How far away are we from a cure to cancer

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death across the world. For decades, numerous researches have conducted diligent studies, trying to stop this deadly disease. There are many forms of cancer, and their prognosis depends on an abundance of factors, but the word “cancer” is definitely one of the most frightening words to hear.

Unfortunately, cancer is not limited to a certain age limit and there are more than 100 different types of cancer. However, it’s essential to emphasize the fact that cancer is not just one disease as it usually provokes an immune response which often leads to complete system organ failure. And that is one of the reasons why the scientists have been struggling to find a single cure for all forms of cancer.

Recently, researchers have been trying to find more targeted treatment, depending on a specific type and even patient. It is imperative to use this kind of strategy because cancer can grow in different body systems, often simultaneously, and within different people with unique physiology.

Probably the most significant breakthrough in cancer research has been the comprehension that usual treatment protocols don’t work well enough. Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy have been proven to have disappointing results. Instead, a new form of treatment has emerged in the last decade or so-called immunotherapy. This therapy is bolstered by the fact that almost all solid tumors have their own cancer stem cells (CSC) and that they should be treated accordingly.

Genetic engineering research

 

Scientists are trying to alter a specific set of genes responsible for cancer emergencies, so the goal is to insert new ones that could possibly cure the disease. The problem is that there are thousands of genes contained in human DNA, and it is almost impossible to pinpoint the exact gene responsible for the disease as our organism is a well-oiled machine, with hundreds of thousands of cell interactions daily, and it is difficult to predict to how the body will react if one is replaced.

Over the years, many genome manipulations have been carried out on mice, and researchers are trying to create immune cells genetically capable of eradicating cancer cells. So far, it has been a reliable treatment for a form of cancer called multiple myeloma.

Is there ever going to be a cure?

Predictions of finding an ultimate cure vary from “we’ll be there by 2030” to “unfortunately, there isn’t going to be a cure”. The new drug treatments have been tested continuously through the globe, but with unsatisfying results. For further groundbreaking researches and trials, a vast amount of funding is necessary.

Many more experiments in the field of immunotherapy are needed as this form of treatment is crucial to remove every cancer stem cell from the body. We definitely shouldn’t lose all hope as many promising trials are being conducted almost every day.

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