Cancer patients who use complementary therapies may be more likely to shun conventional treatments and risk their chances of survival, research suggests. A study of 1,290 patients in the US found people who received such therapies often refused life-saving care such as chemotherapy or surgery. Fewer of them survived five years after starting treatment compared to those on standard care, researchers found. Experts urged patients not to ditch proven cancer medicines. Researchers said the use of complementary therapies, which range from diets, minerals and vitamin infusions to yoga and acupuncture, was growing in the US but there was limited research on how effective they are.
Researchers have used AI to develop personalized radiation therapy cancer treatment plans, taking only 20 minutes.Brian Tran/University of Toronto Engineering A new artificial intelligence (AI) tool developed by a team at the University of Toronto may be able to significantly reduce the time needed to develop radiation therapy treatment plans for people with cancer. The research published in the journal Medical Physics used AI to mine historical radiation therapy data and designed algorithms to develop recommended treatment strategies. To check the AI-produced relevant treatment plans, the researchers looked at 217 patients with head and neck cancer who had their radiation therapy schedules developed via conventional methods. "There have been other AI optimization engines that have been developed, but the idea behind ours is that it more closely mimics the current clinical best practice," says Aaron Babier, the lead author of the research from the University of Toronto Engineering Department. At the moment, developing radiation therapy plans for each individual patient's tumor can take days, valuable time for patients as the cancer often continues to grow and evolve, but also for physicians spending time designing these complex treatment strategies.
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear about cancer? If you did, you are right. According to the World Health Organization report, 20% of males and 17% of females develop cancer during their lifetime, and 12.5% of males and 9% of females die from the disease. Cancer is the second leading cause of death after a heart attack, killing more than 500,000 people every year. Thankfully, technology is here to change all that for good.
NEW YORK – A treatment for a common childhood blood cancer could become the first gene therapy available in the U.S. A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel voted 10-0 on Wednesday in favor of the leukemia treatment developed by the University of Pennsylvania and Novartis Corp. The FDA usually follows recommendations from its expert panels, but isn't obligated to do so. The therapy could be the first of a wave of treatments custom-made to target a patient's cancer. Called CAR-T, this type of therapy involves removing immune cells from a patients' blood, reprogramming them to create an army of cells that can zero in on and destroy cancer cells and injecting them back into the patient. "This is a major advance," said panel member Dr. Malcolm A. Smith of the National Cancer Institute.
Needless to say, cancer care has been hit hard during the pandemic and thousands of cancer patients are waiting for surgeries and treatments. Bigger doses of radiation over fewer sessions can work as effectively in cancer patients. Breast, lung, prostate, and bowel cancer can all be now treated within just a week's time, according to the U.K. trials. Women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer usually receive around 15 doses of radiation post-surgical procedures, which now would be delivered over a period of three weeks. Per the FAST-Forward trial led by experts at the Institute of Cancer Research in London, just five large doses of radiation given within a week's time are just as safe and effective.