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What will be the future of cancer treatment?

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cancer
Scientists are trying to introduce new treatment methods for cancer using technology. With the help of DNA analysis, they are closer than ever to finding the root cause of cancer. So what will be the future of cancer treatment?

What will be the future of cancer treatment?

You might think to yourself what does cancer have to do with technology; But you should know that now technology giants are also rushing to help doctors in cancer treatment. They are the unsung heroes searching for a way to prevent or cure the world’s deadliest disease.

The Human Genome Project has provided scientists with the opportunity to study and examine human DNA in-depth, and engineers use the information obtained to discover new treatments.

This project has been accompanied by significant technological advances in the field of cancer research, the most important of which is achieving a fast and low-cost way to sequence the entire genome of a human being. This achievement will be the basis of all future advances in cancer treatment based on the individual profile of the patient, rather than emphasizing the type of cancer in general.

A different approach: precision and person-centered medicine

14 million people get cancer every year. In the past, before scientists started examining tumor DNA, most types of cancer treatment were determined based on the location of the tumor in the body. But today, researchers have realized that the location of cancer in the body is less important than the genetic mutations that occur that lead to the start of uncontrolled growth of cells.

This discovery became the starting point of precision medicine ( PM ) or in other words, person-centered medicine. The main idea of ​​the mentioned method is that studying the source and genetic structure of a cancer tumor increases the chances of using targeted treatment; Without the location of the cancer in the body and the place of its growth having an effect on the treatment.

One of the definite and proven benefits of person-centered medicine is that disease treatment options are determined quickly, thus avoiding the waste of a patient’s energy and time. Maybe this word doesn’t mean much to us; But for patients who are struggling with cancer, it can indicate the way to save them from death.

Cancer and its treatment are not only a short-term and transient experience; Rather, it is a path to the unknown, a struggle that dates back millions of years. A cancer diagnosis is only the beginning. To choose the best and most accurate treatment method, a general approach to the patient is needed. Ronen Salomon, head of genetic endocrinology research and development at  Phillips Health Institute, explains:

We believe that genetic testing must be accompanied by pathology testing, CT scan, and MRI. Along with the treatment process, genetic analyzes are performed to ensure that the treatment is responsive and that the tumor is shrinking, and that the results of the treatment are in perfect agreement with the genetic findings obtained at the beginning of the treatment.

Ranen Salomon

The Phillips Institute and the equipment it provides to Ranen are critical to the advancement of research in the field of precision medicine. By using the right technology to collect data and interpret them, it is possible to greatly speed up the process of discovering the right treatment and effectively develop a new group of personalized medicines.

Using accurate and person-centered medicine works when you use the whole system and all the treatment steps. Ranen’s research team, in collaboration with various Philips departments, is among the first to have a comprehensive view of the treatment process in this way. Philips has a coordinated and integrated treatment method for cancer treatment and provides the right tools to support the patient at each stage of the disease.

For Ranen, cancer research is not only a job but also a personal matter for him. He wants to pay tribute to his mother in this way.

Ranen was an engineering student when his mother was diagnosed with cancer. It was at that point that Ranen decided to combine the world of engineering and health in a professional way. Because of his education in software engineering, Ranen can use his experience in this field to accelerate genetic endocrinology and related information sciences. He says in this regard:

Because of my own personal experience and family involvement with cancer, I know how valuable and promising cancer treatment innovation can be for patients and their families. I was with my mother during her five years of treatment and saw first hand how time consuming it is to find the best treatment and the most effective drugs. I could see how he was suffering from severe side effects of various drugs. This is something that I don’t want to happen to anyone… If we can improve the lives of patients by speeding up the treatment process and make this difficult experience more bearable for them, then we can say that we are doing something worthwhile.

But unfortunately, this did not happen to Ranen’s mother, because this technology had not yet been created. At that time, for his mother and many other patients, finding effective treatment was only possible through trial and error.

The future of person-centered medicine

The presence of abnormal things in a person’s genetics not only contributes to the occurrence of cancer in that person, but also increases the chances of developing conditions such as diabetes, obesity, Parkinson’s, and heart diseases. Although hundreds of unusual genetic conditions have been identified, their physiology remains largely unknown.

DNA sequence

Current treatment models for cancer are largely dependent on reactive therapies; A person is diagnosed with cancer and then undergoes treatment. But is it possible to prevent the onset of the disease in general? Ranen says about this:

In general, genetic therapy will advance in the future, where genetic science will play a serious role in the treatment process. This method will also find its way into people’s daily lives. Data and DNA will help you lead a healthier lifestyle.

