Cancer is one of the most devastating diseases in the world and one of the biggest killers too. It is caused by the uncontrolled growth of cells in the body. Because it is such a huge concern, researchers, scientists, and oncologists have been looking for a cure for different types of cancers for decades. The good news is that we now have various advancements showing promise and pushing us toward cures for different cancers, including the deadliest and rarest ones.
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Precision oncology has been hailed as one of the best weapons against cancer today. It works by studying the genetic makeup and various molecular characteristics of tumors and cancerous cells in patients.
It tries to identify the changes in those cells and tumors that cause cancer to spread and grow. Once researchers understand this, they can develop personalized treatment options for individual patients. Because precision oncology is targeted, it typically results in less damage to fewer cells and thus has fewer side effects.
In Vivo Testing in Rats and Mice
The testing of oncology drugs is often costly and not as effective as researchers like due to limited testing samples and poor engraftment rates. One advancement that is helping solve all these issues is in vivo testing in mice and rats. Researchers use immunodeficient rats and mice to ensure high xenograft engraftment where tumors can grow faster and larger, with the process being more efficient than what was available in the past.
Researchers can choose between using a mouse, rat, or both for validation, trials, and tests. The results can help researchers and oncologists develop tailored treatments for different patients. You can read more here to learn about the available in vivo oncology services.
Researchers are already using artificial intelligence to screen for the most common types of cancer, including breast and prostate cancer. Doing so leads to early diagnosis, reducing the effects and devastation of late-stage cancer.
Doctors and radiologists are also using artificial intelligence to analyze X-rays to identify cancer, especially in areas where experts who would do the same are unavailable.
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed AI models that can predict the risk of lung cancer. Lung cancer is especially difficult to diagnose in the early stages using scans and x-rays so researchers are getting help from artificial intelligence.
These models have been able to predict the likelihood of a person developing lung cancer up to six years before they do. If the model makes such a prediction, healthcare professionals and the person with the high risk can work together to prevent cancer development.
Biopsies remain the main way oncologists diagnose cancer. Biopsies are very invasive as they involve the removal of tissue surgically so an expert can examine it. Liquid biopsies are a better process because they use blood to detect signs and risks of cancer.
Because of how devastating it is, any tools and techniques that can help us diagnose cancer early and treat it are always welcome. The good news is that researchers, scientists, and oncologists have already made some advancements that are making this a reality.