Imagine how shocked the world was when cancer was discovered? A cell which starts multiplying without ever planning to stop, a cell which has gone rogue and which will multiply without control, until the person dies. The world wasn’t quite ready for that. The first stories of cancer and studies of cancer can be dated back to Ancient Greece. Hippocrates described breast cancer as Karkinos, which was translated to Latin later on, to become cancer. Today, there are studies of cancer everywhere and at all times. People still die, some of them from cancer. What are the latest scientific discoveries and cancer cures? Here is a brief report on possible cancer cures.
There are some people who are disgusted by the idea of vaccines, who dislike the idea that you might be injected with something that might cause other problems, like autism, which is often the largest offender, at least in the minds of people opposing vaccines.
On the other hand, children who are not vaccinated might suffer from various diseases and eventually die if they are not treated on time or properly, something which could have been avoided with a vaccination. It is worth noting, however, that cancer vaccinations are a bit different. A company named BioNTech makes vaccines which attack a specific patient’s tumor. They scan DNA of healthy cells and tumor cells, thus identifying the mutations (cancer is basically a genetic mutation). Then, the vaccine signals the immune system using an RNA message, to create a protein which will serve as an antigen to the cancer. These vaccines have to be personalized because each patient is different, not to mention their cancer. They primarily work best with bowel or lung cancers, which have many mutations.
CAR-T Cell Therapy
This therapy is straight out of science fiction, except that it is a part of reality. What it basically means is that specialized, engineered T cells are injected into the body. Then, they seek out specific molecules from the cancer/tumor cells. The T cells have a chimeric antigen receptor, hence CAR, which is triggered when the cancer cell molecules are detected, prompting the T cell to attack. This way, the patient is left unharmed, while the cancer cells are destroyed. The problem with this therapy is that the antigen has to be very specific, otherwise the T cells might end up attacking vital organs, leading to the death of a patient.
Microbes Versus Cancer
The microbes, which are a part of the human stomach and human body in general, have a very specific role which was discovered in detail in the last decade. These microbes also interact with the immune system, suppressing it or waking it up when necessary, often suppressing it in case of a minor cold and waking it up should something more sinister happen.
The problem is that cancer cells are invisible to the immune system. Within the microbiomes, certain peptides can be used to make the cancer cells visible once more. They mimic antigens on the surface of cancer cells. This is supposed to wake the immune system up, and show it where the danger is hiding. Combined with a therapy called checkpoint inhibitors, which can suppress the mechanism which the cancer uses to hide, it can successfully show the immune system what to attack.
There are many ways of making cures, some sounding quite like science fiction. Apart from the above mentioned methods, which are already being worked on and have been somewhat tested, high-precision lasers are also being talked about, the kind which can destroy a single cell. What was science fiction ten years ago is reality today. Who knows what the future might bring.