Clinical Trials Oncology Breast Cancer

We can say that a cure has been found but at the same time, we are not quite there yet. For every step forward, we take 3 backward. It’s a story of survival, defeat, and victories

Cancer has been there since the ancient Egyptian times and has been running circles around mankind since then. The word cancer is derived from the Greek word for crab. That itself tells a lot about the invasive and aggressive nature of the disease.

Breast cancer has seen an insane amount of surge in the attention that it got previously by everyone that is someone. That is in direct correlation with the surge of the number of patients of breast cancer in recent times. It has been on the rise in the last 40 or so years. Globally, the number has risen to an alarming high. Waking us all up in the process and take notice.

For the three steps that we take backward, there is always a step forward. The same statement in reverse.

This is enough to give us hope. The people are not going to quit unless we defeat cancer

2018 was a bad year for breast cancer and a great year for the patients. The family of breast cancer survivors reached an all-time high number of 3.3 million In the US alone. The chances of a woman dying from breast cancer have decreased by one-third in the last 30 years.

Triple-negative breast cancer is known to be the most aggressive of all other breast cancers. It is more likely to metastasize than all other breast cancers. There is a higher chance that it will come back within the first three years of the treatment. It is also more likely to be life taking within the first 5 years. Triple negative breast cancer does not have targeted medications and, yet. And medications for other types of breast cancers have been shown to be mostly ineffective.

That does not mean there is no hope. A recent clinical trial at New York Presbyterian/Colombia’s Herbert Comprehensive Cancer Center and other centers have shown otherwise.

A new “smart Drug” was tested on a small number of patients. The drug is designed to directly attack the cells that have tested negative for the hormone receptors for estrogen and progesterone and excess HER2 protein.

Kevin Kalinsky, an oncologist and author of the paper published in New England Journal of Medicine claims that the new advancement regarding the smart drug can be a game changer in terms of how cancer is looked at. This whole aura of incurability seems to fade away with each passing day.

Cancer in such cases has been known to not respond to medications specifically designed to target HER2 protein and because the receptors part is left unattended to and similarly medications designed for hormonal therapies don’t address the HER2 issue, they have also been mostly ineffective. This new drug that goes by the name of “Sacituzumab Govitecan” can prove to be a revolutionary step towards a cure.

There were a few side effects however such as hair loss and fatigue, but only 3% of the patients had to stop taking the medication due to unfavorable results.

Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy is another way that is being looked upon as a potential cure to breast cancer, in fact to every type of cancer. It has been shown to be theoretically effective for long until 2018. A woman was treated and after 22 months, the patient was still in remission. Usually, when a patient has undergone 3-4 different medical regimens, by the time 5 regimen rolls in, the response is usually very slow to none. However, this woman who had undergone hormone therapies and chemotherapy previously responded to immunotherapy in a very positive manner. The result has been comparatively quicker and mongers lasting.

National Cancer Institute conducted the experiment on a one Judy Perkins by a group led by Dr. Steven Rosenberg showed that immunography has the promise.

Our immune system has an innate ability to tackle the cancer cells. But the cells that ward off don’t live forever. They have a life. Immunotherapy intends to extend the life of such cells so they can kill the cancer cells and then die.

Microbiomes

Microbiomes are another way of treating cancers. A lot has been written about microbiomes and what they do and what benefit could we get from them, in this case, specifically to tackle cancer. The microbiome phenomena only plan to gain traction with each passing year and very soon, the experts hope that this quest is going to take them closer to the cure.

Organoids

These tiny lab-grown organs can be used as drawing boards for new medicines and new procedures. Clinical trials have been designed to include these in the future. It is still in its infancy stages and not much can be said about them in terms of how much success this is going to get but it’s one of many routes experts are willing to take. It can be said that the organoids aren’t real things so the results might be dubious, at best. Or that they aren’t connected to other organs like, in the human body, they don’t have blood flow so the bigger picture might be a little ambiguous. But it was never claimed that this concept is already mature and there aren’t any loopholes. There are. But it’s a step what every concerned person is willing to take because, on paper, the theory does sound promising enough.

There are tremendous amounts of research and work being put into finding the cures and reducing the side effects of cancer. The toll it takes is heavy, and as the costs and patients increase in numbers, so will the efforts to reduce, minimize and cure cancer do.  These advancements that may seem small, and high in monetary costs are going to contribute to the cause of cancer. The unmet issue of a cure for cancer will be addressed.

 

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