It once seemed like cancer was impossible to understand or treat. While numerous types of cancers fall under this category, significant technological advancements are helping scientists with cancer research and oncologists find, discover, understand, and treat other types of cancer. The continuing exploration of these technologies can help scientists keep finding new treatments.
Here are 4 technologies helping with cancer research and care.
- Gene Editing
Cancer research is highly complicated and requires the testing and revision of many drug samples. Before that happens, scientists have to find the right test subjects. In most cases, these are mice whose genes have been edited to make them immunocompromised so that they are more likely to develop cancer cells.
Scientists use cell-line editing tools and other technologies to produce specimens that advance the progress of cancer research. Scientists can also work with laboratories that provide preclinical oncological services for drug efficacy studies during drug development, research model creation, or gene editing services.
- Artificial Intelligence
Scientists and oncologists are exploring ways to create a virtual model of cancer patients they call digital twins. They are hoping to use this twin alongside artificial intelligence to test various treatments and predict the outcomes from trying these treatments on their patients. By doing this, they can present personalized care options with the best possibility of producing positive patient outcomes.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are the best tools for this exercise because they are excellent at finding patterns in vast amounts of data, with these capabilities being particularly interesting and useful to cancer researchers.
Providing the care cancer patients need and continuing clinical trials is crucial, even when the patients are immunocompromised. Many healthcare organizations have embraced telehealth to provide this care and protect their patients during clinical trials. Some are going as far as using these technologies to monitor chemotherapy for patients getting treatment at home.
Another significant advantage of telehealth is that it is making cancer care and clinical trials available to patients in geographically-disadvantaged regions. In addition to allowing these patients to participate in the potential development of cancer cures, telehealth is helping researchers expand their pool of participants.
Doing so ensures better outcomes as the researchers have different types of data to segment and compare based on factors like ethnicity, age, type of cancer, gender, and more.
Doctors can elect to remove the cancerous cells or tissues from a patient’s body to stop the cancer from spreading before prescribing chemotherapy and radiation. Doctors want their patients to recover quickly, which robotic surgery enables. They have already successfully used robots for partial and complete prostatectomies (the removal of the prostate) in cases of prostate cancer. Scientists are also testing other robots for other types of surgeries.
Also, we are a long way from autonomous surgery robots, with doctors controlling the arms that make the incisions and stitches for now.
Wrapping it up
Cancer is a devastating disease, which is why everyone in the medical community works so hard to find cures and provide the best care for cancer patients. These technologies helping with cancer research and care has advanced so far that there are now genuine research and care options for cancer patients. Both have a lot of promise and are making it impossible to predict what cancer treatments and care would look like in the future.