Chemotherapy – Future Thoughts
In future, targeted chemotherapy is being developed with an intent to cure the cancer as in testicular tumors, Hodgkins, non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and certain types of leukemia.
Chemotherapy agents have also found use in the treatment of non-cancer conditions like transplant rejections and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
Research has helped to discover many more drugs to treat cancer. Several of these drugs, that have been researched and tested, have entered the fray. Treatment is far more focused and effective than it has ever has been but the basic principles and limitations of the therapy still remain. Today it can be unquestionably said that with the help of these drugs, cancer patients are able to lead life of a better quality.
Scientists are now working on drugs that target specific features of the cancer cells. Imatinib, a monoclonal antibody drug, has been successful in attacking the Philadelphia chromosome, commonly seen in patients with CML. Efforts are on to identify more such features in order to develop efficient treatment modalities.
Intracellular efflux pumps, such as p-glycoprotein, have been identified that actively flush out drugs from inside the cells to the outside. In the year 2007, medications that promote the efficacy of chemotherapy by impairing the functioning of p-glycoprotein have been tested.
Often cancer attacks young adults even before they have started a family. Cryopreservation of sperms from young male patients before treatment is an option that is grossly underutilized. Storing these sperms in liquid nitrogen, at sub zero temperature, saves them for future use. Besides, innovative Assisted Reproductive Technology(ART) methods have ensured that the prospects of these patients are preserved for the future.
- MacDiarmid J.A. et al. (2007)
- "Bacterially Derived 400 nm Particles for Encapsulation and Cancer Cell Targeting of Chemotherapeutics" Cancer Cell 11, 431-445, May 2007