As we saw throughout the 2018 year, cancer research is continuing to make major strides towards new treatment options for some of the world’s deadliest cancers, and there are no signs of slowing down. For example, immunotherapy, which garners the use of one’s immune system to fight cancer, was approved by the FDA in 2018, marking a significant win in cancer research. As we begin the new 2019 year, let’s examine some of the exciting cancer research we can expect to hear more about.
Liquid Biopsy Tests
As more cancers begin to develop within the human bodies, so are the ways that doctors can determine a person has cancer. In 2018, liquid biopsy tests emerged as a breakthrough in diagnosing cancer. With this approach, doctors can use a simple blood test to see if a person has cancer. While much more research and clinical trials lay ahead with liquid biopsy tests, 2018 showed that it has the potential to become the new way of diagnosing cancer in the future.
Like the liquid biopsy tests, organoids is another way to test if a person has cancer or not through a simpler, more direct approach. With this process, doctors will be able to use patient tissue samples that are recovered from the patient and taken through a testing process. During the process, doctors will try cancer treatments on the human sample to determine if the treatment can be effective enough to prescribe to the patient. This new tool will revolutionize the way that patients are treated by lowering the number of painful treatments that they have to go through by testing its effectiveness on the samples beforehand. While this research remains in the earlier stages, it is already showing major promise for 2019.
Side Effects of Cancer Treatments
Another important and sometimes under-appreciated area of cancer research is getting a better understanding of the harsh side effects that cancer treatments typically have. In this area, doctors are focusing on determining treatments that could help reduce some of the harsher side effects of cancer treatments, including extreme nausea and weakness. The research will analyze a typical treatment, and determine if cancer can be killed through a smaller dose of treatment, which in turn, can reduce the harsh side effects that come along with it.
The end of 2018 marks a successful year in cancer research thus far, making strides in how cancers are treated. As we begin to move through 2019, it is important to keep an eye out for some of these major areas of cancer research.