The silent revolution in oncology
Oncology (Greek onkos, tumor + logos, word, teaching) is a branch of medicine that studies benign and malignant tumors, the mechanisms and patterns of their occurrence and development, methods of their prevention, diagnosis and treatment. Oncological diseases represent an extensive and heterogeneous class of diseases. Oncological diseases are systemic and affect, one way or another, all organs and systems of a person. There are many forms and options for treating cancer. Although patients often perceive an oncological diagnosis as a sentence, not all even malignant tumors lead to death. Modern studies have shown that every person in the body regularly has cancer cells and micro-tumors that die and resolve under the influence of the antitumor immunity system.
The silent revolution in oncology is the key word here QUIET. But this is the very case when the tam-toms, timpani and revolutionary volleys of the Aurora must break the silence. And all because in medicine there was a real revolution. And everyone should know about it. This is a genuine sensation, not a hype in someone’s interests. This is not a theory, but a practice. They should write and broadcast about this at every step. And then the lives of many people will be saved, including those who no longer have the slightest hope.
Over the past few years, we have been witnessing truly revolutionary changes in medicine. Unfortunately, such developments have not yet reached all countries, moreover, not all doctors are aware of what is happening.
In this article I want to outline in general terms the breakthrough in the treatment of a number of the most serious oncological (and not only) diseases, which until recently were considered incurable. In addition, as a practicing Israeli doctor, I will cite cases from personal experience on the examples of my patients from the countries of the former CIS. As they say - from the first person.
So what is it about?
First of all, we are talking about the latest biological and immunological drugs that have already proven 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 precisely in cases with advanced stages of the disease, with the already metastasis of the tumor.
As you know, conventional chemotherapy has a systemic effect on the entire human body, destroying both cancerous and healthy cells. The most obvious example is hair loss during chemotherapy.
Biological drugs act pointwise - destroying only genetically modified cancer cells in the body, and without affecting healthy ones. For example, Zelboraf (Zelboraf) blocks serine-threonine kinase, which is encoded by the BRAF gene, which, in turn, is responsible for the development of melanoma. A genetic study is done to the patient and, if the BRAF mutation is confirmed, Zelboraf is a salvation for such patients.
I have a 56-year-old patient who was operated on for back skin melanoma 10 years ago. And a year ago, he showed metastases in the lungs, spine and brain. After confirming the presence of a BRAF mutation, the patient began to receive Zelboraf, and within a month all metastases disappeared.
Immunological drugs act on a different principle. They train and mobilize the human immune system to fight cancer cells. A cancer tumor is an out-of-control group of cells with a malfunction in DNA, which manages to disguise itself and become invisible to the immune system, which normally can cope with single cancer cells that constantly appear in the human body. Immunological drugs remove the disguise from cancers, giving a "face" to the immune system, which begins to destroy the tumor throughout the body, including distant metastases - without harming healthy cells. This is if in a nutshell. If, for example, a genetic study on BRAF in a patient with metastatic melanoma does not show the presence of a mutation, he is given an immunological drug, Opdivo. And I also have such patients.
With regard to treatment with the latest biological and immunological drugs, other examples can be cited: The curability of hepatitis C, which is deadly, no less than cancer, reaches today 90-98% with the latest drugs like Harvoni, Sovaldi (Sovaldi) , Vierax (Vierax), Exviera (Exviera) even in those patients who have already been unsuccessfully treated with interferon and ribovirin, and are at advanced stages of liver cirrhosis.
Such drugs as Opdivo (Opdivo), Keitruda (Keytruda), Erbitux (Erbitux) and others are introduced into remission of patients with metastatic cancer of the kidney, bladder, lung, intestines, breast.
The mere appearance of these drugs is a huge breakthrough, and in Israel their use is the standard.
But that's not all.
Recently, we began to conduct some of our patients the latest personal genetic research . They are carried out on the basis of an analysis of blood or tumor tissue obtained as a result of an operation or biopsy and, in the period from a week to three, give answers to a number of important questions:
- Genetic analysis of the tumor - specific mutations (changes in the structure of the tumor at the cellular level), allowing to provide effective treatment with a specific biological drug
- What is the effect of different types of chemotherapy on a particular tumor of a given patient? This study is akin to many years the well-known study of the sensitivity of bacteria to antibiotics, only studies the sensitivity of tumor cells to chemotherapeutic drugs.
- What is the wobble of all types of biological preparations for a particular type of tumor in a given patient?
- What is the effect of immunological drugs on a particular tumor type of a given patient?
- Urgency of treatment (depending on the type of tumor)
- Possibility of early detection of oncology early detection for family members of the patient
These studies are recommended when:
- Patients underwent several treatment protocols with no visible results.
- The tumor does not respond to treatment
- For types of cancer with a low chance of cure
- For tumors from an unknown source
So what is the breakthrough here?
The fact is that these studies are personalized - they give answers on the treatment of a particular type of cancer for a particular patient .
And, accordingly, they make it possible to pre-select a drug that will be most effective for this patient. That is, to immediately choose the most effective medicine and its dosage, without spending many months using the “trial and error” method. Indeed, it is often a matter of life and death.
And, in addition, biological and immunological drugs are currently quite expensive, so a drug selected in advance on the basis of a genetic study saves not only time, but also a lot of money.
By the way - about the money.
As I already said, the problem with the discussed drugs is their high price, although in recent months prices have started to decline significantly, and I expect this trend to continue.
But is it possible to value human life with money? Indeed, more recently, many of these diseases could not be cured for any money.
Be that as it may, personally using the described methods of treatment, I can confidently say that modern science and medicine have made a major breakthrough in the treatment of a large number of serious diseases.
And for a snack: Last August, Jimmy Carter, a former US president, said he had cancer with multiple metastases. And at the beginning of December, he said that after a course of treatment with the keytruda immunological drug, which, by the way, was undergoing clinical trials in Israel, there were no signs of the disease in his body.
Israeli medicine was once again one of the first in the world to develop and adopt the latest medicines and technologies. And I am pleased to feel my involvement in this process.