Hope for Cancer Patients: 4 Modern Discoveries That Just Might Save Lives
Thousands of patients each year receive a diagnosis of cancer. Treating it is a multi-faceted approach. Here are some of the discoveries that can help to save lives:
The Use of Medical Marijuana
A study performed in 2007 found that cannabidiol may help to stop the spread of cancer cells. The study was performed by the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. The cannabidiol worked by turning off the gene that allowed the cancer cells to spread quicker than regular cells. By slowing down the progression of the cancer, it may make other treatments more effective. Medical marijuana has long been used to help with pain management in progressive diseases. This study offers new hope to cancer patients.
This type of treatment is also referred to as biologic therapy. It works by boosting the patient’s ability to fight off the cancer cells. As its name suggests, it activates the immune system. This in done in the hopes that the body will be able to kill the cancer cells in a natural way. Scientists are also working towards the development of vaccines. This will promote the natural immune response to these types of cancers before it gets out of control. The body will be better able to identity these problem cells before they develop into cancer.
Bone Marrow Transplantation
Stem cell and bone marrow transplantation work by eliminating the patient’s own bone marrow and replacing it with healthy cells. Chemotherapy is used to eradicate the cells that create blood cells. In many cases, a matching donor needs to be found. Stem cell research has allowed these cells to be created from the patient. The cells are removed from the patient and then treated for the cancer. Once the stem cells are refined, they are transplanted back into the patient. This has led to less waiting and better long term outcomes.
Targeted Gene Therapies
The cause of cancer is cells that turn on and continue to replicate. These cells lack the ability to turn off. This overabundance of unhealthy cells crowds out the healthy cells. By using targeted therapies, these malfunctioning genes can be turned off. This is generally done through the use of drugs. These drugs are specific to the patient. As these cells are targeted, the body can destroy the cancer cells. The problem with this therapy is that there are many factors that control cell growth. The drugs may not completing turn off the cell.
Science offers great hope to those that are suffering from cancer. This is just the beginning!