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As technology continues its steady advancement, more and more uses are being found with healthcare applications. The latest healthcare technology is playing a major role in the advancement of cancer treatments.
A new form of cancer treatment has recently surfaced, called directed-cancer therapy, among other names. This breakthrough innovation teaches the human body’s immune system to recognize cancerous cells. From there, doctors are able to make customized vaccines to target the core mutations in each patient. The customized vaccine then gets re-injected into the patient for direct treatment. Put simply, the immune system is being manipulated to attack cancerous cells in the body from within.
The results? Phenomenal.
In one study, 94 percent of participants suffering from acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) said their symptoms vanished completely after they were treated with the modified blood cells, known as T-cells.
Cancer is infamously known for hiding itself from the body’s immune system. More traditional forms of treatment, such as chemotherapy and radiation, have lower success rates as patients experience negative side effects from the treatments damaging healthy tissue. “Only a fraction of the administered drug actually reaches the tumor,” according to Mauro Ferrari, Ph.D., president and CEO of the Houston Methodist Research Institute.
Other innovations in the search for a cure have emerged from various institutions.
Outcome Technologies Inc. recently announced the launch of ROSALIND™, a smart data platform designed to provide personalized drug treatment options for cancer patients based on the genetic mutation and expression profile of an individual’s tumor. This platform makes it possible to evaluate what available drug treatments may be effective for an individual’s specific cancer, while minimizing potential side effects using advanced algorithms.
Another breakthrough in cancer treatment is called focused ultrasound, which uses sound waves to destroy damaged tissue deep within the body, doing away with the need for incisions or radiation therapy. It has been approved in the United States as a treatment for several conditions, including prostate cancer.
While much still needs to be researched and tested, we can only hope that science will continue to search diligently for effective treatments of all diseases. For now, these healthcare technology innovations give us all hope for a cure.
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