New Cancer Treatment Provides Hope for Patients

 

A new cancer treatment may provide hope for cancer patients. Scientists have discovered  that some cancer cells in a person's body  mutate in the same way. The breakthrough came when researchers found out that cancer cells leave behind markers when they spread.

In the past scientists believed that the cancer cells of a tumour were not all the same. Changes in cell structure varied in different parts of the cancer area. Now scientists claim that they may be able to stop cancer cells at their roots. They aim to create a vaccine that could guide immune cells to attack cancer cells and stop mutations from spreading.

Although it is still a long way before that happens, scientists hope that testing this new cancer treatment on humans could begin within the next five years.

However, there are some facts to consider. First of all, not all forms of cancer develop at the same speed . Some may be so quick that it would be impossible to find out where mutations begin in time. Others would have a higher success rateIn addition, such a treatment would be expensive, because each patient would have a "personalized" vaccine.

Immunotherapies have been on the market for some time but only about a third of the drugs have worked and proved successful.  Up to now doctors have mostly used chemotherapy to treat cancer. Even though this form of treatment kills off cancer cells when they divide it also attacks healthy cells and produces many side effects.

 

Chemotherapy could now be replaced with an individualized treatment. Pharmaceutical companies have welcomed the new development and will spend money on developing the required vaccines.

 

Cancer patient

Patient looks forward to new cancer treatment - Image: jennifrog

 

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Words

  • aim = plan to
  • although = while
  • attack = fight against
  • breakthrough = to surprisingly discover something new
  • cancer = serious disease in which cells in your body grow in an uncontrolled way
  • cell = the smallest unit in a plant, animal or person
  • chemotherapy = treatment of cancer using chemicals
  • claim = to say that something is true
  • consider = think about
  • develop = grow
  • development = here: the new treatment
  • discover = to find out for the first time
  • divide = separate into two parts
  • even though = while
  • guide = show, lead to
  • however = but
  • impossible = not possible
  • immunotherapy = treatment that improves the way a person's immune system fights off a disease
  • in addition = also
  • marker = sign
  • mutation = the way in which cells change
  • mutate = change
  • personalized = here: made for a certain patient
  • pharmaceutical = about producing medicine
  • prove = to show a certain result
  • provide = offer, give
  • replace = use instead of something else
  • required = needed
  • roots = here: where they begin
  • scientist = person who is trained in science and works in a lab
  • side effect = an unpleasant effect that happens when you take some medicine
  • spread = move from one place in your body to another
  • success rate = here: how often a therapy works
  • treatment = when you use medicine and exercises to make a person healthy again
  • tumour = mass of unhealthy cells that may cause an illness
  • vaccine = a substance that has a weak form of a bacteria or virus; it can protect people from a disease
  • vary = to be different
  • welcome = here: to have a positive feeling towards something