The increase in our knowledge in the field of the cause of cancer tumor development along with the development of  DNA sequencing methods in recent years has drastically changed the face of cancer treatment methods. This is the future of cancer treatment: targeted, specific, personalized, and technology-based. Those who are diagnosed with the disease can prevent the onset of the disease and the appearance of symptoms by making changes in their lives.

Ranen believes:

As genetics continues to advance and more precisely target specific genetic mutations, the side effects of treatment can be greatly reduced. We see more people being prescribed personalized medicine in the future. In the future, current treatment methods such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy will not be our only option to fight cancer.

To achieve this goal, we need to bridge the gap between health sciences and engineering. The collection of vast amounts of data and machine learning, along with our ever-increasing knowledge of genetics, will pave the way for the development of comprehensive and preventive therapies.

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Discovering the 100% effectiveness of a drug in preventing HIV

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Scientists say that a new drug for the prevention of the HIV virus (HIV) has shown 100% effectiveness in a clinical trial.

Discovering the 100% effectiveness of a drug in preventing HIV

A large clinical trial in South Africa and Uganda has shown that a twice-yearly injection of a new HIV prevention drug before exposure gives young women complete protection against infection from the virus.

The trial tested whether a six-month injection of the drug, called lenacapavir, provided better protection against HIV infection than two other drugs, both pills that must be taken daily. It should be mentioned that all three of these drugs are preventive drugs (PrEP).

Linda Gale Becker, medical scientist and deputy director of the Desmond Tutu Center for HIV at the University of Cape Town’s Institute of Infectious Diseases and Molecular Medicine and the study’s principal investigator, explains what makes this breakthrough so important and what to expect in the future.

He talks about this trial and what has been considered and achieved. This trial was conducted with 5,000 participants in three locations in Uganda and 25 locations in South Africa to test the effectiveness of lenacapavir and two other drugs.

Lenacapavir is a capsid inhibitor that interferes with the capsid of HIV. The capsid is a protein shell that protects the genetic material of HIV and the enzymes needed for its replication. This medicine is injected under the skin every six months.

The randomized controlled trial, sponsored by the drug’s developers at Gilead Sciences, tested several subjects.

The first was whether a six-month injection of lenacapavir is safer than daily Truvada F/TDF, which has been widely used and available for more than a decade and can provide better protection against HIV infection as a preventive measure. For women between the ages of 16 and 25 years old or not.

Second, the trial also tested whether taking a newer pill called Descovy F/TAF daily was as effective as Truvada.

Descovi pill is newer and has superior properties than Truvada. Pharmacokinetics refers to the movement of drugs into the body. The Descovi pill is also smaller than Truvada.

This experiment was conducted randomly and in a double-blind manner. This means that neither the participants nor the researchers knew which participants received which drug until the end of the clinical trial.

HIV and AIDS

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a type of slow-spreading virus (retrograde virus with low replication speed) and the cause of AIDS. HIV attacks the vital cells of the body’s immune system, including helper T lymphocytes (CD4+ T), macrophages, and dendritic cells, and is a virus that disrupts the function and destroys a type of cells responsible for immune coordination, leading to the failure of the human body’s immune system, which It is called AIDS.

It may take between 6 months and 15 years from the time HIV enters the body until the onset of AIDS. During this time, although a person may appear to be healthy, the virus may spread from him to others.

HIV is mainly transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse, transfusion of infected blood and contaminated needles, and from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding. Some body fluids such as saliva and tears cannot transmit HIV. Prevention of HIV mainly through safe sex and needle exchange programs is considered as a solution to prevent the spread of this disease.

AIDS or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome is also a type of disease that is caused by the entry of HIV and the attack of the immune system by this virus. The disease caused by HIV has three main stages. In the first stage (acute infection), a person may experience an influenza-like illness for a short period, which, of course, does not happen to all people, for this reason, the disease is usually followed for a long period without any symptoms, which leads to this stage of The disease is called the incubation period.

As the AIDS disease progresses, the body’s immune system becomes weaker and people suffer from more infections such as infections and opportunistic cancers and tumors. Of course, it usually shows a lower incidence in people whose immune system works well. Finally, the disease will enter the third stage, or AIDS when the number of CD4+ T cells reaches less than 200 cells per microliter.

