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Oncology Landscape for the Future

According to World Health Organization (WHO), cancer is the leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for nearly 10 million deaths in 2020, or nearly one in six deaths1. The most common cancers are breast, lung, colon, rectum and prostate cancer. Yet, we are at a point in time where the speed of advancement in understanding and potentially treating or even preventing the disease has never been greater.

There are currently over 600 molecules in late-stage development and a total of 68 novel therapies have been launched2. They are unlikely to be a one-size fits all approach; it is very much about understanding a specific patient, an individual tumour and having the ability to tailor and target a therapy to match.

Researchers are unlocking the cellular secrets behind cancer to create promising discoveries in immunotherapy, including the latest advancement, CAR-T therapy.

Immunotherapy is an innovative and advanced form of targeted cancer therapy that boosts your body’s own immune system and defense mechanisms to fight cancer at the cellular level. Unlike traditional cancer treatments that target the cells in tumours, immunotherapy drugs boost the body’s immune system to attack cancer cells to stop or slow their growth or limit the ability of cancer to spread.

Chimeric antigen receptor – T cell (CAR-T) therapy is one of the most promising.
trehttps://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789240002319atment breakthroughs in recent years. It uses genetically engineered immune T cells to recognize specific proteins in tumor cells3.

Scientists are optimistic that vaccines, personalised medicine and smart lifestyle choices will help prevent and treat a much greater proportion of cases than currently happens.

Doctors may develop better treatment plans for their patients, and scientists could create new and better drugs to fight cancer using predictive model technology. With additional research and funding, future advancements in cancer biology could lead to a potential cure.

References

  1. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/cancer#:~:text=The%20problem-,Cancer%20is%20a%20leading%20cause%20of%20death%20worldwide%2C%20accounting%20for,lung%20(2.21%20million%20cases)%3B
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31862245/
  3. https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789240002319

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