The survival of people with cancer has doubled in the last 40 years. Thanks to clinical research, new ways of treating the disease have emerged, and the side effects of existing treatments have been minimized.
There have been so many advances in cancer therapies, including immunotherapy, artificial intelligence and gene therapies. However, their current stage of development and how much work is still needed to be applied to routine clinical practice is a question that remains to be answered.
Below is a list of the most interesting advances and techniques whose development will be key to fighting cancer over the next 20 years:
- Immunotherapy is a biologic therapy that stimulates the body’s natural defenses to fight cancer. In 20 years, some of its current limitations, such as potential immune-related adverse effects or aggravating underlying autoimmune diseases will have been overcome. Within this discipline, cell therapies will be much more effective, and bioengineering will provide sophisticated help to the patient’s immune system to fight cancer.
- Mathematical models and artificial intelligence are growing exponentially in recent years and are expected to continue growing at a rapid pace until they are fully ingrained in our lives. These models will allow for a thorough understanding of each person’s health status, the identification of the most effective treatment, and even the prevention of diseases in people susceptible to a specific disease.
- Precision medicine and personalized therapies are changing the paradigm of medicine by providing therapies that are appropriate for each particular patient. Analysis tools for genetic material and other cellular components of tumors are making it possible to create patient-specific therapies. In addition, they will improve prevention and make early, non-invasive diagnoses such as liquid biopsy more readily available.
- Metastasis is the main focus of action. The causes of metastasis and how to prevent it from occurring are being studied in depth. Projects are currently being developed that work to understand the environment of the tumor and what is happening around it, allowing for the design of effective strategies to prevent and treat metastasis in the coming years.