Cancer is one of the most dreaded diseases. It is estimated that more than eight million people die of cancer every year. Scientists believe that there are more than 100 types of cancer and each one of them has different levels of severity and mortality rates.
However, technology has brought great relief to cancer patients across the world. Doctors and scientists have been able to develop various cancer treatment options. Most of these treatment options although still at the experimental stage, have proved to cure different types of cancers.
Below are some of the exciting and experimental cancer treatment options:
Hyperthermia therapy is an experimental treatment option for cancer that employs whole-body administration of heat. The heat is intended to cause coagulation and denaturation of cellular proteins – hence destroying the cells in a tumor.
This treatment option is exciting because it offers very promising results. It basically kills the cancerous tumor from the inside out – shielding other healthy cells from being infected. Hyperthermia therapy is still in the initial stages of experimentation. There are several things that scientists are still testing before fully launching it as a cancer treatment option.
Cancer research appears to be at an inflection point as we swing toward immunotherapy. It’s a time of great promise for patients, physicians and researchers, but also of great frustration. Too often patients are unable to access treatment options that could save their lives.
In the United States, more than 600,000 people are expected to die of cancer this year, according to the National Cancer Institute. At the current rate, a third of people diagnosed with cancer today will die within five years driving a deep sense of urgency for those in the clinical trials field.
Breakthroughs in biotech and personalized medicine could change these dire statistics, but it can’t happen soon enough for the 1.7 million Americans who will be diagnosed with cancer this year, and the millions more already living with it.
Data has the potential to make cancer research and treatment far more effective and efficient. That’s why institutions across the spectrum – from public hospitals to private practices and research facilities – have become far more sophisticated in collecting data.
The next great healthcare challenge
But making the structural changes needed to put this data to work is another matter. Our next great challenge as a healthcare community is how to deploy all of this information to improve clinical care, and how to get organizations big and small to communicate in a way that opens the full spectrum of treatment options to all patients.
This means connecting pharmaceutical companies and research organizations to the physicians and facilities that are treating patients. Right now, these two worlds exist in separate spheres – they each maintain massive data silos that have no way of continuously communicating with each other.
Researchers are left to rely on a few trusted providers – mainly major research hospitals – for their trials, and it leaves physicians elsewhere struggling to find treatment options when the list of more traditional options has been exhausted. It leaves millions of patients missing out on opportunities to access potentially life-saving care.
We have the technology to bridge this divide – it’s now a question of committing to creating a shared and always HIPAA-compliant database that allows researchers to expand and enhance their search for the right patients on one side, and allows physicians to see a global picture of current trials on the other.