The last few years we are witnessing a truly revolutionary change in medicine. Unfortunately, such developments have not yet reached to all countries, moreover – not all doctors are aware of what is happening.
In this article I want to talk in General terms about a breakthrough in the treatment of several severe cancer (and not only) diseases, until recently considered incurable. In addition, as a practicing Israeli doctor, I will bring the experiences, examples of my patients from countries of the former CIS. As the saying goes – first-person.
So what is it?
First of all, we are talking about the latest biological and immunological drugs that have already proven to be highly effective in the treatment of many types of diseases such as lung cancer, metastatic melanoma, kidney cancer, bladder cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, stomach cancer, hepatitis C, and many others. Moreover, these drugs help in cases with advanced stages of the disease, when already the onset of metastasis of the tumor.
As is known, conventional chemotherapy has a systemic effect on the entire human body, destroying both cancerous and healthy cells. The most striking example is the loss of hair during chemotherapy.
Biological drugs are the point – destroying the only genetically modified cancer cells and not affecting healthy. For example, Selberg (Zelboraf)) inhibits the serine-threonine kinase that is encoded BRAF gene, which, in turn, is responsible for the development of melanoma. The patient gets a genetic test and, if confirmed BRAF mutation, Selbert is salvation for these patients.
I have a patient 56 years old, which was operated in connection with melanoma of the skin of the back 10 ago. A year ago he was diagnosed with metastases to lung, spine and brain. After confirming the presence of BRAF mutation, the patient began to Selberg, and within a month all the metastases disappeared.
Immunological drugs act on a different principle. They train and mobilize the immune system to fight cancer cells. Cancer is out of control group of cells with a failure in DNA that manages to disguise himself and become invisible to the immune system, which in normal mode is able to cope with single cancer cells constantly occur in the human body. Immunological preparations cloaking with cancers, giving "face" to the immune system begins to destroy the tumor throughout the body, including remote metastases without causing harm to healthy cells. It is in a nutshell. If, for example, genetic testing for BRAF in a patient with metastatic melanoma shows the presence of mutations give him an immunological drug Opdivo (Opdivo). And patients I also have.
Regarding the treatment of new biological and immunological drugs can be other examples: Sleevenote from hepatitis C, which is deadly, not less than of cancer, today reaches 90-98% with these newest drugs as Harmony (Harvoni), Cavaldi (Sovaldi), Wierks (Vierax), Exvar (Exviera), even in those patients who have unsuccessfully been treated with interferon and ribavirina, and are in advanced stages of cirrhosis of the liver.
Drugs such as Opdivo (Opdivo), Keytruda (Keytruda), Erbitux (Erbitux) and the other is introduced into remission patients with metastatic kidney cancer, bladder, lung, colon, breast.
In itself the appearance of these drugs is a huge breakthrough, and in Israel their use is standard.
But that's not all.
Recently, we started some of our patients the latest in personal genetic research. They are based on blood or tumor tissue, obtained from surgery or biopsy, and, within the time from a week to three, give the answers to several important questions:
- Genetic analysis of the tumor – specific mutations (changes in the structure of the tumor at the cellular level) in order to provide effective treatment of a specific biological drug.
- What is the impact of different types of chemotherapy to a specific tumor for a specific patient? This study is akin to many years known study of the sensitivity of bacteria to antibiotics, only studying the sensitivity of tumor cells to chemotherapeutic drugs.
- What is wobbling all types of biological agents on a specific type of tumor a given patient?
- What is the impact of immunological preparations for a specific type of tumor a given patient?
- Urgency of treatment (depending on the type of tumor).
- Early detection of cancer early detection for family members of the patient.
These studies are recommended in cases when:
- Patients underwent several treatment protocols without visible results.
- The tumor does not respond to treatment.
- When cancers with a low chance for a cure.
- In tumors from an unknown source.
So what is a breakthrough?
The fact that these studies are personified – they give answers for the treatment of specific cancers particular patient.
And, accordingly, provide the opportunity to pre-select the drug that is most effective for a given patient. That is immediately to choose the most effective medication and dosage, without spending long months by the method of "trial and error". After all, this is often a matter of life and death.
And, in addition, biological and immunological medications at the moment are quite expensive, therefore, selected on the basis of genetic studies, the drug not only saves time, but also a lot of money.
By the way – about money.
As I said, the problem with discussing drugs is their high price, although recent months prices have started to decrease, and I expect to continue this trend.
But is it possible to put a price on human life? Indeed, until recently many of these diseases cannot be cured at any price.
Anyway, personally, using the ways of treatment, I can confidently say that modern science and medicine made a major breakthrough in the treatment of a large number of serious diseases.
For starters: In August last year, Jimmy Carter, the former US President told he had cancer with multiple metastases. And in early December he reported that after treatment of immunological drug "keytruda", which, incidentally, passed clinical trials in Israel, in his body there is no trace of the disease.
Israeli medicine is once again one of the first in the world have developed and embraced modern medicine and technology. And I like to feel their involvement in this process.
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