With the advancement of technology, there are more ways to improve cancer treatment. These advances include using AI to detect cancer earlier and creating vaccines that attack tumors.
Radiation therapy, one of the oldest forms of cancer treatment, is now safer and more effective. This is because doctors can use high doses of radiation to target the cancer without affecting healthy cells or tissue.
The way we find, visualize, and understand cancer has changed a lot. Fortunately, these advancements can open the door for us to move forward faster against this disease and improve the lives of people affected by it.
For example, ChemoID is a personalized approach to cancer treatment that gives patients the chemotherapy they need to fight their specific cancer. This allows patients to receive the right amount of drugs and at the right time, which can have a dramatic effect on their outcome.
Another type of technology is called image-guided radiation therapy (IMGT). It uses a linear accelerator to deliver high-energy radiation to tumors, minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissue.
Other new types of radiation treatments include three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy, which creates a 3D map of the tumor and its surrounding tissue. This technology makes it easier to treat multiple tumors at once with minimal damage to surrounding healthy tissue.
Personalized cancer vaccines use the patient’s tumor DNA to create a vaccine that activates the body’s immune system. This is a promising approach because it can be designed specifically to treat each individual’s tumor.
A new study suggests that this cancer technology advancement may boost the body’s natural ability to fight off tumors. The researchers reported that patients who received a personalized vaccine after standard cancer treatments showed increased numbers of immune cells that were specific to the neoantigens in their tumors.
The neoantigens are the abnormal protein fragments created when cancerous tumors mutate and grow. These neoantigens are unique to each cancer and raise a red flag for the immune system, triggering an army of immune cells to seek and destroy them.
CAR-T Cell Therapy
In CAR-T Cell Therapy, your body’s own immune cells are genetically altered to target a specific protein on cancer cells. The modified T cells are then infused back into you in the hospital.
When a CAR T cell comes into contact with the antigen on a cancer cell, it activates and then multiplies, triggering other parts of your immune system to attack the cancer. This process can lead to inflammation that kills the cancer.
But, sometimes the cytokines that the CAR T cells release can also damage healthy tissue and cause a condition called immune effector cell-associated neurotoxicity syndrome (ICANS). It can include numbness or muscle spasms in the arms or legs. It is reversible and usually disappears within a week to 10 days after the treatment.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is an advanced technology that has the potential to improve the way we detect and treat cancer. AI can help cancer experts make better decisions about how to treat patients based on their symptoms, medical history and genetics.
Some AI models are already showing promising results. For example, they can help doctors distinguish between noncancerous changes in the lungs that look a lot like cancer on CT scans and real lung cancer.
These tools can cut false-positive test results and spare people from unnecessary tests or treatments. That’s good news for patients and their doctors.
However, there are a few key considerations for using AI in healthcare. First, AI models must be trained with data that is unbiased and free of bias. Then, they must be evaluated for their performance. And, finally, they must be used in ways that promote equity and justice. These are all important for making the best decisions possible for cancer patients.