TOP 7 Innovations in Cancer Treatment in 2019 – More Antibodies, Less Chemotherapy

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Elaine Schattner, a physician, who used to work as a blood and specialist, wrote an article about the major trends and issues in treatment which will affect the lives of patients in the near future.

Nexter.org prepared you an overview of 7 key trends.

Artificial intelligence (AI)

Source: Pixaby

Not that many doctors can keep up with developments in the field because there is just too much information for anyone to grasp. That is why oncology needs to be AI-driven, at least at the level where it will suggest treatments to consider.

Patient-reported outcomes

It is important how patients feel. This has always been so, but doctors didn’t pay that much attention to the subjective descriptions of tiredness, nausea, pain, etc. Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) will allow doctors to distinguish subtle differences among so-called “me-too” drugs as well as see the risks and benefits of treatments that may do more good than harm.

Tumor-agnostic prescription of medications

Source: Digital Science

There is a modern way to prescribing drugs, which is based on molecular changes in malignant cells, and not in which body part the tumor occurs.

Last May the FDA approved the use of Keytruda – an immune-oncology drug, for all patients with in which the malignant cells have certain features, what’s called microsatellite instability.

Although not all oncologists find this way of treating helpful, as according to preceding studies, the usefulness of some drugs may actually depend on where is located. It points to the need for collecting data regarding tumor locations and details of pertinent mutations.

Focus on diagnostics, quality, and payment for genetic tests

This is a very important matter for patients with malignancy who want to try novel drugs and need to know if their tumors harbor molecular features match those new drugs. The FDA has approved only 1 such pan-genetic test, FoundationOne CDx, so far. The cost of which is about $5800.

The accreditation of labs that do molecular testing becomes more and more important as these tests become more relevant to an everyday prescription of drugs and clinical decisions.

drug costs

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Some think that medications should not be covered by private insurers unless these treatments prove to be beneficial to patients. But how people define “benefit” as well as how it needs to be proven is a controversial societal issue. The discussion reflects the personal responsibility for care, and whether all people with deserve an opportunity to try the anti- treatments.

Less chemotherapy

According to a recent report finds, in a recent 2-year interval (2013-2015) chemotherapy prescriptions for patients with early-stage breast slid from about 34.5% to 21.3%. And that is a huge drop. This trend is important and credible for growing awareness of overtreatment and broader use of recurrence predictors like MammaPrint and OncotypeDx.

More prescription of novel anti- agents

Doctors began to prescribe targeted drugs for tumors with specific molecular aberrations more frequently. And that means that they will use more antibodies than chemotherapy, which is revolutionary for melanoma, lung , and other types of malignancy treatment.

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7 Innovations in Cancer Treatment - More Antibodies, Less Chemotherapy
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7 Innovations in Cancer Treatment - More Antibodies, Less Chemotherapy
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Elaine Schattner, a physician, who used to work as a blood and cancer specialist, wrote an article about the major trends and issues in cancer treatment which will affect the lives of patients in the near future. Nexter.org prepared you an overview of 7 key trends.
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