Whether it is a work colleague, a family member or yourself, cancer has a devastating effect on the lives of people all over the world. Last year, estimates showed that almost 1.8 million US citizens received a diagnosis of cancer.
Depending on your lifestyle, job and location, the chances that you develop cancer mean that you must be extremely wary of the risks to your health. The good news is that research is not standing still.
Scientists are working night and day across the globe to research and test new cancer treatments. Whilst these provide hope to people today, they could provide real solutions in the coming years.
Continue reading to discover seven of the most promising cancer treatments in development.
1. Hyperthermia Therapies
Anyone who has suffered hyperthermia during a visit to a hot climate like the desert may be surprised to hear that scientists are interested in the benefits of hyperthermia.
In reality, hyperthermia could be a fantastic solution for treating cancer patients. By applying intense heat to a localized area, hyperthermia therapy could cause the cells within a tumor to denature and die.
Hyperthermia treatments are being looked at closely. They have the potential to kill cancerous cells before they can spread to healthy tissues.
The capacity of the human body to self-health and recover is nothing short of extraordinary. It is well known that your body takes preventative action to delay and prevent the spread of many cancers in the human body during a person’s lifetime.
With a bit of additional support, a cancer patient can even use their immune system to destroy cancerous cells.
Recently, the FDA approved Sipuleucel-T (Provenge) for patients who are in the advanced stages of prostate cancer. At this stage, the therapy is only given to patients who have not had a positive response to hormone therapy, or other more conventional treatments.
3. Gene Therapy
By adding these genes into the body’s cells, scientists aim to change the way that the cells behave. The theory is that you can change cancerous cells, ensuring that they do not divide and spread throughout the body.
Gene therapy introduces genes chosen for their tumor-suppressing qualities into cells within the body. As the cells divide and multiply, it’s thought that they slow down the growth of cancerous tumors throughout the body.
One of the most recent theories is that you could actually use gene therapy to impact cancer cells and increase their susceptibility to chemotherapy.
You could introduce a selection of enzymes into some of the cancerous cells such as thymidine kinase in a gliomas solution. This, in turn, will make all subsequent cancerous cells more vulnerable to aciclovir.
This will speed up the time it takes for chemicals used during chemotherapy to destroy cancerous cells. The shorter the time that a patient needs chemotherapy, the better the rest of their body will be.
4. Proton Beam Therapy
If all of the cancer treatments listed in this article were ranked on how close to science fiction their names sound, proton beam therapy would surely come out near the top of the list.
Behind this new a totally new way of delivering radiation to cancerous cells and tumors within the body. Protons are able to focus their energy directly into cancerous cells.
Cancer patients going through radiotherapy are subjected to large amounts of harmful radiation throughout their entire body. This is because up to this point scientists could not avoid harming healthy cells to kill the cancerous ones.
Protons are fundamentally different from the x-rays used in traditional radiotherapy. Protons disperse their radiation directly into the tumor, whereas x-rays immediately disperse radiation throughout the body.
This means that your organs absorb far less harmful radiation compared with traditional methods.
With fewer side effects than traditional radiotherapy, proton beam therapy has great potential to help cancer sufferers in the near future.
Although it has not been used as a mainstream cancer treatment in the US yet, ayahuasca has been a popular cancer treatment in Brazil.
Ayahuasca is a plant mixture, originally from the Amazon Basin, with strong hallucinogenic properties. It allows users to enter a different state of consciousness.
There have been reports of astonishing progress from cancer patients who have used ayahuasca. If traditional methods of treatment have not worked for you, it may be a good option to consider ayahuasca.
There is clearly a beneficial link between ayahuasca and cancer. This could help you in your darkest hour.
6. GM Poliovirus Therapy
One of the very newest cancer treatments available uses genetically modified poliovirus strains to treat cancer.
By placing this virus, which has been modified to remove its inherent disease-causing components, into a tumor, it could theoretically infect and kill any cancerous cells present.
This is still an extremely new concept, so there is a lot more work to go before this theory becomes widespread.
7. Non-Invasive Cancer Treatments
Treating a cancer patient is fraught with risks and complications because many of them involve cutting into a patient to gain access to the cancerous cells.
This significantly weakens the patient and can lead to further infections or other issues. For this reason, a lot of effort is being put into treatments that don’t involve opening up a patient.
These are known as non-invasive cancer treatments.
HIFU (High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound) is one of these emerging technologies. It has already been used to successfully treat brain, liver and pancreatic cancers, plus many more.
Treatments like HIFU could decisively reduce the risks involved when treating cancer.
New Cancer Treatments Are Around the Corner
Cancer can have such destructive effects on friends, families and loved ones. The good news is that there is a wide range of cancer treatments emerging which will swing the battle back in our favor over the coming years.
Microsoft has stated that they believe that cancer will be ‘solved’ in the next decade. And on the face of the different treatments listed above, there may be something in their bold assessment.
How has cancer affected your family? Do you think any of the treatments mentioned above would have resulted in a different outcome for your loved one? Comment below with your thoughts.