April brings positive news in the field of oncology. Advances in methods of chemotherapy delivery offers a new hope in the treatment of cancer. Scientists have also developed new materials to assist the body in fighting cancer. With all the amazing and lifesaving new treatments discovered with each new day, there is still much damage to be repaired in screening and diagnosis of cancer caused by the pandemic.
New Highly Effective Treatment for Liver Cancer
A new treatment for liver cancer which isolates the organ and “bathes” it in chemotherapy has been found to be effective in almost 90%of patients, reports newschain.com . This treatment uses two small balloons to make the blood supply to the liver flow around it instead of to it, for one hour. During the hour, the chemotherapy is delivered to the liver. This method allows for higher chemotherapy doses to be used because it does not go directly into the bloodstream, therefore not causing damage to other parts of the body. After the chemotherapy is delivered, the blood supply to the liver is drained and filtered. Typically, there is a poor outcome when liver cancer is diagnosed, due to how the treatment damages other parts of the body. This new treatment helps lessen that damage, therefore allowing a better outcome. Patients have a quicker recovery from this treatment and a better quality of life during the chemotherapy treatment. There is hope that this technique may be used to treat other types of cancer as well. Find more information here.
Simple Delivery Method Enhances Promising Cancer Treatment
One cutting-edge cancer treatment exciting researchers today involves collecting and reprogramming a patient’s T cells-a special set of immune cells-then putting them back into the body ready to detect and destroy cancerous cell reports MedicalXpress.com. These cells are called chimeric antigen receptor T cells or CAR-T cells. Engineers at Stanford University have developed a hydrogel to deliver these immune cells next to a tumor in the body to make the cells more effective. This gel is made of water, and a polymer from cellulose and biodegradable nanoparticles. This hydrogel makes the CAR-T cells effective in treating solid tumors, instead of only treating blood cancers. The cells are not going into the bloodstream but right next to the tumor, allowing for the tumor to have a longer exposure to the immune cells. Find more information here.
Doctor’s Warn of Cancer Survival Rates Going into Reverse
Many lives will end “prematurely” due to a combination of a reluctance of some people to come forward and seek help for symptoms and delayed treatments during the Covid-19 pandemic reports www.ShropshireStar . If cancer is diagnosed in later stages, it is harder to treat and the patients’ survivability decreases. During and since the pandemic, cancer surgeries have been backlogged or cancelled. There are significant staffing shortages which affect patient access to care, diagnosis, and treatment. There are shortages in oncologists, pathologists, radiologists, and nurses to care for the cancer patients. In England, they are asking for government interference for solutions to these issues, there are dramatically fewer people getting screened for cancer since the pandemic. This decrease in screening will have a serious consequence to patient survivability. Find more information here.
Dana Kaiser is a professional writer and a strong patient advocate, learning from experience during her 22-year career as a nurse.