Medical Advancements We Can Look Forward to in 2015
As we enter the third month of the new year, it’s a perfect time to reflect back upon some of the medical breakthroughs of the previous year, and look to the future for what we can expect in 2015. Below, five things that caught my eye in 2014, and five things I’m excited about this year.
1. Immunotherapy Led the Way
This past year saw the FDA approval of several powerful new drugs for treating melanoma, as well as lung, stomach, blood, and cervical cancers. Chief among them were three new drugs to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), the most common leukemia found in the elderly. This will offer patients new options, especially in relapsed and resistant CLL. In a study out of Germany, researchers demonstrated combining a new antibody with standard chemotherapy improved outcomes in CLL patients with preexisting conditions.
2. We Understand Cancer Better
Last year, there were a number of important advances in our understanding of cancer. A landmark paper by scientists at the Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network found that tumors from different organs often shared the same genomic profile. What this means is that different tumors, say lung and breast tumors, for example, frequently share the same DNA mutations. This radically changes our view of cancer in that instead of treating a tumor based on its site of origin, we can now look at DNA mutations to guide therapy.
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