There are some possibilities for some cures for cancer, heart disease and alzheimers related to vaccines and gene therapy treatments for different aspects of the different diseases. Heart disease and alzheimers have the hope (though not the certainty) of broad spectrum treatments. Various gene therapy possibilities seem the most promising for new Heart disease treatments. Early detection with more accuracy and lower cost for various types of cancer and alzheimers hold the promise of near term improvement in survival and treatment.
Success against Aids/HIV is an example of what is possible when truly effective and affordable treatments are widely deployed. Significant success with Aids drugs have reduced costs have been achieved in recent years. For example the price of medicines to prevent mother to child transmission of HIV was reduced from US$ 800 in 2011 to below US$ 100 in 2013. Wide scale deployment will avert an estimated 13.5 million deaths and 19 million new HIV infections by 2025. In 2005, under Mbeki and health minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang – who promoted a “treatment” of beets and garlic – only 133,000 patients were on ARVs. Now the total stands at 1.9 million, the biggest programme on the planet. Aids-related deaths decreased from 257,000 in 2005 to 194,000 in 2010, according to the Actuarial Society of South Africa. The rate at which HIV-positive mothers transmitted the virus to their babies decreased from 8.5% in 2008 to 2.7% in 2011.
The cancer diagnostics market is on the verge of explosion, as the researchers approach major technological breakthroughs in tumor diagnosis and therapy, discover new specific antigens, and unlock the mystery of the genetic basis of the disease. During the next five years, the worldwide cancer diagnostics market is promising to be an exciting, dynamic and rapidly expanding field. Anticipated technological breakthroughs will create numerous opportunities for determining genetic predisposition, detecting specific tumors, and monitoring biological response to cancer therapy. The rise in geriatric population will further compound the growing demand for malignancy assays and the rapid market expansion.
Jack Andraka’s cancer test (which would cost about 3 cents for the disposable part of the test) via finding antigens has broad application for not just cancer but early detection of other diseases.
Andraka’s method proved to be 168 times faster compared to previous tests, not to mention being so sensitive that it is also 400 times more effective when it comes to an accurate diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. There is also optimism going around that this could be useful in testing for different kinds of cancer as well as HIV.
Lung cancer is the world’s top cancer killer, with over 40% of cases diagnosed at an advanced stage when the cancer has already spread widely beyond the lung and survival outcomes are extremely poor.
• Routine screening can reduce the number of people who die from colorectal cancer by at least 60%.
• A mammogram performed every 1–2 years for women aged 40 years and over can reduce mortality by approximately 20%–25% during a 10-year period.
• Pap tests can detect precancerous lesions so they can be treated before cervical cancer develops. Researchers in many countries found that rates of cervical cancer death dropped by 20%–60% after screening programs began.
The new accurate blood tests for cancer antigens or genetic markers will enable cost effective and accurate detection of lung, pancreatic and ovarian cancers.
Early detection in stage 1 of all kinds of cancers would increase survival rates by 10-80%. The most common kind of lung cancer has about a 49% survival rate for stage 1.
he deadly condition known as pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), which afflicts up to 150,000 Americans each year, may be reversible by using an inhalable gene therapy Scientists demonstrated that gene therapy administered through a nebulizer-like inhalation device can completely reverse PAH in rat models of the disease.
Preclinical testing shows SUMO-1 gene therapy shrinks an enlarged heart, improves heart function, and blood flow. Heart failure affects roughly 5.7 million people in the United States, most commonly the elderly. The condition may require a range of treatment, depending on the severity: doctors may tell patients with moderate cases simply to exercise more or to change their diets, while more severe cases could require implanted devices or even a heart transplant. If successful in human trials, the latest treatment methods would be direct and effective, rather than relying on roundabout lifestyle changes or expensive, intrusive technology.
“Gene therapy is one of the new frontiers in heart science and is a great example of the cutting edge technologies that the BHF is using to fight heart failure. Gene therapy aims to improve the function of weak heart muscle cells and finding ways to replace dead heart muscle cells after a heart attack.
Keith Black has developed an early diagnostic test for Alzheimer’s that could catch the disease 20 years before it begins damaging cognitive function. The simple test could be widely used at eye exams, allowing 50 or 60 year olds to know if they’re developing Alzheimer’s and to take simple actions that will delay the onset of the disease by 10 to 15 years.
Breakthrough technology that could make it happen: The hallmark of Alzheimer’s is a protein called beta amyloid that begins accumulating in the brain 20 years before the symptoms present themselves. Keith has discovered a way to image these plaques in the back of the retina, which should enable a inexpensive, eye exam to check for the disease.
Curcumin (the yellow Indian spice) can cross the blood brain barrier and can be used to tag the amyloid plaques.
Scientists found that patients in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease had a dramatic difference in detecting odor between the left and right nostril — the left nostril was impaired and did not detect the smell until it was an average of 10 centimeters closer to the nose than the right nostril had made the detection in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. This was not the case in patients with other kinds of dementia; instead, these patients had either no differences in odor detection between nostrils or the right nostril was worse at detecting odor than the left one.
Progress to an Alzheimers Vaccine – In mice with Alzheimer’s symptoms, weekly injections of MPL (monophosphoryl lipid A) over a twelve-week period eliminated up to 80% of senile plaques. In addition, tests measuring the mice’s ability to learn new tasks showed significant improvement in cognitive function over the same period.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.