Young women in East and Southern Africa are the population bearing the brunt of new HIV infections. Also, taking medications daily is challenging for them due to social and structural reasons.

During this clinical trial, none of the 2,134 women who received Lancapavir became infected with HIV, which means that the drug was 100% effective.

In comparison, 16 of 1,068 women (1.5 percent) who took Truvada and 39 of 2,136 (1.8 percent) who received Descovi became infected with HIV.

The results of an independent review by the Data Safety Monitoring Board led to the recommendation that the “blind” phase of the trial should be stopped and that all participants should be given a choice.

This panel is an independent committee of experts who are formed at the beginning of the clinical trial. They monitor unblinded data at specific times during the trial to monitor progress and safety and ensure that the trial is continued or stopped if there is clear harm or benefit in one group over the others.

What is the importance of these tests?

This success gives great hope because it shows that preventive drugs can be effective in protecting people against HIV.

Last year, 1.3 million new HIV infections were reported worldwide. Although this number is lower than the 2 million infections observed in 2010, it is clear that at this rate we will not reach the target of reducing HIV prevalence to less than 500,000 people worldwide by 2025, and may not even reach We will not reach the goal of ending AIDS by 2030.

Preventive drugs are not the only means of prevention

Preventive medications should be provided alongside access to condoms, screening and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, and access to contraception for women of reproductive age.

In addition, young men should also be circumcised for health reasons.

Despite these options, we are not yet at the point where we can stop new infections, especially among young people, the researchers say.

For young people, taking the pill daily or using a condom or taking the pill during intercourse can be challenging.

HIV scientists and activists hope that young people will embrace it, given that it only needs to be injected twice a year. For a young woman who for social reasons cannot take the pill every day, just two injections a year is an option that can save her from contracting HIV.

What is the next plan?

The plan is to continue the trial now in a non-double-blind fashion. This means that participants will have a choice between using any of those three drugs.

Another trial is also being planned. The test is being conducted among transgender people in a number of regions, including some parts of Africa.

It is important to conduct trials between different groups because researchers have observed differences in the effectiveness of drugs. Also, the type of sexual intercourse is important and may affect the effectiveness of the drugs.

Read more: Skin cancer: symptoms, prevention and treatment

How much time is left until the release of the drug?

Gilead’s press release stated that within the next few months, the company will submit the case with all the results to a number of national authorities, particularly those in Uganda and South Africa.

The World Health Organization will also review this data and may issue recommendations based on it.

The researchers say, we hope that after that this new drug will be used in the guidelines of the World Health Organization and countries.

We also hope to see the drug tested in more studies to better understand how it might combine in different real-world settings, the researchers say.

Of course, the price of this drug is a vital factor to ensure its access and distribution in the public sector.

Gilead Sciences has said it offers licenses to companies that make generic drugs, another important way to keep prices down.

In an ideal situation, governments could purchase the drug at an affordable price and make it available to everyone who wants it and needs protection against HIV.

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A miracle cure for cancer with one pump

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A miracle cure for cancer with one pump. New experiments by Swedish and Austrian researchers show that injecting drugs into the tumor with an electronic pump can significantly increase the effectiveness of cancer treatment.

A miracle cure for cancer with one pump

When low doses of cancer drugs are continuously injected near malignant brain tumors using a technology called iontronic, the growth of cancer cells is greatly reduced.

According to Mirage News, researchers from “Linköping University” (Linköping University) in Sweden and “Med Uni Graz” (Med Uni Graz) in Austria showed this result in an experiment on bird embryos. Their results are one step closer to providing new and effective treatments for a variety of aggressive cancers.

Malignant brain tumors often recur despite surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. This is because cancer cells can hide deep in tissue and then grow back. Even the most effective drugs cannot cross the blood-brain barrier that surrounds the blood vessels of the brain and prevents the entry of many substances into the blood. As a result, there are very few treatment options for invasive brain tumors.

In 2021, a group of researchers from Linköping University and the Medical University of Graz demonstrated how to use an electronic pump to locally inject drugs and inhibit cell growth in a malignant and aggressive type of brain cancer called glioblastoma. At that time, experiments were performed on tumor cells in petri dishes.

