Treatment is changing faster now than ever before.
It’s World Cancer Day (February 4), and this day means different things to different people. We remember those whom we have lost to cancer and fight for those currently weathering the storm. 🎗Covid-19 has made life harder for lots of cancer patients, and for their families, that’s for sure.
However, World Cancer Day is also a day to celebrate the huge strides being made in cancer treatment, and the advances science has made in the past year to improve cancer care. It’s true that we haven’t yet cured it, but there are lots of different types of cancer, and each case is unique. In spite of the pandemic, the world is taking huge steps to revolutionise how we treat cancer and we now know far more about certain kinds of tumours than we ever have.
1. A new drug to halt tumour growth
In 2020 The Institute of Cancer Research and The Royal Marsden NHS Trust (United Kingdom) ran trials to test the safety of an exciting new drug. This new drug is called berzosertib and it has been designed to stop cancer cells from healing after other treatments have begun to destroy the cells. The drug has shown amazing promise in these trials, blocking a protein that would otherwise help tumours to repair themselves. Those participating in tests had no other treatment options, and although treatment of the drug is still in its earliest stages, it could potentially help so many cancer patients in future.
2. A drug that can shrink tumours
Rozlytrek (otherwise known as entrectinib) is pretty special because it can be used to treat a wide range of different cancers. Sometimes tumours have a genetic mutation, which is called NTRK fusion, and this drug can be used to treat any tumour with that mutation. The development of this drug really is groundbreaking because, in tests, it shrank tumours in over half of the cancer patients who were treated with it. Whilst it can’t be used to treat every type of cancer, it has been effective in treating 14 different types of tumour, which is just fantastic.
3. Advances in cancer immunotherapy treatment
For over a decade now immunotherapy has been revolutionising the treatment of lots of different cancer types. There are different types of immunotherapy and you can learn more about those treatment types on this website. However, what makes this treatment so exciting is that it enhances the body’s own, natural defenses to fight cancer. Although immunotherapy has been used for several years already, every year new approvals are made to use it for treating different kinds of cancers. That’s great because the more treatment options patients have, the better.