Advances in Biotechnology & Cancer

How the growth of biotechnology and cancer affect medicine

By Alyssa Clark, Emma Griebe, Hana Kanazu, and Drew Bright


What are some advances in Biotechnology and cancer? How are they helping advancements in medicine?


If there are large advancements in Biotechnology and cancer research, then the improvements in medicine will grow largely because biotech and new forms of cancer treatment can largely influence the development of new medical strategies.

What is Biotechnology?

The use of genetic engineering to make useful products.

Advancements in Biotech

"Biotechnology is key to transforming cancer from a deadly disease into a chronic one,” says Dr Agustin Lage Davila, the General Director of CIM. “Our drugs make chemo and radiation therapies more effective and less toxic. This helps us to achieve our ultimate goal: a longer life and a better quality life for our patients.” There is an anti-cancer drug called Nimotuzumab, it is used to heal tumors, like ones found in peoples heads, necks and brains. How Nimotuzumab works is it imitates an immune cells and attaches to specific molecules of cancer cells. More specify it targets a protein that causes uncontrolled cell division or growth in other words, cancerous cells. The Cuban biotech industry has about 1200 patents on pharmaceutical products and vaccines like Nimouzumab; the drug I mentioned earlier
The world of biotechnology is sky rocketing: in Cuba where cancer is a very real threat. If you where diagnosed with cancer you have a 50% chance of dying because of it; second only to circulatory issues. Even with this fact Cuba is making leaps and strides in research to find a cure for cancer. Carl Borrebaeck, CREATE Health’s program director, says: “By using the latest equipment within the ‘omics area and in-house developed technology platforms we are focusing on defining gene and protein signatures that can differentiate between different cancer types and stages at an early phase." By diagnosing cancer early on the percentile that you will survive will sky rocket and with help from our neighbors in Cuba together we can make cancer a less than chronic condition

Advances in Cancer Research

-Scientists know that from exposure to chemicals and/or viruses and stress could set of cancer. Many scientists also state they a better understanding of signal transduction and its impact on cell division.

-The future of cancer treatment is called targeted therapeutics, the approach attacks defective molecules.

-In the past clinicians tell most cancers by phenotype but now molecular signatures identify it.

-Signal transduction points out where cancer could possibly start or come about.

-In the mid 90s researchers discovered RNA interference which can stop a specific gene.

-”According to Rafael Bengoa, director of management of chronic disease at the World Health Organization, 15 million to 16 million new cases of cancer emerge every year. Cancer kills millions every year, as well. In 2000, for example, cancer killed 6 million people, making this group of diseases responsible for 12 percent of worldwide deaths that year.”

-Whatever form of cancer is being looked at doctors usually look at the diseased tissue.

-New mechanisms can help to identify cancerous cells and help scientists to understand the group of disease better.

-Studying cancer can depend on getting to the right cells and the right tissue.

-Cell death is just as important as creating a new cell in the development of an organism.

-Environmental cues can trigger cancer, the signals can get through a cell through kinases.

Cancer research is constantly improving. Currently there is a large growth in the prevention of cancer. Of the four main cancer causing pathogens the HPV virus is the one that causes close to all cervical cancers. But within the last 2 years the HPV vaccine has improved in popularity and efficiency. HPV is an extremely common virus so much that it affects 79 million people in the United States. If the HPV virus is not fought off by the individual's immune system after a few years then tissue damage can occur causing different kinds of cancer to happen most commonly cervical cancer. In 2015 there has been a new vaccine made that has shown to help protect against cancer starting strands in HPV. “new research confirmed the positive impact widespread HPV vaccination could have on the rates of HPV cancers” meaning that hopefully we will be able to prevent cervical cancer from occurring from the HPV virus helping more people. This is a big improvement and could lead way to new forms of medicine that protect against diseases occurring from common illnesses. There is of course more research and testing that needs to be done but HPV vaccines could make a huge impact on those affected by cervical cancer.

Though no matter how hard we work to prevent cancer people still will get it so there are also many advancements coming for the treatment of certain types of cancer. In adults glioblastoma is one of the most common types of brain cancer, and is also one of the most deadly. Less than 10% of patients survive 5 years from their initial diagnosis. But there are new trials that are finding better ways to treat glioblastoma. “The approach is unlike other treatments for brain or other cancers, using so-called tumor-treating fields (TTFs) to stop the growth of rapidly dividing tumor cells.” TTFs are low-intensity electrical fields that are received by the patient through their skin by a device worn on their head. “In the trial of patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma who underwent surgery, adding TTFs to standard radiation therapy and chemotherapy delayed disease progression by a median duration of 3 months” the survival rate after 2 years was 43% in the TTF group and only 29% in the standard therapy, with surgery and radiation therapy and chemotherapy according to cancer This is a major advancement and in the years to come could save the lives of many people that are diagnosed with glioblastoma. This only one example of improvements there are many more. Overall there are becoming many improvements in the treatment of cancer are largely improving medicine and the public who gets affected by these cancers.





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This data table shows many of the cancer research trials going on and some of their results.



Over a long and painful journey Biotechnology and cancer research has come a long way. We are able to endow plants and animals with new traits, produce human protein, and gain better knowledge of what causes cancerous diseases as well as how cancer can be formed.


  • transgenic plants and animals, while inserting snippets of DNA from other organisms that give them new traits, such as the ability to resist infectious diseases.
  • Scientists know that from exposure to chemicals and/or viruses and stress could set of cancer. Many scientists also state they have a better understanding of signal transduction and its impact on cell division.

Reasoning: The federation of American Scientists claim that the advances in biotechnology have led to the development of transgenic plants and animals, which at the end gave them the ability to become immune to infectious diseases. This also creates the ability to produce human proteins that hold a medical value. Over time we get a better grasp on what biotechnology is truly capable of and learn what works through trying different trials and experiments in treatments like medicines we will be able to further advance in biotechnological advancements that will help diagnose cancer


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