The Future of Cancer Treatment

New Medical Developments: Savannah Hook

What Causes Cancer?

In order to replace old dying cells, new ones must be created. These cells are created through mitosis. In normal mitosis, the cells goes through a phase (interphases) that allows the cell to duplicate all things in the cell in order to make two efficient cells. After this the cell goes through a series of other steps (prophase, metaphase, anaphase, telophase, and cytokinesis) where the chromosomes are aligned then the cell eventually splits into two identical cells.Errors in the choreography of these events may lead to uncontrolled proliferation, aneuploidy, and genetic instability culminating in cancer development.
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How Do We to FIght Cancer?

Currently there are two main types of treatment for cancers.

The first is chemotherapy. Chemotherapy works by targeting cells that are going through the process of mitosis. Unfortunately it does not only target the cells that are cancerous. That is why it is also associated with hair loss, stomach pain, nausea, and tiredness. This is because the cells are not able to rejuvenate themselves properly.

The second type of common treatment is radiation. Radiation works by focusing high powered energy on the cancerous cells to kill them. Like chemotherapy, radiation is not flawless. Because it cannot be specifically targeted to the tumor or cancerous cells, it kill all cells in the area.


Cancers' Horrific Path

Public health officials believe cancer will become the top killer of Americans by the year 2030, where a 67 percent increase in new cases is expected among individuals over age 65. This year, about 1.6 million Americans, most over 55, will receive a cancer diagnosis while more than 585,000 will die from the disease. Because of this National Institutes of Health, reports that Washington funded$4.8 billion in cancer research in the 2013 fiscal year, and funding has averaged $4.9 billion over the past six years.

Cold Cap

In order to prevent some of the negative side effects of chemotherapy a new technology to slow down mitosis in certain areas has been developed. As a checkpoint for cell production the environmental condition is checked. By using a cold cap on a patients head, where mitosis is occurring frequently for hair, the process can be slowed down. Because it is slowed down, the chemo will no longer target those cells and hair loss will not occur. Over the next 10 years these will try to gain FDA approval.

Mitotic Kinases

Right now most cancer research focuses broadly on mitosis. However by more specifically targeting a protein that signals mitosis to occur treatment can most effectively stop cancerous cells from replicating. This reduces the negative side effects of killing off all replicating cells, or all cells in the surrounding area of the cancerous cells.

Polio Virus as a Cure

Duke University has recently done trials on using genetically engineered poliovirus to treat cancer. To work against cancers in patients, oncolytic viruses must target cancer cells for infection and they must kill them.PVS-RIPO naturally infects almost all cancer cells, because the receptor for poliovirus (which is used for cell entry) is abnormally present on most tumor cells. PVS-RIPO kills cancer cells, but not normal cells, because its ability to grow (and kill) depends on biochemical abnormalities only present in cancer cells. This abnormality is mitosis still occuring even though the cell is unhealthy and even terminal.

Mitotic Kinases

Right now most cancer research focuses broadly on mitosis. However by more specifically targeting a protein that signals mitosis to occur treatment can most effectively stop cancerous cells from replicating. This reduces the negative side effects of killing off all replicating cells, or all cells in the surrounding area of the cancerous cells.