Read more: Artificial intelligence identifies cancer killer cells

The same research group has now taken the next step to use this technology in the clinical treatment of cancer. This new treatment method can be tested on living tumors. The researchers showed that with the continuous use of low doses of powerful drugs such as “Gemcitabine” by an electronic pump that is located directly in the vicinity of the brain tumor, the growth of cancer cells is reduced.

“Daniel Simon” (Daniel Simon), a professor at Linköping University, said: We have already shown the effectiveness of this concept. Now we’re using a living tumor and we can see that the pump delivers the drug very effectively. So, although this is a simplified model of humans, it can be more confidently said that it works.

The basic concept of the future treatment of glioblastoma involves implanting an electronic device directly in the brain near the tumor. This method allows the use of low doses of strong drugs while bypassing the blood-brain barrier. Accurate dosing in both location and time is critical for effective treatment. This method can minimize side effects because it does not need to circulate throughout the body.

Beyond brain tumors, the researchers hope that iontronic technology can be used in many cancers that are difficult to treat.

Theresia Arbring Sjöström, a researcher at Linköping University, explained: “This is a very stable treatment that the tumor cannot hide from. Even if the tumor and its surrounding tissue try to remove the drug, the materials and control systems used in Untronic can continuously deliver a high concentration of the drug to the tissue adjacent to the tumor.

Linda Waldherr, a researcher at the Medical University of Graz and visiting researcher at Linköping University, said: “In bird embryos, certain biological systems, such as the formation of blood vessels, act similar to those in living animals.” However, we don’t need to implant any devices in them yet. This suggests that although there are still many challenges to be addressed, the concept is viable.

Researchers believe that human trials will be possible within the next five to 10 years. The next steps include further development of materials that allow the implantation of iontronic pumps. Further tests will be conducted on mice and larger animals to further evaluate this treatment.

This research was published in “The Journal of Controlled Release”.

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Making a small version of the intestine in the laboratory

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Making a small version of the intestine in the laboratory

Making a small version of the intestine in the laboratory. A lab-grown small intestine could help provide personalized treatment for Crohn’s disease.

Making a small version of the intestine in the laboratory

Scientists have found a way to reveal the severity of intestinal diseases through epigenetic changes, which could help develop a new treatment plan for patients.

For decades, biomedical researchers have been looking for ways to develop a standard treatment for patients with Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel disease (IBD).

Now, scientists at the University of Cambridge have discovered a way to grow a small intestine in the lab from cells taken from a patient for more precise and personalized treatments.

Professor Matthias Zilbauer, professor of pediatric gastroenterology at the University of Cambridge and Cambridge University Hospitals, explained: “The actual model of this small intestine was made more than a decade ago by a scientist named Hans Clovers. Together with a group of scientists, he discovered structural units called intestinal epithelial stem cells.

He added that the scientists combined this with what is needed for cells to continue growing and dividing after they leave the gut.

Focusing on children with Crohn’s disease

Inspired by this model that grows organoids from humans, researchers in this new study found specific epigenetic findings in patients, especially children and adolescents, with Crohn’s disease.

Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease whose cases are increasing worldwide, especially among children. This disease significantly affects the quality of life of patients and can lead to severe complications.

A new pathway called major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC class I) was observed, which appears to be regulated by changes in epigenetic programming.

Scientists have discovered a way to reveal the severity of diseases through epigenetic changes, which could help develop a new treatment plan for patients.

“What we found was that patients with significant epigenetic changes had a more severe disease course,” says Seelbauer.

Drug treatment for the small intestine in vitro before administration to the patient

Scientists hope to develop new drugs that can be tested on this small lab intestine before being given to a patient.

Conventional treatments are only effective 60% of the time, so the vast majority of patients may not respond to them and may even be exposed to severe side effects.

In the future, scientists hope to grow these organoids from patients for drug testing and, if a drug works on the small intestine, administer it to the patient.

The study found that the cells that make up the inner lining of the intestine in patients with Crohn’s disease show increased activity of major histocompatibility complex class I, which are proteins found on the surface of nearly all nucleated cells in the body and are critical for the immune response.

Read more: Artificial intelligence identifies cancer killer cells

This high activity can lead to inflammation by activating immune cells to more easily recognize antigens such as toxins or other foreign substances. Antigens may include molecules from food or gut microbiota that trigger an immune response and contribute to the inflammation characteristic of Crohn’s disease. This is the first time that stable epigenetic changes have been shown to explain intestinal epithelial abnormalities in Crohn’s patients.

The team of researchers is currently working on finding drugs that can modify this pathway.

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