New approaches to taming the immune system in the fight against cancer are bringing us closer to a future in which cancer is curable. CRISPR, artificial intelligence, telehealth, the Infinium Assay, cryo-electron microscopy, and robotic surgery are accelerating progress against cancer.
Curing cancer is unquestionably one of the century’s major challenges. Over the last two decades, our understanding of cancer has vastly improved. This has aided scientists and innovators in developing new and advanced technologies that can aid in the cure of cancer. Let’s take a look at a few of these technologies that could change the way cancer is treated.
VMAT Radiation Therapy:
VMAT is a novel Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) treatment technique that combines a fully digital linear accelerator, 3D volumetric imaging, and advanced treatment planning skills. This potent trio delivers focused radiation to the targeted organ in the shortest amount of time while sparing the surrounding critical organs and normal healthy tissues, ensuring patient and treating team safety.
It is the next-generation arc therapy technique that has raised the bar for radiation therapy by reducing treatment time to a few minutes. This reduces the possibility of patient movement and improves patient comfort and tolerance. VMAT technology will provide Radiation Therapy that is personalised, safe, efficient, and of high quality.
A technologically advanced Linear Accelerator equipped with amorphous silicon portal imaging and a dynamic multileaf collimator can deliver Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) precisely targeting higher tumoricidal doses to the tumour while keeping the radiation dose to nearby normal/critical organs lower.
A medical linear accelerator (LINAC) is the most common device used for external beam radiation treatments on cancer patients. It sends high-energy x-rays or electrons to the patient’s tumour.
Brachytherapy is a type of internal radiation therapy that is frequently used to treat head and neck cancer, breast cancer, cervix cancer, prostate cancer, and eye cancer. Brachytherapy is a type of internal radiation therapy in which radiation-containing seeds, ribbons, or capsules are implanted in or near the tumour.
The majority of brachytherapy is administered via a catheter, which is a small, stretchy tube. Brachytherapy is sometimes administered via a larger device known as an applicator. The method of brachytherapy application is determined by the type of cancer. Before beginning treatment, your doctor will insert the catheter or applicator into your body.
Nuclear medicine imaging is an important complement to current imaging technologies and is useful in oncology. The advantage of nuclear medicine is functional imaging as opposed to purely static imaging in conventional x-rays, CT, and so on. Doctors can detect tumours in the 5- to 10-millimetre range with these cameras. When a tumour this size or smaller is detected, the prognosis improves dramatically.
This camera can be used to perform bone scans, thyroid scans, renal scans, and a variety of other investigations. The Gamma Camera is a critical tool for staging work up. It aids the treating consultant in planning the desired treatment modality.
A PET-CT scan is a combination of a CT scan and a PET scan. It provides specific information about your cancer. The CT scan collects x-rays from all over your body and stitches them together to form a three-dimensional (3D) image.
A mildly radioactive drug is used in the PET scan to identify areas of your body where cells are more active than usual. A PET-CT scan is typically performed as an outpatient procedure in the radiology department. The scanner is operated by a radiographer. It typically takes 30 to 60 minutes. These scanners are typically only available in major cancer hospitals.
Advances on multiple fronts are making cancer a more manageable disease. There are still many unmet needs in cancer, so any new and effective treatment will be a welcome addition to the oncologist’s arsenal. Patients will be able to receive therapies that are tailored to their specific needs as more options become available.
We can anticipate a future in which treatments will be much more precise based on the patient’s genomic signature. The majority of these new cancer-fighting technologies have yet to be proven effective. However, we are on track to reach a future in which cancer treatment is personalized and the chances of survival are higher than ever.