyone, but by using CT and AI algorithms, doctors can distinguish between patients suitable for immunotherapy and those in need of alternative treatment, allowing patients to receive necessary care quicker than usual.

Using AI to personalize cancer treatment plans

Another innovation in cancer therapy that involves using AI has to do with personalizing cancer treatments. By combining the health history of a patient and medical records with CT scans, the AI model allows modern clinics to create treatment programs that are customized for each cancer patient.

When provided with the right information, the AI model is able to assess the potential response of a patient to a certain treatment, helping both the doctors and the patients. The doctors are able to come up with the right radiation dose for the patient, resulting in the patients being treated effectively, thus shortening the length of their hospital stay.

Precision cancer medicine

When it comes to treating cancer effectively, it’s important to note that different patients require different levels of care. Instead of taking the one-size-fits-all approach to cancer treatment, precision medicine is all about individualizing the treatment to suit the patients.

The patients’ genetic makeup, health history, test results, as well as lifestyle and environment are some of the factors involved in creating the most effective cancer treatment. As the technology progresses, more tools are being used to ease the process, and they’re becoming more and more advanced, making it easier for oncologists to derive genetic information from genomic sequencing and appropriately apply targeted therapies.

Wrapping up

The numerous cancer therapy innovations have made it possible for doctors to improve the quality of life of their patients, increase survival rates, and individualize their treatments. These innovations have also opened the doors to a number of therapy options to cancer patients and made it easier to detect and prevent certain conditions.

While cancer continues to be one of the deadliest diseases, with effective methods, technological tools, and treatments at our disposal, we can expect cancer care, diagnosis, and treatment to become even more effective.

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Written By:

Simon Morris is a freelance content writer and health consultant. Currently, he works as a health and lifestyle freelance writer with many firms.

Reviewed By:

Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed , a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at .

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

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Her mission: Keep seniors fall-free

Injuries caused by slips and trips are almost epidemic among older adults, and they are 'absolutely not a natural part of aging.'

Her mission: Keep seniors fall-free
An American 65 or older visits the emergency department every 11 seconds due to a fall. This can be prevented. (For Spectrum Health Beat)

Laura Maclam is talking about older folks and falls, and she is getting pretty worked up.

“I want to scream it from every rooftop: Falling is absolutely not a natural part of aging,” she says.

She’s a woman on a mission, all right. And that mission is to keep seniors standing on solid ground. Even if she has to stand on a rooftop.

Maclam knows how devastating a fall can be, especially for an older person.

A former paramedic and Aero Med flight nurse, she has seen plenty of fall victims in her career.

But what got her revved up about the topic was not an individual victim—it was a number.


Maclam found that number when looking at Spectrum Health emergency department records to identify the most serious problems of adult trauma patients.

She was sure car accidents would be No. 1.

It was falls.

“Fifty-two percent of admitted adult trauma patients over 65 were secondary to a fall,” she said. “These are people with multi-system trauma.

“They might have a brain injury and a broken pelvis. They are the highest acuity, highest risk, sickest trauma patients.”

4 tips to stay strong

Laura Maclam suggests these actions to improve strength and flexibility in daily life:

  1. At the grocery store, take an extra lap or two around the store to increase the number of steps you take.
  2. When you have a counter or item available for balance, stand on one leg and count to 10. Switch and stand on the other leg.
  3. Do ankle pumps while sitting. Stretch the legs in front and flex the feet up and down. Add in ankle rolls and knee lifts.
  4. Get up from a chair without using the arm rests (assuming it is not on wheels). To do so, you will straighten the spine and work the core muscles.

Her first thought was: What are we doing wrong in West Michigan?

But then she looked at national figures. She found that 2.8 million Americans over the age of 65 went to an emergency room because of a fall. That’s an ER visit every 11 seconds.

“This is a national problem that is almost epidemic or pandemic at this point,” she said. “Clearly, we need to address this.”

She faces one major stumbling block—yes, bad pun—and that is passive resignation. Too many people see falls as an inevitable part of aging. It happens. What can you do about it?

Plenty, Maclam says.

First, recognize that falls are serious. As serious as a heart attack. Or a stroke. Or cancer.

“One fall could be devastating,” she said. “You could end up unable to live independently. The cost sometimes is enough to be catastrophic.”

And half of those who fall once will fall a second time.

The risk rises as people age because of health conditions, medication and inactivity.

“As we get older, we sit and become more immobile, which leads to deconditioning and increased risk of falling,” she said.

Because those changes sneak up on folks, many underestimate their fall risk.

Second, focus on prevention.

Researchers have honed in on 6 steps shown to reduce fall risk:

  1. Home modification. Get rid of slippery rugs. Declutter. Make sure you have good lighting. Keep the driveway clear. Fix steps that are cracked.
  2. Mobility and balance. Do physical activities every week that help keep you strong and balanced, like tai chi and aquatic exercises or fitness classes.
  3. Talk to your doctor. Do you take meds or have a condition that can make falls more likely? Has your vision, hearing or reflexes changed? What can you do to reduce fall risk?
  4. Get an annual eye exam.
  5. Wear solid footwear.
  6. Have your hearing checked. Your balance center is in your inner ear, so changes in hearing will affect balance—and hearing aids might improve it.

She hopes this message will reach family members of older adults, too. She urges them to raise the issue with loved ones, offer to take walks or do activities together, and help with home modifications.

“Grandma doesn’t need another Yankee candle,” she says. “She needs grab bars in the bathroom.”

Source : Health Beat More   

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