Almost daily, we hear about the latest cancer treatments and cures that are saving lives. But just how far along are we to being able to defeat cancer once and for all? Here is current look at how treatments are helping people today and how the latest research will affect the future outlook and treatment of cancer.

Are We Any Closer To Killing Cancer?
Stop cancer sign – Shutterstock

Latest Cancer Treatments

Lately, scientists have been finding many new breakthroughs for treating patients with skin cancer and even those with melanoma. When patients are diagnosed with advanced stages of skin cancer, they normally do not have much longer to live but with this new treatment of combining ipilimumab (aka “ipi”) with anti-PDI they could live up to ten years longer. It is even suspected that with further advancements, scientists could find a treatment for half of cancer patients. In the United States, melanoma can kill about 8,790 people annually and is the most common cancer diagnosis for young women in their 20s. With this new treatment, numbers of diagnosis and deaths can be greatly reduced.

However present the impact of breast cancer is for women, new diagnostic tools and treatments are leading to fewer deaths each year. One diagnostic tool, genomic testing, examines breast cancer tumors that is able to examine the cell’s genome in order to better understand what caused the cancer to develop. This new development could even help lead to individual treatment plans for breast cancer patients.

Besides targeted treatment therapy, intraoperative radiation therapy or IORT that replaces old radiation treatments. IORT is able to directly treat tumors and will not damage healthy skin and helps to minimize the treatment times.

Possible New Treatments and Progress

Researchers are hopeful that sharks could be the future to help patients fight their cancer and particularly breast cancer. At the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, researchers think the antibody, IgNAR, can be used to help humans the same way that it helps sharks fight different viruses and parasites.

ThyroSeq is a new development to detect thyroid cancer without additional and unnecessary surgeries. Similar to the genomic testing used to detect the cause of breast cancer based on genes, ThyroSeq does multiple tests of genetic markers at the same time. The new method of cancer detection looks for malignant cells with the initial surgery, but if a benign tumor and cancer cells are detected, then no other necessary surgeries need to take place for further treatment.

Testicular cancer is fairly treatable, but there are still new developments involving studying cell DNA that are in progress to help ensure a man will be able to have a fertile future if he wishes to start a family by helping to cure his cancer. Sometimes gene mutations have been linked to resisting chemotherapy which like other cancers, leads to the development of new drugs and treatments. Like ThyroSeq for thyroid cancer, researchers are hoping that new diagnostic tools and tests will help them to decide how much treatment an individual needs to greatly reduce the number of surgeries and chemotherapy.

Hope for the Future in Ending Cancer

Skin cancer treatments are making a huge breakthrough and if researchers are able to use genetics to create customized treatment plans, other mammals, and create new drugs to fight specific types of cancer, maybe these treatments can be used for other types as well.

How long do you think it will take before researchers put an end to cancer? Do you have any personal stories of how the latest cancer treatments have helped you or someone else to be rid of cancerous cells?