homehealthcare NewsWorld Cancer Day 2023: A look at the top treatment breakthroughs in 2022

World Cancer Day 2023: A look at the top treatment breakthroughs in 2022

World Cancer Day 2023: A look at the top treatment breakthroughs in 2022
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By Ayushi Agarwal  Feb 3, 2023 5:29:38 PM IST (Updated)

From new ways of conducting radiation therapies and vaccines to bone marrow transplants, this year shed a ray of hope in the oncology sphere.

For scientists, the year 2022 — despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic — was also the year that witnessed groundbreaking additions to humankind's information base on oncology treatment. Researchers in Spain found a new way to diagnose for pancreatic cancer by testing the stool of patients. There have also been breakthroughs in stopping the spread of breast, and head and neck cancer as well.

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From new ways of conducting radiation therapies and vaccines to bone marrow transplants, here are just some of the several innovations from 2022 that could signal that we are the in the "golden age" of cancer treatment.
 Petri-dish bone marrow
Scientists from Oxford University and the University of Birmingham in November created the first "organoids" of bone marrow to replicate human bone marrow. Through the growth of human stem cells in specifically constructed 3D scaffold, this technique enabled scientists to produce the major cells types found in human bone marrow. This advancement is reason for celebration as it opens doors to more individualised approach to therapy.
2. FLASH radiation therapy
A new radiation therapy by the name of FLASH radiation therapy was found to be a safe, effective, faster and less painful pathway to kill cancer malignancies through the use of radiation. FLASH delivers over 300 times the dosage of traditional radiation therapy in a fraction of a second. In a study conducted on bone cancer patients, six out of 12 individuals reported that the pain was full relieved through this new method. John Breneman, the principal investigator for the study, said this innovation could result in higher cure rates for patients.
3. Immunotherapy
A study conducted in June found that antigen vaccinations in patients with advanced melanoma was halting the growth of cancerous tumours and showing signs of an immune response. These vaccines are usually personalised to an individual's DNA and can be less toxic than chemotherapy. Cancer survivor Mark Lashway, 67, was the one of the first to receive such a vaccine which changed his life, taking him from having only a 15 percent survival rate to having his tumours completely gone.
4. Base editing
An innovation that came about only six years ago, base editing allows for the altering of the bases of DNA — adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G) and thymine (T). In the case of leukaemia patient Alyssa, 13, doctors engineered a new T-cell, a white blood cell type that helps destroy threats in the body. In a three-step process of editing donor T-cells, doctors were able to modify the cells to not assault Alyssa's body and not be killed by chemotherapy drugs. These modified T-cells can then find and destroy cancerous T-cells, BBC reports.
5.  CAR-T therapy "IMAGINE"
Another kind of T-cell therapy, "IMAGINE" by Immuneel Therapeutics, an Indian biotech startup, started clinical trials in June. CAR-T therapies, which can treat blood cancer and are being studied to expand their scope, have not been available in India. Internationally, they cost about $350,000 per dose. Immuneel's new venture could provide Indian citizens with an affordable alternative when they have exhausted other means of treatments. By spearheading their own manufacturing processes and doing as much as they can in-house, Immuneel strives to bring costs down and hope to Indian citizens.
Note: This is not an exhaustive list but just some of the well known breakthroughs in cancer research this year.
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